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nikivi

Moving this forum to Discourse

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I searched this forum and didn't find any thread on this but I wanted to propose it for a long time now.

 

I very often use Discourse based forums like KM forum or Swift forum. And the experience in there is in many ways so much better than here. The interface is much cleaner, there is native markdown support, the search is better and more intuitive. I can't find anything this forum does better than Discourse can.

 

I also have been reading this forum for a long time and lack of markdown in writing things is a very obvious paint point. There was a thread made 2 hours ago that mentions this very problem. I myself am quite annoyed too by the fact that I am forced to use an external tool like MarkdownTransform just so I can in some comfort markup my text in this forum and run it through the tool later.

 

Also Discourse supports night theme which is a small cosmetic change but with Mojawe coming soon would be quite appreciated. 

 

It seems the big reason why this change can't be made is that you can't translate the content that is written on this forum to Discourse. Which if true, while sad, makes complete sense why we still use this forum software. But if that is not the case and there is a way to import all content into a new Discourse instance. I think this change would be really nice for the users.

Edited by nikivi

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I've not used Discourse much, but I can say with my hand on my heart that this awful, what-you-see-probably-won't-be-what-you-get editor box is the worst of any forum software (heck, any software) I've ever used.

 

I've been putting off updating the stickied "workflow variables" tutorial for months because I can't face the fight I'm going to have with this bug-addled editor. Literally, my return key has just stopped working in this editor. It ain't my keyboard: I can type perfectly well in every other tab and app—it's this Frankenstein editor.


And as best as I can tell, Invision hasn't fixed a single one of the bugs since the Alfred team downgraded to this newer version. @vitor has done far more to make posting easier than Invision has.


The old version was so much better. I could write directly in BBCode like an adult, the software didn't massively mangle my original post, and it didn't have all the nasty bugs.

 

6 minutes ago, nikivi said:

It seems the big reason why this change can't be made is that you can't translate the content that is written on this forum to Discourse.

 

Discourse has an IPB importer.

 

Price may well be an issue, as Discourse's pricing is based on page views, while IPB uses simultaneous users.

 

Migrating is a headache in any case, and also a substantial risk.

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It really does have quite a lot of bugs. Even now, I got a notification on the bottom that @deanishe wrote a reply, I clicked on it but the bell in top right corner still has a badge. I am forced to update it too.

Edited by nikivi

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My favourite thing about the Alfred forum is that there’s precisely two modes of syntax highlighting that seemingly cater for about 12 different programming languages: and those two choices are either Courier New all in black, or Courier New in black and green (but only quoted strings are in green).

 

My second favourite thing is that once you commit to the block of code you just wrote, you can’t edit it.  Or highlight it to copy it.  I love typing things out twice.

 

I love typing things out twice.

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25 minutes ago, CJK said:

seemingly cater for about 12 different programming languages

 

12 mostly irrelevant programming languages. Unless some unsung genius is hiding their LaTeX-based workflows from the rest of us.

 

25 minutes ago, CJK said:

My favourite thing about the Alfred forum

 

 

Blame where blame is due, tbh. Invision forced the Alfred team to update to this broken version. The old version worked way better.

Edited by deanishe

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I have seen too much hard work and good information lost when companies switched forum software (37 signals....), and there is such a wealth of experiences embedded in these boards, I’d be happier just sticking with what we have.  Even with its flaws.  One can always link to github or gist easily enough if syntax highlighting is really a problem.

Edited by dfay

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1 hour ago, dfay said:

One can always link to github or gist easily enough if syntax highlighting is really a problem.

 

It's not just the syntax highlighting, it's everything that goes through this infernal editor widget.

 

There is definitely potential for loss of information during a migration, but what about the information that doesn't get posted, or is not kept up to date, because people can't be bothered to fight with the forum software?

 

I only speak for myself—and I'd love to know other folks' attitudes—but when I update a workflow, I rarely bother to update the description on the forum any more because the forum software makes it so damn painful.

 

For example, there's this workflow that isn't even called that any more. Compare that to the GitHub README. I am not going to waste an evening struggling to bring the forum post up to parity with the GitHub README.

 

As noted above, I haven't updated the stickied tutorial on handling workflow variables—and that after Andrew put in a lot of effort to implement a way to set variables—purely because last time I updated it, it literally took five times longer to deal with all the formatting issues caused by the forum software than it did to update the actual content.

 

For my part, I no longer have any interest in posting anything "better" than throwaway, one-time comments because I can't face coming back to update anything substantial with this turd of an editor.

 

Anything of that nature is going up somewhere else where the software won't immediately mangle it on submission and fight me on every subsequent update.

 

Again, I only speak for myself, but if others are of a similar mind, then there has to be a point where any potential migration losses are outweighed by the stuff that plain isn't getting written/updated.

 

Edited by deanishe

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Hmmm...it seems there is a markdown plug-in at least if this post still applies: https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/432816-editor-overhaul/

 

I haven’t really been bothered but I haven’t been that active lately & certainly haven’t been revising complex posts.  

 

I think keeping the overarching infrastructure but changing the editor (or giving users that option) might be an optimal compromise solution.

 

 

Edited by dfay

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1 hour ago, dfay said:

I think keeping the overarching infrastructure but changing the editor (or giving users that option) might be an optimal compromise solution.

 

As far as I'm concerned, it really is just the editor. Everything else is just dandy. Some other things could probably be improved, but I have no opinions as to how, nor do I overly care.

 

It's this godawful editor alone that makes posting on the forum (and especially editing posts) far more unpleasant that it ought to be, especially with paid-for software.

 

I wish I could post on that forum to list all the ways in which their software sucks.

