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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

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phpbbadmin
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As stated in the news article on the front page, on Monday July 31st and continuing through to August 1st, the BGDF will be transitioning to the new site and software.

In this thread I hope to provide you the members of this community the information you need to make the transition as smooth as possible. If you have a question, please reply and I will answer it to the best of my ability and then add it to this post.

1. What exactly is changing?
We are migrating not only to a new ISP with better bandwidth and storage capabilities, but we are also moving to a new content management software (CMS) called Tiki Wiki . Basically this is a CMS centered around a tightly integrated Wiki.

2. I like current site. Why are we changing?
One of the problems we have with our current CMS is that it is centered around discussion forums. While the forums have served as well for these past three years, we have a lot of repetitive content because as new members come on board, they oftentimes will ask the same questions. With a wiki, we have the ability to effectively structure these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) into an organized manner, thereby cutting down on the time it takes to answer those questions. We can also add other structured content which will effectively turn the BGDF into a constantly evolving and up to date online encyclopedia of game design!

3. Will I need to sign up again on the new site?
No. Zzzzz already has a script in place that will transfer all existing active members’ usernames and passwords to the new site.

4. How long will the site be down?
The current site will go down at approximately 9 PM Eastern time on July 30th. At that time we will transfer the BGDF.com domain name and begin the process of migrating the users to the new site. The domain name may take 24 to 48 hours to transfer, but we will be providing a link to the new site on the current site as soon as the new site is ready. If you have a book mark to the BGDF that points to anything other than bgdf.com (for example, straight to the forums) then it will no longer work. Please book mark directly to bgdf.com until you get used to the new site.

5. Great! So the new site will be basically like the current site with a wiki bolted on, right?
Well, not exactly. While we have tried to make the new site ‘look’ as much like the old site as much as possible, it is quite different. Given that it is a completely different software package, there will be a learning curve while you try to figure out how things work.

6. That’s fine. As long as all of the forum content gets ported over and we stick with using PHPBB as our forum software, right?
Well…. These two issues are intertwined. We tried to see about getting a port of PHPBB for Tiki Wiki and importing the forum posts, but unfortunately such a port does not exist and would be too time consuming for us to try to write ‘in house’. For that reason, we are starting off with a clean slate using the built in Tiki forums. One thing that you will notice is that the Tiki forums are not quite as elegant and user friendly as the PHPBB forums. We feel that as we make improvements to these forums, and as you the members get used to using them, then this difference in quality will be negligible.

7. Wait. Back up. Three years of forum posts…Gone?
Sort of. We will be installing a copy of PHPBB on the new server which will serve as an archive of sorts temporarily. This archive will be ‘read only’ meaning you won’t be able to make any new posts. We will then be implementing a quick and dirty search engine that will allow you to search the archives from within the new site. The whole purpose of these archives will be to allow you, the members of BGDF, to search through the mountain of posts and compile them into meaningful topics that can then be inserted into the wiki. After some time, this forum archive will be removed but not before it has been picked over thoroughly.

8. So what else is different?
Basically everything will be somewhat different. Rest assured that we will be constantly striving to make improvements to the site. We all love the current site, but we feel it’s time to move on in order to raise the overall quality of the community. One of the neatest features of the new site is the ability for every member to set up and maintain their own wiki user page. These pages can hold any sort of information the member wants to share with the community. Most folks like to keep a list of their current game designs, but as said, you can really put whatever you want on it.

9. What about the messages and the journals?
Yes messages *and* journals will be lost. However, we can provide a link to the current site for approximately one month so you can move your current journals over to the Tiki Wiki blogs. Basically you'll have one month to get all of your non forum 'stuff'.

That should answer a lot of the questions you might have. Again, if you have a question, please reply to this thread and I will add it to this list.

Thanks!
-Darke

P.S. If you see Zzzzz online, please thank him. Without his help this upgrade would not have been possible. He has really shouldered most of the load for this endeavor and he needs to be thanked often for his hard work.

seo
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

What about the messages and the journals?

I assume the messages will be lost, so we better backup any messages we want to keep.

I haven't really used my journal so far, but some people has, do they need to backup theyr journals and post them again in the new site? Some of the journals are really interesting, and it woud be a shame if they get lost.

