The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

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Makotosun   1 µW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Makotosun » Nov 23 2018 6:49pm

Nice informative site so far, by the way!

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neptronix   100 GW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 23 2018 9:21pm

You're welcome, and thanks for weighing in.

I looked at Kunena and can't really figure out what it offers over phpbb, other than a different way of displaying things, which looks like it took some ideas from vanilla forums. Or perhaps it's a fork of vanilla?

We've looked at these platforms in detail and here what what we came up with..
1) Discourse - too based in stack overflow-type navigation, although that can easily be hacked out. Main dealbreaker is it's written in ruby on rails, which is slow and chunky and falling out of popularity in the last few years. It would be a lot of work to maintain a fork of it, and i don't want to learn ruby; seems like a waste of time.
2) Vanilla forums - looks nicer but has less functionality than phpbb; not enough improvements to make the switch.
3) All other phbb type software - xenforo, simple machines, vbullettin etc... very few new ideas in these. Not worth it.
4) Flarum. Now this is a cool format; however it is in beta and half the functionality is all in plugins, which is not a wise design in my opinion. The plugins are a pain in the ass to write because of it's architecture, and also i expect it to run very slowly at scale. They are already refactoring it for speed despite nobody really using it yet :lol:

So yeah we are stuck with phpbb.. waiting to see how phpbb 4 .x will go, or this supposed big update of vanilla forums that's supposed to offer a nicer content editor, which is a main draw for a lot of us.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 23 2018 10:29pm

Another problem is that this board is 11 years old and people are stuck in their ways of how they use it.

A lot of things could be improved with the stock phpbb themes. As you see, i've done a lot of work on this theme, but ultimately i'd like to do something more radical and modern. It's fairly easy to hack on phpbb themes to get them to look like vanilla or some other forum, but the problem is that you don't want to shock users too much, without a good justification for making the big changes. ( IE complete platform switch with significantly upgraded functionality )
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by BoomerChomsi » Nov 24 2018 1:15pm

Sorry to say FXCK Facebook, I prefer 100% this forum!
Keep on with the good work all!
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Makotosun   1 µW

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Makotosun » Nov 25 2018 4:25pm

The main reason for going with Kunena is it is integrated with Joomla so you can add an endless amount of features to create more features for your members. Anything you add can be public or protected via membership log in.

I have added a decent classified ad section and a sort of wiki plus a lot of no longer available manuals for the old bikes available only to members. I don't charge for membership, but that is just another addition that can be done.

If ONLY doing a forum, then PHPbb seems to be a pretty decent alternative although I really dislike the lack of admin user friendliness for updates and the like. Plus, like you mentioned, the available templates are somewhat dated and lack modern responsiveness for mobile access. Kunena does a decent job of that part.

In any event, the thread struck a chord and I thought I would toss out my experience for what it is.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by 41south » Nov 26 2018 12:40am

A lot of other groups I belong to on Fecalbook are moving off it. It's quite frankly a load of brown stuff for groups. Stick with the forum - please :thumb:

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Dauntless » Nov 26 2018 1:24am

"Stuck" in the way they use it usually means they think it works, If it does, don't fix it.

So this old man told me the story of his company just HAD to have Java in the early days. He's getting the whole 'What a LOSER' treatment for opposing it. So they went with Java, made him handle the legacy department. That's the mirror of everything that's getting done in Java only not in Java, the just in case department.

So as you can guess, for years the just in case department is running the show. A bundle gets dropped on the ongoing failure to implement Java, basically this is the development money NOT being spent by the developer of software they're using and therefore being spent by them, as it was being spent over and over again all over the place as they, too, just HAD to have Java before it was ready. As he'd warned.

He said it was somewhere around the same time as they would have succeeded if they'd waited several years that they finally had their Java implementation in order. Much more money spent than he thought was ever necessary, much more failure to get jobs done on time, etc. But now they could do away with the Legacy department and retire him. It would turn out a little too soon. . . .
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by jonescg » Nov 26 2018 2:59am

I'm a big fan of forums. There's a reason they persist to this day - they do their job extremely well :es:

Love this place, and all it stands for.

Facebook is not the right tool for build logs and technical knowledge. If you want an argument about men's rights activism and cultural Marxism (whatever the frock that is) then Facebook is your Koolaid of choice.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 26 2018 11:14am

Dauntless wrote:
Nov 26 2018 1:24am
He said it was somewhere around the same time as they would have succeeded if they'd waited several years that they finally had their Java implementation in order. Much more money spent than he thought was ever necessary, much more failure to get jobs done on time, etc. But now they could do away with the Legacy department and retire him. It would turn out a little too soon. . . .
That is exactly how i got started with web application programming and server administration. I took a huge but wildly outdated system on as an amateur and watched as 3 separate people tried to rewrite the entire thing from scratch. The old system was written in a simple way and easy to navigate/debug, but was not up to "current standards" in regards to it's architecture.

Over time, i ended up refactoring it from php 4.0 era code to php 7.2+ era code; still keeping it simple as possible.
I went from working on deprecated code and being considered a caveman coder to the lead maintainer of the project.

