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    Why did we change software (again)

    I think we “owe” you, the very patient BOC members a little expanation as to why we have changed software companies yet again.
    I’ll provide the information as I know it. I was not in on all of the decisions, but having been working behind the scenes here at the BOC on and off since 2000 gives me a bit of an insite as to what happened and why.

    I’ll also not try to lay “blame” on the admins that made the decisions, because like any volunteers they did their best with the information they had to work with at the time, and it’s easy to second guess their actions with information they did not have at the time they made their decisions.

    In the beginning the BOC was on a forum called EZ Board. This was basically a hosted service, where the forum structure was a software service at the Ez Board company. This is how it was whan I previously adminsitered the BOC back in 2001

    Mike Pilling (Stratocaster) made the good decision to purchase software from a then young company called Vbulletin. He hosted it on the same hosting agreement space as the original www.baylinerownersclub.org web site.

    This worked good for several years then the site was Hacked and Doug (Go Away 2452) made the decision to change to Joomla software under the advice of a former BOC member Dave Crowder. Joomla is a “freeware” software package that has a add on forum component which we use to run the forum on. The hosting was also moved to a company called site ground.

    Due to an imminent security risk because of a falling out between then administrator Download Complete (Matt), and Mr. Crowder the site was moved to a server that was rented from Amazon Cloud services.

    When Matt decided he was too busy to administer the BOC, he turned the reins over to me, and agreed to stay on and provide assistance, as a CO-Admin which I hope will be long term in nature. Matt never liked the software, or the hosting, BTW.

    When I started to gather information on how to log into the various back end systems that make the BOC work, I quickly was overwhelmed. I’m a professional Cisco Certified network engineer, pus I have two decades of web design and business level hosting experience and I was agast at the unnecessary complexity of the back end.

    When I tried to take a backup of the site using Joomla it failed. I was told it had pretty much always been that way. When I tried to log into the server we were renting I found out that I had to know something called Linux to even get in. We had to have a volunteer server expert IT guy on call just to take care of the server, then there was the inability for me to take a backup copy of the forum. This was a real challenge.

    What I did was look around at what software other forums were using , and how they were providing those services. I quickly figured out that darn near all boating forums were running Vbulletin software, and that many of them were hosted on Vbulletin servers. So I hired a software conversion company to convert the forum back to Vbulletin. The plan was to take a site snapshot, convert it to Vbulletin, and give the moderators a chance to learn the software. Then we would take another snapshot of the old forum, and go live.

    The challenge is that they found so many data base errors, which took them an entire week to do the conversion. They reported back that a second conversion would take another week, so either way we would loose a weeks posts, plus those lost due to database errors.

    So we made the decision to go live with what we had.

    Today our forum data is safe and secure on Vbulletin servers. We do not rent a server, we pay for forum service. The end result is that we will always have the latest updates to the software. Our data will be backed up daily. At the admin level we have 24X7 professional support for any issues or questions, by a team of professionals that only deal with Vbulletin software.

    In the end the BOC is secure, safe, and easy to administer with out your administrators depending on volunteer IT experts. We wil not be changing software again, as Vbulletin is the defacto standard in forum software.

    Now... Somebody is going to ask. Why didn’t we let the general membership know ahead of time? My answer to that is it wouldn’t do a bit of good. It would not have changed anything, and the discussions would have slowed the process down creating even more lost posts.

    I’ll provide a link to the old forum site if anybody has any data or photo galleries that they need to retrieve. We won’t be supporting the old site but if you need something there it can be reached at 54.87.251.120 We’ll leave the old server turned up for a couple of weeks, but I don’t think there is much people will realistically retrieve.

    Thanks!

    Kevin Sanders
    Bayliner Owners Club
    Last edited by ksanders; 11-09-2017, 03:55 AM.

    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

    #2
    I've tried the IP address in many ways, haven't found the old site. Perhaps you could provide a link...
    Jeff & Tara
    (And Ginger too)
    Lake Havasu City, AZ

    2000 Bayliner 3388
    "GetAway"
    Cummins 4bta 250s

    In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Jeffw View Post
      I've tried the IP address in many ways, haven't found the old site. Perhaps you could provide a link...
      Here’s a link, then choose forums and it’l take you to the old forum.

