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Thorburn
Sunday, June 4th, 2017, 05:55 PM
In the last 72 hours, we have unsuccessfully tried to upgrade the forum software from vBulletin 3.6.12 to vBulletin 4.2.5.

This upgrade is necessary on security grounds and to add new functionalities (in particular social media integration). We eventually plan to upgrade to the most recent version, vBulletin 5.

Unfortunately, the upgrade ran into unforeseen technical difficulties.

To add to the problems, vBulletin hasn't responded to any of our tickets either in the last 3 days (despite so-called 'priority support'). One cannot reach the vBulletin support department by phone (but only their sales department), and all e-mails, contact form submissions and tickets get automatically routed into their ticket system where we have received no human reply so far.

Since we have neither an idea when the tickets will be addressed nor an estimated date for the resolution of the problems, we reopened the 3.6 version of Skadi Forum on our backup domain forums.skadi.info, so that you can access at least your PMs and other important information you might need. You can also chat with other forum members.

You have been automatically rerouted to this domain, when you tried to access Skadi Forum on its usual domain forums.skadi.net. Search results on Google and links are also rerouted, preserving the REQUEST_URI (the full URL), so you will arrive at the right thread or post if you clicked on a link to Skadi Forum anywhere on the Internet (such as on Google).

We hope that vBulletin will eventually provide a solution to make a successful upgrade.

Naturally, whenever this happens, we will try to upgrade the most current database (that's the one used here, on forums.skadi.info), so that none of your PMs, posts or setting changes are lost.

However, we also cannot promise this, since we have no idea what kind of solution vBulletin will provide (if any). When they will finally address the tickets, they will inspect the database stuck in the upgrade process (containing all data until including June 3, 2017), not this one (containing everything).

That means that everything you might post, write or change in your account from now on could be lost in case vBulletin cannot provide a solution that can be reproduced. In this case, we would not be able to migrate the most recent data (everything beginning from June 4, 2017).

It might thus be advisable to keep personal backups of important new posts or PMs (everything you write or receive from now on) until we have finalised the upgrade.

We apologise for the inconvenience and we will keep you posted if there are any news.

In case you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Thanks for your understanding!

Thorburn
Sunday, June 4th, 2017, 06:05 PM
Update Log of the last 72 hours...



Technical Maintenance...



June 1, 2017, 6 am PT (3 pm CET):
Upgrading Skadi Forum...

June 1, 2017, 8 am PT (5 pm CET):
mySQL problems with the upgrade due to 3rd party plugin collisions. This can take a while. Go out and enjoy nature or treat your loved ones. Then try again this evening or to-morrow... :)

But if you insist on staying, watch this presentation ... because everyone should have seen it:

JC4OWCKlF1Q

I know that's it's long, but it's worth it ... you won't regret it. It gets the better, the longer it runs, really. :)

June 1, 2017, 2:30 pm PT (11:30 pm CET):
No news. mySQL experts and the vBulletin team are hopefully looking into the issue this very moment... We will restore the backup in the next 48 hours if there is no substantial progress.

June 2, 2017, 2:30 am PT (11:30 am CET):
We are giving the upgrade another run, after we locked problematic tables manually, so that they can be upgraded.

June 2, 2017, 1:50 pm PT (10:50 pm CET):
The upgrade is still stuck. Just came from the phone talking to Josh from vBulletin. He said they didn't have had a chance yet to look at the issue in depth, but he assured me that their tech guys would also work over the weekend, and that he will prioritize the ticket if it hasn't been assigned by 5:00 pm PT (when he goes home). Thus, I would suggest we hold on over the weekend, until vBulletin had at least a fair shot. Sorry, folks! Wish I had better news...

June 3, 2017, 12:40 pm PT (9:40 pm CET):
Still no reply from vBulletin. No ETA, no 'we are working on it', no nothing. Can't say that I am entirely satisfied with their support. I sent them another support e-mail and contacted them via their forum. Chlodovech & Ahnenerbe, if you read this, please send me an e-mail to [removed]

June 3, 2017, 2:00 pm PT (11:00 pm CET):
Awesome, we received an auto-generated reply to the e-mail:

https://i.imgur.com/fVcsT74.png

Mrs vonTrep
Sunday, June 4th, 2017, 08:45 PM
It was very appreciated with the little updates we got during the days Skadi was down, so thank you for that and for this heads up.

Norman Pride
Monday, June 5th, 2017, 12:04 AM
Thanks for the information.

I was writing a post just as the site went down and unfortunately couldn't recover it. Then I saw the updates on Facebook and learned what was going on.

I guess I should really make it a habit to copy texts to a notepad before submitting them, just in case...

