Author Topic: Migrating the forum to Discourse  (Read 20423 times)

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Offline ddavidebor

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Migrating the forum to Discourse
« on: March 29, 2020, 02:59:35 pm »
Hello,
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Yes, it's not easy. This is a big forum.

There are pretty much only advantages in switching platform, it's pretty much time, but there are risks in the migration also.

Pros:
* finally modern mobile experience
* much better readability for the forum
* improved engagement with younger audiences (!!!)
* way better search
* Ability to easily leverage managed databases such as digitalocean's ones which I personally recommend
* Lower resources consumption
* faster website
* improved engagement with the many tools discourse provide
* ease of moderation, discourse forums are mostly self-moderating requiring only limited oversight
* modern features like modern editor, better emojis, social login,
* way way way easier management and upgrades


Risks:
* broken link during migration. new and old website could be scanned and data compared to check for broken links before migrating. The discourse importer includes generation of all redirects required in theory.
* miss of custom functions?
* grumpy users complaining
* SEO issues - this should be ok with the redirects working.
* users need to reset the password



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Online ataradov

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2020, 05:17:47 pm »
NO, NO and NO.

All that new age stuff if unusable garbage for people that can't formulate a thought longer than a twit.

You are free to create an alternative and see how many people join.

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2020, 05:23:18 pm »
* improved engagement
Fuck engagement. Argument for making games, forums or whatever with users into complete trash ridden with bells and whistles.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 06:41:43 pm by wraper »
 
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Offline StillTrying

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2020, 05:36:37 pm »
This must be a wiindup. :popcorn:

https://www.discourse.org/about
.  That took much longer than I thought it would.
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2020, 05:46:30 pm »
I see nothing in anything you mention or what I read on the Discourese website that beats "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
 
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Offline Ranayna

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 06:38:21 pm »
The Buzzwords are strong with this one :p

But on a sidenote: Yes, the forum software shows it's age, and migration to some more modern software should be considered. Modern software like Xenforo can introduce a lot of new useful features without loosing it's spirit of what a forum actually represents.
But other than that, why would you migrate the forum to discord, of all places?
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 06:46:40 pm »
SMF 2.1 is right around the corner, if there should be any upgrade it should be to that solely for security fixes and minor QoL improvements.

Besides that, the sole point of the forum is to be a place for people to create topics and reply to them. Best I can tell it does that just fine. If you can't do it on your phone, too bad, you can exist without the EEVBlog Forum until you get home and use something else if Tapatalk or just dealing with it isn't good enough for you.

It's not broke, don't fix it.
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2020, 07:10:00 pm »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Why?

(...) it's pretty much time (...)

But why?

This forum works fairly well overall. Migrating the exisiting content to something else would probably be a nightmare, or next to impossible - I'm sure Dave has better things to do. And if EEVBlog's forum suddenly started afresh (with existing content lost), just for the sake of using something trendier, that would be a big loss.

There is one small thing that I see could be improved (and is probably not too hard to do) is easier inclusion of images in posts. Currently if you're attaching images in a post, you have to go some extra manual steps to include them in the post itself, and not just as small thumbnails at the end.

The search function could be improved, but I'm not sure this would really help a lot. I've seen people ask the same questions over and over again on almost all forums, however fancy the search function is.

My (limited) experience with forums based on Discourse is not that great. I think this forum is overall a lot more readable an usable than typical Discourse forums.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 07:16:09 pm by SiliconWizard »
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2020, 07:23:41 pm »
I've never heard of Discourse and have no view on the matter, but many people who've responded seem to think it's shit, so it's clearly not worth the bother/risk.
 

Offline RoGeorge

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2020, 07:27:27 pm »
Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?
NO!  If you want a better theme for mobile, just ask about that.

EEVblog forum works very well as it is now.
Let's not ruin it for buzzwords and glitter.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 07:33:59 pm by RoGeorge »
 
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Offline daqq

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2020, 07:30:10 pm »
At a quick glance I see no added value, *maybe* aside from the better mobile interface, which I don't use anyway.

Quote
* much better readability for the forum
How does that work? I can read the forum just fine.
Quote
* improved engagement with younger audiences (!!!)
How does that work exactly? What's stopping younger audiences from using a standard forum?
Quote
* ease of moderation, discourse forums are mostly self-moderating requiring only limited oversight
How does self moderation work?
Believe it or not, pointy haired people do exist!
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Online Bud

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2020, 07:52:07 pm »
Hell NO. I do not want another stupid name platform.
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 
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Offline Messtechniker

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2020, 08:40:41 pm »
Never change a running system. I've seen a forum (Tonmeisterforum) die
completely because of an attempted forum software change.  :'(
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Online magic

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2020, 09:21:31 pm »
How does self moderation work?
Probably some kind of voting where the posts most convincing to the largest number of readers end up at the top and others go down or disappear. Ever been to r*ddit? ;D
 

Online wraper

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2020, 09:28:22 pm »
How does self moderation work?
Probably some kind of voting where the posts most convincing to the largest number of readers end up at the top and others go down or disappear. Ever been to r*ddit? ;D
Then it would be a shit show. And there were several cases when opinion of everyone about some technical question contradicted what I wrote. In the end after insisting several times turned out I was right. If comments moved according to likes, I guess it would end up in a shithole nobody reads.
 
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2020, 09:30:31 pm »
From what I've seen, Discourse is horrible. It has gone with that "jumble of text floating in a sea of white" fad that makes it so hard for me to focus on anything. The mobile interface for this forum is horrid since the last update but at least on a proper browser it's quite good. It utilizes shading nicely to differentiate things from one another.

The mobile experience here was already broken by an update, why would we want to break the rest of the forum by migrating to a new platform? It works fine, leave it alone!
 
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Offline amyk

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2020, 09:48:51 pm »
I'll add another "do NOT want!" to everyone else here who already has...

From link above:
Quote
Discourse is designed for the next 10 years of the Internet, so the minimum browser requirements are high.
|O :palm: I've already had it with idiotic sites turning into bloated horrible web-apps that complain if your browser is even slightly older than the latest, despite the fact that something 20 years ago would've been perfectly fine for the functionality. The moment this site goes in that direction is the moment I leave.
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2020, 10:11:19 pm »
It has gone with that "jumble of text floating in a sea of white" fad that makes it so hard for me to focus on anything.
Yep, every time google leads me to a discourse forum, I just close the tab. It is usually a mess that is impossible to navigate and understand. But it has likes, follows and subscribes.
Alex
 
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2020, 10:15:48 pm »
At a quick glance I see no added value, *maybe* aside from the better mobile interface, which I don't use anyway.

Quote
* much better readability for the forum
How does that work? I can read the forum just fine.

The readability is mainly improved by dropping the "pages" for continuous loading.  In general, long threads are more readable on discourse, and can be browsed quickly by date through a cursor on the right side of the page. That alone is pretty much how it became popular.

At a quick glance I see no added value, *maybe* aside from the better mobile interface, which I don't use anyway.

Quote
* improved engagement with younger audiences (!!!)
How does that work exactly? What's stopping younger audiences from using a standard forum?

In general phpbb interface reflects standards with wich newer users are not familiar anymore and consider offputting.

At a quick glance I see no added value, *maybe* aside from the better mobile interface, which I don't use anyway.
Quote
* ease of moderation, discourse forums are mostly self-moderating requiring only limited oversight
How does self moderation work?

It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community. Of course, the real power is in the hands of who controls the software.
https://discourse.mozilla.org/t/who-has-which-moderation-powers-on-discourse/29805
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2020, 10:16:50 pm »
From what I've seen, Discourse is horrible. It has gone with that "jumble of text floating in a sea of white" fad that makes it so hard for me to focus on anything. The mobile interface for this forum is horrid since the last update but at least on a proper browser it's quite good. It utilizes shading nicely to differentiate things from one another.

The mobile experience here was already broken by an update, why would we want to break the rest of the forum by migrating to a new platform? It works fine, leave it alone!

I agree, the default theme is shit, but a couple of tweaks to make the page largers and change the color theme and it's pretty good. Many themes are available.
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Online wraper

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2020, 10:19:18 pm »
It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community.
=Starving for gaining likes and dick length competition. We have other places for this crap.
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2020, 10:19:37 pm »
The readability is mainly improved by dropping the "pages" for continuous loading.
I personally hate continuous loading. It breaks orientation in space.

In general phpbb interface reflects standards with wich newer users are not familiar anymore and consider offputting.
Yes, and programming in C is considered obsolete. New users want Arduino.

Grow up and learn how to use forums. If you can't, do we really need you here?

It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community.
And then you get StackOverflow kind of thing where people spew garbage to get points. No thanks. Moderation by human moderators works fine.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 10:23:36 pm by ataradov »
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2020, 10:20:13 pm »
Quote
Currently if you're attaching images in a post, you have to go some extra manual steps to include them in the post itself, and not just as small thumbnails at the end.

That's a massive plus! Imagine when it gets easy to embed the full-size photos in-text. Every thread will end up like Ice-T's buy/sell one where it takes forever to load a page and whilst it's doing that the bloody text is jumping up and down as the photos load (yes, the same big photos that loaded the previous time you looked at the page just a couple of hours ago).

In my opinion, it's not hard enough to embed in-text  >:D
 
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Online magic

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2020, 10:21:30 pm »
The readability is mainly improved by dropping the "pages" for continuous loading.
Sounds like "say goodbye to your RAM when you open the TEA thread" :P
 
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2020, 10:22:33 pm »
The Buzzwords are strong with this one :p

But on a sidenote: Yes, the forum software shows it's age, and migration to some more modern software should be considered. Modern software like Xenforo can introduce a lot of new useful features without loosing it's spirit of what a forum actually represents.
But other than that, why would you migrate the forum to discord, of all places?

It's a mature piece of software, gonna be 10yo soon. The architecture is good. It's not going to disappear next week. The UI is customizable. great community support. Ease of install and management. good performance. Written in a solid language. open source. It's considered the de-facto standard nowadays.
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2020, 10:24:29 pm »
The readability is mainly improved by dropping the "pages" for continuous loading.
Sounds like "say goodbye to your RAM when you open the TEA thread" :P

I doubt that it's kept in RAM whole, probably only sections of it are cached. Anyway, the data under the posts is small, just some JSON, the generated HTML is heavy, but is generated dynamically as you scroll. like all apps of this decade.
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Offline amyk

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2020, 10:25:53 pm »
It's a mature piece of software, gonna be 10yo soon. The architecture is good. It's not going to disappear next week. The UI is customizable. great community support. Ease of install and management. good performance. Written in a solid language. open source. It's considered the de-facto standard nowadays.
No one cares. What we have right now works and has been working for a long time.

Anyway, the data under the posts is small, just some JSON, the generated HTML is heavy, but is generated dynamically as you scroll. like all apps of this decade.
...and that's the problem, "apps of this decade" are utter crap.
 
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2020, 10:26:58 pm »
I see nothing in anything you mention or what I read on the Discourese website that beats "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

as common logic goes - if you sit on you ass for too long it becomes stiff.
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2020, 10:30:35 pm »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Why?

(...) it's pretty much time (...)

But why?

This forum works fairly well overall. Migrating the exisiting content to something else would probably be a nightmare, or next to impossible - I'm sure Dave has better things to do. And if EEVBlog's forum suddenly started afresh (with existing content lost), just for the sake of using something trendier, that would be a big loss.

There is one small thing that I see could be improved (and is probably not too hard to do) is easier inclusion of images in posts. Currently if you're attaching images in a post, you have to go some extra manual steps to include them in the post itself, and not just as small thumbnails at the end.

The search function could be improved, but I'm not sure this would really help a lot. I've seen people ask the same questions over and over again on almost all forums, however fancy the search function is.

My (limited) experience with forums based on Discourse is not that great. I think this forum is overall a lot more readable an usable than typical Discourse forums.

Migrating from Pphpbb to Discourse has been done hundreds of time, the scripts are well seasoned.
There are many small things like that. I'd rather stop using this last century markup language written to make php happy to write posts.

The default config of discourse is for "small and cute" forums, such as customer support forums. That's because that way, when you install it for the first time, it doesn't feel empty. The default config is not suitable for a forum like this one, but luckly, it's very easy to customize.
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Online magic

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2020, 10:32:17 pm »
the generated HTML is heavy, but is generated dynamically as you scroll. like all apps of this decade.

the generated HTML is heavy
like all apps of this decade

 :-DD
Exactly my point :-+
A silly gimmick for kids upgrading to the latest hardware on a yearly schedule.
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2020, 10:32:31 pm »
It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community.

You should include that in your lists of negatives, bold big font.

Gag me with a spoon. But then I don't seek power and since I've been married I don't seek engagement..
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2020, 10:32:52 pm »
as common logic goes - if you sit on you ass for too long it becomes stiff.

What does that even mean? The wheel was invented thousands of years ago and has not really changed much since then. There have been numerous attempts to reimagine the control scheme of cars yet after more than 100 years the basic steering wheel and pedals are still largely the same. A word processor or spreadsheet from 20 years ago is still fully usable today.

Just because some technology evolves rapidly doesn't mean that everything needs to keep up. If something isn't broken there's no reason to try to fix it. We could leave the forum as-is for another 20 years and it will likely just keep working, if something changes fundamentally making it no longer usable then it could be updated to something newer then, why muck with it now? Discourse is ugly, I don't see anyone else here pushing to change, I see no real gain from the move and I would bet a lot of established users would just end up leaving.
 

Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2020, 10:33:05 pm »
Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?
NO!  If you want a better theme for mobile, just ask about that.

EEVblog forum works very well as it is now.
Let's not ruin it for buzzwords and glitter.

I have seen it being asked many years ago, popping up many times since there, and never ended up anywhere. I've been following the forum since it's inception a decade ago.
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2020, 10:33:52 pm »
as common logic goes - if you sit on you ass for too long it becomes stiff.

What does that even mean? The wheel was invented thousands of years ago and has not really changed much since then. There have been numerous attempts to reimagine the control scheme of cars yet after more than 100 years the basic steering wheel and pedals are still largely the same. A word processor or spreadsheet from 20 years ago is still fully usable today.

Just because some technology evolves rapidly doesn't mean that everything needs to keep up. If something isn't broken there's no reason to try to fix it. We could leave the forum as-is for another 20 years and it will likely just keep working, if something changes fundamentally making it no longer usable then it could be updated to something newer then, why muck with it now? Discourse is ugly, I don't see anyone else here pushing to change, I see no real gain from the move and I would bet a lot of established users would just end up leaving.

How many websites from the 2000s do you use daily?
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2020, 10:35:04 pm »
It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community.

You should include that in your lists of negatives, bold big font.

Gag me with a spoon. But then I don't seek power and since I've been married I don't seek engagement..

Which can be modified or disabled, as per all the features.
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2020, 10:35:16 pm »
It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community.
And then you get StackOverflow kind of thing where people spew garbage to get points. No thanks. Moderation by human moderators works fine.

Quite .

Stackoverflow is mostly boring garbage like "which button do I press to display a widget of a cat?".
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online ataradov

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2020, 10:36:00 pm »
Can you show a Discourse forum configured as you see fit for this forum as an example?

Absolutely all Discourse forums I've seen were utter garbage. May be if we had a good example, we would have a different opinion.
Alex
 
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Online KaneTW

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2020, 10:36:18 pm »
Absolutely not. Discourse is hot garbage that doesn't even run with JS disabled. All the new-style forums are beyond awful for any threaded discussion.

Migrating to XenForo or something reasonably close to classic forums software? Sure, whatever. Migrating to Discourse or its clones? No.
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2020, 10:37:42 pm »
It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community.
=Starving for gaining likes and dick length competition. We have other places for this crap.

Even the thanks mechanism on this forum is abused. "Woodz" seems to that every post that mentions him, even if they are implying he is an idiot.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2020, 10:39:21 pm »
How many websites from the 2000s do you use daily?

I'd use a lot more of them if they still existed, the only one that's still around is http://lamptech.co.uk, I don't use it daily but I still view it as one of the gold standards of web design. High information density, simple and effective layout, quality content and there is not a single bit of irritating cruft that I need to block.

There are dozens of websites that I used to use but have abandoned over the years when they were revamped and went from useful and effective to a bloated unusable mess. If you want to see an example of an absolutely horrible website spend 20 minutes browsing http://komonews.com, that used to be my go-to for local news but I all but abandoned it after several renovations left it all but unusable. Give me the Komo news website from 2001 with up to date content and I'll switch to it in a heartbeat.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2020, 10:40:35 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.
Davide Bortolami,
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2020, 10:40:51 pm »
Even the thanks mechanism on this forum is abused. "Woodz" seems to that every post that mentions him, even if they are implying he is an idiot.
I adblok-ed thanks here, so I don't have a way to thank anyone and have no idea who thanks me. I don't need "thanks" to form my own opinion of a person or a post.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 10:44:40 pm by ataradov »
Alex
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2020, 10:41:59 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.
Well, may be leave us alone here and build your new community of noobs on Discourse? And newcomers may decide for themselves where they want to be.
Alex
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2020, 10:44:47 pm »
How many websites from the 2000s do you use daily?

I'd use a lot more of them if they still existed, the only one that's still around is http://lamptech.co.uk, I don't use it daily but I still view it as one of the gold standards of web design. High information density, simple and effective layout, quality content and there is not a single bit of irritating cruft that I need to block.

There are dozens of websites that I used to use but have abandoned over the years when they were revamped and went from useful and effective to a bloated unusable mess. If you want to see an example of an absolutely horrible website spend 20 minutes browsing http://komonews.com, that used to be my go-to for local news but I all but abandoned it after several renovations left it all but unusable. Give me the Komo news website from 2001 with up to date content and I'll switch to it in a heartbeat.

You can have it back, just have to buy newspaper again instead of being funded by ads and competing with facebook. But that's another discussion, and it's not relevant.
There are reasons why the don't exist anymore. They're not readable across devices, for one. Their architecture scales horribly. Dave is paying for every line HTML you read and all the code that runs that.
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2020, 10:45:41 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.
I can't help but notice that pandering to lazy iPhone-addicted teenagers will bring more 1 post users asking homework tier questions and drive away those who answer them.

