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Thread: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

      
  1. #1

    Referees in Canada
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    Default Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Hi All,

    Well it's our 15 year anniversary this year, thanks to everyone that has kept the place going and for giving you guys the help you need to further your refereeing abilities.

    With that said, this is a forewarning that I am going to have to change a few things here as the software that runs the place is becoming a bit out dated and the current versions of PHP cannot be used because of the age of the system that is used.

    So, with that said there will be a few things coming up which will at times cause some downtime. To ensure that downtime is kept to a minimum and at off peak times, I shall keep updates to a Monday night / Tuesday Night. This will allow people to post items from their games after the weekend, and get some advice, as well as swot up ready for their weekend games.

    The changes that will come are quite exciting from a development point of view, but learning from the lessons of running this place, I will keep everything simple to use.

    UPGRADES:
    The Forum will be changed from the VBulletin system that is currently used, to the XenForo system. The reason is that VBulletin 4 is no longer supported and VBulletin 5 does not meet the needs of this community. XenForo will also allow us to upgrade the server to PHP 7.2 which allows us to keep your details safe and secure, and keep the speed of the site running well.

    NEW LOOK:
    As it's our 15th year there will be a new and clean look to the place, gone will be all the old bits that next to no body uses. The new look will provide a light & dark theme for your choice, as I recognise getting older that dark themes can be much harder on the eyes (yes, I'm getting old, I admit it!).

    NEW FEATURES:

    TEST MATCH DATABASE:
    This system has been years in the making, through excel and eventually to web-based. Essentially it will be a compendium of every international match, the score, who refereed, how many cards, etc. etc. etc. It will be referee focused so will not have player names, scorer names. This will need updated as international games kick in, and all verified referee members of rugbyrefs.com will have the ability to use it & update it. I hope it will prove useful for people, even if just for historical reference.

    REFLOG:
    Another thing that I have been working on for years, this will come in three parts.

    Part 1
    You'll have all used Pre-Game reports before to identify areas to work on, what went well, what didn't, etc...

    This will be the same, but you will be able to see the trends of areas that you keep having to work on, as well as letting you know the parts of your game that are going well.

    Part 2
    Ability to record stats from watching a video and note areas to work on, which can be combined with a written report that was created from part 1.

    Part 3
    Ability for you to give the captains & Referee Coaches of your game a chance to provide you feedback. This will then reflect over a season and give you another area to reflect.

    This will come together in stages, and will all have the ability to be shared with others should you wish.

    LEARN RUGBY LAWS
    It'll be back late this year/early next year. But with a better user interface and back end to control & update as an when changes to the laws are made.

    That's it for the meantime. So I will apologise in advance for any Monday/Tuesday downtimes, but hopefully it'll provide you all with a cleaner, fresher & easier to use RugbyRefs.com
    Last edited by Robert Burns; 28-08-18 at 17:08.
    "This is not Soccer!" ©Nigel Owens
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    Robert Burns
    RugbyRefs.com Webmaster
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  2. #2

    Referees in New Zealand
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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Excellent news Robbie. I was wondering why we hadn't heard from you in a while.

    I have my doubts about Xenforo. TRF changed to that a while ago, and many of the users didn't like it. There are several user configurables that vBulletin has which are absent in Xenforo, e.g. sort order of posts in a thread - its oldest at the top, newest at the bottom and users cannot change it.

    Another annoyance is that a link to a YouTube video is force-embedded into an in-line player (whether you wrap it in tags or not) and timecoding is ignored so you can't point to a time and get it to play from that point... it strips the timecode and plays from the start - very annoying.
    "Never underestimate the power of the Internet to lend unwarranted credibility to the colossally misinformed"
    - Jay "Utah" Windley

  3. #3

    Referees in England


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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Robbie , great to see that maintenance is in its way

    are you planning to collect user requirements, see what we want and don't want from the site , before you start ? Or are you set with your plans?

  4. #4

    Advises in England
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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Excellent news and thanks in advance for the effort you are putting in.
    He trudg’d along unknowing what he sought,
    And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
    The Referee by John Dryden

  5. #5

    Referees in Canada


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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    How about streamlining the number of sub forums. It seems there are too many and some of them are basically duplicates.

  6. #6

    Referees in England


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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Get rid of all the subforums and use the subject labels

  7. #7

    Referees in England


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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Robbie
    I wonder if your reflog duplicates what WTR either have or are working on

    Also does RR have enough users to justify that sort of effort from you ?

  8. #8

    Referees in America
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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    I would think about deploying to my referees who are too junior warrant putting on the USA system
    The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
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    Tullamore Dew, the Afghan Wigs, and many, many strippers - how to get over your ex. How true.

  9. #9

    Referees in Canada
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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_Cook View Post
    Excellent news Robbie. I was wondering why we hadn't heard from you in a while.

    I have my doubts about Xenforo. TRF changed to that a while ago, and many of the users didn't like it. There are several user configurables that vBulletin has which are absent in Xenforo, e.g. sort order of posts in a thread - its oldest at the top, newest at the bottom and users cannot change it.

    Another annoyance is that a link to a YouTube video is force-embedded into an in-line player (whether you wrap it in tags or not) and timecoding is ignored so you can't point to a time and get it to play from that point... it strips the timecode and plays from the start - very annoying.
    Ian, you are right, there are a few things that are not great, but the lack of support from VB is an issue. And VB 5 is just horrible on all the sites that I have used, trying to be too much of a social media site.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossref View Post
    Robbie , great to see that maintenance is in its way

    are you planning to collect user requirements, see what we want and don't want from the site , before you start ? Or are you set with your plans?
    I am happy to take ideas, suggestions and opinions from people. Fire away.

    Quote Originally Posted by OB.. View Post
    Excellent news and thanks in advance for the effort you are putting in.
    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyseep View Post
    How about streamlining the number of sub forums. It seems there are too many and some of them are basically duplicates.
    Quote Originally Posted by crossref View Post
    Get rid of all the subforums and use the subject labels
    I have no problem doing this, at the end of the day the forum is here for you. But certainly the way Forums work now it's better to reduce forums and use tagging to represent the subject. Though it can make for a long list of updated threads on busy days.

    Quote Originally Posted by crossref View Post
    Robbie
    I wonder if your reflog duplicates what WTR either have or are working on
    Also does RR have enough users to justify that sort of effort from you ?
    Mike Brown does an excellent job with WTR, however I always found the user interface, and what it asks for to be limiting. I will be putting my own spin on the system, you can tell me if it works or not once it releases. The RefLog will probably become a paid utility, but as always I am not about making profit on this place, and I don't want to use adverts, so cost will be as low as possible and I expect no more than US$30 per year.

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonSmith View Post
    I would think about deploying to my referees who are too junior warrant putting on the USA system
    And that's the perfect place for it. There are many more new referees that need the attention and help than established. It's the other reason to make it cheap as possible too. Potentially the revenue from that could pay for the whole place if 30 people used it. If it's robust enough it should be no issue having 30 people.
    "This is not Soccer!" ©Nigel Owens
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    Robert Burns
    RugbyRefs.com Webmaster
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  10. #10
    Rugby Club Member Flish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months

    Quick question, will the new forum system maintain the same links / page urls as the current site? As whenever I google something rugby law related RR is always there on page 1 with something to offer specific to my search terms, it would be a real shame to lose all these places on googles index, wars have been started over SEO before now!

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