Home Forums Forum Administration Questions Changes to the new Unclutterer Forum

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    • #234268
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      Hello! After the Ask Unclutterer post on the main site on Friday, we waited until Monday to let people leave comments and weigh in on the issue. From those helpful comments, we now have a list of changes we hope to be able to make to the new forum. This means a few things — first, there may be times when the forums are slow or weird because we will be doing work on the back end. I hope to be able to let you know when this will happen, but if a tech is working in the middle of the night and I’m asleep, I may not be able to. I will try my best. Second, it also means it’s going to take a little time. We’re all learning the new system and how to navigate it, too, so the changes will be rolled out instead of taking place all in one fell swoop. Please be patient with us. We’ll let you know when we think we’re “done” with the changes so you can help us tweak them into perfection. Third, we may not make every change people suggested. For example, I can tell you we will not link our login with Facebook’s login. That creates security risks for us and for accounts on Facebook. Your privacy is very important to us and we do not wish to risk that online security unnecessarily.

      Finally, I owe you all an apology for not letting you know what was going on with me while the new forums were being launched. In short, I ate some wrong. I had no idea what bad food could do to a person, but now I do. All of my doctors’ best guesses are that I acquired a very nasty bacteria from some exotic shellfish. The bacteria exploded in my system and destroyed the lining of my stomach, my intestines, slowed gallbladder function, and on and on and on. I was in severe pain for weeks, constantly vomiting, and bedridden when I wasn’t getting sick. Oh, and as an added bonus (I’m being sarcastic) my hands and feet went completely numb. I lost 20 lbs in the first three weeks. The muscles in my legs started to atrophy. Then, while doing tests on my digestive system, doctors found a tumor in my liver. I had to have more tests run, I was terrified, but thankfully it was determined after two weeks that the tumor is 100 percent benign and my liver is healthy. It has been many months since this ordeal began and I am finally able to sit at a desk for most of an entire work day without being in pain. My doctors believe I’ll make a full recovery, and I’m at 95% already. My diet is extremely limited while my digestive system heals itself and it may take two years for me to be able to eat things like gluten and lactose and caffeine in normal human quantities. But, right now, I’m just so happy to be alive and back to my old routines. I think I didn’t write about what was happening because I didn’t really know why I was sick for most of the time and because I was so scared. Had I known I would make a good recovery, I would have definitely handled things differently. I am sorry I handled things so poorly with the forums. You all didn’t deserve that.

      Oh, and one last thing, you should know we outsourced the transfer of the old forum to the new forum to a company that does that sort of thing regularly. Now that the data has been transferred, they’re out the picture and it’s just us Dancing Mammoth folks figuring things out. We have really good documentation, but it does take us a while to figure things out. We hope to be able to make all of the changes we think are great recommendations, but we’re not 100 percent certain we can. We will let you know if we run into any technical errors and can’t make something we want to have changed actually changed. Thank you for understanding!!

      ​– Erin at Unclutterer

    • #234269
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      First bit of news … we have learned that an update to the software is expected to be released this week. We think it will help to take care of the speed issues and the bug with the weird time zone out-of-order comments on the New Topics page. So, for now, we’re going to hold off on making those changes in hopes that the update will resolve them for us. These two things seem to be affecting all vBulletin 5.0 users, not just our forum.

    • #234270
      Ingrid
      Member

      Erin, that sounds like a really scary experience! I’m happy that you managed to get through it and that you’re getting better. Take care of yourself!

    • #234271
      blueskiesfan
      Member

      Very sorry about your illness, very thankful you are doing so well now.
      Thanks for any help in changing the forum. I really have missed an old friend in the old forum. Didn’t realize how much I read and received inspiration from all the posters.
      Continued good health to you.

    • #234272
      sleepykitten
      Member

      That sounds terrifying, Erin! I am glad you made it through the worst and I wish you all the best.

    • #234274
      Ella
      Member

      Erin, I can only imagine how frightening and disorienting your ordeal must have been. I’m so glad you’re on the mend again.

      As for mending the forum, I hope you will make it a priority to communicate with us as the new changes are being rolled out, as well as warnings when the forum might be down. Communication is key if we are to hope for reviving a viable forum again.

      Please let us know when the software is updated to improve speed, so that we can see if indeed any improvement is realized. In my opinion, the sluggishness of the forum is the biggest obstacle to reading and posting here.

      If you are unable to post updates yourself, couldn’t PJ or some designated member of your team keep us steadily informed?

    • #234275
      Jackthetiger
      Member

      Wishing you well for a speedy and complete recovery Erin. That sounds nightmarish.

    • #234276
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      Thanks all for the nice words. Today we’re researching how to change the landing page to be only new topics. This was a common feature in earlier versions of vBulletin, but we have yet to figure it out in version 5. Our hope is to have the Unclutterer Forum homepage be a “What’s New?” page, and then have a link to a listing of all Forum conversations past and current. We’re also trying to get into touch with vBulletin to see if this will be a simple feature in the upgrade scheduled for the next few days, but we haven’t yet heard back. If it is, it might be something we can also easily change after the update. As of right now, though, it looks like a major change and will probably take us another few days to figure out exactly how to do it. We will keep you posted.

    • #234277
      blueskiesfan
      Member

      Having the home page be “What’s New” would be very helpful. Looking forward to it, good luck.

    • #234282
      glossta1
      Member

      I’ve just caught up with this thread – so sorry to hear you have been unwell, Erin. All the best for a speedy recovery. It will take you a while to re-establish a colony of ‘good’ gut bacteria – DH had something similar a few years ago, and it took a good 6+ months to feel anything like normal. Please pace yourself.

    • #234283
      s
      Member

      Holy cow, Erin. So sorry to hear of all the health issues and so glad you’re recovering so well!

