Board Upgrade

Discussions on Talking Machines & Accessories
52089
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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by 52089 »

OrthoFan wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:47 pm I've no problem with the "blue theme," but agree with others that the default font size could be a bit larger.

Also, would it be possible to include direct jumps on the main page for "view new posts" and "view your posts," as it was with the other format? I found them both under the "Quick Links" hamburger menu, but having clicked the direct links on the old forum for years, I miss doing it by rote.

As always, many thanks for the time and trouble you invest in keeping this forum running.

OrthoFan
(David Spanovich)
You may want to do what I do, which is navigate to the desired page and then save it as a bookmark.

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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by GregVTLA »

I'm a big fan of the upgrade, thanks!

AmberolaAndy
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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by AmberolaAndy »

I can finally use phone emojis! 👍👍👍 Hopefully linking YouTube will be easier too! Thanks!!! It’s going to take getting used to but it’s a change for good!

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Roaring20s
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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by Roaring20s »

:rose: :D :rose:

James.

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MordEth
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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by MordEth »

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their words of appreciation. Monday was off to a really bad start, when I found that the board was broken thanks to DreamHost.
chunnybh wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:04 am Looks great.
Thank you so much for all your time and effort. It is much appreciated.
Thank you! After all the time and effort that has gone into all of the content here, I’d hate to see it lost.

The theme will definitely get better with time.
Marco Gilardetti wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:49 am Thanks for the update!

As phpbb developers never really took care about styles portability (actually: they couldn't care less), I have quite the same problem on my forum which is now much outdated; but I will stubbornly keep it "as is" until I'll hit against the final wall.

Knowing how boring, annoying and time consuming rewriting a style is, I immediately made a small donation.

I particularly liked the style here at TMF as the colour scheme was nice and elegant, and most of all because it also featured an elegant font with serifs, which is very uncommon these days. Hoping you'll be able to bring back the style as well in a near future!
Marco,

If you do finally have to update, let me know and I can offer my experience (and perhaps even time to recreate something akin to the theme you have now for the current phpBB code). I may be quite conversant with the ins and outs of phpBB theming once I get back into it. :D

I definitely plan on going back to using serif fonts—I think they fit the content better and are more legible.
FellowCollector wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:54 am Thank you, David, for all that you have done for the Forum. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated!
Thanks! Your appreciation helps me stay motivated to work on these things—quarantining in place has been murder on my motivation. I miss being able to take my laptop to a coffee shop and work informally.
emgcr wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:25 am Thank you very much for all your efforts David which are greatly appreciated.

I would just like to mention that if it is possible to revert to the old green background presentation style I, for one, should be thrilled. It was always a complete joy---and an important part of our quality of life---to log-on to such a clear, well organised and beautiful site especially with the ability to accentuate text with different colours easily etc etc. It was always so much better than most other websites and it would be an enormous pity to lose this aspect. I hope it is not too difficult to revert to ?
Graham,

I absolutely intend to bring back the original color scheme and something a lot closer in appearance to the old theme. Mick (below) was kind enough to recommend a theme that I’ve switched most of us onto (with the exception of Rick E, who liked the new color). I don’t really like small sans-serif fonts for sites with as much to read as most of these threads usually contain. Right now, in everyone’s profile, they can either keep using my slightly modified version of the we_universal theme or the original prosilver theme.

Anyone who wants to change this can find it under Board Preferences under the User Control Panel.

I will keep you guys posted on my progress, particularly if you want to use my in-progress theme (once it is there). But there will definitely be a theme with the original colors and fonts, and I plan on making it default when I am done. I associate that appearance with the board’s identity.
fmblizz wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:37 am Thanks for your hard work... Yesterday I had a panic attack because I thought we lost the Forum... Not a fan of the blue but you know what they say about teaching old dog's new tricks.. LOL
blizz—sorry about that. I was pretty alarmed when I found I couldn’t roll back the PHP version (which broke the site). I had intended to update after having had a chance to have the theme ready, etc., then give you guys advance warning about the downtime. DreamHost forced my hand in upgrading—but in the long run, it’s for the best. We’re current now and I plan on keeping the site there. I made a point of changing everyone off the blue as soon as this theme was installed, except Rick E (below).
dzavracky wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:11 am Thank you for all the effort you have put into the forum.

I also liked the green theme better, but I could get used to the blue theme.
David—thank you! You won’t have to get used to the blue theme, but you might have to get used to this theme at least temporarily. I did leave the stock phpBB theme available (see above), but I’m really not a big fan of blue or the general look of that theme.
epigramophone wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:23 am I second Graham's thanks and his request to revert to the old style background and font. The smaller print is harder for my old eyes to read.
Roger—in the meantime, in most modern browsers you can zoom the page (making text and images larger) by holding Ctrl (on Windows) or Cmd (⌘, on Mac) and pressing the + (plus = larger) and - (minus = smaller) up by the Backspace (Windows) or Delete (Mac) keys above Return/Enter. Ctrl or Cmd and 0 (zero) resets the page to 100% (no zoom).

