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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 27, 2015, 03:22:17 PM
Yes, it's still "infinite scroll" and yes this is - in general - a really annoying thing to me. However I think Discourse is actually doing it right (or certainly *trying* to), and that it does have some benefits in theory. One of the devs has written a couple of articles about it that are interesting to read, partly in that they do point out *bad* infinite scroll implementations and then what they are doing to try to make a better one.

- Oshyan
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Incredibox - Express your musicality! on: July 27, 2015, 02:00:44 PM
It's almost *too* easy to make things that sound cool. cheesy Definitely check out the leaderboard for ideas on how to make best use of it. I setup a full "board" of "boxers" which sounded pretty cool, but once they were all going I felt pretty limited, like "where do I go from here?". I didn't think, somehow, of doing a "live" mix edit during a recording, adding and removing voices dynamically! So while it's definitely easy to make something that sounds good, there is also some real skill involved in the realtime mixing aspect if you want to go there.

- Oshyan
3  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 27, 2015, 01:57:38 PM
I use the links to the right of the avatar at top, on every single SMF forum I use. Is there a good reason to remove them? It's a standard feature and while I'm for change if there's clear benefit, it *would* be something I'd have to deal with being different between otherwise very similar environments that I use daily.

- Oshyan
4  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Not-so-mini review of CrashPlan backup software on: July 27, 2015, 01:55:26 PM
Yes, Java. *sigh*

iDrive is still chugging along, doing... *OK*. It's better than CrashPlan... mostly. "Better enough". cheesy I *have* seen them fix one or two issues I had, for example with auto-update not working, so that's encouraging. And supposedly they're working on better change detection and stuff. So we'll see...

- Oshyan
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: July 25, 2015, 01:05:57 PM
Yeah... but no. Sad

- Oshyan
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 23, 2015, 06:43:13 PM
I hear you wraith. One thing I'm really missing in this - and other - SMF "classic" forums is @mentions and "likes" and that sort of thing. I feel like it helps drive engagement, especially for younger users who are more used to (and into) that kind of thing from other social media. SMF 2.1 is in beta (and has been for 9 months or more) and has some of those features, and ElkArte has them too. Many commercial forums do as well, including IPB, Xenforo, and BurningBoard. I just wish there were better implementation of such features for free systems. But maybe it's worth paying in some cases... SMF always seemed "good enough" for me, but it seems to be falling more and more behind...

- Oshyan
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 23, 2015, 04:57:43 PM
I've been using classic forums for about 20 years, and I hate FB. Discourse I am not yet sure about, I *really* like some aspects, dislike others. But it's a young system and they're actively improving it. Watching the Meta forums on you see a lot of interesting discussion and development and it's encouraging, to me at least.

- Oshyan
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The end of the hard disk on: July 23, 2015, 04:54:50 PM
I think if you look at storage trends, the increase in size of mechanical HDs has been slower (relatively speaking) than the increase in size of flash-based solid-state storage. That's where much of the research is being focused now too (for good reason), and so naturally innovation is faster there. Mechanical drives have also been knocking on the doors of *physical* limitations for a while now, and although there always seems to be an innovation around the corner that extends things a good bit, it almost certainly gets harder and harder. Meanwhile, if capacity really needs to be increased for SSD, one could always just have a bigger physical package. Current drives are all 2.5" form factor, but you could easily quadruple capacity by making a full-sized form factor (not sure if cooling would become an issue, but probably a fixable one if so). That says nothing of pricing, of course, but that has been falling consistently for years, so it's really only a matter of time before the graph lines of hard drive's slowing capacity increase crosses the line of SSD's decreasing costs and increasing capacity... I think it will be another year or two, but not a ton more time...

- Oshyna
9  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Game Over. No, really... "The Flock" will shutdown after all players die on: July 23, 2015, 04:50:51 PM
I saw news of this recently too and it was definitely intriguing. I'm not enough of a gamer these days to really dive into it and get my money's worth, but I genuinely like that they are trying new things, taking risks. Some of the comments I saw expressed concern at not getting your money's worth when you can't replay a game later, and having replayed some awesome, classic games years later (Deux Ex, Half Life, etc.) I definitely see the value in that argument. However for multiplayer games, although there have been some notable resurgences (or just games that refused to ever die, e.g. Quake III I think), in general one cannot count on having anyone to play with years later, so the "getting my money's worth" argument is a bit less applicable to a multiplayer-only experience I think.

Anyway, like I said I'm happy to see devs taking risks like this. They are, I think, basing some of this on well-known psychological phenomenon, scarcity and people's reaction to it for example, which may well heighten the enjoyment by those who are able to buy-in and really embrace it in the moment. I will be curious to see how it works out.

- Oshyan
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 23, 2015, 04:45:58 PM
Hmm, I haven't had that problem. Do you know what made it difficult for you? I'm curious, from a usability standpoint. Missing features (e.g. finding own posts when viewing own profile), confusing "watch"/notification functionality, something else?