Sounds like a win :-DD
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2020, 10:46:04 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.

So what you're effectively saying is "fuck the long time users who contribute heavily and make the forum what it is, we can just ignore what they want because it doesn't matter".

What's stopping you from creating a new forum that is set up the way you want it and leaving this one alone? I haven't seen Dave jump in here yet but it's his joint, ultimately it's his choice what goes and what doesn't.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #46 on: March 29, 2020, 10:48:46 pm »
And I'm seriously curious to see Discourse forum of the scale close to this forum. We would have better things to discuss if we could actually have something for comparison.
Alex
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2020, 10:49:36 pm »
You can have it back, just have to buy newspaper again instead of being funded by ads and competing with facebook. But that's another discussion, and it's not relevant.
There are reasons why the don't exist anymore. They're not readable across devices, for one. Their architecture scales horribly. Dave is paying for every line HTML you read and all the code that runs that.

Maybe you can explain how buying a newspaper again is going to give me a usable news website? News should not be competing with facebook, social networking is a cancer that has spread throughout society, if I wanted the facebook experience I'd be on facebook but I abandoned that years ago too when it became less useful after every update.

Bullshit, all manner of sites have mobile and desktop versions, this one included, though the mobile interface sucks now it was quite good on the previous version and I used it heavily.

 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2020, 10:50:28 pm »
Even the thanks mechanism on this forum is abused. "Woodz" seems to that every post that mentions him, even if they are implying he is an idiot.
You mean can't see the "Woodz" for the ....  ;D
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2020, 10:50:34 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.

And you're just used to Discourse and complaining because this isn't it. Oh, and it's not phpBB, either.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #50 on: March 29, 2020, 10:52:02 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.

So what you're effectively saying is "fuck the long time users who contribute heavily and make the forum what it is, we can just ignore what they want because it doesn't matter".

What's stopping you from creating a new forum that is set up the way you want it and leaving this one alone? I haven't seen Dave jump in here yet but it's his joint, ultimately it's his choice what goes and what doesn't.

You lead by example, then you sidestep. Leaders who keep on hanging on their position die hated and alone.
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2020, 10:52:40 pm »
Quote
Ease of install and management

ROFL!

Quote
Why do you only officially support Docker?

Hosting Rails applications is complicated. Even if you already have Postgres, Redis and Ruby installed on your server, you still need to worry about running and monitoring your Sidekiq and Rails processes, as well as configuring Nginx. With Docker, our fully optimized Discourse configuration is available to you in a simple container, along with a web-based GUI that makes upgrading to new versions of Discourse as easy as clicking a button.

It's their way or the highway, and even if you do it their way you're basically running blind.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2020, 10:54:02 pm »
There is one small thing that I see could be improved (and is probably not too hard to do) is easier inclusion of images in posts. Currently if you're attaching images in a post, you have to go some extra manual steps to include them in the post itself, and not just as small thumbnails at the end.
This was improved not too long ago. Unfortunately, the plugins (or possibly the combination of them together; they were never tested separately) used to do this are buggy, and have IMHO made it much worse overall.

From what I've seen, Discourse is horrible. It has gone with that "jumble of text floating in a sea of white" fad that makes it so hard for me to focus on anything.
This x1000. Like, designers, wake up! Visible structure and navigation is a good thing! It's not just useless clutter. (Something which cannot be said for all the social media "engagement" BS.)

The readability is mainly improved by dropping the "pages" for continuous loading.
I personally hate continuous loading. It breaks orientation in space.
I agree a million times over. I HATE continuous loading in nearly all situations. Not only does it break orientation as you say, but if you dare click away, a "back" is almost guaranteed to not take you back where you were.



IMHO, SMF is not a particularly great forum platform. But moving from one crappy product to another crappy product is hardly the answer. If EEVblog did consider moving (which is something I wouldn't really recommend at this point, given that a new version of SMF is supposedly around the corner), it'd be to a better commercial product, not to an open source project. (Open source, frankly, just sucks in some ways, and forum and content management systems are one area where they simply don't work well. In this domain, the core projects tend to be barebones, relying on plugins for essential features, but the plugins in turn easily break with updates, or collide with each other, or get abandoned and stop working altogether.)




I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.
Woooow. What an arrogant attitude. And you don't even have the basics right, since EEVblog doesn't run on PHPbb. (As I allude to above, I don't like PHPbb, but this is different software!)

Successful forums rely on long-term members. Their input matters. I have seen a software change completely destroy an online community that had tens of thousands of users. It is NOT a change to be made lightly, especially not in a mature community like this one.

So for you to dismiss these very real concerns as "moving the sofa"? Vafanculo, dude.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2020, 10:55:18 pm »
You lead by example, then you sidestep. Leaders who keep on hanging on their position die hated and alone.
What this has to do with technical merits of this discussion?

If everyone starts to hate classic forums, then they'll naturally move to something else. There does not seem to be the problem at the moment.  Only benefits really. All homework kids go to stackoverflow.

Again, give us examples of big technical forums on Discourse. I personally don't actually think it will scale that well. I would love to be proven wrong.
Alex
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2020, 10:59:58 pm »
How many websites from the 2000s do you use daily?

I'd use a lot more of them if they still existed, the only one that's still around is http://lamptech.co.uk, I don't use it daily but I still view it as one of the gold standards of web design. High information density, simple and effective layout, quality content and there is not a single bit of irritating cruft that I need to block.

There are dozens of websites that I used to use but have abandoned over the years when they were revamped and went from useful and effective to a bloated unusable mess. If you want to see an example of an absolutely horrible website spend 20 minutes browsing http://komonews.com, that used to be my go-to for local news but I all but abandoned it after several renovations left it all but unusable. Give me the Komo news website from 2001 with up to date content and I'll switch to it in a heartbeat.

You can have it back, just have to buy newspaper again instead of being funded by ads and competing with facebook. But that's another discussion, and it's not relevant.

Que? You are losing the plot!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2020, 11:00:35 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.
I can't help but notice that pandering to lazy iPhone-addicted teenagers will bring more 1 post users asking homework tier questions and drive away those who answer them.

Sounds like a win :-DD

Exactly!
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2020, 11:00:49 pm »
You lead by example, then you sidestep. Leaders who keep on hanging on their position die hated and alone.
What this has to do with technical merits of this discussion?

If everyone starts to hate classic forums, then they'll naturally move to something else. There does not seem to be the problem at the moment.  Only benefits really. All homework kids go to stackoverflow.

Again, give us examples of big technical forums on Discourse. I personally don't actually think it will scale that well. I would love to be proven wrong.

https://www.wappalyzer.com/technologies/discourse
Elastic is one of the most important IT companies in the world, i've worked extensively with their stack
https://discuss.elastic.co/
Vue is one of the most popular UI frameworks.
https://forum.vuejs.org/
Ionic one of the most popular frameworks for mobile apps. I've worked with it.
https://forum.ionicframework.com/
https://community.cloudflare.com/
Do i need to talk about cloudflare? they basically run the internet.
Docker is the most important modern technology used in IT.
https://forums.docker.com/
Docker community is orders of magnitudes bigger than EEVblog
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2020, 11:01:45 pm »
Even the thanks mechanism on this forum is abused. "Woodz" seems to that every post that mentions him, even if they are implying he is an idiot.
You mean can't see the "Woodz" for the ....  ;D

You might think that. I could not possibly comment.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Offline amyk

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2020, 11:02:27 pm »
Quote
Ease of install and management

ROFL!

Quote
Why do you only officially support Docker?

Hosting Rails applications is complicated. Even if you already have Postgres, Redis and Ruby installed on your server, you still need to worry about running and monitoring your Sidekiq and Rails processes, as well as configuring Nginx. With Docker, our fully optimized Discourse configuration is available to you in a simple container, along with a web-based GUI that makes upgrading to new versions of Discourse as easy as clicking a button.

It's their way or the highway, and even if you do it their way you're basically running blind.
I work mostly in software and one thing that really stands out over the years is how much more unnecessarily complex things have gotten, and the worst part of it is that it's almost all self-inflicted: all the younger ones are drawn in by the marketing wank and don't take the time to understand and think about things, they just slap a bunch of bloated libraries together.

Docker is basically "we've made our software so complex that we can't figure out how you are supposed to install it, so how about we just give you this nicely-wrapped ball of shit instead." |O


I just noticed the OP is from Italy... maybe the stress of the quarantine is getting to him. :(
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2020, 11:03:53 pm »
I just looked at all of those and every one of them has that hideous sea of white that makes it almost unusable to me. I can't speak for everyone but if I didn't abandon it entirely I would spend vastly less time here if it moved to that platform.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2020, 11:04:14 pm »
Docker community is orders of magnitudes bigger than EEVblog
Huh? Their biggest sub-forum (General Discussions) has 156 topics per month. Most have 0 replies. It looks pretty empty to me.

The community may be bigger, but the forum is most definitely not.

Yeah, that thing is pretty much dead.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 11:05:50 pm by ataradov »
Alex
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2020, 11:05:44 pm »
It should not be overlooked Dave is always looking at and installed updates to how this forum works and in my time here it has changed massively for the better. Dave's also looked hard at other forum platforms and while some have features he'd like to have here there are too many negatives to want him move away from SMF at this time.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2020, 11:06:21 pm »
Do you see any actual discussion in any of these Discourse forums? It all looks like tech support questions to me.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #63 on: March 29, 2020, 11:07:58 pm »
Do you see any actual discussion in any of these Discourse forums? It all looks like tech support questions to me.
Exactly. All of those things are 1-2 answer tech support. No actual discussion.

Also, for whatever reason they compress themselves into a narrow column in the middle of the screen.  And then noting fits and you need infinite scrolling.
Alex
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #64 on: March 29, 2020, 11:08:04 pm »
I work mostly in software and one thing that really stands out over the years is how much more unnecessarily complex things have gotten, and the worst part of it is that it's almost all self-inflicted: all the younger ones are drawn in by the marketing wank and don't take the time to understand and think about things, they just slap a bunch of bloated libraries together.
Well, while I think libraries are critical (and they're nothing new in any way), what does perplex me is how the current design trend seems to be utterly oblivious to usability, despite throwing around the right buzzwords (UX! Usability! UCD! Journeys! Personas!). It's even more baffling that as usability has become an established field, with more and more universities offering it as a major, the actual real-world usability seems to have plummeted in the past 10 years or so, after decades of slow but steady improvement. Like… what are they studying?!? They clearly haven't learned about affordances, discoverability, UI stability (as in "things don't move around and appear and disappear", not crash-proofing), etc.

And this is one reason (albeit not the main one) that I turned my back on the UX industry, and will be starting training as an electronics technician in the fall.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 11:09:38 pm by tooki »
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #65 on: March 29, 2020, 11:08:40 pm »
You lead by example, then you sidestep. Leaders who keep on hanging on their position die hated and alone.
What this has to do with technical merits of this discussion?

If everyone starts to hate classic forums, then they'll naturally move to something else. There does not seem to be the problem at the moment.  Only benefits really. All homework kids go to stackoverflow.

Again, give us examples of big technical forums on Discourse. I personally don't actually think it will scale that well. I would love to be proven wrong.

https://www.wappalyzer.com/technologies/discourse
Elastic is one of the most important IT companies in the world, i've worked extensively with their stack
https://discuss.elastic.co/
Vue is one of the most popular UI frameworks.
https://forum.vuejs.org/
Ionic one of the most popular frameworks for mobile apps. I've worked with it.
https://forum.ionicframework.com/
https://community.cloudflare.com/
Do i need to talk about cloudflare? they basically run the internet.
Docker is the most important modern technology used in IT.
https://forums.docker.com/
Docker community is orders of magnitudes bigger than EEVblog

Elastic and Cloudflare are on similar scale (for activity, at least, not quite so much content yet). The rest are all tiny.

Your magical wappalyzer is causing you to conflate views from search engines with actual users.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 11:12:43 pm by Monkeh »
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #66 on: March 29, 2020, 11:13:02 pm »
Elastic and Cloudflare are on similar scale (for activity, at least, not quite so much content yet). The rest are all tiny.
Elastic has a lot of new topics, but most seem to have 0 replies. This probably correlates with the popularity of the product. They all look like drive-by posting. The same person will never return back.

And the only people that seem to respond are actual employees, so it is again a just a support forum.

I would really like to see a generic community-run forum. Not a forum for a product.
Alex
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #67 on: March 29, 2020, 11:13:52 pm »
Elastic and Cloudflare are on similar scale (for activity, at least, not quite so much content yet). The rest are all tiny.
Elastic has a lot of new topics, but most seem to have 0 replies. They all look like drive-by posting. The same person will never return back.

And the only people that seem to respond are actual employees, so it is again a just a support forum.

Perhaps so, I only skimmed the stats.

Interestingly he neglected to mention one site from his magical wappalyzer which is actually an active community: https://community.home-assistant.io/
At over a thousand posts a day across the last 30 days, it's genuinely quite active. A lot of it is support requests (then again, what are electronics questions?), but it's a fairly active project with a lot happening.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2020, 11:16:34 pm by Monkeh »
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #68 on: March 29, 2020, 11:15:04 pm »
Quote
https://www.wappalyzer.com/technologies/discourse
Elastic is one of the most important IT companies in the world, i've worked extensively with their stack
https://discuss.elastic.co/
Vue is one of the most popular UI frameworks.
https://forum.vuejs.org/
Ionic one of the most popular frameworks for mobile apps. I've worked with it.
https://forum.ionicframework.com/
https://community.cloudflare.com/
Do i need to talk about cloudflare? they basically run the internet.
Docker is the most important modern technology used in IT.
https://forums.docker.com/
Docker community is orders of magnitudes bigger than EEVblog

Are there any threaded forums? IMO that's one thing that would massively improve a web forum, but it would have to be the default view to make everyone use it. The ones I've seen on the web have universally been rubbish, even very good ones using an OLR are rubbish when they hit the web.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #69 on: March 29, 2020, 11:16:22 pm »
I just noticed the OP is from Italy... maybe the stress of the quarantine is getting to him. :(
And now suddenly changed to UK!
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #70 on: March 29, 2020, 11:17:49 pm »
I work mostly in software and one thing that really stands out over the years is how much more unnecessarily complex things have gotten, and the worst part of it is that it's almost all self-inflicted: all the younger ones are drawn in by the marketing wank and don't take the time to understand and think about things, they just slap a bunch of bloated libraries together.

Libraries are fine. IMO the reason why Docker is needed is that Linux deployment is absolutely awful.

Let me give you an example. I'm working on a VR window manager for Linux, as a future improvement over multi-monitor setups. Getting it into something users can install easily across all platforms was a nightmare due to version incompatibilites. We ended up using Nix to create a defined environment, but even that was not without issues. (Docker doesn't work since it's a graphical app)

For comparison, Windows is much more backwards compatible and you can ship local versions of the required libraries without conflicts.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #71 on: March 29, 2020, 11:20:39 pm »
I work mostly in software and one thing that really stands out over the years is how much more unnecessarily complex things have gotten, and the worst part of it is that it's almost all self-inflicted: all the younger ones are drawn in by the marketing wank and don't take the time to understand and think about things, they just slap a bunch of bloated libraries together.

Libraries are fine. IMO the reason why Docker is needed is that Linux deployment is absolutely awful.

Let me give you an example. I'm working on a VR window manager for Linux, as a future improvement over multi-monitor setups. Getting it into something users can install easily across all platforms was a nightmare due to version incompatibilites. We ended up using Nix to create a defined environment, but even that was not without issues. (Docker doesn't work since it's a graphical app)

For comparison, Windows is much more backwards compatible and you can ship local versions of the required libraries without conflicts.

Linux deployment is just fine if you document your requirements and design your application for packaging by the distribution. You are not meant to take responsibility for the packaging and the security mangling of the entire platform as the developer of a single application.

Shipping local versions of libraries is how you ship your customers security vulnerabilities free of charge.
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #72 on: March 29, 2020, 11:21:44 pm »
Discourse forums are horribly slow on my laptop, this style of static forum is much faster and easier.  The addition of the 'all pages' button has made my day, letting me open a lot of topics and read on the train.

An old forum is a good forum -- that means it's past the bathtub curve :)  Any problems that this forum's software may have are eclipsed by the problems a new forum engine will bring.  New website engines are like new cars.

Offline JPortici

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #73 on: March 29, 2020, 11:30:10 pm »
The readability is mainly improved by dropping the "pages" for continuous loading.
fuck continous loading.
You want all pages at once? there's the "All button"

Quote
It has a structure where users progressively and automatically gain power as they gain engagement and respect from the community. Of course, the real power is in the hands of who controls the software.
sounds like reddit or stackexchange. it works soooooooo well
fuck that.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #74 on: March 29, 2020, 11:32:18 pm »
Linux deployment is just fine if you document your requirements and design your application for packaging by the distribution. You are not meant to take responsibility for the packaging and the security mangling of the entire platform as the developer of a single application.

Shipping local versions of libraries is how you ship your customers security vulnerabilities free of charge.

Sure, that works when you're working with a mostly stabilized ecosystem, not when you're on the bleeding edge of software. When Ubuntu 18.04 ships an outdated, unsupportable version of a library and Ubuntu 19.10 breaks a critically required application it gets virtually impossible to get end users past the installation stage.

Also, end/desktop users are a lot less patient when it comes to installing things compared to power users setting up a server.
 
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Offline Karel

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #75 on: March 29, 2020, 11:33:57 pm »
Hello,
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Yes, it's not easy. This is a big forum.

There are pretty much only advantages in switching platform, it's pretty much time, but there are risks in the migration also.


Please no.
Discourse looks terrible. Too much white space. Default fonts too big. Graphics too big. Everything is too big. Terrible teletubbies look.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #76 on: March 29, 2020, 11:36:22 pm »
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #77 on: March 29, 2020, 11:40:23 pm »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

I hate discourse, it's garbage, and doesn't seem at all suited to long term community forum type discussion. It's more of a chat platform from what I gather.
So it's not going to happen, not point even discussing it, it would destroy this forum community.
If this forum is going to move to something it will be a better and more familiar bbs style forum, like Zenforo

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #78 on: March 29, 2020, 11:42:33 pm »
NO, NO and NO.
All that new age stuff if unusable garbage for people that can't formulate a thought longer than a twit.

