Forum Q&A — Tricks and Tips

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paranoiarodeo
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Forum Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:00 pm

Welcome aboard, folks. Many of you are wondering exactly what these forums are, why they exist, and how they work. I thought I'd setup a thread where you can ask questions, so our pirate officers can give you some answers. Also, I'd like to invite everyone to post their observations of little improvements they've noticed. Tips and tricks as suggested in the thread title. If you don't mind, I'd like to start with the basics first.

1. These forums are hosted using the same software as Sillysoft. Just newer.

phpBB development began way back in 2000. Sillysoft has been using version 2.0.x since the website was founded ten years ago. phpBB 3.0 was released in December 2007, and has been steadily improved ever since. If you'd like to know more about phpBB, then I suggest reading the wikipedia entry — link — or visiting their webpage and forums: link.

2. Set your time zone and native language preference.

In the upper left corner, you will find a link to the User Control Panel (UCP). You will see several tabs including "Profile," "Private Message," "Friends & Foes," etc. Click on the "Board Settings" tab, and you will see some standard options. The timezones are listed by continent and city name (America/New_York), rather than the old numeric offsets (-0500) that you might be familiar with. Pick the nearest major city. The bad news? Sorry, but the list is very, very long. I'll try and trim that down later. The good news? Daylight savings time adjustments are now automatic! You will not have to change your preferences twice a year like before in the old Sillysoft forums. Also, your preferences will be used to adjust all game results and tournament schedules into your local time. No more guesswork or having to do petty math in your head. Also, you can pick one of many language options, and that will change all of the textual navigation links, button images, and help files.

(Here's a very rough draft example of game results using your timezone preferences: link.)

3. Read the forum FAQ for help and more information.

The upper right corner has a FAQ link that answers many basic questions about using these forums. Again, please set your language preferences, so you can get the most outta those FAQ.

4. Private messages can be accessed by clicking the (X new messages) link next to the UCP link.

Some folks have had troubles finding a quick way to their inbox. Even if you have zero new messages, you can still click that link for direct access. Right there in the upper left corner. I adore the new private messaging options. You'll never wanna go back to doing things the old way ever again. More on those features later.

5. Search speeds are what you'd expect from a server in 2013.

Please compare things here — link — to the native (non-Google) search function in the old forums: link. Be creative! Vary the options. Try searching for one word or several. Either any of those words or require all. Switch back and forth between thread or post view. Expand the results beyond the usual 300 words. Search for a specific user's posts. Suddenly, digging through old Lux history isn't such a hassle, huh? Maybe you'll find yourself going back through old threads more and more often. There's a lot of good stuff to be found when you have time to look.
Last edited by dustin on Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:15 pm

6. If your post is last in a thread, then you can edit without leaving a footnote.

That used to annoy the hell outta me! I got into the habit of deleting and reposting my messages, whenever I had to correct a typo or reword something, just 'cause I didn't wanna see that ugly, annoying "edited X times by" footnote. Poor Lantern would always give me trouble whenever he caught me. Unfortunately, the edited footnote still appears when you work on unread private messages though.

7. If someone adds a new post in a thread while you're typing a reply, then you'll be notified.

Most of us have hit that post button only to discover that someone else snuck a comment in before us. This is a nice little touch that'll keep you from repeating obvious points that someone else has already said, or having to add a second or third post to answer questions you didn't see at first, or change your mind about something 'cause someone else added more information to the discussion.

8. Invisible status option to hide while logged into the forums.

So powerful that not even the mods can see you. Perfect for mafia games! No one will catch you and your henchmen exchanging private messages in the wee hours of the morning. Also good if you're a modest person who doesn't want others to know how often you check the forums for new posts when you should be studying or working instead.

(You know who you are.)

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Kude
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by Kude » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:23 pm

Ok, question. Why are the old threads/sections locked? Will they ever be unlocked?

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:40 pm

Q: Why are the old threads/sections locked? Will they ever be unlocked?

