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Forum improvements

Morten Franorge
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2005
Posts: 137
Although the contents of this forum is gold, the forum engine is kind of awful. It's lacking a lot of functionality that other forums have. One example is subscribing to posts. That is a feature you should implement, soon.


SCJP 1.4, SCBCD 1.3, SCBCD 5.0, SCEA J2EE, SCEA 5.0
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6657
    
    5

Upgrading the software has been requested several times over the years. However very few are ready to spend the time, effort and money to make the move. I am happy with the overall working of the forum despite some shortcomings.


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Jaikiran Pai
Marshal

Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 9343
    
111

Have a look at NewForumSoftware.

I am happy with the overall working of the forum despite some shortcomings


Me too


[My Blog] [JavaRanch Journal]
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 10925
    
  12

There are a lot of reasons to upgrade the forum, but there are a lot of reasons not to.

If you search around, you'll find many discussions on the topic. It boils down to a few main points:

1) Few poeple have time to do this
2) New things would be nice, but aren't necessary
3) We don't want to lose anything we have now

Nobody has ever been able to come up with a satisfactory solution to these three issues.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Richard Green
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 25, 2005
Posts: 536
the forum improvement page states


When Javaranch started there wasn't any forum software available that was based on Java technology.


why are we going for a forum software using java technology? There are some pretty good forum softwares that use PHP(PhpBB, vBulletin, Invision) and provide migration support (from UBB) already.


MCSD, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCJD (in progress - URLybird 1.2.1)
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
There are a lot of reasons to upgrade the forum, but there are a lot of reasons not to.

If you search around, you'll find many discussions on the topic. It boils down to a few main points:

1) Few poeple have time to do this

I think we can gather idea from all the ranchers,and i think i can do this as a full time work,and i am confident i will find more easily,and keeping this aside i say i solely take the responsibilty for the new engine.
2)
New things would be nice, but aren't necessary

Before We implement a new forum engine,we can run it simulatenously with the old one(6 months will be enough for the testing),If we find it successful we can continue,and remove the old engine,and if we fail we can remove the new one and keep the old one,otherwise even after continuing the new one for a long time and we wish that we want to switch to previous one,We can always do a RollBack.
3) We don't want to lose anything we have now

a)If it's regarding the data we just have to copy the database,thats not the issue
b)If it's regarding the look n feel ,then i think the moose is going to be there at the place,where it is now.


Thanks and Regards, Anand
SCJP 5.0 310-055 73%, SCWCD 1.4 310-081 78%, IBM DB2 9 Fundamentals 000-730 62%
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by anand phulwani:
If it's regarding the data we just have to copy the database,thats not the issue


UBB doesn't have a database - it's using a proprietary flat file format, as far as I know. Data migration *is* a major issue.


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Dave Lenton
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
If it ain't broke.....


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Dear Ilja,

a)Thread,Posts,Subjects
I can extract posts from this forum and populate in the database,
so as far as i think i can't access the moderators sub-forum and Trash Can sub-forum.rest everything is extractable,

b)UserName And Password
This also can be done in same manner,if the data is provided.

I think New Forum Engine should be encouraged,as i dont think we have anything to loose,i am willing to make something like that by which we always have an option to RollBack.

UBB doesn't have a database - it's using a proprietary flat file format, as far as I know. Data migration *is* a major issue.

[ January 11, 2007: Message edited by: anand phulwani ]
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39576
    
  27
Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
If it ain't broke.....


That's an important consideration, but there are features that we (as moderators) would like to see, and good features that members have asked about (particularly searching across forums, complete posting history for a user, and notifications about changes in a particular thread, aka "watching a thread"). But as pointed out before, it's a major effort.


Ping & DNS - updated with new look and Ping home screen widget
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Dear Ulf Sir,

1) I wrote in NewForumSoftware Wiki Link about the "Auto-Changing Titles",and you wished to know what was it related to,In regard to Auto-Changing Titles, i wish to say that the Titles which we have right now for Ranchers (excluding the staff) are green-horn and ranch-hand ,if we have this system that the Title changes like after every 500 posts mark,will motivate the ranchers a lot to post and help others and will be a big step to allow this community to grow.

2) A quick reply option can be added,which allows reply on the same page.

But as pointed out before, it's a major effort.


Sir i wish to take this task,i think we can make a group and work on it.Today ,everything is changing at a random pace,forum software are growing and adapting to user's needs as much as possible,i want that having such good moderators and staff to help,and lots of lots of new poeple who are joining the ranch,we should not lack on any point,then whether the point is a Forum Engine.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 10925
    
  12

Sir i wish to take this task,i think we can make a group and work on it.
Did you read this? Your offer is nothing new. It's been tried before.
You may actually be the person that could pull this off, but many of the staffers are weary of investing the time and effort it would take to find out that it's not going to happen.

