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Welcome to the new AfterDawn discussion forums!

Discussion in 'Forum announcements' started by Ketola, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    Having served us for over 13 years we have today retired our old discussion forums engine for good. The forums were built in-house by us at AfterDawn, but keeping the forum engine maintained and fresh was too much for our small development team. The forums are now running on XenForo, developed by XenForo Ltd. We have been working on the migration for months to make sure everything works as smoothly as possible the day we launch (today, yay!), but there are bound to be some hickups here and there.

    As you can tell a lot has changed from the old version. Apart from the colors (which may or may not reflect the upcoming layout refresh of AfterDawn.com itself), many other things have changed as well.

    Here are some of the key changes:
    • Login
      • AfterDawn.com accounts work for logging in to the forums, but you need to login separately to the forums and the "main site"
      • you can now login and sign-up using Facebook, Google or Twitter
        • if you have an existing account, visit the External Accounts page to link your account to FB/G+/Twitter. You can find the page by clicking on your nickname at the top.
          Doing so won't change your user name or anything - you can just easily sign in by clicking a button. No need to type in user name and password or anything
    • Responsive layout
      • you can now browse the forums easily on your phone or your tablet as well
    • Rich Text editor
      • the forums now use a Rich Text editor for typing up messages. This makes it easier to stylize your messages
      • you can switch to "plain BB code" by clicking on the wrench & paper icon at the right of the menu bar
    • Attachments
      • you can now attach files to messages
      • currently allowed attachment types are zip, txt, pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, jpe, and gif
      • attachments can be up to 16MB in size
    • BB-codes
      • the number of BB-codes (i.e. codes to format text, add content etc.) has at least quadrupled
      • you can find most of the BB-codes from the help pages - not all of them have a button in the editor
      • some of the new codes include: TABLE, MEDIA (embed Youtube video, for example), SPOILER (hide content from view), PHP and HTML code, and many more
    • Mentioning users
      • users can be notified "Twitter-style" by addressing them in a message (for example @dRD )
      • when notified users get an alert via the forum alert system letting them know they have been mentioned in a post (this can be switched off)
    • Quick navigation
      • clicking on the quick navigation icon ( xenforo_quick_navigation.PNG ) you can quickly move across the forums
    • Forum / thread watching
      • threads and forums can be followed (watched) with or without email (or site alert) notifications
      • the link to watch or unwatch a thread is located at the top right corner of the thread
    • Trophies
      • instead of user levels based on post count alone, XenForo has Trophy system
      • Trophies have different numbers of points associated with them
      • Trophy points count toward Trophy User Titles
      • Trophy points accumulate in various ways. The number of posts is still a large factor, but in addition to those likes (see below), the age of membership etc. all can be a factor when earning points
    • Likes
      • posts by others can be "liked"
      • you can like which ever post you like - if you find the post funny, helpful, or you just happen to agree with if, feel free to hit "Like". Since it counts towards Trophy points (see above), people will appreciate your likes.
    • User titles
      • there are currently the following user titles defined
        • Newbie (0 points)
        • Member (5 points)
        • Regular member (25 points)
        • Active member (50 points)
        • Senior member (100 points)
      • the AfterDawn Addict title will probably return as well, but I still need to figure out a way of defining the points for that correctly
    There you go. That's just scratching the surface of the changes. There's probably a dozen important things I've forgotten to mention, and a hundred other details that need clarification. So feel free to ask me anything!

    We would also greatly appreciate all and any feedback regarding the functionality of the forums, the layout, logging in, etc. etc. Especially if you're experiencing any kinds of problems, please let us know!

    Edits:
    The forums rooms will be heavily re-organized in the coming days and weeks. We'll drop obsolete forums, merge forums together, and move some forums (especially the console ones) to sub-forums.

    We decided not to import most of the single post threads from the old discussion forums since they most likely didn't bring any value to the forums. A single post isn't discussion - it's monologue. =P
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
    tigeregy, nimd4, Plankje and 2 others like this.
  2. Ripper

    Ripper Active member

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    Thanks for all the hard work, and congrats on a successful transition here & on the Finnish side.

