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View Full Version : Changes are a must - Updates over next 6 months



Robert Burns
28-08-18, 01:08
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 I hope it will prove useful for people, even if just for historical reference.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

Ian_Cook
28-08-18, 04:08
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.

crossref
28-08-18, 06:08
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?

OB..
28-08-18, 11:08
Excellent news and thanks in advance for the effort you are putting in.

Guyseep
28-08-18, 14:08
How about streamlining the number of sub forums. It seems there are too many and some of them are basically duplicates.

crossref
28-08-18, 14:08
Get rid of all the subforums and use the subject labels

crossref
28-08-18, 14:08
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 ?

SimonSmith
28-08-18, 17:08
I would think about deploying to my referees who are too junior warrant putting on the USA system

Robert Burns
28-08-18, 17:08
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.


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.


Excellent news and thanks in advance for the effort you are putting in.

You're welcome.


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

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.


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.


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.

Flish
28-08-18, 17:08
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!

crossref
28-08-18, 17:08
I would like an interface to the site that gives me all threads, across all forums, in order of when last updated , newest first

Ie exactly like "today's posts" but not limited to today, it would just keep on going to yesterday, the day before etc.
Obviously would paginate

Every other forum I use has this

Robert Burns
28-08-18, 18:08
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!

All current links will be maintained.


I would like an interface to the site that gives me all threads, across all forums, in order of when last updated , newest first

Ie exactly like "today's posts" but not limited to today, it would just keep on going to yesterday, the day before etc.
Obviously would paginate

Every other forum I use has this

I'll look into this, I don't believe it would be an issue. Just checked, XenForo does this as a base feature.

L'irlandais
02-09-18, 19:09
I think this is great news.

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.
Sir Francis Bacon
English author, courtier, & philosopher (1561 - 1626)

Marc Wakeham
19-09-18, 08:09
Sounds good.

mcroker
03-10-18, 12:10
Firstly thanks for providing the service...

+1 for fewer more streamlined forums (a 1-tier hierarchy would be nice)

As a feature suggestion for the questions forum - something like 'ExpertsExchange' would be nice, where you can up-vote/down-vote to get a definitive answer to the question (in addition to our long debate).

crossref
03-10-18, 12:10
Up and down voting an answer is a great idea.
Sometimes we will never get unanimity , but there may well be an answer that dominates the up votes.

This should probably be different from like / dislike

SimonSmith
03-10-18, 18:10
Firstly thanks for providing the service...

+1 for fewer more streamlined forums (a 1-tier hierarchy would be nice)

As a feature suggestion for the questions forum - something like 'ExpertsExchange' would be nice, where you can up-vote/down-vote to get a definitive answer to the question (in addition to our long debate).

That assumes all votes carry the same kind of quality as all the others. That isn't the case.

Lee Lifeson-Peart
05-10-18, 12:10
Robbie. Thanks for all your efforts over the years.

Will the new software be able to block Dickie's pictures?

L'irlandais
14-10-18, 13:10
Something like Net Nanny or QUSTODIO?

crossref
05-01-19, 17:01
User request

It would be very good to be able to embed tweets , like we can YouTube videos

L'irlandais
28-04-19, 17:04
Dear Robbie Burns,
Six months has come and gone, March/April time. I was wondering if the updates were still in the pipeline?