Irma and Site Upgrade Announcement (Part I)

Started by Vekseid, September 10, 2017, 02:43:42 AM

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Please read this entire message as it covers several disparate topics.

I hope this message finds everyone safe.

Of course, the US has been pummeled with disasters lately - I am currently in 'fire nation', myself. The Sun cast shadows here for the first time in over a week Saturday morning, and we can see the mountains again. Hopefully it continues clearing. Whatever you have faced or may be facing, you have friends here, and our thoughts are with you.

Hurricane Irma

Recently, Irma's path has shifted to Florida's west coast, and there is a significant chance that the eyewall will pass over Tampa, which is where our mailserver and remote backups are located. Proper data centers are the modern equivalent of fortresses in the physical sense, and the one housing our server in Tampa is no exception. Our host there is not making any promises, however, so I will be retrieving the most critical data - mostly configuration stuff - as a precaution.

The most likely scenario is that, if enough switches get knocked out, there may be periods where e-mail notifications do not get sent or even get lost.

In any case, there is a chance that e-mail notifications may get disrupted Sunday or Monday. Appropriate measures will be taken depending on the status of the server itself.

Elliquiy's website is in Chicago and is in no danger from any hurricane.

Members with fancy usernames

If your username - the name you log in with - has fancy characters - diacritics, symbols, or anything outside of alphanumeric characters, periods, spaces, and hyphens (A-Za-Z .-) - send me a private message.

During the conversion to Elkarte, it is likely that I will also need to convert the character set, as well. Since usernames are a part of the password salt in SMF, it will not be possible for you to log in should your username contain non-ascii characters.

Make sure your e-mail address on Elliquiy is a functioning one, and can receive password reset notifications if needed.

The further pruning of the allowed character list is to minimize issues with other software, upgrades, and tricks.

Blind, otherwise visually impaired members, and others who browse Elliquiy using assistive technologies

Elkarte is in its final phase of testing. As a part of that effort, if you or someone you know uses assistive technology to access Elliquiy, it would be greatly appreciated if you send me a private message. I will give you a link to the test site, and we can ensure that you can:

1) Register

2) Post new topics

3) Read new topics

4) Post and read new replies

5) Send and receive new private messages

6) Search

7) Configure extra fields

8) And otherwise do everything normal sighted people can with the site.

A note on  the buddy system

After the move to Elkarte, the buddy system is going to begin taking a more and more prominent role on the site.

You will find the transitions to be a bit smoother if you ensure you are mutual buddies with your friends here.

This may be confusing, as currently SMF treats buddies as a sort of afterthought. It will make more sense once Elliquiy has upgraded, however.

The future of the Ons and Offs system

Some of you remember the Rabbit Hole, which was what F-List was before F-List was a thing.

It was problematic and clearly dying, so without knowing about F-List, I whipped together what is our current ons and offs page, mostly over a weekend. is a right mess. Inefficient, ugly, and does not support our visually impaired membership.

While I plan to convert most of our custom scripts to Elkarte, converting the Ons and Offs as-is would take almost as much work as redoing it. Especially if I wanted to support our blind members in the mean time.

I refactored Elkarte's custom fields code to more fully handle most of the basic page data, so the 'saved' data will remain.

The oft-confusing matrices will not be converted to Elkarte, however.

The replacement is going to come from the new CMS schema instead, and I may or may not have it ready ahead of time for the Elkarte conversion. There is a lot that I want to have done for going live with Elkarte, including some massive commonly requested features.

In any case, I suggest bringing any tidbits in from the matrix to your personal Ons and Offs thread in the forums, here.

About Elkarte

Elkarte is a fork of Simple Machines Forum (our current software) that has some features members have been requesting, and I have been a small part of contributing to over the past couple years. A selection of user-facing features includes:

* Post drafts
* Reply-by-email
* @mentions
* Vastly superior mobile layout
* 'Live' notifications

It is currently in its hopefully final phase of testing, and bringing it to Elliquiy is a multi-stage process that will occur over the next several months. Outside of the Ons & Offs matrices, all features currently on Elliquiy will be a part of Elkarte - I have already converted the shoutbox and the wiki, for example, plus have working integrations for another piece of software a lot of you have been badgering me about.

