SNOWEST FORUMS: The official "What's gone wrong with this site" thread

Brian

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Christopher has asked me to step in and immediately start addressing the top complaints about issues that are going on as a result of the changes that are being made to the site.

I work closely with Christopher from a technical standpoint on the back-end, but I haven't been working actively IN the forums. That's now changing so that we can get things on the right track. Christopher pretty much demanded, in fact, that I start owning up to some of what's changed. So here I am.

My background is server-level programming and network engineering. I'm a PHP, Perl, Java guy who also happens to eat, sleep, and breathe UNIX, Linux, SQL, and Cisco. I've been doing this stuff for more than 15 years. As of the last few months, if something is wrong (or right) with Snowest -- it's probably my fault.

SO.. let's get started getting this place fixed.. But first, I need to know EXACTLY what's wrong with Snowest right now.

I understand there are complaints about speed (I'm addressing those as much as possible on the back-end right now -- there are still some things we can do to squeeze some extra juice out of this ol' box).

WHAT ELSE IS WRONG? I'd like to know your SPECIFIC issues with the way forums have been organized (sometimes there are clever technical workarounds we can implement to make EVERYONE happy). Too many clicks to read the content you're after? Too MUCH content to filter through? Let's GET IT SOLVED!

I DO NOT want this thread to become a ***** session (I realize that's essentially what I'm asking for) but a place where we can work TOGETHER to make this place awesome. We want to attract new members, and we want our seasoned veterans to be happy.

So.. what's the top priority?
 

christopher

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Brian, you better put on your NOMEX suit fast, cause its going to get HOT in here real quick now.

Hopefully they will show you what a great group snowmobilers are in general, and not go Nuclear on you !:)
 

Ex-Member

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Here's an easy fix for you.

Click the "Log Out" right under the "search", "welcome $username", etc. The alert that pops up, normally asking you "Are you sure you want to log out?". That one just says "undefined". Doesn't happen with the "Log Out $username" at the bottom though.
 

Brian

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IE speed versus Firefox speed, is there a fix for it?
The reason Firefox is so much faster than Internet Explorer is because Firefox has a MUCH faster Javascript processing engine than IE (actually, Firefox is a faster web browser all around, on pretty much ALL web-sites, not just Snowest) -- and many of the changes we've added recently have a good chunk of javascript underneath them.

One of the things we've tried VERY hard to do is make it so that you can individually opt out of the changes we've made. So, if you insist on continuing to use I.E., I recommend turning off as much of the "new stuff" as possible (turn off the shout-box at the top and turn off the experience system). -- You can do this by clicking UserCP on the top right, then click Forum Options, and scroll down to the bottom.

But really -- I recommend everyone use Firefox instead of IE -- not just for Snowest, but for all things. It's a much nicer experience.
 

Brian

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Here's an easy fix for you.

Click the "Log Out" right under the "search", "welcome $username", etc. The alert that pops up, normally asking you "Are you sure you want to log out?". That one just says "undefined". Doesn't happen with the "Log Out $username" at the bottom though.
Good comment. I'll find out what broke that and get it fixed.
 

94fordguy

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So.. what's the top priority?
Jumping right into it I would say the top priority would be maintaining or increasing the overall speed of the forum. A few weeks ago when we were getting the constant database errors it was very frustrating, now that that particular issue has finally been fixed for good, my only concern is to keep the speed up to par. As has been discussed, Firefox is apparently significantly faster than IE and I have been using Firefox for a long time now so that in itself is a non issue for me. However, there are times when the site will still slow down even when using Firefox, so I think attention to keeping the speed up would be a very important task.

Aside from that, I don't really have any concerns personally, so I just wanna finish by saying thanks for fixing that dreaded "Database Error" :D

Thanks:beer;:beer;
 

Brian

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priority one should be speed..this place has really slowed down in the last few months...
So this has a lot to do with the fact that we're now bringing in LOTS of new people as the season gets underway (our traffic is up 50% in the last few weeks alone). Also, the server we're on is shared by many other Harris Publishing properties.

As you can imagine, given that these forums are offered as a free public service by Snowest, the budget for new, beefy hardware isn't exactly a pot of gold.

That said, the SPEED of the forums IS my current top priority. As I said in my original post, there may yet be a few more tricks we can pull to squeeze some extra juice out of this machine we're on.

I'M ON IT!
 

Brian

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Aside from that, I don't really have any concerns personally, so I just wanna finish by saying thanks for fixing that dreaded "Database Error" :D
Very kind of you to say thanks for that.. I spent many late nights tracking down that little gremlin. We finally got it!
 

