John and I have been working on it pretty much day and night since Dec 19, and we've finally got all the customization & bugs worked out. It's a nightmare b/c every change can mess up other settings/files. So we've started over many times. We think we have a final version ready to go.
In terms of how this will affect you guys - If all goes as planned you will not need to do anything. All our settings, posts, etc. should carry over b/c the new database will read the old one.
Just as a precaution, I want yall to ensure the following:
- 1. Stay off the forum for at least 4 hrs on Friday 1/8/10 i.e. from 11 p.m. EST i.e. 4 a.m GMT. If you're not sure about your time zone as it relates to GMT, check here:
2. In your forum "Profile" (1st item in the 2 line of choices up top in the opening forum index page), be sure your time zone is correct as per point #1.
Also check that email address is the one where in case the update causes a login problem, request for a new one can be sent.
3. I'm having the most trouble w/ photo gallery, so I'm nervous that these pics will not transfer. To that end, make sure you have copies of all the photos posted in your album JIC there is a problem, ok.
4. If you are on digest, you might need to resubscribe. Not sure but again JIC those settings don't transfer over, want you to be prepared to log in and resub.
On a general note - the new version is fantastic! In terms of specifics, things I think you will like:
- - there is now a "User Control Panel" which is like the current "Profile" only w/ a ton of choices, lots of tabs allowing you to customize the look and feel of the Board as per your needs e.g. you can choose whether you want older msgs displayed first, how far back you want the displayed dates, turn off smilies (won't show in your own posts or in any others), hide msgs from anyone who bugs ya (i.e. a "foe"), way to report msgs, etc.
- PMs are far better, can cc and bcc others, and I'm going to allow attachments for Email
- I've got the profile info for poster on the right hand side b/c most people glance first at left of screen.
- bottom of each new topic will have a 'Quick reply" box so no click required, just type and hit submit (there is an option for "full editor" if you want a bigger box, fonts, URL etc)
- we have installed a photo resizer so you can post any size pic you want in a msg, and the software will resize it to 120 X 120 i.e. a thumbnail. Anyone who wants to look at the big pic can click on it and see a large version.
- Digest will have the option to include PMs in it, so that way if someone sends you a PM, don't even have to log in to forum to read, can read in digest itself. If you wish to respond, a link will bring you back to PM screen so you can reply from there. Rest will stay the same w/ digest. You will have to turn off external images though if you don't wish to see photos or smilies b/c the image resizer will only apply to forum, not emails.
- Individual email will not contain any attachments, I have them stripped just like I do now. Only 1 thing will change for you - you will now see the sender's name and subject as well. As before, there will be a direct link to respond but it's even better b/c you will have a choice to "quote" or "reply"
Lots lots lots more as you'll see in a week:)
Anyway, as we get closer I can give anyone interested access to the test site (on a diff server; hey I said I was paranoid about screwing up! LOL) in case you want a preview. Right now we've been working on the colors and I'm hoping we'll be ready for testers after tomorrow.
Don't worry, you'll love the new Board. If you ever have any questions, I'm happy to walk you through anything.
ETA - once we get to the new Board, I'll create a new forum just for board navigation so there's a specific place to post queries, comments, etc.