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davidcoton
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:51 pm

electronicsguy wrote:
davidcoton wrote:
electronicsguy wrote: I'd prefer the admin's views on it. Thanks.
This is a public forum. Anyone is able to contribute, and should. The admin team will no doubt read the whole thread before responding, and will note the balance of opinion, not just yours.

As has already been said, changes are (were?) in the pipeline. What, and When, has not been announced. The admin team may not respond until they are ready to announce something. That (delayed response) should not be taken in itself to indicate any particular direction. It is even possible that a move to Discourse is imminent....
of course. I said I'd prefer the admin's views - in the sense that it's they who can best judge and give us a clear answer of the amount of effort, money, etc. required for a change.

take care.
Actually, I suspect forum members who have tried using Discourse may have a better idea of what is involved than volunteer admins who may not (IDK) know Discourse.
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liz
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:14 pm

FYI, folks, a forum upgrade *is* in the works, and has been since a while before Christmas, but we hit a bit of a stumbling block (massive understatement - it was carnage) with our contractors, and a couple of weeks ago we had to tell them that we wouldn't be continuing with them. The work they'd done wasn't useable, so we're back to square one again.

We'll be continuing with phpBB for a number of reasons, some of which have been outlined here already in this thread. (And have you ever tried migrating a forum with this many posts to a different client? It's not pretty!) There will be feature upgrades. I don't have new contractors on the hook yet, so if any of you has any suggestions, please email me at liz(at)raspberrypi.org. (Don't try to apply or get me in touch with people by leaving a post in this thread; I am not 100% guaranteed to see every post.)
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

Heater
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:55 pm

electronicsguy,
I understand that change is hard for some people.
Don't be so patronizing.

Changing to the next new shiny thing because, well, it's the next new shiny thing makes no sense. Somebody has to put the time, effort and money in to make such change.

Change is fine if it has clear and measurable value.

Quite likely your suggestion will be taken into account if and when any forum migration is planned. Along with other options.

As you mentioned vacuum tubes, me, I run a triode gain stage into a pile of stonking great MOSFETs for the output stage. Just for the fun of it. Tubes are still the most linear gain devices ever made.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jogl
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:11 pm

Stick with what works!

I'm an old guy, I've seen more than one forum go down the crapper because of a switch away from php to a "better" forum bla bla bla...

Let the m$ zombies have the blingy forums, us GNU/Linux/Unix guys like simple.

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bonelifer
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:01 pm

Full Disclosure, I'm a Moderator at phpbb.com.
electronicsguy wrote:So many things. Lets begin with one of the simplest things: notifications. Isn't it the most basic requirement, that if you login into a service, you're notified of replies, etc.
As of 3.1.x , phpBB has notifications, so upgrading would get these.
electronicsguy wrote:There's no easy way to vote for good answers, and have others see those immediately.
As of 3.1 phpBB has extensions, which means it would be easy enough for someone to write one that added this feature.
electronicsguy wrote:I like the infinite scroll compared to clicking next to navigate.
Personally, I'm not fond of this feature. But to each their own.
electronicsguy wrote:This forum doesn't have a usable mobile view (or at least I haven't experienced it).
As of 3.1, the prosilver theme has been overhauled to be responsive.
electronicsguy wrote:I feel simply dismissing it as "not needed" is somewhat of a short-term vision. If its truly horrendous to admin, that's understandable. But simply a not needed argument reminds me of people circa 2000 saying cap. touchscreen phones are not needed, or camera phones are not needed.
I'll agree somewhat on the grounds that discounting someone opinion because "it just works" is shortsighted. We should be able to "discuss" things on what is a discussion board without dismissing other peoples opinions out of hand.

To add a little of my own personal opinion about the forums default theme. My one complaint I've had since day one of the "respite" theme is that while pretty, it was hobled by not allowing users to "Mark All post as read".

Pete_Stevens
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed May 04, 2016 5:07 pm

So here's an incomplete list of questions that need to be answered before we could consider moving to Discourse (or any other forum software).

(i) What features do we wish to add to the forum and does $new-software provide them?
(ii) Can we support Raspberry Pi themes and customisations we already have in $new-software?
(iii) Can we seamlessly migrate all posts and user accounts to $new-software?
(iv) Is our testing procedure good enough to check (iii) before we flip the switch?
(v) Does $new-software support being behind multiple load balancers that do SSL offload?
(vi) Does $new-software support IPv6 only hosting on the back end?
(v) Can we spread $new-software across multiple VMs to provide a load balanced distributed environment?
(vi) Can we successfully restore $new-software from a backup?
(vii) Can we run it in a similar environment to our existing VMs (Debian Jessie)?

So if you start to review Discourse, you see that the only support install type is now Docker - so that means Ubuntu + binaries from Docker + binary from Discourse. Docker doesn't really have stable IPv6 support, and doesn't integrate neatly into our existing backup / monitoring setup unlike an application that you can just install from a tarball + database onto a standard Debian server. I don't know if it can be load balanced or how to get the database inside docker to set up replication so that's more effort to look at it and test. On the upside their own site supports IPv6 and gets an A+ SSL score so this stuff has at least been thought about and tested. But these are all minor questions - but a substantial bunch of technical work - compared to the earlier questions, does it actually do what we want and can we migrate our existing site into it?