Is the update more a matter of security or functionality?

Aeternitas
Monday, June 5th, 2017, 04:20 AM
Naturally, whenever this happens, we will try to upgrade the most current database (that's the one used here, on forums.skadi.info), so that none of your PMs, posts or setting changes are lost.

However, we also cannot promise this, since we have no idea what kind of solution vBulletin will provide (if any). When they will finally address the tickets, they will inspect the database stuck in the upgrade process (containing all data until including June 3, 2017), not this one (containing everything).

That means that everything you might post, write or change in your account from now on could be lost in case vBulletin cannot provide a solution that can be reproduced. In this case, we would not be able to migrate the most recent data (everything beginning from June 4, 2017).

It might thus be advisable to keep personal backups of important new posts or PMs (everything you write or receive from now on) until we have finalised the upgrade.
This might also hold true for new registrations (after June 3, 2017). We will try to preserve everything but in the event we cannot integrate the content from June 4 onwards, new users might have to re-register. We will of course let you know if that is the case and keep you updated on the process.


Is the update more a matter of security or functionality?
Both. We've had some security issues recently (spam, etc.) which we managed to patch with the current software, however in the long run, an upgrade would be the ideal solution. The current forum software (vbulletin 3.6.12) is outdated and no longer supported technically; so are many of the modifications we use. It's more a matter of when than if, but we'd prefer to have it done more sooner than later.

Thorburn
Friday, June 9th, 2017, 12:45 AM
We are in contact with vBulletin and are working on the issue.

They advised us to install the 3.8.11 files and to try the 3.8.11 update scripts, then take it from there, but this doesn't work either (as expected). The upgrade hangs at the same step (as expected, since all the upgrade scripts must be functionally identical). What is now new is that it causes an internal server error, yeah!

Don't worry we'll find a solution. Maybe we'll just have to pay them for a 'professional upgrade' to get some real attention ($199).

But since we paid them for 'priority ticket and phone support' ($49/month) already, let's annoy them with that one first. :D

Ingvaeonic
Friday, June 9th, 2017, 08:32 AM
At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious, vBulletin hardly seems to be an efficient and effective concern or organization. Perhaps exploring Skadi's options regarding another company or companies providing the same service as vBulletin would be in order.

Just a suggestion!

Mrs vonTrep
Friday, June 9th, 2017, 08:46 AM
XenForo :love

No idea what that would cost though. :(

Thorburn
Friday, June 9th, 2017, 12:54 PM
At the risk of stating the bleedin' obvious, vBulletin hardly seems to be an efficient and effective concern or organization. Perhaps exploring Skadi's options regarding another company or companies providing the same service as vBulletin would be in order.

Just a suggestion! Surely. Any suggestions as to concrete brand names?


XenForo :love I guess this means you like it. Why do you prefer it to ... let's say vBulletin 4 or 5?


No idea what that would cost though. :( $140. It has import scripts for vBulletin 3.6.x, so this could be an option.

No guarantees either that they will work, though. :)

Mrs vonTrep
Friday, June 9th, 2017, 09:19 PM
I have only used one XenForo forum and several vBulletin but definitely prefer XF when it comes to looks/design. So much more modern looking than VB, more inviting. I don't know if there's any truth to it but I heard that all the original developers at VB have quit and that things went downhill from version 3.x something? That 4 and 5 also are more vulnerable to hacks etc? And that the support from the VB team is getting worse and worse seems to be common knowledge these days. Then again XF might be just as bad in that regard, I don't have much experience of that. It's supposedly "safer" than VB 4 or 5 though?

Mööv
Friday, June 9th, 2017, 09:27 PM
I don't know if there's any truth to it but I heard that all the original developers at VB have quit and that things went downhill from version 3.x something?

Yes, they are the ones behind XenForo.
I haven't used VB5 but everyone seems to be speaking very bad of it.

Mrs vonTrep
Friday, June 9th, 2017, 11:10 PM
Yes, they are the ones behind XenForo.
I haven't used VB5 but everyone seems to be speaking very bad of it.

Oh so the original developers of VB are the ones behind XF? That certainly explains why XF is getting more popular and why people loved the older versions of VB much better than 4 and 5. I guess those guys/gals are just doing a good job.

Nachtengel
Saturday, June 10th, 2017, 05:38 PM
Xenforo looks/sounds good, but one would need to know in advance if an import/ upgrade would work with Skadi's database and version of software. Otherwise you'd just gamble with the money. Skadi has over 800,000 posts, so it's not as though we'd start from scratch, it also contains the databases of other fora, so everything should be integrated properly.

