VWVortex

The Volkswagen Enthusiast Website

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BY:

6 May 2010

To our readers -

Our old discussion forum software became part of a lengthy legal battle and due to legal reasons, we had to cease using it. We would have normally allowed ourselves a lot more time to do this conversion in a way that would have given everyone more advanced notice and permitted proper testing and a slower pace to ensure a smoother transition. However the timing of when we had to legally stop using the software and when we could actually start to implement new software didn’t come together as planned and we had to shut down and move to a new solution very quickly.

After looking at a number of different discussion forum software packages, we have chosen to move to vBulletin. The newest version of vBulletin (4.0) has some very impressive features and the team behind it has been very supportive during this difficult move. We are genuinely excited about this upgrade and all the new features everyone will be able to tap into. At the end of the day though, we are moving into a new house and things are going to feel a little different. Rest assured that all the furniture is moving with us and everything will eventually be moved over. There may be a few features that don’t directly carry over to the new software and we’ll try and find workarounds. Likewise there may be some things that we just can’t directly carry over. Updates on that progress can be found below.

If at any time you have concerns or comments you can send them to me directly at jamie@vwvortex.com and I will do my best to get back to everyone. We are going to be slammed working on this difficult transition, but we also want to make sure all our readers’ concerns are taken care of.

Thanks for listening and thanks for all the years of support.

- Jamie, George, Chuck, Anthony, Bryan, Stu and Dan

LATEST UPDATES

We will post the latest updates on where we are at with this migration process here to provide a means to let our readers know where we are at with this process. screen1

May 5th – 2am

We are currently moving data over to the new forum software and tweaking our current hardware. We have all-new hardware that should be arriving later today and we’ll start to get that loaded, configured and tested. Meanwhile we are continuing to try and make performance tweaks and changes to the interface. We will likely take this live at some point overnight and we are expecting to have some performance issues in the morning when the forums are under heavy load. Hang in there, we’re working to fix all of these things.

May 5th – 3pm

We have a running version of the forums up that we are currently testing, configuring and using to work through the bugs. Hardware has arrived and is being configured, tested and setup so that we can start to migrate the software over. So far we’ve made a lot of progress modifying the look and feel and will continue to keep working on it and see how it progresses. Individual site schemes for VWvortex and Fourtitude are done. Swedespeed is in progress and the rest of the sites will follow. There are some elements from Zeroforum that won’t migrate across to Vbulletin but we’re working to see if we can salvage them.

May 6th – 3pm

We needed to order a couple more hardware upgrades but these have arrived today. The forums are running on a new DB server and we are going to start opening it up for posting from time to time to test load levels. We are getting close. The engine is in the car, fluids are in and we have ignition. We’ve started to do some dyno testing and after everything is running smoothly we’ll then tweak everything for performance and work on getting search functional.

May 7th – 2am

The new forums are up! We have have done so far is get all of our most recent discussion topics (about 1.5 million topics and 18 million posts) moved over. All of the older archived posts will come later. We wanted to get the forums back up as quickly as possible and by concentrating on the most recent topics that the majority of our readers are looking for we were able to get things running more quickly. The full boat of old topics is close to 60 million and that would put a huge load on our servers and the search function. We *will* move everything over eventually, but have to prepare things to handle the load first. The look and feel is still being worked on and you’ll probably see little changes occurring every day.

May 7th – 6pm

Ok. So we made it through our first day and so far things are moving along pretty well. We’re going to continue to work on performance enhancements to speed things up. Two bigger things didn’t make the transition from our old software to the new software – Instant Message History and Notepad functions. We are working to see if we can pull the user/reader data out of our raw database dump and email it back or import it somewhere in the new software. It may take a little while till we sort that out. Instant message history is something that we likely won’t be able to bring in. We’ll continue to try workarounds, but it isn’t likely at this point. There are some ongoing issues with password resets and new registrations not going out through email. We are working on that over the weekend as well. Lastly we are working on mapping the old discussion forum URL’s to the new naming convention. This should be done tonight, but some of the links will still be dead (like in the FAQ’s with links to old threads) until we import the older archived data.

May 8th – 4pm

Things are still moving along. We finished the remapping of the old thread URLs to the new format. We’re also working on tweaking the interface and have replaced some of the icon graphics to make them a little more noticeable (like unread threads versus read threads). We *are* working on fixing the forum index page (main front forums page) as that page is the biggest remaining mess with loads of blue bars. Sometime early this week we should have a new one. We’ll continue to keep tweaking the interface based on the things that are bugging us and your suggestions as well. We have a suggestions forum set up HERE. Email notifications for passwords should be fixed very soon.

More later…

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