TrainBoard UPGRADE - It's Coming

FriscoCharlie May 18, 2011

  1. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    Over the 11+ years that TrainBoard has existed, we've gone through a number of software upgrades. I've posted about this before and even given examples of the ways in which this site has changed. We've gone from what was the "best" software in 2000 to what is the (arguably) "best" software in 2010 and now we are moving forward to the most current software for 2011 and beyond. What was the best software in 2000 is now considered very rudimentary.

    I want to speak on a few issues that will be of interest to you folks in regard to the coming upgrade.

    First, what will it look like? Here's an example of the look of the next generation of the software: Saint Louis - San Francisco Railway Historical and Modeling Society Forums

    The Frisco Forum (at this time) has a very "out-of-the-box" look. It is planned to be customized but at this time its look is basically stock. So, if you want to know what our site is going to look like, there you go.

    When we initially do the upgrade, our site will look like that because we are going to get the upgrade done and get the site back online as fast as possible. We will be returning to our color scheme over the course of several days but rather than turn the site off while we work on colors, etc., we will get it going as quickly as we can.

    We will be keeping our present color scheme but we will work on some of the finer points of the orange links, etc., to aid people who do not care for some of the colors now. In other words, we will be trying to make it better.

    Second, complaining: Every time we have upgraded the site (in a major upgrade) we get various degrees of complaining. We know that not everyone will like everything but we are committed to making this site better.

    We have stripped away a lot of the bells and whistles from the site now and after the upgrade there will be some bells and whistles missing but over the course of several weeks you will see the site get better than ever.

    We need your patience. We'll also be asking for reports of things that you see that aren't right.

    Third, there will be improvements. Look for a wider display. We are still narrow as in the days when monitors were narrow and times have changed. We will be going back to a much wider display. With that will come other improvements. One major one will be bigger and wider image uploads.

    That's just a sample of where we are headed. We have some things under development by our staff that you will like and now we will have the tools to do more.

    Stay with us as we make the site better. We don't have a definite date for the upgrade but I thik it is safe to say that it is "coming soon."

    We are going to get TrainStore working, then some testing with the new software, then an upgrade of the present site. Once the upgrade is done and the site is back on, we will be working daily on the look of the site.

    For those of you using mobile devices, we will be adding some things for you folks as well.

    If I can answer any questions, or you have comments, please post.

    We are going to be paying for professional services to do some of the work and that will be expensive. Our staff member, Russell Straw, donated $100 to get us started.

    We are not specifically asking for donations at this time but if you have considered becoming a supporter, now is a good time. We do have a bit built up in the bank but we are always looking to expand our supporter base. If it is going to cost a lot of money to upgrade the site, we may run a small telethon as we have in the past with great success.

  2. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

    Thanks Charlie for all that you do for this community. I'm one of a very few if not the only one who literally grew up with this forum. I got on Trainboard 11 years ago as an obnoxious 14 year old, now 11 years later I have learned so much about the hobby and I am proud to have been able to see this board develop into what I believe is one of the premier, if not the very best Model Railroading online community in our hobby.

    Thanks Charlie, looking forward to the update.
  3. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

    Oh fun! This should be good.

    Thanks in advance for the hard work you & the crew are about to do.
  4. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

    Software upgrades are never fun, regardless of the scope. I'm involved in one every month at work, and the week after is always a headache, with the complaints and new problems (some imaginary) to solve. I feel your pain!!!
  5. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

    Well, it shows that the people running this place care about it enough to keep it up and running and even improve it. I thank all the people responsible for this and wish them the best in the upcoming upgrade.

    Wider display, eh? Does that mean we'll be going from a narrow-gauge forum to a standard-gauge one? :plaugh:
  6. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Oh upgrade ?

    Lets see....

    I dont like the color scheme
    The fonts are to small
    The fonts are to big
    The font color is all wrong
    I cant click any links
    The pictures are to big...
    I have to scroll to much
    I cant find out how to post pictures
    the page takes too long to load
    What happened to my avatar?
    It's to hard to navigate
    I liked the old version better
    This sucks
    I want my mommy!

