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vBulletin upgrade and email integration

Discussion in 'Support' started by rconn, Dec 2, 2011.

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  1. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    Sometime before the end of the month, I will have to upgrade the vBulletin software from v3.8 to v4.1. This is critical for a number of reasons, ranging from the license and support being withdrawn to a number of security holes that cannot be fixed. (The hundreds of new features and bug in 4.x might be nice too ...)

    This change means that the email integration (the ability to respond to forum threads via email instead of using the web interface) will be going away. There is no email integration mod in vBulletin 4.x, nor is there likely to ever be any. (Nobody's shown the slightest interest in the past couple of years in the vBulletin mod forums.)

    I know this is going to generate a lot of complaints from the usual half-dozen noisy email users. But the issue here isn't email vs. no email, it's whether we're going to have a forum vs. no forum.

    We've maintained the old forum software & email integration (at considerable and constantly increasing effort) for several years for a tiny percentage of the users. I know of no other forum that has email integration (certainly none of the 20-30 that I frequent), so I don't see this as an issue for new users.

    Hopefully the old email users have had time over the last several years to learn to use their web browsers ... :-)
     
  2. samintz

    samintz Scott Mintz

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    [soapbox]
    I will be one of the noisy complainers. Hard as it may be to believe,
    testing TCMD and responding to forum threads is not my full time job. I
    find it highly convenient to quickly peruse an email and know whether I'm
    interested and respond.

    I am also a beta tester for GFI Software's Vipre. They do not have an
    email interface for their forum and I find it very inconvenient to read
    the posts. They do support an email notification, where I at least
    receive the title of the post and a link.

    If the new forum completely eliminates email, I think the wonderful
    community support you currently enjoy for free will greatly diminish.
    [/soapbox]

    -Scott


    rconn <> wrote on 12/02/2011 03:44:46 PM:


     
  3. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    The updated forum software will still support email notification; you just won't be able to respond via email.
     
  4. Steve Fabian

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    | Originally Posted by samintz
    || I am also a beta tester for GFI Software's Vipre. They do not have an
    || email interface for their forum and I find it very inconvenient to
    || read the posts. They do support an email notification, where I at least
    || receive the title of the post and a link.
    |
    | The updated forum software will still support email notification; you
    | just won't be able to respond via email.

    By "email notification" I hope you mean - as the current version does - the whole text of each new post, not just its (often irrelevant) title.
    --
    Steve
     
  5. TimButterfield

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    On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 3:17 PM, rconn <> wrote:

    Provided there are links for easily responding, I would not have an
    issue. Though I prefer an email interface, even here I have clicked
    thread links to respond a few times. My biggest worry would be not
    being notified of new threads and individual posts. Even for forums I
    pay to access, I only occasionally visit when I remember to. I have
    succeeded in subscribing to enough push mechanisms (this forum with
    current software, google and yahoo groups, mailing lists, RSS feeds,
    etc.) I don't often take the time to think of things I need to go
    pull. I would regret it if this forum became yet another "out of
    sight, out of mind" for me.

    Tim
     
  6. drrob1

    drrob1 Guest

    Our point of email integration isn't that we cannot use a browser; it's
    that email is so much more convenient.

    It's the concept of active vs passive.

    I have used quite a few forums that notify me when a comment has been
    posted to something I wrote. Is it possible for this to be expanded so
    that everything written is considered to be a comment that we have
    posted so that we get an email notice?

    Or mirrored as a maillist?

    This forum used to be the best on the web. I guess it needs to revert
    to be the same as all the others.

    Pity.

    It seems that lots of us will no longer benefit from the discussions
    that go on here.

    The fact that this lack of general benefit is common does not make it
    good or desirable.



    On 12/02/2011 03:44 PM, rconn wrote:

     
  7. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    That's always been supported.

    That's never been supported, and is unlikely to ever be.

    You want something that no longer exists. I can't run imaginary forum software.

    The number of email posters in this forum has never exceeded 4%. The curious thing is that this 4% has always considered itself to be the majority and arbiter of how things should be implemented! :-)
     
  8. Charles Dye

    Charles Dye Super Moderator
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    Now now. Nobody's nagging you for NNTP anymore; be gracious....
     