Seo

ensor
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Thanks for all the hard work, Darkehorse and Zzzzz getting the wiki set up, I've been looking forward to it for some time and am glad things will be moving soon!

Pt314
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Will the downloads also be carried over?

phpbbadmin
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

seo wrote:
What about the messages and the journals?
I assume the messages will be lost, so we better backup any messages we want to keep.

I haven't really used my journal so far, but some people has, do they need to backup theyr journals and post them again in the new site? Some of the journals are really interesting, and it woud be a shame if they get lost.

Seo

Good questions. Yes messages *and* journals will be lost. However, we can provide a link to the current site for approximately one month so you can move your current journals over to the Tiki Wiki blogs. Basically you'll have one month to get all of your non forum 'stuff'.

-Darke

DSfan
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

[lame attempt at being funny] Alas ye current forums, I knew thee well!

I do love moving though, anyone want to pack my bags? ;) Oh and is there going to be a jello mold waiting for us at the new site? :D [/lame attempt at being funny]

Just kidding. Thanks for all your hard work guys!

Justin

IngredientX
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Oh my! That's quite a change. I know that Darke has been looking to it for years.

I'm looking forward to the new site, but I worry that a lot of people will be scared off or frustrated by the new site's tabula rasa state.

I posted more frequently on the site a few years ago. Nowadays, my job takes up more of my time. I hope I'll be able to contribute somehow...

Nando
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Re: IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / softw

Darkehorse wrote:
Without [Zzzzz's] help this upgrade would not have been impossible.
;) Thanks anyway, Zzzzz!

phpbbadmin
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Re: IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / softw

Nando wrote:
Darkehorse wrote:
Without [Zzzzz's] help this upgrade would not have been impossible.
;) Thanks anyway, Zzzzz!

Even funnier is that I actually had it correct and then went back and 'corrected' it to make it as above. Too much on my mind. =]

-Darke

phpbbadmin
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Pt314 wrote:
Will the downloads also be carried over?

The downloads will not be carried over per say. Most of the pertinent downloads will be integrated into wiki pages via links.

-Darke

nosissies
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Zzzzzzzzzzzz.... free pizza for you at the next Albany Playtest!!!

Thanks Darke and Zzzz*, wish I could have have contributed more to the switchover. I'm glad to see it's finally happening.

peace,
Tom

Gogolski
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Thanks again to all who contributed to making the new site possible! I allready had the chance to actually see the new site, and while at first it looked a bit intimidating, it's easy enough to get used to quickly.

Darkehorse wrote:
7. Wait. Back up. Three years of forum posts…Gone?
Sort of. We will be installing a copy of PHPBB on the new server which will serve as an archive of sorts temporarily. This archive will be ‘read only’ meaning you won’t be able to make any new posts. We will then be implementing a quick and dirty search engine that will allow you to search the archives from within the new site. The whole purpose of these archives will be to allow you, the members of BGDF, to search through the mountain of posts and compile them into meaningful topics that can then be inserted into the wiki. After some time, this forum archive will be removed but not before it has been picked over thoroughly.

I realy hope I can contribute somewhat to preserve some of the information contained within the current forums... (And I hope others feel the same.)

Cheese!

Zomulgustar
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

I don't suppose anyone knows of a simple way to back up the private messages en masse?

Gogolski
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I suppose copy/paste them into text-files of some sort will be the only possible thing to do...

Cheese!

Rick-Holzgrafe
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You mean... I'm going to lose my... *gasp* twelve-sided die?!

Okay, I'm joking too. I've been looking forward to this move for some time. Bravo, Darke and Zzzzzz! Thanks once again for all the effort you put into BGDF.

Now I've got to start getting back into game design myself. Maybe the new site will inspire me.

larienna
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Cool, I think I'll have a lot of fun posting wiki articles since I love teaching and writting. I just need free time (^_^)

By speaking of wiki, I know that most wiki give the possibility to all users to do anything they want. Which allows outsiders to delete stuff, post porn links, etc. So I was wondering if there would be some sort of security and control over the content of the website.

For example, does a member keeps the ownership of their articles on the wiki to make sure nobody else delete their stuff.

