Demo Access to Future FMH Forum

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Ted

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I am planning to move this forum from the ancient VBulletin 4 codebase to a brand new Xenforo 2 system. I think you'll like it.

https://www.freemathhelp.com/forumx/

It's up and running right now in parallel with the current software, and you're welcome to look at it and play around. You'll need to use username demouser and password DemoOnly (case sensitive) to get past the basic htaccess authentication on that directory. The site isn't a secret or anything, but I don't want the general public stumbling upon it while I'm fiddling around. I imported everything over a few days ago so you'll see posts up through last Friday, and all user login information should still work. Anything you post now will eventually be deleted since I'll have to re-import everything over for the final release, on a date TBD.

You may see things change in real time, and the system will go down for maintenance periodically, but the idea is to play around if you're unfamiliar with Xenforo and want to learn before the new code goes live.

Let me know what you think.
 

MarkFL

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Awesome news, Ted. I think everyone, especially mobile users, is going to enjoy this. :mrgreen:
 

Otis

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I like the new layout. :D

Ted noted that some features are currently unavailable, as setup continues. For example, I couldn't find a way to search for members or look at their profile pages. I note that a search link is available, before logging in with my own username, but the link disappears upon logging in. (Before logging in, the search link seemed to work in some cases but not others.)
 

mmm4444bot

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I'm hoping that the new software allows us to (1) force new members to read the guidelines before posting, (2) prevent machine registrations, (3) prevent SPAM in profile pages (or anywhere, other than in a post, where it may be dealt with easily), and (4) resolve issues with hosted images becoming unreadable.
 

Ted

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I like the new layout. :D

Ted noted that some features are currently unavailable, as setup continues. For example, I couldn't find a way to search for members or look at their profile pages. I note that a search link is available, before logging in with my own username, but the link disappears upon logging in. (Before logging in, the search link seemed to work in some cases but not others.)
When I click the search button near the top right of the page I see the option to search in one box, or search "by member" in the next box. You can also click Advanced Search and search by member from that page. It shows up for me whether logged in or not, and it doesn't seem to be related to my browser viewport size (i.e. big desktop window or little mobile-sized window). Can you screenshot it if it's still a problem for you?
 

MarkFL

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I like the new layout. :D

Ted noted that some features are currently unavailable, as setup continues. For example, I couldn't find a way to search for members or look at their profile pages. I note that a search link is available, before logging in with my own username, but the link disappears upon logging in. (Before logging in, the search link seemed to work in some cases but not others.)
If you hover your mouse cursor over the avatar of a user, a "hovercard" will pop up showing you some details about the user, or you can click their avatar to visit their profile. It appears on the demo site permissions to view profiles is turned off, but that's how you get there. There is also a "Members" tab on the navbar that isn't currently on.

In general, I have found the search feature with XF to be easier to use than vB, it just takes some getting used to. :)
 

Otis

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Otis

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… site permissions to view profiles is turned off, but that's how you get there. There is also a "Members" tab on the navbar that isn't currently on …
Thanks for that.

I noticed a tab for Profile Posts. What are those?
 

Otis

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I logged into my account at the demo site and posted a thread reply. The system advised me that my reply was in queue, to be checked by a moderator. The demo system shows that I've posted 884 messages, so I'm wondering why it would treat me as a new member. Work in progress, probably, but thought I should mention it. :cool:
 

Subhotosh Khan

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Awesome news, Ted. I think everyone, especially mobile users, is going to enjoy this. :mrgreen:
That means more incomplete sentences, weird abbreviations..... and such.....
 

MarkFL

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Thanks for that.

I noticed a tab for Profile Posts. What are those?
Profile posts are like visitor messages in vBulletin. You can leave posts on a person's profile, and then responses to that post can be posted by anyone. They will display in a hierarchical manner.
 

MarkFL

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XenForo has what are called "Conversations" rather than Private Messages. They are still private, but they can have more than 2 participants at a time and everyone involved in the conversation will see all messages posted in the conversation. After a conversation has been started, others may be invited to join the conversation. It's much less messy than vB's PM system.
 

mmm4444bot

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Profile posts are like visitor messages in vBulletin. You can leave posts on a person's profile, and then responses to that post can be posted by anyone.
I'm not familiar with forum visitors posting messages anywhere in vBulletin. (I thought only members could post.)

Will profile-page posting (on the XenForo system) make each member's profile page a board unto itself?
 

MarkFL

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I'm not familiar with forum visitors posting messages anywhere in vBulletin. (I thought only members could post.)

Will profile-page posting (on the XenForo system) make each member's profile page a board unto itself?
I suppose it could, but most people just use it to drop a public message to particular users. A discussion could result, but from what I've seen rarely does. When I spoke of visitor messages in vBulletin, it is messages registered users can post on the profiles of others, most don't allow guest posting.
 

mmm4444bot

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… but most people just use [profile-page posting] to drop a public message to particular users …
I'm thinking ahead, to what spammers will do. At this site, spammers post advertising, pornography, invitations to break the law or one of many other types of garbage on their own profile page. If members are free to post garbage on other peoples' profile page, I suspect spammers will -- to the greatest extent possible.


… When I spoke of visitor messages in vBulletin, it is messages registered users can post on the profiles of others …
I've never seen such an option available here. Perhaps, Ted never activated it.

What options are available in XenForo to prevent machine registrations?
 
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MarkFL

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I'm thinking ahead, to what spammers will do. At this site, spammers post advertising, pornography, invitations to break the law or one of many other types of garbage on their own profile page. If members are free to post garbage on other people's profile page, I suspect spammers will -- to the greatest extent possible.


I've never seen such an option available here. Perhaps, Ted never activated it.

What options are available in XenForo to prevent machine registrations?
I think what I would likely do if spam on profiles was an issue is to create an initial usergroup into which new users are placed, and this usergroup would not be able to post on profiles. But, there would be an automated promotion set up such that when a user has a certain number of posts under their belt, they would be automatically moved to another usergroup with fewer restrictions.

Preventing machine registrations altogether I think is something done at the server level with an .htaccess file.

XF 2.1 does have an extensive core registration settings to prevent bot registration, or at least make them much more difficult. Dealing with human spammers is pretty straightforward for staff as well. You can get this same level of spam prevention with vB 4.x but it requires several addons to get there. XF has all of this out of the box.
 
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mmm4444bot

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… an automated promotion set up such that when a user has a certain number of posts under their belt, they would be automatically moved to another usergroup with fewer restrictions …
That sounds good. I would set the threshold at 10 posts minimum, based on spammer's tricks I've seen here.


… Preventing machine registrations altogether I think is something done at the server level with an .htaccess file. XF 2.1 does have an extensive core registration settings to prevent bot registrations …
I've registered at sites where I had to provide a response to two or three logic questions, during registration and/or confirmation.

EGs:

An image displays, "What is 44 × 7 - 88 ?" so I had to enter 223 in a field.

An image displays, "Which does not belong? dolphin cat flower bird" so I had to enter flower.

Once, when I received the emailed confirmation link, there was a CAPTCHA step (i.e., repeatedly clicking on images containing taxis, for example, until no images with taxis remained).

Are challenge questions a part of XenForo's extensive core registration settings? Can you provide other examples of registration settings?
 

MarkFL

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Here is a screenshot of the registration settings:

fmh_xfregistration.jpg
 

MarkFL

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Let's try that again:

 
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