Forum problems - soon to be history !


From: Sim' Hampel

Hi all,

Since there has been much disquiet on the forum of late due to the performance problems, I thought I would post an update.

I have been working with Ian to come up with a strategy for fixing problems with the forum. We are making good progress and hope to have a solution in the near future.

I hope people will have patience and will continue to support Ian's efforts considering how much time and effort AND MONEY he has put into this forum for the benefit of all of us.

Keeping the knowledge base of information from this forum and the original is top priority for Ian, and we are working on a plan to move this information to a system which would allow searches much more easily.

Looking forward to the continued support for the Somersoft forum from all of you in the future !

PS. another high priority is keeping the wonderful resource that is the chatroom !

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Reply: 1
From: Andrew D

Thanks you Sim and Ian....I really enjoy the forum and appreciate the hard work.

Stumbling blocks are just stepping stones to the successful.
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Reply: 1.1
From: Dale Gatherum-Goss


I second AD's praise. This is an extraordinary community and I applaud Ian's contribution.

Thank you very much

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Reply: 1.1.1
From: Rixter ®

Being a man of many words...Ditto!

Happy Investing,
Rixter :)
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Reply: 2
From: Dan A

That's good news, thanks for the hard work.

Would it be a simple measure to convert this forum into a different type of forum software?
I only ask because through other forums I have found that software such as "UBB" ( and "phpBB" ( have much much better functionality, usability and presentation than the current forum. They are much simpler and prettier to browse and read than "Weboard".
If the data can't be transferred, perhaps it is possible to keep this forum as an archive and start a new forum with a different software.
Just some thoughts, although I do appreciate that the actual content is far greater than how we view it, and I am thankful for the dedication in running it regardless.

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Reply: 2.1
From: Sim' Hampel

On 8/10/02 7:35:00 PM, Dan A wrote:
>Would it be a simple measure
>to convert this forum into a
>different type of forum

Certainly not simple, but not impossible. That's what I'm investigating now... methods of migrating the data into a new format suitable for searching.

>I only ask because through
>other forums I have found that
>software such as "UBB"
>ts/ubbx/) and "phpBB"
>s.php) have much much better
>functionality, usability and
>presentation than the current
>forum. They are much simpler
>and prettier to browse and
>read than "Weboard".

Funny you should mention that, software like phpBB has been suggested as an alternative... I'm glad you like that style - it's quite a bit different to WebBoard, but is much more commonly used in other online communities, so hopefully people will be more comfortable with that style of forum.

Personally, I really like the WebBoard interface (when it's working at proper speed), nothing else I have come across does threaded discussions anywhere near as well. Most other forum software uses a linear format, which while easier to work out for newbies, can become cumbersome and slow when you have long discussion threads (like we are prone to at times). If you want a good example of linear discussion format - check out the forums on StockCentral...

Anyway, the new generation of software is extremely customisable, and some even support both threaded and linear discussions, selected by the individual user. So we'll see what options we can find.

>If the data can't be
>transferred, perhaps it is
>possible to keep this forum as
>an archive and start a new
>forum with a different

That is a possibility. As I said, Ian has made it perfectly clear that the valuable information contained within this forum is to be preserved, either in its current form, or migrated to a new system (preferable something that has a working search engine).

I'd be interested to hear about other forums that people use, and what your opinions of the structure, interface, and features are (both good and bad opinions useful).

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Reply: 2.1.1
From: Ian Parham

G'day Sim & All

I spend considerable time on for share trading.

They have had a couple of revamps in recent years but the latest and current webboard had a lot of issues with speed, errors, loss of data (ie: threads, spurious loss of new postings), search function was a real problem for them (took a long time to get up and running).

Essentially I would say go and have a look at it, as I have no technical understanding of it's mechanics.....and make sure you don't use it!!! ;>)

Good luck with this project, and thanks for taking the time!!

