Site update - IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ!

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dsco
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 872
JoinedCOLON Fri 26 Jan, 2007 8:21 am

Postby dsco » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 4:27 pm

Hi everybody,

As you may know I've been working on an extensive technical update of SecretLeeds for the last couple of weeks. We are changing the software that runs the site from the old outdated thing that it's currently on, to a more popular modern alternative called phpBB. This will bring many benefits, including a much more stable and reliable site, faster load times, a better image uploader and a new layout that works on all screen sizes from desktops to smartphones. There are some fun bits as well, like the option to add a user-generated map to your posts, customisable colour schemes for the site, and a photo gallery.

The migration to the new software is nearly complete. I've been testing a demo version of the site for the last week and we're pretty much finished in terms of the core forum functions. We'll be doing some look-and-feel work this week but we should be ready to switch over to the new site by the end of next week.

Please note - most things will not change! The web address of the site will remain the same, so you won't need to update your bookmarks or anything. The site structure will be basically the same in terms of the name and order of forums: Buildings and structures, Transport, etc. (though hopefully it should be a bit easier to read/navigate). The site content has been migrated succesfully, so all the existing threads, posts, images, links, etc will work on the new site. Your username and profile/signature will also remain the same (we've lost current user icons/avatars unfortunately - you can reset that when you access the new site though).

The actual migration process from the old site to the new one is going to take a couple of days to complete. We will have to shut down the current forums, take a backup of everything on there, translate it into the new format, upload that to the new site, and then switch everything else over, like the domain name. The sheer amount of data on SL means that this will be a fairly slow process, during which time the forums cannot be active or else we'll lose everything that's posted during the switchover. Unfortunately there's no way around this. I'm proposing to do it over next weekend, Friday 21st - Monday 24th March, all being well, as SL is generally a little bit quieter on a weekend. I'll make sure there are clear notices on the site to explain the situation to any visitors who turn up, so it doesn't look like another server meltdown!

Now the fun bit... For obvious security reasons, the current software encrypts your login password so it can't be accessed by the site admin (I can reset a password, but I can't tell you what your current one is). This means that we have not been able to migrate your current site password to the new site. We have therefore had to reset the passwords for all user accounts on the new site. Next week I will send out individual emails to all users with details of their new password. This will be sent to the email address in your SL profile, so...

Please check that the email address in your profile is correct and up-to-date! It doesn't have to be made public or anything, just make sure it is a live account that you still have access to. I know some folk have been on here for many years so please make sure it's not an expired account currently listed in your profile and if it is, update it here: http://www.secretleeds.com/forum/EditProfile.aspx

This should allow for a smooth transition when we switch to the new site. Don't worry if it doesn't work first time or you get confused - if you have any difficulties with anything I'll be available to help out and do whatever is necessary to get you up and running. Keep calm and send me an email Regular Smiley

I realise all this is a bit of an inconvenience but I promise it will be worthwhile in the long term! There are various other developments in the pipeline once this is sorted out, which I'll reveal more about in due course. Basically the plan is to keep everything that's great about SL (especially you guys!), improve the parts that don't work properly, and add new features that will be helpful for everybody. We've just passed our 7th birthday and this is the first redevelopment work that's been done in all that time. SecretLeeds is long overdue some TLC and once the work's done it should lay the foundations for another seven years - or maybe that should be 70?

Thank you for reading this far, if you have any comments or queries please post below or email me at ask@tyrell.mobi.

All the best,

Duncan    
Contact me via ask@tyrell.mobi if you have any questions or comments about the site.
Whyme
PostsCOLON 81
JoinedCOLON Thu 15 May, 2008 5:55 pm

Postby Whyme » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 5:05 pm

Good luck and hope it all goes very smoothly.
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chameleon
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 5462
JoinedCOLON Thu 29 Mar, 2007 6:16 pm

Postby chameleon » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 5:25 pm

Don't you dare go anywhere without a charger for ya laptop youCool

Sure all will be well, quite a mile stone really when you think of the humble, tentative beginnings from munki and you.

Good luck Duncs.
kango
PostsCOLON 296
JoinedCOLON Sun 30 Aug, 2009 4:41 pm

Postby kango » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 6:02 pm

Looking forward to it Duncan, I subscribe to a couple of forums that use phpBB software and find them very smooth running.
Also having just rediscovered the password for My original username TABBYCAT I look forward to using My old moniker in the new forum version (Providing that doesn't contravene forum rules).

