What's new

Major upgrade to the Forum software! January 2021

farfegnubbin

Site Owner
Staff member
It gives me great pleasure to announce that we've finally be able to significantly update the Forum software.

(Endless "thank you"s to my dear Amy.) 😘

The new platform is set up to be quite mobile friendly, which has been on my wish list for a long while. Equally significant is that it should also be easier for us to keep the software updated, which should help us avoid some problems we've had in the past.

The old platform was a wonderful resource, but it also represents a cautionary tale in customization. When I first configured it back in the early 2000s, I spent untold dozens of hours adding various custom add-ons and modifying many of the templates for the site. It was a labor of love, it took forever to accomplish, and I had it pretty much how I wanted in terms of form and function for that moment in time. Then, literally just weeks after the site went live, the software company for the old forum announced that it was planning a huge update that would fundamentally change pretty much everything about their product. Forum owners were warned that any customizations as well as many of the add-ons would probably stop working for anyone who upgraded to the new version. So most of us didn't. Thousands and thousands of sites were running on the old software, and most owners (including us) decided to just keep using the versions we were accustomed to. We had all hoped that comparable add-ons and other work-arounds would eventually become available for the newer versions. In some cases this came true. In others, no one ever developed new solutions for the old elements. Anyhow, for many years everything kept working. But time marched on, and eventually a huge and insurmountable amount of logistical headaches cropped up, the worst of which was a period of time (sometime in the 2000-teens) during which the site was just DOA for a month or two due to new server-side incomatibilities with php verions, blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. It was a bad period.

Frankly, we lost a few members during that down time, a reality which still makes me sad. We miss you folks. You are always welcome back. Many other members stayed and/or joined since then. Thank you guys; I love seeing your projects evolve.

Anyhow, the site has been back up and functional for years, but it has been increasingly difficult to maintain the old software. So in a fit of bravery and necessity, we've finally moved to an entirely different platform which should give us far more modern functionality. Sadly, we did lose a few cool custom features of the old site (like the Owner's Showcase gallery, etc.) That information is not totally gone. It just might take a while to find a way to present it using the new software while avoiding that slippery slope of deep customizations. The guts of the forum are all here, meaning the many thousands of posts and hundreds of great discussions among our enthusiasts. Yes, it will take a little time to get used to the new look and to shake out all of the bugs. But that's what we builders do all the time.

If you're new to the site, welcome! Feel free to join in the conversations. To our frequent users, you're awesome, thank you, and I apologize that it'll take a while to get used to the new look. If you are revisiting the site, C'mon back. We want to hear about your progress!
 
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ratrog64

Active member
Congrats! I look forward to taking it for a test ride. Thanks for keeping the Sterling Kit Car site alive.
 

Peter

Active member
Congratulations on the new forum, looks good, I hope it fills up quickly, there are a LOT of Sterings out there and of great interest to us Cimbria and Eagle owners too.
 

nbb350

Member
OOOH...I like that our avatar is no longer limited to like 130x130 pixels!
But it's kinda bright...Is there a "Dark Mode" option available? I loved that aspect of the old site.
 
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Unofun

Member
WooHoo! I can now upload pic!
 

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letterman7

Honorary Admin
OOOH...I like that our avatar is no longer limited to like 130x130 pixels!
But it's kinda bright...Is there a "Dark Mode" option available? I loved that aspect of the old site.
I'll ask. I'm not sure how often the webmaster is actually on here.
 

farfegnubbin

Site Owner
Staff member
I'm here. :) I loved the darker colors of the old site, too. There IS a version of the current skin that is it's "dark" version but the contrasts weren't great. I still might add it as a user-selectable option but not if it requires that all customizations would need to be done twice. I'm gonna try my best to keep things clean, simple, and easy to update.

I did add one "add-on" last week that allows users to change the picture of the thumbnail to their Builder's Journal to anything they want, which was something on my wish list for the whole period of the old site. I might also add a sticky to that section to highlight such.

I'll double-check on the logistics of a dark mode option in case it's needed to set the mood. 🙂
 
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