From my limited experience that's what I've seen, it's just quick zero-thought chat type content.
On bbs style forum's like this people put a lot more thought and effort into a good post. Some posts are so good and technically detailed they become direct go-to pages in the internet.
Discourse is such a terrible idea it's not funny.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #79 on: March 29, 2020, 11:45:24 pm »
But on a sidenote: Yes, the forum software shows it's age, and migration to some more modern software should be considered. Modern software like Xenforo can introduce a lot of new useful features without loosing it's spirit of what a forum actually represents.

Yes, SMF is showing its age, and I am a member on another forum that moved over the Xenforo (from I think phpBB) and I really like it. There were hardly any complaints from users too.
So I would be certainly open to moving to that, but it's got to be done right and professionally, not something that can be half arsed. I'd have to pay a professional to manage the move.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #80 on: March 29, 2020, 11:48:35 pm »
There is one small thing that I see could be improved (and is probably not too hard to do) is easier inclusion of images in posts. Currently if you're attaching images in a post, you have to go some extra manual steps to include them in the post itself, and not just as small thumbnails at the end.

This is one thing I love about Zenforo, you just CTRL-V paste the image inline in the post, it's awesome.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #81 on: March 29, 2020, 11:53:16 pm »
It's a mature piece of software, gonna be 10yo soon. The architecture is good. It's not going to disappear next week. The UI is customizable. great community support. Ease of install and management. good performance. Written in a solid language. open source. It's considered the de-facto standard nowadays.

And it's shit to use and completely unsuitable for replacing an existing bbs style community forum.
 
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Offline xrunner

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #82 on: March 29, 2020, 11:54:39 pm »
So I would be certainly open to moving to that, but it's got to be done right and professionally, not something that can be half arsed. I'd have to pay a professional to manage the move.

Really. So many of us have put a lot of content here - repair threads and pics to go with those threads. So many tips that are not found in very many places out there. It would be a tragedy if something went wrong. I know you understand that!  :-+
My friends say they're procrastinators. I say I've been meaning to tell them for years, but I just keep putting it off.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #83 on: March 29, 2020, 11:56:29 pm »
Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?
NO!  If you want a better theme for mobile, just ask about that.

EEVblog forum works very well as it is now.
Let's not ruin it for buzzwords and glitter.

I have seen it being asked many years ago, popping up many times since there, and never ended up anywhere. I've been following the forum since it's inception a decade ago.

A few people have asked for an EEVblog Discord, and there is actually one. But one has ever asked to replace this forum with discord until your post, because most people realise what a dumb idea that would be.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #84 on: March 29, 2020, 11:57:20 pm »
So I would be certainly open to moving to that, but it's got to be done right and professionally, not something that can be half arsed. I'd have to pay a professional to manage the move.
Really. So many of us have put a lot of content here - repair threads and pics to go with those threads. So many tips that are not found in very many places out there. It would be a tragedy if something went wrong. I know you understand that!  :-+

If you manage it right, it's impossible to lose the existing forum.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #85 on: March 29, 2020, 11:59:45 pm »
Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?
NO!  If you want a better theme for mobile, just ask about that.

EEVblog forum works very well as it is now.
Let's not ruin it for buzzwords and glitter.

I have seen it being asked many years ago, popping up many times since there, and never ended up anywhere. I've been following the forum since it's inception a decade ago.

A few people have asked for an EEVblog Discord, and there is actually one. But one has ever asked to replace this forum with discord until your post, because most people realise what a dumb idea that would be.

Wait wait wait, when did Discord come into things? Discourse and Discord aren't the same thing.
 
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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #86 on: March 30, 2020, 12:02:16 am »
I just noticed the OP is from Italy... maybe the stress of the quarantine is getting to him. :(
And now suddenly changed to UK!

I now live in the UK, my company moved with me as well.
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #87 on: March 30, 2020, 12:06:36 am »
Elastic and Cloudflare are on similar scale (for activity, at least, not quite so much content yet). The rest are all tiny.
Elastic has a lot of new topics, but most seem to have 0 replies. They all look like drive-by posting. The same person will never return back.

And the only people that seem to respond are actual employees, so it is again a just a support forum.

Perhaps so, I only skimmed the stats.

Interestingly he neglected to mention one site from his magical wappalyzer which is actually an active community: https://community.home-assistant.io/
At over a thousand posts a day across the last 30 days, it's genuinely quite active. A lot of it is support requests (then again, what are electronics questions?), but it's a fairly active project with a lot happening.

Interesting
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LTD
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #88 on: March 30, 2020, 12:08:41 am »
Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?
NO!  If you want a better theme for mobile, just ask about that.

EEVblog forum works very well as it is now.
Let's not ruin it for buzzwords and glitter.

I have seen it being asked many years ago, popping up many times since there, and never ended up anywhere. I've been following the forum since it's inception a decade ago.

A few people have asked for an EEVblog Discord, and there is actually one. But one has ever asked to replace this forum with discord until your post, because most people realise what a dumb idea that would be.

Wait wait wait, when did Discord come into things? Discourse and Discord aren't the same thing.

Oops, my mistake!
Ah, discourse, right.
It's still meh. And again, completely different from a bbs style forum. You don't go changing a 10 year established bbs style forum to discourse, that's just dumb.
I believe Chris Gammell uses it for his kicad forum:
https://forum.kicad.info/
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 12:11:23 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline 0culus

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #89 on: March 30, 2020, 12:13:37 am »
My 2 cents is HELL no. The reason I come here and enjoy my time here is because this is a FORUM and not social media style bullcrap where visibility of any topic is a popularity contest (that of course is easily gamed by bots) that has infected practically everything else. If this place goes that way, I'm gone.
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #90 on: March 30, 2020, 12:15:03 am »
I used to be on a mailing list which has moved to Discourse. Traffic on the mailing list wasn't high but now it seems there is no traffic at all (assuming I still receive summaries if people post something).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #91 on: March 30, 2020, 12:28:16 am »
But on a sidenote: Yes, the forum software shows it's age, and migration to some more modern software should be considered. Modern software like Xenforo can introduce a lot of new useful features without loosing it's spirit of what a forum actually represents.

Yes, SMF is showing its age, and I am a member on another forum that moved over the Xenforo (from I think phpBB) and I really like it. There were hardly any complaints from users too.
So I would be certainly open to moving to that, but it's got to be done right and professionally, not something that can be half arsed. I'd have to pay a professional to manage the move.
Completely agree, it's money well spent. Yeeeeeeaaaaars ago (like 1999 or 2000), a forum I was then a moderator on (later user-side admin) moved from uBB to vBulletin (so also from one commercial product to another), and IIRC, having support from the vBulletin folks was invaluable. Over the years (that forum is still on vBulletin), having the support contract with the developer was well worth it, as they helped our web dev to implement a handful of custom things. (That being a Mac forum, back in the days when it was mostly graphic designers and other creatives using Macs, everyone involved had quite high expectations, both visually and usability-wise, and frankly, they did a great job of it — it looked way ahead of its time, and still looks good today. But on occasion it required some tweaks to the software to get it to really work just right. Our custom, professionally-designed forum skin and the custom software hooks served it well. The forum is still around, with over twice as many registered users and over twice as many posts as EEVblog right now, but it's absolutely moribund. From the looks of it, subforums that used to get maybe 5-10 new threads per day 15 years ago now have that many in a quarter:'( At least it's still around as an archive...)
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #92 on: March 30, 2020, 12:28:59 am »
I don't know how anyone can tolerate the sea of whitespace thing, I know I have sensitive eyes but it causes me physical discomfort to look at, it's like staring into a spotlight trying to read some text printed on the lens. I can turn down the brightness but then the contrast goes away. There is no shading separating different areas causing everything to blend together. This forum is not without flaws but at least the desktop version is nicely readable. It has good information density, it uses shading to good effect indicating clearly where active text entry boxes are, and while the background behind the text is still bright white at least the gray around it provides some contrast and mutes the overall brightness.

This same trend is the first thing I noticed about Win10 when my former employer moved over to it, everything was a just floating in a jumble on a sea of bright white, suddenly it was no longer obvious what was a clickable control, text entry box or background object. Decades of UI design and refinement thrown out overnight in the quest of being trendy and fashionable. Visual cues were used everywhere because they make the software easier to use. Shading and separators break things up and organize them the same way you probably arrange your tools in a toolbox and categorize small parts in some sort of bins instead of just dumping everything out spread across your workbench.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #93 on: March 30, 2020, 12:34:10 am »
Completely agree, it's money well spent. Yeeeeeeaaaaars ago (like 1999 or 2000), a forum I was then a moderator on (later user-side admin) moved from uBB to vBulletin (so also from one commercial product to another), and IIRC, having support from the vBulletin folks was invaluable. Over the years (that forum is still on vBulletin), having the support contract with the developer was well worth it, as they helped our web dev to implement a handful of custom things. (That being a Mac forum, back in the days when it was mostly graphic designers and other creatives using Macs, everyone involved had quite high expectations, both visually and usability-wise, and frankly, they did a great job of it — it looked way ahead of its time, and still looks good today. But on occasion it required some tweaks to the software to get it to really work just right. Our custom, professionally-designed forum skin and the custom software hooks served it well. The forum is still around, with over twice as many registered users and over twice as many posts as EEVblog right now, but it's absolutely moribund. From the looks of it, subforums that used to get maybe 5-10 new threads per day 15 years ago now have that many in a quarter:'( At least it's still around as an archive...)

I once actively used a handful of quite popular Yahoo groups starting in the early 2000's and was a moderator on one of them. These were thriving communities used by hundreds of people and then one day a while back, (maybe 10 years ago?) Yahoo redesigned it all and almost overnight the whole thing crashed and burned. It became so unusable that most of the users abandoned it right away, the internet filled with hoards of people complaining about the new design but Yahoo was unwavering. Usage continued to collapse and all the groups I was on became ghost towns. Finally more recently I read that the struggling Yahoo was closing down groups altogether, at that point it no longer mattered.

Some companies seem to have a motto of "If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is."
 
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Offline Whales

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #94 on: March 30, 2020, 12:47:13 am »
This same trend is the first thing I noticed about Win10 when my former employer moved over to it, everything was a just floating in a jumble on a sea of bright white, suddenly it was no longer obvious what was a clickable control, text entry box or background object. Decades of UI design and refinement thrown out overnight in the quest of being trendy and fashionable.

There were rumours that the MS UI design team was drawing the new UIs in powerpoint and then sending these off to the programmers.

What's the value in decades of human interface experience when you could be shiny?  The Law of Least Astonishment is now about avoiding users going "eww, that's old-looking" rather than "wtf is this app doing why can't I even".  The former is now considered worse than the latter, everything is about appearance and marketing.

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #95 on: March 30, 2020, 12:48:43 am »
Finally more recently I read that the struggling Yahoo was closing down groups altogether, at that point it no longer mattered.

Yes, it's gone completely, erased from existence  >:(
I spent more than a decade as the top poster on the OzCanyons Yahoo group before someone set up a Facebook group and it slowly died. Now the entire thing is gone, forgotten to history.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #96 on: March 30, 2020, 12:50:59 am »
The flat UI trend is easy to explain. Graphics cards can draw filled rectangles really fast. So it is easy if UI is just flat rectangles.

Doing 3D control elements is also hard on 4K and 8K monitors, since  your elements need to scale appropriately now. And again, filled rectangles scale easily.
Alex
 
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Offline BU508A

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #97 on: March 30, 2020, 12:51:40 am »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Simple answer:

NO

 :--
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 12:53:17 am by BU508A »
“Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”            - Terry Pratchett -
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #98 on: March 30, 2020, 01:21:11 am »
I saw the original post (at ~1am here) and my first reaction was  "No" - but I thought it best to sleep on it.

The subsequent responses have covered many points of concern I had - whitespace, continuous loading, drive by posts and so on.  I am consistently bewildered by the claims of "improved usability" where it is just buzzwords dropped around something new which doesn't actually make things better.  It's just "new".  (BTW ... age, in itself, is NOT a reason to discard anything - IMHO).

There is, however, one aspect I have not seen mentioned - and that is one of discipline.

It does take a (tiny) bit of effort navigating here and that may require some measure of thought - to understand how to package what you want to say in a post.  As has been said above, there is a lot of well thought out material here.  What would be absolutely crippling to the value offered here is to make the platform so "engaging" that a flood of useless crap washes in, burying the gems.

So, I would suggest that if people really want to engage with those who have an extremely diverse range of skill and experience, then develop the discipline to learn how to do that in the framework that currently exists ... and works.  If someone does not want to go to the "trouble" of working within an established environment, then I don't think I want to go to the trouble of pandering to their displeasure in having to learn.

I say this not as a put down to change, since adapting is one of the key characteristics of success - but that so much engineering is built from old, boring basics and putting yourself out to understand these through the simple application of oneself will serve you well.

In short, if you can't find the discipline to work within the current framework, then maybe you should avoid engineering pursuits.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #99 on: March 30, 2020, 01:24:28 am »
The flat UI trend is easy to explain. Graphics cards can draw filled rectangles really fast. So it is easy if UI is just flat rectangles.

Doing 3D control elements is also hard on 4K and 8K monitors, since  your elements need to scale appropriately now. And again, filled rectangles scale easily.

Graphics cards can create textured 3D shapes easily now too so that's not really an issue. Also there is a very wide space between the super flat whitewashed thing that was all the rage a few years ago and Vista-style 3D everything. Even subtle visual cues like raised buttons, shadows and shading can make something far more usable. A raised button with a shadow is no harder to scale than a link that is just text on a white background. These are not insurmountable technical hurdles, I expect software to get better and more refined with time, not worse.

Also the scaling thing is a non-issue anyway. I have a high resolution monitor because I want to display a lot of things on it at once. If the UI simply scales to make everything bigger then it negates most of the reason of having a high resolution display in the first place. A 4k display ought to be plenty to tile a PCB layout, one or more datasheets and a BOM for example all visible at once. About the only time I ever maximize one program to fill the whole screen is if I'm using my computer to watch TV/movies. Otherwise I typically use about 1/4-1/2 of the display area per active window depending on what I'm doing.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #100 on: March 30, 2020, 03:00:28 am »
It does take a (tiny) bit of effort navigating here and that may require some measure of thought - to understand how to package what you want to say in a post.  As has been said above, there is a lot of well thought out material here.  What would be absolutely crippling to the value offered here is to make the platform so "engaging" that a flood of useless crap washes in, burying the gems.

Would be interesting to compare the average post length (number of words) here vs the best example of a similar technical Discourse forum.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #101 on: March 30, 2020, 03:06:33 am »
This tells you a lot:
https://www.discourse.org/about
Quote
Discourse is a from-scratch reboot, an attempt to reimagine what a modern Internet discussion forum should be today, in a world of ubiquitous smartphones, tablets, Facebook, and Twitter.

It's been "reimagined" for the Twitter and Facebook generation. Not exactly a trend I'd want to follow.

And the main site blurb:
Quote
Discourse is modern forum software for your community. Use it as a mailing list, discussion forum, long-form chat room, and more!

Jack of all trades and master of none comes to mind.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #102 on: March 30, 2020, 03:07:58 am »
And I agree with others, the continued constantly loading endless scrolling page thing is a ridiculous idea for long threads.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #103 on: March 30, 2020, 03:49:09 am »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

I hate discourse, it's garbage, and doesn't seem at all suited to long term community forum type discussion. It's more of a chat platform from what I gather.
So it's not going to happen, not point even discussing it ......

Time to lock the thread ?
 
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Offline amyk

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #104 on: March 30, 2020, 03:49:24 am »
I looked at some XenForo examples including their site itself, and was a little turned disappointed when they all complained about no JS and had an advert for Google's spywarebrowser.
Quote
JavaScript is disabled. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding.
You are using an out of date browser. It may not display this or other websites correctly.
You should upgrade or use an alternative browser.
Maybe it's just the style they use, but in contrast this site works perfectly fine without JS, and I've even used it from one of my 25-year-old Thinkpads. :+1:

I think vBulletin is pretty nice; look at https://www.badcaps.net/forum for an example.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #105 on: March 30, 2020, 03:53:14 am »
That's definitely a negative. I block javascript by default and only allow it on a rare few sites. It does not seem like something necessary for a forum.
 

Online KaneTW

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #106 on: March 30, 2020, 05:14:06 am »
From my experience XenForo runs fine without JS. It complains, and some features go directly to the HTML fallback, but everything works.
 

Offline MyHeadHz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #107 on: March 30, 2020, 06:11:33 am »
Hello,
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Yes, it's not easy. This is a big forum.

There are pretty much only advantages in switching platform, it's pretty much time, but there are risks in the migration also.

Pros:
* finally modern mobile experience
* much better readability for the forum
* improved engagement with younger audiences (!!!)
* way better search
* Ability to easily leverage managed databases such as digitalocean's ones which I personally recommend
* Lower resources consumption
* faster website
* improved engagement with the many tools discourse provide
* ease of moderation, discourse forums are mostly self-moderating requiring only limited oversight
* modern features like modern editor, better emojis, social login,
* way way way easier management and upgrades
.....

When you first posted this I didn't think you would get anyone as it was so obvious.  OK, so congrats you got a few to fall for your silly prank.

I'd really rather you didn't spam up the forum like this though.  This place is really a great resource, and this sort of silliness has the potential to drive people away.
 

Offline daqq

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #108 on: March 30, 2020, 06:47:21 am »
Quote
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.
1) How is ignoring the advice and requests from people who contribute the most to the forum a good idea? I'm OK with moving the sofa near the window, provided there is a point and it improves the room. Change for the sake of change is foolish.
2) I can't help but notice that all of the users who actually want the change are you and no one else.

