Forum Software Upgrade

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Ian McIntosh
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Forum Software Upgrade

Post by Ian McIntosh » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:20 pm

The current forum software version we are using will go "End of Life" at the end of 2017, so I ought to migrate to the current production version before then. I've been watching to see if the template pack that our current forum visual appearance is based on was going to be updated to match the new version but it looks like the developer has abandoned it, so it seems that there will need to be some adjustments in the appearance again as I find new templates.
Ian McIntosh
Testability Lead
Leonardo UK

User avatar
Ian McIntosh
SJTAG Chair
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:49 pm
Location: Leonardo, UK
Contact:

Re: Forum Software Upgrade

Post by Ian McIntosh » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:21 am

I will likely update the forum software over the Christmas break, when I (hopefully) will have more time. At that point, I will likely revert to using one of the "stock" template sets for the forum styling (perhaps with minor modification) instead of using third party styles.

One of the reasons for using third party styles had been that the standard styles were not "responsive" (didn't adapt well to different display sizes/orientations) so were unusable on most mobile devices. The problem with those third party add-ins is that the developers of them tend to disappear or don't support their products into new versions of the forum software, making it difficult to keep everything up to date. However, with the latest version of the software the templates have become more responsive, meaning that I probably only need to add in our logo and make a few colour changes.
Ian McIntosh
Testability Lead
Leonardo UK

User avatar
Ian McIntosh
SJTAG Chair
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:49 pm
Location: Leonardo, UK
Contact:

Re: Forum Software Upgrade

Post by Ian McIntosh » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:05 pm

Further to the above, I've been doing a dry run on a copy of the existing software and database. While the upgrade itself is relatively uncomplicated, what I've found is that changes in the user authentication in the new forum software breaks the shared authentication we have with the wiki (a semi-custom extension to the wiki that allows user to login using the same credentials as they use with the forums). This is something that has been becoming increasingly difficult to maintain as both wiki and forum authentication methods evolved down different paths. However it was never a "single sign on" - you still need to log in to the forums and wiki separately and your profiles in each are not shared between the two, so I think I'll have to drop it.

So, I'll probably unhook the link between the wiki and forums first and re-instate the wiki's own account registration (with captcha, as on the forums), and then apply the forum update. I'll probably do this over the coming weekend and will send out a group email just before I start so that everyone knows the site will be unavailable and another once I'm happy everything is working again.

Update, Dec 22: I have now unlinked the wiki authentication from the forum user database. The impacts are:
  • People who hadn't previously used the wiki but had forum accounts will need to create wiki accounts before being able to edit on the wiki. This isn't really "new" as you still had to create your wiki user profile on first login. What is new is that you'll need to supply a keyword during registration - this is just the same as for new forum registrations.
  • You will need to manage login credentials for both the forums and the wiki. This is probably the biggest issue for existing users as the forum login you've been using may not match what was stored in the wiki's authentication database. Contact me if you have any issues, however, I have checked that all the email addresses for existing users are up-to-date, so self-service password resets should work.
Last edited by Ian McIntosh on Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ian McIntosh
Testability Lead
Leonardo UK

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