Tree of Souls Upgrade - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:39 PM
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Default Tree of Souls Upgrade

Well, this subject is long overdue!

It's no secret that vBulletin 3, the forum software that fuels Tree of Souls, is rather old at this point and is amassing increasingly large security, functionality and usability issues. For years we have been facing the truth that eventually we'll have to upgrade, but it's been continuously pushed back. But no more! As Avatar 2 is approaching and there's been somewhat of an influx of new users lately, this is a great time to properly upgrade our community at a slow, controlled pace. We will be making sure the new Tree of Souls stays true to the atmosphere of our current forum, but with improvements that will make the community safer and easier to use for everyone.

Will all the old user accounts and posts remain? Naturally! We will be using XenForo rather than vBulletin for the new version, but everything should import just fine and everything you see today will still be in place.

Will there be ads? Of course not! ToS will always stay true to its promise of no ads on the site whatsoever.

What is going to change? ToS will look slightly different, since with new software we will have to create new visuals for the forums. I designed the appearance of the current version and will design the appearance of the new one, and we will be making sure it stays very close to the current version while improving in areas that can be improved. For instance, more readable threads and an optional bright theme are things being considered.

Will we be able to try it out before it is complete? Yes. The new version will be separately hosted while it's being worked on, and there will be opportunities for everyone who so desires to check it out and give impressions and feedback before it replaces the old version entirely.

Will we see any new features? No specifics are planned, but we'll be sure to take a comprehensive look at what we can do to make the forums better for everyone - while of course not adding anything superfluous. Some features have always been highly requested, however, such as an (optional) true WYSIWYG editor and an (optional) way to automatically save post contents so if your browser or computer crashes, nothing is lost. At its core, however, the forums will behave in a very similar way to how they currently do.

How long will this take? Difficult to tell at this point - but the current forum will remain 100% usable while the new one is being made.


Donations


The good news is that this upgrade is not a very expensive one! A XenForo license is a mere $140, and we have everything else that we need. That being said, we are asking for donations to make this possible - as ToS is already mostly paid out of our own pockets, there is no additional funding to pay for this at the moment. Rest assured that anything helps - and once we have the $140 to acquire the software license, we will start this project.


And as always, feel free to raise concerns and give feedback or suggestions! The #1 priority upgrading ToS is the happiness of the community - as it has always been, and should always remain.
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:20 AM
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Sounds great! I donated and I'll donate again after I get paid at the end of the month.

I love the styling possibilities Xenforo.
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:55 PM
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Thank you so much! Rest assured it'll come to good use
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:19 PM
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I was just looking at this page and it is $140 for XenForo, but I see $250 for branding removal (and a few other features). Is that the total or is that in addition to the $140?
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:39 PM
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We won't have to go with the branding removal to begin with - all we need right now is the $140 to start development on the site. If we end up not affording the branding removal when the new version is complete, we would simply launch it without that (and other features) to start with - it seems like the branding is not very intrusive, so it'd work until we can get that later

So in conclusion, $140 is all we need at this point, though excess donations would indeed pay for further upgrades. Since HNM is working on the serverside stuff and I'm working on the visuals, we won't need additional money to hire people for these things which saves a lot
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:15 PM
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Sounds great! I'm systematically auctioning off just about everything I own because I'm trying to downsize. This month my electric guitar collection is on the auction block so I should be able put something extra in.
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Old 08-16-2015, 02:02 AM
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The branding isn't a big deal; it's fairly nonintrusive and just states at the bottom of the page what software the site is running; probably not worth the money in my opinion.

The new software will be deployed on the current server (which is more than up to the t ask with current activity levels), under a subdomain for testing purposes, then switched over to live once the new themes and testing are complete.
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Old 08-16-2015, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
The branding isn't a big deal; it's fairly nonintrusive and just states at the bottom of the page what software the site is running; probably not worth the money in my opinion.

The new software will be deployed on the current server (which is more than up to the t ask with current activity levels), under a subdomain for testing purposes, then switched over to live once the new themes and testing are complete.
I believe I'm getting branding mixed up with advertising. Sounds great though for $140. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with.
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:54 AM
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Irayo, Eltu, for informing us about the site upgrade, and Irayo nitxan to you and HNM for all the great work you do for ToS! I just contributed a small donation to help the cause.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:03 AM
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More donations are coming.

I have to get all the bills paid and see where I'm at.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:38 PM
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Cool! I would it all goes well!
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2015, 09:16 PM
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I did get around to making another donation, but it wasn't the amount I intended. I sat aside $150 specifically for this, but my desktop computer crashed hard yesterday so I'm going to have to fix that first. I would say this is an unexpected expense, but I've been expecting this. It's a Seagate 1.5 TB drive that lasted five years, which is unheard-of for most Seagate drives. I'm pretty disappointed that I couldn't donate more. I've been having really bad luck the past few days so this is on par with everything else.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:44 PM
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Thank you so much! Believe me, every little bit matters - and we appreciate any donation at all
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:22 AM
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I'm fully in support of this upgrade. Thank you for such a compassionate level of communication Eltu, it's truly an act of grace.
I'll be donating within the next couple of days, or the next time I'm roaming on here. I know you said it's not necessary, but I'd be honored to.


Oel ngati kameie,

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Old 03-01-2016, 05:56 PM
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I just did another How far off are we?
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