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Albert

Forum Upgrade Today, June 15th! PLEASE READ!

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If you are UNABLE TO LOGIN to the forum after the upgrade, please make sure you login with your DISPLAY NAME.  If you had a login that was different than your visible name on the forum, it will no longer work (these were eliminated).  

 

Also, Facebook and Twitter logins will now work again (as well as Google, which is a new login provider I added). 

 

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Adding this note to the top of my post so hopefully more people see it:

 

Content for Posts, Blogs, and Gallery is currently being rebuilt in the background.  Until these tasks complete, there will be missing images, quote boxes, attachments, and other post elements/formatting.  These will all be fixed over the course of the next several days as these tasks run and rebuild everything.  There's not much I can do to speed this up, unfortunately, but everything should be good by the end of the week at the latest.

 

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I am going to be taking the forum offline later today to upgrade the forum to a significantly new version. It's been years since the forum received a significant update, and this new version of the forum was written from the ground up compared to what we were running. This means there are quite a few changes, including many nice improvements over the current forum. 

When this process begins, the forum will be offline briefly so I can copy the database and forum files to another server.  I will then put the forum back online, but it will be in read-only mode (no posts allowed), with exception of this one forum.  Once the upgrade is complete, I will put the new forum online, which will also correspond with moving AtariAge to a brand new server.  After the forum is brought back online, there will still be background tasks that have to run for upwards of a week to finish the conversion of all the old data.  This means that for the next several days you'll see some issues with posts, blogs, and gallery content, and the forum may be running a tad slowly while these tasks complete. Also, the search system will be offline until after these tasks have finished.  It's a pain, but there's no getting around that, unfortunately. 

Second, because there are so many changes, please do not be discouraged if something behaves differently than you are used to. If you see something that's obviously broken, please report it to me directly, post about it in this thread, or start a new one in the Site and Feedback Forum. I will be glad to help with any issues that arise, and I will continue to tweak the forum to fix any issues and make any improvements as feedback comes in. I've been running another forum using this same software, and I've been excited to finally get AtariAge switched over to it!

Next, I'd like to make a list of some of the major (and some minor) changes and features that have arrived with this upgrade.

  • There is no longer a separate Mobile skin. Instead, all skins are now "responsive" and will display properly on phones and tablets. This means you have the full functionality and style of the forum regardless of what device you are using.
  • HTTPS - You can now browse the forums securely full-time using HTTPS, and this is true for all of AtariAge, not just the forums. Additionally, you can enable two-factor authentication using Google Authenticator.
  • Clubs - Brand new is a feature titled "Clubs", which allow users to create and manage their own communities, fully integrated with the forum. Club leaders can add new sections to their club, like forums, galleries, calendars and more. Think of Clubs as mini-forums that can encompass topics outside of classic gaming. It'll be quite interesting to watch clubs develop over time!
  • Downloads - We've added a Downloads section to the forum. Primarily we intend to use this to allow homebrew authors to post binaries (ROMs) for their games either during development, when a game is completed, or both. Game binaries are organized by system (2600, 5200, 7800, etc.), and broken down by Homebrews, Hacks, Demos, and In Development, depending on the system. The Downloads section supports multiple versions of files, including a change log for each version, which is very helpful for games that are in development. Screenshots and other images can be attached to downloads, as well as a thorough description. It will be easy to find files from the same author, "complete" versus "work in progress" binaries, titles that use specific controllers, you can filter by NTSC or PAL files, and so forth. As people begin to use this resource, I expect it will evolve over time to become even more useful.
  • Activity Streams - This is a powerful new feature of the forum that lets you easily customize how you discover new content on the forum. It may seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you play around with it for a bit you'll find it quite useful. After customizing an activity stream, you can save and name it appropriately so you can easily call it up again in the future.
  • Brand new editor - The forum now uses the commercial CKEditor for posting and editing comments on the forum. This is a Rich Text editor, and there is no longer a simple text-only view. The editor shows content as it will appear when posted -- BBcode has been deprecated, and you don't need to "Preview" posts to make sure they look correct. However, you may still do so and can even preview how your post will appear on phones and tablets.
  • Emoji - Yes, Emoji have arrived on the forum, so you can now use the same emoji you're become accustomed to on mobile devices and tablets.
  • GIFs - The post editor now has built-in support for animated GIFs via GIPHY. You can search from many thousands of animated GIFs and easily insert them into your posts.
  • Adding attachments - It is much easier to add attachments to posts, private messages, and elsewhere. While in the editor, simply drag and drop images or other files from your computer directly into the editor window and they will be placed where you drag them. You can also copy/paste files directly into the editor.
  • Easier quoting - In addition to quoting an entire post as you could previously, now you can simply highlight text with your mouse and then click the "Quote Selection" popup to add that quoted text to your reply.
  • Reactions - Instead of simply "Liking" a post, you can now choose from five different reactions (Like, Thanks, Haha, Confused, and Sad). We can customize these down the road if need be based on feedback.
  • You can now tag someone in a post by prefixing their username with "@". For instance, if you want to tag me, you'd type "@Albert" and then choose my username from the popup that appears. This will cause my username to be highlighted in blue and I'll receive a notification that I was tagged in a post (or elsewhere).

That's all for now, and the above is not a comprehensive list by any stretch of the imagination. But it covers some of the bigger changes, and I'm sure you'll discover more on your own.

