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  1. #1
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    HAWK's Avatar
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    Very Exciting News: Forum Upgrade Next Week

    At some stage early next week (exact time TBC) we will be upgrading the forums to vBulletin 4. It is a massive upgrade and will take several hours.

    For those people that haven't seen vB4, it is markedly different to our current version (vB3.8.5) and may take some getting used to. As with any big aesthetic change, some of you will love it and some of you won't. For the record - I do.

    There are bound to be some bugs but we've been testing for a while now so I hope (and pray) that those will be minimal. I will start a thread for you to post anything that you notice.

    I'll keep you updated with the details as they come to hand.

  2. #2
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    So, that extra 200k of bloated scripting nonsense with the associated accessibility train wreck that is vBull 4 -- so bad I can't believe they have the cojones to charge MONEY for that crap...

    -- that determined to drive me away, huh? It's what stopped me from going to digitalpoint.

    Or did the year plus delay on transitioning been from you folks taking the time to neuter out all the non-semantic usability nightmare their default skin saddles you with, so it's not wasting 160k of HTML on 15k of plaintext? Much less the 270k of scripting for nothing and 80k of "other documents" that get included for christmas only knows what reason?

    ... and to think 3 is a bloated mess; outright lean compared to 4. I'd be looking at other software instead of trying to upgrade this -- maybe with a mod for stopforumspam.com thrown in for good measure?

  3. #3
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60
    that determined to drive me away, huh?
    Yes indeed. The whole upgrade is being done because of you.

    Well, given the usual length of your posts that criticize bad code, I assume from your relatively short post above that VB4 must be pretty good! (Or is that just a red rag to a bull? )

    I'm glad at least that we'll have a table-less forum. Good luck with it, Sarah and team!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    I'm glad at least that we'll have a table-less forum.
    Unfortunately that's where a lot of the problem lies -- since their baseline skin doesn't even used tables on tabular data, and abuses nested lists inside nested lists instead... to go hand in hand with the 80+K of cloaked content for unnecessary (and painfully useless) scripting.

    Because nothing works wonders for a site like cloaked content and non-semantic markup... even sadder when the poor sods who wrote it thought they were being semantic just by removing ALL tables... Because four times as much markup with applying the wrong meanings to the content and COMPLETELY breaking the navigational relationships is SUCH an improvement.

  5. #5
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    cojones
    If I were a bit younger, I'd be probably be

  6. #6
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Wow that's pretty exciting. I was just visiting recently and thinking about how little the forums have changed in the last few years.

    I don't suppose it's getting some sort of fancy design makeover too?
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  7. #7
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    I don't suppose it's getting some sort of fancy design makeover too?
    O yeah, baby!

    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    ... big aesthetic change ...

  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy TheRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    O yeah, baby!
    Do we by any chance get a peak at what its going to look like, ahead of time? Like a screenshot or something?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict silver trophy
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    While you're there, why don't you upgrade to some decent forum software such as IPB or xenforo.

    I agree with deathshadow60 when it comes to VB4... it's a rubbish product that's slow to load and stops a community dead in its tracks.

    VB4 is about as much fun as <snip/>.
    Last edited by ScallioXTX; Aug 19, 2011 at 02:40. Reason: watch your language please

  10. #10
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    You can see what version 4 looks like here: https://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum.php

    I'll probably get used to it but I don't know if I'm thrilled. The change will probably mean:

    * more rounded edges and gradients (they seem trendy nowadays and regarded as 'modern', personally I've seen too many of them everywhere now and prefer a more straight design)

    * some ajax cool effects, like you hover over a link, title, etc. and a very pretty popup baloon appears trying to be helpful but actually covering the content all around that you just wanted to see, so you end up running away with your mouse cursor as far as possible from the site so as not to accidentally turn on some magick widget in fear of not being able to do what you came here to do: read content (see title links at Hardware and Software | Gaming Masters)

    * clean, clutter-free layout. This means that the important information that used to be visible always now appears only under certain conditions - for example, you won't see how many pages a thread has unless you hover your mouse over a row nor will you be able to see where you need to click to go to page 4 (again: Hardware and Software | Gaming Masters). Also, let's hide most of other controls and buttons like go to the last post, etc. so as not to scare away those who could get a headache from being overwhelmed with all that stuff. You'll have to click a lot more to do the same thing as before but at least the design is super clean and modern. Chrome users (and recent Firefox users) will find themselves at home!

