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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28829
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2024 11:13 am    Post subject: Test the New KarateForums.com! (KF Turns 23) Reply with quote

Hey all,

Today is a big day. Not just because KarateForums.com is now 23 years old. Although yes, that is a big milestone, and I'm grateful for everyone who has contributed to the community over the years.

I'd like to give a special mention to our biggest contributors over the past 12 months: KarateKen, bushido_man96, DarthPenguin, sensei8, aurik, Zaine, Fat Cobra, Montana, Wastelander, Spartacus Maximus, Nidan Melbourne, ashworth, Luther unleashed, ryanryu, Drew, Wayofaswede, opr1945, JazzKicker, Himokiri Karate, Wado Heretic, and Revario. Thank you for making KarateForums.com a part of your day.

In honor of this milestone, I have some big news. After several years of work and mentioning it at various stages, we are now close to migrating KarateForums.com to new, current generation forum software. If you have a great memory, you might recall that I teased it when KarateForums.com turned 20, a full 3 years ago. Job switches, moves across the country, getting married, and having a son all pushed this back. But we are now finally here. And I'd love for your help in testing.

I don't want this post to be 2,000 words, but it is hard for me to succinctly sum up the work it has taken to get to this point. It has had a substantial time and financial cost. Beyond a lot of my own time, I have also brought in a programmer friend of mine to help who, while paid, isn't charging anywhere near his actual hourly rate. And part of the overall effort included the forum reorganization in 2020, where our staff did a lot to reshuffle the deck to present our community activity in the best possible way.

What the New KarateForums.com Represents

The new site will have all sorts of enhancements. I wouldn't describe them as big new features. Mainly, they are focused at making the site easier to use and modernizing it. Among them:

- A responsive, mobile-friendly website.
- Robust, customizable notifications and the ability to tag members.
- Making it easier to follow conversations.
- Reactions (not simple likes, but ways to express respect, gratitude, and support without making a short reply).
- Links to sites like YouTube will automatically embed the linked video within the forum.

And so on.

But I think it's important to highlight the 4 key most important things about this move, and why it isn't something I'm doing for fun, but out of actual need:

1. Preserving the future of KarateForums.com. If you're an engineer or software developer, I don't have to tell you that running old software is risky. Each day, we move closer to a reality where something here simply breaks - and that's it. I don't want that to happen. I've run this community since pre-launch to now, 23 years old. I don't have any plans to stop, but if I do, I want it to be able to continue without me. This move helps to make that possible.

2. Migrate all posts and profiles. It may not seem like much, but making a move like this without losing a single post or any profile data - especially passwords - is very hard. It's taken a lot of work and consulting with not only the developer of our new platform, but with others. It was always my goal that we don't lose anything and that people be able to login using their existing passwords. That last piece was the trickiest, but we got there.

And we aren't just migrating the conversations - they look amazing, with BBCode and formatting preserved. Not jumbled garbage. It took a lot of fine tuning and not simply settling for "well, that's close enough." Which is mainly a credit to my programmer friend.

3. Fix the problems. As you may know, features here are slowly breaking. Avatars have been broken for years now, and the use of curly quotes causes posts to be rendered blank. There are other issues, too. This is a result of the outdated software. All of these are fixed on the new site.

4. Stay familiar. I don't want too jarring a change. When you see the new site, it will look different, but it won't be a completely new experience. The overarching point here is simple: Although the site will have so many random new features, the emphasis has been on keeping things familiar and ultimately saving this community to live another day. It's not been on trying to reinvent it or trying to look like Facebook or Reddit or any of that.

Help Test!

As we work through the final tweaks, I would love to have you test and offer your feedback. If you would like to do so, please reply here or send me a private message.

Please note: I am requiring that you have at least 10 forum posts at the time I post this message, in order to test. You aren't able to send private messages until you have 25 posts, so if you have 10-24, you'll have to reply here.

At some point over the next 2 weeks, I'll create a private forum, add all testers to it, give you some steps to test, and ask for any other feedback, and then we'll go over all of it together. I don't think of it as a massive time commitment, but it will take at least 20 minutes probably, and I'd love to have you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and Happy 23rd Birthday to KarateForums.com.

Patrick
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KarateKen
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 530
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2024 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happ birthday (or is it anniversary?) and congratulations!
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Montana
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 897
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds GREAT!
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Student since January 1975---4th Dan, retired due to non-martial arts related injuries.
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DarthPenguin
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 955
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Patrick, happy to help out with testing etc.

Sounds like it has been a lot of work too! Looking forward to seeing the results
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 2298
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm happy to help with the testing. I have been hoping for a mobile friendly version for some time now (I remember when this was being pitched to the staff and I think I said something about it then). Excited to see the changes and the growth!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16479
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy 23rd Birthday to KarateForums.com!!

With many sincere thanks and deep appreciation to Patrick, his programmer friend, and his crew for bringing KF to a brand new and exciting era that we current as well as new members will greatly benefit from all of the hard work and sacrifices that it has taken to reach this milestone.

GO KF!!



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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28829
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2024 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much, KarateKen, Montana, DarthPenguin, Zaine, and Bob, and for being a part of what has made this community enjoyable for so many.

DarthPenguin and Zaine - I appreciate your interest in testing. I'll be in touch, probably toward the end of next week. I look forward to it.

Thanks,

Patrick
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Have a suggestion or a bit of feedback relating to KarateForums.com? Please contact me!
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2742
Location: Salem, IL
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a long time in the making, and I look forward to seeing it come to fruition! Thanks for all the work you do behind the scenes, Patrick!
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Kishimoto-Di | 2014-Present | Sensei: Ulf Karlsson
Shorin-Ryu/Shinkoten Karate | 2010-Present: Yondan, Renshi | Sensei: Richard Poage (RIP), Jeff Allred (RIP)
Shuri-Ryu | 2006-2010: Sankyu | Sensei: Joey Johnston, Joe Walker (RIP)
Judo | 2007-2010: Gokyu | Sensei: Joe Walker (RIP), Ramon Rivera (RIP), Adrian Rivera
Illinois Practical Karate | International Neoclassical Karate Kobudo Society
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30234
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2024 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations, Patrick! Your tireless dedication to the quality that KarateForums.com is known for will now allow it to perpetuate into the future! This is going to be a great step for KF!
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DarthPenguin
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 955
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2024 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick wrote:
DarthPenguin and Zaine - I appreciate your interest in testing. I'll be in touch, probably toward the end of next week. I look forward to it.

Thanks,

Patrick


Sounds good - just let me know what you need
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