If you're an active user of the forum, please consider purchasing a subscription. It's very time consuming to keep AtariAge online, and it's also expensive as AtariAge is run on two dedicated servers--one serving the web pages and another devoted to the databases. On top of that we have a third server used for development, on which we also provide free hosting for several classic gaming-related sites. These dedicated servers run over $600 a month, and there are also various software-related expenses involved as well (such as the forum license, which is over $200 a year). We do not presently have ads on AtariAge, but it is something I've considered doing to help offset the costs and time involved. I'd prefer not to go that route, though!
 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.  I will post updates in this thread as I progress through the upgrade, as well as on our Twitter account, Facebook page and Facebook group

 

 ..Al

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Greetings and welcome to the updated forum software as well as a brand new server!  For the next week or so there will still be some rough edges, so please bear with me as I work to get them resolved.  

 

In particular: 

  • Post content is being rebuilt in the background.  Until that's finished, posts will be missing images, quote boxes, videos, and other embedded content. This is probably the most annoying thing, but I can't do anything about that except let those tasks churn behind the scenes..  There are over four million posts that have to be rebuilt!
  • The search engine will be offline until all the post content is rebuilt. 
  • The Downloads module is not yet active as it requires a fair bit of configuration.  I will be working on getting that online over the next week as well.  Should be a great resource for homebrew authors and fans!
  • The Twitter and Facebook logins may not work yet--I haven't tested them.  Will likely require me to do some configuration beyond what was setup in the old forum software. 
  • Two factor authentication will be enabled soon, for those who want to use it. 
  • The "indefinite editing" feature I programmed for the old software is not yet implemented on this software.  That's going to take a bit longer for me to get working, as it requires I learn the rather complex frameworks and API of this new software.  It's a high-priority task, though, and I'll get it working as quickly as I can.  Until then, if you need me to edit a post for you, please let me know and I can make the changes directly (PM me!) 
  • The AtariAge theme is still being worked on, although at this point any changes should be minor.  Some I can do myself easily enough, more advanced changes I'll leave to the professional skin designer.  
  • The store is currently offline as it also has to be upgraded (and it's quite brokekn at the moment).  I should have that back online Sunday. 
  • I am investigating adding Discord integration. 

Please comment in this thread if you have any questions or you see things that are obviously broken.  I have a list, and I'll be working from that.  

 

 ..Al

 

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Looks like the status updates have a very short limit. Here's an example:

Quote

It costs $7,200 a year to keep this server going.  Maybe some of you should start becoming...

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thanks for all the hard work today, Albert

 

You deserve a break

 

When will the dark theme be available?  I can't seem to find a setting for using/activating it

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1 minute ago, Random Terrain said:

Looks like the status updates have a very short limit. 

That should be easy to fix, I'll add it to the pile. :D

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4 minutes ago, fdr4prez said:

When will the dark theme be available?  I can't seem to find a setting for using/activating it

You can get to it by clicking the "Theme" link at the bottom-left corner of the page: 

 

image.png

 

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Just now, fdr4prez said:

Thanks, I see where it was hiding...right in plain site :rolling:

Great, glad that's all it was!!  😀

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16 minutes ago, Random Terrain said:

Looks like the status updates have a very short limit. Here's an example:

I'm not seeing how to post a status update now  🥺     <--- found the emojis though.

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3 minutes ago, malrak said:

I'm not seeing how to post a status update now

You can type one right at the top of the "Recent Status Updates" window on the front page

 

image.png

 

Additionally, you can click on the "Create" menu at the very top-right of the page and then select "Status". 

 

image.png

 

 ..Al

 

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29 minutes ago, Random Terrain said:

Looks like the status updates have a very short limit.

They were being truncated to three lines.  I've increased this to five lines, which should cover most status updates.  Anything longer should probably be a post.  :D But you can click on the username or timestamp to see the whole thing (it'll jump into the user's profile). 

 

..Al

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For those who want to know, links now work in status update replies. I went to reply to Albert's reply in my status update, but couldn't. After disabling Adblock Plus on AtariAge and refreshing the page, I was able to reply. (I'm using Google Chrome.)

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6 minutes ago, Random Terrain said:

Duh! I didn't scroll down far enough.

Heh, I was just about to say that. Also, I've made it so you can change all of these -- the defaults for some reason wouldn't allow you to edit some of them. 

 

 ..Al

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57 minutes ago, Albert said:

You can type one right at the top of the "Recent Status Updates" window on the front page

 

image.png

 

Additionally, you can click on the "Create" menu at the very top-right of the page and then select "Status". 

 

image.png

 

 ..Al

 

Not seeing any of that, sadly.    Just "topic" and "gallery" under "create, and no "what's on your mind" under recent status updates.

 

 

 

image.png.eaded74d9723fc4fc7a1a8a720bcbc15.png

 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, 0078265317 said:

I liked the old look better.

This will be tweaked a bit, there are some things I still don't like about it.  It's a more...thorough theme than the one on AtariAge, which was closer to the default Invision theme than this theme is.  I'm happy to listen to specific things you don't like and/or feel could be improved. 

 

 ..Al

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Just now, malrak said:

Not seeing any of that, sadly.    Just "topic" and "gallery" under "create, and no "what's on your mind" under recent status updates.

Thanks, I'll look at that right now, these are surely just permission settings with strange defaults. 

 

 ..Al

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This is very nice!

I didn't expect this but I appreciate the change, mobile browsing was pretty ugly but it's a lot better now :)

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Just now, VinsCool said:

I didn't expect this but I appreciate the change, mobile browsing was pretty ugly but it's a lot better now :)

Yes, the old mobile skin was pretty terrible!

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I feel the older version for (PC) was more refined however that's probably because we are creatures of habit. Im sure ill get used to it, it's just an adjustment to the new interface i guess

Edited by TwentySixHundred
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I like a lot of the changes, but I am seeing older messages where the pictures posted are gone.

 

I might need to get with you to recover (and edit) the ten years of messages on the Bubsy Bobcat Fan Blog to re-add the pictures and attachments.

 

Thanks in advance.

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