Forum improvement

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Forum improvement

elect
This post was updated on .
Hi,

I think the jogl forum is not that good as it should be. My suggestion born from here

http://forum.jogamp.org/Fullscreen-on-secondary-monitor-td4032833.html

I strongly believe a better forum would:

- improve the readability

- improve the understanding of the different interventions

- help spreading the jogl platform

- improve the forum usability though better quote, multiquote, thanks to the author of a post, link for going to the first unread message, a much nicer good looking, (better) supports for code, quote, links, images, videos, etc etc.

I say this because I use and love jogl, so helping make it better is all in my interest :)

I guess one open source software forum is best solution, here some options

http://savedelete.com/2014/08/05/free-forum-software/14592

http://codenread.com/best-of-15-open-source-php-forum-scripts-bulletin-board/

Personally I would go on the phpbb, since it looks the most used, it should have also the best documentation and community out there. And of course it seems having all the most wanted features..

This is their website

https://www.phpbb.com/

and here you can try the demo

http://try-phpbb.com/30x

user and pwd: administrator

What do you think, guys?

Other very interesting option are:

- http://vanillaforums.org/, they even won the People's Choise Award for Best Forum Software 2013, http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/25132/we-won-peoples-choice-award-for-best-forum-software, I like it also a lot

- http://www.discourse.org/

- http://www.mybb.com/

Ps: following this tips http://www.forum-software.org/ten-questions-guide-to-choose-the-best-forum-software I get 3 options: FluxBB, PunBB and Vanilla Forums

If we look on the paid option, the 1st one in absolute is invisionPower

http://www.invisionpower.com/apps/board/

Otherwise a lot of people I read they suggest also Xenforo

https://xenforo.com/
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Re: Forum improvement

gouessej
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I don't think it would be decisive to spread the platform but I don't disagree with other arguments. However:
- How would we migrate from Nabble without breaking the permalinks?
- Who would do the install and the migration?
- Is it worth the effort? There are less than ten people frequently posting here.
Julien Gouesse | Personal blog | Website
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Re: Forum improvement

elect
gouessej wrote
I don't think it would be decisive to spread the platform but I don't disagree with other arguments. However:
- How would we migrate from Nabble without breaking the permalinks?
- Who would do the install and the migration?
- Is it worth the effort? There are less than ten people frequently posting here.
1) I dont know, we will figure it out if possible and if yes, how

2) I can do a preliminary test, installing it in a test scenario and checking how is running, then if everything looks fine, migrate definitely

3) Look goussej, the problem of having few people might also come from the poor usability of the forum and the a-little-confusing website. So to answer this, for a very short term no, it is not worth. For a long term, yes. I see it like an investment for the community.

Anyway I would do it with pleasure, I took already a look at the installation, it seems relatively easy and fast. What it takes more is the customization and tuning.


Obviously my 2 cents :)
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Re: Forum improvement

jmaasing
I agree that a forum with a little more eye candy can't harm as long as it is low maintenance. Same for the web site, it is rather hard to navigate as a new user. Now that I spent some time with jogl I like it but I remember I was confused as a beginner.
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Re: Forum improvement

gouessej
Administrator
In reply to this post by elect
I disagree about the poor usability of the forum even though it is far from perfect, some other open source projects (including OpenJPA) use Nabble too. I have nothing against phpBB.

Maybe there is a problem with the usability of the website but it's another topic and we are still open to suggestions. Personally, I would appreciate a big green button to download the latest version as a 7z archive and a mean to put forward the Java doc but I'm already happy with the current homepage.
Julien Gouesse | Personal blog | Website
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Re: Forum improvement

Sven Gothel
Administrator
In reply to this post by elect
On 10/13/2014 04:26 PM, elect [via jogamp] wrote:

>     gouessej wrote
>     I don't think it would be decisive to spread the platform but I don't
>     disagree with other arguments. However:
>     - How would we migrate from Nabble without breaking the permalinks?
>     - Who would do the install and the migration?
>     - Is it worth the effort? There are less than ten people frequently
>     posting here.
>
> 1) I dont know, we will figure it out if possible and if yes, how
>
> 2) I can do a preliminary test, installing it in a test scenario and checking
> how is running, then if everything looks fine, migrate definitely
>
> 3) Look goussej, the problem of having few people might also come from the
> poor usability of the forum and the a-little-confusing website. So to answer
> this, for a very short term no, it is not worth. For a long term, yes.
>
> Anyway I would do it with pleasure, I took already a look at the installation,
> it seems relatively easy and fast. What it takes more is the customization and
> tuning.
>
>
> Obviously my 2 cents :)
All good, and thx for your thoughts.

