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Administrator
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977 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear Members,

We are back and sorry for the extended read-only time! Thanks to all of your incredible content and photos, it took a little longer than, well, any other site we’ve migrated so far.

It’s obvious, we’re live on our new customized XenForo forum platform. It’s an exciting time for Skyscraper City. We want your thoughts and feedback. Our goal is to provide a more engaging, personalized, modern design with more reliable technology that makes the site run faster and smoother.

It’s been a long time coming. Let’s face it… sometimes the older forum technology is behind other parts of the internet (though there is something to say about why we love forums the way we do, but that goes beyond outdated, unsafe, slow software that we’ve been dealing with). A good example of improvements are forums based on XenForo, and that’s just what we’re doing.

The change to a customized version of XenForo will never be 100% smooth. Part of the challenge is that every one of these communities we’ve supported was running some form of unmaintained, unsupported, and undocumented custom code usually in the form of plugins from 3rd party developers that are no longer in business. To be clear though, staying on the old vBulletin software was not an option for a few reasons:
  • vBullletin 3.8 runs on an old version of PHP that is at “end of life” and is no longer supported. It is also very slow. We originally attempted upgrading a few sites to the newer versions of PHP, but it caused many many problems.
  • vBulletin does not support IPv6. As many ISPs begin moving users to IPv6, vBulletin would actually not allow them to register or post, as it was built when this did not exist and does not recognize those types of IPs. This was causing existing users to be unable to post in many communities.
  • vBulletin was built in 2004, and does not support modern web APIs or frameworks, and is not responsive on mobile devices. Continuing to hack away at old software just didn’t make sense anymore. We were literally playing ‘whack-a-mole’ with bugs and end of life cycle code.
The days of dealing with an out of date platform that isn’t supported are over. We have teams dedicated to building a world-class community for you. The development has been steady with over 45 software releases from May through mid-March, going out every Tuesday or Wednesday, and these releases will continue. Giving us feedback and coming up with ideas on ways to improve is what we want. We’ve migrated millions of unique visitors, and as we’ve done that, more than anything, we’ve listened to members to make improvements, like having a Dark Mode, a more dynamic Advanced Search, and a Premium Membership option that features Focused Reading Mode.

The parts of Skyscraper City that make it what it is haven’t gone anywhere. All of the valuable content within the community is still here, even though the layout may look a little different. If you notice any missing posts, sections or other content, please do report it to us by replying in this thread.

I know I said this earlier this week, but I’ll just mention it again: security will continue to be a top priority, image uploading will be much easier, the ad formats have changed (hopefully you agree for the better, and if not, we offer ad-free viewing with a premium membership) and load quicker, and the site will be device-responsive, so there’s no need to use a third-party app or mobile skin.

Below, I’ll post more detail on feature updates like the new home page experience, and tips on navigation.

Keep the feedback, questions, and ideas coming in the comments below. The Admins and I will be here to help along the way taking note of your comments.

Welcome to your new home!

- Cricket and Your Community Team
 

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Administrator
Joined
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977 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
A Consistent Experience Across All Devices
The site is optimized for all screen sizes, including mobile. All features are available and ready to use on all devices.

Speed and Reliability Are Key
No one should have to wait for information. This site has been built to be much faster and more reliable, period.

New Homepage Experience
Your home page now features the most active forums, trending discussions, featured showcases, and top contributing members. This will help keep you up to date on what’s happening in your community and eventually become a very personalized experience for our members with all the great content you love surfaced effortlessly for you.

Search
We have introduced new search algorithms, powered by an industry-leading AI platform, that will help you find information faster. We plan to roll out new features to continue improving search, and to power many additional areas of the forum.

Due to the volume of content, our search platform may take some time to complete indexing. During this process, you may see a limited number of posts until indexing has been completed. We appreciate your patience.

Easy to Use and Navigate
We have made the design clean and simple to use. Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.

Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts. On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics.

Clicking the list icon next to “NEW” will bring you to the full forum listing.

You can also navigate by clicking the 3 vertical dots.

Clicking on your avatar will give you a drop-down menu for all things related to your account.

Dark Mode
We have introduced Dark Mode. One of our favorite features allows you to access the site with a power-saving, and easier on the eyes dark mode. You can access it in the drop-down menu under the 3 vertical dots.

Save Bookmarks
Now you can save your favorite discussion threads and posts! Bookmarks are a handy way to remember and easily find great content or stuff you want to read later.