Some comparison topics:

Large forum peformance: XenForo vs vBulletin (https://xenforo.com/community/threads/large-forum-peformance-xenforo-vs-vbulletin.41802/)

Xenforo Comparison To vBulletin (https://theadminzone.com/threads/xenforo-comparison-to-vbulletin.138575/)

vBulletin vs. XenForo vs. IP.Board (https://theadminzone.com/threads/vbulletin-vs-xenforo-vs-ip-board.124129/)

XenForo vs vBulletin (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1447085)

There is also phpBB (www.phpbb.com), which is a free forum software. Might not have all the options and advantages of the others, but at least you don't throw money out the window in case the support sucks or in case the upgrade. vbulletin imports are also supported afaik.

Maybe this also helps: Best Forum Software 2016 (http://savedelete.com/software/best-forum-software-free-and-paid/14592/) - a list which includes other, some known, some less known forum software.

Comparison of Internet forum software - Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Internet_forum_software)

Examples of other fora:
EndPhase21 (https://www.endphase21.org/forums/forum.php) runs on vbulletin 4.2.1.
Forum Europa (http://forumeuropa.net/) runs on MyBB.
Lumine Boreali (https://lumineboreali.net/) runs on XenForo.
Occidental Enclave (https://web.archive.org/web/20140517210013/http://www.occidentalenclave.org/) (now defunct) ran on phpBB
The Apricity (http://www.theapricity.com/forum/forum.php) runs on vbulletin 4.2.3.
Forum Biodiversity (http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/) runs on vbulletin 4.2.5
Eupedia (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/) runs on vbulletin 4.2.3

Huginn ok Muninn
Saturday, June 10th, 2017, 08:28 PM
Thanks for that list, OoG. I had forgotten Lumine Boreali ran on XenForo. It does have a nice look and feel to it. The advantage to staying with VB is its familiarity, but I wouldn't be averse to migrating to XenForo if it's workable. Seems like a huge undertaking, but a call to the XF people might be enlightening, particularly if it's true that they represent the heart and soul of what VB was during the 3.x era.

Ingvaeonic
Sunday, June 11th, 2017, 07:24 AM
Surely. Any suggestions as to concrete brand names?

Well, no. I only made a general suggestion. Regrettably, I am not up on this sort of service provider. Mrs. v.T. and some others seem to know quite a lot about bulletin-board-service providers; they certainly more than I do when it comes to this sort of thing.

Bärin
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017, 11:33 PM
Am I the only one who is pretty happy with the current version Skadi is using, (apart from a few minor bugs)?

I don't like the look of vbulletin 4 much, but maybe because all forums using this software seem to use the default style. It looks and feels unoriginal... and it has many "social media" features which distract from the main forum... likes instead of thanks etc.

I like the fact that Skadi's look and feel remained somewhat stable, it's like its own trademark. It also has many styles to choose from, banners, etc.

But of course it's understandable if there are security risks. Whatever is best, but if possible, please preserve the Asgard skin and a few other Skadi-esque styles. :)

SpearBrave
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017, 12:17 AM
Am I the only one who is pretty happy with the current version Skadi is using, (apart from a few minor bugs)?


No, you are not the only one, I guess many of us here don't like too much change that is a given. I really like all the features and arcade to.

I do however understand we have to stay with the times on technology.

Ingvaeonic
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017, 06:53 AM
Am I the only one who is pretty happy with the current version Skadi is using, (apart from a few minor bugs)?...


Well, if the present version of vBulletin's bulletin-board software is working well with only a few minor faults in the system, why is Skadi management upgrading it? Is it mandatory or compulsory to upgrade when vBulletin brings out a later version of their bulletin-board software?

Mööv
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017, 07:23 AM
Well, if it is working well with only few minor faults in the system, why is Skadi management upgrading it? Is it mandatory or compulsory to upgrade when vBulletin brings out a later version of their bulletin-board software?


VB3 is end of life. There will be no more updates for it, so it poses a security risk, and various problems would multiply over time.

Sigurd
Friday, June 16th, 2017, 05:37 AM
Bärin - of course not. Everyone loves v3.6.12 - but it's the Forum equivalent of Windows XP - a widely-used top-notch software but no longer serviced or updated, and now having several security holes. :(

The reason why Skadi has been running on v3.6.12 all these days is because it was the neatest-looking, most user-friendly forum with v3.7 & v3.8 not supporting many favourite modification and incorporating a lot of extra stuff (like Social Groups & the likes) that was useless at the time. ;)

I'm also not a big fan of v4.x concerning neither the functionality nor the look. I keep on having trouble finding reputation points or PMs if I don't check them when they're fresh and I find it has a terribly stale look, regardless of what Forum Skin one's using.