 

The bottom line, as I see it, is that IPB has decided to go the "granny route" and foist their WYSIWYG editor on all of us. That thread clearly shows that they don't understand (or don't care) that different IPB forums have radically-different demographics.

 

To add injury to insult, the WYSIWYG editor is absolutely riddled with bugs, and they have done nothing to address those issues. Nothing. Every bug that was present on the day alfredforum.com "upgraded" to the new version is still there.

 

Invision didn't implement SSL on the forum for years after it became standard, and when they did, the idiots were serving a certificate for an entirely different domain (i.e. an invalid one).

 

They're incompetent. Not up to the job. I wouldn't trust them with my shopping list. Calling them clowns would be an insult to most clowns because they're actually good at their job.

 

Also, that Markdown addon costs more that IPB itself… Absolutely crazy.

Edited by deanishe

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2 hours ago, deanishe said:

I only speak for myself—and I'd love to know other folks' attitudes

 

I agree. If you recall, I also complained about the forum software after it was updated.

 

7 minutes ago, deanishe said:

it really is just the editor. Everything else is just dandy. Some other things could probably be improved, but I have no opinions as to how, nor do I overly care.

 

And I also strongly agree here. I’d be perfectly content with the current software and the old editor.

 

2 hours ago, dfay said:

I think keeping the overarching infrastructure but changing the editor (or giving users that option) might be an optimal compromise solution.

 

Yes. Exactly like that.

 

The current editor has so many particularities that MarkdownTransform’s BBCode conversion as a lot of custom functions geared specifically for it. With this editor, you can’t even paste text from outside and expect it to look the same.

 

2 hours ago, deanishe said:

I haven't updated the stickied tutorial on handling workflow variables—and that after Andrew put in a lot of effort to implement a way to set variables

 

That post is a valuable resource. If you ever get the chance/time/mood to write the update in Markdown, I offer to translate it to this forum and update your post directly.

 

On another note, I enjoyed the rant on IPB. I’ve tweeted at them in the past about the editor and got the standard “thank you, I’ll let the engineers know”.

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36 minutes ago, vitor said:

The current editor has so many particularities that MarkdownTransform’s BBCode conversion as a lot of custom functions geared specifically for it. With this editor, you can’t even paste text from outside and expect it to look the same.

 

I grabbed your workflow, can you explain how to make the inline code block like that?

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52 minutes ago, vitor said:

I agree. If you recall, I also complained about the forum software after it was updated.

 

I recall it extremely well. That was a glorious, epic and 100% accurate critique (I really want to say "rant"). I practically cheered. And then Vero hid your post…

 

We got the moderators' forum as a direct result, but almost none of the genuine issues you raised were ever addressed because the Alfred team have basically no way to fix them other than ditching the turd that IPB has become.

 

52 minutes ago, vitor said:

That post is a valuable resource. If you ever get the chance/time/mood to write the update in Markdown

 

Thanks, but I'm not going to rewrite/reformat the whole thing as Markdown just to waste it on an IPB forum.

 

I did originally write the post in Markdown (of course!), but it didn't seem worthwhile to keep the original at the time because I still spent more time trying to get the crappy forum editor to display it correctly than I did actually writing the post.

 

And I'm not going to update it now because the editor is every bit as crap as it was then.

 

When I have the time, I'll rewrite it in Markdown and repost it somewhere else (e.g. as a GitHub gist or on deanishe.net) that isn't going to completely screw up the source and make it such a horror show to update.

 

Edited by deanishe

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11 hours ago, Neberheim said:

I grabbed your workflow, can you explain how to make the inline code block like that?

 

Write as you’d do in markdown, inline code between single backticks, select the text and press the keyboard shortcut you assigned to the action.

 

nj6Uh02.gif

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Hi all, I've read this thread carefully and have been mulling it over this week.

 

There are many reasons we're using IPBoard, and I figure it's only fair that I share our rationale for where we're at with the forum we've opted for. I'm also going to take this feedback and share it with IPB in the hope that they can understand the issues and the shortcomings of the editor, and make some essential improvements so that writing and editing posts is more straightforward.

 

We moved from the cutesy-but-extremely-limited Get Satisfaction in 2013, which was a difficult process even at a time where the community was less than 1/20th what it is now; Content was lost, all the previously indexed links were no longer valid, users had to create new accounts, etc. Huge upheaval for everyone. Taking a look back, they've since been acquired by another company and their product has completely changed, so our hand would've been forced even if we hadn't left then.

 

Moving to the established - if somewhat non-trendy - IPBoard meant we'd have a platform that had been around a long time and wasn't going to be sold to the highest bidder who'll acqui-hire the staff and gut the product for parts next month.

 

Since 2013, it has proven to be reliably available, taking a minimal amount of time for me to keep updated behind the scenes. With the exception of a few colour scheme changes, it's a completely vanilla install, with no plugins, so that I can trust that I can do security updates quickly while most users are sleeping, without having to go through testing of every plugin, or causing unexpected downtime/issues.

 

By keeping things as simple as possible, we can focus time on helping users, rather than troubleshooting issues with unsupported plugins, new releases, etc. as the forum is only one of the numerous aspects of running a software business Andrew and I have to juggle every day. 

 

We value your time too, as community members who volunteer their time to help fellow Alfred users, so I'll definitely have a more comprehensive chat with IPB to try to bring some of these improvements in. At this point, I can't promise anything, but I'll let you know what feedback I get from the IPBoard team.

 

Cheers,
Vero

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If they'd just put the old "BBCode" button back in…

 

Even if they did fix all the bugs in this editor, it would still be clunky and unpleasant to use.

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