We discussed this month ago, i.e. hosting a forum/mailinglist
on jogamp.org directly.

And yes, we go stuck in importing it.

Mark Raynsford did some digging already, i.e. patching the nabble DB,
which we put in hold due to resources.

I invite Mark to rejoin this discussion.

For me personally, I only use this forum via its mailinglist feature,
i.e. I only see and reply posts as email - yes, me an old dog :)

So for me: whatever flies with importing nabble emails,
but I want my plain old mailinglist/email 'frontend'.

Cheers, Sven



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Re: Forum improvement

elect
gouessej wrote
Actually, we disagree. Let me rephrase that: In my humble opinion, spending tons of time in improving the forum shouldn't be done only with the hope of attracting new users because the kind of newcomers it would attract wouldn't deserve such efforts. In the real world, there are tons of people attracted by eye candy things but we aren't computer graphics artists and this forum targets the developers. Nevertheless, I'll look at your suggestions because I assume that some efforts could be done but for better reasons.
No, I think we do agree :) When you say

Personally, if a developer prefers using another API because its forum is more beautiful, I will just ignore him. I don't mind. This isn't the kind of developer I'd like to attract and I'm probably not alone to think that the JogAmp contributors have more important tasks to do than switching to a more "modern" forum. I don't see the interest of attracting very superficial developers who might switch to another API every month just because it's "cool".

I share this opinion too. It is true, but you also have to look how the world is. Practical example, when I was a newbie (ok I am still  a little) first had to choose between jogl and lwjgl I looked at the websites, their was better organised and the forum looked also better. You know which was one of the main reason I choose jogl? Because google showed me among the first results, so I though larger community, bigger documentation, easier to find help and resolve problems. But I didnt know the difference between the two, since I was completely newbie and I think I couldnt even understand them deeply if anyone would have told them to me, since I didnt have the background to get them. But today I learnt a lot, I know many more things and if I would go back I will choose jogl again. But at that time the choise was based on not-so-important things.
Think about the community support, mainly forum and stackoverflow. If you and Sven werent there, how would it be? What will happen when you and Sven and maybe the other (few) important users wont be anymore there to help us for any reason the life can bring?
I think strongly the appearence it is important, not only for usability reasons, but also for attraction because maybe 2 of 10 new users you attract, maybe those 2 will grow, technically I mean, and then in the future they will make the community bigger, more solid and will keep forward the project.


gouessej wrote
I disagree about the poor usability of the forum even though it is far from perfect, some other open source projects (including OpenJPA) use Nabble too. I have nothing against phpBB.

Maybe there is a problem with the usability of the website but it's another topic and we are still open to suggestions. Personally, I would appreciate a big green button to download the latest version as a 7z archive and a mean to put forward the Java doc but I'm already happy with the current homepage.
Let me put this way, it looks so 2000.. Let me also say I dont know how much big will be a jump to the phpbb, but I do know for sure that the jump to something like this http://www.invisionpower.com/apps/board/ (but unfortunately it is proprietary) is definitely a huge step.
Anyway phpbb is used by debian, kde, gentoo, joomla, openoffice, sky, virtualbox and many others.
But there are many other possibilities, I will edit the first post to list them all


Sven Gothel wrote
All good, and thx for your thoughts.

We discussed this month ago, i.e. hosting a forum/mailinglist
on jogamp.org directly.

And yes, we go stuck in importing it.

Mark Raynsford did some digging already, i.e. patching the nabble DB,
which we put in hold due to resources.

I invite Mark to rejoin this discussion.

For me personally, I only use this forum via its mailinglist feature,
i.e. I only see and reply posts as email - yes, me an old dog :)

So for me: whatever flies with importing nabble emails,
but I want my plain old mailinglist/email 'frontend'.

Cheers, Sven




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I found this regarding import from nabble 2 to phpbb3

http://support.nabble.com/Can-I-export-Nabble-2-to-phpbb-3-td2283361.html

Anyway I guess all the software forum cited so far have the mainlist feature :D

Ps: another lack of nabble, eliminating all the empty lines I inserted to make my wall of text more readable..