We also wanted to make it easier for new users to understand the lingo of forums. We have cleaned up various language to more commonly recognized phrases including:
  • Following - Thread subscriptions, and Watched are now known as Following
  • Conversations – Private Messages or PMs are now conversations and can be accessed from the user avatar drop-down in the main navigation
  • Showcase – Showcase is designed for users to "showcase" items/projects through the use of uploaded images, text descriptions and custom content categories. It’s a way to visually and textually provide detailed information on the content you wish to share. The showcase would be similar to a catalog, whereas the gallery would be like a photo album. It can be accessed from the drop-down menu with the 3 dots.
Check out this FAQ before asking any questions as we have many tutorials posted here:


These are just a few of the great new functions and features to try on the site. Take a tour and look around! If you have any questions, just ask.

- Cricket
 

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Administrator
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977 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I will be here during your transition to the new platform, to help with any questions, help with navigation or how to do things, and to listen to your feedback so please don't hesitate to holler at me. I want to help.

I do want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Cricket. When I was born, my father told his friends I was the ugliest baby he had ever seen, and that I sounded just like a cricket (I was born with the hiccups.) so yes, I have been Cricket for 58 years now. I live just outside of San Antonio, Texas. I spend most of my time off out in nature and exploring the back roads. During late autumn when it starts to finally cool down, I disappear from the world for a bit for camping trips and hiking.

Please don't be afraid to explore and test out things to see how they work on the site.

Although you can certainly use the "insert image" icon to upload an image to your post, you can also just drag and drop it to the text editor or even copy/paste it into there!
33574

You can easily share videos just by adding the URL directly into the text editor!


Gif links from sites like giphy.com will display automatically just by adding the gif URL directly in the text editor. Try it!
I am also a huge fan of the dark mode for the community. What is your favorite feature?

We will be seeing weekly updates (approximately) to the site which are largely based on community feedback so we absolutely want to hear your feedback!

I have worked with VerticalScope for 5 years but I have worked with forum communities for closer to two decades. I won't always know the answers to your questions, but I can find someone who does, as needed. ;)

- Cricket
 

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autostradożerca
Joined
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5,987 Posts
Well, it's definitely going to take some time getting used to this, but dark mode is a nice addition. Good job!

I'm seeing lots of "Image uploading. Refresh page to view" instead of images though...
 

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Administrator
Joined
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977 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well, it's definitely going to take some time getting used to this, but dark mode is a nice addition. Good job!

I'm seeing lots of "Image uploading. Refresh page to view" instead of images though...
That should correct shortly. They are working on it as we speak.

- Cricket
 

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Registered
Joined
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864 Posts
The forum is lagging a bit, but I hope it will get better in the future.
Overall I'm excited to see the changes, will miss the classic vBulletin look though ;)
If I may suggest something, I think the main page of the forums is pretty confusing. Would be better to have all the subforums listed (like before), instead of top topics and top subforums - especially because we are an international forum.
 

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Moderator
Joined
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11,820 Posts
It will take a while to get used with the new forum layout... but I have to admit it looks new (2020) not 2000 as the old one.

The first issue I see however are the loading times. It takes 5 to 10 seconds for each page to load. Am I the only one having this issue?

Also, I want our old smiles back, not the ones from Facebook or Whatsapp :cry:
 

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Administrator
Joined
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977 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The forum is lagging a bit, but I hope it will get better in the future.
Overall I'm excited to see the changes, will miss the classic vBulletin look though ;)
If I may suggest something, I think the main page of the forums is pretty confusing. Would be better to have all the subforums listed (like before), instead of top topics and top subforums - especially because we are an international forum.
The speed should return to normal once everything settles in for a bit.

The developers are still looking at ways to make the homepage more relevant for us.

- Cricket
 

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Urban flâneur
🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈
Joined
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2,424 Posts
The main problem I'm experiencing is that the forum is constantly logging me out, I have to refresh it again and again, it takes very long to load any page.

I understand that design is very personal thing, but anyway, what I'm really not a fan of is having top forums and trending discussions on the main page - the old layout where you could directly see list of all forums was much better. Also now, if I want to get to some subforum (e.g. the local ones in Euroscrapers), I have to get there through several pages instead of clicking on quick link.

But what I'm missing definitely most is User CP - the concept of allerts is total mess,
 

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Administrator
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977 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The main problem I'm experiencing is that the forum is constantly logging me out, I have to refresh it again and again, it takes very long to load any page.
The speed should be starting to increase now. It should not be logging you out unless you are blocking cookies to stay logged in.

