Old SMF forum backup closing down

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Janus

*spicy* *camper*
Administrator
M&BWBWF&SVC
We've maintained a read-only backup of our old SMF forums since our conversion to XenForo, which happened back in January of 2020, well over 2 years at this point. One reason was to give people a chance to back up important old Private Messages, since PMs couldn't be transferred over to XenForo. The other main reason was to provide reference for how posts looked on the old forum setup, since they can end up looking different due to BBCode or styling differences between SMF and Xenforo, and in a few cases some BBCode got broken by the transition.

So, I'm posting this to give everyone a bit of advance notice. We will be closing down the old SMF forum backup on the 27th, 9 days from now. If for whatever reason there is still something you need to check over there, this is your last chance.
 
Is there a way to download all of it in some form and open it in a explorer directly from our pc? Lol, :xf-grin:. Goodbye old forum. May you rest in peace.
 

Zombie Warrior

Sergeant Knight
It would be nice if we could download the backup, but I suspect that it's not going to happen. There are several good reasons that I can think of too.
 

Janus

*spicy* *camper*
Administrator
M&BWBWF&SVC
The old SMF backup is now closed. Links to any parts of it (boards, topics, posts, sections) will now redirect to the related part of the forum here.
 

Eärendil Ardamírë

Subforum Moderator
WBWF&SM&B
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Lol, definitely not. SMF management is a very painful and tiring business. And at the end of the day it will still look hopeless.
I do not care about management, I care about simplicity and user experience. Even if you have some thoughts about managing XenForo-operated Tawerna and maybe another SMF-operated forum, it does not mean you should project them on other people who do not get to run anything but are just ordinary users. Basically (as an example), if I like a game, you should not project your opinion about it because you are a game developer and know about its creation process or whatever else.
 
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Dyktator

Sergeant Knight at Arms
NWWF&SWBM&BVC
I do not care about management, I care about simplicity and user experience. Even if you have some thoughts about managing XenForo-operated Tawerna and maybe another SMF-operated forum, it does not mean you should project them on other people who do not get to run anything but are just ordinary users. Basically (as an example), if I like a game, you should not project your opinion about it because you are a game developer and know about its creation process or whatever else.
But you haven't given any arguments. Now you're the only one who is trying to project your thougths on other people. Tawerna was based on SMF for 14 years (for 6 years on SMF 1 and 8 years on SMF 2), and since 2020 it is based on Xenforo. So I have a lot of experience with both as a user and administrator, as well as organizer of tournaments, events and much more. Everything is just a matter of habit.

Xenforo simply provides a way more options that can be implemented for users. The same things to make them exist on SMF would take 10 times more time, making them never happen (like badges, reactions, or the very important bell notifications).

I'd love to hear what was better about SMF in terms of simplicity and user experience. Because of the main differences I saw is support - XF is regularly developed by developers (so no one will steal your password and account through a detected security hole), while SMF released ONE update for 10 years (I wondered for a long time who would come first - SMF with version 2.1 or TaleWorlds with Bannerlord).
 
I just expressed my opinion as a user (TW forum has an overwhelming majority of people who have not touched forum management at all), so I did not try to impose my opinions on management on others who would never touch that aspect of running forums. Besides simplicity and user experience, I doubt there was a serious loophole during the 15 years or so of TW forum being hosted on SMF shell.
 

Orion

Still Not Worthy
Global Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNW
I doubt there was a serious loophole during the 15 years or so of TW forum being hosted on SMF shell.
The end of support of SMF was the biggest reason for the switch to XenForo.

Honestly, XenForo is simpler at its most basic level of user interaction, with the reply box at the bottom of every thread and the ability to highlight text in someone's post then click once to automatically quote it in your reply. It also caches reply box contents so you can freely navigate a thread while writing a reply to it. Our SMF forum had a separate page for writing replies, with a differently-formatted preview of a limited number of previous posts on it. Quoting anything gave you the entire contents of the quoted post which you often had to pare down to what you wanted, and quoting less recent posts necessitated the use of a second browser tab.

XenForo is honestly better for the average user, at least those without nostalgia.
 

Mad Vader

Duhpressed
Duke
M&BWB
The cached replies are nice for people who work on their posts, but that's a small minority.
What is universally appreciated here are the searchable emojis with tooltips, which should be a universal feature on boomer sites like Facebook, but somehow isn't. 🤡
 

Fietta

buıʇʇǝs uoıʇɔǝɹıp ʞɔɐʇʇɐ
Marquis
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
The end of support of SMF was the biggest reason for the switch to XenForo.

Honestly, XenForo is simpler at its most basic level of user interaction, with the reply box at the bottom of every thread and the ability to highlight text in someone's post then click once to automatically quote it in your reply. It also caches reply box contents so you can freely navigate a thread while writing a reply to it. Our SMF forum had a separate page for writing replies, with a differently-formatted preview of a limited number of previous posts on it. Quoting anything gave you the entire contents of the quoted post which you often had to pare down to what you wanted, and quoting less recent posts necessitated the use of a second browser tab.