Anyway, how is now the situation, where is hosted the forum? You guys are paying anything for the maintenance or is it completely free?
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Re: Forum improvement

gouessej
Administrator
elect wrote
but you also have to look how the world is. Practical example, when I was a newbie (ok I am still  a little) first had to choose between jogl and ***** I looked at the websites, their was better organised and the forum looked also better. You know which was one of the main reason I choose jogl? Because google showed me among the first results, so I though larger community, bigger documentation, easier to find help and resolve problems. But I didnt know the difference between the two, since I was completely newbie and I think I couldnt even understand them deeply if anyone would have told them to me, since I didnt have the background to get them. But today I learnt a lot, I know many more things and if I would go back I will choose jogl again. But at that time the choise was based on not-so-important things.
Some developers who chose one of our competitors ended up switching to JOGL when they learned that the third version of the library you talk about drops AWT support, when they got a lot of troubles with its second version or for another reason. Moreover, I don't think that its website is noticeably better organized than ours because you can easily find the download section on both (2 clicks to download our archive, at least 3 to get its archive), the Java documentation, the forum, the IRC channel and the wiki. Actually, we waste a lot less space as we don't show useless news on the homepage. In my humble opinion, the newbies can make the "wrong" choice at the beginning, it isn't the end of the world. JGO has a lot larger audience than our forum, it won't change any time soon and its moderators are against us. Getting a better forum shouldn't be done to attract more newbies.

elect wrote
Think about the community support, mainly forum and stackoverflow. If you and Sven werent there, how would it be? What will happen when you and Sven and maybe the other (few) important users wont be anymore there to help us for any reason the life can bring?
I think strongly the appearence it is important, not only for usability reasons, but also for attraction because maybe 2 of 10 new users you attract, maybe those 2 will grow, technically I mean, and then in the future they will make the community bigger, more solid and will keep forward the project.
I almost always advise StackOverflow users to post rather here so that Sven can give them some good advises too. I have no plan to die yet, I have been in the JOGL boat since 2006 and I am almost sure I'll be there (if alive) in 2026 but I see what you mean. Depending on a very few people is neither healthy nor safe for a project. However, we prevent nobody from contributing.

I still think improving the appearance should be done for better reasons because those newbies who would technically grow could still discover JOGL later. Keep in mind that despite its limitations, WebGL is attracting a lot of developers. Don't expect our community to become a lot larger than now.

elect wrote
Let me put this way, it looks so 2000.. Let me also say I dont know how much big will be a jump to the phpbb, but I do know for sure that the jump to something like this http://www.invisionpower.com/apps/board/ (but unfortunately it is proprietary) is definitely a huge step.
Anyway phpbb is used by debian, kde, gentoo, joomla, openoffice, sky, virtualbox and many others.
But there are many other possibilities, I will edit the first post to list them all
I already said that I have nothing against phpBB which is under GPL

elect wrote
I found this regarding import from nabble 2 to phpbb3

http://support.nabble.com/Can-I-export-Nabble-2-to-phpbb-3-td2283361.html

Anyway I guess all the software forum cited so far have the mainlist feature :D
We aren't sure that such a migration wouldn't break the permanent links.

As far as I know, phpBB supports the mailing lists.

elect wrote
Anyway, how is now the situation, where is hosted the forum? You guys are paying anything for the maintenance or is it completely free?
I don't know, I'm not responsible for that.
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Re: Forum improvement

io7m
In reply to this post by elect
While I'm currently indifferent as to whether or not the project needs a new forum... An attempt was actually made last year due to Nabble falling over under heavy load.

Basically, the requirements of anything we host ourselves are:

* Security - The project's source code lives on that server. We have mirrors in lots of places, but any compromise would likely still be bad news.
* Support for posting over mail. Sven uses the forum as a mailing list, as he said.
* Importing data into the new system in a manner that preserves URIs. Put anything into a search engine about JOGL and you'll get hundreds of results linking to specific forum posts. That's something we don't want to mess with!

phpbb has an attrocious security history (as do the majority of PHP projects). They claim to have improved things, but I'm skeptical that systemic problems like that can ever be fixed. They claim to be able to import data from Nabble, but I don't see any claim that URIs will be preserved.

We tried punbb.org (http://punbb.org), because although it was still PHP, it was a lot smaller and had a better security history than any of the others. It was a bit too minimal though: It didn't have any support for mail or importing data from Nabble.

