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TRS-80

Forum Software ("Invision Community")

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As I am a new Moderator and I am unfamiliar with this particular board software (apparently called "Invision Community"), I went looking for some docs...

 

Came across https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invision_Community.

 

The first thing I noticed is that it is proprietary software. Which I think is very out of character for a F/LOSS project at least alluding to the name Debian. Which carries a number of connotations, at least in my mind... Which is a whole another discussion, however...

 

Secondly, a quick read through that Wikipedia article quickly reveals a number of documented cases of changing things on their users, going back on their word, etc. I see red flags all over the place. Not the sort of software I feel inclined to invest a lot of time into learning. But I am the new guy here, so...

 

Has there ever been any discussion of perhaps changing forum software? Or why this one was even picked in the first place (familiarity, Jira or other integration, or...)? I did a few different searches (internally and externally) but couldn't come up with anything.

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I never used Invision software practically as well. I used to administer phpBB, WBB and vBulletin boards but that was as much other things many years ago and things changed in the meantime.

 

I see your point about the well...strange taste in the mouth by this combination. There are really nice board software thingies out there like phpBB. Though from experience I can tell you they are not designed for larger communities. First they lack in performance, commercial boards are heavily optimized and last but not least are basically ALL boards in the web out there that run on free software under permanent attack of spam bots. Sure commercial ones are as well but quite minor.

 

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(edited)
53 minutes ago, TRS-80 said:

The first thing I noticed is that it is proprietary software. Which I think is very out of character for a F/LOSS project at least alluding to the name Debian. Which carries a number of connotations, at least in my mind... Which is a whole another discussion, however...


Why this forum software was chosen? Simply because I want to deal with single board computers and not with a forum bugs and shortcomings. Its already bad enough that we host it alone. And guess who has to take for server administration and its upgrades? :) Luckily this software is well maintained, fight spam very well and we have almost no issues with it. If we go for a floss version and their authors stop to maintain it ... then we have to migrate, adjust its look, communicate this to users ... with what? I have a family, job and my focus is SBC already in a limited way. For handling PHP, websites, forum software I have no time and can not hire people to handle that for me. I simply choose to rule out this risk dealing more with the tool than a content. I actually never used a free forum software (this was my first serious forum experience but it remain too classical) which perhaps also contributed to the choice to not go for free software at all cost. Its PHP, so its open, just not free.

Edited by Igor
adding not since it fix the meaning

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To add a little more here. We have what we have: forum, documentation rendered from Github, Github for main sections: build engine, armbian-config, ... and Jira (under development). Any changes in term of going to yet another software is out of questions. We barely use what we have now.

Reality: in Jira I am alone, armbian-config = tkaiser added few things, otherwise I am alone, build engine is more populated but I most of maintenance job is mine. I don't need another tool to waste time with.

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11 minutes ago, Igor said:

Simply because I want to deal with single board computers


Historically. There was a Wordpress website (my personal blog) where I published Debian images for Cubietruck which become increasingly popular. The only communication with users was via blog comments and email. Both quickly become extremely messy. There was me and few people to just play around a little. In that time I choose this forum, its previous major version (3.0) ... 

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@Werner,

I too used all those "back in the day." I don't really think they have changed a lot. At least not from my perspective as a user, on some forums I still visit to this day. I haven't mod/admin any in a long time though.

 

@Igor,

That was, approximately the answer I was expecting. :) Which was why I never bothered to make any suggestions in the first place.

 

To be clear, I wasn't trying to make a criticism of your choice of software, I figured you were busy and went with what worked. Nor of paying for it, if you are... When I said free I meant as in freedom, i.e., Free (libre) Software.

 

But anyway since we are now discussing it (and because I can't help myself :)) I will throw it out there anyway. Maybe the time is not right presently, but maybe later. Just planting a seed. ;) Just consider it, is all I ask...

 

The last few years I have (as a user) been using some of these new web-2.0 Java scriptey things like Discourse at some places like https://community.openhab.org and https://forum.mysensors.org (may or not be Discourse, but if not then it's something very similar). Anyway, at first I hated them. But they have grown on me. They have a lot of nice features, primarily the automatic sort of privilege escalation based on numbers of posts, time spent reading, etc... It's a really different and interesting concept. A brief overview of which can be found here.

