Simple Machines Community Forum

Simple Machines => News and Updates => Topic started by: Joseph on April 18, 2005, 09:19:11 AM

Title: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Joseph on April 18, 2005, 09:19:11 AM
Echotainment, LLC. has recently launched an interesting new system that will allow your SMF forum to access the EchoForum Network and gain access to a wealth of informational content that can be  directly imported into your SMF forum. This content includes existing private and public forum networks, a selection of thousands of Usenet Newsgroups, RSS feeds from all over the globe, XML content networks, many thousands of public RSS feeds, mailing lists, and even topical monthly newsletters published by hundreds of sources. All this content can be seamlessly imported into your SMF forum, enhancing it into a huge repository of information and constant activity that visitors will want to return to, again and again, for the information they are seeking.

If you would like to know more about the Echoforum Network, visit http://www.echoforum.com

You can read the full press at http://www.echoforum.com/press.htm
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Ben_S on April 18, 2005, 09:28:05 AM
Not the best of places to post I know, but it would be good if they set up a demo, it's something I would deffinatly consider if I could see it in action. Also their forums link on their site is dead, seems to have an extra space on it :(, assume they will probably read this, if not I'll drop them an email.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Joseph on April 18, 2005, 09:41:13 AM
Hey Ben - I tried out the site - where is the broken link? I couldn't find it - it worked fine for me.  Also they do have some demos - on their forums there is a category of sample content.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Ben_S on April 18, 2005, 09:59:43 AM
On the flash bit at the top, firefox complains that it cannot find forums.echoforum.com%20

Not tried in IE as I dont have flash player installed on IE... Will take a look at their forums for the sample content, the usenet stuff is the thing that appeals to me :)
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 18, 2005, 10:55:27 AM
Hey Ben_S

     I'll take a look at the forums link in the flash, under firefox, and see why it might be having trouble, as far as a demo, sure you can directly visit forums.echoforum.com and look under Sample Content, or you could just sign up for a preview account, completely free and give the service and test run with your own choice of content.

     If usenet appeals to you, I think you will like how well it seamlessly fits into your current forums, no lists of posts, they look VERY similar to the local posts to allow your members to view any and all messages on your site without them seeming different.  And of course, Echoforum doesn't just import messages we will post new local messages in the forums back to the newsgroups as well.

     Again, thanks for the heads up on Firefox, i'll take a look at that right now, i'm sure things were working well with 1.0PR last time I checked but there is so much going on with the site, emails and questions coming in, perhaps I missed something. have a good day, and let me know if you have any other questions.

Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Ben_S on April 18, 2005, 11:05:44 AM
Hi Richard,

I'll deffinatly sign up for a preview account tonight and have a look through it :).

Ben
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 18, 2005, 11:26:12 AM
Hello again Ben_S,

     That sounds great, can't wait for you to see the service in action. And I have found the problem in the flash banner, and have passed it off to the graphics developer here to have him fix it. Unfortunately I know very little of flash and how it all works, but I will make sure he tests more thoroughly with firefox in the future, thanks for the bug find.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Oldiesmann on April 18, 2005, 02:49:44 PM
I think I'll sign up for a trial account as well. I'll add the stuff to my test board ;)
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: charlottezweb on April 18, 2005, 03:37:19 PM
Wow, fantastic concept.  So it effectively pulls in from whatever usenet or rss feed I specify into the board I specify under a fake account?

Is it customizable?  (where it goes, the username of the poster, etc)

Is it limited to the feeds you have setup or can I use any usenet group/rss feed?

What does it do with attachments? 

Is there a way to have it filter spam?

(Sorry, I might do a little reading later, but wanted to ask the basics!)  :D

-Jason
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 18, 2005, 04:18:02 PM
Hello Charlottezweb,

No problem, alot of the info is available within the info sections of the website, but I'll be happy to go over some of the basics here with you and answer all of your questions.  :D


Wow, fantastic concept.  So it effectively pulls in from whatever usenet or rss feed I specify into the board I specify under a fake account?

Is it customizable?  (where it goes, the username of the poster, etc)

It is customizable, there are defaults that we use and setup to start with, but you can always go back into the members control panel and use the more "advanced" features. Here are a few:

1- You can choose any "Member Group" you want the new users that the messages will be posted under to, the default one created is "EchoForum Users" but you can make it anything you want to assign special security, avatars, settings etc..

2- The forum name by default is created in your system to match the one that is in our DB for example if you join alt.games a newsgroup a forum will be created on your site called alt.games. You can change this to match any forum on your site under any category with any settings you want and change the forumname we drop messages into the look for new message outgoing in within the control panel.