  9. vefatica

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    On Fri, 02 Dec 2011 22:32:47 -0500, Charles Dye <> wrote:

    |---Quote (Originally by rconn)---
    |We've maintained the old forum software & email integration (at considerable and constantly increasing effort) for several years for a tiny percentage of the users. I know of no other forum that has email integration (certainly none of the 20-30 that I frequent), so I don't see this as an issue for new users.
    |
    |Hopefully the old email users have had time over the last several years to learn to use their web browsers ... :-)
    |---End Quote---
    |Now now. Nobody's nagging you for NNTP anymore; be gracious....

    I'd be happy to go back to NNTP.

    This change will be tolerable ... if ...

    1. we can still get the full text of posts by email, and

    2. those emails will contain links directly to the "reply to/quote this message"
    page ... that is, one-click

    Will that be the case?
     
  10. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    I'm anticipating the coming flood of "well, if you're not going to allow us
    to post via email, can you put nntp back in?" I'm surprised it hasn't
    started already -- but then, Vince hasn't weighed in yet.
     
  11. thedave

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    On 12/2/2011 6:20 PM, rconn wrote:

    Ever compared the percentage of posts? Or more specifically, the useful
    contributors?

    (and yes, I'm aware that I'm a whiner who probably isn't all that useful
    in general, especially lately... But I do note a correlation between the
    informative users and the whiners. I'm also aware of my bias, hence, my
    desire for numbers)

    Either way, if I can get the content via email rather than just
    "something happened, click here before you find out if you care" then
    I'll be happy.

    --
    Dave Warren, CEO
    Hire A Hit Consulting Services
    http://ca.linkedin.com/in/davejwarren
     
  12. vefatica

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    On Fri, 02 Dec 2011 23:00:16 -0500, rconn <> wrote:

    |---Quote---
    |> Now now. Nobody's nagging you for NNTP anymore;
    |---End Quote---
    |I'm anticipating the coming flood of "well, if you're not going to allow us
    |to post via email, can you put nntp back in?" I'm surprised it hasn't
    |started already -- but then, Vince hasn't weighed in yet.

    It was a lot easier and faster ... no links, banners, statistics, icons, tables,
    buttons, footers, quirks ... just plain text. Good readers let you see the
    collection of forums, the subjects (threaded) in the selected forum, and the
    selected article all at once; one click took you anywhere. And they kept track
    of what you've already seen (and don't keep showing it to you forever). If
    someone made a forum site that looked and acted exactly like Agent I'd be
    delighted.

    Web based forums as I know them are a lot of work. And they don't work well
    (vBulletin, for example, choking on certain characters ... not promptly
    propagating received articles). I guess we won't have to put up with email
    posting being second rate for much longer.
     
  13. Steve Fabian

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    From: thedave
    | On 12/2/2011 6:20 PM, rconn wrote:
    || The number of email posters in this forum has never exceeded 4%. The
    || curious thing is that this 4% has always considered itself to be the
    || majority and arbiter of how things should be implemented!:-)
    |
    | Ever compared the percentage of posts? Or more specifically, the useful
    | contributors?
    |
    | (and yes, I'm aware that I'm a whiner who probably isn't all that useful
    | in general, especially lately... But I do note a correlation between the
    | informative users and the whiners. I'm also aware of my bias, hence, my
    | desire for numbers)
    |
    | Either way, if I can get the content via email rather than just
    | "something happened, click here before you find out if you care" then
    | I'll be happy.

    You wrote the same message I would have, had I been near my computer sooner...
    --
    Steve
     
  14. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    This discussion is wandering into the pointless "I hate forum software because it isn't nntp" minefield again.

    There are two, and only two, choices available here:

    1) Update the forum software to a (updated, supported, working) version which does not allow responding to threads via email.

    2) Shut down the forums.

    There aren't any other choices. There aren't any "well, only if you also provide these other options" choices.

    There are a few people voting for "we all stay here and die", and there will be a few who will decide not to participate if they can't use email. But they're not going to be participating in either scenario #1 or scenario #2.
     
  15. drrob1

    drrob1 Guest

    What we lack in numbers is made up for in passion.

    We know we are not the majority, but I think you agree that we are the
    most passionate.

    Is it a good thing for you to kill the passion for a product?






     
  16. drrob1

    drrob1 Guest

    Just to be clear, is it possible for me to lurk and read all posts even
    if I never set that flag myself to have all traffic emailed to me?

    I don't know if you mean I could get email responses to my own posts, or
    for ALL posts.



    On 12/02/2011 09:20 PM, rconn wrote:

     
  17. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    You're still not getting the point. There are only two options: forums with
    no email integration, or no forums at all. There is no imaginary third
    option where everything stays the way it is now.
     