    Hopefully everyone enjoys the new software as it has lots to offer!
     
  3. Dela

    Dela Administrator Staff Member

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    Sweet :)

    Been a long time coming, the old forum engine just didn't cut it anymore, and from everything I've read, XenForo seems highly rated by those who have switched to it, even from vBulletin etc.

    Good work guys :)
     
  4. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    Since XenForo at it's current stage cannot be cached by Varnish, I've made the (somewhat drastic) move to serve the forums directly from our servers in the Netherlands. This probably makes using the forums a smoother experience especially for users that are logged in.
     
  5. 7thsinger

    7thsinger Regular member

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    Congratulations on the new forum setup. It looks like a lot of work has been put into it and I'm hoping it works smoothly for everyone.

    I'm still poking around a wee bit, I'm sure I'll have questions at some point.

    Keep up the good work.
     
  6. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    Added information about the upcoming re-organization, and the fact that most of the single-post threads weren't imported.

    I'll probably write a separate tutorial on how the forums work (probably to the help section?), but a couple of things I wanted to mention:
    • you can preview a message by hitting on the "More Options..." button
    • multiple messages can be quoted - even from multiple threads - by using the "+ Quote" link. It's found next to the "Reply" link
    • link to a specific post can be grabbed easily by clicking on the number of the message (found next to Like, +Quote and Reply links)
    • spam and other inappropriate content can be reported by hitting on the "Report" link next to the post timestamp
    • polls can be created in any forum - the poll and its options are set when creating a new thread
    • threads can be prefixed with a pre-defined prefix, and filtered based on those prefixes. Currently there are only problem prefixes (Problem, Solved), and two un-grouped (Guide, Poll) prefixes defined. I'm open to suggestions!
    • XenForo automatically saves drafts of your message as you type. The drafts move across browsers, so you can start typing a post on your PC, move to your Mac, and finish the post from your hammock on your Nexus 7. Sweet, eh?
     
  7. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    Thanks! Noticed that your registration date was off by 7 years or so. =) Looks like it got reset here on XenForo side of things when I re-activated your account last week.
     
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  8. Ripper

    Ripper Active member

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    That's a nice feature - so it caches locally on aD's servers, then?
     
  9. 7thsinger

    7thsinger Regular member

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    It's about time someone addressed this problem. I nearly took my damn hammock down for this very reason. lol
     
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  10. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    Exactly. It sends the message to the server every few minutes (can't remember the exact timeout), and it gets saved to a database. When you return to the thread drafts table is looked up, and if there's an unsaved post there it gets filled to the message editor.
    Ha! I've had my hammock up for a while now (remember, this is Finland, it's cold out there), and I'll definitely do some posting there. Even if it means I'll be freezing my ass off!

    Speaking of asses, I've configured XenForo to censor a few words I didn't think we needed to use over here. Those include puppy and fusk. Let's see if they get censored! =D
     
  11. Ripper

    Ripper Active member

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    Cos I have nothing better to do, I looked it up on the demo. 60 seconds, and saves for 24 hours (configurable, though, so you might have changed it).

    Looks like this would be easier to do via a User Group than the Trophy system.
     
  12. 7thsinger

    7thsinger Regular member

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    Yeah, i noticed that too. Haha, looks like it's been handled now though. Thanks.

    No fusk huh? I had to type it out to see if it gets edited. Don't let ddp ban me or anything.

    EDIT: yep...it auto-edited my foul word. lol
     
  13. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    I have actually. It's every 60 seconds for 48 hours.

    Doing Addict status via user groups is possible, although I'd rather have just one set of rules to define everything. But if we still want to keep the Addict goal at 2500 posts alone, user groups would be a good way to go.

    Yup, was an easy quick fix for you. Just need to run a fix on the entire database to make sure there are no other oddities.

