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Xenforo conversion thread

Yeah but it went to an error page on the /forums first thing this morning. I did look my lettering but maybe I added an "s" at the end or not. Thought something was up.

I tried /forums again now and it now goes to /sphere.

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If you went to /forum you'd see an error ( path doesn't exist ), but not /forums or /sphere
Good news, the image processor has entered the testing phase.

Interesting finding looking at Google Analytics.
We have about 5 times the people viewing the site than last year. This is because Xenforo pumped up our SEO way more than we thought.

But this hasn't converted into more people signing up, therefore being actively logged in, and participating in discussion. So what's the use of fantastic SEO then? :)

So i started a new thread to ask for user suggestions on what functionality we have going into 2024:
Your wish list for ES in 2024
Interim results on the new image compressor.

ImageTender v1.0 crunched a ~100gb dataset down to ~55gb.
imageTender with cjpegli got the 55gb dataset down to ~33gb... and also recompresses images after they're uploaded in under a second ( the compressor is very fast compared to mozjpeg; as a result, recompression jobs don't get backed up while blasting the CPU ).

Pretty incredible that we got such a high savings on jpegs, i think people far out of the radius will really appreciate this. Awaiting finalization of the code to do a visual comparison of a few hundred images, to make sure there isn't any significantly quality loss, then we can call this final piece of the technical round done. Can't wait :)
While you're looking at the image system:

I dunno where the bottleneck is, but if you copy an image from another ES thread and paste it into a new post, it can take up to many times longer to upload (if it even ever finishes; the "oops" message comes up a fair bit) than doing it from a local file or even another website that's not ES. It's even worse if you leave the tab open for the source thread while it's uploading.

Sometimes it's fine, just a little slower than other sources...but it doesn't seem to ever be as fast.

Doesnt' seem to matter what hte source resolution was (of course the higher the res the slower it is overall, but proportionally they seem about the same).
Yeah, i know we still have some stutter. That deserves to be on the list.

Are you on wifi, btw?
Nope, gigabit ethernet cabling direct to the cablemodem/router combo unit at the other end of the house. Video playback from the internet testing at the time of problems is glitch free, even up to HD resolution (don't have a 4k anything).

Though there certainly are times of day/night when there are glitches even at <DVD quality video or even just browsing text-based sites, these dont' correlate with the upload issue times.

FWIW, the older issue where the upload would appear to be running multiple times in parallel (even with only one paste operation, having more than one progress bar displayed), and progress actually running backwards and then forwards and whatnot, doesn't seem to happen anymore. Don't recall the last time I saw that one.
I'm glad to hear upgrading the software removed some bugs for you.

I believe running ES 1.0 on a different version of PHP within the same webserver is responsible for the remaining occasional stutter. The problem in this case is PHPBB itself..

We'll figure it out in time!
Community health wise..

Xenforo's SEO work from our last upgrade had a pretty big impact on making ES more visible. I notice ES in the 2nd-4th place of google search more often than not.

I notice this is creating kind of a newbie flood. That's good! (y)


The number of people with accounts who use the site daily is rising, long term. People who aren't logged in are >15X that figure.
So a conservative estimate is that 9000 people per day use ES.. if this growth continues then we will hit the 10k mark which would be an alltime record for the site.


In using ES a lot lately, i notice how deeply sucky search is despite the improvements we've made. Using a Google search offsite is a dramatically better & more efficient experience.

To rewrite Xenforo's search engine to NOT suck is probably a months long nightmare but we'd like to at least size up the monster down the road. We will add a second google search bar in the interim just like we had on PHPBB for now.


The thread notification alerts situation has improved significantly but we still have the inconsistency as a result of how Xenforo works. This still needs revisiting.

Testing of the image processor is still underway, but it seems like the finish line is at least visible. I estimate it's 1-2 weeks to finish from now on.

In checking whether our users want an ebay like system to replace the current online marketplace, or a knowledgebase first.. it seems the knowledgebase project wins.

We would be thrilled to start working on the knowledgebase system but we are going to eat the 'yogurt on top', IE the above issues, before the fruit on the bottom, the KB.. :)
I have managed search systems for literally tens of thousands of systems, all the way down to managing it for a single server.

Every single time it has been the biggest pain in the tookus, I have watched every major player throw their hand in on a search solution (from Dec and Alta-vista, Sun, Then Fujitsu, HP/Compaq, IBM has one that works at least, but the rest of them are failed project after failed project. Don't ever feel that you are performing poorly if search is giving you fits, that just means you are in the middle of the SA firestorm of fun and adventure...
I'm just saying PHPBB's search was better and it was a lot simpler and performed fast. it also didn't need an additional 8gb of ram.
More proof of intergenerational loss in programming skill.

Update from our end, we are still working on finishing image tender testing. Each round of testing the system takes 28 hours of compute time ( 100gb dataset ) and we need 100% accuracy so the testing of the changes is painful!

We decided to take a break on this and work on the knowledgebase system and expect that to be finished around next week. I'll demo it to yall and collect opinions while imagetender is being worked on a parallel thread.
Speaking of..
I just added a plugin that will let you optionally search with google.


If you hit the left part of the button, it will search with Xenforo as usual.
I have made sure we are indexed very well on Google, so the google search experience should be as good as it was on PHPBB.

Hopefully this is helpful and buys us plenty of time to rework the internal search engine to suck less!
Please PM me with the username so i can look into that.
What's going on with our development team?

We're getting the new knowledgebase system demo working for the ES public, and are very close to completion. Give it a week.

After that, back to finishing the image optimizer, then we will start tackling the 2024 wish list.

That's it for now!
BTW i am noticing that the google search versus the regular search makes for a world of difference..
The Xenforo search engine misses the target almost the entire time.. relevance mode vs time mode doesn't make a difference.

Google gives me what i need at the top of the first page of results most of the time.

I think we should swap the buttons around, the big one is google and the smaller is a XF search!

Talked to the big kahuna today.

He says end of week is possible for the public knowledgebase system demo. Just one last small test to do.
Thursday or friday, we launch the demo.

Bad news:

We found some visual bugs and usabiliy deficiencies in the knowledgebase preview at the last moment, and they may be specific to this version we prepared for ES. Monday is a holiday for the team, so we are going to get back to getting the knowledgebase working starting tuesday and have it ready by the end of next week

Good news:

We discovered that, due to the WYSIWYG editor, we can copy and paste content from the old wiki into it with little modification afterwards. Forum posts can also be copied and pasted. The demo will include some content from the wiki as a result.

More on this next week!