We then tried SMF (http://simplemachines.org). Their security history at the time was "better than phpbb", but I don't know any more than that. They did have a mailing list plugin to allow posting via mail, and it gave every appearance of working. When it came to Nabble, however...

http://jogamp.org/log/irc/jogamp_20130701050539.html#l80

So it kind of stalled there.

If there was an option that satisfied the first two requirements, I'd not personally be opposed to putting the Nabble forum in a read-only state and starting a new forum on a different subdomain (if it's even possible to do this with Nabble). This would preserve the old links but direct all new posts to the new forum.

Like I said, though, I'm indifferent. If people are picking software projects based on the software used to drive the project forum, then we probably don't need them!
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Re: Forum improvement

gouessej
Administrator
io7m wrote
If people are picking software projects based on the software used to drive the project forum, then we probably don't need them!
It's exactly what I meant but it's crystal clear with your words.
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Re: Forum improvement

Sven Gothel
Administrator
In reply to this post by io7m
On 10/15/2014 05:17 PM, io7m [via jogamp] wrote:

> While I'm currently indifferent as to whether or not the project needs a new
> forum... An attempt was actually made last year due to Nabble falling over
> under heavy load.
>
> Basically, the requirements of anything we host ourselves are:
>
> * Security - The project's source code lives on that server. We have mirrors
> in lots of places, but any compromise would likely still be bad news.
> * Support for posting over mail. Sven uses the forum as a mailing list, as he
> said.
> * Importing data into the new system in a manner that preserves URIs. Put
> anything into a search engine about JOGL and you'll get hundreds of results
> linking to specific forum posts. That's something we don't want to mess with!
>
> phpbb has an attrocious security history (as do the majority of PHP projects).
> They claim to have improved things, but I'm skeptical that systemic problems
> like that can ever be fixed. They claim to be able to import data from Nabble,
> but I don't see any claim that URIs will be preserved.
>
> We tried punbb.org (http://punbb.org), because although it was still PHP, it
> was a lot smaller and had a better security history than any of the others. It
> was a bit too minimal though: It didn't have any support for mail or importing
> data from Nabble.
>
> We then tried SMF (http://simplemachines.org). Their security history at the
> time was "better than phpbb", but I don't know any more than that. They did
> have a mailing list plugin to allow posting via mail, and it gave every
> appearance of working. When it came to Nabble, however...
>
> http://jogamp.org/log/irc/jogamp_20130701050539.html#l80
>
> So it kind of stalled there.
>
> If there was an option that satisfied the first two requirements, I'd not
> personally be opposed to putting the Nabble forum in a read-only state and
> starting a new forum on a different subdomain (if it's even possible to do
> this with Nabble). This would preserve the old links but direct all new posts
> to the new forum.
>
> Like I said, though, I'm indifferent. If people are picking software projects
> based on the software used to drive the project forum, then we probably don't
> need them!
@Mark: Thank you for summarizing this task, I agree in all points of course.

@Elect: Maybe you can test importing the nabble DB into simplemachines.org,
        ensuring preserved URIs.
        If you need the DB dump, pls send me a private email
        and I will give you an URI for it.
        Mark already once tested importing as you can read in the IRC log.

~Sven



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Re: Forum improvement

io7m
Hm! I don't remember an import actually taking place and working.

I remember looking at the Nabble dump and thinking "this is going to be a shitload of work". I certainly don't remember it being able to preserve URIs... I'm not sure where you saw this.
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Re: Forum improvement

Sven Gothel
Administrator
On 10/15/2014 11:28 PM, io7m [via jogamp] wrote:
> Hm! I don't remember an import actually taking place and working.
>
> I remember looking at the Nabble dump and thinking "this is going to be a
> shitload of work".

Yup, just meant you started looking at the DB dump :)

> I certainly don't remember it being able to preserve
> URIs... I'm not sure where you saw this.

Right, and orthogonal .. sort of.

I.e. may also need the tool to be configured for custom exposed URIs.

~Sven



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Re: Forum improvement

elect
In reply to this post by Sven Gothel
Sven Gothel wrote
@Mark: Thank you for summarizing this task, I agree in all points of course.

@Elect: Maybe you can test importing the nabble DB into simplemachines.org,
        ensuring preserved URIs.
        If you need the DB dump, pls send me a private email
        and I will give you an URI for it.
        Mark already once tested importing as you can read in the IRC log.

