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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:18 pm 
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Happy 2019, everyone! The forums have been slow and in need of an upgrade for a while, and the site often crawls, making browsing and searching unresponsive or sometimes impossible during peak usage. We hope to address this issue:

  • In conjunction with the IFTF, we are upgrading the board to a new server which should be able to handle the user load, making browsing and reading the forums easier and error out less frequently.
  • We are also going to test Discourse as the new forum software. This is a huge change for end-users. We hope it will be an overall improvement, especially for mobile forum use. We understand there have been accessibility issues with Discourse for screen-readers, and we are interested to recruit volunteers to help us evaluate the accessibility options for it as they stand currently.
These changes should be happening in the first half of February, but please be patient with us during this process. We welcome your feedback.

You can check out the two test instances to see what we've been up to. Please remember that both instances had data imported from a previous date and will not include the most recent messages posted here on the live forum. Also, feel free to test logging in (you might need to change your password on Discourse) and the board functions.

Feel free to try out all the features, but be aware any new posts, settings, and PMs you update on the test servers will be wiped when it goes live as all up-to-date posts from here will be re-imported. Make sure you copy any significant discussions that need to be retained here or keep a copy of them yourself to re-post after the changeover.

Discourse: https://test.intfiction.org/
phpBB: https://forum.661.org/
[The Mod Team]


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:55 pm 
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Great news.

Several boards I frequent have converted to Discourse. Too much bling, less user friendly, suggest Xenforo. linode.com is probably the best server option available.

This is one of the best forums available. I would be willing to pitch in for its operation, consider a donation option.

Thanks, fos1


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:37 pm 
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A big +1 on Discourse.

Quote:
We understand there have been accessibility issues with Discourse for screen-readers


I also worried that there would be accessibility issues with Discourse, but we have a number of screen-reader users on the Choice of Games Discourse forum, and they've all said it works fine.

Re: donations, will intfiction.org become an IFTF project? Presumably in that case donating to the IFTF would also be a donation to the forum?

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At Choice of Games, we sell long-form choice-based interactive fiction games. We're looking for writers, paid in advance.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:34 pm 
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Good to know! Most of the research I did about accessibility for Discourse seemed to consist of forum discussion from 2015-2016 and then nothing more recent, so I hope that's a sign that everything has been fixed.

The intention is for this forum to be under the IFTF "umbrella" with regards to the technology. The foundation will be mostly hands-off, providing benevolent oversight, only stepping in when necessary such as for emergency server administration.

Donations to IFTF (I am assuming) would indirectly benefit the forum in the occasional cases where funds are necessary (like the server upgrade) and to maintain the domain registration.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:49 pm 
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Hosting the server will be a small ongoing cost (on the order of $7-$12 per month, depending on how much juice the forums need). That will be covered out of IFTF donations.

Quote:
The foundation will be mostly hands-off, providing benevolent oversight, only stepping in when necessary such as for emergency server administration.


Right. We'll come up with some official statement, but the summary is "The forum is not an official IFTF publication; it's a public service provided by the mod committee; IFTF provides resources to keep it running. IFTF board members are not mods. The mods will do all the server maintenance once things are set up. Since IFTF provides the server, we have the ability to log in and see all the server data, but we won't look unless the mods request it or there's some emergency which requires it."


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:27 pm 
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The server upgrade is excellent news. I'm a little sad about losing the old-school phpBB style, and a little concerned about some of Discourse's "features" like endless scrolling, but eager to see the new look.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:51 pm 
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With the change in forum software, will old links to existing posts/threads still work, or will they break?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:16 pm 
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We'll get HTTP redirects for the old forum links.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:18 am 
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Discourse is horrible, IMO. https://www.intfic.com uses it, and I gave up on that forum in the end. I can't make any sense out of it. Trying to follow a discussion there is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The same posts are repeated over and over again, you can't tell what's new and what's old, everything is just merged and mashed together in an incomprehensible chaos of posts. It's confusing and horrible :-/

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:03 am 
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Quote:
The same posts are repeated over and over again


What do you mean by this?

In my experience, the main complaint I see about Discourse is that it uses automatic page turning ("infinite scroll"). Automatic page turning makes it more convenient to scroll through an entire thread, but manual page turning provides a stronger sense of place ("here I am on page 7").

Users who strongly prefer manual page turning can disable JS to get a surprisingly traditional forum experience on Discourse.

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At Choice of Games, we sell long-form choice-based interactive fiction games. We're looking for writers, paid in advance.


Last edited by dfabulich on Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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