The other thing I wanted to know is if the new website will be more flexible to easily integrate new features. In other threads, we talked about different other stuff like: a banner network, a small news posting, a dead game revival system, etc. Can we easily integrate these additional feature if we want or adding significant new features will still mean migrating the website again.

And finally, does posting wiki articles will increase the user ranking? You know, all solutions are good to get my D20 back (^_^).

Thanks Again for the good work.

phpbbadmin
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Larienna wrote:
Cool, I think I'll have a lot of fun posting wiki articles since I love teaching and writting. I just need free time (^_^)

By speaking of wiki, I know that most wiki give the possibility to all users to do anything they want. Which allows outsiders to delete stuff, post porn links, etc. So I was wondering if there would be some sort of security and control over the content of the website.

For example, does a member keeps the ownership of their articles on the wiki to make sure nobody else delete their stuff.

The other thing I wanted to know is if the new website will be more flexible to easily integrate new features. In other threads, we talked about different other stuff like: a banner network, a small news posting, a dead game revival system, etc. Can we easily integrate these additional feature if we want or adding significant new features will still mean migrating the website again.

And finally, does posting wiki articles will increase the user ranking? You know, all solutions are good to get my D20 back (^_^).

Thanks Again for the good work.

You're welcome to everyone.
Regarding security; the way it's supposed to work is this:
All pages are locked and can only be edited by administrators and editors of that page. In reality, the only page a regular 'user' (I prefer to call you folks members, but since I'm speaking technically here I'll use the term user) can edit is their homepage. Suggestions can be made to change existing pages either via comments to the wiki page or preferably, via the forum link to each page. If you'd like to create a page regarding some issue, you only need ask an administrator (or editor, they'll come later) to create the page and make you the editor of said page, and then you're off and running. Additionally tiki wiki has the ability (as with most wikis) to roll back to previous page versions with very little fuss.

As far as flexibility, it is very flexible. It has some of the features you mentioned already (banner and news system for example), and the other things you mentioned could easily be handled either via a wiki page or through the forums.

As far as special rankings (20 sided die, etc), I'm not sure that Tiki even has a system in place for this. I know it does keep track of forum posts, but as far as I know, it doesn't bestow any special icons for these different levels.

Hope this answers some of your questions. You'll obviously figure out more on Tuesday =).
-Darke

DanogNellows
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Quote:
Hope this answers some of your questions. You'll obviously figure out more on Tuesday =).
-Darke

Now I'm not a pessimist by nature but could I suggest
that if there is some kind of hiccup in the transition that
we can be kept up to date?

For instance by posting on boardgamegeek, or some other
popular sites.

I know I check in here a couple times a day and will be jonesing
while it is down.

Looking forward to it.

DN

Kreitler
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Zzzzzz and Darke -- thanks from all of us who love these forums so well.

You've already said that old messages will be lost. Will there be support for messaging on the new site, or will we need to use email for private messaging?

If you've already answered this above, please simply reply with *SMACK*.

Thanks,

K.

phpbbadmin
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

DanogNellows wrote:
Quote:
Hope this answers some of your questions. You'll obviously figure out more on Tuesday =).
-Darke

Now I'm not a pessimist by nature but could I suggest
that if there is some kind of hiccup in the transition that
we can be kept up to date?

For instance by posting on boardgamegeek, or some other
popular sites.

I know I check in here a couple times a day and will be jonesing
while it is down.

Looking forward to it.

DN

Danog,

Sure thing. We can keep you posted of hiccups right at bgdf.com . Even if the software isn't working we can still post a simple news html page to keep you guys posted. No problem at all.

phpbbadmin
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

Kreitler wrote:
Zzzzzz and Darke -- thanks from all of us who love these forums so well.

You've already said that old messages will be lost. Will there be support for messaging on the new site, or will we need to use email for private messaging?

If you've already answered this above, please simply reply with *SMACK*.

Thanks,

K.

Private messaging is supported already on the new site. In the very near future we'll also implement private messaging it such a way that it will be somewhat instant. Think of it as Instant Private Messaging. =)

-Darke

IngredientX
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

"I just wanted to say to you both... good luck. We're all counting on you."

phpbbadmin
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IMPORTANT: News about the transition to new site / software

IngredientX wrote:
"I just wanted to say to you both... good luck. We're all counting on you."

Thanks! We'll need it!
-Darke

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