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...maybe it's just me

stikestike Posts: 15,597
edited 8:10PM in Forum Feedback
but since the switch over, my "user experience" here is lacking greatly. all the old issues of font size and confusing nav are still there (and being worked on, yes, i understand that), but it's compounded with the fact that i am not even able to visit here. it refuses to let me enter the site the first time i try ('_log in _incomplete' pop-up and then i get dumped back to whatever page i was on before trying to come here). this issue started on the old forum last week, also. i can get in if i go thru the motions a second time, but then need to log in (every time). logging in lands me at a relatively blank home page. i click "forums" and i land on a page listing two forums. then i have to click WHICH forum.... gawd.

does anyone come here to NOT go to the main forum? why can't i just click my bookmark and land on the main forum page?

sorry for ranting, but sheesh. i wonder how many people are being alienated by all this switcheroo and bugginess....

one, so far, if you count me. much to the agreement of many here, i'm sure, i'm officially taking a break. it's just too much of a hassle.
someone call me when this thing works.

apologies, WMK, you have been working hard, but it's just too frustrating to keep trying to de-bug my own experience
ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante


  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    Betcha can't ;)



    Caledon, ON


  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    I don't really understand your issues. I seem to be having non of the problems you stated. Have you tried the "Remember me" at login. I have and it has remembered me no matter what I do. Doesn't matter if I'm at home, or on broad band card, or even using hotel wireless, I click on favorites and go to egghead forum and I'm there.

    Sorry you're having issues and I don't want to sound like I know what I'm doing, this is just what I have been doing. So far seems to be working great in my case.
  • SodakSodak Posts: 57
    I agree with you Stike. My fonts choice doesn't hold. I also have a habit of clicking the back button to get back to the forum but if you do that after posting, your post will get posted again.

    This is not a knock on the users or content (all first class) but the forumware seems a little ponderous to me.
  • Nothing like a little whine before dinner. I'm pretty happy with the new design. Yeah, I have to click a couple of extra buttons to get to the main forum. I thought the "return to index" button was a big step forward. But, geesh, what do I know. I post about once a day. Not a gazillion times like some folks. (By the way, I heard that when you hit 10000 posts you start over as a newbie.) Maybe you could program your F1 key to log you in and move you to the top of the main forum and pour you a cup of coffee.

    I think we're headed to the East Coast Grill tonight. It's been a while since I've had a cajun martini.

  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    I'm using the url below, and it seems to behave the same way was behaing for me before the recent switch.

    I still experience the back button issue (Return to Index mitigates this, but I often forget and hit Back). Also, the speed is still an issue. But other than those, things seem to be working OK for me.

    I hope your break is a short one (assuming this is not a joke I'm missing. I'm a bit hungover and slow today). I like reading your posts.

  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    oops...meant to reply to stike
  • WMKWMK Posts: 1,747

    You may not see this, but I was offline doing system repairs for much of the weekend.

    I do not understand the source of the problems you are having. I've tested the site with IE, FireFox, and also with Safari -- all seem to work just fine. They each remember the font selections and permit logging in w/out issue.

    Apologies for the inconvenience. I'll try to help your work out what's going on whenever you feel like trying again...
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 516
    The forum functions ok for me but it is a poor design which is barely tolerable. What I don't understand is why the host of this site doesn't just switch to a commercial forum package like phpBB, which is offered totally free on many hosting accounts and has a ton more features without all of the custom development and bugs. I have a personal hosting account which costs me $120 per year and gives me tons of features, only one of which is the ability to install and customize a fully secure and functional phpBB forum in less than one hour. It looks and works like almost any other professional forum and the future upgrades are free too. If the owner, host, or admin of this site would like assistance then I will be glad to volunteer some time to help set it up and configure it. I will even offer to host it for free on my account but I am sure the forum admin will prefer to maintain control of their own account. If the small amount of money is the issue then let's get 20 of the regulars to donate $5 each and we are set for a year. I will chip in $20 right now. Am I missing something?
  • WMKWMK Posts: 1,747

    The reason we chose not to go with phpBB is because it did not integrate well with the rest of the site (e.g. it required a separate login to access and post recipes); and, because it does not provide the "classic" view that many of our members wanted -- at least three years ago when we first began the new site. At that time, it was also intended to host all of; so, we needed a forum that would integrate well with numerous other components.

    Moving forward, we are getting eight to ten new members every day. They will most likely not be attached to the old forum's "classic" look; so, it may be that soon the "classic" view will not be used very much. Perhaps we'll run a poll soon to see how many prefer the classic view over the more "modern" flat or threaded views.