I understand that design is very personal thing, but anyway, what I'm really not a fan of is having top forums and trending discussions on the main page - the old layout where you could directly see list of all forums was much better. Also now, if I want to get to some subforum (e.g. the local ones in Euroscrapers), I have to get there through several pages instead of clicking on quick link.
Our developers will be continuing to work on the homepage to find a solution that is more relevant to the members.

How To Find New Posts

Near the upper right-hand corner of the community, you will see navigation icons.

The first icon is for what’s new on the site.

Clicking on it, by default, will take you to new unread posts.

On that page, you can click on additional tabs as well, such as Popular, if you prefer to view active topics. You can also mark all as read.

- Cricket
 

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Administrator
Joined
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977 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Not a huge fan of the layout at the moment
Can you tell me what you don’t like about it? Is there anything I can help you find?

Like most of us, I am a creature of habit, so it takes me a bit to get used to changes. (I was more than a little grumpy about it all at first.) I was lucky enough to get the chance to play with the new platform before they went live with it so I am already getting used to it. I have to admit that I am crazy about it now. It feels so much faster and is easy to use after a brief learning curve. Give it a few days and let me know if you start liking it too! :)

- Cricket
 

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Moderator
Joined
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16,831 Posts
Can you tell me what you don’t like about it? Is there anything I can help you find?

Like most of us, I am a creature of habit, so it takes me a bit to get used to changes. (I was more than a little grumpy about it all at first.) I was lucky enough to get the chance to play with the new platform before they went live with it so I am already getting used to it. I have to admit that I am crazy about it now. It feels so much faster and is easy to use after a brief learning curve. Give it a few days and let me know if you start liking it too! :)

- Cricket
I dont like not seeing the forums on the home page - and on the portuguese forum, I don't like not seeing the subforums, and which topics were replied to recently. It seems like there's a lot more clicking involved to get to where I want, when before it was more straightforward.

It also seems slower.
 

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Arcologista
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1,251 Posts
I feel like i have been abducted by an alien space-craft and i am contemplating in silence the marvels of a technology that is far above my grasp...

AND, I F#KIN LOVE IT

Thanks Vertical Scope Team, for putting our forum up to date.
 

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Madwizard.
Joined
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1,304 Posts
Gosh, nightmare come true :(

1. Why is it so big? To your surprise not everone is using 8k screen or 8000000dpi ipad. On standard desktop HD monitor the amount of wasted space is enormous. You're scrolling endlessly.
2. Any alternative eyesight friendly color schemes? 100% black/100% white is just suicidal.
3. It's slooooooooooow. Internet Explorer slow. Or slower. Constant logouts and more refreshing needed.
4. Until the baby problems be resolved, could we get the 'classic' option? Otherwise a foreseeable time frame of how long improvements will take.
 

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Registered
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12,808 Posts
The "show signature" sign bothers the hell out of me. I do actually support the feature as such, but the implementation is super annoying in my opinion.
Absolutely every signature is hidden by that but not completely merely half. That includes commonly used single line, regular size signatures which don't use more space than the "show signature" sign. Additionally there is a lot of dead white space below the signature anyway.

My suggestions, make the "show signature" a bit less super stringent, maybe allow one or two lines more before collapsing the signature and hiding it behind that sign.

PS: Is it just me or is the site very slow now? Much more so than before migration? Is this temporary, is it just me?
 

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Moderator
お前のお尻
Joined
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2,846 Posts
i dont like that a lot of things are 'hidden'. gotta click to see full signatures, click to see long posts, click to see the full forums, etc.
Default page should show ALL the forum index, not just the top one
emojis suck. they went from our unique SSC ones to the standard apple ones
no more twitter or youtube buttons. how do we insert youtube videos?
animated gifts for avatars no longer work
the right side bar is a waste of space
forum doesn't feel as compact as before

some things I do like:
resizing pics is a lot easier. just insert a pic and drag to the size you want
banning people is also quicker now
polls are better
 

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on the road
Joined
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30,680 Posts
I am happy SSC has migrated, in the sense I got a feeling that it could end its own end-of-life if it stayed on a platform/framework no longer supported.

The alert systems, at first hand, seem nice. Will need to read them a little better before deciding how to use them.

I noticed private received profile messages are now all public, and you can't easily delete them. Is that correct?
 
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