Recently my second year at Stack Overflow has passed. You will immediately notice a dramatic drop in activity compared to the previous year. About 100 new answers and nearly 4,000 points (mostly generated by old answers) is a much lower result than a year ago. In fact, I read and contribute less often. Contributing to Stack Overflow is no longer a new and fresh experience – you can see the same questions and problems asked over and over again. General moods and changes on the website did not help either (although recently the situation has improved, as if suddenly the website owners noticed that they have a community and ignoring it completely is not the best idea…). Well, I hope that the next year will be better…
A new version of the Łowcy Gier forum was launched last week. It was supposed to be a simple upgrade of the phpBB engine but it turned out to be a complicated and painful process. The problem was both the big jump between versions (from phpBB 3.0.x to phpBB 3.2.x – it could not be upgraded directly to the target version, we had to upgrade to phpBB 3.1.x first) and the number of plugins and modifications installed on the old forum that needed to be migrated (none of the old extensions was compatible with the new version of the forum engine, and most of it doesn’t have any compatible replacement) or at least clean their remains (plugins modified the database, which conflicted with new extensions). You can read more about the process here (Polish only).
After short beta-test, new version of Łowcy Gier has been released. Layout has been slightly refreshed and finally became responsive, so it looks decent on smaller devices. There is not much big changes in visual aspect of website – the content layout is similar and there are no revolutionary new features . The most radical changes affects backend and engine. You can read more about them here (Polish only).
Translations for Flarum are managed by language packs, which are simple extensions providing translations strings. Usually installing language pack is enough – your forum instance should be available in your favorite language. But what if you don’t like some translations? Or language pack does not support one of used extensions? Creating your own language pack just for your forum may be an overkill, especially if you don’t want to translate extensions and just want to see untranslated description instead of ugly placeholders.
Flarum is a new interesting forum engine written in PHP. Well… is not really new, first beta release was almost 4 years ago, so it is with us for some time, but so far there was no stable release and project is still in beta stage. Although it already works pretty well and there are some big production deployments, there is still no backward compatibility promise and officially you should not use Flarum on production. Of course some people (like me) will ignore this warning and use this engine on production forums. I’ve used this engine for GG.deals forum and for some small local community forum. These are quite different cases, and I’d like to share my experience of using Flarum for these two forums.