If the database could be ported + if standard modifications we've all come to accept as a taken have an equivalent then considering a move to XenForo is indeed an excellent suggestion. I remember the Admin of a similarly themed forum completely steaming about his 'premium support' at vB, so this doesn't seem to be an isolated issue. ;)

Aeternitas
Friday, June 16th, 2017, 06:14 PM
I'm also a fan of vbulletin 3.6, and preferred it on Skadi after we merged the Althing, so we stuck to it as long as we could. Unfortunately it's too outdated and could probably completely stop working in another couple of years. To give a concrete example, vbulletin server recommendations for 3.6.x - for best performance and stability - are PHP 5.2.6 and MySQL 5.0.51. We are currently using PHP 5.6 and mySQL 5.6. PHP 5.6 is the oldest version of PHP that we can choose on this server. Anything newer and Skadi Forum wouldn't work. vBulletin 3.6.x supports PHP 5 without any problems, though one has to disable strict mode for MySQL and set it to ignore the errors, so that a large chunk of them doesn't show up on the header everytime. So far so good. However, PHP 5.6 will reach its end of life after 31 December 2018. Active support for this version ended on 19 Jan this year and it is now supported for critical security issues only.

Starting the above mentioned end-of-life date, we might only be able to choose PHP 7 (or higher). We could of course request our host to install PHP 5.6 for us, but they might not agree due to security concerns. The more outdated the software is, the more vulnerable it is, we've had people taking advantage of this to send spam from the server, etc.

So in the long run, we'll be forced to upgrade. We'd prefer to avoid doing that the last possible moment, along with the long hours of downtime our site might experience due to the incompatibilities and until we'd be able to get all problems solved. I share the concerns about vbulletin 4.x, our plan however was to use it as a temporary version to get accustomed and study the new features, and then if all goes well get a licence for vbulletin 5.x. We'd prefer to have the newest version, as we'd be able to stick to that longer - more stability, support, up-to-date features etc. We'll keep the Asgard skin and add a few other styles for those who don't like the default look. Also, as far as we've read, the newer versions have integrated a lot of features that were simply fan-made modifications before, e.g. an AJAX-based chat functionality, photo albums, blogs, articles, member social groups, Facebook login, likes/thumbs up for posts. Those social features were largely unused/unneeded at the time we ran the Althing, however nowadays they should be more successful considering the development of social media. If not included, we'll of course try to also find equivalents for Skadi's most popular and used features.

Regarding the status of the upgrade: unfortunately still no reply from vbulletin since the 8th of June... Last time on the phone their sales team informed us they're allegedly swarmed with tickets and if we "bump" a ticket to ask for an update, that ticket gets sent to the end of the queue, so it could allegedly take even longer to solve. We aren't really impressed with their customer service either. It's a pity, because we are longterm vbulletin customers on various 2.x and 3.x licenses, and we actually planned to get a 5.x license as well (once we have managed the upgrade to 4.2.5). We rarely ever used vbulletin support, only when we exhausted our options and ideas. The few replies we got so far were short and standard - those kind of "autotext replies" which make it seem like the person in question didn't read the specifics of the issue in depth - and unfortunately also not very helpful. e.g. they advised us that we "should get SSH access", which we already have and gave them the details in a previous message; they advised us to upgrade to 3.8.11 instead of 4.2.5, which doesn't really do anything since our problem is the upgrade to 3.7, and upgrading to 3.8. requires to go through the upgrade to 3.7 first. We tried it out anyway, since getting support from them requires that we follow the paths they advise, so basically now we are back to the drawing board with the same original problem.

There is another trick we could try, i.e. to create a new forum, from scratch, on either of the domains, and then import the database of the old forum. Perhaps we'd be more lucky with the import than the upgrade, we'll see. Aside from that we are contemplating the professional upgrade which costs nearly as much as the yearly vbulletin support, although we fear those who do professional upgrades might also get stuck with the same problem. There is also the option to create a customized job on vbulletin.org, but there have been cases of developers just taking the money and doing very little; apart from that we're wary about giving access to our database to strangers.

In the event that vbulletin turns out to be a dead end, we'll probably have to migrate to another software platform. XenForo has some advantages, it's in someways similar to vbulletin, we could use more add-ons there, as it was built to be extensible and flexible, however the downside is that the add-ons are paid, and some of them don't come cheap. e.g. a media gallery costs 60 bucks, an enhanced search costs 50 bucks, and an extension of support and updates is an additional $15 when one extends their XenForo license. Another downside might be that it might not be possible to replicate the profile fields we have on vbulletin in the postbit under the avatar (e.g. politics, religion), which many people find useful to quickly identify with other members. phpBB is free, so we could have the advantage of trying the import and making sure it works before we made the decision to invest in it. The features and codes are similar to vbulletin, it's also highly customisable and has a few official extensions. We'll consider all suggestions and study a few other possibilities, and ultimately pick the one which is most compatible with our old database.