The Elkarte team hopes to have 1.1 final out in a month. Only one blocker remains, and the only remaining issue of note is the accessibility testing I mention above.

Regarding the Equifax Leak

I thought I would put this here, for my fellow Americans.

The 'check' site that Equifax put up is a scam. It returns a random result. See here:

Likewise, freezing your credit with Equifax returns a highly insecure PIN. See here:

At this point, my personal opinion is that you should be dealing with Equifax and its subsidiaries through one or more of the following entities:

1) Your lawyer.
2) Your state attorney general.
3) Your elected representatives.

At this point, Equifax has proven that they cannot be trusted in any capacity. They are simply holding your personal information hostage accordingly, and trying to milk what profit they can out of this situation by getting people to sign up to their service.

Thank you for reading, and stay safe, everyone.

As 'part I' indicates, there will be further announcements as things progress with Elkarte. Stay tuned. : )


OMG! I'm so excited for the Elkarte move!!

Thank you for this update, Veks! <3
This doesn't have to end in a fight, Buck.
It always ends in a fight.
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I don't know.
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Thanks for the detailed and considered update, Veks :)


Extremely excited for the Elkarte updates/move. :)

Thank you, Vekseid, (and to all those who worked on Elkarte) for all your hard work. I really can't say that enough! ^^

My thoughts to those affected by Irma--I hope those of you affected will be safe.  :-\

And ugh, Equifax. Just...that is beyond terrible.  >:(


My thoughts are with everyone in Florida, Texas, the Caribbeans, etc. </3

Super ready for Elkarte!!!!
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Awesome! Thanks for this update, Vekseid!

Those who are affected by Hurricane Irma, I hope all of you there are safe. I heard this hurricane is more dangerous than it is, so keep safe, everyone!
                             Kinda not around for some time.


Thank you Ves for the update!

Please stay safe everyone, if you are anywhere near that moster Irma. Just seeing it on CNN scares me.


Thank you for the update and for all the great work you do, Vekseid.



If there's a will, there's a way; and probably a good scar with it.

Days/times i'm usually on: Sunday - Tuesday I am on until late at night usually. Wednesday - Saturday I work 7am to 3pm, so you can expect me around 4/4:30 EST.

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Very exciting! Thank you for your work and the details you gave!
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Thanks Veks and everyone else who worked on those updates. They look just awesome. Really looking forward to trying them out ;D
PM box is open. So is my discord: Sain#5301


Thanks Veks for all the work that you do for us, and everyone in Florida, please be safe.



Oo, this is all super cool. Thank you for the update and all of your hard work!
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wants and needs | apologies and absences  | ons and offs


Just to be clear about Elkarte, it's just that the site format will change, not the URL right? It'd still be just with a face lift?


Thanks for the update!

My thoughts and prayers are with those in the storm's path, please stay safe!


First I heard about this, lazy on reading news posts so I am.

This sounds like a good thing. Thanks Veks! I am always impressed and grateful for how you constantly try to improve things and try your very best to take care of the wonderful people that have found a home in this unlikely and wonderful place you have created.

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Quote from: Various on September 10, 2017, 08:18:49 AM
Just to be clear about Elkarte, it's just that the site format will change, not the URL right? It'd still be just with a face lift?

That's right~


I can make some more themes, but it's my preference to wait until the site's complete so they won't need changing later.


Looking forward to all the new stuff, not sure I understand all of it but it sounds fun! :D

Speaking of themes will the current ones still be here? I've been using the Rainbow theme so long I'm not sure I would recognize normal E anymore. :)
Apologies & Absences | Ons & Offs | Canon in Red
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Quote from: RedPhoenix on September 10, 2017, 12:25:42 PM
Looking forward to all the new stuff, not sure I understand all of it but it sounds fun! :D

Speaking of themes will the current ones still be here? I've been using the Rainbow theme so long I'm not sure I would recognize normal E anymore. :)

If they are then it's highly unlikely they'd work properly. They're built around the current E site, so they'd need to be built again around the new one.


We'll have a new round of theme redesign before the conversion goes live.

I refactored nearly all of the css for this, to make it easier to create color variants.


Apologies & Absences | Ons & Offs | Canon in Red
I move the stars for no one.


Locked, cocked and ready to rock!