New Web Site Upgrade Coming

Bonsai Nut

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#1
The XenForo software that we use for the backbone of this site has just released version 2.0 of their software after several months of final beta-testing. There are numerous major improvements, and I am looking forward to upgrading BonsaiNut with the new software.

As is usually the case with a major software upgrade, many of our customizations and add-ons will no longer work with the new software. The site may look ugly for a few days until I get everything worked out. Therefore I will hold off on rolling-out the update until after the holidays and plan on working on the site in early January.

I also want to ensure people that the site database is redundantly backed-up and is at no risk... so your 10 year old threads will not be disappearing :)
 

Bonsai Nut

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#4
What to look forward to:

Greatly-enhanced mobile-friendly style
The new XenForo 2 style is the first thing you will notice in XF2. The entire style has been redesigned with a fresh new appearance, but also with mobile browsing at the forefront of the design. When the viewport shrinks, on-page content shrinks, shifts and reorganises itself automatically to optimise the browsing experience for small displays.

A sticky header automatically activates when the window is scrolled, allowing the most important navigation controls to remain available at all times.



Emoji support* ✍️
All textual content in XenForo 2 now supports emoji, from message text to forum titles.

Retina avatar and smilie support
Avatars and smilies now support high-DPI imagery, allowing for a crisp, high resolution display to match the text on displays that support 2x resolution graphics, such as Apple's retina displays.

Navigation manager
Both the public-facing systems and the admin control panel now have completely customizable navigation systems, allowing the content of the navigation bars and side-navigation blocks to be entirely controlled by the site administrator without any need to resort to template modification.



Widgets
Widgets are small blocks of content that can perform a variety of tasks, such as displaying a list of members online, or latest posts etc. Widgets can be placed into various pages within the public-facing side of XenForo using a simple interface, allowing you to build rich content-discovery systems into almost any area of the public forums.



Enhanced message editing
Rather than opening an overlay, editing messages is now done entirely in-place, with the content of messages replaced by a full-fledged message editor that allows the complete range of editing and posting actions, including attachment management.



Alerts in favicon
When new alerts or unread conversation messages are available, the site icon (shown in the browser title bar) will have a badge added to it, showing that there are items waiting to be viewed.



Custom thread fields
An extension of the custom user field system, threads can now have their own custom fields, with all the functionality previously available for user fields. Thread fields can be displayed before or after message content, and can be made editable and optionally required before a thread is posted.



Member tooltip
XF1's member card has been replaced with a new member tooltip, which appears on the first click on a member's name. A further click will load the member's full profile page.



CSS transitions replace Javascript animations
Leveraging modern browser capabilities, almost all of the animations seen in XF2 make use of CSS transitions rather than Javascript animations, resulting in smoother, less processor-intensive transitions between states.

Customisable member stats
The old member list page has now been replaced by an all-new, customizable member statistics system. Individual statistics (such as members with the most posts, most recently-registered members etc.) can be built using an interface in the admin control panel, and are then displayed as an expandable block on the members page.



Generic payment framework
XenForo 2 has a new payment system that is open for development, meaning that add-on developers can quickly and easily build payment gateways for providers that are not part of the core system. Using this system, XF2 ships with a number of ready-made payment options that are easy to integrate with various system enhancements that administrators may define.

Attachments shown in previews
Content previews, such as those seen when hovering a thread title on the thread list page, now include attachments for a more complete and integrated preview experience.

Enhanced code block syntax highlighting
The CODE block system has been greatly enhanced to display syntax highlighting for a much wider range of programming and scripting languages through the use of CODE=language tags.



What’s New and Find Threads
To aid in content discovery, XF2 includes a brand new 'What's new' system, which can fetch new content from all sources across the system, including threads and posts, profile posts, media items and resources. The architecture of the system is fully extensible, so add-on developers can hook into What's new in order to add their own content types to the results.



Additionally, a new Find threads system provides quick links to unanswered threads (with no replies), threads you have started, and threads in which you have posted.



New media embedding features
The BB Code Media system has been significantly enhanced, and now supports embedding Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram photos, Reddit posts and comments, Spotify and Soundcloud tracks, albums and playlists and a whole host of others.

https://twitter.com/statuses/872074244825526273

The integration of oEmbed support allows almost any media to be embedded simply by pasting a link to the media within a message.



Quick thread
Quick Thread is a brand new system for XF2. Above the list of threads on a forum page you will find a title entry box. Focusing this box and starting to type a thread title will load a quick message editor, in which you can post the content for the first post of your new thread. Hitting the save button will then post the thread, leaving you on the forum page rather than redirecting you to the thread page. This makes the process of creating a new simple thread extremely quick and easy.



