Restructuring the UtaForum: Member input needed!

Discussion in 'News & Updates' started by MystSaphyr, Feb 1, 2018.

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Do you prefer having individual topic subforums, or topic tags within a more generalized forum?

  1. Subforums

    18 vote(s)
    72.0%
  2. Topic Tags

    7 vote(s)
    28.0%
  1. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    2 site news posts in a week? What is this madness?!

    Aaaanyway! As part of my plan to revive UF a little, I'm looking to make a few changes as to how the forums and boards are organized. I believe there's several boards that could be dropped, merged, and shuffled around in order to make the forum a little cleaner and more efficient.

    I have made a text version of the new proposed layout, as Category > Forums > Subforums, with major changes indicated in red. This can be viewed beneath the spoiler tag below. I am looking to get y'all's input on this before I go about mucking with the structure of the forum, so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know what you think!

    Once things are finalized, I will post a date for forum maintenance well ahead of time! To prevent the entire forum from being down during this process, I will only close one category at a time as I work, ending with the "UTAU" category as it is typically the busiest. The chatbox will also remain open during the entire maintenance process.

    • The chatbox will be moved either to the bottom of the page or to the sidebar.

    Site General
    1. News & Updates
      1. Community News (Moderated subforum for major things such as album releases or convention events)
    1. Introductions
      1. Farewells
    1. Support & Feedback
      1. Skin Development
        1. Nominations

        2. Confirmed Skins
    1. Smiley Development
      1. Nominations

      2. Confirmed Smilies
    1. Forum Archives


    UTAU


    1. UTAU Discussion (We will be merging “UTAU News” with this board.)

    2. UTAU Showcase

    3. UTAU Downloads
      1. USTs, VSQs, MIDIs & Off-Vocals (from Resources)

      2. Software & Plugins (from Resources)
    1. UtaWorks (Formerly “Creativity”)
      1. Covers

      2. Originals & Remixes

      3. HANASU / Talkloids

      4. UTAU Art

      5. UTAU Writing

      6. Group Projects (The “Projects”-oriented topics from “Projects & WIPs” will be moved here, i.e. choruses seeking voices, forming UTAU units, etc.)

      7. WIP & Critique (We will be merging “Reviews & Critiques” and “Projects & WIPs” to form this board.)
    1. UtaLabs
      1. Software Development (I would like this to be specific to those plugin/resampler and UTAU-"replacement" frontend/UI projects that keep popping up!)

      2. Voicebank & Reclist Testing
    1. UtaSwap
      1. Requests

      2. Trades

      3. Commissions
    1. UtaOC (All current categories will be combined into this one topic header, except for Roleplay.)
      1. UTAU Roleplay
    1. UtaHelp (Formerly “Help & Advice”)
      1. Tutorials & Guides (from Resources)

    Friends of UTAU
    (Formerly “Other Singthesis”; this category will be restructured to have general boards for each synth, rather than specific boards for ALL synths.)

    1. VOCALOID

    2. CeVIO

    3. Alter/Ego & Chipspeech

    4. Other Singthesizers (once a specific synth gains 10+ active topics, a board will be made for it)


    Related Topics


    1. Music Production (A new board made specifically for discussing things such as DAWs and plugins, music theory, instruments, etc.)

    2. Video & Animation (A new board for discussing video editing, animation, motion graphics, etc.)

    3. Miku Miku Dance
      1. MMD Downloads (from Resources)


    Entertainment


    1. Other Art & Writing (Will merge “Art” and “Writing” boards, and rename to separate from rest of forum theme)

    2. Other Music (Renamed to separate from the rest of the forum theme)

    3. Movies, TV & Literature (Formerly “Videos, Games, Literature & Media”)
      1. Anime & Manga
    1. Gaming (Will be split off from the “Videos, Games, Literature & Media” board)

    2. Conventions & Cosplay (Formerly Conventions, Cosplay & Events)

    Vaguely Irrelevant Postings


    1. Chit-Chat

    2. Fanclub Central

    3. Community Promo (A new board for promoting forums, Discord channels, deviantART groups, websites, etc.)

    4. Forum Games

    5. Random / Spam
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    spookysneeze, Halo, XJM and 8 others like this.
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  3. Sors

    Sors Meiji Master Tutor Defender of Defoko

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    I really like the new approach! It seems like it could become much cleaner, and better to move around!
    Props to you!
     
    Soursop the fruit likes this.
  4. partial

    partial UTAU English advocate Global Mod Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Seems like a fantastic idea to me. The layout of the forum can be a tad confusing. I mean, just going off of the art sections, we have 3 different ones. (UTAU artwork, art, and additional creativity.) I get the the three art boards serve their own purposes, but that makes it sorta difficult for users like me who have one thread where they post their art, whether it's UTAU related or not.

    The creativity board also seems redundant, as we seem to have other forums centered around the same sorts of activities. Examples of this include the song covers category, additional creativity, and the music category, as people tend to post covers in all of these. We have the same issue with the originals & remixes section and the music section. People tend to post originals in both of those. I feel a good way to circumvent this is to just list anything music related in sub forums under one main music branch. Same goes for artwork.