1. I didn't wanna cause a huge amount of confusion by cutting all of the old conversation in half. It'd be a nightmare if someone posted replies over here, and there, or both, and we couldn't remember who was saying what where. I believe it would be best to focus on creating new discussions here. I included the old threads as a "proof of concept" for dustin to see. Also, for history's sake. There's been brutal forum lag at Sillysoft for years. Users have complained. Moderators have complained. Repeatedly. I wanted to show him that it's not impossible, or even difficult, to upgrade. I did this exact same cloning and upgrade last September, and sent him a link to the forums, including root level shell access to my entire server. I suggested that he upgrade before releasing Meowzers, in order to take advantage of any "halo effect" of new customers visiting his website, and considering a purchase of other Sillysoft games. I believe that could have made a difference to his bottom line and the health of our online community. Unfortunately, he never replied to my suggestions, and he's said several times since that he's not interested in upgrading 'cause of the work needed to preserve his existing website tools like map upload forms, and moderator tools like the suspension system, user info checks, etc.

2. It's entirely possible that we could merge the forums back together someday. When I backup'd and cloned the Sillysoft forums, then upgraded the system, we split onto two divergent, but overlapping paths. New posts and threads here and there now share identical ID numbers even though they're different. In case of merging, we could shift new things here ahead by 10k, or however many numbers would be necessary to prevent collision. It'd be kinda complicated, but not really. Just a minor hassle. For now, I'm trying to keep things separate and manageable.

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Andrew23
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by Andrew23 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:15 pm

andrew23 breathes in deep -- loves the new forums smell...

looking forward to new raw smell, too. keep up the good work, para.

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by jesterme » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:43 pm

A question.

I was reviewing some old threads and some new, and I noticed many of the pictures are cut off. Unfortunately, this knocks off some of Lincoln's greatest moments (in Flat Lincoln Project) and also cuts off beautiful pictures of Spam that Symbiosis posted for us. ( http://semiholy.org/forums/viewtopic.ph ... 03#p306593 )

1) Is there a way to make it so those pictures fit?
2) Is there new dimensions we should adhere to when posting pictures in the future?

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:07 pm

Q: What's the story with inline images here?

Good question, jesterme. Thanks for bringing that up. I just went into the CSS files, and made a quick change that will automatically resize images in modern browsers like: Safari 5.1+, Internet Explorer 8+, Chrome 24+, iOS 3.2+, Android 2.1+, etc. There are several modifications available for phpBB3 that will expand compatibility further backwards, but I wanna research all options before choosing one. Also, phpBB3 has built-in file attachment functionality that would let us upload images and documents directly to this server. Maybe you've seen that done in other forums. It's a useful option, and I'll look into turning on those features next week. The forums would automatically create perfectly sized thumbnails of uploaded large images with an option to click through and view the original size. Nifty, huh?

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by Kude » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:09 pm

Q:When I googke sillysoft forums, and click the old link, it takes me to these forums. What could this mean?
Last edited by Kude on Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rhye
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by Rhye » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:11 pm

It could mean the end is nigh. 8)

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:12 pm

Q: When I google for Sillysoft forums, and click the old link, it takes me to these forums. Huh?

dustin has changed his DNS settings so they now automatically forward here instead.

Image

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dustin
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by dustin » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:48 pm

Testing out the options from here...

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by Enokrad » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:20 am

I really do like and support this change,

my only problem is all the old posts being locked.
I understand that there might be some technical issues to overcome to achieve this,
but I do believe that locking the plethora of interesting threads that have been created at sillysoft,
would be a major turnoff not just to all of us that have been part of those conversations but to all the new members who cannot chip in their 5 cents.

Examples would be the introduction thread, happy birthday thread, all of nimmy's pointless but sometimes funny threads, bug forum thread, maps forum and the least goes on.
There are many threads that might not gather frequent posting, but are timeless as for usage.
This will only lead in creating two different versions off all those threads and only adding to the annoyance.