    • #234285
      Ella
      Member

      I hope you’re continuing to feel better this week, Erin.

      Any news from your tech team?

    • #234286
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      No news yet from our internal tech team, Ella. We never heard back from the vBulletin people, so we will try to reach them again on Monday. Still working …

    • #234288
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      News came through the pipeline that a lot of the changes we want to make WILL be included in the next update from vBulletin. As a result, I’ve told our techs to hold off on making any changes until the update (which is expected in the next week). No sense in them possibly introducing bugs, wasting their time, etc., on things that may be able to be altered with just the check of a box in the Admin system. So, there won’t be any changes in the next few days while we wait for the update to be released. Sorry for the delay, but I think you can understand why we want to wait. Will be in touch after the update comes out and is installed.

    • #234293
      Ella
      Member

      Any update? Looks like nothing has changed yet. I’m curious… why did you choose this program? When I googled for vBulletin 5 reviews, I couldn’t find one positive, only complaints ranging from disgust to rage.

    • #234294
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      vBulletin has great reviews for its earlier versions. So, when we were looking at forum systems, we decided to go with it. However, when we picked version 5, we were one of the firsts on the scene. It wasn’t explained to us that it would be a complete overhaul of the vBulletin system when we picked it. We’re just as annoyed as all those other reviewers at this point. We can’t figure out why they didn’t make all of the options available in the previous versions available in version 5. Instead of being an update, it was more of a brand new product. Trust us, any frustrations you’re feeling, we feel 1,000 times more. We haven’t received word yet of the latest update being released … but have been told that many of our desired changes will be in it. You haven’t seen any changes in the forums because (as I explained in my last post) we are waiting on vBulletin to release the next update. I’m not going to have my team waste even more time and energy writing code that the update is supposed to include. We were told this week we should expect the update. I’m sure we’re not the only dissatisfied customer breathing down vBulletin’s neck right now. If the update does everything they have promised, I think our frustrations will be over in the near future. At least the extreme frustrations …

    • #234301
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      Hey gang — The new update is out and we have someone on implementing the upgrade. After that is complete, we’ll get started on putting all the changes into effect. Woo hoo!

    • #234311
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      First major change went into effect last night. Now, the “What’s New” page is the landing page when you jump into the Forum from the link at the top of the Unclutterer home page. It lists the first post in the conversation and then the new comments after that. I like it. Today, we’re going to implement some more of the functionalities we’ve been discussing, so stay tuned! I hope you like it 🙂

    • #234312
      Ella
      Member

      Erin, thanks so much for getting the work started. I agree, I like having a “What’s New” landing page. However, it seems unnecessary to have both first and last posts. The last post would be sufficient and would make the page uncluttered, leaner, and faster to get through.
      I’m still experiencing sluggish performance and several error messages around the site. For example, just now it has taken over 20 minutes so far to log in, click on this topic, and get the Reply form to load. Now I’ll try to post this. Fingers crossed.

    • #234315
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      We’re trying to figure how to turn off the “first” post in the “What’s New” list. I find that a bit cumbersome, too. It’s not as straightforward as we had hoped.

      About speed issues … we keep doing loading tests and can’t recreate the problems you and a handful of others are experiencing. Can you give us some information about your setup? What type of data connection are you on? (Dial up? Cable? Fiber? A wireless connection at a coffee shop?) Does time of day affect the speed? Do you have this issue with any other website so we might be able to check what we have in common with them? Does it make a difference if you’re logged in or reading as a guest? Anything you think might be able to help us, we really appreciate it!! We received an email from one person saying that their speed issues were solved with the most recent upgrade … so something changed for at least one person, now we have to figure it out for everyone. Thank you!! We really want to get these speed issues fixed!!

    • #234318
      Ella
      Member

      Erin, I have two laptops, and I alternately use dial-up and wifi. I will try both connections on both laptops, via Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. I’ll send you an email later this weekend with the results. Meanwhile, to answer your other question: No, I don’t have these problems on other forums, and I never had any problem on the old Unclutterer forum.

      I have been trying repeatedly to post this message for almost an hour!!

    • #234328
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      Ella — How did the tests go? I’m really interested in what you learned! Thank you!!

    • #234332
      Ella
      Member

      Erin, I will email you the results when I’m finished. I have four more tests to do, but it’s enormously time-consuming. Today, for example, the “edit post” function fails to load, despite trying via IE, Firefox, and Chrome. Plus now I have spam in my inbox. I’m too pissed off to continue on the site today, will try another time.

    • #234339
      SteveC
      Member

      Could the link from the newest post be made to go to that post rather than the first one in a thread?

    • #234350
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      Cari — Just go to http://discuss.unclutterer.com This should take you directly to all the new content. It lists all the comments and all the new threads users have started. For some odd reason, when you click on a thread from the What’s New? page, however, it’s taking readers to the very first comment in the thread instead of the newest comment. For now, you’ll need to forward to the last page of the thread to see the newest comment. I have an order in to the techs to change it so it will automatically take you to the most recent comment in the thread instead of the first comment in the thread. I expect them to get to it this week.

    • #234354
      RJ
      Member

      If you are logged in with your User ID, go to Forums > New Topics. When that comes up, click on the little blue circle with two tiny arrows in it. It will automatically take you to the last and latest comment automatically. Very nice!

    • #234356
      Erin Doland
      Keymaster

      RJ — That is what I want to implement on the What’s New? page. Those arrows in the circle. Very convenient.

    • #234475
      steavehussey
      Member

      Thanks a lot to let me know the things as I am new to this forum and I want to know each and everything before having a start with this forum. I really regret for your bad health and Pray to GOD to get you well soon and fast recovery in your health. Thanks a lot again.

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