 

Of course, this (Invision Community) software has some of the nice Java-scriptey-web-2.0 features as well, but what I pointed out in OP has my alarm bells ringing. I think it may end up biting us some day (I have seen this movie play out before, too many times).

 

It seems to me that the sort of "gamification" that is built in to Discourse would eliminate a lot of the problems I see discussed over and over, and help to build a bigger and more engaged community. So my view is that, while yes of course it would be some work to set up initially. But in the long run I think it could solve some of the issues I see mentioned here and there. And get more of the community sticking around and helping each other, which in the end would actually reduce the load on you and the others.

 

But probably I should just stick around a little longer and see how things actually work around here before making such suggestions...

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36 minutes ago, TRS-80 said:

 

If you agree with those concepts, then the question becomes: what would be less work: re-implementing all of that ourselves? Or just switching forum software?

the problem with switching the forum software is, links to threads to this forum are spread around the world.. it's not a 'closed' environment where our changes don't have an impact on others..

 

some examples:

https://lkml.org/lkml/2019/11/8/339

https://lkml.org/lkml/2016/5/3/396

https://www.heise.de/forum/Make/News-Kommentare/Low-Tech-Website-geht-offline-wenn-die-Wolken-aufziehen/SD-Karte-mehr-Geschwindigkeit-im-Vergleich-zu-Festplatten-WTF/thread-5763610/page-2/#posting_33242056

https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/07/31/buy-orange-pi-zero-lts-sbc/#comment-565095

 

and I could probably post 200-300 links more with it. Breaking all those links won't be a smart idea IMO

 

I know people love to be as opensource as possible but the reality on ARM is a different one, a bunch of boards wouldn't even boot without closed source bootloaders: until recently all LPDDR4 boards with RK3399, every Raspberry Pi ever, most if not all Amlogic boards. You either accept this as being part of arm or you trust in the openness of intels managment engine.. :lol: IMO the whole situation is even worse on x86-64 but people don't even bother to complain about this.. Change to 'more opensource' by killing open information which helps other opensource projects wont help anyone.. And as soon as you enter things like wifi/gps.. oh dear.. say goodbye to your nice free software bubble or the reality will likely hit you hard.. :rolleyes:

and you can  mostly replace opensource with free software in my posts. As much as I love the work of RMS for providing a bunch of great GNU tools, the dogmatic discussion about open source and free software is something I happily ignore most of the time..

 

back to topic, if some features of discourse might help us to get things done great do it.. if it breaks all the links shared around the world about our forum bad...

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10 minutes ago, chwe said:

links

 

This is very serious issue that I already considered. I almost edited my post to add something about that in fact. I agree with you, this would be deal breaker.

 

There are some (claim according to Discourse) "robust, tested" converters among which I see ipboard and ipboard3 but I went no further with my research as I thought changing forum software was a non-starter anyway.

 

To be absolutely crystal clear, I also agree that any such conversion that would break all these years of work, documentation, existing links would be totally unacceptable.

 

If the whole idea is not DOA, perhaps I could research further. Maybe conversion software works great and preserves all links, I have no idea. But as I already said above, let me reiterate, I think simple forum re-organization may suffice.

 

OTOH, if eventually forum software is deemed unsuitable for whatever reason, the longer we wait to feel the pain, the worse the problem will end up being.

 

17 minutes ago, chwe said:

You either accept this as being part of arm or you trust in the openness of intels managment engine

 

I think false dichotomy, but I don't want to devolve as you say into

 

17 minutes ago, chwe said:

dogmatic discussion about open source and free software

 

Look I am Free Software guy but I am not here to be counter-productive. I make lots of jokes about beards and eating boogers. Too many people get bent out of shape about it. I believe what I believe, and I advocate for it, but only where it is welcomed. You get no where by proselytizing to the unwilling...

 

Having got that out of the way, the question I posed above, namely:

 

21 minutes ago, chwe said:

what would be less work: re-implementing all of that ourselves? Or just switching forum software?

 

is a technical and strategic one regarding direction and work load, not a philosophical one...

 

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