Site Upgrade

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Frank
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Site Upgrade

Post by Frank » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:18 pm

I just upgraded to the latest version of phpBB so you may notice some differences with this forum. It looks like I may have some follow-up work to do as I see some minor issues (eg, smilies on message edit page don't look right) but it seems to be working for the most part.

On an topic about compression ratio on November 10, storm suggested that we have a FAQ sticky for questions that regularly come up. I think a while back someone suggested that a wiki would be a good idea and I think this might be a good place start one although I can't seem to find that suggestion anywhere now. Maybe I had a senior moment. Anyway, I've installed Media Wiki (same software as Wikipedia) to get a feel for how it works.

Is there any interest in helping me build an alternative fuels wiki?

I also recall someone suggested that I add an electric vehicle forum a while back. With the much greater interest in this area now, would you like to see me add a new electric forum?


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BigBlockMopar
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by BigBlockMopar » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:53 am

This site is known 'worldwide' for its good info about Propane. I think that needs to be highlighted even better and hopefully draw more traffic.
The experience I have with running forums, is that adding new subforums doesn't automaticly bring traffic to that forum.
IMO a subforum should be created when the demand is there; like topics about electric cars are pushing down the propane topics in a quick rate.
I think we have a long ways to go before that happens... :mrgreen:

Personally I would consolidate a great number of subforums first before adding even more.

There are subforums here that haven't seen a new post in over 4-5-6 years...
Remove those subforums and move their current topics a General forum.
Pretty much the lower half of the forum-index could be removed I would think, down from the General-subgroup and Business-subgroup.

Maybe some graphical 'enhancements' to the forum would be beneficial?
If you like, I could look into creating a new fresh look/template for the forum, which could bring a more updated (less 90s 8) ) feel to the site.
https://www.bigblockmopar.com
'73 Dodge Dart - 318ci - IMPCO E vaporizer / 425 mixer - A518-OD trans - 3.55 gears - 225/50/17" tires.

Frank
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by Frank » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:05 am

You're right that site traffic won't automatically increase just because I wish it would and there are already several active electric vehicle forums. I was thinking more about our own members when I suggested an electric forum.

As for the other unused forums, my original thought was to give space for them because I believed no other sites offered them. Since I started this forum, I've noticed that the interest in propane and natural gas conversions has gradually decreased. I think much of this had to do with the increasing fuel economy of modern vehicles, which tends to extend the payback on these conversions. In addition, I believe the added technical expertise to do an injection conversion tends to dissuade those who may have taken on a fumigation conversion. I think the lack of discussion at this time in those little-used forums so far may be because people involved with those fuels are reluctant to share proprietary information.

I'm not sure what you mean by graphical enhancements. I was hoping that the upgraded version would now support embedded video, which it did not. However, I discovered that BBCode can be customized so I added a YouTube button.

I don't have very much experience with styles/templates so creating a new one myself would be a challenge. I see there are some free phpBB styles I could use. Do you have any suggestions for ones I could try?

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storm
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by storm » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:05 am

A wiki is a good idea. They function like a book because everything is bookmarked. The only problem with a wiki is they need to be planned well because adding things after they are initially setup can upset the "book style" and put things out of a logical order.

A FAQ on the other hand can easily have bits and pieces added without upsetting things like bookmarks.

phpBB styles are available from many places. I use 1 on my Cobber forum from a site called Artodia it's a dark theme with blue highlights. I personally don't have a problem with the current style apart from the fact it doesn't fill the screen properly but that is only a change to 1 line of code from what I can tell.
Fuel flow requirements calculations viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1638

Frank
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by Frank » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:36 pm

I think the request was to add FAQs a sticky topic, which would link to relevant posts in the forum. I thought that this could be done more cleanly and succinctly with a Wiki topic instead, even I was the only author.

As you pointed out, Wikis need to be planned well but they can easily start off simple and evolve in comprehensiveness over time from what I've learned so far. I was hoping that some of the membership here could help me with organizing and writing it. I uploaded a wiki onto my server already but have been having some trouble with the installation.

As for styles, I thought I would start off with the official v3.2 list from phpBB. After checking seeing is what available, my first attempt was with the Elegance Style. After installing it, it worked fine in preview but generated a blank white screen in use. phpBB sets a style for each user and it doesn't appear that there is a way for a user to select a style to use. I can change an individual user's board style as an administrator or override user styles on a board level. A new style would be presented to guests and new users.

I tried forcing the use of the new style but that appears to have only changed the default style for me, which was the blank version of the new style. Luckily, I was able to go into the database and change my style back to prosilver so I could access the forum again. Changing the board's style is not as simple as I thought I would be.