Believe me, the moderators talk about this often. We just haven't found the right solution yet. That does not mean that it is not being worked on.
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Dear Fred,

Sir,I understand what you are trying to say,but i can guarantee you that i am not going to be one who is going to opt out for this,and i think you are very much right on the point,that if it's not done, once the time and effort is invested,the staffs and ranchers are not going to be happy,but i think we should think positive, shoudn't we??,and i don't think we need to temper the current forum engine to develop a new one.and what can i do for you and the others to gain the trust that this project could be done.
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6657
    
    5

umm... first up we (non mods) know nothing about the way javaranch works. The internals of it are a highly guarded national secret I personally like the way this forum is. I would like to have some of the features mentioned but the migration is just too costly in terms of time and money.
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by anand phulwani:
if we have this system that the Title changes like after every 500 posts mark,will motivate the ranchers a lot to post and help others and will be a big step to allow this community to grow.


Personally, I'm not very much in favor of more titles based on post count. I think it's quality that should define this community, and that we therefore should encourage, not quantity.
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Dear Ranchers,

I think it's me only who is speaking for the migration. and not against it.

Personally, I'm not very much in favor of more titles based on post count. I think it's quality that should define this community, and that we therefore should encourage, not quantity


I think we can gather the other Staff as well as Ranchers advice over this,if everyone is against it,i have no point for sticking to it,it was just a suggestion,which i fely personally.
[ January 11, 2007: Message edited by: anand phulwani ]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24168
    
  30

Originally posted by anand phulwani:

I think we can gather the other Staff as well as Ranchers advice over this


First: there shall be no more automated level promotions than there currently are. If we wanted more, there would be more now.

Secondly: if you're interested in developing new forum software that is superior to existing Java forum packages like Jive, JForum, and mvnforum, then you're certainly more than welcome to; and if you went off and built a prototype and explained to us why it was superior to all of these, and could have the necessary features, and would scale appropriately, then we'd be very happy to evaluate it for use at the Ranch. Make sure you do your homework, though -- look at the existing solutions and try to address their failings.

Please don't, however, try to download all the existing data in the Saloon, as I think you proposed above. Doing so would be a strain on our resources and would be interpreted as a hostile act.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Dear Ernest,

Agreed.
First: there shall be no more automated level promotions than there currently are. If we wanted more, there would be more now.


I would need a list of features which are to be improved,or brought in the new forum engine,i will shortly start a thread on this "Suggest Fetures For New Forum",once i get approval that i can start such thread from any staff members(Which includes you too),regarding the loose points of the forums you mentioned Jive,JForum,mvnForum i will go across the user reviews and will write to ranch accordingly,i will be glad if the ranchers will put the points about these too,i think i should work with a supply and demand terminology,whatever will be demanded by the Ranchers,and to which the Staff agrees,i will have no problem in putting it.
Secondly: if you're interested in developing new forum software that is superior to existing Java forum packages like Jive, JForum, and mvnforum, then you're certainly more than welcome to; and if you went off and built a prototype and explained to us why it was superior to all of these, and could have the necessary features, and would scale appropriately, then we'd be very happy to evaluate it for use at the Ranch. Make sure you do your homework, though -- look at the existing solutions and try to address their failings.


Could you please elaborate,i did not get what you meant to say.
Please don't, however, try to download all the existing data in the Saloon, as I think you proposed above. Doing so would be a strain on our resources and would be interpreted as a hostile act.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 10925
    
  12

I can extract posts from this forum and populate in the database,

What I believe Ernest is saying is DON'T do this, unless and until you have EXPLICIT permission to do so.

Any attempt to download all the information currently in the forums, even the public ones you have access to view, would NOT be considered... nice.
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Dear Fred/Ernest,

I won't do that until i am given a permission from any of the Staff Members.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60077
    
  65

Originally posted by anand phulwani:
I won't do that until i am given a permission from any of the Staff Members.


What is being said is that you will not be given permission to do so.

Firstly, that would place an unacceptable strain on the servers.

Secondly, you do not need to have any of the JavaRanch content in order to write a forum system which should be completely agnostic as to its content.


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
anand phulwani
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
Dear Bear,

Sir,Thanks, for your reply.

I am sorry i asked for it,i won't ask for it anymore.

I do not need the content to write the forum,i was just giving awnser to the Data Migration Issue.

If there is any more doubt,i would be glad to help you out of it.
Morten Franorge
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2005
Posts: 137
Jeez, seems like a lot of the decision makers are really afraid of changes...
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Interesting conclusion
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Morten Fra Norge:
Jeez, seems like a lot of the decision makers are really afraid of changes...


Morten, our main interest is in keeping this site alive and running. It's only natural to me to carefully assess the impact of changes on that goal.