    There...I think I got all the complaints out of the way. It should be smooth sailing from here...LOL.

    Whatever it will will STILL be TrainBoard..the best of the best ! :thumbs_up:

  7. bravogjt

    bravogjt TrainBoard Member

    I'm looking forward to the upgrade. Thanks to all involved with keeping this site and the associated software up and running!!

  8. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    Thank you for the heads up explination! If you need any help with the testing, let me know. I have done a great deal of software testing.
  9. Jerry M. LaBoda

    Jerry M. LaBoda TrainBoard Supporter

    Have been a part of the postings to the Frisco site for a good while now and have never had a complaint. Will be looking forward to seeing the format in use here as well!!!
  10. baldylox

    baldylox TrainBoard Member

    can't wait to see the mobile options :D
  11. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    I'm a member of both Trainboard and the Frisco forum, and IMO Mike Corley did a good job changing to the new version. There are some "bells & whistles" I didn't expect to see over there, such as an expanded profile page. Overall, it works fine.

    I expect it to work fine here.:thumbs_up:
  12. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

    I thank you for the heads up, all of the work keeping this one of the best places for our hobby. And best of luck with that upgrade.
    Patience we should have plenty of.

  13. Glenn Woodle

    Glenn Woodle TrainBoard Member

    Missed a few
    1) Will it work with Windoze, or do you need W7 or later
    2) forget Windoze get a mac/linux
    3) will it work with fire chrome explorer browser
    4) too slow for wifi ipad phone
    5) not compatible with dial-up? how slow/fast is your connection?
    That should take care of the technical stuff. Back to playing with Trains.
  14. PF2488

    PF2488 E-Mail Bounces

    Is there a way to get to the old temporary store to copy our ad back to the new store? If not, thats OK. I like the looks of the new store.
  15. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    It's working now. Thanks!
  16. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    Well, I’m glad everyone is happy with the new structure because I’m not. So I’m going to express my feelings right up front.

    I don’t care much for all the subcategories. Questions tend to get missed if stuck in a specific spots. I know that I have missed stuff because I just because I wasn’t looking for a specific thing and stumble on to something only after I just happened to post something in that category at the time. I have posted things in the electrical section and not get any answers until I posted the same question in the N scale section where everybody normally is.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I sure don’t have time to look in every category for things of knowledge or interest to me. I like everything out in the open in so I can just run down the list to see something that I can participate in and by some of the results I’ve gotten in the past to questions I’ve posted, I’m not alone.
  17. jhendy29

    jhendy29 TrainBoard Member

    One persons opinion....

    I'm happy. Thanks guys for all the hard work.
  18. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

    Hey, two posts in a row from Santee, CA! I'm afraid that I'm with Johnny B. above. Now Trainboard is going to "look" like all the other sites I avoid because they look sterile and a bit businesslike to me. The above example is lifeless with ZERO character.

    I suppose there are many reasons I don't understand, but this upgrade to this new format bugs me. I'll still pay my donation every year, and I will probably get used to the new look. Hope so. Jim
  19. Train Kid

    Train Kid TrainBoard Member

    One of the major problem with vBulletin 4.x is that it is very difficult to customize. Even the Skin Developers are scratching their heads and very few offer real customized vB4 skins. Nothing approaching what we've seen over the years from Skin Developers for vB3.x.

    Just my 2¢ but it would have been better to go with the new and more modern Xenforo software. Here is their standard forum ... It's really nice ustilizing almost all CSS. Probably too late now but then again if the admins are smart they'd take a look at this new option.
  20. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    I know we are touting new and improved. I would hope that's exactly what it is.
    However, that's not what I see. I haven't forgotten the old set-up and the ease of the temporary one. Now you don't know who is advertising. I mean who is RSS anyway and that's the same old same old. Then there are several steps you have to take to get the item to finally show.

    Sorry fella's. Can't say I'm impressed. There are so many unique programs out there you could have gone with.

    I realize money and donations is a problem. Just wish you could have stepped in another direction. The shifting sand didn't blow very far from the sand pile.

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