~Sven
Ok, I need to know first how is the current situation, where is hosted now the the forum? How much does it cost?
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Re: Forum improvement

Sven Gothel
Administrator
In reply to this post by io7m
Added Bug 1095
  <https://jogamp.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=1095>

quoting Mark's email and "Zuzub"'s idea for continuation.

~Sven


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Re: Forum improvement

Sven Gothel
Administrator
In reply to this post by elect
On 10/16/2014 08:16 AM, elect [via jogamp] wrote:

>     Sven Gothel wrote
>     @Mark: Thank you for summarizing this task, I agree in all points of course.
>
>     @Elect: Maybe you can test importing the nabble DB into simplemachines.org,
>             ensuring preserved URIs.
>             If you need the DB dump, pls send me a private email
>             and I will give you an URI for it.
>             Mark already once tested importing as you can read in the IRC log.
>
>     ~Sven
>
> Ok, I need to know first how is the current situation,

> where is hosted now the the forum?

our forum is currently hosted at Nabble

> How much does it cost?

- Nabble services: zero, but they earn money w/ advertisement.

- For us in general:

Quite a lot, actually:
  - we need to trust them dealing with our valuable forum communication
  - allow them to track posts, identities and earning money via ads

If we switch, our costs will be:
  - maintenance of another service (long term)
  - establish forum/mailinglist solution (one time)

I added you as well to
  <https://jogamp.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=1095>

I personally would prefer Mark driving the task for now,
while we assist.

If it is not possible to migrate the old DB in a reasonable time,
we may simply add references and host the new forum on a new subdomain,
as Mark suggested.

Cheers, Sven



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Re: Forum improvement

elect
And the website where is hosted?

Which are the current stats of the forum? Total users, average users online, max users online, number of threads and post, etc...?

Can you estimate the advertisment earning?
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Re: Forum improvement

Sven Gothel
Administrator
On 10/16/2014 11:37 AM, elect [via jogamp] wrote:
> And the website where is hosted?

'the website', you probably mean jogamp.org ?

jogamp.org runs on a dedicated server from an ISP,
which 'Göthel Software e.K' pays for.

If you like to learn how this server is configured,
you may have a look at:

<http://jogamp.org/git/?p=jogamp-scripting.git;a=tree;f=server/setup;h=160225ff4447f756e50cfccb31245b70a588127c;hb=HEAD>

~Sven



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Re: Forum improvement

elect
Sven Gothel wrote
On 10/16/2014 11:37 AM, elect [via jogamp] wrote:
> And the website where is hosted?

'the website', you probably mean jogamp.org ?

jogamp.org runs on a dedicated server from an ISP,
which 'Göthel Software e.K' pays for.

If you like to learn how this server is configured,
you may have a look at:

<http://jogamp.org/git/?p=jogamp-scripting.git;a=tree;f=server/setup;h=160225ff4447f756e50cfccb31245b70a588127c;hb=HEAD>

~Sven
Given the current forum stats and the reserved bandwidth, may it host also the forum?
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Re: Forum improvement

Sven Gothel
Administrator
On 10/16/2014 11:47 AM, elect [via jogamp] wrote:

>     Sven Gothel wrote
>     On 10/16/2014 11:37 AM, elect [via jogamp] wrote:
>     > And the website where is hosted?
>
>     'the website', you probably mean jogamp.org ?
>
>     jogamp.org runs on a dedicated server from an ISP,
>     which 'Göthel Software e.K' pays for.
>
>     If you like to learn how this server is configured,
>     you may have a look at:
>
>     <http://jogamp.org/git/?p=jogamp-scripting.git;a=tree;f=server/setup;h=160225ff4447f756e50cfccb31245b70a588127c;hb=HEAD>
>     <http://jogamp.org/git/?p=jogamp-scripting.git;a=tree;f=server/setup;h=160225ff4447f756e50cfccb31245b70a588127c;hb=HEAD%3E>
>
>     ~Sven
>
> Given the current forum stats and the reserved bandwidth, may it host also the
> forum?
>
Stats 2014-10:
  <http://jogamp.org/log/stats/jogamp.org.201410.html>

Hence monthly maximum is currently <= 200 GB,
and our ISP (hetzner.de) allows 200 TB/month
before throttling from 1 Gbit/s -> 10MBit/s.

In case we realize that we require more peak bandwidth
we will simply offload to another server instance.

~Sven



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