New SMF Board Coming Soon — Important Stuff to Know

As you probably know, our old vBulletin board died about a week ago during an attempt to upgrade it. We decided to just bite the bullet and replace it with an SMF board. This new board is almost ready to open (we hope). Messages and member accounts made it over.

The most important thing to know about the new board is how to log on. You use your username and password from the old vBulletin board, however, the first time you log in you will be asked to enter your password a second time. Also if you try to log in and receive an “Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again” error, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with “https://ecauldron.com“.  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com” (or “http://www.ecauldron.com“) you will get this error because “www.ecauldron.com” is not technically the same website as “ecauldron.com”. Moving to the more secure “https” means it is more picky about such things.

Here are some other important/interesting things to know about the new SMF board software:

1] Messages from Old Board: We believe almost all messages and threads from the old board made it to the new board. The few that are missing are from the last 24-48 hours on the old board. The backup made just before trying to upgrade the old vBulletin software failed, so we had to use the previous backup to recreate the board on this new software. Some BBCode are slightly different between the two boards which means that sometimes “raw bbcodes” will appear in messages originally posted to the old board.

2] Avatars and Attachments from Old Board: Unfortunately, neither uploaded avatars nor attachments uploaded with messages successfully moved to this new board. The attachments are simply gone — nothing can be done to recover them. You can restore you avatar, however. There are hundreds of “standard” avatars to select from on this board (including all the standard ones that were on the old board). If you used a standard avatar you can just reselect it in your profile settings. If you uploaded one of your own, you can just upload it again (also in your profile settings). To get to your profile settings, hover over on your avatar (which is one auto-generated by the board at the moment) in top menubar, hover over the “Modify Profile…” item in the profile menu, the click on the “Forum Profile” item in the submenu that pops up. You can also just click on your avatar in the top menu and go to the profile area and use the menus there. Note that this top menu “floats” — that is it is always available no matter how far you scroll down a page (assuming you have a modern browser).

3] Visitor Messages: Visitor messages (in your profile area) did not move either as they are not a normal feature of SMF. We’d added a mod with something similar, however. You can enable a “Wall” in your profile area to allow visitor messages on your profile (see the Wall Settings in your profile area). This works something like the status area on Facebook — both you and others can post there. You have some control over who can and you can remove wall posts you do not like, etc. This only appears if you turn it on.

4] Suggested “Layout” Options: We suggest you turn on the following in the Look and Layout section of your Profile (by checking the box next to these items and pressing the “Change Profile” button:
* Return to topics after posting by default.
* Hide messages posted by members on my ignore list.
Others can be set as you wish (as can these two, for that matter).

5] Social Groups: None of the Social Groups from the old board made the transfer. We’ve added a social group mod that allows social groups with many of the features found on the old vBulletin board. You are welcome to start a new social group.

6] Wiki: The wiki did not make the transfer — there is nothing like it for SMF. This means no wiki pages for social groups. All the material that was in the public part of wiki made the transfer — as messages on a hidden board. They are currently hidden from view while we try to figure out how to make it available.

7] Likes Replace Karma: We have replaced the Karma system with a “Like” system where messages on many (but NOT all) boards have a “Like” button (near the bottom of the post (above the signature, if any). Please only like messages that you consider really good. Liking every message as some people do on Facebook is a waste of system resources. This is an experiment. If the system does not work out well, it will be removed.

8] Blogs and Other SMF Board Features: This board has many new/different features — many of which are currently turned off. New features will be activated slowly. One of the new features that currently IS active is the Blogs feature. Members can start their own blog on the forum. Posts to the blog need to follow the same rules as posts to the message board.

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