  18. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    Vbulletin has always supported email notification of replies to your own
    threads, and optionally email notifications of all new messages. You have
    to subscribe to the latter; most people really don't want to get a few dozen
    extra emails about topics they're not interested in.
     
  19. David Marcus

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    Embarcadero's forums support NNTP:

    https://forums.embarcadero.com/index.jspa

    Don't know how they do it.
     
  20. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    Simple enough; they wrote their own forum software.

    I could do the same provided nobody minded not having a forum until 2013.
    Or any Take Command upgrades. Or support.
     
  21. Steve Fabian

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    From: rconn
    | Quote:
    || Embarcadero's forums support NNTP:
    ||
    || https://forums.embarcadero.com/index.jspa
    ||
    || Don't know how they do it.
    |
    | Simple enough; they wrote their own forum software.
    |
    | I could do the same provided nobody minded not having a forum until 2013.
    | Or any Take Command upgrades. Or support.

    ... or ... make a deal with them to use their software? Might not be more costly then vBulletin.
    --
    Steve
     
  22. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    Since they've never done it before, I suspect there's about a 0% chance of
    them deciding to do it now. I doubt they'd have a great interest in
    packaging everything up, documenting it, and supporting it for a grand total
    of one user for $175 (which is what vBulletin costs).

    However, since you suggested it, I presume this means you don't care about
    preserving the existing message archives when upgrading the forums? (That
    certainly wouldn't be possible when switching to a completely different
    package.)
     
  23. vefatica

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    David, do you use the NNTP access to that collection of forums? Does it work well?
     
  24. David Marcus

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    I haven't been reading Embarcadero's forum much recently; when I do, I've been using the Web interface. I used to read the forum regularly using NNTP, but I don't recall if they had the Web interface back then or if they did, whether it was the version of the forum they are running now. So, I don't have any useful info on how well it works. Based on past experience with them, I would guess it works well.
     
  25. vefatica

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    On Sat, 03 Dec 2011 16:25:31 -0500, David Marcus <> wrote:

    |---Quote (Originally by vefatica)---
    |David, do you use the NNTP access to that collection of forums? Does it work well?
    |---End Quote---
    |I haven't been reading Embarcadero's forum much recently; when I do, I've been using the Web interface. I used to read the forum regularly using NNTP, but I don't recall if they had the Web interface back then or if they did, whether it was the version of the forum they are running now. So, I don't have any useful info on how well it works. Based on past experience with them, I would guess it works well.

    Connecting to forums.embarcadero.com on port 119 shows that they use a server by
    "Jive News".
     
  26. thedave

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    On 12/3/2011 8:06 AM, rconn wrote:

    How about WebCrossings? NNTP, mailing lists and forums all in one
    package. Has capabilities for access controls to various groups and
    other goodies too.

    --
    Dave Warren, CEO
    Hire A Hit Consulting Services
    http://ca.linkedin.com/in/davejwarren
     
  27. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    If they're running Jive, that's a $25,000 package. If the dozen email users
    want to chip in $2,000 apiece, I'll take a closer look at it.

    Otherwise, I'll stick with the $175 vBulletin.
     
  28. rconn

    rconn Administrator
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    Well, it's not as bad as Jive -- it's only $195. A month. To start. For a
    minimal setup.

    I presume that, like Steve, you don't care about preserving any of the
    existing 25,000 messages?
     
  29. Steve Fabian

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    From: rconn
    | Quote:
    || ... or ... make a deal with them to use their software? Might not be
    || more costly then vBulletin.
    |
    | Since they've never done it before, I suspect there's about a 0% chance of
    | them deciding to do it now. I doubt they'd have a great interest in
    | packaging everything up, documenting it, and supporting it for a grand total
    | of one user for $175 (which is what vBulletin costs).
    |
    | However, since you suggested it, I presume this means you don't care about
    | preserving the existing message archives when upgrading the forums? (That
    | certainly wouldn't be possible when switching to a completely different
    | package.)

    I have the complete archive on my own machine, just as I have the complete archive of the old forums - I still have 170 GB free on my 250 GB drive. So no, the archive would not be lost. And switching software should not result in losing the archives, anyway!
    --
    Steve
     
  30. drrob1

    drrob1 Guest

    What will we get for our $2K? :-)



    On 12/03/2011 05:15 PM, rconn wrote:

     
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