New Forum Software

#1
XenForo is really outdated by now, it is not free or open source, and, let's be honest - it looks horrible compared to what users are used to. And although it can certainly be powerful, it leaves the impression of an abandoned project to potential new players, and we don't want that.

Those reasons, and more, are why I'd like to suggest to migrate to a new, more modern, and free alternative. One that has become quite popular recently is Discourse and I think it would really be a good fitting alternative.
Another alternative with a less modern approach would be Luna, but it is only developed by one dev, and thus development is quite slow.

Whatever you do, I just strongly recommend not to stick to XenForo.

Have a great day!
 

manu3d

Pixel Forge Artisan
Contributor
Architecture
#2
Dear Namnodorel, if you enter in somebody's house for the first time, you don't know them well and they don't know you, do you start right away suggesting that they change their furniture because you don't like it?

Our focus is Terasology, the forum is just a tool to facilitate our work on it. In this context, even if XenForo was as obsolete as you describe it (which is debatable), it wouldn't matter much: we don't need cutting edge, we just need something that works reasonably well.

Now, if you joined the community and contributed reliably to the project for, say, a couple of years, now, that would make me think twice about your suggestion.
 
#3
Okay, good point.
I actually know Terasology since a few years, just didn't do much with it - but I plan to do so more in the future, which is why I started thinking on how to improve things. Basically my way of thought was this: Terasology is being worked on, but not as fast as it could be and especially not by as much people as there should be - Terasology has a really big potential for many areas (I as a developer always got angry when I worked on something for Minecraft and it didn't work because they messed up their codebase - I know builders who would love to have an easy option to add custom blocks, and as a regular player in Minecraft you either have to use a feature Mojang throws at you or get stuck in an old version - all problems solved by Terasology through its modularity and its concept relying on customization and choice of features). But, why are there comparedly few people working on it? I am certainly not the only one who has those problems.
I figured it could be because Terasology doesn't openly show off its concept and features to people who don't actively search for how stuff works. The main website is fine, pretty screenshots and a relatively simple design can make people curious.
But as I already said - most people are now used to simple, flat designs on websites, and the first thing that comes to my mind when seeing a main font used that is built with serifs, is "Nobody cares about this anymore, the last update was probably a few years ago.". Window closed, interest lost, a user and potentially a developer who could contribute valuable code - gone. And no, I am not exaggerating - things like serifs make a huge difference in terms of UX. Self-presentation/advertising can be really important - and setting up forum software becomes easier and faster as things get developed. And although it might seem useless now, it will save time in the long run, as it makes more people aware of Terasology as a great project, resulting in more people contributing.
And XenForo _does work_ for what you currently need it, but so does the default text editor in Windows for writing complex programs (admittedly a harsh comparison, but you get the point). Discourse is built for easy communicating and sharing ideas intuitively, which is something the current contributors of Terasology could also benefit from. "Working" does not imply "good" (neither does "new", but I don't recommend Discourse because it's new, but because I think it's better).

The only reason why I haven't contributed already, is that I'm currently busy working on an application meant to improve the user experience and attract new users for a website which is already functional - ironically. But I'll be starting to read into the Terasology codebase soon, to get an idea of how exactly it is structured, and where an easy start to get into it might be.
 

manu3d

Pixel Forge Artisan
Contributor
Architecture
#4
I look forward to a couple of years of semi-regular contributions from you before we get back to this topic. When you are ready, let us know what you'd like to work on so that we can direct you to the right person to talk to. Good luck with your UX application!
 

oniatus

Member
Contributor
Architecture
#5
I am not sure about the payment argument, that's before I joined and something @Cervator would know.

A general design overhaul for the main site etc. is a thing, but that's already in progress: http://forum.terasology.org/threads/design-unification-project-web-game-etc.1746/

The forum itself is not the main place for development. Compare http://forum.terasology.org/find-new/posts?recent=1 to https://github.com/MovingBlocks/Terasology/pulse.
Most of the development happens directly in github, with short communication on slack or IRC. Only some larger topics that exceed the scope of a single issue are discussed on the forums.
I would agree that discord looks more modern and clean but as long as there is not plenty of user activity, some serious security issues with XenForo or payment concerns it's unlikely worth the effort to migrate the entire board (yet).
 

Skaldarnar

Badges badges badges badges mushroom mushroom!
Contributor
Art
World
SpecOps
#6
I can only agree with @manu3d and @oniatus! You are free to suggest anything you want, and you could also start working on it.

Things to keep in mind are related to how we use the forum currently, and why it is important to us. We have some really interesting threads with discussions, ideas, lore, etc. floating around here. Not to mention the countless attachments, like screenshots, diagrams, even save games. When migrating from one software to the other, we would need to make sure to keep all of this, as well as registered users. If you are serious about this, you could investigate all these aspects further and come up with a comprehensive summary of different options, pros and cons, effort for implementing the solution, ...

For now, we can live with losing potential developers who are offended by serif-fonts, green color, or old software - we even use IRC chat, how ancient is that?
 
#7
The linked design actually looks good, although it is a little more complicated to create a whole new site design opposed to migrating a forum software... Anyways, thanks to everyone for the feedback!

Regarding working on it, I'll get back to it as soon as I have time(TM)
 

smsunarto

Federal Gooey of Investigation
Art
Logistics
#8
Hey @Namnodorel - Thanks for the feedback.

If the problem is more toward the design, this can easily be fixed by using tons of styles that is created by the xenforo community. Unless the problem is functionality, I don't think there's an urgency to go through the hassle of switching forum software.