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Board Software Replacement

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Board Software Replacement

Postby Brian Stevenson » Sat Feb 03, 2024 10:45 am

This is just a discussion only. I'm not going to make any changes without agreement.

The software for this board is quite old and its not really supported any more. I can keep it running as I have access to all the source code to make updates (I just had to make a change for a security vulnerability) so its not an issue, but maybe its time to leave the 1990's behind and move to something a little more contemporary, like Discourse.

If you can use this board you can use Discourse, but it has a much nicer UI, an app for your phone and much more functional in terms of search and notifications. You can access it from any device and its bespoke tailored for the User Agent so it will always look its best. It also has real-time chat, document storage, etc.

It will also better support newer browsers and if you do a browser update and wipe your security settings you won't have to tweak those settings in your browser, that's all handled automatically.

The software is opensource so we can host it in AWS, or we can get a hosted instance, either way the software and data are automatically backed up.

I guess the first question I would have is will we lose all the old threads and information. No, I'll just move them to the new system. This is what I would pull over....

Users
- Avatars
- Anonymous users (either as user “system” or as suspended users)
- Password hashes so your password remains the same
- User profile data (birth date, website, location, custom fields, etc.)
Groups
Categories and Forums
Topics and Posts including
- Polls and votes
- Smilies
- BBCodes
- Internal links to topics and posts
Sticky topics and announcements
Private Messages
Attachments
Bookmarks
Permalinks for imported categories, topics and posts.

It can be as open as you want. anything from a private, invite-only space to a full on brand marketing site.

Anyway, throwing this out there. I think if you are trying to attract younger people to the club this would help. No one under 50 really uses these kinds of boards or Facebook any more.
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby Dewey » Sat Feb 03, 2024 12:37 pm

All I saw was App for phone, I’m in!

pd
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby TimV » Sat Feb 03, 2024 7:28 pm

Sounds like a no-brainer Brian. Bonus if it makes your job easier.
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby Brian Stevenson » Sun Feb 04, 2024 8:48 am

Yes. The two hot ones at the moment are Discord and Discourse. One is based more on a board construct while the other is more of a collaborative construct like a lightweight Slack.

You can read about the differences here https://unita.co/blog/discourse-vs-discord/ ignore the bracing as that talking about a hosted environment on Discourse.org

If you want to see what Discourse UI looks like as a simple board replacement this will give you an idea. It’s a test instance so people just post random stuff in there but it will give you an idea of what to expect https://try.discourse.org/c/discourse/1
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby janicelegere » Sun Feb 04, 2024 9:20 am

When I go to the Discourse website it has monthly management fees.
Would we be required to do that?
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby Brian Stevenson » Sun Feb 04, 2024 8:33 pm

Yes, don't worry about that. They are trying to sell hosting services to companies. We would probably just stick it in AWS ourselves

The software is free and opensource. We also have the ability to change it as long as we contribute the changes back to the project.

There would be a cost for hosting it. There is a cost for hosting this right now but I don't know where the bill goes. :lol:

If we went down this route we could probably get away with a T2.small virtual machine in AWS. That cost is minimal and I would also push for a 12 month free credit. There would be a requirement for a database as well and they recommend PostgreSQL. I'd have to find out how much we currently pay and work out a monthly cost.
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby rick26 » Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:05 pm

This appears to be a no brainer to me.
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby aburns113 » Fri Mar 01, 2024 9:47 am

Make it So number 1 as Picard would say! :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby Brian Stevenson » Thu Mar 21, 2024 4:59 pm

I managed to get a years credit from Thomas Edwards at AWS for 750 hours of compute per month and I have discourse installed on a test t2.micro instance.

I've run into a problem transferring the data from this board. I'm not a VRRA member so I do not have access to things like the members only section, the tech committee section, etc.

So the choices are we can either just leave that stuff behind, or I can write the scripts and have a VRRA members run them. Its quite simple. There would be a script for members only, one for the tech committee, one for the competition committee, one for the executive... you get the idea
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby Pascal B. » Tue Mar 26, 2024 7:54 am

Hey Brian,

Id be willing to help if you still need it. You can PM me with details. I think this is a great idea.
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Re: Board Software Replacement

Postby Brian Stevenson » Tue Mar 26, 2024 8:36 am

Brilliant. Thanks Pascal
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