Discussion in 'Announcements' started by FriscoCharlie, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter Members,

    This post is to start a discussion. That's all it is; the start of a discussion. Please read this and if you have comments or questions feel free to post them.

    I have been managing Internet discussion forums for well over 15 years now. TrainBoard started in March 2000 with the old "Ultimate Bulletin Board," which at the time, was an amazing piece of software. By today's standards it is nothing but it was pretty cool back then.

    The first version I saw of vBulletin (the software that drives was unimpressive (to me). I didn't like it at all. Then, vBulletin 3 was released and it blew me away. TrainBoard converted to that and we used it for a long time. I always loved that version of the software and, although I was not the lead administrator of at the time, I recommended to Mike C. that change to it.

    Subsequently, that did happen. changed from the old (Disquis?) software to vBulletin.

    Then, vBulletin 4 came out. switched and so did TrainBoard. To me (and a lot of other people, to apparently include the unaffiliated add-on/fan site, which has never changed to VB4 or VB5) it was not an improvement over the 3rd generation of the software. I felt that it was anti-climactic and I didn't care for some things that changed from VB3 to VB4.

    Then, vBulletin 5 (or "Connect") was released and I talked to the folks at vBulletin and had them look at TrainBoard and they told me not to change a forum as large as TrainBoard yet. In other words, the software was "not ready for prime time." Eventually, they said it was fine to convert but I never could come up with a reason to do it. How is version 5 better? I could never answer that question.

    It just seems to me that vBulletin peaked with VB3 and somehow they lost their focus with generations 4 and 5. I am not sure what their goal is. When you have a great piece of software, why not just improve it? Why re-invent the wheel every year or two? Maybe I don't see the end goal but if you can't see that something is better, it might not be.

    Sometime early this year TrainBoard picked up a bug that is known to plague vBulletin. What it does is redirect searches from the forum to porn sites. I got rid of it from TrainBoard at least six or seven times and it kept coming back. I even hired a server management company to try and get rid of it.

    I submitted a help request to vBulletin and their instructions for getting rid of it seem to imply that some of the forum administrators might be complicit in applying the bug to the site. They essentially just gave me a big long list of, "try these 20 things and see if it goes away." Fortunately, this bug has never infected, but it remains possible as to my knowledge, there is not a solid patch available for it.

    When it came back to TrainBoard the last time I just could not stand it anymore.

    I had been looking at another piece of forum software called Xenforo for the last couple of years and had visited several forums running it. I joined another (non-railroad) forum that was running Xenforo and in using it, as a member, I was pretty impressed.

    From Wikipedia: XenForo is a commercial Internet forum software package written in the PHP programming language using the Zend Framework. The software is developed by former vBulletin lead developers Kier Darby and Mike Sullivan. The first public beta release of XenForo was released in October 2010. XenForo 1.0.0 Stable was released on March 8, 2011. XenForo has several SEO features built in. Its popularity is growing, according to feedback from various community forums and weblogs.

    TrainBoard changed to Xenforo about six weeks ago. Have a look if you haven't seen it:

    I am not saying that we need to change to Xenforo immediately but it is something to think about. My opinion is that it is much better than vBulletin at this point.

    Understand that the features are slightly different. If you know how to use what is now, there is not a lot to learn about Xenforo. There are, however, a number of things about it that seem to be a lot better.

    It's just something that I want us to talk about. The only thing I ask is that you please don't post, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

  2. My biggest concern with any such change would be retaining the archives of the site. There is a lot of excellent historical and modeling information there. Can we be sure that this information would make the transition to the new platform without loss or access problems?
  3. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Second what Bradley said, plus all the links to outside sites that are included in individuals posts.
  4. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    All of the posts and images from this forum would be imported into the new software (as was done on TrainBoard). The only thing that would not be transferred is the blogs, which are not really a popular feature here anyway.

  5. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I say do it. You did a great job with train board.
  6. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I am still learning how to use trainboards site, probably always will be. The one thing I dont care for it is it always takes you to the oldest post first on a thread, I click on "go to first unread", maybe there is a way I can change that in my settings maybe not, I haven't seen it yet. But the image uploading is much simpler and faster for me however I haven't yet figured quite how to set up my albums either, in all fairness have not spent much time on that. There are things I like about both. I still see those error messages on this site but haven't on trainboard.
    I think you should whatever you think is right, Charlie.
  7. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Tom, I am on my phone but message me on TB and I will show you how to do that.

    Sent from my SM-N910R4 using Tapatalk
  8. Larry F.

    Larry F. Member

    I guess it really matters how good the porn site was. You're the man so what ever you decide is okay with me. Larry F.
  9. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter


    Here's a sample:



    To go to new posts, click as indicated:



    Attached Files:

  10. magistrate

    magistrate Member

    Unfortunately as software ages problems arise that the original programmers do not keep up with. We have to modernize to new software not just for the sake of change but to keep a smoothly working forum.
  11. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    I think that sums it up pretty well.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2015
  12. HWB

    HWB Supporter

    I was a big fan of Windows 95, and Windows 98 and XP and 7....The only constant is change...Onwards and Upwards!
  13. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I see that 50 people have read the thread. I imagine that in a couple of days that number will hit 100. If I don't hear any specific objections (which you are welcome to state), we will start talking about how and when to do it. I am traveling to Frisco-country soon so we probably won't get serious about it until I return.

  14. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    Pretty much how I see it.

  15. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Supporter Supporter

    Will the new software change the "look" of the chatboard? It's pretty good now and a whole lot better than sites like Trainwire or the horrible Yahoo chatboards. Everytime there's an "update" in the computer world, things are less and less "user friendly." It seems to me that changes and updates favor the devices and the software/hardware and not the particularly the user...

    Tom G.
  16. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member

    I'm good with your change Mr. D. :)
  17. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter


    Did you take a look at TrainBoard as an example? Don't think in terms of colors, etc.

  18. TAG1014

    TAG1014 Supporter Supporter

    Trainboard is what I was actually thinking of, I mis-spoke (mis-wrote). Frisco-Dot-Org is a WHOLE lot better "looking" and easier to navigate than Trainboard. Just my opinion...

    Tom G.
  19. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Ok, well, I totally disagree but opinions are exactly what I am trying to solicit.

  20. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Let's do it.

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