    And yeah, no fusking fusks here. fusk it.
     
  14. DVDBack23

    DVDBack23 Administrator Staff Member

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    This is fantastic Jari. Well done.
     
  15. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    7thsinger, no ban, DARN!!!!
     
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  16. richietea

    richietea Regular member

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    AfterDawn in pale blue? A little wishy washy for my taste.The trophy scheme is a good idea somehow reminds me of xbox achievements.(This coming from a 40 year old.cough,cough).Might be an idea to implement some sort of sub context where any original OP receives one or more help messages that either correct,rectify or resolve the original OP's problem they themselves can award them further by clicking a "did this problem get resolved" button and it nominates whoever in that particular thread.Just feel sometimes some of the responses are quite poor yet they will be awarded with post numbers despite others that go an extra mile to help out with research,links,recommendations etc.Anyhow congrats on your hard work.
     
  17. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    Many have requested for "more color" or just stated that the gray theme feels dull. I'm looking into adding some color to the mix, but it's not quite as simple as I wish it were.

    That's a good idea, and I've been thinking about implementing the very thing. There's an add-on to XenForo for marking post as best answer. That could work perfectly for crediting answers.
     
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  18. Ketola

    Ketola Fighting ninjas Staff Member

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    Thanks @Mrguss ! Do you mean the buttons should be visible all the time? Keeping them visible all the time might create a bit of a clutter at the top, but I have been thinking about making the "Log in or Sign up" tab more visible - for example by changing it's color to green and increasing its size somewhat.
     
  19. attar

    attar Senior member

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    Don't like how new posts for one forum are jumbled up with all the rest.
    They should be grouped by forum name.
    The colours are anemic and look like they were designed for a tuberculosis ward in a nineteenth century workhouse.
     
  20. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Very unsure about the new forum layout. I guess it's a bit more traditional for a forum now. Avatars and the like. Many other forums I frequent are laid out in this style. I would like them to consider using the older color scheme though. Rather used to that after so many years. Has become something of a watermark for AD pages.

    The new font is certainly more readable and easier on the eyes. The new message box is also superior, with a much greater array of tools. These details have not gone unappreciated. The new user control panel is also a VAST improvement. Overall I think AD's latest rounds of updates is very much so for the better. It was using hilariously outdated code up until the last few years.

    Also, just noticed the blog entry link in my signature leads to the old version of the site for reference.

    Just got Wolfenstein The New order. So far living up to the hype quite adequately. A bit bland and repetitive, but overall a top-notch quality game that leaves little to complain about. idTech4 Engine shows drastic improvements from the disaster that was RAGE. Wolfenstein is seriously good looking and performs well to boot. Easily maxed on my rig with zero tweaking. It seems they've finally sorted their texture streaming BS. There are additionally some settings that make me think my 4GB of video memory is not a wasted investment.

    Rich, as far as CPUs, I don't think a new board and CPU can hurt. A friend of mine just upgraded from an OC'd Phenom II X6 to a stock i7 4770K Haswell and is quite pleased with his gains. It's safe to say my OC'd 1100T stomps your 920 at stock. So a more modern i7 that's not only faster per-GHz but also at a much higher stock clock should be a pretty awesome boost in power. And my Phenom II is currently faster than your 9450 would likely be if OC'd. Now if you could get say 4GHz on the 920, that would be more than adequate, but it seems that's not happening for you.

    High speed memory is essential for FSB OC'ing because of how much headroom it gives you to raise clocks. It sounds like you have a decent grasp of what you are doing. The rest is trial and error. Also, most people just try to keep their memory as close to stock as possible. I don't OC my memory at all if I can help it. So if that's what is holding you back don't let it. But I think your issue has more to do with simply being limited by the memory speed altogether.

    Maybe it would be cheaper to simply get some higher speed memory for now? If you do decide on a better board and CPU, you'll want higher speed memory for it anyway. 1600 and higher is good for AMDs while Intels really like 1866 and higher.
     

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