Brian

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speed is my biggest complaint. plus i think the cb should be at the bottom of the screen, and a little bigger.
See my previous reply on the speed (clearly this is THE major issue)... CB at the bottom is an interesting idea... What if that was a SELECTABLE option? (YOU choose whether it's at the top, the bottom, or just plain off) ?
 

johnny be bad

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See my previous reply on the speed (clearly this is THE major issue)... CB at the bottom is an interesting idea... What if that was a SELECTABLE option? (YOU choose whether it's at the top, the bottom, or just plain off) ?
most of the other forums i belong to. the chat box is always at the bottom. kinda nice to have the main forums show up first, then the secondarys next.
 

Scott

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I think this can be a GREAT thread. Let's keep it cool.
So far this is a great start for a suggestion box.

(BTW, my son just told me I have HORRIBLE gas tonight. He gagged when he walked by just now. LMFAO)

I am not totally a fan of all the new sub forums....but some sub forums ARE great. I think, for example the brand forums can grouped a little differenlty. Take Polaris for example. 8 subforums is a little much. The current chassis is the IQ. Keep the other stuff separate somehow though. The other subforums could be the out of date chassis such as Indy, GenII and Edge. Same could be said for any other brand as well. You could go current mtn chassis (IQ), Race (IQR), and the nursing home stuff (Edge, GenII and Indy). The 900 doesn't need it's own sub. The turbos? Well maybe they do need a sub. The nursing home stuff definately can have a couple of chassis lumped in there.

Yeah, Chatbox at the bottom might be better. Good idea. Very workable, I'd guess.

Also I've heard and seen that a lot of people don't like the rainbow bars to be visible. What about making them ONLY available when you click on the users Avatar/Username.

I'm cool with most everything though. Good job guys. Thank you.
I think the hiccups from the past month are pretty much gone...

BTW, can't you put my lifetime post count back in there?
 
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mountainhorse

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Brian,

I think this will be a good post to help get things done on this site...

I read this as more of a request for "nuts and bolts" OPERATIONAL problems than somthing for people that want to "take it back" to the old way.

Overall, I think that the process of re organizing the mess from before has gone pretty well for the amount of changes that were done...

Were there some major issues... yes...
Are they getting worked on ... It seems so.

One of my issues is that when I click on the link button above when posting... I only get a brief flash of "enter text" and then it goes direcly to the URL box. Never gives me the oportunity to post the text of a link (EG...Clicky here!)
 

wildcard28

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Speed would be my biggest complaint also, I am happy with all the changes and effort that has been made Here lately. Taking a little getting used to but Happy so far.

Im sure this has to do with the speed too, and not sure if it is just my pc for some reason, but most the time I click into a threard the Pics come up on screen so Huge that I have to scroll left and right alot just to read text and view the pics, and sometimes never seems to correct itself. to normal view mode, Is this the a speed issue also?

Thanks, Keep up the good work.
Darren
 

ruffryder

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One of my issues is that when I click on the link button above when posting... I only get a brief flash of "enter text" and then it goes direcly to the URL box. Never gives me the oportunity to post the text of a link (EG...Clicky here!)
You are supposed to highlight the text before you hit the link button. Then you enter in the URL of the link. Or maybe it depends upon the type of editor you are using.. I am using the WSYWIG one...

The speed doesn't seem to bad to me, actually I don't notice much of a difference. But I do have the experience and the chat box disabled.... I am using FireFox though...

One thing that bothers me, and with many other forums, is the amount of wasted space between posts. There is a space for post title, lots of space for how many times you have been thanked and all that stuff.. Maybe I just have something against scrolling.

Well, I just found another one, when replying, it would be nice to be able to size the text box to how big I want. When linking photo's, it can be a mess, especially after previewing them, when the photobucket links turn into photos. Sometimes the box can be very small, and require lots of scrolling...

As others have said, I think there has been too much separation of the forums.

What is the make forum for? Like in Yamaha. You have a yamaha section, then a 2stroke section then a 4 stroke section.. I am pretty sure if it isn't a 2 stroke, then it is a 4 stroke..

Just some thoughts..
 

ruffryder

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Im sure this has to do with the speed too, and not sure if it is just my pc for some reason, but most the time I click into a threard the Pics come up on screen so Huge that I have to scroll left and right alot just to read text and view the pics,
Either you need a bigger monitor, or people are posting pictures that are way too big for the screen. I resize everything for a 17" monitor...
 

Rob1334

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Is it possible to set the chatbox up to refresh itself? On a lot of the other vbulletin sites I am on they have much better built chatboxes, is that just a different installment? It is also only on the main page of the forums, not on ALL loaded pages. Take sledjunkie.com/forum and snowandmud.com how they are setup; bigger, self-refreshing, and cosmetically better.

All I can think of for now, give me time I can have a lot more...
 
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