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Upgrade Upgrading to Xenforo 2

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thomas

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Dear valued Members,

I have to apologise for my relative silence lately, for which there are two reasons and a half:
  • our former admin @Maciamo who visited Japan with his family and who dragged me up the mountains of Hakkone and made me drink shedloads of excellent Japanese rice wine 🙂:
  • busy IRL (in real life, which counts for just half an excuse)
  • but mainly, the preparations to upgrade JREF to Xenforo 2: a major undertaking that has worked out very well on our test server.

Xenforo 2, the second major release of the software we are currently using on Japan Reference has been developed for almost four years. The code has been entirely rewritten, providing a stable platform for years to come. The 2.0.x release aimed at providing feature parity with Xenforo 1.5.x (currently in use here at JREF), but offers a few new gadgets of minor importance, too:
  • Emoji support
  • Retina avatar and smilie support
  • Enhanced message editing (rather than opening an overlay, editing messages is now done entirely in-place, with the content of messages replaced by a full-fledged message editor that allows the complete range of editing and posting actions, including attachment management)
  • Alerts in browser favicons
    alert-favicon.png
  • Member tooltips
  • What's New section
  • New media embedding features
There is a lot of new stuff under the hood which is probably more relevant to developers and webmasters. We upgraded our sister site Tokyo Cycling Club last June and have received very positive feedback so far. The reason we put off the upgrade here on JREF was that we had to wait for some add-ons to be converted to Xenforo 2.

Last month, the Xenforo team started to introduce the new features of Xenforo 2.1.x, the latest point release which will probably be available in beta later this year. Apart from astounding developer goodies (REST API, etc.), the following items are most interesting to our members:
  • Push notifications similar to those offered by Tapatalk (for those who remember). They will be available in all browsers except for Safari on macOS and any iOS-based browser. Thanks for not complying, Apple!
  • Font Awesome 5 support
  • Enhanced editor integration and BB code option syntax (lots of new BB codes including native table support)
  • a native Reactions system (similar to the enhanced "Likes" we use here at the forum)
  • Unfurling URLs (similar to posting URLs to Facebook or Twitter)
  • Emoji enhancements
  • video uploads (not just posting video links but uploading them)
  • a native Bookmark system which will replace the one currently in use
  • Better support for iPhone X/Xr/Xs displays
  • Password strength checking
and much more that's again rather developer-oriented.

The upgrade here at JREF will consist of two phases: first, the upgrade to Xenforo 2.0.x, which will probably take place in November, and second, the equally comprehensive upgrade to Xenforo 2.1.x sometime in January.

The November update will coincide with the implementation of a new style, an adaption of the style currently in use. This week, I have been tinkering with the new layout (screenshot below), however, it is still a work in progress.

jref-xenforo2.png


So much for the impending upgrade schedule. We shall update this thread once we have more details to report.

Thanks for reading! 🙂:
 

joadbres

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I'm looking forward to trying out the upgraded site!

Thanks for all your hard work, @thomas !
 
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thomas

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Dear valued Members,

we would like to inform you that we have scheduled the upgrade to Xenforo 2.0.x for tomorrow morning, 14th December 2018.

During the upgrade, you will not be able to access the website. We plan to start around 08:00 JST (00:00 am CET, 23:00 GMT (13th Dec), 18:00 EST, 15:00 PST). On our test server, the database conversion took a bit over 90 minutes. We estimate that updating the style as well as the major add-ons will probably take another two hours. If all goes well we shall, therefore, reopen the forum between 12:00 and 13:00 JST.

Thank you for your understanding and your patience. :)
 

Uncle Frank

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pc.jpg

I will pray for a speedy , bug free (all goes well) update and thanks for making us the best.
 
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thomas

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We have just reopened the forum. It has taken a bit longer than expected, but the database conversion was successful. There are still a lot of tasks to be completed and features to be enabled and fine-tuned.

So what's changed?

  • We have dropped the "www" bit in the URL, following modern convention.
  • The number of smilies has been reduced to the stock smilies Xenforo ships with. We still have to clean up old posts and remove redundant code.
  • Colours and other design features will / can still be altered.
  • I haven't even started thinking about the post ratings, now called "Reactions" in Xenforo 2. They will definitely be changed, too.

Please report any major errors or suggestions right here,

Thanks again for your patience! :giggle:
 
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thomas

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3D952724-AE9D-4E8E-A7ED-AC3D46A33F08.jpeg


Signing off for today.
 

Julie.chan

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I'm not able to do much of anything without JavaScript anymore since the upgrade. Even posting; I was somehow able to do it once, but then on this thread, I had to enable JavaScript to post.

