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What does TapaTalk mean for TCH?
Topic Started: May 12 2018, 09:03 PM (481 Views)
CJ
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Sausage Brain

So, as I'm sure you're aware by now, ZetaBoards is to be merged into TapaTalk Groups at some point over the coming months. This has happened to several forum services - including ProPhpBB, Yuku, and InvisionFree - and, ZetaBoards will become the latest to be assimilated into the TapaBorg. We've been assured that the TapaTalk software will be updated with some ZetaBoards features before the transfers take place - but, nonetheless, the overwhelming response has been one of sheer outrage, and many people are planning to move their forums to rival forums. Indeed, some have already followed through with this, and set up elsewhere. So, what about us?

I wasn't planning to put up an official announcement at first, because I haven't had anything to announce: it's all up in the air, so any announcement would be long and rambling, and would inevitably leave more questions than answers :P . However, since several people have been asking and speculating about the future of this place, I eventually conceded that such an announcement would be better than no announcement at all. So, here it is :P .

1. What do you think of the decision?

Well, to put it politely, I'm not impressed. I consider TapaTalk in its current state to be a horrible system which does not even come close to meeting TCH's needs as a community. I understand that this is not representative of what ZetaBoards forums will be converted to, and some ZetaBoards features will be preserved (including CSS and JS customisation); however, with such little to go on, I'm not confident that we'll have all the features we've come to take for granted over the years. Indeed, I expect it'll take a herculean effort on Brandon's part to develop TapaTalk to the point where it's on par with what ZetaBoards offers right now - much less to bring it to the point where I'd hoped ZetaBoards would be in 2018.

There's not much more I can say which isn't just repeating myself from this thread - so, if you want to know my full opinions, then go check out my responses in there :) .

2. Will TCH be moving away from ZetaBoards?

I don't know yet! No final decision has been made - and no final decision is likely to be made for at least a month.

I will say that I've been investigating the other software options, and now, I'm hard at work (together with Nilla and the rest of the staff) on replicating TCH on one of these platforms. This will be a lengthy process which is likely to take a month or more - which will give Brandon time to make further announcements regarding ZB's future. Once we've finished, we'll see what we've got, and we'll see what he's got - and then, we'll make a final decision. Granted, my confidence in ZB has been shattered, and it'll take a lot to restore it - but, for the next month, it's a case of 'wait and see'.

3. If you do move, where will you move?

Several options have been proposed. If you want to see the differences between the free hosted ones, queenzelda summarised those in this excellent thread :) .

I did create several test boards - and out of all of them, MyBB was the one that won my heart. It has many of the same advantages that originally brought me to IF, and subsequently ZB: customisability, large community, and ease of use (for members, if not so much for admins :P ). ProBoards is clunky in some areas, and has a negative reputation in some quarters; Forumotion leaves you stuck with one theme (a deal-breaker for us); and Vanilla Forums just seems like too radically different a user experience for me.

The other option I investigated was XenForo, which I considered to be an overall superior system to MyBB: I was very impressed with the sleekness of the layout, and with how well it ran on the mobile out of the box! However, the demos only last for three days, making it tough to build up a 'test board', and I didn't want to commit to it by buying a $140 licence before I'd tried it out much. Furthermore, the greater staff familiarity with MyBB (e.g. Nilla knows how to make MyBB themes, but has no experience with XenForo) tipped my decision in favour of that software.

4. If you do move, what will be lost?

Well, the big one is going to be all the posts and topics we've created over the past eight years. That's a massive pain, and there's really no way to pretend otherwise :headbrick: .

We'd also be losing some of the themes; in particular, those made by other people. However, we would convert our more popular themes (Dark Energy is definitely getting converted!), and we'd also install some pre-existing themes for the new software.

Other than that, probably not a lot. We've already got Likes, Coffee Credits and user icons working on the new software, and we're hoping to get the awards and items working as well. Then we'll be gaining some MyBB features (such as alerts and topic subscriptions) which don't exist on ZetaBoards (the former is a code which Junkbot had been working on until Brandon dropped his bombshell, while the latter is a ZB Premium perk).

