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Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted

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Old   November 29, 2008, 07:14
Default Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #1
Jonas Larsson
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Moderators of the discussion forums on CFD Online have been discussing to perhaps switch to a different forum software. The reasons to switch are:

1. We need a forum that requires registration and has some form of validation test in order to better prevent spam. Today moderators spend at least an hour every day to delete and block spam from the forums.

2. Other forum softwares have features like equation rendering using LaTeX, ability to attach pictures and files with posts etc. This would be nice to have.

Peter, one of the forum moderators, has suggested that we switch to vBulletin. A vBulletin forum looks quite different from our current forum though. For examples of how a vBulletin forum looks you can take a look at:

http://www.physicsforums.com/

or

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/

As you can see these forums are quite different from the simple threaded forums we have today.

What do you think about switching to a vBulletin based forum on CFD Online?

If we decide to switch to vBulletin we should also have a discussion about what forums to create and how to best structure the different new forums, but lets wait with that discussion until we have decided to switch.

I don't want to enforce this switch without a clear majority of forum readers being positive. Switching forum software will create the following problems: Registration will be required to post and we will loose the simple threaded layout, which I know many users, me included, like. The benefits are many: Better spam control possibilities and many other nice features that our current forum lacks.

Give us your opinions!

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Old   November 29, 2008, 07:53
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #2
no-name-for-today
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For me the best forums (those i visit regularly are)

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1000

http://www.dpchallenge.com/forum.php

(sorry they are all photography related, I spend too much time there).

The best part of dpr forum is its view and the ease with i can browse it.

dpc forums are easy to read and the best part is ability to edit the message whenever i wish.

I am all for registration and i think its a good idea if it can stop spam.

vbulletin type forum is also okey if it is easer to implement, as i understand suddenly changing face of cfd-online won't be so easy.

thanks for your efforts jonas.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 08:26
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #3
vadim
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i support the idea!

i do not work with vbulletin, but i was moderators of forums based on Discuz! 6.0.0 also Discuz! 6.1.0 for a year, its very nice and i suggest for you.

you can visit our forums here:

http://www.abcdfree.com/

http://passfans.com/forum/index.php

only issue i faced was infection by a hacker only once, which is solved very soon and we did not miss any data.

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Old   November 29, 2008, 09:55
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #4
Fabio
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I think that LaTeX feature si a must to have. I have visited the forum above and i think vBulletin is better
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Old   November 29, 2008, 10:10
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #5
Jonas Larsson
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I agree that the dpreview forum looks very nice. I'm not sure which software they are using and if it is available for others.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 10:14
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #6
no-name-for-today
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i have no idea what dpr is using for forum, but a small email to the owner (phil) might help. He usually replies in forums too, so might be able to at least tell what they are doing.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 10:17
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #7
Jonas Larsson
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I agree, the LaTeX functionality would really improve the forum. For an example of how a LaTeX enabled forum message could look see for example http://www.recom.org/forum/showpost....04&postcount=3
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Old   November 29, 2008, 12:10
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #8
Balduin Bankerotti
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I don't like the idea of a forum with registration at all. Some discussions are only possible anonymous.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 12:11
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted-----
  #9
CycLone
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Hi Jonas,

I think updating the forum software is a great idea. The ability to add pictures, attach files, etc would make it much easier to communicate issues, though I imagine some restrictions would apply, such as a maximum file size. How do you intend to manage this? Also, if it is possible to differentiate between professional and academic members, would you choose to do so?

LaTeX is a lost art for many, so introducing it to the forum would not only make it easier to post equations, but also introduce many forum users to a very useful tool for writing equations.

As for forum sections, I don't recommend creating too many, such as sections for meshing, post-processing, solvers, etc. as many of these issues are simply too intertwined to separate. For instance, what appears to be a meshing issue may actually be a solver issue, or a problem with geometry, or both.

I would prefer to see forum sections based on the software provider (much as they are now), since this will correspond more closely with the software available to a forum member. On that note, I think it is time to merge the CFX and FLUENT forums into a single ANSYS CFD forum, as there is much that these users have (or will have) in common.

I have used vBulletin forums before and believe it would be up for the job.

CycLone

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Old   November 29, 2008, 12:12
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted-----
  #10
CycLone
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Oh, and any software that will not result in Safari or Firefox randomly inserting [b]"
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Old   November 29, 2008, 12:14
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #11
CycLone
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I agree that anonymity is important, however I think registration just means you need to go through a registration process, not that you need to use your real name. In the examples given there are very few real names being used.

-CycLone (...is not my real name, of course
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Old   November 29, 2008, 12:14
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #12
Jonas Larsson
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Registration doesn't require you to give your real identity.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 15:09
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #13
karsten
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I personally prefer scrolling in a thread over having to click on every single response. Scrolling can be done without the mouse and saving a full thread for reference is easier. Vbulletin seems like an improvement in this respect. It would also be nice to have customized style-sheets depending on the login. Maybe you like to have a dark background or different font because of impaired eye-sight. To read a thread or use the search should always be possible without login. I hope the cfd-online server can handle the extra load if the forum gets more functions like LaTex support, personal messages, file attachments etc.

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Old   November 29, 2008, 15:45
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #14
Harish
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As many people do not prefer registration, an option might be using CAPTCHA. The ubuntuforums ( www.ubuntuforums.org) uses a format of asking simple questions. If we can use either of the two, registration can be avoided and the simple format of the forum can still be retained. It might be a good idea to have a poll on cfd-online page to let uses choose which format they would prefer.

Harish
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Old   November 29, 2008, 15:53
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #15
Peter
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vBulletin allows both a threaded view in which you have to click on each message to read it and a full linear view that displays all messages in a thread.

The server should have no problems to run the forum. CFD Online has plenty of spare resources, both in terms of disk space and processing power.

I will start to install a vBulletin forum now. It will take some time to get it up and running though, so don't expect a switch to happen until 2009.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 16:00
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #16
Peter
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I checked the ubuntu forums and they seem to require registration also. When registering one has to enter some form of validation though to ensure that it is a human being that registers and not a web robot. I think that I prefer the "simple question" type of validation test. Captcha's using obfuscated text are often diffucult to read. Recently new spam tools that can break these captchas have started to emerge also.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 16:42
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #17
zarmak
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the one from physics forum is clearer.
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Old   November 29, 2008, 16:44
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #18
zarmak
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It is better with registration
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Old   November 29, 2008, 19:54
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #19
fluent_user
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I vote for CHANGE !!
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Old   November 30, 2008, 05:23
Default Re: Switching Forum Software, Opinions Wanted
  #20
Hadian
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i do agree with changing to a new forum that prevent spamming.
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