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 New things coming to AFN

Discussion in 'Live Announcements & Constructive Feedback' started by Son of Hobbes, May 14, 2019.

  1. Son of Hobbes

    Son of Hobbes High of the Tiger Staff Member Site Administrator

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    Good morning everyone!

    Well we've officially completed our server hardware upgrade and our migration to our new data center! The new hardware that runs the site is incredibly faster than our original box (which was some of the same hardware that ran AFN when we first started!) We're also on a faster, more stable connection to boot!

    This was the first step in our upgrade process for the forum. Now that the hardware upgrade and move is done, we're going to start developing out a version of the forum on the latest versions of the same software we currently use to run it. I've actually been testing out the latest version now for several weeks, and it is NIGHT and DAY faster, more responsive, and allows us a ton more options to help run the site, make things manageable for you all, and keeps things updated and modern.

    We're working on implementing upgraded/revised aspects of most things on the site.

    We have a new "blogging" software for grow journals that should make grow journals almost a TREAT to read (no more sorting through 500 pages of comments to find the 1 update every couple of pages!)

    We have a new review system that will make reviews easy to read, easy to write.

    We have a new video system we're working on to let those with YouTube/Vimeo accounts post their vids in a gallery setting.

    We have a new live chat room system that allows for live, instant text chatting.

    We're looking at higher limits for image file sizes in general on the forum, and even higher limits for your Media Gallery albums (including larger storage too.)

    We're looking to implement a "wiki" style information page, that will allow us to choose community curators to help with the information and a system that would allow anyone in the community to submit potential updates, corrections, or even to challenge anything that may be considered wrong, opinion, or misinformation (pretty excited about this, it's a "everyone put your hands in on this one" kind of project.)

    We're also taking a hard look at creating a more fluid navigation experience. A lot of the new software really "cleans up" up and adds polish to the look and feel of things, so I really think the site in general is going to run much faster and be way more enjoyable to get around and do things on.

    The tentative goal is to start working on the development for this in the next month.

    In other rather major news, we're also launching a new sister site to AFN called High of the Tiger (HOTT.) We've watched now for almost 4 years our product testing and grow battle format grow from a small infant into full blown teenager (complete with smelly socks, eating all the food out of the fridge then leaving the fridge door open, and the attitude lol.) We asked several growers feedback on how they felt about these aspects of the site, the feedback was almost staggering in the consistency of "we like it, but it seems like it's overtaking the site anymore." So our solution was to simply shift that part of the concept over, giving it it's own dedicated space that's built specifically around that idea and concept.

    AFN will remain emphasized on cultivation education for home/small-scale growing and the social aspect of cannabis, and High of the Tiger will be emphasized on competitive grow battles and our product testing program.

    We won't see vendor forums go away on AFN necessarily, but the shift and focus of the battles and testing will be redirected to the sister-site. You won't see threads/forums on "how to grow" or "what's wrong with my plant" on the competitive site, and conversely we're pushing so you don't have to look at all the competitive stuff in the side bar here when you're looking for answers or just documenting in a casual grow journal.

    That keeps AFN about the grow, and that pushes the competition and testing to HOTT for the show.

    The new site is hosted on it's own separate box and at a separate data center location. This also give us an extra layer of protection if we ever run into issues with one site going down (or the other site going down,) plus both sites will be on the same version of the forum software, so the experience will be VERY, VERY similar between the two sites (both in look and feel, just not in content.)

    It's also in total development right now, we're building things out, testing out features, removing some things, etc. We'll be live with it for testing out journals and battles likely within a week or two!

    So awesome and new things on the way! We hope these are all positive changes (we think they will be, we literally compiled dozens of pages of feedback from members from various things we've asked about and we're looking at what's feasible, what's not, and what we can do to make this a better place to hang out and journal and grow.)

    Thanks everyone!
     
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  2. MissUniverse

    MissUniverse I put metal in the microwave Gladiator level 1

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    awesome news! are you keeping RSS feeds (please say yes, i use them a lot to parse updates so i can look at whats going on at a glance)? Also is the chat room one that will be javascript/site only based or will there be a way for me to connect via a communications protocol that i could just write an extension to my current chat client so i dont have to have another window open all day?
     
  3. Uro

    Uro Part timer

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    do i need to make another login for the new site
     
  4. Son of Hobbes

    Son of Hobbes High of the Tiger Staff Member Site Administrator

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    Yes we are; the latest version of the forum removes the RSS link but I believe the option is still there (I might have to dig a bit on it, I saw someone else ask about it on the dev site.)

    I'll have to look into your chat question, it's a software written specifically for the forum (not a 3rd party chat that happens to integrate.) I couldn't find ANYTHING that looked good for the site for chat, I really wanted to implement audio/video conferencing but the options I found were really poorly supported (days for answers on support tickets, lots of comments from others on how features don't work correctly, etc.) Even the option we have on the new site still needs a little tweaking.

    I know you were working on some software yourself; when we get things a bit more caught up on the new AFN dev I was thinking maybe we'd even expand out a forum just for apps/software (maybe with some disclaimers lol...)

    Yes you will, it's a totally different site/server/database, even hosted in a different location.
     
    Uro, Mizzo81, blue and 1 other person like this.
  5. MissUniverse

    MissUniverse I put metal in the microwave Gladiator level 1

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    Awesome thanks for all that info! Makes it easier for me to know which direction to prep things. I'm sure once the things are out and rolling I can look at the client side page and applet and make something from that. Just a few extra steps, but an extra few hundred to a thousand lines of code isnt gonna kill me :) probably got the pieces in my libraries written already from other projects :)

    A forum for cannabis based development projects would be interesting. Would be a niche community that probably wouldn't need a big server though probably along the lines of the old mailing lists or just a small forum on an el cheapo server from back in the day. Could be fun :)

    Keep up the good work!!!
     
    Son of Hobbes, blue and Jraven like this.
  6. Wawashell

    Wawashell Just an AFN Grower, Growing my Growing Skills Gladiator level 1

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    Cool cool:biggrin: News!
     
    Son of Hobbes and blue like this.
  7. Archaic

    Archaic Flushing is a myth!

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    I'm pretty excited about this, AFN is a great site but it's definitely showing it's age. I'm looking forward to the navigation upgrades and getting a wall up around the grow battles. I've lurked HOTT, it looks really promising.

    Keep up the good work!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  8. OregonBlackBear

    OregonBlackBear Fussy Bumble Bear

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    I think the site content split to HOTT is a great idea. The grow battles and comps have definitely consumed site content at AFN to the point that I'm having trouble finding grow journals to eat up on a binge read.
     
  9. Uro

    Uro Part timer

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    okay , so is is there a link for HOTT , i cant find it
     
  10. Steviestash

    Steviestash Smoke Cannabis Live with Friends on AFN Gladiator level 1

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    Highofthetiger.com
     
    Uro likes this.

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