But the fonts sizes here will get bigger.
Rick E wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:11 am Love the new color and format. So much easier to look at and to read.
I left the default theme on for you—see the directions above if you want to try the new we_universal default theme.
mick_vt wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:23 am I just had to upgrade one of my sites too - I recommend the we_universal theme as being something closer in tonality etc to the old TMF theme and a bit cleaner and clearer than prosilver. It's a fully featured responsive theme - take a look I think it might save you some work
Mick—Thanks. We’re now using a barely modified version of that theme until I get going with the rewrite. And yes, it will absolutely help to start here, I think.
Inigo wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:02 am Thanks, David. I add my humble support.
Particularly I've been using the blue background, for I mostly visit there forum in my mobile phone, and this way I read it much clearer, so this change is not so hard to me... ;-)
Inigo—I put you on this theme when I changed the default theme with everyone else—it should work well on your phone; please give me some feedback with your thoughts on it. If you prefer the other style, directions are above on how to change it (or I can do it for you). Thanks!
Orchorsol wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:07 am Huge appreciation and thanks from me too David.

Just a fine-tuning comment and relatively minor, but may I just echo Graham's request - the new colours are less harmonious and welcoming, and have resulted in poorer contrast and greater difficulty reading - I would welcome a return to the previous scheme if possible please.
That will definitely happen ASAP. I think this theme alone is an improvement, but it’s too white for my tastes. I will keep you all posted on my theme editing/creation.
VanEpsFan1914 wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 10:13 am Thanks to David @Mordeth and the old forum is still alive--this is the software the Model T Ford forum uses, looks like. And what a blessing it is for the hobby—this website is basically the open-source archive for phonograph collectors and troubleshooters, not to mention a hangout for good friends. THANK YOU for saving it.

The green background & classic fonts from the forum's old theme were better suited for our discussions here, though. I understand the old theme will take some doings to rework but the bright white background and blue headings is guaranteed eyestrain. It's very hard to read and instead of "looking" at the TMF I'll have to be referring to "squinting" at it in the future.
After 11 years of this place (and hurriedly setting it up from my hotel in San Francisco, the one time I went to MacWorld), I’d hate to see this site disappear. Too many people have put a lot of time and effort into the content here. I don’t want to think about the number of hours I’ve put into this site. The biggest plus (for me) of this upgrade is that phpBB FINALLY supports Google’s captcha v3 user-vetting, and so we have no longer been getting an overwhelming number of spam user signups. I still have FAR too many of new users to go through from before the upgrade.

Let me know what you think of this theme (so far) versus the previous default one, if you don’t mind, but I hope that we will be using something else by default (that looks a lot more like the old site) soon.
fran604g wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:14 am I'll just throw my $.02 into the arena and say I haven't had any trouble quickly acclimating to this new platform. I actually think it might be easier to navigate (for me, YMMV).

Keep up the good work, David.
Fran—I don’t think a lot of the changes are that huge, but the font size and page colors are very different. Some of the other features, though, like the reworked member listing, are a big improvement. I’m going to start a thread for changes everyone would like to see as I redo the theme.
phonosandradios wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:39 am Yes, thanks David I know we all greatly appreciate it as you dropped other things to deal with this and then stayed up all night to do the update. I hope you're able to make the old theme work with the software update though as typing this makes me feel like i'm typing it on a computer in the 90's... :geek: :lol:
It’ll happen. It may take me a few days to get started though, just poking around to see all the changes to how they are doing things now.
pianolist wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 11:51 am Light blue is not a good color for aged eyes. This seems much more faint and difficult to read. The font needs to be bolder I’d nothing else. The age of most of the readers needs to be factored into color and font selection. This really is almost painful to squint to read.
Trust me, if I could just toss in the old theme (or had time to have already modified it), it would be default now. Hopefully the new we_universal theme (default now) is better without the blue. Definitely, when we made the original theme, we were thinking about the audience for this board (although in general, I always try to focus on making content legible). If necessary in the meantime, see my directions on how to zoom the page (above). If you have any questions, please let me know.
Curt A wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:36 pm David, thanks for the update... like anything else, ask 40 people and get 40 different opinions.