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by jesterme » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:54 pm

I think the old threads were locked to keep chaos from happening while the old ones were still up and going.

Dual universe time ripple back to the future kinda stuff. Eventually I would expect things to be back to the way everyone is used to.

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by Rhye » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:18 pm

jesterme wrote:I think the old threads were locked to keep chaos from happening while the old ones were still up and going.

Dual universe time ripple back to the future kinda stuff. Eventually I would expect things to be back to the way everyone is used to.
^ This.

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:28 pm

(Who ever woulda thought para mighta been tryin' to sidestep time paradoxes? Huh!?)

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by hoodie » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:48 pm

Is there any way to grab the new threads from the past week or two? As a community history fan I think those would be good reading for any archaeologist who found this in 200 years. Maybe they'll just be known forever as the lost semi-apocalypse. (I'm assuming the mod forums made the crossover, yes? Those are interesting as can be...)

By the way, speaking of semi-apocalypses, looking at the URL I believe the semi-holies seem to have become the semi-official cult of the state.

:lincoln:

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:57 pm

(Assuming dustin didn't delete those yesterday, then yes, post-cloning threads can be retrieved.)

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by n00less cluebie » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:25 am

dustin wrote:Testing out the options from here...
So how did your tests turn out ?

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:57 pm

Q: Can we embed YouTube videos?

Indeed, yes, you can. Just enter the bare video ID string using [youtube] tags.

640 by 360 pixels wide. Auto-hiding player controls. Full screen option. Standard resolution.

(Thanks to Enokrad for the request.)

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by jesterme » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:58 pm

Maybe this is in the settings some where, but when you click on a thread, you are taken to the beginning of the posts in that thread instead of the latest post. Is this something the users can specify on our end?

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:39 pm

Same behavior as before, jesterme. Clicking a thread link on an index page has always taken you to the first post. If you wanna jump to the most recent, then you've gotta click the tiny little document icon in the right column, next to the name and date.

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by hoodie » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:05 pm

This add friend/add foe thing is interesting, but I thought it was a little forum cult-type thing at first, not an ignore setting lol. I almost foe'd a few people in jest before realizing I would be basically turning them to mute.

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by n00less cluebie » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:02 pm

hoodie wrote:
∞ n00less cluebie didn't hear anything ∞

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by hoodie » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:24 pm

Wait, you quoted me, but I can't see what I wrote in your quote. I must've 'foe'd' myself. :smt017

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by mbauer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:34 pm

Where can I upload map files now?

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:35 pm

Same spot as before until further notice. Your old forum login still works for the upload form.

(We'll cross that bridge once we get there, I guess.)

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by mbauer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:43 pm

In the old spot, it keeps telling me I need to login, even though I am

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paranoiarodeo
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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:46 pm

But you gotta be logged in there, not here.

http://sillysoft.net/lux/maps/upload/map.php

Click the agree button, and it should refer you to another login panel, and then forward you back to the map upload forum after you've been authenticated. If you've changed your password in these forums since the upgrade, then your new password will not work over at Sillysoft.

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by mbauer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:52 pm

nope, it redirects me back to these forums.

I click "Agree" goes to a page that says "you must be login" where "login" is a link. I click said link, it brings me to a login page, where I enter my unchanged credentials, it then redirects me back to these forums. Rinse and repeat

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Re: Forum Upgrade — Q&A — Tricks and Tips

Post by paranoiarodeo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:59 pm

Really? Eep. In my experience, it didn't work for the first couple of days after forum domain redirection, then began working again as dustin presumably adjusted something, but apparently it has stopped working again. Or maybe it was just my imagination there in the middle, although I went outta my way to test, so I don't think so. I dunno, Mark. Sorry for the confusion. I can bang together a quick map upload form over here, one that sends what needs to be sent over there as quickly as possible, but I don't know enough about dustin's old system to do so. I'd have to see the old server side form in question, but I was never given access. The only two things I'm able to work with over there are the RAW formula script, and the database via command line query. That's it. I'm playing everything else by ear.

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