Thread prompts
In conjunction with Quick thread, Thread prompts allow the title input box to display a configurable prompt, giving members a hint as to what kind of content they should be posting in any given forum. Multiple prompts may be defined and assigned to forums, and an applicable prompt will be selected at random to be displayed to the user when the page loads.

Keyboard shortcut system and enhanced keyboard navigation
XenForo 2 includes an easy method to assign keyboard shortcuts to commonly-used controls, such as searching and opening the alerts list. These shortcuts are defined with simple template edits, and allow for very rapid navigation with a keyboard.

Additionally, the system can determine whether the user is currently using touch, mouse or keyboard navigation at any given time, and will highlight the currently-selected link or control appropriately when keyboard navigation is enabled, while hiding the selection when using touch or mouse methods.

New custom field options
Custom fields have had an overhaul for XF2, and now include a star-rating type, along with various validation options including dates and numbers. These enhancements apply to all custom field types, including user fields and thread fields, and are automatically available for any custom field types defined by add-ons.



HTML 5 input types
To make data input on mobile devices more friendly, we make more extensive use of HTML 5 input types, allowing specialised keyboards to be displayed in place of the standard character keyboard. For example, when an input requires only a number, a telephone-style keyboard is displayed.

Developer / designer mode
While XF1's WebDAV system has been retired, XF2 has a whole new range of enhancements for rapid style development, including a system whereby templates can be edited directly in the file system using any editor of your choice. In designer mode, when the system detects a modified template, it will be compiled ready for the next page view that requires that template.



CLI tools
For add-on developers and large board administrators, XF2 now includes a comprehensive suite of command line tools, allowing operations such as upgrades and add-on manipulation to be done from the terminal rather than having to operate through a web interface. This can be of huge benefit for long operations, such as recompiling all templates or upgrading a large site.

* Note that while emoji support is enabled by default on new installations, sites that have been upgraded from XenForo 1.x will require a script to be run in order to convert all text to a new emoji-supporting character set (utf8mb4). This can be a relatively long process, and administrators should perform test-runs to determine how long the process will take for their final upgrade.
 
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#5
Will there be any changes to the ad servers with this upgrade?

If not, can I donate somewhere and get the AdBlocker guilt trip message to go away? I was getting some hinky redirects from ads on here previously so I'd rather not add this site to my whitelist (but I don't want to freeload either).
 
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#8
Yes, thank you for the great site.
NOW WOULD BE A GREAT TIME FOR EVERYONE TO FIND A INTERESTING AD TO CLICK ON! HINT HINT, do it now!
 
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#9
Yeah bnut's an awesome site. I haven't had time to consistently attend club meeting and such so these forums really are the grounds for me to discuss and learn new things.
 
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#11
What to look forward to:

Greatly-enhanced mobile-friendly style
Emoji support*
✍️
Retina avatar and smilie support
Navigation manager
Widgets
Enhanced message editing
...
HTML 5 input types
Developer / designer mode
CLI tools

</QUOTE>
What a list! Thanks for the details.
 

Bonsai Nut

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#14
My only request is keeping the green background as it is synonymous with trees and not as glaring
;)
Oh absolutely. I can do anything we want - and customizing colors is easy. The colors, the text font, the icons, pretty much anything that gives the site its "look and feel" are custom. Believe it or not I even customized tiny details like the shape of the text boxes, or the little light green line that separates posts that you didn't even notice until just now :)

It will still be Bonsai Nut. It will just be Bonsai Nut 3.0... and hopefully some of the minor annoyances we have had in the past will go away as we adopt the new software. There are some glitchy formatting issues with responsive formatting (ie formatting the web site for all different screen sizes) that I am very happy to say goodbye to :)
 
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#15
Oh absolutely. I can do anything we want - and customizing colors is easy. The colors, the text font, the icons, pretty much anything that gives the site its "look and feel" are custom. Believe it or not I even customized tiny details like the shape of the text boxes, or the little light green line that separates posts that you didn't even notice until just now :)

It will still be Bonsai Nut. It will just be Bonsai Nut 3.0... and hopefully some of the minor annoyances we have had in the past will go away as we adopt the new software. There are some glitchy formatting issues with responsive formatting (ie formatting the web site for all different screen sizes) that I am very happy to say goodbye to :)
Looking forward to it.

Well done Bnut
 

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