    * no tables anywhere - at least someone can take a look at the huge css files and learn all the exotic hacks being used to make a table-like forum layout fit into a nested series of <li> and <div> tags. Well, html doesn't have any dedicated tags for discussion forums so a <table> is no less suitable than <li>, but at least the hard goal has been achieved.

    Having said that - take it with a pinch of salt, these are more my personal observations of recent online discoveries than about the new Site Point forum which, well, I haven't seen yet!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemon Juice View Post
    You can see what version 4 looks like here: https://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum.php
    ... and here's where I'm not entirely thrilled.

    Code:
    Documents (1 file)        25 KB (138 KB uncompressed)
    Images (46 files)         97 KB
    Objects (0 files)
    Scripts (11 files)       116 KB (328 KB uncompressed)
    Style Sheets (3 files)    29 KB (102 KB uncompressed)
    Total                    267 KB (666 KB uncompressed)
    When you need compression to get it down to 25k of html and 116k of javascript, and when uncompressed the page is two thirds of a megabyte to deliver 12k of plaintext... NO excuse for that to be more than 140k total BEFORE compression, apart from "let's sleaze out the scripting and HTML any old way"

    ... and that's before we talk the absurdly undersized fixed metric fonts that have become the hallmark of "crap out a site any old way" developers...

    Peeking under the hood it's far, far worse -- list abuse on obviously tabular data, content cloaking, static scripting inlined in the markup, IE conditional bull on a layout that isn't complex enough to warrant it, use of the BASE tag which in 99.99% of cases means there's something horrendously wrong with the directory structure... then of course, to top off the tag abuse you have the nonsensical heading orders where they skip clear over h3's (every H4 on the page should be a H3 or even probably a TH)...

    It's like "Do us a favor, go and learn some HTML before you write a forum skin." -- View it with CSS disabled to see what total garbage it is. I particularly like the ordered lists around things that would never have more than one element and don't appear to have any specific order. What was that Dan used to say about "people who used tables for nothing now just incorrectly use other tags for nothing"?

  12. #12
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    Thats what the default scheme looks like LJ, ours isnt going to look like that
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy TheRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ View Post
    Thats what the default scheme looks like LJ, ours isnt going to look like that
    I was hoping someone would say that. Good to know!

    No sneak preview then?

  14. #14
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    thats up to HQ mate
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  15. #15
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Well, they aren't even giving me a sneak preview but better work correctly or they'll be a lot of SPF bug reports.

  16. #16
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    Will there be design changes to the forum. I don't really have experience in this VBulletin stuff, never really needed to go in it.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    -- that determined to drive me away, huh? It's what stopped me from going to digitalpoint.
    Heh! Other changes drove me away 4 months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    Will there be design changes to the forum. I don't really have experience in this VBulletin stuff, never really needed to go in it.
    It is a forum. For 99% of users the change should take 30 seconds to figure out. vBulletin probably optimized stuff, so instead of having a link saying Edit signature, it is probably hidden under personal details or something. If there is a more widespread learning curve than that, it will reflect badly on SP.
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    vBulletin probably optimized stuff, so instead of having a link saying Edit signature, it is probably hidden under personal details or something.
    Ahh, I forgot about buttons with words like edit, reply, etc. The new trend of Optimizing stuff is replacing the words with small graphic icons so instead of knowing immediately what a button does you have to hunt with your mouse for any tooltips that will expain to you its purpose (if there are any, hopefully). The buttons look so great that you feel ashamed to admin you didn't immediately and instinctively know what the author of the icon image was trying to convey - if you didn't know you are clearly behind the times!