Regards Ian
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From: J Parker

Keep up the good work Sim and Ian- we know you can work it out!
Cheers, Jacque :)
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From: Dan A

One of the features I really like about the UBB is a little button called "Today's active posts". On a forum I visit related to my occupation I have this page bookmarked - simply hit the button and I have a list of the most recently discussed topics. Along with a few sentences from the start of the posts. Also a pretty good search feature too. This forum's search has frustrated me often.

The fancy stuff such as smileys, user pics, ability to post pics etc.. are all bonuses, not essential. I think you've hit the nail on the head - easy to read and good search are probably the most important.

It would also be great if the new forum could incorporate grouping of topics. Ie different areas to increase browsability. Such areas could include eg. Taxation, Finance, Renovations, Success stories, Newbies, Courses, Landlords, Hot spots and state specific discussions etc..etc..

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From: Michele B

Agree with comments above re the value of this forum - it really is a unique and closeknit community and a valuable resource.

Yes, the format has a few problems re searches but searching isn't a daily activity for most - reading / contributing to new threads is.

I really don't like the format Steve McKnight and PropertyChat use - it's pretty to look at yes, but Sim is right, not many formats will work as well as WebBoard for our long debate type threads which are a special feature of this forum.
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Reply: 3
From: Geoff Whitfield


I've been on antother board (Woody's lounge, for some time. So I'd like to post some thoughts about what I do, and what I don't, like about that board, just in case there's some ideas which might help.

It's based on wwwthreads, which is a commercially available product, except that there are a lot of additions and alterations which don't come with the standard product. No matter, it's the ideas which are important.

I do like:
.The speed. But after here, that's probably not hard to better!
.Threads can be viewed in flat or threaded mode (user choice). Flat mode is like this forum- but because post numbers are included in the original post and in the reply, it's much easier to determine which post a reply references. (It would be easier though to see this graphically, as Google does in its Newsgroups stuff)
.Times of posts etc are shown in local time (though not quite so important in a mainly Australian based forum)
.A limited markup language available, short of HTML, but stopping potential problems. Though the use of HTML is a choice of the forum owners
.Automatically marking posts as read.
.user options- allowing notification by email to marked threads only, or to mark threads of interest.
.Viewing in flat mode loads one post at a time. On a long post, this can make quite a big difference.
.Good search options
.Moderated- stopping the use of nastiness (hehe, look who the moderator of the Word, VBA & Excel forums is)
.Good choice of topic
.Good smilies available
.Moderators have private forums to discuss questionable posts
.Private mails within the forum
.Choice of colour schemes

THOUGH- don't like-
.Automatic marking takes place for the newest post you've read in the forum. If you read a new post, go out of the forum, and come back, the earlier posts have been marked as read. (The forum software does not have the facility to keep track of everything every user has read). OK oncew you get used to it.
.No chat facility (Somersoft Java based chat is rather slow to load- it's much better through a chat client).

I do NOT like, in this forum, either-
.having to mark all messages as read (and missing those posted in the last 10 minutes)
.having to expand each thread, and click on each message in the thread to mark as read.

Just some thoughts- though probably too late for the decision makers.

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Reply: 3.1
From: Paul Zagoridis

On 8/13/02 9:45:00 PM, Geoff Whitfield wrote:
>I do NOT like, in this forum,
>.having to mark all messages
>as read (and missing those
>posted in the last 10 minutes)

Got a fix for you on this one

a) Click refresh before clicking Mark Read. Make sure the (xx New) numbers match, that way you know you've read them. Plus the New Messages pane should show any newer messages so you can read them.


b) After mark read go to More... and check Today's messages. That will catch any posts in the last 10 mins

WealthEsteem :: Psychology of the Deal
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Reply: 3.1.1
From: Geoff Whitfield

Thanks Paul,

Hehe, the last time I went to check today's messages after marking as read was just after midnight. I knew there were more there, and I usually do check today's message after I mark as read. But I missed those new ones.

A "Check last 24 hours" would have been more useful.

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