The company wasted about $300,000 on these rewrite attempts, and the cost on my labor for the complete refactor was around $70,000. The closest of the rewrite attempts got us to 60% of our previous functionality, and coincidentally, it was rewritten in a more simple way vs. the other ones which only got to 10% and 25% functionality.

Because of this, i'm heavily biased towards the keep it simple method, and this puts me at odds with the industry as a whole.

The guy who invented the discourse forum software seems to agree with me.
https://blog.codinghorror.com/it-came-f ... hitecture/
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Nov 26 2018 11:26am

That being said, my favorite candidate for phpbb replacement ( flarum ) is built in the architecture astronaut style. And what the discourse guy said happens with architecture astronauts is happening to them. They're in beta and already refactoring the entire thing for speed, and have not made significant progress in over a year. And potential adopters of it are finding it extremely hard to customize and add functionality to. What looked like an extremely promising project now looks like a series of roadblocks.

"build first, optimize later" and "use as many layers of separation as possible" is biting this project in the ass, and i withdrew financial support from it after seeing the source code.

I believe the proper way for ES to go is to extend and modify phpbb. phpbb is oldschool, but at least written in a relatively sane manner.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Dauntless » Nov 26 2018 11:15pm

jonescg wrote:
Nov 26 2018 2:59am
I'm a big fan of forums. There's a reason they persist to this day - they do their job extremely well :es:

The first thing to hook me was forums. Even with the trolls, who basically made me popular for my ability to slap them up. Sometimes the best discussion has razor focus, others it drifts and people say it's off topic but it sure gets the job done. Board software has little if anything to do with that.
jonescg wrote:
Nov 26 2018 2:59am
If you want an argument about men's rights activism and cultural Marxism. . . .
Facebook IS cultural marxism---Fascism too. Ack.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by tomjasz » Dec 01 2018 1:41am

neptronix wrote:
Nov 26 2018 11:26am

I believe the proper way for ES to go is to extend and modify phpbb. phpbb is oldschool, but at least written in a relatively sane manner.
Modernvespa.com is maintained by an Apple employee. Some of it's features are almost draconian, for lack of a better wordpoking, but self-policing and well worth poking around...if code can be viewed...but being among the unwashed, I don't know what is accessible to be learned for the learned. I especially like that in the for sale section there are no comments. It seems there's always some poor lost soul making an idiotic suggestion or posting anecdotal reviews.

Tanks for all the time!
Thanks Justin_le we're here thanks to you. All the best to the mods for their tireless work keeping it on an even keel.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by neptronix » Dec 01 2018 12:40pm

I read about the karma system on that forum and it looks like they've copied through a bad design from reddit where users can gang up on someone in order to silence them and prevent them from posting.

In their faq they say 'sorry, maybe modern vespa is not for you' if this happens.

I've found myself in this position when i used to post on autoblog green. I was an early EV car supporter in 2006 and frequently got downvoted to hell for talking about how electric cars could actually be better / could become mainstream by groups of people who hated electrics.

Is this the draconian feature you're thinking of?
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by ngant17 » Dec 20 2018 10:11am

To bring up that ungodly social media platform, well my dear, no one has linked "In Your Facebook" articles by Dave Emory. Or did I miss a thread?

I humbly reference this at his website:

https://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record ... on-part-3/

This will take you way off e-vehicles and all that related tech. Into some dark netherworld.

I personally think Simple Machine Forums are so rad, seems easier to use than WordPress and Joomla. Haven't use other WordPress alternatives such as Grav yet. I can't get the former(SMF) system with my host, so I'm stuck with trying to be functional with the latter two.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by markz » Feb 01 2019 5:43pm

I went over to check out MTBR Forums, they got like 100 main subjects and one e-bike subject. Over there they seem heavily into the store bought ebikes, plus there tends to be a more stringent opinion on following local laws, yet I bet most speed, atleast 1 over the limit.



I have seen some very fancy forums with 1000 facial expressions, a status update, a pop up window when someone responds. Been to others that are similar to this, but with a scrolling current live chat. I am sure one could just get hammered and blabber away.
neptronix wrote:
Nov 26 2018 11:26am
I believe the proper way for ES to go is to extend and modify phpbb. phpbb is oldschool, but at least written in a relatively sane manner.

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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by Tony01 » Feb 07 2019 7:01pm

This forum software works great for me. If I want to find pictures I'll use google. Just about the only thing I'd like to see is a way to see all the pictures posted in a topic in one place.

I just quit fakebook. I call it fakebook because it isn't a book at all. It is about the farthest thing from a book. At some point it dawned on me that many people seem content with being as illiterate as possible (and/or using their brains as little as possible), and I realized that the more time I spent there, typing out long replies on my phone's touchscreen, the more I would become like those people.
Last edited by Tony01 on Feb 07 2019 11:29pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The future of our forum - facebook versus web forums

Post by bigmoose » Feb 07 2019 7:11pm

First, wondering what Justin's thoughts are?

Second, not a supporter of FB. More and more of it's security flaws are going to be exposed, and I think it is near the top of its curve right now.

Third, a conservative, planned migration to the next generation message board engine may be a consideration.

Finally, against a "fresh start" ... too much information would be lost.

... just the ol' guys ponderings...
"Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God..." all the best, Dave

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