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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27933
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 10:09 am    Post subject: [KF20] Securing the Next 20 Years of KarateForums.com Reply with quote

Hey all,

As I mentioned in the announcement I posted earlier today, our 20th birthday celebration is purposefully low key because I have been dedicating my time to an important change that I hope will take us into the next 20 years of KarateForums.com.

Short version: I'm working on moving our community to new software. It'll work similarly, but better. We'll be fixing some annoying bugs. We won't lose any posts or profile information. I'll let you know when it's actually happening. For more details, keep reading.

Our Old Software and Current Issues

Our community runs on very old software. This creates a number of issues. There are 3 I'd like to highlight:

1. As web technologies change over time, it becomes more challenging to run old software. I have a few different websites and instead of having them all on a single server, I pay for a second server just for KarateForums.com, running the old tech it needs to stay online. This isn't a forever solution, and it's not without risk when it comes to reliability and security (anyone reading this who works in IT is probably scared for me, ha).

2. Related to the first item, you may or may not have noticed a number of bugs that have been introduced into our community as the years have gone by. Perhaps the most glaring example is that our avatar upload feature is broken. You can't upload a new avatar. But there are numerous nagging issues that have cropped up, all of them annoying and silly. These shouldn't exist.

3. An inability to change much of anything. We can't really do much more than we are doing now. To add something new, tweak something, etc. is either not reasonably possible or more trouble than it's worth.

Seeing the writing on the wall, I have been working on and off for the last couple of years to move our community off of this old software to new, current generation community software.

Similar But Better

When communities change software, there is often some fear that it'll be totally different. I want to be super clear that my goal for the new KF is to be similar, but better.

What I mean by that is that we'll still be forums. We're not turning into Facebook or Twitter or something. One of the unique things about hosting a community for 20 years is that I've literally seen members leave for 4, 6, 8 years, go to Facebook, and then come back, and say, "I'm glad you're still here!"

We will not be losing any posts or profile data. It will all be migrated. We've had to work particularly hard to be able to make it so that all passwords will work, but I think we have that sorted, too.

So, it'll still be KarateForums.com. But we'll get rid of all of the bugs, and we'll have some nice new things that'll make using the site easier.

What's New

That all sounds nice, but how about some examples? Think about things like:

- A proper mobile experience! Yes, we are so ridiculously far behind. But when you visit this community on your phone or tablet, you will finally be shown a proper mobile-friendly experience.

- Better notifications. This includes notifications on the site, yes, but also more customizable email notifications. Right now, we only allow you to be notified right away when a new reply is received. So, if you are subscribed to 16 threads, and they each receive a post, you receive 16 emails. What if you prefer to receive a daily or weekly digest? That will be possible now.

- Better search. Our search feature is not very good. Our new one will be better.

- Mentions. The ability to mention a user in a way that notifies them.

- More ways to view conversations. We'll be keeping the forum-based view. But reading new posts can sometimes be tricky or you might in advertently lose your place. This will work better. You may also be able to view a customized list of conversations based only on the forums you are interested in or your favorite members. We're experimenting with that.

- Reactions. We're also planning to experiment with reactions. Not really "Likes," as much as a potential replacement for short posts. We want to go a bit deeper. Consider reactions like "Thanks," "Respect," etc.

Want to Test?

I can't share a timeline yet because we are working through various challenges, but if you'd like to receive early access to kick the tires in our test environment when we reach that stage, please feel free to let me know here in a reply or via a private message. In addition, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know!

I've been thinking about the next iteration of this community for so long that it's hard to believe we're finally at the point where I can start to see us reach the destination. But I'm excited to get there, and to give this community the support it needs to continue for another 20 years.

Thanks,

Patrick
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Patrick O'Keefe - KarateForums.com Administrator
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SLK59
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 05 Nov 2020
Posts: 94
Location: USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like things are moving ahead nicely, Patrick. Many thanks for all of your time and effort put into this project!


Cheers,
Scott
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Shotokan Karate of America (SKA), 2021-present
Japan Karate Association (JKA), 1974-1990, Sandan
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27933
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pleasure, Scott! I'm excited to leave some of these bugs behind.
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Patrick O'Keefe - KarateForums.com Administrator
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RW
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 407


PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in helping you test the new format
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27933
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, RW! I'll add you to the list and send you a note as soon as it's ready! Thanks.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1765
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Shorin Ryu, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Mantis, Schola Saint George (HEMA)

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sign me up!
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Martial arts training is 30% classroom training, 70% solo training.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27933
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done! Thanks John!
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Patrick O'Keefe - KarateForums.com Administrator
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