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Forum software switchover, 4/26 at 1:00 PM EDT

edited April 2015 in Chit-Chat
After a lot of prep work, we're ready to get feedback on switching the forums software to Vanilla. There are big reasons to do this:
  • A much, much better experience on phones (read: actually usable).
  • A nice view of all activity, so you don't have to click into each forum to see what's up.
  • It looks like it will be easier to adminster and moderate.
There are also new features that are possible with Vanilla that do not look easy in SMF, the current software, too. To name a few...
  • More flexibility with categories, so you can easily see questions people are having with Twine 1 and SugarCube, for example.
  • Topic posters will be able to mark a particular post as a working answer, la Stack Overflow.
Making this transition will not lose any forum history, and accounts will be carried over, including passwords. We have a working, but read-only version of what the forums will look like once migrated at This used a snapshot of the forums that was taken several months ago (that's how long this project took!), so although it is not up-to-date, it should give you a good idea as to what it will look like and how it'll act.

This seems like the right time to take stock and hold an Airing of Grievances regarding the forums, too, so let's use this thread to a) talk about issues related to the switch to Vanilla b) anything in general you wish was different about the forums. I can't promise that we'll be able to fix everything, but it's at least worth talking about.

To give us some time to talk all this over, the plan is to actually make this transition in mid-April.

I want to thank AteYourLembas for leading the charge on this project. Without her work, this would have never gotten off the ground.


  • Thank you for the mention, the patience, and the perseverance, Chris!

    If you have any thoughts at all on the forum software, current or proposed, they are very, very welcome.

    No matter what, thank you for helping make his forum a rewarding place to be!
  • FWIW, at Choice of Games, we switched off of Vanilla and onto Discourse. I think most of us like Discourse better than Vanilla at this point. Feel free to post in our Meta category for feedback.
  • I like the ideas behind Discourse, but the server requirements are a no-go on the shoestring Dreamhost plan I'm using to host this site. Switching to a VPS like Linode or Digital Ocean seems like something I should do someday, but the increased maintenance needs are a little intimidating.

    I'll hop over and see what roadblocks you guys hit with Vanilla, if only so we know about them before we hit them.
  • The date for the switchover has been set for April 26, at 1:00 PM EDT. Please expect the forums to be unavailable for at least a few hours while we get things done.
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