Is there anything that can be done about that? I have JavaScript disabled on purpose (both for security and to avoid execution of proprietary software on my computer) and don't like the idea of having to enable it to post in a forum.
 

Julie.chan

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Also worth noting, while posting without JS is spotty (it actually worked for this one), editing posts without JavaScript doesn't work at all.
 

joadbres

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おつかれさまです!

You may already be aware of this, but I noticed that threads with Japanese titles are not currently able to be accessed.

At least for me.
 

thomas

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Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it! I'll start a new thread listing all technical issues pertaining to the upgrade.

@Julie.chan : the old version of the software also used a lot of JavaScript. Your issues, however, might be related to the editor add-on we've installed (I guess it's the character counter). I'll see if the default editor works without JavaScript.

@joadbres : I cannot reproduce this on W7, W10 or iOS12. What devices / OS were you using when this happened? Did you receive an error message or did your request just time out?

Thanks again! :geek:
 

raikado

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おつかれさまです!

You may already be aware of this, but I noticed that threads with Japanese titles are not currently able to be accessed.

At least for me.

I also have this problem. Posts in the "Learning Japanese" forum with Japanese characters in their title give "Oops! We ran into some problems. The requested page could not be found". For example, this link https://jref.com/threads/彼の才能には舌を巻いた.64195/

I am on Windows 7, running Chrome. If it helps, Firefox also gives the same result.
 

thomas

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I also have this problem. Posts in the "Learning Japanese" forum with Japanese characters in their title give "Oops! We ran into some problems. The requested page could not be found". For example, this link https://jref.com/threads/彼の才能には舌を巻いた.64195/

I am on Windows 7, running Chrome. If it helps, Firefox also gives the same result.
Thank you, confirmed! That seems to be a redirection issue that only seems to affect thread titles with special characters.
 

thomas

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That issue seems to be solved for now. I had to disable the vB redirection scripts.
 

thomas

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And kudos to the Xenforo team! (y)

They have just resolved the issue: vB redirection is again in place and all Japanese threads are accessible. Outstanding support!
 

thomas

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@Julie.chan @Buntaro

We have now disabled the Editor add-on and use the default editor implemented by Xenforo. Do you still experience problems posting to threads?


I would like to ask everyone submitting technical feedback for a favour. When you report issues pease include the following details:
  • the device you were using
  • the OS you were on
  • and describe precisely what you attempted to do
Thank you!
 

Julie.chan

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Still having the same problem. I've attached a screenshot.

Trisquel 8 (this is a Linux system derived from Ubuntu 16.04), with its version of Firefox, Abrowser (essentially identical but without the "Firefox" branding).

I should note something else: I'm seeing a pattern to this. Every time I've had a problem making a new post so far, it would have been an even-numbered post. So I'm having the problem with this one, for example, as I did with post #8 above, but not post #9. EDIT: But I had the same problem after this post, so it might have been a coincidence after all.

I'll check whether I can edit posts or not... EDIT: Sadly not. Screenshot attached.

the old version of the software also used a lot of JavaScript.
Yes, that fact doesn't bother me as long as the JS is optional.
 

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thomas

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Thanks @Julie.chan , I appreciate it!

Would you be so kind and try posting in the default style?* I want to know whether that behaviour is style-related.


* Just click the “JREF Nova” link at the bottom of the footer and select “Default Style”.
 

Julie.chan

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It doesn't seem to be the style. Switching the style over changes nothing (except the general look of the page, of course; the point being, the reply box still fails to show up most of the time).

EDIT: Hm, but editing works in the default style. So that's something.
 

joadbres

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Sorry for the late reply. Yes, the issue I mentioned is resolved now.

Thanks!
 

Buntaro

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It seems to be working now. Thanks for the help.

-文太郎より
 

Julie.chan

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You know, I should have thought of this. My usual way for disabling JavaScript is with NoScript.

So I tried disabling NoScript, then disabling JavaScript through the browser settings. It works! I'm able to see the reply box consistently with that configuration.

Let's see about editing on the JREF style...

EDIT: It works! Without NoScript, but with JavaScript disabled, I'm encountering no problem here. So it seems the no-JS compatibility isn't compatible with NoScript, or at least my settings (but I'd wager to bet that it's NoScript itself, since I did try allowing everything except for scripts in the settings, and I also tried to disable XSS protection; none of these changes made it work).
 
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Julie.chan

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Yeah, me too. Is there any chance you could look into the problem with NoScript, though? I just checked another script-blocking add-on, and the problem happens with that one, too. It seems something that extensions rely on to "turn off" scripts doesn't quite synchronize with however the forum software makes use without JS possible.
 
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