As Liz says, we had a contractor stuff up which has delayed our plans and arguably some of the other projects - launching Tim Peake into space, Raspberry Pi 3, PiZero, Magpi - have distracted us from the Forums upgrade project and depending on your point of view, they may also have been more important.

blaablaaguy
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed May 04, 2016 5:47 pm

electronicsguy wrote:
So many things. Lets begin with one of the simplest things: notifications. Isn't it the most basic requirement, that if you login into a service, you're notified of replies, etc. You don't have that here. You have to use the clunky "Egosearch" bookmark method. And I'm not interested in getting emails for every reply.

There's no easy way to vote for good answers, and have others see those immediately. I like the infinite scroll compared to clicking next to navigate. There are many other UI and UX improvements.
This forum doesn't have a usable mobile view (or at least I haven't experienced it).

I feel simply dismissing it as "not needed" is somewhat of a short-term vision. If its truly horrendous to admin, that's understandable. But simply a not needed argument reminds me of people circa 2000 saying cap. touchscreen phones are not needed, or camera phones are not needed.
Not having notifications doesnt mean its "broken." :roll:

And i use this on my phone all the time. The raspite theme adjusts to my screen size perfectly.
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lpsw
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed May 04, 2016 7:04 pm

The admins *donate* their precious time to further the goals of the foundation. I for one am grateful for that. Let's let them focus on the overall mission and not get lost in the weeds.
Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is - Isaac Asimov

mthomason
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Wed May 04, 2016 10:52 pm

I'm not exactly a fan of phpBB myself (I used to run it years ago, and was constantly annoyed by the fact that it didn't have a plugin system, only mods which required editing the source code - however, I believe they've addressed that in more recent versions... but, I digress!) but any conversation like this tends to come up whenever someone wonders why their personal preferred forum software isn't in use.

Whoever you ask will have their favorite system. I could easily come along and say "Why not Vanilla?" or "Why not MyBB?" I'd say it'd be a mistake in any discussion to simply look at one alternative - if there's a reason why the existing one doesn't do the job appropriately, then the right thing to do would be to look at all of the alternatives - there might be something better than Discourse for the job, especially as we as end-users aren't necessarily aware of the Foundation's own requirements (they may, for example, need something that is compatible with a particular installed combination of other software on the server(s))

Of course, the real question is - is the Foundation happy with the current system? If so, then it'd seem to be a wasted effort "improving" it just for the sake of a few extra features - it's all extra work, at the end of the day. If it isn't doing the job they require of it, then of course looking for alternatives would be a good idea.

blc
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Thu May 05, 2016 9:26 am

Am I the only one here who uses thread subscriptions for notifications?

phpBB works, I don't see a need to change it. This forum is pretty big; it has a lot of users and topics, and migrating all of that is not to be taken lightly. From what I understand of newer versions of phpBB it seems like we'll get a good number of new features if/when this forum is upgraded to the latest version.

I can understand the position of Liz & the Foundation. Even upgrading a forum of this size is not something to be taken lightly; I can't even imagine the problems that would be caused by trying to migrate. This isn't something you do on a whim just to make things prettier or add new bells & whistles. Maybe if we'd been having this discussion three or four years ago it wouldn't have been such a big deal.

Anyway, personally I prefer VBulletin to phpBB, so... horses for courses, eh? :)

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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Thu May 05, 2016 9:40 am

One of the interesting things about the Pi is that, whilst it's aimed at school-kids, it has a significant number of older people looking at it.

Now, school-kids are good at adopting new stuff, but since the fifties, I've noticed it gets harder to cope with changes, so I tend to stick with stuff long past its sell-buy.
So if we're gonna change, can we just make sure it's really worth it, rather than just nice to have?

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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Thu May 05, 2016 9:55 am

blc wrote:Am I the only one here who uses thread subscriptions for notifications?
Nope ;)
They work for me. Or if I am already viewing the forum (like a lot of the time), then I can hit the 'view your posts' button to see if any updates apply to my subscribed threads.
We have discussed lots of possible improvements behind the scenes, but mainly those that will help us moderators do our job.

Texy
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https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=93&t=147682#p971555

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r3d4
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Thu May 05, 2016 11:31 am

electronicsguy wrote: Ok, but 2 billion people would disagree with you. By that logic, you don't "need" cars as well. or for that matter airplanes. Horses and ships would serve just as well and wouldn't create a whole new era of car crashes or airplane hijackings correct?
Whos logic is it anyway :?:
:lol: See also :

0) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_M ... conspiracy

1) "Ask not if it is good enough, ask if it can be popular enough."

2) air polution ( cars and industry ) :cry:
Last edited by r3d4 on Thu May 05, 2016 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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r3d4
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Re: Why not move to using Discourse for this forum?

Thu May 05, 2016 11:37 am

blc wrote:Am I the only one here who uses thread subscriptions for notifications?
It might IMHO be useful to be able to export subscriptions & bookmarks .... ( but there is always grease monkey , or dev console ; if no option other than resorting to scripts exists )

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