However in the meantime, since we paid for priority support, we will continue to try the vbulletin upgrade. Should we not get a reply by next week, we're going to have to call them again. I suppose it's the only option, since we will probably not get a refund if the month goes by without a reaction...

Nachtengel
Saturday, June 17th, 2017, 06:47 PM
There are some examples of boards that still use vbulletin 3.x and even 2.x. Not sure how they do it with vbulletin 2.x host and server wise, and how much longer they can keep it going.

Something Awful (https://forums.somethingawful.com/) runs on vbulletin 2.2.9

Fan Forum (http://www2.fanforum.com/) - this also looks like an old version of vbulletin, perhaps 2.x

Tribal Wars (http://www.tribalwar.com/forums/) runs on 3.7.2

The Straight Dope (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/) uses vbulletin 3.8.7

Stormfront also seems to run on some 3.x version.

Siebenbürgerin
Saturday, June 17th, 2017, 07:43 PM
I've to agree with Bärin and Sigurd, I also like the look and feel of vbulletin 3.6, and I think stability isn't a bad thing. This was for a long time Skadi's traditional style, so in terms of looks and functionality, I'm quite happy with it too.

However, I also understand that with time it may pose incompatibility and security problems. I liked Windows XP, but nowadays it's history... so we've to move on. I also agree that default vbulletin 4 looks stale, however we don't need to keep the default style... Sometimes a customised style with a few specific features makes a big difference. Here an example of the difference:

1. a forum with vbulletin 4 default:
http://www.twcenter.net/forums/index.php?styleid=40

2. the same forum, with a customised style:
http://www.twcenter.net/forums/index.php?styleid=54

vbulletin would be advantageous because we members are also familiar with its use, but if you've to change the software we can adapt.

Ingvaeonic
Sunday, June 18th, 2017, 03:30 AM
VB3 is end of life. There will be no more updates for it, so it poses a security risk, and various problems would multiply over time.

I see. Thank you for the explanation and clarification.

Aeternitas
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017, 09:45 PM
Unfortunately, still no reply from vBulletin support to this date. In the meantime, our 'One Month Phone and Ticket Support' of course expired, so I'd say we've awarded them enough patience and understanding. Since we paid and got no service, we bumped the ticket and created a new one requesting an update.

Poor quality customer support, not what we expect from a name like vbulletin. At this point we don't feel encouraged to sign up for an additional month of getting ignored for 49$. We are going to wait 48 hours and if our ticket continues to go unnoticed, we're going to call their sales team again and make a complaint. They shall either provide us with an extension and deliver the service we paid for, or refund the money.

So keep your fingers crossed. In the event our dialogue with vbulletin support continues to go nowhere, we might still have the import old database into new forum trick up our sleeve, which may or may not work. Otherwise, we might have to start evaluating other types of software.

Sigurd
Thursday, July 20th, 2017, 11:55 AM
That service is beyond ridiculous. In any private firm, someone who treated a customer of fifteen years like that, would be fired dishonorably, summary procedure. :|

I hope they finally take to replying, but I won't hold my breath.

Leliana
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, 09:25 PM
Maybe there are political reasons for the lacking support by the host? Like 'Oh they are racists, we do shit for them'...!?

Bill Noble
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, 10:35 PM
Maybe there are political reasons for the lacking support by the host? Like 'Oh they are racists, we do shit for them'...!?
Another possibility is they've hired so many foreign born immigrants that competence and service quality levels are dropping like stones.

Norman Pride
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, 11:30 PM
I've read complaints about vbulletin customer service myself (or rather lack thereof) on other fora (non-political). As far as I've understood the people in charge of it are also the developers and owners of vbulletin, so it's possible complaints just fall on deaf ears. However, to ask for money for priority support and then to completely ignore you sounds rather scammy.

If the cooperation must come to an end, XenForo looks more modern and seems to have more customizable and varied layouts than vbulletin 4 and onwards. If it's considerably more expensive than vbulletin, a customised donation campaign might help to raise the extra funds?

SpearBrave
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017, 11:35 PM
Maybe there are political reasons for the lacking support by the host? Like 'Oh they are racists, we do shit for them'...!?