- Oshyan
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc. on: July 23, 2015, 04:33:26 PM
Yes, nice to see this, for sure. Wish we had a pop-up lightbox that auto-scaled or something though. *hint* *hint* mouser, DC 2.0... Wink

My travels have been sadly few of late, but I'll get back to it as soon as I can. New Zealand is on the docket for some time in the future, and Hawaii nearer to. Tahoe next month, though that's not exactly exotic, hehe. But maybe a few worthwhile shots. I'll keep you guys posted. smiley

- Oshyan
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 23, 2015, 04:29:56 PM
I see. So do you feel like that's somehow related to the systems themselves (i.e. they don't encourage discussion), or just the way the particular forums you are a member on have been?

- Oshyan
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 23, 2015, 04:22:07 PM
Well so far it sounds like people are not into the new trend(s) in "message boards" like Discourse then, eh? Has anyone actually attempted active participation in a forum running Discourse or nodeBB and the like? As-in, the topic interested you enough to try it despite the forum system it used? I'm curious about real-world experiences here, whether from a user *or* admin perspective.

- Oshyan
14  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 21, 2015, 01:29:18 PM
I don't use the bookmarks feature here. I thought there was built-in functionality for that, but I guess not. There's another existing mod for it, though may not be maintained for 2.1:

- Oshyan
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 20, 2015, 10:09:37 PM
Fair enough, so a strike against it for anyone who dislikes having Javascript enabled (even on specific, trusted sites I suppose). That's not me, and it's not most people, but I grant that it's a legitimate security concern. Still, since I *like* the advanced features and don't browse with Javascript disabled (and an increasing amount of the Internet works in "degraded" mode at best if you do), I remain interested in the pros and cons of these systems.

IPB being a suite is almost a disadvantage for me. I don't trust them to handle any single aspect of the suite ideally. Focus on the forum, make it great. I don't need them making a gallery, blog, or whatever else. Similar concern with Woltlab (BurningBoard). Of course overlooking them *solely* for that reason would be foolish, so I'm not. Wink

- Oshyan
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 20, 2015, 02:02:27 PM
Makes sense. I don't know what hosting you use, but Digital Ocean has $5/mo "droplets" that can host a Docker Discourse instance quite easily, for whatever it's worth...

- Oshyan
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 20, 2015, 12:54:06 PM
Interesting to hear from a bbPress user. I must admit I pretty much wrote it off due to its Wordpress plugin nature, I figured it'd be a bit clunky, not as full-featured, etc. Does it have some of the Discourse features you like (e.g. new topic from reply)? Or are you more choosing it for ease of management?

- Oshyan
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 20, 2015, 12:10:00 PM
Thanks for your thoughts Tux.

When you say "pointless technical restrictions of usability", are you just referring to needing Javascript, or more than that? Because I think it's a very conscious and - to some people, including myself - worthwhile choice that Discourse, nodeBB, and others are making to use modern web development technologies and methods to enable the best "normal" interaction and responsiveness. Without Javascript or some equivalent, many of the valuable (IMO) features of Discourse simply wouldn't work. It's clearly not a forum designed for those who fear Javascript, nor is it one designed for accessibility, but those two problem cases remove only a relatively small minority of the potential user base. That seems to include you, which is understandable, but I don't think it's an indictment of the system(s) as a whole. If there are other, better ways to get the kind of functionality and UI interaction they've created then I'd love to hear more about that. Hell, at least it's not Flash. Wink

As for using Docker, it's not actually a *requirement* of using Discourse as far as I know, it's just the easiest way to deploy. For me use of Linux for hosting is *the* right way to do it anyway, so it's not a concern. But if it's a worry for you (and you're actually still interested in Discourse cheesy ), it looks like Docker will be Windows compatible in the future:

Meanwhile, I'm not quite sure where I stand on the argument that these different systems are for different audiences, different types of communities interacting. Technically it is true right now, but I would be quite surprised if many of the current forum communities had not migrated from newsgroups previously, and surprised as well if the trend I'm seeing in some of my communities - to move onto Facebook (Groups), etc. - is not reflective of a greater overall trend. Which means that *the same users and communities* are migrating from one system to another (and have done so before).

Systems *do* often replace other systems, and the same people who used an older system may switch to a different, newer one for various reasons. The fact that some percentage stays behind and becomes a "hardcore" community still using some older technology may indeed actually mean that for those people the newer system is *not* an adequate replacement, much less upgrade, but they are often in the minority in my experience. The question for me is not "where are the hardcore hanging out?", it's "what is the best system to use to serve a modern community that will best be able to gain and maintain popularity, offer smooth and enjoyable interaction for the users, and be capable of long-term maintainability?".

I never liked IPB myself, but I'll have to take another look at it on your recommendation. I suppose part of what put me off is the cost, hehe. vB is IMO atrocious, which just goes to show that popularity isn't the sole and best metric on which to judge a system. cheesy

I'm a bit confused about your comment on "lack of structure". Discourse definitely has categories. The default UI may not do the best job of showing them, but it's easily configurable, and there are themes out there that better mimic (and IMO improve on) more traditional designs. There is a "Material Design" Discourse theme I mentioned above that I quite like, for example.


