This is a forum upgrade?

Seriously? Yeah, no, but thanks for trying.


I admit it also threw me off quite a bit. For a few minutes I thought I’d somehow found an old, stripped-down version of the website from which L&L had since upgraded. (Seriously, I went searching for the version I remembered because I couldn’t believe they would have replaced the old forum with this one.)

I understand the inner workings of the forum have become more advanced from a moderation standpoint (and the idea is probably to improve the quality of forum interactions, regulation of misbehavior etc.), but aesthetically speaking… this feels like a major downgrade. I also don’t like the idea of privileges being restricted based upon recent activity (I question what happens if a trusted member who’s active in the forums drops out for a while and comes back with a gap in their activity record), but I understand why that system is in place, and I hope it works out for the better in the long run. I’ve seen how forums can descend into chaos without sufficient safeguards in place.

Obviously, the devs can do whatever they like with the site, and it’ll probably get easier to navigate the new interface with time. But as of now, I miss the old version.


Lots of people hated the last forum upgrade, until they got used to it.

Lots of people will hate this one, until they get used to it.

I’m happy to see they have some nice functionality (like being able to like posts without having to create a separate reply; a light-weight modern editing system that doesn’t require so many page refreshes, etc.) and am looking forward to getting used to this one. Plus, dark theme!


True, having a dark theme is a nice addition. Like I said, they can do whatever they like and maybe we’ll all adjust and come to like the new one in time. I think part of my problem was that I hadn’t logged in for a few months and had no idea the change was happening (plus I generally don’t like change), so it caught me completely off-guard.

I won’t lie and say I like it at the moment, but I’m sure the devs have their reasons for switching to the new version, and I’ll try to get used to it.

I’d logged in in the wee early hours of the morning here in the US, and didn’t have any idea it was coming either. And I’m autistic, so me and change are like :flight_departure: – but I’m choosing to focus on the aspects that are solving previous annoyances.

Ah, yeah, I’m also on the spectrum, so change of any kind is always… erm… yeah. xD

Weirdly, the aspect of the new design that’s bugging me the most is having little colored dots next to each topic/category. I don’t know why that’s bugging me, but it is. :woman_shrugging: I’ll get over it, though.

This version does look older, but I don’t think I’d be terribly concerned either way, except that I recently created a new topic and was notified of a couple of replies, which I read briefly just before the switch. I went back to take a closer look and respond, and they’re gone now. (I did read enough to know that it’s likely to be much easier for me to move my 500+ page user manual into LaTex than to deal with Mac-Windows Scrivener compatibility issues. Sigh…)

Ack, that’s stressful (the lost replies, I mean, although the other thing also sounds incredibly frustrating). Have you contacted their support team?

LaTex is a formatting program, yes? I’ve never used it, but it looks complicated.

Oh no! I was very careful to put the old forum into maintenance mode for about ten minutes before dumping the data for a final import, and noted that the most recent posts lined up with what had been posted last, after the final import. Do you happen to know how old these posts were, or could you link me to the topic in question? I could try to take a look into what happened as I still have the import logs.

Migrating nearly 15 years of material will be a miracle if it all worked as expected, but it would be nice to know that at least recent stuff is good.

As for the theme—yeah, maybe when we get things settled down we’ll look into getting a developer to create a theme for us. It is pretty vanilla at the moment. Discourse takes a minimalist approach to design, which to be honest I do like, but there were some things about the previous design I wish I had time to carry over. I might, given some time, be able to hammer together some improvements to the CSS.

Overall though, phpBB was getting very long in the tooth. They still develop it, don’t get me wrong, but Discourse uses stuff that we have kind of come to expect from the web these days. Being able to preview while you type, being able to use Markdown instead of the bulkier BBCode (though you still can use some of that if you want), seeing that someone is typing while you are in a thread, notifications. There is a lot of new stuff to explore, and acclimate to.

I know “everyone” will hate it at first, that’s just how things go. I’m on the spectrum as well, so I very much appreciate how it can be on top of that.


I think the single biggest change I would like style-wise is having a little bit of line spacing between lines of text. Right now, it feels really dense. Otherwise, I’m having a lot less friction than I thought I would.


I’m guiltily relieved that I’m not the only one who has a problem with dense formatting (I haven’t had too much trouble with that in the new design so far, but I 100% understand the struggle). It might be cool for users to be able to set their own preferences for things like text justification, font size, and line spacing on the site, but I imagine there would be a fair amount of additional code involved, so I’ll completely understand if that doesn’t become a thing.

I agree, it is a bit dense. I’ve tried out 1.5em using the browser’s dev tools, and that looks good to me. I’ve added it to my list to look into, I think I need to figure out how to edit the core CSS variables to do that correctly, rather than try and patch it over with an override.

Side comment: I just logged on via mobile for the first time and it actually looks pretty good on this platform and seems well-optimized (though I haven’t tried to do much with it yet). So bravo on that – I’ve seen so many websites that looked great on desktop but were clearly thrown together (and sometimes borderline unusable) on mobile.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention in my list above that mobile support is light years over what we had before. Discourse’s development doesn’t focus on mobile, but they treat it on an equal footing, which I don’t think was ever fair to say of the previous software.

Argh, okay, in fact I looked up your post history and saw it was a thread I had posted in recently today. I just put my response back up, since I still have it in my scratchpad.

That’s a bit concerning though.

It won’t let me include the link, but it’s forum dot literatureandlatte dot com slash t slash cross-platform-compatibility slash 110692

On recent posts not migrating to the new forum, I have noticed this on a few threads I looked at this morning. For example, a thread started by Scrive on “Limit to References” in “Markdown and Latex” is now shown with no replies, but there were at least two this morning.


Thanks. I’m going to try running the importer script again, maybe over the weekend when volume is lower as I have to take everything down for a couple of hours.

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It seems to have imported partially edited versions of posts in the NiaD sub forum, rather than the final versions. Participant lists have therefore been lost. [shrugs]

I’ll check and make sure the posts that are supposed to be locked are still locked in the morning when I’m on a laptop. It’s all too stimulating on my phone this close to my bedtime.

Hmm, on that, I wonder if it’s because I did the bulk of the import a long while ago, and the importer isn’t programmed to “see” updates. If so that’s disappointing, but on the bright side I’m sure it won’t impact most posts, as the old forum had an edit lock after ten minutes or so.

I might have to put the old forum up on an internal server so it can be cross-referenced in cases people spot like this, and I can manually copy stuff over if need be.

Definitely copy the end of the day vibe though. It’s been a long one!