If they are based in the US than $$$$ is above all else. That is just the facts of life and business in the US, hence why this place is so comfortably crazy. :D

HerrSchulze
Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017, 11:04 AM
If the cooperation must come to an end, XenForo looks more modern and seems to have more customizable and varied layouts than vbulletin 4 and onwards. If it's considerably more expensive than vbulletin, a customised donation campaign might help to raise the extra funds?

Despite being new to membership here, I've enjoyed reading this forum for quite some time and would hate to see it taken offline once again. If the current owner and staff are in need of funds necessary to keep Skadi alive and online, in whatever format that may ultimately be, I would be happy to donate. I will eventually donate either way but if this becomes an issue of urgency, please do not hesitate in contacting me, we can discuss the goal amount, etc. and I will see what I can do.

Rodskarl Dubhgall
Tuesday, December 26th, 2017, 07:21 AM
I'm also interested in donating at some point, which I'll never do for Wikipedia. It'll have to wait for at least another month. I can't get enough vBulletin, but understand if it's unsupportable. One cool feature of Anthropology Biodiversity Forum, is automatic updating of previous posts, instead of having to click on the Edit button. I'm not sure about their software otherwise, since it is critically vulnerable to hackers.

Aeternitas
Monday, January 29th, 2018, 01:34 AM
As you may have noticed, we registered some downtime. We are trying to run the upgrade again ourselves with some changes and more PHP memory… so far we really can’t find any error, although we are on super-debug mode already…

We cannot estimate for sure how long this may take, in the event that the upgrade is successful, it could be anywhere between 6 and 48 hours, maybe more, maybe less, as we expect to run into the usual issues. Please bear with us and keep your fingers crossed. :)

We've reopened forums.skadi.info in the meantime, however please note that threads and posts you make while the upgrade is running may be lost. Should you intend to post or want to save anything that is posted, make sure to copy the text in a notepad or save the page to your hard drive. We'll let you know how this progresses.

Thank you for the support and to those who donated. :thumbup

Thorburn
Monday, January 29th, 2018, 04:30 AM
As you may have noticed, we registered some downtime. We are trying to run the upgrade again ourselves with some changes and more PHP memory… so far we really can’t find any error, although we are on super-debug mode already…

We cannot estimate for sure how long this may take, in the event that the upgrade is successful, it could be anywhere between 6 and 48 hours, maybe more, maybe less, as we expect to run into the usual issues. Please bear with us and keep your fingers crossed. :)

We've reopened forums.skadi.info in the meantime, however please note that threads and posts you make while the upgrade is running may be lost. Should you intend to post or want to save anything that is posted, make sure to copy the text in a notepad or save the page to your hard drive. We'll let you know how this progresses.

Thank you for the support and to those who donated. :thumbup I guess the 'Thanks' column will eventually be lost (like lots of other stuff), since it is a third-party add-on, but I gave you a 'Thanks' nonetheless. ;)

Hammish
Monday, January 29th, 2018, 05:52 AM
!
thanks for all of your work.

Aeternitas
Monday, January 29th, 2018, 11:26 PM
We've reopened forums.skadi.info in the meantime, however please note that threads and posts you make while the upgrade is running may be lost. Should you intend to post or want to save anything that is posted, make sure to copy the text in a notepad or save the page to your hard drive. We'll let you know how this progresses.
You can now disregard this note about the posts, since it's taking longer than we expected. (We might need to enlist the help of a SQL/PHP expert, as this goes beyond our field of expertise). We're going to make a new backup including the new posts in the meantime, so feel free to post away. :)

Aeternitas
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018, 04:40 PM
As you can see, the upgrade to 4.2.5 has finally been completed. :)

We lost a few posts from last night while the upgrade was in progress, sorry about that. As we are planning to upgrade to vbulletin 5, this might just a temporary/transitory version for now so we won't invest much into modifications and customizations just yet. The forum should be mostly functional though. There are a few new features, such as blogs, social groups and visitor messaging. We are also back on the .net domain.

Wulfaz
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018, 06:44 PM
Thank you both of your work to upfrade and to keep alive the Skadi Forum!

Thorburn
Thursday, February 1st, 2018, 08:16 AM
Thank you both of your work to upfrade and to keep alive the Skadi Forum!
Where is the 'Thank You' button? *kidding*

Well, not really, because vBulletin 4 simply has no built-in 'Like' and 'Tagging' system that most users demand these days, simply because they are familiar with Facebook. So we would have to resort to third-party plugins again. Facebook has in general pushed the user expectations way upwards, as far as smoothness, drag-and-drop functionality, and intelligence of the interface are concerned.

