Forum Migration FAQ

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OrangeRKN
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PostForum Migration FAQ
by OrangeRKN » Thu Jan 25, 2024 2:08 pm

You might have seen the recent discussion around the next generation of GRcade. There have been a lot of questions about what exactly that means, so here is quick summary!

What do we mean by migrating the forum?

GRcade currently runs on forum software called phpBB. There are many other forum softwares available. Migrating the forum means changing to new forum software while keeping all of our data (like users and posts).

Why do we need to migrate the forum?

GRcade is a very large and very old forum. Over time many problems have built up, especially in its database (where everything like users and posts are stored). Our volunteer technicians have done an amazing job of keeping the forum working and fixing things when they do break, but the longer we continue as things are the greater the chance that something will break irreparably.

Migrating the forum is a big challenge because of the current state of the database, and that challenge gets bigger every day. At some point migration may become impossible. The good news is that migrating the forum now will fix a lot of the problems and make the forum a lot easier to maintain going forward.

What is Flarum?

Flarum is forum software. It was first released in 2021 and is designed around the modern internet. It isn't exactly the same as phpBB, which was originally created in 2000, but it does most of the same things.

What are some other advantages of migrating to Flarum?

Currently GRcade is quite costly to run. While it isn't the main reason for wanting to migrate, Flarum is more efficient and should lower the cost of keeping the forum online.

Being designed with modern principles, Flarum should also be easier to use, especially on mobile devices.

From a tech perspective Flarum will be easier to maintain and more secure.

When will the forum be migrated?

We don't know when exactly, but soon. Winckle has been leading the charge with the migration and ultimately, given he is volunteering his time, it'll depend on when he is free. The migration will involve some downtime and we will try to communicate that as best as possible to minimise disruption.

What's the most important feedback I can give right now?

If you have any accessibility concerns around the migration, let us know. If there is anything that might prevent you from being able to use the forum after the migration, we want to address that now before the migration happens.

If you have any usability concerns with the new forum, let us know. If it doesn't prevent anyone from using the forum it might not get fixed right away, but we want to make the migration as smooth an experience as we can for everyone involved.

If you have any comments on appearance or additional features, let us know. We expect to continue making changes in these areas after the migration. In fact migrating the forum should make adding new features much easier in the future!

If you find some things have changed, we understand that can be annoying but try and keep an open mind! It's not possible for us to make the new forum look and behave exactly as it does now, and some things will just take a little while to get used to.

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Thanks for reading and please direct any feedback here!

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