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Updating the forum


Skipper
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This is mainly aimed at the forum staff,

Have you ever though about moving from IP.Board over to something a little more... updated?
A few months ago I was looking around for some forum software for my own site and I stumbled across this little gem: http://www.discourse.org

It's a fairly new forum software coded in Ruby, the developers are really awesome guys and they love to hear feedback from the community that they have. Discourse is truly a community-driven project.

So why switch?

IP.Board isn't very robust when it comes to updates and looks... outdated, I know that IP.Board 4 is rolling out but really the only change is the design (and not even that much of a change!).

Discourse is updated constantly (every few hours with little updates/tweaks) and in all honesty - looks and feels better. It has little perks like mentions in posts (using @username in a post will notify the user that you mentioned them), infinite scrolling which remembers your place and stored drafts of posts.

It's also open sourced.

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Would you mind taking a look at the features that it has to offer? I don't think you'll be disappointed :)

Edited by Skipper
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IPB is pretty on top of adding new things when requested. I believe it mainly comes down to time. Just from clicking around, it looks more geared toward blog comments than a structured forum. Or maybe I should spend more than 1 minute clicking around lol.

IPB is hosting and support in one place and a lot less headaches for us who are very busy to manage it. That and data migration may be a pain in the butt to switch now. I'm down for whatever but it's ultimately not my decision, I just help manage it :P.

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IPB is pretty on top of adding new things when requested. I believe it mainly comes down to time. Just from clicking around, it looks more geared toward blog comments than a structured forum. Or maybe I should spend more than 1 minute clicking around lol.

IPB is hosting and support in one place and a lot less headaches for us who are very busy to manage it. That and data migration may be a pain in the butt to switch now. I'm down for whatever but it's ultimately not my decision, I just help manage it :P.

When I first checked it out I had the same initial response, however after downloading the Bitnami stack for Discourse it does seem a lot more forum-like. If you haven't already, you should check out the Meta site for Discourse, I think that's the best representation of a demo site currently.

Also I think they are working on import and export tools for different forum software and IP.Board is definitely on the list, tools have already been made for certain forums.

Edited by Skipper
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One thing to consider is that this forum more than anything has to be reliable and relatively low-maintenance. IPB has already proven it to be a pretty capable solution. Change for change's sake is a rather bad idea in my book.

The car analogy would be to pick the flashy looking sports car over the dependable Volvo stationwagon with the baby seat in the back to take your girl to the prom with... only to realize on your way over with your dutifully impressed date that whenever you brake while making a left corner, the wheels fall off because nobody has yet needed to perform such a maneuvre and of course that happens near the venue where all your school buddies can see you.

I would think that any alternative, to be considered, would have to, at a minimum:

1) Not be any worse than the current situation for *ALL* functionality provided.

2) Be significantly better than the current situation for at least a number of particularly relevent functionalities.

3) Be supported by the hosting party, as I believe the current product is.

4) Provide a clean migration path that can be reverted aswell should the need arise.

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