    A more advanced and cutting edge techique is to hide buttons behind another graphic button so when you click on it then the rest of the buttons smoothly and beautifully roll out to your delight and you are surprised to discover they even exist! When looking at the page it's not obvious when the needed button is, you have to go looking for it but you are happy because the layout is clean, modern, clutter-free and you feel you have lots of space to breathe!

    I can't wait to see the new design

  19. #19
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy TheRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sega View Post
    Will there be design changes to the forum. I don't really have experience in this VBulletin stuff, never really needed to go in it.
    According to Sarah, yes:

    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    As with any big aesthetic change ...

  20. #20
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRaptor View Post
    According to Sarah, yes:
    Oh man. Let's hope the user experience stay fairly easy, not being too hard to adjust too.
    follow me on ayyelo, Easy WordPress; specializing in setting up themes!

  21. #21
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    and of course all the css customization has been tested and verified fully functional for internet explorer 8 on windows xp...

    ... right?
    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy TheRaptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    and of course all the css customization has been tested and verified fully functional for internet explorer 8 on windows xp...

    ... right?
    And don't forget Interent Explorer 6 and 7!

  23. #23
    Chive On FFCus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRaptor View Post
    And don't forget Interent Explorer 6 and 7!
    ...and Netscape Navigtor 4

  24. #24
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    The default coming out of vBull4 is not keyboard-friendly or even keyboard-accessible... at all. The default reset css comes with an a{outline: none;} in it.

    I FULLY expect that SitePoint's new forum roll-out will WORK on the keyboard, will WORK for screen reader users (though I don't expect them to have done the right thing and gotten rid of the CAPTCHA when users try to sign up), and will NOT have misused and abused title attributes all over the place. I fully expect that decorative images who are sitting next to text (decorating that text) will have alt="" instead of long repetitive text long repetitive text.

    I expect that it will NOT have mystery-meat icons, menus, or hidden accesskeys that we all get to have fun guessing which buttons do what (Opera users excluded).

    I expect proper markup (with the well-known exception of turning tabled forums into some sort of listy abomination) to make page structural navigation easy.

    I expect the forums to be able to gracefully accommodate larger fonts, smaller screens, and any lack of scripting. Especially I do not expect scripting to be necessary simple to use simple HTML dropdown menus, since that is of course abuse of scripting.

    I expect the developers here are at least as good as those of us who enjoy the forums.


    Sitepoint Co: don't break my expectations.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    The default coming out of vBull4 is not keyboard-friendly or even keyboard-accessible... at all. The default reset css comes with an a{outline: none;} in it.
    OMG, indeed, I haven't noticed that one! Completely blind keyword navigation on the new default theme at https://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum.php - unbelievable! Who thought outlines are bad? It looks like they intentionally cripple usability and accessibility

    Another one: https://www.vbulletin.com/forum/show...a-license-last, the links: Thread Tools, Search Thread, Rate This Thread and Display - their url is "javascript://". Uh? In our current SP forum the respective links point to actual urls where you can do what they say.

    Yet another one on the same page: the 'quick navigation' at the bottom - some css popup instead of standard <select> with options - I'm afraid it won't work for someone with Opera Mini or a mobile phone with a small screen. If you are not logged in click on "reply to thread" and below the login form the "Quick Navigation" is even funnier - pointing to "javascript://" and displaying a cropped navigation list with 2 scrollbars - at least in my browser.

    It looks like the SP team will have a lot of work if they want to make the site equally usable and undo all the "improvements" from the newer version. But let's hope they do the job well! I haven't seen other themes so maybe there are some better ones. But now seeing what kind of default skin they decided to release officially, I no longer think vbulletin is that good anymore...


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