I mostly access this forum with a desktop computer and occasionally with my phone. On either of my devices, I have not noticed any display issues. What do you mean by "doesn't fill the screen properly"?

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storm
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by storm » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:14 pm

Frank wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:36 pm
I mostly access this forum with a desktop computer and occasionally with my phone. On either of my devices, I have not noticed any display issues. What do you mean by "doesn't fill the screen properly"?
On my laptop there is 1" either side that is wasted space. On my desktop it is about 4" either side. The larger the screen the more space is wasted.
Fuel flow requirements calculations viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1638

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storm
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by storm » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:47 pm

Here is a screenshot of what I mean by wasted space
Attachments
LPG forum.png
Wasted space on either side of the forum borders
Fuel flow requirements calculations viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1638

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BigBlockMopar
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by BigBlockMopar » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:29 pm

Missed the replies in this topic I notice.
I have got a good number of years of experience with phpBB forums.

Creating a new template is not something simple to do. But changing/adding templates should be no problem, as long as the template is made for the version of the phpBB software in use.
Also you need to clear the forum's cache files often when making alterations in templates or template-files.
You can also Preview new templates upfront to see if they work at all.

But, my mention of enhanching the site graphically was more of just changing the header of the forum.

The setting for changing the forum width to full width is handled in common.css in the .wrap-tag

Been able to show and play (Youtube) videos directly in posts can be done by adding a BBCode-tag.
All my forums have this option as I think it's not of this time anymore to not have the function.
I also have image-uploading enabled for the same reason. But I made sure members can upload large images straight from their phones/camera and let the forumsoftware handle downsizing/resizing to 800-1024 pixels wide for easy viewing in posts and quicker topic-loading (and take up way less serverspace).
Most forums don't bother and the (often inexperienced) user needs to jump through hoops to get its image resized to the forum's default limit. This usually results in either very tiny photos or photos that look like they were shot with a patato.

IMO, a (phpbb) forum should as easy and troublefree to use as one those (a)social networks, which already have made enough visitors/members to have left the forums all together.
https://www.bigblockmopar.com
'73 Dodge Dart - 318ci - IMPCO E vaporizer / 425 mixer - A518-OD trans - 3.55 gears - 225/50/17" tires.

Frank
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by Frank » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:56 pm

I didn't want to take on the design of new style so I'm going to stick with trying ready-made ones for now.

As for the wasted space, I thought that's what you meant Storm. I think the Prosilver style is designed to have a maximum width of 1152 pixels and I suspect this was done to make the text more readable. When I was trying this a CMS, I found that the fluid style (adjusts the elements to a percentage of the screen width) made the page difficult to read on wide screens. I didn't notice it because my LCD screen burned out and I switched back to an old CRT screen until I can get around to replacing it.

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BigBlockMopar
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by BigBlockMopar » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:14 pm

I've got a monitor with a screenresolution of 1920 x 1080 which makes most sites/forums end up with a lot of white space.
I tend to zoom in on the forum a couple of steps to increase text and partly get rid of the white space.
https://www.bigblockmopar.com
'73 Dodge Dart - 318ci - IMPCO E vaporizer / 425 mixer - A518-OD trans - 3.55 gears - 225/50/17" tires.

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storm
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by storm » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:47 pm

My screen rez on my desktop is 1920 x 1080 and this is the only forum I frequent that has so much unused space. I knew there was a setting somewhere just didn't know what one it was until BogBlockMopar pointed it out.
Fuel flow requirements calculations viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1638

Frank
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by Frank » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:36 pm

I think I found where to widen the forum and I increased it from 1152 px to 1280 px. How does it look now?

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storm
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by storm » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:57 pm

It looks like this
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LPG forum-2.png
Fuel flow requirements calculations viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1638

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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by BigBlockMopar » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:33 pm

Storm, been a long time since I used a Thermoquad but even then I learned to adjust the secondary airvalve properly.

I think you can set the forum's max width very wide, like 1800px orso, as it will scale down in width anyway to the user's screenwidth of the browser because the theme is responsive.
https://www.bigblockmopar.com
'73 Dodge Dart - 318ci - IMPCO E vaporizer / 425 mixer - A518-OD trans - 3.55 gears - 225/50/17" tires.

Frank
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Re: Site Upgrade

Post by Frank » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:42 pm

I was hoping the change in width from 1152 to 1280 would be more noticeable. I just changed it to 1920 px wide so it should take up your screen's full width.

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