Also, I have looked at a few discourse forums, the selfloading monstrosities. Please show me a thread comparable in size to this: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/ in discourse. How well would it scale? When I want to see something on page 562, what do I have to do?

It seems to me that Discourse is great for support 'forums' where someone asks "How do I do X?", there are two replies and that's it. Now for actual discussion and advancement of the problem.

As to the self moderation you explained, WTF? Moderators effectively get to be chosen by popularity contests? Can I be a moderator?
Believe it or not, pointy haired people do exist!
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Online magic

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2020, 07:13:52 am »
They clearly haven't learned about affordances, discoverability, UI stability (as in "things don't move around and appear and disappear", not crash-proofing), etc.
They are learning about AB testing, moving fast and breaking things, eyeball retention, ad impressions, all the usual stuff :P

On bbs style forum's like this people put a lot more thought and effort into a good post. Some posts are so good and technically detailed they become direct go-to pages in the internet.
And this is possible because the forum is a bunch of dynamically generated HTML pages one can link to. Linking to individual content in those user-side-rendered javascript monstrosities is typically either impossible or results in a myriad dumb problems because developers of that junk can't get navigation right. And half of users who browse without JS wouldn't even bother going there.
 
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Offline tom66

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2020, 07:14:34 am »
How does self moderation work?
Probably some kind of voting where the posts most convincing to the largest number of readers end up at the top and others go down or disappear. Ever been to r*ddit? ;D
So, ironically, if this post were on a Discourse forum, it would have been downvoted, therefore the Discourse transition would have never happened...
 
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Online magic

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #111 on: March 30, 2020, 07:18:12 am »
You probably also believe in democracy, don't you? ::)

No transition is happening because Dave thinks it's dumb. And I kinda expected similar reaction from him so I just came here to flame on discourse and "the modern web" for fun ;D
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #112 on: March 30, 2020, 07:37:06 am »
ANY type of continuously loading web  is simply crap.
It is going against all normal navigation, orientation, linking etc.

Whoever invented it should be criminally prosecuted..

Everybody hates it. My wife hates how in Pinterest you cannot get back to where you were before..
NOBODY likes it.
 
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Offline BU508A

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #113 on: March 30, 2020, 08:51:38 am »
And I agree with others, the continued constantly loading endless scrolling page thing is a ridiculous idea for long threads.

Yes. With this feature you'll kill instantly the TEA thread which would be a real shame. Imho.
“Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”            - Terry Pratchett -
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #114 on: March 30, 2020, 09:51:31 am »
On bbs style forum's like this people put a lot more thought and effort into a good post. Some posts are so good and technically detailed they become direct go-to pages in the internet.
And this is possible because the forum is a bunch of dynamically generated HTML pages one can link to. Linking to individual content in those user-side-rendered javascript monstrosities is typically either impossible or results in a myriad dumb problems because developers of that junk can't get navigation right. And half of users who browse without JS wouldn't even bother going there.

I do like how the URL tells you what the thread is, e.g.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/migrating-the-forum-to-discourse/
At least Discourse does seem to have that though:
https://forum.kicad.info/t/3d-model-visibility-through-hole-smd-virtual/21998

 

Offline I wanted a rude username

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #115 on: March 30, 2020, 09:59:08 am »
Thanks OP for teaching me the name of that forum software I've seen on a few sites.

It has a design feature that I've never been able to understand: it only loads a handful of comments at a time, and you have to scroll to load more. This would seem to break archiving (Wayback Machine or just saving to a file), search (the forum hijacks Ctrl+F to try to make up for it), and other RESTful functions.

I'm afraid I don't have the > 180 IQ required to comprehend the benefits is of such a design. Could you please explain?
 
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #116 on: March 30, 2020, 10:00:56 am »
I'm afraid I don't have the < 80 IQ required to believe in the benefits is of such a design. Could you please explain?

FTFY
 
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2020, 10:56:33 am »
Quote
to comprehend the benefits is of such a design

Not 100% sure but I would imagine it's to prevent, say, 2000-odd messages loading before you get to see the one you want. I previously referred to Ice-T's score thread - I had to turn off notifications for that because it was just too painful loading up when a page was over half full (and that's with this forum's limited message count in a page). It would probably kill not just my PC but my entire network and the local neighbourhood broadband if I clicked the 'all messages' button :)

Anyway, on Disco that wouldn't be a problem because you'd only load what you're actually looking at, yet still be able to instantly navigate anywhere in the thread by a drag of the navigation bar.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #118 on: March 30, 2020, 04:35:48 pm »
I don't know how anyone can tolerate the sea of whitespace thing, I know I have sensitive eyes but it causes me physical discomfort to look at, it's like staring into a spotlight trying to read some text printed on the lens.

Same, so I like that backgrounds in this forum are not plain white.

From my experience, Discourse-based forums also show a lot fewer threads at once, it's annoying as hell when you're browsing topics.

Anyway, I don't see the point. Xenforo looks like a much better alternative, so if Dave decides to switch (and as he said, he'll need help anyway), I'm ok with this one.
Meanwhile, the current solution works. Software just doesn't rust. If it works properly, is stable and can run on any modern hosting service, why change it?

 

Offline Tom45

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #119 on: March 30, 2020, 04:59:30 pm »
I'd never heard of, or seen, Discourse until this thread.

So I went to their About page and stopped reading as soon as I saw this in their list of  "features":

Quote
All the modern amenities you’d expect from a big social website like Twitter or Facebook are present in Discourse
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #120 on: March 30, 2020, 05:24:32 pm »
One example of a Discourse-based forum, so people can get an idea: https://forum.kicad.info/
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #121 on: March 30, 2020, 06:23:34 pm »
I am going to copyright the words "Disagree, Distrust and Disinform" to prevent idiots from using them for another stupid name forums.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 06:32:50 pm by Bud »
Facebook-free life and Rigol-free shack.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #122 on: March 30, 2020, 07:45:20 pm »
The OpenWRrt forum is another example: https://forum.openwrt.org/
I did contribute a bit to the old forum, but since they changed to Discourse I've hardly posted anything.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #123 on: March 30, 2020, 10:35:28 pm »
I work mostly in software and one thing that really stands out over the years is how much more unnecessarily complex things have gotten, and the worst part of it is that it's almost all self-inflicted: all the younger ones are drawn in by the marketing wank and don't take the time to understand and think about things, they just slap a bunch of bloated libraries together.

I work in embedded software and even that world, with its often severe hardware constraints, is heading towards more and more complexity with needless layers upon layers of libraries, abstraction layers, and other crap. Some of the tools that try to manage that crap, like ST's STM32CubeIDE and NXP's MCUXpresso are huge, bloated, and incredibly slow to the point where I don't see how anyone can use them efficiently. Kids just coming into the industry from school haven't a clue how to develop for a machine with less than a few gigabytes of memory and a 4 GHz CPU.  |O
Complexity is the number-one enemy of high-quality code.
 
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Online KE5FX

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #124 on: March 30, 2020, 10:52:09 pm »
Anyway, I don't see the point. Xenforo looks like a much better alternative, so if Dave decides to switch (and as he said, he'll need help anyway), I'm ok with this one.

I don't understand all the favorable mentions of Xenforo.  It doesn't seem to be any better than Discourse or any number of other Facebook wannabees. 

Another forum I'm on just switched to Xenforo for no reason that was apparent to anyone outside the forum's management.  I'd say user engagement has dropped at least by 50%, probably more.   The sponsors are pissed.

If it's not broke, don't "fix" it.
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #125 on: March 30, 2020, 11:01:02 pm »
The flat UI trend is easy to explain. Graphics cards can draw filled rectangles really fast. So it is easy if UI is just flat rectangles.

Doing 3D control elements is also hard on 4K and 8K monitors, since  your elements need to scale appropriately now. And again, filled rectangles scale easily.
I don't mean to be rude, but that is the most ludicrous, patently absurd thing I've read all week.

Our computers 20 years ago could handle complex, layered, shaded UIs with real alpha transparency, without a problem. Our GPUs today are hundreds of times more powerful, and have 20 times the VRAM. Scaling up a UI to 2x (i.e. 4x as many pixels) is peanuts to them.

You're talking as though this is some novel challenge, when in fact it's one we faced and solved decades ago. (I'm not exaggerating when I say 20 years: it was in early 2000 that Apple first released Mac OS X's Aqua interface, with its gratuitous alpha transparency and image transforms. It ran them surprisingly well in software (!), but they really came to life on machines that could do it in hardware, which was pretty much all machines released from that point on.)

If you encounter speed problems with high-dpi UIs, that is strictly a software implementation failure. But well-built GUIs have absolutely zero problem with this.

Remember, we now use GPUs capable of drawing millions of triangles per second, with complex math applied to them. You forget that that hardware is available to 2D applications as well, since 2D is merely a subset of 3D where the Z-axis is zero.
 
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Online ataradov

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #126 on: March 30, 2020, 11:05:10 pm »
Our computers 20 years ago could handle complex, layered, shaded UIs with real alpha transparency
It is not about performance. It is about UI element design that scales well and does not get blurry.

Old Win95 style 3D buttons had 3 pixel border that created 3D effect. You can't see pixels anymore, so all those UI elements need to be designed to be adaptable to the display resolution. This is not an unsolvable issue, but turning everything into simple primitives automatically solved the issue.

I'm not saying that I like or happy about it, but it is what it is.
Alex
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #127 on: March 30, 2020, 11:07:17 pm »
This same trend is the first thing I noticed about Win10 when my former employer moved over to it, everything was a just floating in a jumble on a sea of bright white, suddenly it was no longer obvious what was a clickable control, text entry box or background object. Decades of UI design and refinement thrown out overnight in the quest of being trendy and fashionable.

There were rumours that the MS UI design team was drawing the new UIs in powerpoint and then sending these off to the programmers.
I'm 100% sure they did that, because until just a few years ago, it was an extremely common way of doing low-fi prototypes. It's really only in the past 5-10 years that halfway decent UI prototyping software has come out and taken hold in the UX world. (Though IMHO, calling it "halfway decent" is being extremely generous. From a usability standpoint, those UI prototyping systems are atrocious. Oh, the irony…)

But everyone understood that the PPT mockups were not intended to be pixel-perfect final art, but just symbolic representations.


Me, when I was working in UX, I liked to work on pencil and paper as long as I could. That way, there was never any confusion about "but I don't like the color of that button" and such nonsense.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #128 on: March 30, 2020, 11:17:05 pm »
Our computers 20 years ago could handle complex, layered, shaded UIs with real alpha transparency
It is not about performance.
Sorry, you can't claim you weren't talking about performance, since your post opened with "The flat UI trend is easy to explain. Graphics cards can draw filled rectangles really fast." That is unambiguously a statement about performance, and as such, it's just plain wrong. Graphics performance has nothing to do with the flat trend.


Our computers 20 years ago could handle complex, layered, shaded UIs with real alpha transparency
It is about UI element design that scales well and does not get blurry.

Old Win95 style 3D buttons had 3 pixel border that created 3D effect. You can't see pixels anymore, so all those UI elements need to be designed to be adaptable to the display resolution. This is not an unsolvable issue, but turning everything into simple primitives automatically solved the issue.

I'm not saying that I like or happy about it, but it is what it is.
Again, a problem that was solved long ago, albeit not as long ago as the performance side.

Apple and Microsoft both had solved that problem long ago. In the case of Windows, however, it took lots of apps a long time to unblur, because the apps were still using antiquated graphics APIs that were pixel-based, so the app was actually rendered at low res and then scaled up. That, however, has fuck-all to do with design choices, since even simple rectangles and plain text were blurry in such apps.
 

Offline Whales

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #129 on: March 31, 2020, 12:31:57 am »
Me, when I was working in UX, I liked to work on pencil and paper as long as I could. That way, there was never any confusion about "but I don't like the color of that button" and such nonsense.

"What's that, 2H?"

Gah, you're giving me anxiety thinking about it  ;)  Showing off website prototypes is always easier if you keep the colour scheme of the old website.

Online KE5FX

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #130 on: March 31, 2020, 02:22:32 am »
I will say that I like what Rennlist does.  They maintain the familiar look and feel of traditional BBS-style forums like this one, but if you keep scrolling up or down when you reach the top or bottom of a "page" of posts, it expands the page in that direction. 

This is a convenient and relatively harmless affordance that lessens the need for the 'All' button.  It does waste bandwidth to some extent, since it's easy to find yourself dumped into the middle of a thread full of large image attachments that you've already seen but that still have to be fetched from the server for whatever reason.  The 'End' key doesn't always take you to the real end of the thread, but rather to the end of the content you've already cached. 

If they'd make the End key work properly and keep the page # control for those who prefer navigating that way, it would be more or less perfect.  Can't tell what forum software they use but it would be a good fit for EEVBlog if you (Dave) ever do get the itch to change. 
 

Online tautech

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #131 on: March 31, 2020, 02:50:12 am »
I will say that I like what Rennlist does.  They maintain the familiar look and feel of traditional BBS-style forums like this one, but if you keep scrolling up or down when you reach the top or bottom of a "page" of posts, it expands the page in that direction. 

This is a convenient and relatively harmless affordance that lessens the need for the 'All' button.  It does waste bandwidth to some extent, since it's easy to find yourself dumped into the middle of a thread full of large image attachments that you've already seen but that still have to be fetched from the server for whatever reason.  The 'End' key doesn't always take you to the real end of the thread, but rather to the end of the content you've already cached. 

If they'd make the End key work properly and keep the page # control for those who prefer navigating that way, it would be more or less perfect.  Can't tell what forum software they use but it would be a good fit for EEVBlog if you (Dave) ever do get the itch to change.
What we have now is arguably better in that you can access a thread in whatever board it's in and go to a page #, New, Home or End.

I used to think SMF was the pits but another forum I'm on changed to Xenforo quite painlessly and it's really little if any better than what we have here however that wouldn't be so if Dave hadn't done the many forum mods he has over the last few years.
Strongly support staying as we are.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #132 on: March 31, 2020, 02:53:29 am »
I just noticed the OP is from Italy... maybe the stress of the quarantine is getting to him. :(

Worst .... -> HERE

I was changing job when the pandemic started. All interview cancelled, all position suspended.
Moved country, can't go back, can't work here.

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #133 on: March 31, 2020, 04:05:32 am »
[...] Anyway, the data under the posts is small, just some JSON, the generated HTML is heavy, but is generated dynamically as you scroll. like all apps of this decade.

I prefer the model where the whole page is loaded...    while I'm reading the top part of the page, the rest of it finishes loading below.   Load-on-scroll forces the user to wait, and wait, and wait...   
 
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Offline LaserSteve

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #134 on: March 31, 2020, 05:21:09 am »
Oh God No.  No no no no.

Steve

"I've Never Heard of a Nuclear Meltdown Caused by a Buffer Overflow"  filssavi
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #135 on: March 31, 2020, 05:34:28 am »
I also loathe those pages that just keep loading as you're scrolling, I didn't know the name for it but it has driven me nuts every time I've encountered it. You can't tell how much further you have to go, it just keeps loading more and more. Then of course the issue someone already mentioned about the difficulty in getting back where you were after reloading the page.
 

Online 2N3055

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #136 on: March 31, 2020, 08:52:04 am »
[...] Anyway, the data under the posts is small, just some JSON, the generated HTML is heavy, but is generated dynamically as you scroll. like all apps of this decade.

I prefer the model where the whole page is loaded...    while I'm reading the top part of the page, the rest of it finishes loading below.   Load-on-scroll forces the user to wait, and wait, and wait...   

Not to mention you cannot use browser search (because some of the page is not loaded) and most of them have problems with select/copy..


 
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Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #137 on: March 31, 2020, 10:45:44 am »

KIS and DFIIIABroke definately applies here !!!     \$\Omega\$
 
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Offline drussell

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #138 on: March 31, 2020, 12:02:15 pm »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Surely this was either an attempt at trolling or a very early April fools' joke?

I suppose the timezone is quite different on whatever planet you're on!
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #139 on: March 31, 2020, 03:19:46 pm »
 10 Print "No!"
 20 Goto 10

RUN

 For the love of everything actually USABLE - NO. These new "social media style" platforms are nothing but junk. I can't stand the stuff. This forum, in particular, works VERY well. The software is great (hopefully not because of hundreds of hours per week of behind the scenes work by the admins) and checks all the boxes. In my other hobbies, the one I use most often is so far out of date it isn't funny - their message editor for example blocks the spell check that is in every modern browser, and it is severely lacking a great feature here - the notification that someone else has replied to the thread while you were typing yours. The other one, which I gave up (spending too much times on forums, not enough time actually DOING things), is in the more modern 'discussion' format and I absolutely hate it

I just want some place, like this, that just keeps on using what works, and doesn't change completely in format because "all the cool kids are doing it". Change for the sake of change is NOT improvement. The experience of setting up a new postage meter at work proved that. The old one was simple and easy to use, probably some micro in there, interfacing the scale and printing mechanism with a multi line LCD character display that displayed the pertinent information and basic prompts. Worked well, even the most tech illiterate people in the office could use it - and being an IT consulting company, it's amazing how many tech illiterate people actually work there. New one - this is no longer good enough (despite a practical monopoly - so it's not like competition forced their hand - the new one has a full color graphical LCD and runs Android. And is insanely complicated to do the simple task of weighing an envelope and printing the correct postage on it based on the entered destination.

So no, we do not need this form changed to another platform just because it's the 'trend'. It needs to stay right how it is, it is perfectly usable.

 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #140 on: March 31, 2020, 03:38:56 pm »
So no, we do not need this form changed to another platform just because it's the 'trend'. It needs to stay right how it is, it is perfectly usable.

Precisely, for all the reasons you mention.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Online KE5FX

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #141 on: March 31, 2020, 11:05:28 pm »
Note that this is your actual complaint:

I also loathe those pages that just keep loading as you're scrolling, I didn't know the name for it but it has driven me nuts every time I've encountered it. You can't tell how much further you have to go ... Then of course the issue someone already mentioned about the difficulty in getting back where you were after reloading the page.

... not this:

Quote
it just keeps loading more and more.

