the future of this forum

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brynn
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the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:38 am

Hi Friends,
There have been some sad, some interesting, and imo, some exciting developments, since the last time we posted about this: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=33639

Unfortunately, we have had no response from microUgly, despite multiple messages being sent, over the past 7 months. So using this forum as a starting place for the new forum seems like a lost cause. However, doctormo, and some other Inkscape developers have been busy little bees, and have created a Django-based forum, on the website. (Django is the....well it's either code or software, I'm not sure which, which the Inkscape website is made from.) This means that members of the website (gallery) are automatically members of the forum (and vice versa).

Using such a brand new forum would unfortunately mean that it will not include the contents which we have created here, day by day, and year by year. But we think they will not be lost. Work is underway, as we "speak," to create an archive from this forum, and it will be available in the new forum, as a resource. (Of course, the Wayback Machine would be available as well.) Since this new archive is technology beyond my understanding, I can't say much about it. But from what I've seen, it looks and acts just like this forum, except it's read-only -- it can't be posted in.

So keeping in mind that we would not be losing the contents of this forum as a resource, we'd like you to have a look at the new forum, and help us to develop it better (than we can do without your help). (And when I say "we"....well, you know I don't mean that I'm helping with the coding :lol: ) The main thing to remember at this point, is that it contains the main features which we use here, day in and day out. It doesn't necessarily look super great yet.

Note that this is not fully featured forum software, like phpBB or SMF. That literally could take years to develop. We could use phpBB or SMF (or any other existing) forum software, on the Inkscape project's new servers. But they would not be integrated with the website. And forum members who wanted to upload images would need 2 accounts -- one for the forum and one for the gallery. With an integrated forum like this, only one account is needed for both.

What we would invite everyone to do, when you have a chance, is start "kicking the tires". Make sure that it contains all the features which we use here, which you can't live without.

I've been giving developers my comments over the last few weeks, and trying to think of everything that I think we can't live without. But I also know that we all use the forum differently. Each member here has some different combination of features which they depend on, to do their work quickly and efficiently. So we want to try and include as many features which we can't live without, as possible.

Here's the current front page: https://inkscape.org/forums/

As you're testing it out, if you have questions which might take a bit of discussion, please post them in the Vector Cafe board. You'll see that there already is a sticky topic there, where doctormo indicates he would like you to list any missing features in a single line (or list of single lines). But if you have questions or longer comments, please feel free to just start new messages. Sometimes the features might already be there, but you didn't find them yet, and that could take some discussion, as well as your suggestions for improving it might take some discussion.

Just for clarity, right now, we need missing forum features, as opposed to items which might fall under the category of styling or polish. Styling work is underway as well, but just not published or ready for review yet. Moderation features aren't available for everyone yet, unfortunately. But hopefully they soon will be.

Note that the existing boards in the new forum are mostly just made-up titles. When the time comes, we (our forum community, together with the larger Inkscape community) can collaborate to create the best combination of categories and boards for the new forum. My best guess is that they will look a lot like what we have here, because after all, it has stood the test of time! Although we all know some updating is needed, here and there.

And speaking of to-do list, we also still need to make the rules or guidelines or CoC, or whatever we will call them. Someday soon, we'll finally have it all together!

If you haven't already registered for the website, you will have to register there, to test the new forum. But if you're already registered, you should be able to log right in.

Please let us know what features you think are needed, to be able to use this new forum, in the same way which we now use InkscapeForum. Thanks for your help :D

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brynn
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:13 am

Ok, the moderation features are ready. For current moderators, if you want to see the moderation features there, you'll need to make a request to be promoted there. There are a couple of ways to do that.

If you've already joined the new Inkscape Rocket Chat rooms https://chat.inkscape.org/home (or you would be interested to reg there), please tag either Moini or doctormo (meaning type @Moini or @doctormo) and ask to be a moderator in the new forum. (You might be interested to reg there if you wanted to get involved with more development type of topics, which actually includes helping to develop the new forum. Just visiting the forum and giving feedback is considered to be helping to develop it, fyi, although it would still be up to you whether you want to reg there.)

Or if you just want to post your request in a reply to this topic, you can do that as well. It just might take a little longer to get promoted this way.

You can tell that you've been promoted..... Actually I'm not sure. For now, you can probably tell because you'll see User Ban List at the very bottom of the column on the left. You'll see some other moderation buttons when you've opened a message.

If you want to easily be able to compare a moderator user account with a non-moderator user account, then after your current account is promoted, you could create a regular user account (for a total of 2 accounts).

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Re: the future of this forum

Postby Moini » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:11 am

Hi all, I just wanted to chime in.