All the best Sir.

Kango. (TABBYCAT)

    

dsco
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 872
JoinedCOLON Fri 26 Jan, 2007 8:21 am

Postby dsco » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 6:32 pm

Cheers folks!

Chameleon - I will never make that mistake again Wink And yes, quite the milestone eh? I think we should do a bit of a marketing/PR push once the new site's up and running, shout about the place a bit.

Kango - it is certainly a step up from what we're currently using, seems super quick from my testing so far and it has LOADS of cool features, plugins, themes etc. The maps plugin is totally brilliant, definitely my favourite new thing. This is the demo map creator site, which you can draw maps on and then put them directly into your posts, all fully zoomable, draggable, etc: http://share.mapbbcode.org/

Fingers crossed for a smooth transition to SecretLeeds 2.0!
Contact me via ask@tyrell.mobi if you have any questions or comments about the site.
dsco
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 872
JoinedCOLON Fri 26 Jan, 2007 8:21 am

Postby dsco » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 6:34 pm

Kango that's absolutely fine, you should have said something I'd have reset your password for you.

Thinking about it that's actually the killer feature on the new site: automatic password reset procedure. Should reduce the volume of admin emails by about 75%!
Contact me via ask@tyrell.mobi if you have any questions or comments about the site.
TABBYCAT
PostsCOLON 169
JoinedCOLON Mon 02 Apr, 2007 6:55 pm

Postby TABBYCAT » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 6:48 pm

dsco wrote:
Kango that's absolutely fine, you should have said something I'd have reset your password for you.

Thinking about it that's actually the killer feature on the new site: automatic password reset procedure. Should reduce the volume of admin emails by about 75%!


Thanks for that Duncan, it went pear shaped twice in the past when My pc threw one of its many wobblies and not having the brains to sort it out I went from TABBYCAT to Moggy then Kango!
Not being tech minded it never dawned on Me to contact You, My email address had changed so it didn't match the one required for a reset. I just thought at the time a quick re register would solve it.

I'm just glad I can use My old forum name again!

Anyhow good luck with the transition Duncan, if the forum runs as smooth as the others I use then "Jobs a good un" as they say.


All the best

TABBYCAT (Kango)    
Phill_dvsn
PostsCOLON 4423
JoinedCOLON Wed 21 Feb, 2007 5:47 am

Postby Phill_dvsn » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 7:36 pm

Can I make a suggestion regarding looking after the new look site and making it easier to use Duncan?

Quite a lot of time we have multiple posts on the same topic, old threads get buried deep down and a new one starts. Sometimes you get 6 or 7 threads about the same thing. All that useful info is split into bits and pieces.

I'll use this thread as an example, and I'm only using this thread because it's the latest one that springs to mind. The thread is called 'Found a photo'
http://www.secretleeds.com/forum/Messages.aspx?ThreadID=5192

It's not very clear what it's about, my only suggestion is that a moderator would add the subject to the title like this ''Found a photo - Holbeck Workhouse''

That way anyone else wanting to post anything about Holbeck Workhouse would use that existing thread instead of starting another one. Likewise when a duplicate thread starts, if that too was moved to an existing thread. It's too late to do anything about past threads. But it would make the new site so much better, informative, and user friendly.

Good luck with the new features and modern look of the site.
It all looks pretty fine so far Regular Smiley        
My flickr pictures are here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phill_dvsn/

Because lunacy was the influence for an album. It goes without saying that an album about lunacy will breed a lunatics obsessions with an album - The Dark side of the moon!

dsco
Site Admin
PostsCOLON 872
JoinedCOLON Fri 26 Jan, 2007 8:21 am

Postby dsco » Wed 12 Mar, 2014 7:45 pm

Yes good call Phill - another exciting new feature of phpBB is the ability to merge threads, so we can curate things a bit better from now on. And yes, vague thread titles should be amended to make things clearer - I'll have a look into adding that to the moderation guide when I've got all this stuff finished!
Contact me via ask@tyrell.mobi if you have any questions or comments about the site.
Si
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LocationCOLON Otley

Postby Si » Thu 13 Mar, 2014 5:08 pm

Looking forward to it.
Having checked my email address is correct on my profile, I noticed that my date of birth was wrong (the day and month were transposed.) I'm pretty sure I didn't type in my DOB wrong originally - are we going all American?

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