Final point, consolidation is a sign both of a maturing technology landscape, but also sometimes of one in decline. Again I'd be surprised if it were true that forums are anywhere near as popular now as they were 10 years ago, at least in English speaking countries (I say that because I know e.g. many Asian countries seem to have really different online interaction preferences than those in the US, and I just don't have familiarity with what they're doing or why).

Curious to hear more from those who may have tested any of these systems. But recommendations for more up-to-date and well maintained "traditional" forums (like IPB) are welcome too. smiley

- Oshyan
19  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 19, 2015, 08:17:31 PM
mouser, I forgot to post the list of SMF anti-spam addons I use. Here you go:
KeyCaptcha: http://custom.simplemachi...g/mods/index.php?mod=2839

And here's a new thread to discuss Discourse and other "modern"/"next-generation" forums:

- Oshyan

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Thoughts on "next generation" forum systems? (Discourse, nodeBB, etc.) on: July 19, 2015, 08:17:02 PM
With the coming upgrades to DC that mouser is working on, I got to thinking about the future, the long view, how to future-proof a community like this. I run a couple of forums myself, all based on SMF (and have administered vBulletin, phpBB, and other forums as well), and while I've found SMF to be my favorite overall of the free options I've tried, its development now seems troubled and its design a bit archaic.

With the current dominance of social media and new methods of interaction that are evolving (short Twitter posts, @mentions, tagging, video and photo posting, coming interactivity/VR, who knows what else), I started to feel like traditional forums might be on their way to becoming antiquated in the way that Newsgroups are now - they still exist, people still use them, but they're relegated to a seldom-used part of the Internet where most people seldom venture. I have seen traffic diminish on the forums I manage and am part of over the past 5+ years, which might support this idea...

So I started to wonder what might be next. If SMF and the traditional forum model are losing popularity and not as appealing to new users, and perhaps younger users, then what is out there to replace these systems? What can you download and run the same way you run SMF, but with more modern features, design, interaction methods, etc? I found a few obvious answers in the most popular of such "next generation" systems, notably Discourse and nodeBB, along with a few hybrids like BurningBoard, and even (just today) some forks of SMF like ElkArte that add some needed features to SMF's base code.

Discourse seemed a bit alien to me at first, but also rather exciting in its potential. Once I found a Material Design theme for it, it looked a lot more appealing too. The others I've looked into a lot less, but from my not-very-well-researched position Discourse still appears to stand-out in features and goals. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to try *any* of these systems yet though.

I'd love to hear thoughts and experiences from anyone who has been looking into similar systems, or better yet, who have tested one or more of these (doesn't have to be ones I mentioned, just a system that is more "modern" and "progressive" than SMF is, and ideally free/open source).

- Oshyan
21  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 19, 2015, 01:48:52 PM
Tuxman, I'm curious to hear your thoughts about Discourse. I "discovered" it some months ago (or perhaps re-discovered) and I have kind of a love/hate relationship with it. I'm not actively running it on any sites mind you, so my experiences are limited. I absolutely *love* some aspects of it (the default design is not one of them), and I really like what their goals are, what they're trying to do. But as I said I do have issues with the design, and there are some other concerns too. So I'd be interested in hearing your perspective, especially since you said you're tinkering with some SMF forks (don't know why I didn't think to look for some before now!). Perhaps this should be split off into its own thread? cheesy

- Oshyan
22  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 15, 2015, 06:47:03 PM
I guess it's probably too late now but for whatever it's worth I have a couple of anti-spam mods installed on 2 fairly active forums I run and they take care of 99% of spam. We very rarely have a problem with an actual spam post getting through. The most I have to do is check and approve (or delete) a couple of questionable registrations once a week. On DC it'd probably be more like every couple days with the volume, but still the actual work is minimal and done mostly by the plugins.

- Oshyan
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The end of the hard disk on: June 25, 2015, 03:29:29 PM

There are now at least 3 studies on SSD reliability that I'm aware of. The above link discusses/mentions 2. The third is discussed here:

Note also that most of these studies are - by necessity - performed on older drives. The trend may not be toward higher reliability, but generally speaking that is more likely than a trend toward lower reliability as the technology matures.

- Oshyan
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: June 20, 2015, 06:13:11 PM
Holy shit, snakes are so badass!

- Oshyan
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft "Hyperlapse" tech is finally available to play with on: June 18, 2015, 09:36:38 PM
Uh, perhaps I should note that the term "hyperlapse" is a *general* word, it's not Microsoft's name for the software. The video you link above with all those complicated steps is *not* using Microsoft's software. It is, in fact, a description of *exactly* the kind of in-depth, laborious work that Microsoft's research project was trying to avoid and, to some degree, it succeeds in doing so, although the results are certainly less controllable (but also a helluvalot more automated; 75% or more of those steps are unnecessary with Microsoft's app).

- Oshyan
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