Forum Migration (soon!)


#1

Hi everyone!

Later this week (if all goes according to plan), we’ll be migrating the OtherSide forums to new software, called Discourse (https://www.discourse.org/). Sam and I have been working on this behind the scenes, but the bulk of the work is being done by an external agency so that us OtherSide people can stay focused on our games. I know some of you visit the Quarter to Three forums—that’s the same software we’ll be using: https://forum.quartertothree.com/c/games

We’re very excited to make this change and are doing so for a number of reasons, but before we go into those reasons, I want you all to know that we intend to l retain all of the information, users, forum structure, posts, images, etc. from our current forums. I.e., other than looking different, and perhaps some bugs, the forums will be substantially the same as they are now. We have numerous backups of the current forums because we don’t want to lose what we have already. One manual thing we’ll have to work on is making sure people have the right badges as we haven’t found an easy way to migrate those over.

Migrating means we’ll pull down our current forums for maintenance for a short period of time to pull everything over and then deploy it. Since we don’t have a huge amount of data, we don’t believe that will take a long time. I’ll update this thread when we have a definitive day/time that we plan to do this.

So why are we doing this? At a high level:

  • First and foremost, our current forums were set up and administered by a guy who sadly passed away last year. With his passing went some institutional knowledge about the existing forums (I’ll spare the details) that make it hard for us to change, update, fix, etc. them. That’s no good. Note, since you’ll ask, we did try to get the information from him, but it didn’t come together before his passing unfortunately.
  • We want something easier for Sam and I to completely administer ourselves. We are not web developers and we really don’t want to take time away from our game devs to help us on it. Discourse gives us all the tools we need to do at least the things we foresee wanting to do. Discourse integrates much better with our current website so with Discourse added, Sam and I can now take care of most our web needs ourselves.
  • Discourse has a bunch of features that we really like, that we think will make our forums more usable and hopefully will attract and keep more people participating in them. For example: 1) We love the UI and refreshing design, 2) Topic summaries, 3) Better spam blocking, 4) Support for various social logins as well as single login if we go that direction in the future, and more.
  • Scalability – this relates a lot to the first point, but we also want software that will grow well with us, as we hopefully grow over the coming years.

As always, we’re curious what you think. Also, I’ll apologize for the short notice on this, that’s entirely on me. With all of the work on UA as well as the “new” work on System Shock 3, I’m stretched pretty thin these days.

Walter


#2

Oh, no. Was this Kelgal? Walter, I’m so sorry to hear this. If condolences are appropriate, here are mine.

Otherwise, best of luck with the migration… and do you know if Discourse offers a “dark” theme similar to what’s available with the current forums? My eyes will thank you if a light-text-on-dark-background option is available. (I’m sure that’s not the most important thing to y’all, it’s just something that matters to me.)


#3

Speaking to the migration, the Discourse beta forum we have set up right now is modeled more or less the same way, including a dark theme! I don’t think I could handle a light theme myself anymore haha


#4

Yes, Dark Theme 100% for me too!

This might go through tomorrow, still dealing with some re-directs stuff.


#5

Sorry to hear about your forum guy :(

I’ve recently switched all my stuff at work and home to dark themes, and they’ve really helped my eyes. Even if they can’t give us a dark forum skin initially, there are browser extensions which turn all web pages dark, too: for Chrome, I use “Dark Reader”: for Firefox, “Dark Mode” – I heartily recommend them both.

Looks like Discourse has a heart-shaped “like” button, which I’ve really been missing here, too - I’ve been perhaps spoiled by Slack and Discord, but I very often want to just +1 someone’s post, without making a post myself :)


#6

+1 FOR DARK THEME


#7

Y’all are awesome. :smiley:

OK, looking forward to the Great Rehosting – good luck!


#8

Looks like we got some of our DNS and forwarding stuff sorted. This could be happening tomorrow. If the forums are down for maintenance for a bit, that’s why. We’ll keep you posted on socials and discord.


#9

Just to update, our external team ran a test overnight on Wednesday and it created a bunch of errors that hadn’t happened before so we called off the migration (we’ve figured out what it was, and it’s funny and ironic at the same time). We’ll shoot for next week. Obviously this isn’t our highest priority so we’ll just keep at it and do it when ready.


#10

No fair not sharing the funny irony!
Good luck next week :slight_smile:


#11

We did it :slight_smile:

Well, the ironic thing is that last week’s failed migration was due to a user we recently banned. So it was like they were haunting us from the grave.


#12

Looks like the forum transition went pretty smoothly (after the “banned user name” issue – did you at least get an Animus off that lich?).

One issue I think you’ve already seen is that lists aren’t being displayed properly in existing posts, for example this one. It looks like list /list got translated to a ul /ul tag, but that’s not actually being rendered into a bullet-point list (and some of the bullet-point “*” tags appear to have been stripped out as well).

I noticed something similar earlier today in this post by @OSE_Walter , but I see it’s been edited.

(Edit: Now I see that ol /ol tags also aren’t working yet.)

For the most part, though, seems to be working as intended. Congrats!


#13

Thanks! Yeah, we eradicated the demon gumming up the works.

The list formatting was a known issue. Our partner spent a bunch of time trying to figure out how to automate fixes for it but sometimes created more problems than fixed so we went with it at this point.

There may be some emojis that don’t translate over well either, but we sorted most of those out. Updating badges is the next thing to sort out