Possible new JSF Forum software coming…
The software used to run the JSF Forums (vBulletin) has been in use since the forum opened back in early 2004. While the forum software has been upgraded numerous times over the years, I have elected to remain on an older major version of the software. The reason I’ve not moved the forums to vBulletin’s newest release is because, frankly, I don’t care for it. vBulletin is not the same company it was back in 2004, and the new team has taken the product in a direction that I, along with many other forum owners, are not wild about.
So, while the currently running forum software has served JSF well over the years, it’s lacking many modern features and a lot of important functionality. Mobile support is a big one.
While the JSF Forms has excellent mobile support using the Tapatalk app, it really needs native mobile support using Responsive Web Design.
Over the past week I’ve been looking at different software options, and I’ve found a couple of strong candidates.
Regardless of which software I wind up going with, the transition will not be easy and it will not be perfect. The JSF Forums are more than 12 years old. We have more than 30,000 members and close to 1,000,000 posts. Not only that, there are dozens of customizations and modifications that affect literally hundreds of thousands of posts, all user profiles and other areas of the forums. Most of these things will not transfer easily, if at all.
In addition to the conversion process, of course the new software will be different than what you’re used to. While the software will be easy to learn and use (that’s a prerequisite), I can tell you from past experience that a certain number of people don’t like change. Any change.
So, yeah, it’s a big decision and it won’t be easy for any of us. There will be downtime during the migration (several days is likely), and when we return things will not be perfect. Once the dust settles, though, perhaps this will breathe some new life into the forums. Maybe it’s just what we need.
I’ve got a test installation of one of the software candidates running right now, and I’ve even migrated all the current JSF Forums data over successfully (forums/users/attachments/threads/posts/etc). While the data came through the conversion process quite well, there are quite a few problems that need to be solved–some of them daunting.
I’ll keep you all posted, of course.