It's a shame to have to bring this up on such a lively and active forum, but the admin tasks and spam countermeasures are becoming too much of a burden to keep this Drupal-based forum running in the long term. Especially now that the rest of jeelabs.net is running very smoothly on an up-to-date version of Redmine 2. The forum integration of Redmine is actually quite good - allowing easy linking to wiki pages, issues, source code, and whatever other functions of Redmine are enabled.
In short: I'd like to migrate this forum to Redmine. It's a big decision, but if we do this, then you will need to:
- ... sign up on jeelabs.net, preferably with the same user name as used here
- ... get used to a different forum website, based on Redmine i.s.o. Drupal's "Advanced Forum"
- ... get used to the "Textile" formatting commands (similar, but not identical to Markdown)
- ... accept that all current forum posts will forever remain in a static copy of this Drupal site
- ... realise that some features will be better, but probably a few things will be less convenient
That's a lot of bad news, unfortunately.
Here's some good news:
- as I mentioned, we gain integration, i.e. easy linking to wiki pages, issues, and source code
- the Textile format is a bit more powerful than Markdown, with support for tables and more
- there are RSS feeds to watch forums, so you can use any RSS reader to skim new posts and replies
- you can also "watch" forums and/or specific topics (just like for the wiki), and get email notifications
- replies to email notifications will be posted to the forum, so the new forum can also be treated as a mailing list
The other main reason is spam filtering. The bad news is: there is none built-into Redmine, although there are extensions which could be added. But the solution I've found is to simply let anyone register, and then... give them no more rights that anonymous users already have. Then add a page on how to become a participating member. This could be a special web page with some clever question or puzzle which is obvious to anyone dabbling in Physical Computing, but pretty hard to guess for anyone else (there must be better questions than "What's the name of the JeeLabs flagship product?", but you get the idea).
The point is that adding users in Redmine to a project or group of projects is trivial for admins, i.e. that workload can be shared between a few people (just as we do right now to keep Drupal mostly spam-free). There's a REST interface into Redmine, so that permission bump can probably even be automated. The key is that we - the "real" participants in this forum, that is - probably all love puzzles of a certain kind anyway, and by making it a unique puzzle, we can try to stay ahead of whatever spam-script-kiddies-junk gets created. Anyway - enough said about spam.
Sooo... if you want to help figure out the best way to perform a smooth transition from this forum to Redmine, then please register there and I'll add you to the "cafe" project for access to the new Forum section I've just created. We can then discuss things there and you can get a better impression of the benefits and drawbacks of Drupal vs. Redmine as website forum software.
Note: This is not the new forum yet, just an area to discuss and try out the Redmine setup - please continue to post here for everything else!
No one is going to like this. But it's unavoidable IMO, so let's just make the transition as smooth as possible, and move on.