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Forum Upgrade

Posted: 06 June 19 8:57 am
by caughtatwork
Our forum software was originally released by phpbb in May 2009. That means it's now 10 years old and very out of date. So much so that some functions are no longer working (e.g. URL and IMG tags).

Your development team have been looking for an upgrade path over the last 2 or 3 years but as we have customised the original software all of the various paths and methods we have tried have failed.

We have taken a strategic decision to proceed forward with no customisation of the forum software in order to upgrade to the latest forum software version. This means the appearance of the forum will change (rather dramatically), there will be no links back to your geocacher details and the 100, 500 and 1,000 rewards icons will no longer display.

It does mean, however, that we get improved user authentication, the ability to use the full software capability of the forum including all tags and the ability in the future to upgrade to newer versions with fewer upgrade issues which means a more maintainable system.

So far the development team have undertaken the following activities to prove the migration path to get the new software up and running.
- Test installation has been upgraded
- Requires major change to timezone handling due to changes in the new forum software
- Bugs in upgrade disallow Global Moderators to post without posts going to approval queue
- Forum data conversion software confuses migration of timezone offets to new timezones (all users to be encouraged to update their timezone)
- 5 stage internal conversion process to unload the GCA specific user data, drop the columns, do the migration, add the columns, add the data, correct timezones.
- New authentication process in the forum software changes GCA login (internal, no external issues) to require substantial amendments to hashing algorithms.
- Upgrade all date handling internally to handle new timezones.
- Allow internal switching between old and new forum software to allow for rollback.
- Forum DB now splits user data across multiple table, so internal GCA changes to cater for additional table joins / updates / inserts
- Implementation guide complete, to be reviewed
- Testing still in progress.
- Backup process to be created

Your development team will require an hour or two to complete the work and we'll let you know when that will be. We also need to co-ordinate the team across two states to ensure that the front end and back end developers are available at the same time for backup and restore in the event of a failure.

Thanks for your patience over the years with the poor performing software, but there is a light coming up over the horizon.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 07 June 19 9:24 am
by caughtatwork
The code to decouple the forum authentication versions has been implemented.

This change, when it comes into play, will change the way the timezones and therefore some dates will be handled, especially in the Fieldnotes uploads where all things are UTC and need to be changed to your local timezone prior to processing.

It will also change the way the user logins are handled.

Both of these are transparent to the community, in that they are background changes, but if you notice something wrong with dates or your ability to log in, please contact us either in the forum or Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/GeocachingAustralia/

Thanks.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 08 June 19 12:59 pm
by caughtatwork
The plan will be to upgrade the forum on Monday 10/6/2019 starting around 12:00pm. This will affect your ability to logon to the site, so please complete anything you need to do well before that time. The expected upgrade time is approximately 1 hour, but may take longer depending on any issues that arise. You can follow the update on our Facebook page.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 10 June 19 9:18 pm
by caughtatwork
The forum upgrade is complete. Please let us know if there are any issues.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 10 June 19 9:31 pm
by CraigRat
Top Job caughtatwork!

Not a simple task either (as I can attest). Works great on mobile too!!

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 10 June 19 10:49 pm
by budgietas
New forum is very impressive. .... well done caught at work

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 10 June 19 11:24 pm
by stainless-steel-rat
Yeah forum looks very smart now it's been to the dry cleaners \:D/ =D>

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 11 June 19 12:01 pm
by Laighside Legends
Looks good!

And the formatting works to!

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 13 June 19 10:50 am
by No_Tomorrow
So far so good navigating the new look.
Thanks for all your hard work keeping this site running.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 18 June 19 8:22 pm
by mtrax
is there a problem logging into GCA?
I can't seem to logon..

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 18 June 19 8:45 pm
by CraigRat
mtrax wrote:
18 June 19 8:22 pm
is there a problem logging into GCA?
I can't seem to logon..
Try logging out and back in here in the forums and try again, it's worked for some.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 18 June 19 8:47 pm
by caughtatwork
Not that I'm aware of.

Try resetting your password as you're in the failed login log file with an implied incorrect password.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 18 June 19 9:11 pm
by mtrax
tried that, I can logon to the forum, but not to the "website"

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 18 June 19 10:34 pm
by caughtatwork
Delete your cookie for the site.

Re: Forum Upgrade

Posted: 19 June 19 8:42 am
by mtrax
appears to be working now, after I tried this morning again.