This is:

- not a joke
- not something brynn has unilaterally worked on
- something that requires your involvement as knowledgeable and dedicated Inkscape user supporters

So please, dear mods of inkscapeforum.com, take some time to inspect the new forums over the Christmas holidays and let us know what you think/what you need.

A read-only archived copy of inkscapeforum.com is available at http://alpha.inkscape.org/vectors/www.i ... forum.com/ It's being updated regularly.

A potential new forum is available at https://inkscape.org/forums

The domain 'inkscapeforum.org' belongs to the Inkscape project (or rather, the Software Freedom Conservancy). We have not been able to get a copy of the database, and we are worried about the security and life span of this current forum.
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brynn
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:42 pm

Yes, we want the forum to work for everyone! Me and Moini (so far, I think that's all) have been giving our input. But everyone uses different features of this (or any) forum, and we probably have not thought of everything. So the more input we get, the better it will be!

This is your chance to help shape the new forum, if you care about it.

That archive, which Moini provided a link to, is the one I mentioned earlier. It will probably be looking something like a board in the new forum, or otherwise a link will be readily available from the front page of the new forum.

And yes, it is a fact, a very sad fact, imo, that this InkscapeForum.com can't continue into the future, without even more worry than we have already. Eventually another forum software upgrade will come along, and if microUgly doesn't have an hour or 2 to transfer the files (which he has twice offered) to us, it doesn't seem likely he'll have time to make the needed upgrades. This forum will go down at some point, permanently.

It is also true that he transferred the domain (inkscapeforum.com) to the Inkscape project, some 2 or 3 years ago (or maybe a little more). So the project owns this domain now. Would it be ideal to have the files, and just move the whole thing over to the other server? Absolutely. But getting those files is the problem, and it's not looking likely. And plus, the new forum is very close, imo, to being ready to go.

So please, if you care about providing support for Inkscape users in the future, please help us to make the new forum, the best it can be!

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Re: the future of this forum

Postby Moini » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:49 am

Mihaela/prkos wrote some of the new forum's code.
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

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brynn
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:19 am

Oh, right you are! I forgot she was a member here, since lately she's been more active on the dev side. I think she's also planning to work on some additional styling. Also, jabiertxof is a member here. But again, he's more in on development than listing needed forum features.

So really, no one is interested? Geez, I sure hope we've remembered everything!

I guess one of the next things we need to do, is set up the Categories and Boards. I'll try and remember to post here, when we get ready to do that. Just in case someone wants to help.

I've just posted some suggestions for improved styling on the front page. If anyone is interested to see, they're here: https://gitlab.com/inkscape/inkscape-web/issues/294

Just in case it's not clear -- Everyone is welcome to participate in the creation of this new forum. We literally are having the chance to create our own forum here, from the ground up! I don't know what more we could ask....

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Re: the future of this forum

Postby tylerdurden » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:44 am

The new forum should be built on PHPBB like this one, IMO. No custom forum needed, just off the shelf is ready now.

Microugly might eventually get us the database for this current forum and we can just merge it in. If that doesn't happen, at least the navigation/search of the old and new will be the same, and a simple link say "search archived" will load an identical search page.

PHPBB is not perfect, but it is widely understood, so the depth of admins with skills can help carry the workload of maintaining.

PHPBB can be styled to mimic the Inkscape.org look.

Two logins have not been an obstacle, as this forum has proven.
Have a nice day.

I'm using Inkscape 0.92.2 (5c3e80d, 2017-08-06), 64 bit win8.1

The Inkscape manual has lots of helpful info! http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/

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Re: the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:46 pm

This is where I'm coming from.

Personally, to be completely honest, I think a php forum (such as SMF or phpBB) would be better too. But when we (individually) are working within a community, that means we can't always have exactly what we want. Within a community, we're constrained to the areas where we can find to compromise, and make things work the best for everyone, given whatever products or wares are at our disposal and whatever talents we have to share.

I have no idea where the decision to use Django for the website came from. That kind of programming is way over my head. But if the community only has one person * who has volunteered to develop the website, then our choice is either have no new website/forum (anyone remember the old website?), or the volunteer uses whatever kind of software he or she knows best, and then we have a nice new website and forum. And then we're somewhat limited to wares which are compatible.

In my humble opinion, having been involved in the "new forum" discussions from the start (which was 2 or 3 years ago, or maybe more?), and having helped to explore every possible option, this new Django based forum is the best choice we have right now. I maintained my patience for microUgly for all these few years, because using this forum to start the new one IS the best possible solution (imo). But now I'm done - there's no patience left. And I guess others have lost their patience as well. So that changes our previous plans.

If microUgly shows up at the last minute, as he seems to have a great talent for doing, I don't know what will happen. We would have to cross that bridge when we come to it, as a community, with compromise and all that. But after all the time and talent and energy which is currently being poured into creating the Django based forum, personally I would have a hard time abandoning it.

