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Switching to IPB



As you've no doubt noticed, Chinese-forums.com is looking somewhat different today. We've switched the software used to run the site from Vbulletin (VB) to Invision Power Board (IPB). By the time you read this there'll be a forum post somewhere on any issues you're having using the new system, but I'm going to use this very first Chinese-forums.com blog post to explain the background to the change.

First a little history. When we started off in 2003 (the site is seven years old later this month) we were running on phpBB, a free and very good forum package. After a couple of years (I think it was in 2005) we switched to VB - phpBB was ok, but it was limited in terms of what you could do, particularly on the admin side. VB served us very well and we used it happily up until about a few hours ago.

However the VB project has hit turbulence recently, with a change of ownership, a number of staff changes, delays and negative feedback on the new VB 4.0 product. I'd been waiting for at least a year for a usable VB 4.0, but so far the advice from people who should know what they're talking about has been to stay away.

Hence moving to IPB, the other leading forum product. What this gives us is a similarly robust forums package, combined with a number of other functions. A non-exhaustive list could include this blog package, a better integrated front page view, a content management system I haven't even started to get to grips with yet, and in the near future better links with sites such as Facebook and Twitter (I'm no huge fan of either, but tide of history and all that) and native mobile device support.

I'm hoping the change isn't too disruptive. While I'm not yet fully familiar with the new set-up myself I've very pleased with what have seen - with a bit of luck it'll see us through our second seven years.


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Wow, real live comments. Thanks everyone.

I actually just made changes to the way search works - if you're still having problems let me know and I'll see what I can do.

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My thoughts on the new IPB

1. Emoticons are too few and limited.

2. New IPB needs Chinese interface.

3. New interface is all white and washed out. I can't see anything and can't find anything. Where are my subscribed threads?

4. How do I link up my blog to the blog section?

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Probably depends what package you get - there are various extras and add-on. I can't recall how much I paid, but it hasn't been too smart a move financially - I had the current VB3.8 license, paid for the upgrade to VB4 when they were doing the 'it'll be ready soon' offer, have now concluded that it's not worth waiting for that to actually be usable, so bit the bullet and paid for IPB. I can technically sell the VB license, but not sure if anyone's likely to buy. Might use it for something else if I come up with any ideas.

Lelan, my little ray of sunshine, have a little read of this for a charming combination of answers, fobbing off, and prevaricating.

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Lelan, my little ray of sunshine, have a little read of this for a charming combination of answers, fobbing off, and prevaricating.

Little ray of sunshine? More like the ominous thunder cloud of volcanic ash ready to douse out your celebratory roll out of the new interface. What a temper I've got alright.

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Whew! Thought for a moment I'd come to the wrong place. Would hate to lose touch with all the good advice. It looks much clearer and user-friendly, now that I've signed in. Before you sign in at the moment, there's maybe too much Chinese for a newbie (tags and mouse-over text) - could be a deterrent for new visitors.

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