XenForo is honestly better for the average user, at least those without nostalgia.

I agree that XenForo is better in terms of features, but depends on what you're after - SMF is usually used for smaller more close-knit communities as there's more charm in profile customisation and the lack of features meant that everyone was in the same place.

One of the biggest reasons for the decline in forum activity was A. Bannerlord being a terrible game and B. The inclusion of additional community features such as groups which spread out the already small Warband community.

I know first-hand that some of these features weren't wanted by the moderation team, but had no choice due to management wanting them, and still wouldn't change; self-moderating groups is ultimately silly as they can force post approval, which essentially means you can shut down any argument or not allow someone you dislike to post, which back in SMF, deleting posts in your own thread was warnable if no valid reason?

Lastly the forum colour scheme/layout is abominable, there's no real contrast of colours, everything is the same blue/grey as if I'm back playing Battlefield 3, there's numerous users from other forums such as FSE that have no idea what they're looking at and how to navigate, it's a mess. On top of that, there's loads of 'shortcut boards' scattered through the forums to redirect you to an area outside of your game? I expect to go into the Warband Multiplayer board and find tournaments, instead I'm greeted to a shortcut to a whole different board littered with tournaments from other modules too.

This isn't a dig at the moderation team, as I know for a fact a lot of the forum would change if they had the power to change it, but instead have to try to use loopholes to get around some piss-poor features added in by management.
 

Orion

Still Not Worthy
Global Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNW
self-moderating groups is ultimately silly as they can force post approval, which essentially means you can shut down any argument or not allow someone you dislike to post, which back in SMF, deleting posts in your own thread was warnable if no valid reason?
Except they can't. We did end up implementing a two-step process for it as a result of your discussion, and anything which is marked unapproved is sent into a notification-enabled queue for global moderators to review. This is done specifically so we can catch the behavior you describe. Our policy is to simply delete all unapproved posts which don't fit a pattern of abuse after checking them for content which breaks the forum-wide rules, as we still maintain that it isn't our place to tell group administrators how to run their groups so long as they abide by the few zero-tolerance restrictions the forum has as a whole.
 

Fietta

buıʇʇǝs uoıʇɔǝɹıp ʞɔɐʇʇɐ
Marquis
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Except they can't. We did end up implementing a two-step process for it as a result of your discussion, and anything which is marked unapproved is sent into a notification-enabled queue for global moderators to review. This is done specifically so we can catch the behavior you describe. Our policy is to simply delete all unapproved posts which don't fit a pattern of abuse after checking them for content which breaks the forum-wide rules, as we still maintain that it isn't our place to tell group administrators how to run their groups so long as they abide by the few zero-tolerance restrictions the forum has as a whole.

I made a normal reply to a thread in a group, was never approved and ultimately deleted; was this a you thing or a they thing?

Was in this thread:

 

Orion

Still Not Worthy
Global Moderator
M&BWBWF&SNW
You and about 10 other people made a combined total of over 20 posts the group admins decided were off-topic. Just because your post isn't against the rules doesn't mean it's appropriate for the thread, and how strictly the group decides to enforce that is left to them. Again, staff policy is to monitor for targeted abuse through the mechanisms of group moderation, but to otherwise be hands-off.
 

Fietta

buıʇʇǝs uoıʇɔǝɹıp ʞɔɐʇʇɐ
Marquis
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
You and about 10 other people made a combined total of over 20 posts the group admins decided were off-topic. Just because your post isn't against the rules doesn't mean it's appropriate for the thread, and how strictly the group decides to enforce that is left to them. Again, staff policy is to monitor for targeted abuse through the mechanisms of group moderation, but to otherwise be hands-off.

Hardly off-topic, he was worried about being able to play the NW tournament alongside the Native tournament, but I explained that the NW tournament matches can be scheduled anytime in the week and not the weekend so there shouldn't be an issue and he wouldn't have to dropout (roster change). If we're being pedantic, the posts we're making now are far more off-topic and they're still here...

Again, self moderating groups is a poor idea as it can cause bias to posts, not that my post particularly matters, but having 'forum rules' should be universal and up to moderators to decide what's on or off-topic. Where else should I have posted my comment? Quoted him and put it in the tournament suggestions/discussion board? That would make it even more off-topic to the original thread.

If my post is on-topic and relevant to the thread OP, at what stage are group moderators allowed to determine what should or shouldn't be on the thread? Potentially if it was someone else who posted it, hypothetically they could approve it on an individual basis, just screams bias.

Groups are there instead of boards, and yet boards were moderated the same way as the rest of the forums and groups now aren't? Groups aren't instagram, they're still relevant to the rest of the forums.
 
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