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The New Spine-Health - Help / Problems / Suggestions / More

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
It really is nice that the majority of people have migrated to the new forums and are finding their way around. This is a new software system (DRUPAL) which handles Forums differently than the way the old Spine-Health software (PunBB) did. The development team at Spine-Health did a lot of work to modify parts of Drupal to get the Forums to look as close as to how they did before and to incorporate as many functions as possible. Because of the different structure of the two software systems and the fact that Drupal views Forums and Blogs as the same has complicated things.

We still encourage all members to use the new system and when they find quirks, problems, things that dont seem to work, etc, please take the time to either create a forum topic in this major category or post to an existing topic that may be similar. I promise that the moderator team will look into all of this items. I do want to emphasize that there MAY NOT
be resolutions to some of the problems/concerns and even that
the resolution MAY Not be exactly as the person reporting thinks it should be.

But please know that the Moderators, the Administrators and the Development team all work together to try to make this site even better and more functional than the old Spine-Health was.

Patience is something I need to ask everyone. And I know this member community pretty well, and I know that everyone here will do what they can to help all of us make this the best site around.

Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 


  • Thanks, Ron

    Nice to see you changing appearances :)
    Y.S IL
  • I can't post a new topic since it won't let me put a subject in and can't submit without a subject.
    Will not be here much longer if I can't participate. Nor will I recommend it anymore if I can't get on don't figure other East Texans could either.
    Enjoyed the old format.
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  • Unless things speed up and the obtrusive GUI get fixed, I am sad to report that I will have to find another board. The other board was so much easier to navigate and it was so much faster....
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    There does seem to be some performance related problems. From what I've seen they happen mostly at night, some time after
    20:00 est time
    There are some tuning and tweaking that we need to do.

    For those who not members on the older Spine-Health site:

    Old Spine-Health Forum software: PunBB
    Very flexible, relative easy to modify and had little performance related problems.
    However, when the site had 3,000 members, everything could be contained in one server. The patient forums are just ONE part of the entire site. There are many other features/functions that comprise the site. Additional servers were added to help balance the main site features, but the nature and design of PunBB meant the forums had to be under one server. When the member count reached over 10,000 it became more clear that a more complete content management system software was needed.

    The New Spine-Health Forum Software - DRUPAL
    One of the major features in Drupal, is that it allows for multiple servers/sites for the data base. So, down the road that could mean load balancing of the forums.

    Meanwhile, we do realize that there are some problems and we are working through all of them to get resolution.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • In the old system, I could click on my own name and see my previous posts. A list of them. How this would be helpful ... I have responded to a number of posts, and wanted to get back to a particular person, but I can't remember the topic or the username. If I could see my previous responses, I could track that person down.
  • With the subject line repeating the exact same thing the first sentence wrote (if you didn't make a subject line).

    I haven't posted in these new forums much precisely for that reason- it is driving me nuts- I feel like i'm double reading everything and just can't get by it...

    if that aspect isn't improved soon, I doubt i'll post here again because it is too much of a hassle for me to sort through things to read.
  • why don't you guys use invision power boards? they are very common forum formats and would probably encourage a lot more participation. i have participated in several forums, and none have been as user-unfriendly as this new forum format is.

    examples of invision power boards i have used (so you understand my comments more easily) include:

    or similar boards like:

    these types of forums are much less confusing and cluttered (the new sh forums seem very cluttered and un-clear- lots of text overlapping, hard to find topics, etc.) and it is hard to navigate.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    yes, you are correct... a little while ago, cindys , now neck of steel posted a method on how to do this. we have also posted this as one of the todo lists for the spine-health developers

    i re-posted her post in the newbie section:
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    That subject line is something that Drupal as well as many other Forum software requires. This will not be changing, since it is part of the base Drupal.

    Invision Power is another Forum software package that many sites use. It matches up with the PunBB software that was used on the previous Spine-Health. It has some pro's and con's like any other software package. One package may have one thing that is more appealing than another package. But overal , PunBB was the preferred choice.

    However, with the membership numbers growing and growing , those software forum packages could not keep up with the demands. To handle the increasing number of members as well as maintaining the entire web site, a powerful Content Management Sytem was required.
    Drupal meets those demands and it is at the top of the list in terms of integration and functions.

    One of the most important functions is the ability to have multiple sites/servers sharing the same SQL database. Several months ago, Spine-Health separated the Patient Forums from the other pieces of the Web site. However, PunBB as well as most forum software , including Invision Power does not support the multi-site function. Down the road, as Spine-Health continues to grow, Drupal is the package that will allow for Multi-Site usage. That alone will provide the structure for load balancing.

    Drupal has been around a while and it has become the choice of the larger sites that need to incorporate forums as well as other key data areas.

    I do agree that Drupal is not always the most user friendly piece of software. The Spine-Health development team put a lot of effort and work into making the forums 'more' acceptable. We have been collecting input from members as to features that the were comfortable with on PunBB. This list is reviewed to determine IF and HOW modifications could be made to address those items.

    So, bottom line, Drupal was mandatory for the Spine-Health fourms. Many people look at Spine-Health in terms of the patient forums only. There is so much more to the entire site, forums is just a piece of it.

    Invision Power, PhpBB, PunBB forum software do not have the features/functions to handle a 'Total' site environment such as what Spine-Health is today. Plus, Drupal is the one software that will not only satisfy today's requirements, but will also address items down the road.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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