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If we were to move away from vBulletin, what would you recommend we use?

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Terry Kennedy

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Please note that XenForo upgrades aren't friction-free either - solely based on posts read in the Feedback forum on forums.freebsd.org; I have no experience with the admin side of things.
The FreeBSD forums had a very large number of customizations to VB, some of which had to be made in the actual code and not just templates. IIRC, they were in the areas of:
  • Many custom tags for things like man pages, linking to bug reports, linking to ports, etc.
  • Extensive use of custom smilies
  • Custom handling for a large variety of attachment types
  • A heavily customized default theme which packed things pretty densely on the page
Also, the changeover was done in an unannounced and rushed manner due to a perceived security flaw in VB. So a lot of the stuff that would normally be found when users looked at a dedicated test site were instead found when the new XF forums went live.

The only remaining thing that I know of is that a few obscure smilies render as ASCII.
 

konc

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XenForo is a very popular choice for people fed up with vBulletin. As a user I also like its minimal and clean style a lot.
 

vwestlife

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There are good and bad XenForo forums. The VerticalScope forums (VWVortex, etc.) are cluttered and try too hard to look like Facebook. Others like AudioKarma are much more streamlined and look a lot more like classic vBulletin.
 

hackerb9

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Out in left field, I've had good experiences with Discourse. I don't quite know how appropriate it is for here. https://retrocomputingforum.com uses Discourse. It seems like decent software, but as a cross grade from vB, it may be a bad match.

But I will say one specific thing about Discourse. It looks all fancy and such and uses a lot of Javascript, but it's works really well without it. You can use Discourse in Lynx and be "happy" (for assorted values of "happy" and green screen web pages). Which I think is a nice feature, especially for a site like this.

I'm testing out https://try.discourse.org/ from my DEC VT340 and it is frankly awesome!

I was already inclined to suggest Discourse because it has, IMHO, by far the best user interface of any of the options out there. While I use the w3m browser a lot, it hadn't occurred to me to even check if Discourse falls back gracefully when Javascript is not available. I'm impressed that it does since it feels so much more modern than VB sites.

The mission statement from Discourse about making civil communities doesn't bother me. Sure it might seem cringey, but it's just admin tools they're providing. VCF doesn't have to use them if they don't fit.

My one worry with Discourse is how expensive it is. The cheapest pricing they have listed on Discourse.org is $100/month. https://www.discourse.org/pricing
 
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Agent Orange

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I'm testing out https://try.discourse.org/ from my DEC VT340 and it is frankly awesome!

I was already inclined to suggest Discourse because it has, IMHO, by far the best user interface of any of the options out there. While I use the w3m browser a lot, it hadn't occurred to me to even check if Discourse falls back gracefully when Javascript is not available. I'm impressed that it does since it feels so much more modern than VB sites.

The mission statement from Discourse about making civil communities doesn't bother me. Sure it might seem cringey, but it's just admin tools they're providing. VCF doesn't have to use them if they don't fit.

My one worry with Discourse is how expensive it is. The cheapest pricing they have listed on Discourse.org is $100/month. https://www.discourse.org/pricing

I doubt that $100 will fly for this site.
 

vwestlife

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Discourse doesn't like old/unusual browsers. In pre-Chromification MS Edge all I get is a blank screen on their site. And in browsers it does like, it looks too "smartphone-optimized", with lots of wasted space -- something people already have been complaining about here with vBulletin 5.x.
 

Lutiana

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While I understand that people will have some hard feelings about some platforms, but I ask that you keep and open mind, especially if we switch to something you are opposed to. All of the software solutions out there that I have looked at can be highly customized, so the platform you hate, may not look or even function the same if we adopted it.

Also, drawing a line in the sand is not helpful to any of the mods, who have to balance the needs of the entire community, and if that has to mean a few members end up leaving, then we have little option but to say Goodbye and wish them well.

That said, the whole idea of this thread and plan is to involve as many people in the decision as possible, and hopefully not lose any in the process, assuming of course, that we switch at all.
 

hackerb9

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Might as well move it to Facebook at that point

Facebook? Are people making the (quite reasonable) assumption that Discourse and Discord are the same?

Discourse is forum software inspired by phpBB and vBulletin. Someone else pointed out that Discourse is Open Source so you could self-host if you wanted full control. Not every group has the admin expertise to do that, but Open Source is still a positive as it means you're not locked into one hosting provider.

Discord is a social media company that tries to try to compete with Facebook, WhatsApp, and Slack using its own Proprietary system. It has carved out a niche with gamers. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree that moving to Discord would be hardly better than moving to Facebook.

Whatever the admins here decide, I am quite relieved to hear that Morse Code is higher than Facebook on the list of alternatives.

—b9
 

hackerb9

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Why can't we move to newsgroups? I think that would be perfect considering the field of discussion here.

You were expecting something different from the people who can say,
"APPLE ][ FOREVER!!!1!"

and literally mean it? :rolleyes::lol:

Thank you for a reminder of the "good old days". I wonder why "trolling" and "spam", which had their genesis in Usenet, are widely known now, yet "flamewar" has been forgotten.
 
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