As everyone can see, even without any 'skins' and customizations, vBulletin 4 simply looks more like the 2000s, while vBulletin 3, our old software, looked like the 1990s. But the truth of the matter is that vBulletin 4 is also at the end of its life cycle and is no longer developed and supported.

vBulletin 5 is nowadays simply superior to vBulletin 4. It is coded fully mobile responsive, what is of crucial significance, while vBulletin 4 just offers a mobile template. vBulletin 5 has an integrated paging and messaging system. Its drag-and-drop features are closer to what people expect in the 2010s. And it has a superior social networking integration. After more than 5 years of development, it has now all features people were initially missing (the hook system, the plugins, the customization options via Sitebuilder, etc.), and it actually feels pretty smooth and good now. It feels and acts like the 2010s, but unlike other forum options, it still feels like vBulletin, i. e. more 'at home' for people who are accustomed to the vBulletin interface. And data migration will probably be easier.

Since the database issue has been sorted out, I would suggest that we proceed rather quickly and upgrade to vBulletin 5. Nearly all customizations and improvements we could do here and now on vBulletin 4 would be lost again.

By the way, thanks to Ahnenerbe for donating this vBulletin 4 license.

Aeternitas
Tuesday, March 13th, 2018, 09:36 AM
We had to revert to vBulletin 4 because we discovered of a lot of errors and bugs in vBulletin 5... As you might have already noticed, many features that used to be standard before were also gone because the developers re-wrote the software from scratch and didn't consider them necessary.

Basically, the following issues lead us to consider reverting:

- postbit and avatar settings unflexible (avatars were purposely downsized by vBulletin to mimic a social media feel); many avatars had to be re-uploaded
- predefined avatars not working
- buttons for formatting, bbcode and the like were not (and could not be) turned on by default. One had to click on an icon to generate them
- some signatures or signature images not preserved
- common error: "Invalid Page URL. If this is an error and the page should exist, please contact the system administrator and tell them how you got this message."
- common error: when members received notification that someone posted in threads they subscribed to and clicked on the thread in the notification, they were requested to log in with a different account.
- errors when moving or renaming threads, importing products, etc.
- mass move option of threads from one forum to another was no longer available
- post reporting did not create an automatic thread
- one was not able to give out or receive reputation comments
- some posts by regulars or funding members were sent to the moderation queue
- pagination was missing from some areas and one was re-directed to the first post in a thread
- the forum was not accessible/compatible with some web proxies
- site builder (admin option) did not work with some browsers and generated errors
- generally slower performance (the vBulletin 5 database was almost 4 times larger, probably also more server intensive)
- fewer (free) modifications (e.g. no forum images on the index)
etc.

A total disappointment, unfortunately, despite having been out for several years now. We tried to fix some of the issues by installing modifications or through tweaking the system, others were unfortunately outside of our reach. As time went by we bumped into more and more issues and we had to make a decision because one cannot downgrade from vBulletin 5... so the longer we waited the more data was going to be lost.

Unfortunately, we could not automatically import the last couple of weeks' data (since after the upgrade to vBulletin 5, basically). This includes posts, accounts, private messages and chats. Sorry for the inconvenience, unfortunately there was no other way around it. If you registered an account within this time period, you will have to re-register. Let us know and we will promote your account manually. As far as posts are concerned, we have a backup of the vBulletin 5 database, so we will try to copy some of the most important discussions manually. Our priority however is finalizing the upgrade to vBulletin 4.

vBulletin 4 is a good compromise because it is still rather new-ish and compatible with some of the latest PHP versions, it preserves a lot of the vBulletin 3 features we missed with vBulletin 5 (like reputation comments) but also encompasses new features like social groups or post autosave and is social media and smartphone friendly. There is also a “vBulletin 4 CMS & Blogs” version which we can access with the vB 5 license. Not sure if we really need it, we could look into this at some stage. There are also many more modifications out there for vBulletin 4 than for 5.

There is still some work ahead, we have to rebuild threads, forum, attachments, etc., and rebuild the search index, adjust the URLs (yet again...), edit templates, etc. Once we are done we will be looking into installing the most important modifications (shoutbox, post thanks, etc.)

Thorburn
Tuesday, March 13th, 2018, 11:55 AM
Your (quality) posts of the last month are not lost, but we cannot auto-convert them back to vBulletin 4. Staff members will move them back manually over the course of the next days and weeks. We will have to customize and configure the forum and install needed plugins first.

In case you should have sent or received any PMs in the last month whose content is crucial to your survival, please contact us. We can temporarily give you access to the old vB 5 board, so that you can retrieve them. Please only make use of this option if you really and desperately need the information (and you cannot regain it in any other manner).

If you signed up in the last month, please sign up again. Your account is unfortunately lost.