I don't understand why the bad part of this feature always seems to accompany the good part.  Why can't we have both types of navigation?  It feels clunky and archaic to scroll to the top of the page and hit a wall for no reason, where I'm forced to move the mouse and keep clicking on the same (separate) control to continue reading in that direction. 

The infinite-scrolling model doesn't have to suck.  It just happens to do so, in all of its current incarnations.
 
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Offline Wilksey

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #142 on: April 01, 2020, 12:26:57 pm »
Why are people still discussing it? Dave has already said no so it is not going to happen  :-//
I think you'll just have to agree to disagree and some people like it and some people don't, either way EEVBlog is not going to be moving.
 
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Offline @rt

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #143 on: April 01, 2020, 01:24:24 pm »
Isn’t that like throwing away a bunch of advertising income?
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #144 on: April 01, 2020, 01:44:37 pm »
Quote
Why are people still discussing it? Dave has already said no so it is not going to happen

Because people are still interested in either what it's about or having an opinion? I've learnt a few things from this thread, unrelated to what Dave may or may not do, which I probably wouldn't have if everything you're not personally interested in got banned.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #145 on: April 01, 2020, 02:13:40 pm »
[...]
The infinite-scrolling model doesn't have to suck.  It just happens to do so, in all of its current incarnations.

If a big enough buffer is loaded at a time -  one that corresponds to a whole normal page, for example - it shouldn't suck more than having separate pages, I guess. 

The load-on-scroll should work in the background, so it always loads +/- one "page" from where the browser window is currently displaying. 

In other words, the user shouldn't have to scroll all the way down to the bottom (or all the way to the top) before loading the next segment...   this should be "anticipated" by the software long before it happens.

If it was done this way, it might be nicer than separate pages. 

Search is still a challenge.

 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #146 on: April 01, 2020, 03:03:03 pm »
If a big enough buffer is loaded at a time -  one that corresponds to a whole normal page, for example - it shouldn't suck more than having separate pages, I guess. 

The load-on-scroll should work in the background, so it always loads +/- one "page" from where the browser window is currently displaying. 

In other words, the user shouldn't have to scroll all the way down to the bottom (or all the way to the top) before loading the next segment...   this should be "anticipated" by the software long before it happens.

If it was done this way, it might be nicer than separate pages.

Sorry - but, no.  A thousand times no.
 

Offline hli

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #147 on: April 01, 2020, 03:40:23 pm »
Also, I have looked at a few discourse forums, the selfloading monstrosities. Please show me a thread comparable in size to this: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/ in discourse. How well would it scale? When I want to see something on page 562, what do I have to do?
The home-assistant forum has some larger threads. I did not look too deep, but there are some with 3k+ posts (not as big as the TEA thread, but still): https://community.home-assistant.io/t/echo-devices-alexa-as-media-player-testers-needed/58639

What you can see:
  • no threading
  • very rare use of quoting
  • you don't browse by page, but instead by date (on the right side)
  • one can link to individual posts
Seems to work quite well (and scrolling to a certain date in the time-line is quite fast), but I find it quite unreadable (I have a 27'' screen, just use it). Too much whiete, to less distinction between the posts.
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #148 on: April 01, 2020, 03:53:17 pm »
Also, I have looked at a few discourse forums, the selfloading monstrosities. Please show me a thread comparable in size to this: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/test-equipment-anonymous-(tea)-group-therapy-thread/ in discourse. How well would it scale? When I want to see something on page 562, what do I have to do?
The home-assistant forum has some larger threads. I did not look too deep, but there are some with 3k+ posts (not as big as the TEA thread, but still): https://community.home-assistant.io/t/echo-devices-alexa-as-media-player-testers-needed/58639

What you can see:
  • no threading
  • very rare use of quoting
  • you don't browse by page, but instead by date (on the right side)
  • one can link to individual posts
Seems to work quite well (and scrolling to a certain date in the time-line is quite fast), but I find it quite unreadable (I have a 27'' screen, just use it). Too much whiete, to less distinction between the posts.

If it doesn't have easy multi-level quoting, then the context of a conversation will be lost. That means the only conversations will be very simple, therefore very boring and relatively uninteresting. All that is left is single-line questions and answers like "which button do I press to squirdle the gammeticon?". Examples: stackexchange, edaboard. Yuck.

In contrast multi-level quoting allows and encourages subtle conversations including discussion of "why", "why not", "in what circumstances".
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #149 on: April 01, 2020, 03:56:32 pm »
If a big enough buffer is loaded at a time -  one that corresponds to a whole normal page, for example - it shouldn't suck more than having separate pages, I guess. 

The load-on-scroll should work in the background, so it always loads +/- one "page" from where the browser window is currently displaying. 

In other words, the user shouldn't have to scroll all the way down to the bottom (or all the way to the top) before loading the next segment...   this should be "anticipated" by the software long before it happens.

If it was done this way, it might be nicer than separate pages.

Sorry - but, no.  A thousand times no.

It would be like auto-loading the next page as well as the one you're viewing.  It could be an advantage when you read sequentially.
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #150 on: April 01, 2020, 04:26:24 pm »
Quote
If it doesn't have easy multi-level quoting, then the context of a conversation will be lost.

Not if it has a properly threaded display. Quotes are a bandaid because there is no threading. A typical web forum is pants in this context, and conversations here are rubbish. By contrast, with a threaded display a quote is pretty rare and only used to isolate a particular part of the post being commented on.

Here, a topic with 1000 posts is a huge beast, worthy of comment and boasting. On a threaded forum it would be nothing, yet every post would be relatable to the one it is a comment to and quoting wouldn't be needed.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #151 on: April 01, 2020, 04:30:35 pm »
I hate this auto-loading thing with a passion. Holy crap. >:D
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #152 on: April 01, 2020, 04:37:15 pm »
Quote
If it doesn't have easy multi-level quoting, then the context of a conversation will be lost.

Not if it has a properly threaded display. Quotes are a bandaid because there is no threading. A typical web forum is pants in this context, and conversations here are rubbish. By contrast, with a threaded display a quote is pretty rare and only used to isolate a particular part of the post being commented on.

I really like threaded displays, and use them extensively when reading my mail and usenet feeds. Their allow different sub-threads to be kept separate.

But even within a distinct sub-thread it is necessary to include the context of that sub-thread.

Hence threading and quoting have different purposes; one is not a substitue for the other. Both are beneficial
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Online magic

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #153 on: April 01, 2020, 05:01:49 pm »
Threading fanboys rejoice, rumor has it that the forum is moving to Reddit :-+

https://www.reddit.com/r/EEVblog/
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #154 on: April 01, 2020, 06:45:08 pm »
Eeek!  :scared:
 

Offline artag

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #155 on: April 01, 2020, 07:53:31 pm »
Don't worry. It's All Fool's Day.
 
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Offline Back2Volts

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #156 on: April 01, 2020, 08:27:03 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each.  You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window. This is not really a useful discussion.

Here.    I do not have thousands of posts!    I'LL SAY, NOT ONLY NO!!!   BUT NO!!!    HELL NO!!!
 
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #157 on: April 01, 2020, 10:10:13 pm »
 :-DD
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #158 on: April 01, 2020, 11:19:57 pm »
I can't but notice all the users complaining have thousands of posts each. 
You're just used to PhPbb and complaining cause you don't like the sofa to be moved near the window.
This is not really a useful discussion.


Here.    I do not have thousands of posts!    I'LL SAY, NOT ONLY NO!!!   BUT NO!!!    HELL NO!!!


I'm with Back2Volts on this one  :-+ 
moving the sofa near the window will get it exposed to the sun and fade and crack sooner,

or if it's a big dollar leather job, some thieving wankers will force open the window
and toss it in their van while you're busy in the dunny  >:D

and no, I'm not putting up bars or (more) outside cameras
or blow money on window tinting, just to move the sofa/couch  :--

and who knows what's gathered and lived/died under there over the years, no thanks!    :scared: 

 :D
 

Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #159 on: April 02, 2020, 04:16:01 am »
Not if it has a properly threaded display. Quotes are a bandaid because there is no threading. A typical web forum is pants in this context, and conversations here are rubbish. By contrast, with a threaded display a quote is pretty rare and only used to isolate a particular part of the post being commented on.

Here, a topic with 1000 posts is a huge beast, worthy of comment and boasting. On a threaded forum it would be nothing, yet every post would be relatable to the one it is a comment to and quoting wouldn't be needed.

I've never liked threaded displays, it turns the a topic into a maze of little subtopics, it's one of the reasons I don't use reddit unless I happen to end up there from a search for something.
 
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Online magic

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #160 on: April 02, 2020, 06:25:39 am »
I've never liked threaded displays, it turns the a topic into a maze of little subtopics, it's one of the reasons I don't use reddit unless I happen to end up there from a search for something.
Or it becomes close to linear because everybody rushes to attach his post to the currently most-upvoted thread for visibility :-DD
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #161 on: April 02, 2020, 08:26:06 am »
Not if it has a properly threaded display. Quotes are a bandaid because there is no threading. A typical web forum is pants in this context, and conversations here are rubbish. By contrast, with a threaded display a quote is pretty rare and only used to isolate a particular part of the post being commented on.

Here, a topic with 1000 posts is a huge beast, worthy of comment and boasting. On a threaded forum it would be nothing, yet every post would be relatable to the one it is a comment to and quoting wouldn't be needed.

I've never liked threaded displays, it turns the a topic into a maze of little subtopics, it's one of the reasons I don't use reddit unless I happen to end up there from a search for something.

I agree about reddit, but there are alternative displays that I prefer. I also like to be able to flick between linear and threaded with one click.

For example, here's a usenet topic started by Win Hill of AoE fame. It shows both threading and multilevel quoting, why they are orthogonal and both valuable

« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 08:29:48 am by tggzzz »
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #162 on: April 02, 2020, 11:58:39 am »
Threading creates trees, but human communication is linear.

The result is that message threading encourages bifurcation from the original topic, whereas a linear/paged message listing only encourages divergence from the original topic.  In both cases, quoting has an orthogonal purpose, and can even be used to collect various posts back to the original topic.

In an ongoing discussion threading is extremely useful, exactly because of the bifurcation: each sub-discussion can concentrate on the details, and the communication is not restricted to a linear format.  However, reading those afterwards is slow, as it can be difficult to reconstruct the complete flow; you often have to read the entire related discussion linearly in posted order, to understand it all.

Thus, in my opinion, threading works best for email, and linear message listing (in posting order) for discussions read afterwards.

I personally avoid Discourse; it does not seem to work well the way I use my browser.  Granted, I particularly dislike web sites that insist on using async Javascript to load content, because I want the page to actually show the contents I want when I load it, and not sometime later on.  I don't mind if the images take some time to load, as long as the text is there from the get go.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 12:03:16 pm by Nominal Animal »
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #163 on: April 02, 2020, 12:27:12 pm »
I think vBulletin is pretty nice; look at https://www.badcaps.net/forum for an example.
I can vouch for vBulletin being a great platform. For many years, I was a (user, not server) admin on what was at the time the biggest Mac forum outside of Apple’s own. (As of today, despite it being a graveyard these days, with very little activity over the past decade, that forum has over twice as many total posts as the eevblog forums, and three times as many registered users, just to give some scale). We ran it with a totally custom skin we commissioned, with various custom mods. Feature wise, it’s a bit dated now, but the skin still looks great, far better than any default skin I’ve ever seen on any forum software. The forum skin was introduced in 2007, for context. If anyone cares, it’s still up, at http://forums.macnn.com, years after the MacNN news site shut down.)

I wasn’t a server admin, but my understanding is that the vBulletin company was very helpful in implementing the custom stuff, and with any server issues that came up. For sure, I can vouch for it being eminently capable of running a forum of this scale, both in terms of scalability and features. (PhpBB, for example, is far, far, far too feature-poor for larger communities.)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 12:35:31 pm by tooki »
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #164 on: April 02, 2020, 03:34:00 pm »
Threading creates trees, but human communication is linear.

The result is that message threading encourages bifurcation from the original topic, whereas a linear/paged message listing only encourages divergence from the original topic.  In both cases, quoting has an orthogonal purpose, and can even be used to collect various posts back to the original topic.

In an ongoing discussion threading is extremely useful, exactly because of the bifurcation: each sub-discussion can concentrate on the details, and the communication is not restricted to a linear format.  However, reading those afterwards is slow, as it can be difficult to reconstruct the complete flow; you often have to read the entire related discussion linearly in posted order, to understand it all.

It need not be slow, if multilevel quotes are used. Having the tree explicitly visible is a great help as well, as it visually separates subthreads.

It is all old technology known to the greybeards back in the mid 80s. Youngsters forget history.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #165 on: April 02, 2020, 04:24:06 pm »
In an ongoing discussion threading is extremely useful, exactly because of the bifurcation: each sub-discussion can concentrate on the details, and the communication is not restricted to a linear format.  However, reading those afterwards is slow, as it can be difficult to reconstruct the complete flow; you often have to read the entire related discussion linearly in posted order, to understand it all.
It need not be slow, if multilevel quotes are used. Having the tree explicitly visible is a great help as well, as it visually separates subthreads.
I meant that the nature of following a bifurcating discussion afterwards is hard, because of the bifurcation itself.  If you examine each discussion from the root (or initially quoted message) to each leaf message, you end up going back to the bifurcation-causing messages, and the overall timeline across all sub-threads gets smudged.  A human problem, not a technical one per se.

As a practical example, I prefer to use the marc.info interface over the LKML one, when following the Linux Kernel Mailing List.  The marc.info interface shows the messages in time order, with the number of messages in each thread in brackets just before the subject.  When I see a relevant subject, I check the thread view, and read the initial post of the thread.  Depending on it, I may skip the thread, read the "key posts" (from subsystem maintainers and such, that I recognize), or read all posts thus far in the thread.  Essentially, I treat the linux-kernel mailing list the same way this forum works: subjects sorted by time, with posts under each subject/thread in their posted order.  It just works best for me.

It is all old technology known to the greybeards back in the mid 80s. Youngsters forget history.
For sure.  This stuff hasn't changed in the last 30 years at all, except for some not so important technical details (like more bandwidth and CPU power available to do things that used to be too slow to be useful; and text formatting and image support when web forums became available a bit over 20 years ago).
 

Offline nardev

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #166 on: April 02, 2020, 04:48:48 pm »
IMHO It's great, nice looking, very light interface but not good for all types of content. I don't think it's great for EEVBlog Forum either.
 

Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #167 on: April 02, 2020, 07:54:07 pm »
I'm actually surprised at the amount of agreement we've seen here. Usually if someone posts a terrible idea at least 10% of the population will jump on board if only to be contrarian but so far this seems to be unanimous aside from the OP.
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #168 on: April 02, 2020, 10:34:08 pm »

I'm actually surprised at the amount of agreement we've seen here.

Usually if someone posts a terrible idea at least 10% of the population will jump on board if only to be contrarian but so far this seems to be unanimous aside from the OP.

 :o :o :o   amazing!



DJ has eevblog.com forum purring perfectly, for a long while now,

why mess with another forum format and invite unpaid work getting familiar and or chasing and stomping on reported bugs  ?

I believe the winning forum format is one that works across all browser platforms, old and new

If the forum 'works' every time, people will rock up here, be it with the latest slick gaming/AV rig or a Pentium 111 clunker running Win2000/XP

and FWIW many people have lives to get on with, including web surfing and communicating to do,
not waste time on browser updates to use added website features, or cater to the plethora of questionable security updates/patches/bandaids/opioids etc,
praying some malware, adware or bugware hasn't crawled in, or not caught at the Beta release stage,

'latest' features that should be an option to load, not a forced necessity just to 'view the content' or to tick some Checkout boxes,

The Finger to all that, no more!  :--

 
 
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Online tautech

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #169 on: April 02, 2020, 10:54:35 pm »

I'm actually surprised at the amount of agreement we've seen here.

Usually if someone posts a terrible idea at least 10% of the population will jump on board if only to be contrarian but so far this seems to be unanimous aside from the OP.

 :o :o :o   amazing!



DJ has eevblog.com forum purring perfectly, for a long while now,

why mess with another forum format and invite unpaid work getting familiar and or chasing and stomping on reported bugs  ?
Yet the one annoying thing with SMF unlike other platforms is the Reply button in each post where if you hit it a reply is generated with no reference to the post where the Reply button was.
We all know to use the Quote button instead where other forums maintain the reference to the post from where you generated the reply.
Confusing yes, especially for the newbie and a SMF patch for this would be a great improvement for EEVblog.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #170 on: April 02, 2020, 11:45:51 pm »
I am perfectly happy with the way it is.
I can find what I am looking for.

Lot of detail, minimal sizing of graphics, small text I can see many things in sight and no scrolling too much to to obtain little bits of information.
I don't post much but I enjoy looking around and reading stuff.

One thing I really hate on many modern websites and I hope it doesn't happen here. Fixed elements such as navigation/toolbars and widgets that get in the way. Sometimes they are put up carefully so they are not in the way or distracting and you can hide them (which I think should be a must) when not needed but in many places they just stick them there. Also a trend with making the graphics large and lots of white spaces so I have to scroll more but with stuff stuck there as well to me it interferes and bloats my viewing experience of the page where I am trying to pay attention reading the contents.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 11:49:06 pm by MrMobodies »
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #171 on: April 03, 2020, 01:18:58 am »
White space belongs here:
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #172 on: April 03, 2020, 02:44:35 am »
Add me to the 'no thanks, it's just fine as it is' side.  A few reasons:

* Using a platform like Discourse, cedes control of the entire forum to the owners of that platform. There are many instances where platforms have killed off sub-forums, changed business model, or just gone out of business, thus erasing entire community histories.

* The owner of a platform ALWAYS has ultimate control of content. And usually will use it to some extent to censor as they see fit. I may have some disagreements with Dave's policy regarding what is allowed, but I do think he's far better than world-average on this, and I can live with it. With any other platform it's a wildcard and probably far worse.