      Please remember this is very temporary. We’ll leave it up for a couple of weeks to remove any data then it’ll be shut down

      Thanks!


      KEVIN SANDERS
      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the explanation Kevin. After we get through the "growing pains" of the new format I'm sure this is better in the long run. Thanks to all the volunteers in keeping the forum up to date. We'll make this site as good as the old. Software transitions are never seamless.
        "Martini's Law"
        1986 Bayliner 3270, 110 Hino's
        Nova Scotia, Canada

        Comment


          #5
          +1 on the explanation and a HUGE thanks to you and all of the past and present volunteers for your time in keeping this forum operational.

          Comment


            #6
            Thank you for explaining. And a huge Thank You for all that the admins do for the best site out there!
            Ted G
            The Great PNW

            86 2850 Contessa SB
            Designers Edition
            Mercury 350 Mag
            290 Volvo DP

            Comment


              #7
              To every seemingly odd situation is a logical explanation. Thanks for all you guys do.
              P/C Pete
              Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
              1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
              Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
              1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
              MMSI 367770440
              1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
              Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

              Comment


                #8
                I understand the immanent need to switch over, it's just disheartening to keep loosing so much info, like the tech articles, last time .
                1986 Bayliner Contessa 2850
                In over my head for sure!!
                M/V SKUA refit
                https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...ak-gctid499442

                https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...contessa-refit

                Comment


                  #9
                  I wholeheartedly support what Kevin has said. I cannot tell you how many texts, phone calls, and emails we have exchanged since we started this process, and it has been pretty painful. I am happy it's over and done with.

                  vBulletin is amazing software and completely eliminates the challenges we had prior. It's about a million times easier to use and administer, and my workload that I had before is mostly eliminated. WHat took me 3 weeks to figure out in Joomla takes me 10 minutes here in vBulletin.

                  I do regret the changeover and some of the data loss, but in the grand scheme of things, it is more secure than what we had before and because the BOC is accumulative, we will move on and still have a significant data resource. And by keeping it on VB, we will not have the constant bugs we got when updating Joomla.

                  This is a win-win all the way around. My heartfelt thanks to Kevin for taking the steps needed to keep the site secure, and under Member ownership.
                  Matt Train
                  BOC Site Team
                  Chicagoland, IL

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Kevin
                    Joe
                    2001 5288
                    Lucky Liner ll

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I go back to near the beginning somewhere nearing 20 years. I very much appreciate the explanation. Thank you.-Uncle Bob
                      1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

                      Comment


                        #12
                        AS we get older we dislike change, but life and things move on and so must we, I cannot say I like it, especially this new system, I visit other sites that have V but I am not fond of the system.
                        It was easy when we could look at all posts as they came in and not worry about the classification to search through,
                        Maybe I missed something, but it is what it is. Just like the "BORG" on Star trek "We will adapt!
                        Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                        Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                        Twin 350 GM power
                        Located in Seward, AK
                        Retired marine surveyor

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by SKUA_28_Contessa View Post
                          I understand the immanent need to switch over, it's just disheartening to keep loosing so much info, like the tech articles, last time .
                          Another thing to check on is any links in your sig. When the transfer happened it added a (gctid-and a number) tag to the end of the URL. we are slowly cleaning these up as time permits. If the URL changes for your link in your sig just edit your sig to match.
                          Boatless at this time

                          A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including their life."

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Although I am a "young 52 years old" I am really "old school" with stuff.l..this switch included....personally not a fan of the change, difficult for me pick up on what I want to see, not liking it....at least for now.....pretty much frustrating frankly to the point that I need to "cool off" before I try and do anything with it for a while...very sorry to say as it certainly has been a great resource and a joy to be on the BOC forum previously...
                            Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
                            2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
                            1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
                            1985 Harris Flotebote Classic 240
                            1993 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR
                            1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
                            1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
                            1995 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR PRO

                            Comment


                              #15
                              There are aspects of the new layout that I really like.
                              One question though. When on the "latest activity", is there any way to show a flag of posts we have replied to? The old software had the flag so you could quickly scroll down and see which posts we have replied to. And it would also say last post by "blank". For me this is the biggest gripe. Having to click on a post, go to the second page to see if anyone has replied after you, only to find that you are the last post.
                              Joel
                              1987 3818 Hino 175
                              "Knotty Girl"
                              Prince Rupert B.C.

                              Comment

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