As of this moment, we are happy enough with what we've seen of the new forum software to do a sort of soft launch. To put it blunty re: our last forum software- we screwed up. We thought Vanilla would be a good step forward but it ended up just being a colossal pain in the ass and not at all what we thought it would be. Once we realized that forum was toast (and poured out a beer for over a decade's worth of posts), we decided either we would go big with a new forum or just not have one anymore.Hello everyone,
Recently, you likely noticed that GamingTrend.com and her forum took a substantial amount of downtime. Without going into a great amount of detail, our dedicated server took a supposed double hardware failure on our RAID1 drive array, and our hosting provider was little to no help in recovering our data. We enlisted some outside help and were able to recover the years of work we’ve put into our front page. While we may have rolled a 20 for that recovery, we unfortunately rolled a 1 on the forums. It’s a tremendous blow, but unfortunately the database for the forum data is unrecoverable despite over a week’s worth of earnest attempts.
On the topic of the forum, we moved from PhpBB to a software called Vanilla. Vanilla was supposed to bring the tight integration that we wanted to use to to unify two heretofore disconnected aspects of the site. Unfortunately, Vanilla couldn’t deliver on those promises, and the atrophy of the forums has continued.
While we may have lost the data in the old forums, we have another shot at properly integrating the front page and forums, and we believe we’ve found the right solution. While it does mean starting over, our new hosted software exists entirely in the cloud. It has every feature we wanted from the Vanilla forum software, but it layers in with our front page. Comments on the front page, as well as content on the front page are now fully integrated. What looks, on the surface, like a reset, is also an opportunity to rebuild it exactly the way we wanted it to work. This is our chance to rebuild our community. The new forum software has a lot of things folks have requested (such as a dark theme option), and a lot of great features that we are sure you’ll love (groups, better tagging, ability to make a post a wiki that is editable by everyone, and more).
But what about the front page? Well, there is no longer a “front page” and “forum” divide. Beyond those semantics, by the time you read this, the “front page” will also be moved into the cloud. No longer will it reside on a single server. It has been moved into a grid of servers. Having worked for the company it is hosted on, I can tell you that the architecture is now three sets of load balancers with sixteen servers underneath that are then replicated WORLDWIDE, serving our content and forums to wherever YOU are. It is also backed up, and those backups are also distributed across multiple data centers We will never have downtime like what we’ve experienced in this last outage, and the site will be faster and more responsive than it ever has been. Buckle up folks...welcome to the next step for GamingTrend.
Editor in Chief
We decided to go big
Discourse is everything we wanted in a forum and then some. We hope you like it. You all are the first to look at it besides the staff, we'll be going wider with it once we get the rest of the site migrated to our new hosted (which better be before Tuesday because I'm driving to CO on Wednesday )
If you decide to make an account there (yes, all the accounts from the old forum are toast too), hit me up directly and I will grant you membership to a special group we made for you:
Membership in this group adds that flair to your profile icon, as well as grants you a trust level of 3 on the forums, pretty much opening up most of the functionality to you right off the bat (regular folks have to post a bunch and get badges before they get that).
We'd love to hear any suggestions you may have to better this forum- we are really going to put some effort into doing it the right way this time.
We hope you like it.