* Visual styling - I love it the way it is. So many other forums are programmed by people with bizarre ideas of ergonomics and function. Some real examples:
  - Tiny light gray text on slightly darker gray background. No really, one I have to read is like this. Hate it. Would like to shoot everyone responsible. 'Night mode', please go die in a fire.
  - 'Folding' entries in threads. Having to click each individual post to see it. Arrgh!
  - Stupid 'markup' schemes, that for instance don't understand simple newlines. So everything has to be double-spaced if you want any space at all.
  - No option to load _ALL_ pages of a thread, to save/archive.
  - No or very restricted photo inclusions. WTF, this is the age of Terabyte drives and a net that handles billions of video
    streams simultaneously, so what is their problem?

* Structure: Here we have straight linear threads, paged, with explicit copy-quoting. Not much in the way of ratings and other 'social media' claptrap.  No adverts embedded in threads. It's pretty much ideal. Adding almost any further structural complexity allows for distortions and brigading.  For instance on sites like Reddit, where post hiding by sliding, downvoting, branch clipping, and so on is a refined censorship art.

* Searching - linear threads without post hiding is also beneficial for searchability, since it allows major search engines to see and index all of it. When the built-in site search fails, this is important.

Another factor is that eevblog isn't just a social forum, it's more like a valuable technical reference source in the form of a forum. Hence file and photo inclusions, 'show/save all', linear structure and reliable long term stability are essential.

Eevblog stands out for its practical common sense, good taste and great utility. Thanks Dave!

Edit to add: I do wish the 'photo inclusions out of sequence bug' could be fixed.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 02:49:58 am by TerraHertz »
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #173 on: April 03, 2020, 02:52:11 am »
* Using a platform like Discourse, cedes control of the entire forum to the owners of that platform. There are many instances where platforms have killed off sub-forums, changed business model, or just gone out of business, thus erasing entire community histories.

* The owner of a platform ALWAYS has ultimate control of content. And usually will use it to some extent to censor as they see fit. I may have some disagreements with Dave's policy regarding what is allowed, but I do think he's far better than world-average on this, and I can live with it. With any other platform it's a wildcard and probably far worse.

Discourse is a generally self-hosted piece of open source software..
 

Offline TerraHertz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #174 on: April 03, 2020, 03:13:03 am »
Discourse is a generally self-hosted piece of open source software..

Oh is it? OK, my mistake. I had assume it was something like Disqus or WordPress.
Since why on Earth go to the effort of porting the site to some other codebase?

Just to get format support for tiny-screen mobile devices? But that's a wild goose chase, since fundamentally content intended for large screens _can't_ be auto-reformatted to appear sensibly on tiny screens. Other than by making it tiny, and letting the user zoom/pan as required.
If someone is designing a commercial web site, then sure, make a parallel version for phone users.
But eevblog consists of user posts. No one has time for that.

Hmm, what do you mean 'generally'?
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Online Monkeh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #175 on: April 03, 2020, 03:16:31 am »
Hmm, what do you mean 'generally'?

Like many projects, they sell support services to fund development. In this context, that means managed hosting. I can't say what the terms of that are but I doubt it amounts to giving them ownership of the content.
 

Offline vis1-0n

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #176 on: April 03, 2020, 10:49:40 am »
.
Also the scaling thing is a non-issue anyway. I have a high resolution monitor because I want to display a lot of things on it at once. If the UI simply scales to make everything bigger then it negates most of the reason of having a high resolution display in the first place.

12 years back I had a 320x240 2" screen on my Nokia phone, and I used the Opera Mini browser which did a decent job of reflow or allowing me to zoom (mobile layout was not everywhere.) Two years later I upgraded to a 640x360 3.2" device and it was great, more screen and pixels! Less reflow, and I could have a desktop style experience with a little zooming and panning. Except mobile design started to take over like a bad virus and after a year many websites were rendering the same amount of information as the 320x240 device did. In 2012 to Android 800x480, and then 2014 to my current Note 4 2560x1440.

Again, initially I could fit in a lot more of the websites and forums in the screen. Some screens forced mobile layout which are impossible to bypass, so  maybe after their website update I got a lot less information on screen (going from 50 lines of text to 20-25 on the same device ) Apps also got updated and instead of listing 30 topics fitted to a screen it could drop to 15 and if they added rounded elements (found in Google's material design) there was even less on screen. (Circle icons don't stack as well as rectangles - wasting more space.)

Where I would have 12 topics visible in Gmail, I now have 6. 10 items displayed onscreen on the shopping website? Now 5. Youtube 5x3 video thumbnails? Now 4x2.5. 12 Beneficiaries visible in my banking app? Now 7. I don't appreciate the larger font in the new update. No matter how much more screen or resolution you have, they find a way to drop the information density to worse that what my initial 320x240 device would display.

My life has become one of endless scrolling and opening links into new tabs.

Modern redesign has grown this montrosity https://css-tricks.com/ - information density designed for mobile. Ironic when nearly all productive work is done on desktops.

Discourse? I tried 6-8 of the sample sites. Fail.
 
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Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #177 on: April 03, 2020, 04:43:59 pm »
.
Also the scaling thing is a non-issue anyway. I have a high resolution monitor because I want to display a lot of things on it at once. If the UI simply scales to make everything bigger then it negates most of the reason of having a high resolution display in the first place.

12 years back I had a 320x240 2" screen on my Nokia phone, and I used the Opera Mini browser which did a decent job of reflow or allowing me to zoom (mobile layout was not everywhere.) Two years later I upgraded to a 640x360 3.2" device and it was great, more screen and pixels! Less reflow, and I could have a desktop style experience with a little zooming and panning. Except mobile design started to take over like a bad virus and after a year many websites were rendering the same amount of information as the 320x240 device did. In 2012 to Android 800x480, and then 2014 to my current Note 4 2560x1440.

Again, initially I could fit in a lot more of the websites and forums in the screen. Some screens forced mobile layout which are impossible to bypass, so  maybe after their website update I got a lot less information on screen (going from 50 lines of text to 20-25 on the same device ) Apps also got updated and instead of listing 30 topics fitted to a screen it could drop to 15 and if they added rounded elements (found in Google's material design) there was even less on screen. (Circle icons don't stack as well as rectangles - wasting more space.)

Where I would have 12 topics visible in Gmail, I now have 6. 10 items displayed onscreen on the shopping website? Now 5. Youtube 5x3 video thumbnails? Now 4x2.5. 12 Beneficiaries visible in my banking app? Now 7. I don't appreciate the larger font in the new update. No matter how much more screen or resolution you have, they find a way to drop the information density to worse that what my initial 320x240 device would display.

My life has become one of endless scrolling and opening links into new tabs.

Modern redesign has grown this montrosity https://css-tricks.com/ - information density designed for mobile. Ironic when nearly all productive work is done on desktops.

Discourse? I tried 6-8 of the sample sites. Fail.

Couple the low information density with the apparent need to hide all functionality behind obscure swipes and finger gestures, and you get what we have today- phone apps so bad that I prefer to carry a small laptop in my backpack...
 
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #178 on: April 03, 2020, 06:42:57 pm »
  - Tiny light gray text on slightly darker gray background. No really, one I have to read is like this. Hate it. Would like to shoot everyone responsible. 'Night mode', please go die in a fire.

There are some guidelines out there on minimum contrast and I think many web designers somehow interpret that as the recommended contrast thus you end up with this light gray on slightly darker gray stuff. It's absolutely horrible on some less than stellar displays.

Night mode I think is a reaction to the blinding sea of white trend, in some ways it's an improvement over that but it still isn't as good as a more sensible design that just doesn't have the massive oceans of useless and ugly whitespace.
 
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Offline TomS_

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #179 on: April 04, 2020, 06:20:52 am »
If this thread were the Wild West, there would be dead bodies in the street by now.

Seriously, some people just dont know how to disagree, state their reasons why, and move on.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 06:38:07 am by TomS_ »
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #180 on: April 04, 2020, 06:37:36 am »
Just one. Undertaker already measuring him up. And a lot of cowboys back at the saloon, loudly agreeing with each other over libations while Sheriff Jones looked on.
 
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Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #181 on: April 04, 2020, 06:41:43 am »
If this thread were the Wild West, there would be dead bodies in the street by now.

Seriously, some people just dont know how to disagree, state their reasons why, and move on.

A weird comment, did you post this to a wrong thread? I think I have never seen such unanimous total agreement on this forum, ever.

I think we need to thank the OP for joining everyone together on this. Maybe the idea was just a positive version of trolling? If the OP was serious, though, I kinda feel bad for them.
 
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Offline TomS_

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #182 on: April 04, 2020, 07:02:17 am »
A weird comment, did you post this to a wrong thread?

I have definitely posted this in the intended thread.

Quote
I think I have never seen such unanimous total agreement on this forum, ever.

I have no problem with unanimous agreement, thats a pretty good outcome really and shows that there is a lot of love for the current format of the forum. But that is not the point Im getting at.

Peoples attitudes stink sometimes, like they have some kind of personal mission to validate their own oppinion over someone elses. I just dont see the need for it. There are ways to disagree "professionally", and wars are started because people lack the ability to do so.

But should I expect more from the Internet? Probably not.

Quote
I kinda feel bad for them.
I definitely feel bad for them. No one deserves that kind of assault for proposing an idea. No matter who is right or wrong, a little courtesy never goes astray.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 07:03:54 am by TomS_ »
 
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Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #183 on: April 04, 2020, 07:19:44 am »
It's the classical group lynching mentality. Happens on this forum time-to-time, like it happens everywhere. Yes, it sucks.

There are psychological reasons for that, too.

In this case, I would theoretize that many of us have, at some point in our professional careers, been abused by incompetent micromanaging bosses with bloated egos. These bosses often work by bringing in the buzzword bingo. As a result, some have developed an allergy-like condition to such business buzzword way of rationalization. It goes like this:

- You NEED to use Docker because it's hot right now.
- Wat, wait, but Docker has absolutely nothing to do with anything? You can't put the microcontroller in Docker!
- We will use Docker, end of discussion...

The OP did show exact same paradigm of discussion, including the part with arrogance, which I think is why it gave such strong reactions to some of us.

Then, when some people react strongly, possibly from understandable reasons, there always are those mindless puppets who join the group lynching when they see it happen. This is when the thing gets ugly, IMHO. I'm OK with a group getting against one if they show the reasons. When the scanvengers join, I'm out.
 
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Offline TomS_

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #184 on: April 04, 2020, 07:42:44 am »
Some of that hits a bit close to home.  :-DD

A company I have worked at in the past was big on trying to make everything "agile". It was definitely an ideal they aspired to, but didnt quite get there, so it was a little bit of an awkward mix of tradition and "so hot right now" ideas. My team was network engineering, and I dont really know how much of "developer ideologies" can really translate to our line of work. Aspects I can see promise for.

I'm OK with a group getting against one if they show the reasons. When the scanvengers join, I'm out.
Ive always been taught in engineering: you can complain about something and why it sucks, but you better have a solution.
 

Offline Karel

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #185 on: April 04, 2020, 08:00:32 am »
Ive always been taught in engineering: you can complain about something and why it sucks, but you better have a solution.

Yes, and they taught me also that most of the time the solution is not to change anything.
 
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Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #186 on: April 04, 2020, 08:56:17 am »
Ive always been taught in engineering: you can complain about something and why it sucks, but you better have a solution.

Even more importantly, you have to be able to properly show that there is a problem to be solved.

If there is no problem, then there can't be a solution. In such cases, any imagined "solution" is likely to make things worse.
 

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #187 on: April 04, 2020, 10:20:02 pm »
I have no problem with unanimous agreement, thats a pretty good outcome really and shows that there is a lot of love for the current format of the forum. But that is not the point Im getting at.

Peoples attitudes stink sometimes, like they have some kind of personal mission to validate their own oppinion over someone elses. I just dont see the need for it. There are ways to disagree "professionally", and wars are started because people lack the ability to do so.

But should I expect more from the Internet? Probably not.


I may have missed something but I'm not really seeing that. I can speak for nobody other than myself but I hold no ill will toward the OP, I do not dislike them on a personal level, I would not be mean to them if I met them, I haven't put them on my ignore list and would not avoid engaging with them in other threads. I disagree with their opinion on forum software and that's about the extent of it, the rest of us here seem to be on the same page. The guy could have backed off and not continued pushing once it because obvious they had an unpopular opinion but even so no real harm done. Text is poor at conveying tone of voice and emotion, people sometimes read more into something than is there.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #188 on: April 04, 2020, 10:23:20 pm »
- You NEED to use Docker because it's hot right now.
- Wat, wait, but Docker has absolutely nothing to do with anything? You can't put the microcontroller in Docker!
- We will use Docker, end of discussion...

 :-DD :-DD

I wish I could argue that your example is absurd and that nobody could actually be that stupid but...  |O
 

Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #189 on: April 05, 2020, 06:32:48 am »
- You NEED to use Docker because it's hot right now.
- Wat, wait, but Docker has absolutely nothing to do with anything? You can't put the microcontroller in Docker!
- We will use Docker, end of discussion...

 :-DD :-DD

I wish I could argue that your example is absurd and that nobody could actually be that stupid but...  |O

Yes, it seems so absurd that no one can make that up, it can only happen in reality. (Yes, it's based on reality, of course simplified. In the end, I didn't have to use Docker, though.)
 

Offline vis1-0n

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #190 on: April 05, 2020, 08:23:35 am »
Couple the low information density with the apparent need to hide all functionality behind obscure swipes and finger gestures, and you get what we have today- phone apps so bad that I prefer to carry a small laptop in my backpack...

This is so frustrating as well. Flat design where the elements blend away, where there is no text labels, where there is no colourful 3D icons looking like a real world object.

It is fatiguing for me. I cannot recognise flat icons. I can recognise skeuomorphic icons. I have to figure out flat icons. My brain goes through a process at staring at a flat icon and interpreting it. This adds a few 100ms to every process and is fatiguing for me. Functionality is not obvious from the icon. and text labels are not aesthetically pleasing so they are often left out. I have to explore and learn each icons functions in a phone camera, instead of exploiting my past experiences gained from visual cues (which are more apparent in skeuomorphic icons). Or, you know, use of simple text labels.

It may look nice and all, and maybe all that research1 that the did say otherwise, but it really is physically tiring for me, and I am one who can stare at pages of ads automatically filtering them and picking out just the content.

1 simple example https://devblogs.microsoft.com/visualstudio/a-design-with-all-caps/
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #191 on: April 05, 2020, 10:08:47 am »
Couple the low information density with the apparent need to hide all functionality behind obscure swipes and finger gestures, and you get what we have today- phone apps so bad that I prefer to carry a small laptop in my backpack...

This is so frustrating as well. Flat design where the elements blend away, where there is no text labels, where there is no colourful 3D icons looking like a real world object.

It is fatiguing for me. I cannot recognise flat icons. I can recognise skeuomorphic icons. I have to figure out flat icons. My brain goes through a process at staring at a flat icon and interpreting it. This adds a few 100ms to every process and is fatiguing for me. Functionality is not obvious from the icon. and text labels are not aesthetically pleasing so they are often left out. I have to explore and learn each icons functions in a phone camera, instead of exploiting my past experiences gained from visual cues (which are more apparent in skeuomorphic icons). Or, you know, use of simple text labels.

It may look nice and all, and maybe all that research1 that the did say otherwise, but it really is physically tiring for me, and I am one who can stare at pages of ads automatically filtering them and picking out just the content.

1 simple example https://devblogs.microsoft.com/visualstudio/a-design-with-all-caps/

I'm not a fan of skeuomorphic design, but flatty design is equally bad in the other direction.

Those of us with a memory can remember when all GUIs were flat, and the significant usability benefits when the "3D" Motif widgets were introduced. Instantly you could see what you could press, and whether or not it was pressed. Nirvana.
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Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #192 on: April 05, 2020, 10:30:32 am »
Yes, the UIs saw huge advances in late 1980's to early 1990's, and all the user experience problems were largely solved somewhere maybe 1992: instead of drawing a four-line box in a 1-bit color space, draw a filled box plus another filled box as a shadow, on a multi-color (more than two colors!) display. F***ing amazing!

Now we are back to the 1980's.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 10:32:20 am by Siwastaja »
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #193 on: April 05, 2020, 03:29:09 pm »
Those of us with a memory can remember when all GUIs were flat, and the significant usability benefits when the "3D" Motif widgets were introduced. Instantly you could see what you could press, and whether or not it was pressed. Nirvana.

Yep. Widgets with 3D effects (illusion of depth) increased usability in a tremendous way. Those effects give simple visual cues that almost anyone, even without prior computing experience, can understand.

Flat design bullshit, OTOH, is terribly user-unfriendly. It may look "cleaner" to some (just a matter of taste though), but that's about it. Who fricking cares about some UI looking ultra-clean if you can't figure it out? It's like we've traded usability for pure looks. The computer-friendliness (less resources used?) is a bullshit argument; giving depth effects to widgets doesn't even require using any kind of 3D acceleration. But even if it were a valid argument in some cases, that would just mean ignoring usability just for the sake of technical reasons that weren't even a problem 30 years ago. Dang.

Anyway, this is a fad that will pass.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_design
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #194 on: April 05, 2020, 05:00:30 pm »
I am an admin on a European forum (aviation related) which runs on custom software, written in Ruby on Rails. When the other guy, who wrote it, wanted to move on (due to getting busy elsewhere) I was offered the options of

1) having the whole forum moved to a server under my control, or
2) having the database ported to another forum package, and after looking at some, Discourse was evaluated

Discourse had various problems. The main one was poor admin facilities. One of the things I do fairly often is move posts from one thread to another e.g. when somebody starts a duplicate thread. This is a part of trying to create a good long term information resource, without trying to create maximum traffic (we are donation funded; no adverts). Discourse can't do that. Well, it can but they don't appear chronologically at the destination; they just get chucked in at the end of the destination thread.