    For now that's all I can really think of, but your text example up in the op seems good to me!
     
  5. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    I see what you mean about having multiple art/music boards.

    I'll have to see about merging the art boards, I didn't think that users would have personal generalized art threads, but that makes total sense! I guess we'll have to see what other people think of that because I honestly can't decide.

    As for the separate music categories under UtaWorks in the new list, I could certainly merge those into one "UTAU Music" board and add topic tags for the different subcategories (Cover, Original, Remix/Arrangement, etc.)?

    (However I'm inclined to keep "Other Music" in the new layout to separate non-singthesizer music discussion from the rest of the themed boards.)

    Actually, should I focus on using topic tags more overall? Do ya'll think people use those effectively? It would help reduce subforum clutter.

    EDIT: I added a poll to decide! ovo/
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    partial likes this.
  6. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    With the staff applications finalized, this is the next big project to tackle! To avoid shutting down the whole forum, certain areas of the forum will be closed/reopened as topics are merged and moved. This process will start with the non-UTAU-topic boards under VIP and Entertainment, which I will be closing tonight. As for UTAU-themed boards, I will give well in advance warning here and in the chatbox as those are closed and fixed.
     
    WyndReed, Sors and partial like this.
  7. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    UPDATE: VIP & Entertainment are done and reopened. As I am making a new section for general media production (art, video, 3D, etc.) I'll be moving a lot of posts from the UTAU categories. Please be patient as things are organized. Some forums may disappear temporarily during this process.
     
    WyndReed and partial like this.
  8. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    UPDATE: Currently working on the Other Singthesizers/Friends of UTAU section. It should be back up tomorrow, and then the final section to tackle will be UTAU itself!
     
    Haichou and partial like this.
  9. Dangosan

    Dangosan Ruko's Ruffians Defender of Defoko

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    It might be a bit off-topic, but Firefox obscures the user and password fields with "Untrusted Connection" messages. It would be a wise idea to fix server configuration alongside with this refreshing.
     
    Kiyoteru and Halo like this.
  10. Kiyoteru

    Kiyoteru Local Sensei Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    IIRC the reason Kanru Hua stopped using UTAforum was because of the lack of security.
     
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  11. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    I've noticed that issue, Halo and I have asked Hentai about it. Not sure how difficult it would be to implement but we'll see what we can do because it would certainly bring more peace of mind.
     
    Kiyoteru likes this.
  12. Hentai

    Hentai Technical Admin Administrator Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    HTTPS encrypted connections are already enabled server-side and are required for admins, moderators, and any administrative action.

    That being said HTTPS has not been enabled for the general forum due to problems with mixed-content. Implementing it would be as easy as changing the board URL in the settings as I already implemented the encryption and certificates for the admin pages. That being said I haven't done so for a variety of reasons, mostly related to user experience.

    Simply put browsers do not like mixed-content. HTTP pages can load both HTTP & HTTPS content but if an HTTPS page tries to load unsecured HTTP content it throws a fit and a bunch of exceptions. Our main problem isn't our server, it is the embeds. We have too much unsecured embedded content in the form of videos and images and I feel if I implemented HTTPS for the general public, it would cause too many problems for the uninformed, "security" notices when HTTPS pages try to load HTTP media.

    To implement HTTPS effectively I would likely to have to disable a lot of the unsecured media embeds including, but not limited to, video embeds and not allowing any hotlinking of any images on the forum. In the debate over security over convenience and rich media, I weighed on the side of rich media and all of our legacy content.

    That being said I hear your security concerns and will be taking steps to address it. I will be making some changes to better support the EFF's SSL Everywhere for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera for those of you that want to browse using HTTPS. As our server does support SSL if your browser requests it, it will serve you secure versions of the forum. Please use this plugin if you would like to browse the forum securely.

    While I am not ready to make it the default URL just yet, I am willing to make accommodations for the security minded. If you feel to the contrary, would like me to elaborate on the matter, or have additional feedback. I would be happy to discuss.
     
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  13. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    UPDATE: Friends of UTAU is now reopened! I'll be tagging older posts with the new thread prefixes soon!

    Onwards to the UTAU category! Hopefully I won't actually have to close much for this bit.
     
    partial likes this.
  14. MystSaphyr

    MystSaphyr Procrastinator Extraordinaire Administrator Defender of Defoko

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    ~~UPDATE~~

    WHEW! Ok! So the forum is organized! Some categories/forums are a bit different from the initial proposal, but as I worked on moving things, I got feedback from the staff and we decided that in some cases, Prefixes are better utilized than whole forums.

    ANYWAY. It's nearly 4 AM here, I'll be posting a separate news post tomorrow detailing the changes, but everything should be fairly straightforward I think.

    Please let me know if you have any issues with the new layout! And to those supporters who have editing capabilities (I think this falls within that) feel free to retroactively prefix-tag your posts! I'm going to be making that my next big project (as I add more prefixes to certain forums)
     

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