Sorry for the inconvenience and interruption.

Odin of Asgard
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, 05:39 AM
I can't view my profile again, I was able to access it last night.:(

Aeternitas
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, 08:07 AM
Try again, should work now. :)

SpearBrave
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, 12:40 PM
after viewing my profile all of my thanks are gone and my friends are not listed either?

Aeternitas
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, 07:02 PM
Are you talking about the "likes" you received on vBulletin 5 or the old thanks from vBulletin 3? Those from vBulletin 5 could not be imported because nothing from vBulletin 5 could, the developers re-wrote vBulletin 5 from scratch. If you mean the old thanks from vBulletin 3, that's because thanks was/is was a modification and not a standard feature.

When it comes to modifications, we usually have to start from scratch after upgrading to a new vBulletin version. We've hopped from vBulletin 3.6.11 to 4.2.5, there are several major versions in between (3.7, 3.8., 4.0, 4.1). The code changes from version to version and sometimes they are even written by different developers who don't code it the same way.

Maybe we can copy the old thanks tables with a query, and then transfer them to the new ones... but this would take some time. We will see.

The friends feature has been changed between versions so you will have to re-add them.

Odin of Asgard
Thursday, March 15th, 2018, 06:15 AM
https://i.imgur.com/Td1Bidg.jpg

^ Italian:??: Is there some bug in the forum? Has anyone else noticed this?

Aeternitas
Thursday, March 15th, 2018, 06:45 AM
vBulletin bug, sometimes after an upgrade phrases get mixed up. I've changed it. If anyone else notices other languages popping up, please let us know and we'll fix it.

Siebenbürgerin
Friday, March 16th, 2018, 09:50 AM
Hmm, I like the looks of this version, it reminds more of the old one. :thumbsup I did like the layout of the vbulletin 5 Skadi, but I had errors browsing it so it was a little bit annoying having to refresh all the time. Now I'm understanding why some peoples say vbulletin degenerated with time, instead of evolving...

Once again, thank you for all the work! :)

Hammish
Sunday, April 1st, 2018, 09:30 PM
I just noticed that the Gallery is back online... Good work!

Aeternitas
Monday, April 2nd, 2018, 03:21 PM
Yes, we've been working on re-installing and restoring the gallery. We will try to do the same with the former Skadi library. We've also installed vbtube (http://www.vbtube.com/demo/vb4/videos), a video library. More updates coming soon.

Some might have noticed a "500 Internal Server Error" error message lately. Sorry for the inconvenience, we are aware of this and working on identifying the causes as we speak.




EDIT:
Someone might be messing with the options on the production forum. :lwhistle:
Thorburn

Siebenbürgerin
Monday, April 2nd, 2018, 11:22 PM
Oh what a pleasant surprise indeed :thumbsup The gallery was a great addition of the old Skadi and the Althing, it was sad not to see it working ater Skadi returned. But thankfully it looks like the administration backed up the content and we can access our old images once again. Thank you for this. :)

Thorburn
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018, 07:27 PM
Yes, we've been working on re-installing and restoring the gallery. We will try to do the same with the former Skadi library. We've also installed vbtube (http://www.vbtube.com/demo/vb4/videos), a video library. More updates coming soon.

Some might have noticed a "500 Internal Server Error" error message lately. Sorry for the inconvenience, we are aware of this and working on identifying the causes as we speak.




EDIT:
Someone might be messing with the options on the production forum. :lwhistle:
Thorburn



We moved Skadi to a much faster server today. This finalizes the upgrade and should resolve all related errors, such as casual sluggish response times and other inaccessibility issues.

All the best
Thorburn

Uwe Jens Lornsen
Monday, May 7th, 2018, 08:44 PM
Posting that I noticed the VBulletin upgrade.

Since I am on 2G Bandwidth usually, such boards are pretty fast comparatively.

Also noticed that the Operating System had been upgraded.

Do I need recent SSL on my old boxes like it is needed for sites like Sourceforge or GitHub ?
Posting from Android 6.0 .

BTW google mail had put my request for Password-Reset into the Spam folder because their automatic filter was programmed to do so.

Uwe Jens Lornsen
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018, 10:00 AM
Yes, the Skadi forum is not reachable anymore with old Linux operating systems.

I tried with Firefox version 16 and the loading of the forum always resets.
Firefox uses it's own SSL libraries and not the system wide's ones .

Websites that might be constantly under attack like stormfront and niggermania
are still reachable with that old browser.

Rodskarl Dubhgall
Saturday, May 19th, 2018, 10:48 PM
It would be awesome if Skadi forked with Niggermania, Uncyclopedia and Encyclopedia Dramatica.