The plus of Discourse (I see also posted early on here by what appears the site owner) is that it is good for phone users. IOW, it is more "mobile friendly" than the older style (e.g. PHPBB) forums. That is relevant because

- google ranks "mobile friendly" sites higher
- a large % of people live their lives entirely on a phone (on my site it is around 50%, and on non tech sites it might be 90%)

BUT (and this is a huge BUT) the people who make useful contributions are almost never writing on a phone! Why? Because it is so painful. They are using a laptop or a PC, or possibly a tablet with a bluetooth keyboard. And yes they are nowadays a minority, but if you are trying to create and maintain an informative forum (and EEVblog certainly is that) you need to focus on these great contributors. Going for the "live on a phone" community just produces a forum which fills up with banal one-liners (i.e. like most of the internet).

I recently spoke to a guy in the US who runs maybe 100 forums. He bought them up over years, put them on his own platform, stuck some adverts around them, and just runs them as admin. Mostly with the original mods, too... But his business is in a long decline. Traditional web based forums are in a decline. A lot of clicks are being lost to other, more "phone friendly" social media.

This is worrying a lot of people who run forums.

What has changed over the last maybe 5 years is that the “one line tossing” activity (posters who toss in one-liners comprising mostly of drivel, smart-ar*e comments, etc) has moved to the new social media channels, with facebook being the main one for older people (the young are deserting fb and are moving to twitter, instagram, etc). And most forums, across all subjects, are full of that stuff.

This is a real problem for a forum which relies on advertising for funding, because while these people may not have written much worth reading they did generate a lot of advert clicks.

Another real problem for relatively unmoderated forums is that “kicking and beating-up” threads generate way more clicks than polite threads, so they are stuck. If they choose to moderate, they will lose a lot of income, and they are losing income to the other channels anyway. So no forum which suffers from poor content is going to reduce its membership. This is not an issue at EEVblog because personal attacks are not tolerated, which is good (mine is the same).

What can be done? Probably nothing. One should stick with what one is doing really well and build on that. Not go for a phone-friendly forum because that will trash the site as an informative resource.

So I think EEVblog should stay like it is, because it is the present format which keeps the good contributors.

BTW the reason I didn't move my forum to PHPBB was partly because of security issues; PHP is a constant nightmare (open source + PHP!) and needs a full time skilled admin, which I am not and cannot afford to employ one. Ruby is more secure but is very expensive to enhance/change/maintain (it is a language which was all the rage 10-15 years ago and which now generates a nice income for those few who are good at it) whereas there is a lot more PHP expertise around. Discourse is also written in Ruby and the Discourse community is full of people who make a nice living porting existing forum databases to Discourse. I don't suppose a shortage of server admin skills is an issue for EEVblog however, but you have to be aware that going to Ruby is not going to make your life easier. I went for option 1) above because the existing Ruby software was quite solid and if I went to another forum platform - even a proven one - I would be throwing money at people to do mods and such. But all future work (add-ons etc) is being done in PHP.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 05:24:01 pm by peter-h »
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #195 on: April 05, 2020, 05:23:02 pm »
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_design
Please post trigger warnings before links to such graphic content. I wasn't prepared for that iOS screenshot. Yuck.
 
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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #196 on: April 05, 2020, 05:24:48 pm »
I agree with all your points, and would like to highlight these:

BUT (and this is a huge BUT) the people who make useful contributions are almost never writing on a phone! Why? Because it is so painful. They are using a laptop or a PC, or possibly a tablet with a bluetooth keyboard. And yes they are nowadays a minority, but if you are trying to create and maintain an informative forum (and EEVblog certainly is that) you need to focus on these great contributors. Going for the "live on a phone" community just produces a forum which fills up with banal one-liners (i.e. like most of the internet).
...
What has changed over the last maybe 5 years is that the “one line tossing” activity (posters who toss in one-liners comprising mostly of drivel, smart-ar*e comments, etc) has moved to the new social media channels, with facebook being the main one for older people (the young are deserting fb and are moving to twitter, instagram, etc). And most forums, across all subjects, are full of that stuff.

Good. Shame it doesn't completely discourage trolls.

Quote
So I think EEVblog should stay like it is, because it is the present format which keeps the good contributors.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online peter-h

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #197 on: April 05, 2020, 07:03:51 pm »
The other thing you need, as an admin, is good functionality for detecting windups and such. You need to be able to detect in an instant if somebody is running multiple characters, for example. We had one guy who created about a dozen, but fortunately he knew nothing about IT so kept making the same basic mistakes. I won't say any more because we want trolls etc to keep making these mistakes :)

What I find is that a lot of people read the forum while say travelling, on their phone, just to catch up, but those who write stuff worth reading usually do that when in front of a PC (or a Mac, obviously). So the site has to work acceptably on a phone.

Another thing is that roughly 1/3 of new signups are spammers. This really started maybe a couple of years ago. We have gone to a manual approval process, because it got too much. I would get out of bed at 7am and find somebody posted a load of fake passport adverts all over the forum. In the manual approval step various things are checked which I won't discuss openly. Also at this step one checks for duplicate personas...
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Online tautech

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #198 on: April 05, 2020, 07:30:48 pm »
The other thing you need, as an admin, is good functionality for detecting windups and such. You need to be able to detect in an instant if somebody is running multiple characters, for example. We had one guy who created about a dozen, but fortunately he knew nothing about IT so kept making the same basic mistakes. I won't say any more because we want trolls etc to keep making these mistakes :)
The mods do a pretty good job of that here and even the recent twit that used a proxy server was able to be squished.

Quote
What I find is that a lot of people read the forum while say travelling, on their phone, just to catch up, but those who write stuff worth reading usually do that when in front of a PC (or a Mac, obviously). So the site has to work acceptably on a phone.
Yeah been there when travelling too and one lined replies too  :palm: but at least we have a way to mark posts so when next at a PC we can prepare proper indepth replies instead if struggling with phones or iPads.  ::) Mark a post with Thanks and return to it later from the record of Thanks given in one's profile works pretty well.  :)

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Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #199 on: April 08, 2020, 05:07:11 pm »
It's the classical group lynching mentality. Happens on this forum time-to-time, like it happens everywhere. Yes, it sucks.

There are psychological reasons for that, too.

In this case, I would theoretize that many of us have, at some point in our professional careers, been abused by incompetent micromanaging bosses with bloated egos. These bosses often work by bringing in the buzzword bingo. As a result, some have developed an allergy-like condition to such business buzzword way of rationalization. It goes like this:

- You NEED to use Docker because it's hot right now.
- Wat, wait, but Docker has absolutely nothing to do with anything? You can't put the microcontroller in Docker!
- We will use Docker, end of discussion...

The OP did show exact same paradigm of discussion, including the part with arrogance, which I think is why it gave such strong reactions to some of us.

Then, when some people react strongly, possibly from understandable reasons, there always are those mindless puppets who join the group lynching when they see it happen. This is when the thing gets ugly, IMHO. I'm OK with a group getting against one if they show the reasons. When the scanvengers join, I'm out.

Yep.
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Offline ruairi

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #200 on: April 08, 2020, 09:06:10 pm »
I haven't read the whole thread but the forum is great as is.  I have zero issues with it either on my laptop or phone.

 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #201 on: April 08, 2020, 09:18:31 pm »
It's the classical group lynching mentality. Happens on this forum time-to-time, like it happens everywhere. Yes, it sucks.

There are psychological reasons for that, too.

In this case, I would theoretize that many of us have, at some point in our professional careers, been abused by incompetent micromanaging bosses with bloated egos. These bosses often work by bringing in the buzzword bingo. As a result, some have developed an allergy-like condition to such business buzzword way of rationalization. It goes like this:

- You NEED to use Docker because it's hot right now.
- Wat, wait, but Docker has absolutely nothing to do with anything? You can't put the microcontroller in Docker!
- We will use Docker, end of discussion...

The OP did show exact same paradigm of discussion, including the part with arrogance, which I think is why it gave such strong reactions to some of us.

Then, when some people react strongly, possibly from understandable reasons, there always are those mindless puppets who join the group lynching when they see it happen. This is when the thing gets ugly, IMHO. I'm OK with a group getting against one if they show the reasons. When the scanvengers join, I'm out.

Yep.

Maybe you should have set the thread up as a poll. You would probably have got a very clear view of the membership's opinion of your proposal, without all the hassle.

As Dave often points out though, the forum isn't a democracy. He would have the say, regardless of the outcome.
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #202 on: April 09, 2020, 04:19:22 am »
It would be fun to set up a poll and see if we get 95%+ voting to keep it as-is.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #203 on: April 09, 2020, 04:44:50 am »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

Yes, it's not easy. This is a big forum.

There are pretty much only advantages in switching platform, it's pretty much time, but there are risks in the migration also.

Pros:
* modern features like modern editor, better emojis, social login,

I just read through the ten pages of unanimous response to this proposal, and there was only one thing that was not mentioned as a total fucking no is the "social login."

Facebook and Google login are privacy and security disasters. Nobody needs to link their Facebook account to other websites. Why tell Facebook everything? It's ridiculous.

It's not at all hard to create accounts on the websites you use. Now that every browser has a built-in password manager, you don't even have to remember the passwords.
 
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #204 on: April 09, 2020, 04:50:52 am »
Oh yeah if single signon was required then screw that, I'd drop the forum like a hot potato. I abandoned Facebook years ago and *never* sign into anything via social anything, nobody in their right mind would. Social media is a cancer on society. It's spam 2.0, engineered from the ground up to harvest data.
 
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Online BravoV

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #205 on: April 09, 2020, 06:52:10 am »
It's not at all hard to create accounts on the websites you use. Now that every browser has a built-in password manager, you don't even have to remember the passwords.

Some people are just not bright enough to be aware of that.

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #206 on: April 09, 2020, 08:44:56 am »
There are pretty much only advantages in switching platform, it's pretty much time, but there are risks in the migration also.
Pros:
* modern features like modern editor, better emojis, social login,

I hope by now the OP realises that there are only disadvantages to switching platforms. So say the people that have made this site a success, the long-term users that have contributed the most. Who cares about casual butterflies that flit here for a few posts, then flit elsewhere!

As for "social login", that is a very strong disadvantage for users. It might be an advantage for site owners who want to make a little money at their users' expense.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline MarkMLl

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #207 on: April 09, 2020, 10:13:11 am »
The only real justification for moving would be if the replacement had the traditional NNTP protocol, which would allow client software considerably more flexibility when it came to handling message threading etc. https://liam-on-linux.livejournal.com/69701.html

MarkMLl
 
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #208 on: April 09, 2020, 10:52:51 am »
Quote
Now that every browser has a built-in password manager, you don't even have to remember the passwords.

You're daft if you're going to rely on your browser to manage passwords. Much easier to lose them that way then forgetting them - use a separate password manager at minimum, one that isn't tied to a particular product or - worse - a particular instance of a product.

Quote
Oh yeah if single signon was required then screw that

Yes, indeed. But let's not create straw men to knock down. The probably implementation would be to ALLOW single signon, not mandate it. I visit a lot of places and even those that prefer Google/Facebook login don't mandate it. It's not not going to happen like that (at least, not until the rest of the web have already succumbed).
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #209 on: April 09, 2020, 01:22:34 pm »
I've never used Facebook, and never will. Any sites that require it are simply not going to be visited.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #210 on: April 09, 2020, 01:38:21 pm »
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?
Yes, it's not easy. This is a big forum.
There are pretty much only advantages in switching platform, it's pretty much time, but there are risks in the migration also.
Pros:
* modern features like modern editor, better emojis, social login,
I just read through the ten pages of unanimous response to this proposal, and there was only one thing that was not mentioned as a total fucking no is the "social login."
Facebook and Google login are privacy and security disasters. Nobody needs to link their Facebook account to other websites. Why tell Facebook everything? It's ridiculous.
It's not at all hard to create accounts on the websites you use. Now that every browser has a built-in password manager, you don't even have to remember the passwords.

I wouldn't even make social login an option here out of principle, I don't like the concept.
Mandatory https and a 2FA option was recently added. OpenID used to be available but had to be dropped for some reason I don't remember.
I'd love to add hardware 2FA but the plugin doesn't support it.
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #211 on: April 09, 2020, 01:40:21 pm »
I've never used Facebook, and never will. Any sites that require it are simply not going to be visited.

Remarkably, Farcebook still tracks people that don't have an account with them.

The keys are cookies used as UIDs, the Facebook logo on many pages, the referring page contained in the http request, and a little JavaScript.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #212 on: April 09, 2020, 01:46:57 pm »
Quote
Now that every browser has a built-in password manager, you don't even have to remember the passwords.

You're daft if you're going to rely on your browser to manage passwords. Much easier to lose them that way then forgetting them - use a separate password manager at minimum, one that isn't tied to a particular product or - worse - a particular instance of a product.
FWIW, in the specific case of Safari (both Mac and iOS), the actual password manager is the OS’s Keychain (a secure storage database the Mac has had since the early 90s). In theory, other browsers could also use it, they just choose to roll their own. What’s fascinating is the iCloud Keychain option: it sounds as though it would save it in the cloud, but it doesn’t. iCloud actually just marshals the individual devices to share their keys peer-to-peer, so they never hit the cloud. The weird consequence of this is that if you did manage to lose the data on all of your devices, your keychain would be well and truly lost.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #213 on: April 09, 2020, 04:34:17 pm »
I've never used Facebook, and never will. Any sites that require it are simply not going to be visited.

Remarkably, Farcebook still tracks people that don't have an account with them.

The keys are cookies used as UIDs, the Facebook logo on many pages, the referring page contained in the http request, and a little JavaScript.

Google obviously does the same...   for example, when you use Captcha they really Gotcha!
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #214 on: April 09, 2020, 05:58:57 pm »
I've never used Facebook, and never will. Any sites that require it are simply not going to be visited.

Remarkably, Farcebook still tracks people that don't have an account with them.

The keys are cookies used as UIDs, the Facebook logo on many pages, the referring page contained in the http request, and a little JavaScript.

Google obviously does the same...   for example, when you use Captcha they really Gotcha!

And Twitter Verizon/Yahoo/OAuth, and probably the other icons shown at the bottom centre of the page.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Gyro

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #215 on: April 09, 2020, 08:45:52 pm »
Google obviously does the same...   for example, when you use Captcha they really Gotcha!

Yeah, having Google sticking their nose into human authentications really stings!
Regards, Chris

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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #216 on: April 10, 2020, 04:06:52 am »

There are pretty much only advantages in switching platform, it's pretty much time, but there are risks in the migration also.

Pros:
* finally modern mobile experience
* much better readability for the forum
* faster website
* modern features like modern editor, better emojis, social login,

Risks:

* grumpy users complaining

Grumpy users.
I tend to get a bit grumpy when I have things that I don't wont there shoved in my face, notifications (cookies or offers) that darken the rest of the page and hurt my eyes in the process and toolbars stuck there when I am trying to scroll and widgets that popup. Also I have mess about with extensions to manage these things so I can read the contents without the annoyance that also may break other functionality. I don't see none of that here at the moment.

Modern mobile experience?
I just select desktop site and my screen is filled up with lots of content and as much I can see all made small and I just pinch and zoom where I want.

much better readability for the forum
Users like me, maybe only few left or just me don't want it any more graphically bloated than it already is now and for the reasons above.

Faster website?
This website is perfectly fast even on my old stuff.

modern editor, better emojis
When I post the last thing I would want to think about are emojis or how pretty the editor may look.


It's may not be perfect but I am happy with it.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 04:20:18 am by MrMobodies »
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #217 on: April 10, 2020, 05:03:54 am »
I've never used Facebook, and never will. Any sites that require it are simply not going to be visited.

Remarkably, Farcebook still tracks people that don't have an account with them.

The keys are cookies used as UIDs, the Facebook logo on many pages, the referring page contained in the http request, and a little JavaScript.
I have cookies and JS off by default, and all of FB's domains resolve to 0.0.0.0.

The Facebook logo on the bottom of this site's pages is actually hosted here, it's just a link to them (and I'm certainly not going to click it either.)
 

Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #218 on: April 10, 2020, 07:23:07 am »
I quite like discourse where I see it used for tech forums, but I don't see how it would work for such a large forum like this with such wide ranging topics. I'm not sure the topic sort tools in discourse would really make it fun to navigate this forum's topics.

Normally it works for single purpose forums - a good example is the things network forum.
https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/forum/
Even though there's a range of different topics to talk about, everything in there relates back to the things network in some way. And the overall volume of messages seems way lower than here.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 07:24:38 am by julianhigginson »
 

Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #219 on: April 10, 2020, 04:52:43 pm »
I just tried again with that site and find it absolutely painful to use. The blinding white causes physical discomfort to my eyes and the navigation is difficult, I can't tell where I am. Everything just blends together and I can't see how far down the list I've scrolled because it just keeps loading more and more as I scroll down. I have the same "WTF is this shit?!?" response that I had the first time I sat down to try Windows 8.
 

Offline ehughes

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #220 on: April 10, 2020, 05:14:37 pm »
One improvement in the forum is the ability to cut/paste images into the body without a seperate "upload" or attachment.  phpBB is very old piece of software and there are some useful improvements in web technology.    Simply having cut/paste support would allow me to more quickly (i.e. directly from altium, etc)  paste in examples without creating an intermedate imge or reference an offsite link somewhere else (which is very, very bad style).

There are some little things like that that would make it a bit easier.

Granted,  there are those who will say "get off my lawn with web technology that isn't from 1996" but those are the folks that still think FTP is a secure way of moving files and personal webpages look like something from Geocities with the "under construction" gif.


(Note,   I assume this forum uses phpBB or a derivative as it looks very close and the page source looks like it)


« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 05:17:26 pm by ehughes »
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #221 on: April 10, 2020, 05:15:56 pm »
phpBB is very old piece of software and there are some useful improvements in web technology.

Juuuust need to say again that this is not phpBB..

Sadly, many of those improvements come bundled with huge steps backwards, from both the user perspective and the operator..
 

Offline ehughes

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #222 on: April 10, 2020, 05:19:35 pm »
Quote
Juuuust need to say again that this is not phpBB..


Ok.  It really screams phpBB technology with the "FTP" and "Marqee" buttons with the ridiculous emoji.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #223 on: April 10, 2020, 06:18:08 pm »
Quote
Now that every browser has a built-in password manager, you don't even have to remember the passwords.