5. If you do move, will I need to re-register?

No, you won't. I'll re-register everyone on the new forum, and then send out PMs on here so that people can log in on their new accounts. (Okay, so I won't re-register every member going back to 2009; however, as long as you didn't sign up, make a few posts and then leave, you will be re-registered)

This means all of your existing titles, posts, Coffee Credits and awards will be preserved on the new board. If you're currently a Golden Member with 7,000 posts, then you aren't going to be starting from zero on the new board: you'll be starting from 7,000 as a Golden Member.



Now, I do understand how painful it is that I have to make this announcement - and the prospect of potentially losing eight years' worth of progress and over 370,000 posts is upsetting to some people. However, The Coffee House is more than just a bunch of numbers: we're a community of strong friends and wonderful people. That's where our real strength lies - and nothing that the owners of ZB do is going to destroy that :) .

Hopefully, this should clear some things up!
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5819
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Well, I'll always stick to this place as long as I can, man.
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

Thanks a lot :D !

It is awkward: I am mentally prepared to move, but also holding out hope that Brandon will put out a spectacular announcement, to the point where it makes this look like this. Maybe, just maybe :lol: .
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Bry.
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In regards to re-registering people, I think it would be better if you did this for the most active members here, and then anybody else can re-register themselves if they wish to. Just my opinion.

Good luck to it when it comes though :)
Edited by Bry., May 13 2018, 12:00 PM.
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

Yeah, I'm not going to re-register all 754 accounts here :P . Probably somewhere in the region of 100 is my guess.

(To give you some idea of where the cut-off for re-registration would be: just over 100 members have logged in over the past six months*, and just under 100 members have made at least 100 posts on here). So, if you're reading this and asking "Will I be re-registered?", the answer is "Yes" :) .

*Okay, some of those are spambots, who won't be re-registered :lol: !
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Mozzie
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I have seen almost every remark from those who were on TT, and it isn't good. As most know, i didn't stick around to find out lol, and as for Brandon making an announcement, i doubt it
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Gaomon274
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A Tapatalk staffer has answered some questions ZetaBoard users had on their support forum.
Link:
http://s1.zetaboards.com/The_Coffee_House/single/?p=3154511&t=8283364
Edited by Gaomon274, May 14 2018, 08:45 AM.
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Yami Yugi
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Except for when someone had something negative to say, their post was edited:
Posted Image

Do we really want forumware staff doing this on forums where people have differing political views? Or, lord knows what else. Not me.
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Pinky
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Sometimes it happens unfortunately.

I know you will make the right decision.

I will be there no matter what. :)
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Lordhen
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CJ
May 13 2018, 12:07 PM
Yeah, I'm not going to re-register all 754 accounts here :P . Probably somewhere in the region of 100 is my guess.

Wow, is that the number of people who are active here.
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Gaomon274
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That's just the accounts registered in general I believe.

The would-be-reregistered-group would be lower than that since some haven't signed in on the forum in forever.
(They can always register on the new software of course! But CJ wouldn't premake an account for them.)
Yami Yugi
May 14 2018, 11:06 AM
Except for when someone had something negative to say, their post was edited:
Posted Image

Do we really want forumware staff doing this on forums where people have differing political views? Or, lord knows what else. Not me.
http://s1.zetaboards.com/The_Coffee_House/single/?p=3154557&t=8283364
Edited by Gaomon274, May 14 2018, 02:11 PM.
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Lordhen
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Aro Rouon
May 14 2018, 02:11 PM
That's just the accounts registered in general I believe.

You mean those who are active.
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

There's nowhere near 754 people active :lol: . Even if we take a very loose definition, like "Everyone who's logged in in the past six months", there are only about 100 of them.