And frankly, this is far from being the first time that the idea of using a different forum software has come up. Until now, every attempt has silently faded away after the first enthusiasm settled. That might be the reason we may seem overly sceptic...

But I don't think it is fair to say that we are afraid of changes. There have been some quite good changes in the recent past, I would say.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 10925
    
  12

Originally posted by Morten Fra Norge:
Jeez, seems like a lot of the decision makers are really afraid of changes...

You know, you might want to rethink the concept of casting insults upon those people (or person) who control the site you use.

I always find it amazing how much of my free time other people want to tell me how to spend.

Morten, you DO realize that we are all volunteers - many of us have jobs, families, and lives outside of the JavaRanch?
[ January 19, 2007: Message edited by: Fred Rosenberger ]
Carol Enderlin
drifter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2000
Posts: 1364
Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:

There have been some quite good changes in the recent past, I would say.


Yes, after the last big discussion and research into the forum migration there have been a number of significant modifications to the existing forum. Let me see what changes I can think of off the top of my head ... the link to my "recent posts".

Hello, Carol Enderlin [ recent posts ] [ log out ]


There's the google search added to the forum search pages. Display of post time in user's time zone.

Thank you JavaRanch volunteers!
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60077
    
  65

Originally posted by Morten Fra Norge:
Jeez, seems like a lot of the decision makers are really afraid of changes...


Perhaps you should demand a refund?
Pushkar Choudhary
Rancher

Joined: May 21, 2006
Posts: 425

Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:


Perhaps you should demand a refund?



I also want a refund......!!!




but jokes apart, i think the forum's great.... any improvements would obviously be good, but only if the improvement is a tried and tested thing and people are willing to spend time, money and efforts for it and have a guarantee that it will work fine....

otherwise, i like the current look n feel and working of JavaRanch.... no changes needed in my opinion...
[ January 20, 2007: Message edited by: Pushkar Choudhary ]
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6657
    
    5

Perhaps you should demand a refund?


I wanna 300% money back guarentee, failover support, lazy loading, a tuna sandwhich, a double cheese burger and pizza flavoured pringles on the double !
Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by John Meyers:

a tuna sandwhich


Wanna setup a tiger trap?
Rahul Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 29, 2005
Posts: 2308
Adding country name would be great ,like:

Rahul Bhattacharjee
ranch hand , India


Rahul Bhattacharjee
LinkedIn - Blog
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

You just did
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 10925
    
  12

Originally posted by Rahul Bhattacharjee:
Adding country name would be great ,like:

Rahul Bhattacharjee
ranch hand , India

Umm... You already proposed this here. Granted, the discussion got very... silly... But I never saw any compelling reason to do this, and many reasons NOT to do this.
Morten Franorge
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2005
Posts: 137
Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:


Perhaps you should demand a refund?


Ouch! How'd I'd love for that to be the slogan for Hibernate and Spring

"Spring - if you don't like it, maybe you should demand a refund"
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Lay off Spring, it's not that bad!

New slogan: "Spring, it's not that bad!"

Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60077
    
  65

Originally posted by Morten Fra Norge:
Ouch!


My point, of course, is that this is a free site manned by volunteers who already spend a great deal of their free time keeping it the great place that it is.

Being critical because you feel that you know better how that time should be used (or extended) is unlikely to be received well.

Concrete suggestions for improvement are more than welcome. Flip comments like "seems like a lot of the decision makers are really afraid of changes"... not so much.
[ January 22, 2007: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6657
    
    5

Wanna setup a tiger trap?


Isaac Mcmahnus
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 08, 2007
Posts: 16
What is this nonesense?

There could be certain features used to better the site, but as has been said, the moderators have a life outside of the forum. End of story.

My only problem with that statement is in the fact that it seems every other posting is either "MOVED" by moderators or "DEMAND TO USE A REAL NAME" by the moderators.

When you refuse to upgrade a site because of time constraints, that is all fine and dandy and completely understandable. It's time consuming, a lot of work, and when it's on a volunteered basis, it gets pushed to the back burner.

But at the same time when half the posts are moved, deleted or users are bothered by the Moderators to "CHANGE NAMES" it seems the moderators spend a lot more time looking down on others than actually improving the site.

You can't say your too busy to add an expanded SEARCH feature, but at the same moment find plenty of time to move, delete, or harass users all the time.

Who knows why they won't upgrade a feature or two or a whole upgrade process. But just like anything else, if the site becomes slower than others, more burdensome than other forums, people will just move onto other faster more usable forums like anything else. Then the moderators will have plenty of free time to do what they want.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39576
    
  27
Isaac, you're being a bit unfair. It looks like you have been around the ranch for just a few weeks, and already you seem to be making calls on how it works. I could go into more detail regarding some statements in your post, but let me just quote something that you should be familiar with:
We have a few things in the works ... Other projects are currently in development as well.

There. Feel better now?
[ February 01, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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