Forum Update

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-05-19 4:02 pm

I just updated the forum to phpBB 3.2 (from all the way back at 3.0 from several years ago). I'll be getting all of the little customizations back in place over the next couple days.

The reason I'd been waiting was because the spam plugin we use stopped being supported and didn't have a new version that worked with 3.2. But, since registration has been disabled for 8+ months now... what's the point in waiting any longer? :lol:

That said, it was wild to see almost 8 months later that there were still lots of spam attempts every day! So, you may also notice that the member list just dropped from 44k down to 3k users. There were 10 spam accounts for every real one, so anyone with zero posts had to go. Now we're back to a clean slate, hopefully. When I find a nice way to re-enable user registration, hopefully that won't get out of hand again.

In any event, please report any problems you might bump into. A cursory glance makes it look like everything updated just fine, so maybe this will work without many hiccups. :D

EDIT: There we go. That's pretty close to how things used to be before.

Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-09-19 11:36 pm

Alright, new user registration is finally re-enabled.

The old spam word filter is gone, replaced by a couple other new things instead. I suppose we'll see how they work out! Hopefully this place won't be filled with spam in a few days. ;)

Posts: 192

Post by monkel » 07-12-19 9:17 am

Looks good and seems to be working as expected.

One thing - I am missing the direct links to the the recent posts (Your posts, New posts, Unread posts, Unanswered topics, Active topics). Those are normally my entry to looking around to what's going on when passing by. Having to go through the drop-down menu makes this slightly less inviting.

Any chance to bring them back in the previous form?

Posts: 38
Location: Vermont

Post by st5555 » 07-12-19 7:49 pm

I hadn't actually noticed as my shortcut is set directly to unread posts. It's a method that seems to work fairly well for me.

Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-13-19 1:46 am

Yeah, I'm not sure I'm very happy about that little drop-down menu. They hid the member list link in there, too.

If I had to guess, it was probably to help make it fit into a "responsive" design so smaller (say, phone) sized devices could fit everything on the screen.

(Incidentally, I'm about to tackle this challenge in Synthesia with all the buttons along the top during play. Except I'm going to do it right: when your screen is wide enough, they'll all still be visible to save you that click. It's only when the width is too narrow that it'll collapse into a smaller "hamburger menu".)

I'll agree that a good shortcut can alleviate the problem. I my own forum updates through the RSS reader feature in my mail app, which means new posts appear much like an email might. For support purposes (where I have to read 100% of posts), that's ideal. I'm not sure how it would work for others though.

Posts: 12

Post by Fr3dY » 07-15-19 7:03 am

So, what about spammers after forum update&registration re-enabled? Everything under control? :)

Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-15-19 3:09 pm

It looks like it's alright so far. I added a "Why do you want to join the forum" question to the registration form and a manual approval step where I get to read that answer before clicking "Activate" on the account. That's an extra click a day for me, but if it means filtering spammers out before they even get here, it'll be worth it.

In five days there have been six new user applications. Only one of them looked suspicious (including a blank join reason, which shouldn't be possible if you are a human typing it into the page yourself). That account didn't get activated. :lol:

Otherwise, it's a little curious that the other five real-looking users (with real-sounding reasons like "I've been having trouble getting my keyboard to work with Synthesia") haven't made a single post yet. I'm going to have to double check that my clicking the "Activate" button actually causes an email to be sent letting them know they're free to post now. :?