So whats with the new Forum?

Im super glad your breathing life back into the Oh Kee Pa, but to be honest, I think the last Forums layout and functionality was a lot better than this new one?

Thoughts, or explanations? Maybe theres something Im not getting?

@Skells! Great to see you, mate!

Thank you for asking this. It’s something I was hoping would surface, and has forced my hand into typing this up. I think I’ll create a more succinct/tutorialised (is that a word? It is now) version of this reply and pin it for everyone to refer to.

The improvements, in my eyes, are:

For admin/staff:

  • It’s cheaper for me. I can save money by hosting this on a DigitalOcean droplet and not have to pay inflated hosting fees to a provider.
  • It has built-in protection via its Trust levels system. This is configurable, so we can tweak this as required.
  • Our Akismet plugin will put a stop to spam accounts and nip them in the bud before they become a problem.
  • Admin and moderation is far easier. Doing some of things I’ve been doing over the last week would have been a chore in phpBB, and in most cases I can edit things in place here, speeding up mundane processes and letting me actually enjoy this place!
  • Updating is a simple a case of clicking a button. That’s it. phpBB’s update process was a royal pain in the arse.

For every user:

  • It looks beautiful on all devices. This was one of my bugbears about the old forum. As good as phpBB was for us however many years ago, it didn’t age well, and while they did eventually get their shit together with responsive styles, they are in no way as user-friendly and intuitive as Discourse’s.
  • The search is outstanding. I mean, did anyone try and use that thing on the old forum?
  • The tagging system makes it easy to organise discussion without having to deeply nest topics in a multitude of categories. This was something that came up a lot with new members. We’ve got a lot of avenues for discussion here, and for a newbie it was a bit daunting. Now, with only two levels of category nesting we can simply go to a specific category, create a topic and stick a tag on it to make it easier for users to see the post. You can browse by tag, scope search to that tag, and use them to self-organise! This is huge!
  • Live previews whilst creating/editing a post.
  • No need for code like [youtube]…[/youtube], [url]…[/url] etc within your posts - links just work and are rendered with a preview directly in post bodies.
  • The ability to easily insert images within a post from your computer or phone.
  • Likes!
  • Username mentions!
  • Dynamic notifications for post replies, likes, mentions, etc.

Honestly, I could go on and on. There are a ton of quality-of-life features here that were just flat-out missing from phpBB.

The decision to migrate us was something that has been brewing with me for a long time. Understand that I wanted to do this about 6 years ago, but A) Didn’t trust my technical abilities to set it all up and B) Was worried that it wasn’t even possible to migrate us without losing all of our data. The fact that this is now on our doorstep with all of our data moved across is a fantastic thing, and should be celebrated!

In short, Discourse is generally considered the Gold standard when it comes to forums, and in my opinion there is nothing that even comes close to it out there today. Have a read about their unique features - there really are quite a few!

I believe the pros far outweigh the cons, in fact the only con I can see is that we all have to get used to a new way of doing things, but the more we engage, the more this will just become ingrained in our muscle memory and feel natural. Please give it a try, and start using it! I want to hear everyone’s feedback as we go and we will make changes where possible. I’m not going anywhere this time.

Peace!

I visit another forum with a similar format and something that bothers me there is when a thread gets long and I have to scroll through hundreds of posts I’ve already read to see the latest.

Upon typing this, though, I feel as if there must be a setting that allows me to change that. So I will look for that right now.

I think it will just take some getting used to. Imma do my part and try to make an effort to visit more. Thanks for ushering in a new day with Oh Kee Pa 3.0, Ian!

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Weird… For me, if I click on a topic it always takes me to the last reply. ie, I clicked on this from the main page and it scrolled me straight to your post! I haven’t altered any settings for that behaviour.