You're daft if you're going to rely on your browser to manage passwords. Much easier to lose them that way then forgetting them - use a separate password manager at minimum, one that isn't tied to a particular product or - worse - a particular instance of a product.

As tooki notes above, Safari (which I use) uses the Mac Keychain, so log-in/passwords are available not only to the browser but to any application which takes advantage of the Keychain. And the Keychain synchronizes across all of your devices, linked by an Apple ID. And it works. If I create or change a password for, say, my bank's website, the Keychain on my laptop (what I'm using now) is updated and then that change is pushed to other devices. When I log in using my desktop the new password is there.

That said, my only issue with the Keychain is that it can't be shared. This means that if my wife changes the password for the AMZN account it updates only her keychain, not mine, so she has to tell me the new password. To get around that, we also use 1Password. Having two separate, parallel password managers means that if for some reason one of the databases is lost, the other one still exists. (This is the other "gotcha" mentioned by tooki.)

I understand why Firefox and Opera all have their own password managers and synchronization schemes, but it would be nice if they let you take advantage of operating-system features.
 
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #224 on: April 10, 2020, 09:37:05 pm »
Granted,  there are those who will say "get off my lawn with web technology that isn't from 1996" but those are the folks that still think FTP is a secure way of moving files and personal webpages look like something from Geocities with the "under construction" gif.


I'd prefer a website that looks like something from 1996 any day over one that I have to allow scripts from a dozen different sources to even get it to load properly. I'm interested in content, I want to have as much information as possible with as little effort as possible required to extract it. All that added bloat only gets in my way.

I wouldn't argue that FTP is particularly secure, but it does work perfectly well for moving files around and I can run it on my own hardware without relying on some 3rd party service, and it's secure enough for my purposes.
 
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Offline drussell

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #225 on: April 11, 2020, 01:38:58 am »
(Note,   I assume this forum uses phpBB or a derivative as it looks very close and the page source looks like it)

Nope, SMF.
 

Offline MarkMLl

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #226 on: April 11, 2020, 07:56:59 am »
I'd prefer a website that looks like something from 1996 any day over one that I have to allow scripts from a dozen different sources to even get it to load properly.

I agree. And while FTP- or more precisely idiot users with a single password for everything- is a problem, it's probably a smaller problem than the potential for intrusion from running every script and plugin that arrives without wondering what it does.

I have two browsers open on my desktop. The first is very firmly locked down and gets used for most browsing... and if somebody can't present his message without demanding I execute his media I'm likely to close it fast. The second uses NoScript to grant limited access to eBay etc., and to foramina like this one (which by coincidence are all based on SMF).

MarkMLl
 

Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #227 on: April 11, 2020, 06:54:55 pm »
I use a low security password on my ftp server anyway, it's one of the ones I put on stuff that I don't mind friends and family knowing because I don't use it on anything I care about having particularly secure. It's like a cheap padlock, it keeps the honest people from stumbling in and messing with stuff, the dishonest can break in easily enough if they really want to but there's nothing of any real value in there anyway so why bother. In the ~15 years I've had one running nobody has ever trashed it.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #228 on: April 11, 2020, 07:48:02 pm »
I'd prefer a website that looks like something from 1996 any day over one that I have to allow scripts from a dozen different sources to even get it to load properly. I'm interested in content, I want to have as much information as possible with as little effort as possible required to extract it. All that added bloat only gets in my way.
Yep. I am SO sick of sites using all that javascript for ads and other nonsense that doesn't do anything for me. I am not opposed to ads -- I absolutely understand that ads fund a lot of the sites I use. I consent to ads as such. What I do not consent to is 10x as long page loads (little of which is actually due to the payload size, but rather because of the sequenced requests caused by nested scripts) and web pages using incredible amounts of CPU just to sit there. I'm the kind of person who tends to have lots of browser windows open, and if every one of those were allowed to load all the scripts it wanted, my CPU would be pegged, all the time.

So I use ad blockers to block all that crap, simply to reclaim my computer resources. If websites were willing to do server-side ads, such that by the time they reach my browser, there's no scripts, I'd be OK with allowing ads. But IMHO, using your readers' computer resources greedily is disrespectful, and I absolutely have no obligation to permit it.

I also wish I could put out a bounty on anyone who uses a lightbox (the thing where the page dims and a modal dialog appears) to ask me to sign up for your newsletter. I guarantee, using one of those to nag me before I've even had a chance to read the page is the way to get me to not even consider signing up, no matter what.
 
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #229 on: April 11, 2020, 08:05:11 pm »
Quote
sites using all that javascript for ads and other nonsense that doesn't do anything for me

I don't mind those - they are easy to block :)

It's the sites that require humongous js and other rubbish just to display the actual content that annoy me.
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #230 on: April 11, 2020, 09:38:54 pm »

I also wish I could put out a bounty on anyone who uses a lightbox (the thing where the page dims and a modal dialog appears) to ask me to sign up for your newsletter. I guarantee, using one of those to nag me before I've even had a chance to read the page is the way to get me to not even consider signing up, no matter what.

I always wondered what they were called, that's the thing that has been hurting my eyes. Some of them say "Sorry for the intrustion" about their cookies when they don't realize it maybe uncomfortable when they darken the rest of the page.

I think of it as a bit like say 20 years ago, someone working with an old CRT screen and another person there adjusting the contrast and brightness controls going from one extreme to another thinking they're helping them see better.

Someone told me that they switched off javascript years ago by default and now I am finding I have to do that a lot more often.

Now with adverts, what I see some websites seem to be engaging in spammy behaviour and not just adverts alone. Rather than display adverts at the sides of the page where it scrolls with the rest of the page and so you see different ones I have seen websites display the same adverts on either sides of the page in a fixed position that flash and annoy/distract me, some appearing over the contents that either get in the way or expand the page making it jump. In other words interfering with the contents and my viewing of the page and they put the fixed videos that autoplay, so now it's easier without the aggravation by turning off the scripts as soon as I see a small dialogue with rest of the page darkening.

I don't mind adverts but not shoved in my face over the contents like with any fixed element.

To add to insult I am occasionally seeing, "Turn on Javascript for a better website experience" which is I turned it off in the first place.

Dare click that bookmark killer to kill unwanted fixed elements and I have seen some sites as of recent engage in scroll jacking and I thought taking away my right click away was bad.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 10:22:57 pm by MrMobodies »
 
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Online peter-h

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #231 on: April 12, 2020, 10:40:15 am »
Disabling javascript makes most websites unusable, unfortunately.

Blocking adverts is also a problem in the long run, for a forum which needs the money, as all do. A site like EEVblog can be hosted for under $100/month, but the admin costs a lot more. The owner may be running it as a hobby and draw no income (I have no idea who is involved) but unless he has the entire range of IT skills required for modern www development and server admin he has to pay anything up to $1000/day to outsiders. One site I am involved with (written in Ruby on Rails) would cost that sort of money for any enhancements. We did an appeal for donations which raised about 3k over a year which covers the actual costs but that's only because the site is solidly written originally. Anything developed or ported-to recently will need much more work.

Mods normally have to be paid something, too. If you recruit them from a pool willing to work for free, you get all kinds of weird people. I have seen this happen on numerous forums. You get the "police recruitment problem" where you end up with people who are not particularly bright and enjoy beating others up. The result is that a lot of mods end up doing a Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now and trash the site, because all the good intelligent contributors got pi55ed off and left. It can happen over just a few months.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 10:43:41 am by peter-h »
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Offline MarkMLl

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #232 on: April 12, 2020, 11:33:41 am »
Blocking adverts is also a problem in the long run, for a forum which needs the money, as all do.

I for one am entirely happy with adverts. I'm not happy with adverts which demand the privilege of running code on my computer, and will send a list of my bureau rates to anybody who thinks they can stand the tab.

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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #233 on: April 12, 2020, 11:44:08 am »
Quote
Blocking adverts is also a problem in the long run, for a forum which needs the money, as all do.

That's debatable. Relying on adverts isn't a sustainable business model, and a business model is what a forum needs if it's going to grow and thrive. Someone running a hobby site but of the size of EEVBlog is akin to someone whacking together an Arduino doobrey using info from Instructables and then selling it in the thousands as a mature product. Or compare some bloke with 20 viewers on Youtube with the apparently hobby LTT channel which actually rivals serious broadcast TV.

The problem with adverts is that they need to be shown to people. Just plonk them on your site and they probably won't piss off anyone but they won't be doing any good either, and sooner or later your advertisers are going to realise that. So you start pushing them in front of eyeballs so they do get seen, and some time later you have to prove to your advertisers that they are being seen. And maybe eventually your advertisers realise the adverts aren't actually cost effective, and there goes your single-source supply of goodness.

There are other ways of funding hobbies. Perhaps most of them have drawbacks too, but that's life. If it was dead easy we'd all be running super-forums and too busy spending the proceeds to visit anyone elses efforts.
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #234 on: April 12, 2020, 12:44:09 pm »
Many of the users that block ads do so because they find *ALL* advertisements to be useless annoyances*.  Even if you get them to turn off  their ad-blockers, you wont get any clickthrough from them without tricking them.  Any site with deceptive ads doesn't deserve any revenue they get from them.  Customers that will click to buy anything shiny waved in front of them usually aren't technically savvy enough to (a) want, (b) install, and (c) maintain an ad-blocker. Therefore I question whether ad-blockers significantly impact the revenue stream of any reputable site. 

* The last time I bought anything due to an advertisement was back in the '80s, from an ad in a computer magazine.  I have never bought anything from a TV or internet ad.  OTOH I will occasionally impulse buy stuff that has been reviewed by a source I trust.
 
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Online peter-h

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #235 on: April 12, 2020, 01:06:33 pm »
I run adblock by default and on eevblog I see just the two ads at the top. I don't know if there are others. These two are ok. But to get decent income you normally need lots more adverts.

"Relying on adverts isn't a sustainable business model, and a business model is what a forum needs if it's going to grow and thrive"

What would be a "sustainable business model"?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 03:47:56 pm by peter-h »
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #236 on: April 12, 2020, 05:01:21 pm »
Many of the users that block ads do so because they find *ALL* advertisements to be useless annoyances*.  Even if you get them to turn off  their ad-blockers, you wont get any clickthrough from them without tricking them.  Any site with deceptive ads doesn't deserve any revenue they get from them.  Customers that will click to buy anything shiny waved in front of them usually aren't technically savvy enough to (a) want, (b) install, and (c) maintain an ad-blocker. Therefore I question whether ad-blockers significantly impact the revenue stream of any reputable site. 

* The last time I bought anything due to an advertisement was back in the '80s, from an ad in a computer magazine.  I have never bought anything from a TV or internet ad.  OTOH I will occasionally impulse buy stuff that has been reviewed by a source I trust.


Exactly this. Ads are irrelevant to me, I'm just not a typical consumer, I have never deliberately clicked on an online ad in my life, I have never seen something in an ad on TV and gone out and bought it. Serving me ads is just a waste of bandwidth and a waste of everyone's time. When I see enough ads for something or someone (eg politicians) that I notice, it actively starts to turn me against them.

I didn't mind online ads until they started getting pushy. Blinky animated stuff, then popups, it got so invasive that at some point I said ENOUGH and actually bought an ad blocker back before the free ones were a thing. I never looked back.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 05:03:05 pm by james_s »
 

Online peter-h

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #237 on: April 12, 2020, 06:09:11 pm »
Without wishing to contradict you regarding the undesirability of adverts, how do you expect the forum which you make good use of to keep running?

I run a forum too (technology, but not electronics) so I know what's involved. We have decided to not have adverts, for various reasons including

- people hate them
- everybody who knows how to will adblock them
- if adblock doesn't work (e.g. because the ads are served from the same server, along with the main page) people will run scripts to block them (this is what e.g. Facebook Purity does on facebook)
- if there is a disreputable vendor (which in the subject of my forum is pretty common) then what will you do if they want to advertise???
- you have to de-moderate the mod policy, because kicking/beating/biting posts generate far more traffic and thus clicks on ads (and then most intelligent people leave)
- you have to run a "no bashing vendors" policy otherwise the advertisers will dump you, and new ones will be wary (and this degrades the forum because crappy products cannot be discussed)

So we went to donation funding. This is ok until you have to pay commercial rates for server side development. I don't know EEVblog traffic but mine has had 250k posts over 7 years, about 100/day, and has 200 posters in any past 30 days. The donations cover what we have but not any significant development, and certainly no profit for the owner.

I know of sites in the US which are 10x bigger and they run adverts and they are ok, but they have to deal with the above issues, including a no-bashing policy. But there are many cultural differences between the US and Europe...

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Offline MarkMLl

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #238 on: April 12, 2020, 06:10:50 pm »
"Relying on adverts isn't a sustainable business model, and a business model is what a forum needs if it's going to grow and thrive"

What would be a "sustainable business model"?

Something that doesn't rely on a broker- Google or otherwise- which is likely to demote you on a whim and insist that they are not accountable to you.

MarkMLl
 

Offline W9GFO

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #239 on: April 12, 2020, 06:13:31 pm »
Hello,
I have had this thought for a few years. Wouldn't it make sense to migrate the forum to the Discourse platform?

No. Discourse may be popular now but probably won't be in ten years. Then what, switch to the next fad?

Keep it right here where the owner has total control and is not hostage to a third party that may change policies/owners on a whim.

 

Offline tooki

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #240 on: April 12, 2020, 06:36:25 pm »

I also wish I could put out a bounty on anyone who uses a lightbox (the thing where the page dims and a modal dialog appears) to ask me to sign up for your newsletter. I guarantee, using one of those to nag me before I've even had a chance to read the page is the way to get me to not even consider signing up, no matter what.

I always wondered what they were called, that's the thing that has been hurting my eyes. Some of them say "Sorry for the intrustion" about their cookies when they don't realize it maybe uncomfortable when they darken the rest of the page.

I think of it as a bit like say 20 years ago, someone working with an old CRT screen and another person there adjusting the contrast and brightness controls going from one extreme to another thinking they're helping them see better.

Someone told me that they switched off javascript years ago by default and now I am finding I have to do that a lot more often.

Now with adverts, what I see some websites seem to be engaging in spammy behaviour and not just adverts alone. Rather than display adverts at the sides of the page where it scrolls with the rest of the page and so you see different ones I have seen websites display the same adverts on either sides of the page in a fixed position that flash and annoy/distract me, some appearing over the contents that either get in the way or expand the page making it jump. In other words interfering with the contents and my viewing of the page and they put the fixed videos that autoplay, so now it's easier without the aggravation by turning off the scripts as soon as I see a small dialogue with rest of the page darkening.

I don't mind adverts but not shoved in my face over the contents like with any fixed element.

To add to insult I am occasionally seeing, "Turn on Javascript for a better website experience" which is I turned it off in the first place.

Dare click that bookmark killer to kill unwanted fixed elements and I have seen some sites as of recent engage in scroll jacking and I thought taking away my right click away was bad.
Yep, I agree right you on pretty much everything you say.

The lightbox, as its name suggests, was originally developed for zooming into picture thumbnails without requiring a page load. Then some turds started using them for popover messages (in sensible ways), and suddenly like wildfire the fucking things were everywhere for nagging.

I know exactly what you mean about the flickery jumpy fixed items.

It’s incredible to me that my internet connection now is literally 400 times as fast as the one I had 20 years ago, but these dipshit web devs and site operators have seen to it that performance is far worse than it was back then.
 
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #241 on: April 12, 2020, 07:07:31 pm »
Without wishing to contradict you regarding the undesirability of adverts, how do you expect the forum which you make good use of to keep running?

Frankly that's not my problem. I like to think that overall I add some value to the forum and bring in other eyeballs that may be influenced by ads that do not do anything for me. Maybe the online culture that expects everything to be free and ad supported is just going to have to change? I don't block the banner ads in this forum because they're not intrusive, they're passive, silent and they advertise legitimate companies. I've never (intentionally) clicked on one either though so am I stealing service by not buying products from the companies that advertise here? Actually I do buy boards from JLC PCB but not because I saw an ad banner, it's because someone pointed me to pcbshopper, JLC was the cheapest and I've been happy with the quality of their product.

Obviously ads do work in general or they wouldn't still be around, but I think it's on the advertisers to not be obnoxious about it. If ads hadn't gotten so obnoxious in the first place we'd see far fewer people blocking them. Popups, auto-play videos, garish animated banners, ads that play sounds, all this annoying stuff should be as unacceptable as letting yourself into someone's house and gluing a physical advertising banner to a prominent wall. They would notice the ad for sure, but it would also piss people off and lead to them taking precautions to prevent it. Finding creative new ways to be even more obnoxious is not the answer, but it's the approach that many advertisers have taken.
 

Offline W9GFO

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #242 on: April 12, 2020, 07:36:47 pm »


I also wish I could put out a bounty on anyone who uses a lightbox (the thing where the page dims and a modal dialog appears) to ask me to sign up for your newsletter. I guarantee, using one of those to nag me before I've even had a chance to read the page is the way to get me to not even consider signing up, no matter what.

Man I hate those things. I automatically close them when they appear, never read them. Ever.

Kind of like how everything is "known to the state of California to cause cancer", it has no meaning anymore because it is everywhere. It gets ignored as soon as it is presented.
 
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #243 on: April 12, 2020, 09:34:34 pm »
Quote
What would be a "sustainable business model"?

I haven't had to make one up for a forum so can't advise, but I can see from Youtube that building your life around adverts isn't it.

Maybe ask Dave :)
 

Online peter-h

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #244 on: April 13, 2020, 06:02:55 am »
Almost nobody makes money on youtube, despite half the world desperately trying it :)
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Online james_s

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Re: Migrating the forum to Discourse
« Reply #245 on: April 13, 2020, 06:40:11 am »
Almost nobody makes money on youtube, despite half the world desperately trying it :)

That's the case with trying to make a living being any type of celebrity. For every small timer who manages to get by there are at least 1,000 who try and get nowhere, and there are probably at least 1,000 small timers for every A-list celebrity. These numbers might actually be orders of magnitude larger even depending on how you define success.