Anyway, I haven't followed the stuff on the Tapatalk support forum (I don't have time), but if it is what it looks like then it's ridiculous <_< .
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Lordhen
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Not part of discussion related to TCH.
Edited by Lordhen, May 14 2018, 05:12 PM.
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

Just to keep things organised here: could we please put general discussion of TapaTalk in this thread?

It's just that we seem to be having the same discussions in two threads at once - and, really, I had intended this thread to be related specifically to TCH's future direction (with the other one being a more general thread about the ZB/TT stuff).
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Lordhen
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CJ
May 14 2018, 05:08 PM
Just to keep things organised here: could we please put general discussion of TapaTalk in this thread?

It's just that we seem to be having the same discussions in two threads at once - and, really, I had intended this thread to be related specifically to TCH's future direction (with the other one being a more general thread about the ZB/TT stuff).
Sorry CJ, will post it on that thread, but regarding TCH, i like it, and i have not been here 2 weeks, would be a shame to see it gone.
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Moonface
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I'd be surprised if TCH doesn't move. I'd be surprised if anyone considering moving doesn't end up doing it. At least no matter where TCH goes, you won't ever have to worry about leaving any more data behind so long as you go with a platform that offers exports. ;)
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Smokey
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Looking forward to seeing where TCH ends up! I moved to a self-hosted MyBB myself. :)
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

Best of luck with that, then :) !

And, yeah, I'll be surprised if we don't move too. Pleasantly surprised, because it'll mean the Tapatalk platform is waaaay better than I'm expecting it to be, but still surprised :P .
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Zach
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I'm with you where ever you move TCH to and I think that you should put up a poll so members can decide what forum software they would like TCH to move to and of course it will be up to the admins and staff to decide, but I think it would be good to get members input instead of just moving to a forum software that members won't like.
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

Nice idea, but the trouble with putting up a poll is, I've already examined the other systems and rejected them for various reasons. Either they're missing features that I would like to keep, or (in the case of XenForo) we'd be biting off more than we can chew. Besides, we've already spent over a week learning our way around MyBB and figuring out how to re-create the important features on there - and, if the poll results in anything other than MyBB being selected, then all of that work has gone to waste :( .

Though, MyBB does seem to be the consensus choice for ZetaBoards refugees - and, that's something I took very much into account when I made my choice :) . I wouldn't have picked it had there been a large contingent of people warning me that it was awful :P .
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Zach
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Okay man and I personally like MyBB and have experience with it and think that it will serve our needs well.
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Moonface
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If you aren't aware, IcyBoards doesn't have a built-in spoiler code, so you need to create one for spoilers to be usable. However even when doing that, you can not nest spoilers as the MyCode functionality doesn't allow for nesting. I'm currently trying to replicate the style the spoiler tags have on ZB as that's the style of them I'm used to and like seeing.
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

Indeed: Queen sent me a code for a spoiler tag (thanks a lot :D !), but I still need to style it to fit in with the rest of the board.
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Zach
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So are we going to use IcyBoards then?
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Gaomon274
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Esper from Atrium has set up a Discord for those that want to keep up on ZB/Tapatalk news and discuss other forum software in case the ZB support forum is no longer accessible.
https://discord.gg/A5DmErU

For those interested.
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queenzelda
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I know, I joined the Discord group already. Thanks for sharing.
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Gaomon274
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Yup, trying to spread word to anyone that wants to keep up to tabs on things since not many check the support forum.
Edited by Gaomon274, May 17 2018, 05:13 AM.
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CJ
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Sausage Brain

Zach
May 17 2018, 12:13 AM
So are we going to use IcyBoards then?
If we move, then most likely yes. But I'm still not completely certain that we'll be moving at all.

Like I said in the announcement post, I'm still open to the possibility that the new ZB/TT software will blow the existing ZB away. It's not looking likely at all; however, it's not impossible. Therefore, no final decision on "stay or move" will be made until I've got everything set up (which is probably still at least three or four weeks away).
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gibby
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hope you dont have to move
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