I like the new layout, sans serif fonts are known to be easier to read than the same size serif fonts. As far as readability for older viewers (me included) you might consider a larger font size of 14 points or a relative font that can be adjusted by each user, if possible. I always use 2.5 generic reading glasses to view anything on the computer, so type size is not that big of an issue for me. Black is obviously the best contrast, so no complaints there. Overall, this is a nice update and is easy to adjust to.
Curt—I have mixed feelings about the sans-serif fonts—in some cases, yes, they can be more legible, although for the web, I really tend to prefer to use Georgia as the main body font because it was designed to be easily legible even at small sizes on computer screens. For a site whose focus is to read about something, though, definitely the typefaces should be larger.
OrthoFan wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:47 pm I've no problem with the "blue theme," but agree with others that the default font size could be a bit larger.

Also, would it be possible to include direct jumps on the main page for "view new posts" and "view your posts," as it was with the other format? I found them both under the "Quick Links" hamburger menu, but having clicked the direct links on the old forum for years, I miss doing it by rote.

As always, many thanks for the time and trouble you invest in keeping this forum running.
David—Thanks to Mick (above), the we_universal theme already gave these back to you. They’ll stay where they are now, unless someone gives me a good reason to move them (or I find a good reason to tweak their layout). But I think what we have now works well with the tabbed links.
JerryVan wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:19 pm Thanks for getting the forum up & running so quickly! Great job!!
Thank you! It still kills me that you guys have bloated the database for this site to over 1 GB. That’s ¼ of a DVD. Video takes up way more space than text. By comparison, you guys have uploaded about 40 DVDs worth of images to this site. Doing a fresh backup of both was the time consuming part of the upgrade after I got home, although updating the database also took longer than expected. It’s definitely my fault that I let it go that long without updating, though. :D
52089 wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:03 pm You may want to do what I do, which is navigate to the desired page and then save it as a bookmark.
Good suggestion, but he should not need to do that now.
GregVTLA wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:31 pm I'm a big fan of the upgrade, thanks!
Thank you! It should only get better from here!
AmberolaAndy wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:20 pm I can finally use phone emojis! 👍👍👍 Hopefully linking YouTube will be easier too! Thanks!!! It’s going to take getting used to but it’s a change for good!
Andy—Thanks for pointing out a feature that I did not consider, but should have realized was there. I just tested it; if anyone wants to post song titles in Asian languages, you can type/paste those characters into the board. I don’t remember if it supported them before or not.

Anyway, thank you all again for your support!

Regards,

David
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WDC
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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by WDC »

Thank you, David, for all this work. Everythings looks so fresh now, I really like it too!

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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by CarlosV »

Great job in updating the forum! I appreciate the difficulty and pain that is dealing with database service providers. It looks nice and is easy to use!

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Marco Gilardetti
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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by Marco Gilardetti »

MordEth wrote: Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:08 am Marco, If you do finally have to update, let me know and I can offer my experience (and perhaps even time to recreate something akin to the theme you have now for the current phpBB code). I may be quite conversant with the ins and outs of phpBB theming once I get back into it. :D
Dear David, thanks for taking time to reply with such level of detail to my message!

I don't think I will really annoy you with such a boring thing: back then I payed someone to create the style on Rent-A-Coder (which has changed name on the meanwhile, but it's basically still the same thing) and I suppose I will redo the same thing whenever the time will come. But I would appreciate if - after having done with this forum of course - you would remember to drop me a PM and have a quick chat about these matters, and also quickly check together a pair of things that never really worked and give me an opinion. One would think that a style should be just a layout with no effect on a forum's functionality, but apparently it isn't so.

Over the years I have been constantly negatively impressed by the lack of importance that phpBB developers give to styles. There used to be a styles' library which could be browsed... by styles' names rather than colour!!! :roll: Also, at least in my experience, a customised style locks forum software updates (they fail), and you quickly end up with both style and php files outdated and impossible to update on a regular basis. For reasons that in my humble opinion should be obvious to anyone, I perceive this as a MAJOR issue. They couldn't care less. Ironically, much simpler forum softwares that once existed (like Snitz) had a very simple style generator, which was basically a "palette" on which the administrator could choose the basic colour combination of the board; in 2-3 minutes the job was done and was more than enough for 99% of administrators.

So again, my best wishes for the intricated task that you're accomplishing!

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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by FellowCollector »

I am REALLY impressed at how fast pictures load now versus the previous Forum version! Wow!! And we can select the next picture while the previous picture is being loaded! Thanks again, David! :)

Doug

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Re: Board Upgrade

Post by outune »

I'll add my thanks, David, for all your work!!

Regarding pictures-- I posted a reply to a member and was able to select four pictures at once and they all upload fine.,. I didn't have to do them one at a time as with the previous version. That's a huge time saver. Thanks!!

Brad Abell

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