I do realize that most members of this forum are not familiar with the development side of the Inkscape project. In my opinion, this is sad and unfortunate for the project. I have the impression that some members here feel somewhat ignored by the developers. (I would guess facebook users have a similar experience.) I've felt that way once or twice myself. And for good reason, from what I know of the early days of this forum, and as well from the long years without much contact from developers.

My singular purpose in becoming more involved in the development side of the project (these last few years) has been to try to help to remedy the situation - to make developers realize we're here and we're a valuable part of the community, and as well, to try and make the forum community more aware of development issues and to try and urge more participation when possible.

Mostly that urging happens by trying to get members to report bugs, when necessary. (And also linking to mailing list discussions, if something is relevant to a separate discussion here.) (Also helping to post info about hackfests, new releases, etc.) But now, it also includes inviting everyone to help with creating the new forum. If you want to continue to provide support for other Inkscape users, the way things are looking right now, that likely is going to happen in the new forum. I just cringe with the thought that members join the new forum, and they can't find a feature they need, especially when they had the chance to ask for it in the beginning.

* A lot of other people are contributing to developing the website and forum, in different areas, these days. But in the beginning it all started from the initiative of one person, as far as I know. (That is doctormo.)

I'm not sure what you mean about 2 logins not being an obstacle in this forum. This forum doesn't have a gallery, or anything else that requires a separate login. Oh! You mean it wouldn't be any different from how it is now? Well no, it wouldn't. But this way, we eliminate that need. "Bonus," is what I meant.

But in any case, if this forum community wants something different, they need to start speaking up. Get involved! Participate. Listen to all the views, and discussions. Add your own views to the discussion. Find out how what you want can fit into the larger design. You don't have to actually write code or anything. Just sharing your thoughts and opinions is enough. (Currently most of the discussion is happening in the new chatrooms https://chat.inkscape.org/home, in the team_vectors channel. You don't have to be on the Vectors team to participate.)

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druban
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby druban » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:34 pm

I have no problem with Microugly or the way this forum is run, and I don't see what having your new forum has to do with taking potshots at him. I see no reason why you can't just have your forum without trying so hard to justify it. Many other open source projects have multiple forums that coexist without drama.
Also a reminder: I do not believe in the sanctity of PM, so any PM content that I receive is likely to be reposted for all to see.
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brynn
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:53 am

I didn't mean to "take potshots" at microUgly. I don't have any problem with him either. He deserves all the credit in the world for keeping this forum open for all these years, at his sole expense. We should all be grateful for that, imo! If I said something that sounded negative, I apologize. I did not mean it that way.

I have not been trying to justify the new forum. It really needs no justification. The community of any graphics program the caliber of Inkscape should have its own forum, in my opinion. And now it's finally going to have one - I mean for the whole community, not just users (as this one is). I've only been trying to invite and urge community members to participate, because community members are who it's being created for. (pardon the attrocious grammar)

(Well, I suppose I was trying to justify the type of forum it is, in my last post, in response to TD's comments. But in general, this topic has been meant to invite members to test the new forum, and make sure it contains all the features that you need.)

Also as previously explained, this new forum is not my personal project. Many people are involved in creating it. Inkscape developers are creating it, for goodness sakes! (You can't really think I have that kind of coding skills....or that I have Inkscape developers at my beck and call?)

I'm just the messenger. Please don't shoot the messenger!

(Yeah, someone assigned me an emoji in the new forum - a baby cat with a wide open mouth - I figure that's because I have an opinion about everything, and I can't keep my mouth shut, haha!!)

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druban
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby druban » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:11 pm

thanks for editing the negative comments about Microugly out of your post.
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:03 pm

??
I didn't edit anything. Whatever I said, I didn't mean it to sound negative. If you'd like me to re-word something, I will.

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Re: the future of this forum

Postby Moini » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:45 am

@druban When have you last seen microUgly around? Is he available for forum issues?
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Re: the future of this forum

Postby latitude » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:47 am

I am new to Inkscape, so obviously I can't comment on anything above. I have been using PSP and someone told me to check out Inscape and here I am.
I am not the fastest learner so it is going to take me a long time just to figure out the basics but I have been going through the posts and links to tutorials and am so impressed and excited to learn this program. I hope this new Forum you are talking about will be just as useful to us slow learner newbies.

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Re: the future of this forum

Postby brynn » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:59 am

latitude wrote: I hope this new Forum you are talking about will be just as useful to us slow learner newbies.


I'm sure it will be! Hopefully it will be all the same people from this forum, just moved to the Inkscape website. And this forum will be there too, but just in read-only mode. But if not all the same people, it will be many of the same people.

Personally, helping newbies learn Inkscape is my favorite kind of message to answer. And I can promise you that I'll be there!


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