    Also, we found that a $120 server is not *nearly* enough machine to handle the load we have on this forum. It may be that using different software might help some (because the "classic" index displays more information than most "modern" forums; and, so requires more horsepower to handle it). But regardless, we get 500+ posts most days, and tons of views. The current server is an eight core, raid 5 box with 4G of memory. I don't know where you can get that kind of machine for $120/mo.
  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 516
    Good info WMK, thanks for responding. As an administrator of more than a dozen different sites in my personal life, and an IT veteran for 30+ years by trade, I can fully appreciate your criteria and decisions. Please realize I am not trying to be critical, just offering suggestions.

    I suggested phpBB because it is a free package which is widely used on many high-traffic, high-profile forums and it works just fine. Updates are free and fairly regular and it is open source so it can be easily customized if needed. This package would instantly resolve all of the annoying bugs and glitches currently found on this forum and it would add a lot of bonus functionality too.

    Recipes could easily be handled by a dedicated forum area and the administrators could limit permissions to post in that area, and/or require approval for new recipes if desired. This is all out of the box, no customizations.

    I tried the classic view on this forum and found it to be terribly inefficient. It only shows a string of links in outline form without any preview of the contents so you have to click on each link to read the replies one at a time which takes more page loads and clicks than just clicking once and scrolling through a flat or threaded view. Based on the posts I have seen over the past 6 months most people don't seem to be using the classic view, and any people that are using it would most likely adapt to the new views pretty quickly and grow to appreciate them. How many modern forums still use the classic view? I use more than a dozen different public forums regularly and visit another two dozen or so infrequently. Not one of those sites looks anything like the classic view so I would recommend that the BGE forum modernize and let the users adjust to enjoy the benefits of intuitive design. If you suspect that the classic view is really still a big issue then perhaps you could take a look at the server logs or stat reports to see how often those views are hit compared to the others.

    The simple hosting accounts I use and recommend for personal and small business are only $120 per year from but they are surprisingly robust. I have been using them for over 4 years now so I speak from experience. They run on very large expensive servers although at that price the servers are shared, but still I have seen them perform without a hitch for dozens or even hundreds of concurrent users depending on the bandwidth and applications. They offer semi-dedicated and dedicated servers for increased fees but for something as simple as phpBB I am sure the performance and reliability could easily handle the traffic on this site with plenty of capacity to spare.

    500+ posts per day is not all that much compared to other main-stream forums, and views should be a lot less intensive on the server especially since you don't host images or attachments. You could also run phpBB on your existing hardware and hosting account if desired.

    If you haven't looked at phpBB recently then I recommend that you give it a look. I will gladly setup a test site for you on my account for free and you can tinker with it. If you have any doubts about scalability then just check out what others are saying by Googling for "phpbb".

    PM me if I can be of assistance.
  • WMKWMK Posts: 1,747

    We have phpBB already available on our server -- we have Fantastico.

    I'm definitely not willing to go back to a shared account. We have a custom Apache module that identifies the country on incoming visitors using freely available ip to country database. The spam volume on the forum went way, way down after implementing that. Plus, I wouldn't want to lose ssh access. Though I know it can be enabled on an account by account basis, many shared server companies will not allow it for security reasons.

    Running on a shared server also can mean being exposed to vulnerabilities on accounts other than those few we have on our server which we control completely. We have been hit once or twice, but we've tightened things up since that time.

    I'm really not sure how many folks still prefer the "classic" view, but judging from the number of complaints we were getting before the "Return to index" link was implemented, I'd say there are still quite a few. Though, I agree completely that it is inefficient at present, but that can be remedied w/out giving up the feature. At the time we began the new site, we were very sensitive to avoiding disrupting the flow; so, we felt it necessary to preserve the existing look and feel while providing a more modern one for those that wanted it as opposed to just saying, "get used to it" to those that like things the way they were. Though, I suspect you are correct, they can and would get used to a different format if they had no other choice.

    We have plans to add image uploading and to integrate recipes, and probably polls also, with the forum. The recipes section is pretty much neglected at the moment. We ported all the recipes from the old site into a "canned" cookbook component and that's about it so far.

    At present, we are working to test and deploy a new site template which will eliminate several outstanding issues (e.g. image viewing, wide/narrow view confusion, etc.) I am a software engineer by trade, so I'll probably install a current version of phpBB and use it for ideas rather than switching to it which would require porting all of the existing messages yet again into yet another database format -- certainly possible, but not my first choice at the moment.
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