3- There is no ONE fake user as that would make having a conversation with multiple people on a topic very difficult, as they would all be different people but have the same name, so which "john doe" where you speaking to. So a minimal fake user account is added to your system for each unique person taking part in a conversation there, we do update the stats for the fake account, such as # of posts last visit date(which is the last date a post was imported to your system from him) etc. These accounts are heavily secured by default and NOT in any way shape or form meant to be logged into, in fact the passwords for each are randomly generated and encrypted at the time of creation so no one, not even US can know what any of their passwords are. Once a user has been created on your system you can go and view that account and see how its setup, security has been a primary concern for us since day one, even all message traffic back and forth is encrypted bidirectionally, even with traffic for the most part being public forums, some of our customers wanted to run private forums and didn't want to worry about "sniffers" grabbing message content that might be sensitive.


Is it limited to the feeds you have setup or can I use any usenet group/rss feed?

This is a function of what level of subscription you are at, at Premium Membership, you choose from our library of over 100,000 feeds, and can also request a feed to be added through our content request department.  But for the member looking for total freedom, Enterprise Subscription is what you are after, with it you can pull ANY feed of any type that we support, and choose to keep it private so it will not be listed for others to join, hence your own private network, or shared communities just between a few sites. Or You could choose to host out any of your local forums to the entire network, so anyone can join, or keep them on a request to join, or just simply private for you to add as you see fit. At this level there is no limits on how many feeds and of what types, you could import hundreds from our list, import several special ones that only you know about, and also maintain a few private networks of forums for sister sites and others. And this all applies to all content types we currently support, with more types planned in the future as well as some truly shocking supprises that we are working on.

What does it do with attachments? 

Currently attachments are not supported, since it make for a far more complex network, as some systems require the file to be uploaded to it locally, others can use a remote http or ftp address. For now we have decided to not support it with this release, but are aware of it, and if demand is enough we might put it back on the table for consideration. Keeping in mind that we are focusing on SMF Forums here, but the software does support interchange between not only all the content and SMF but also PhpBB, vBulletin, UBB, XMB, InvisionBoard, and Ikonboard, with more forum software types coming soon as well.

Is there a way to have it filter spam?

This is an area where we are trying to work as best we can in, for example for the newgroups we are working with our newsgroup provider on adding more spam and crossposting protection at their end for incoming traffic, as it is much easier to add it there then once its in the echoforum network, and for the majority most forums are fairly free of spam due to validation procedures. But we are working on reducing the amount of spam right now we hack out about 85-90% of it, and are working hard with our provider on ways to get that last 10% without compromising the "good" content.

(Sorry, I might do a little reading later, but wanted to ask the basics!)  :D

-Jason


I hope this answers some of your questions, and if you have any others just ask, we have a forum and a helpdesk available to everyone with questions and even feature ideas, we want to hear your thoughts and help guide the development path of the echoforum network. Have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: charlottezweb on April 18, 2005, 04:25:50 PM
Thanks Richard.  I think these questions might get you more traffic from here as well.  :)

I'll post any further questions on your forum.  Thanks for the thorough response!

-Jason
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 18, 2005, 04:30:06 PM
Feel free to post questions here, at our forums, or via our helpdesk, we are watching everywhere for new questions and activity so any of the venues will be fine, always happy to answer any questions about the new service.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Ben_S on April 18, 2005, 05:50:06 PM
I like the concept, still havent got around to testing it as yet, one thing I would deffinatly like more though would be for the usenet users posts to appear as guests rather than users if at all possible.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 18, 2005, 08:55:57 PM
The reason for the setting up of user accounts is so there are unique usernames for everyone to maintain a conversation with and know who they are speaking with.  In echoforum you can assign all echoforum users to use a specific member group, this could allow for what you are wanting, these "remote users" could appear somewhat different, maybe a custom user title, only show as guest, the member group name could be Guest Member, or any other functions that a user group would allow.  Perhaps in a future version adding some extra configuration controls over the specific user account creation would be viable, check boxes such as guest, or other options that would be useful. Play with the network and keep the feedback coming, only with you and other users feedback will we be able to continue adding new features that you really want and continue to mold the service making it better. Thank you for your ideas and have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 18, 2005, 11:30:49 PM
Richard -

Can you have multiple feeds going into a single forum?  I would, for example, like to load the 'alt.widgets.*' and the 'rec.widgets.*' and the 'fido.widgets.*' groups into a single forum called 'global widgets'.

If this is possible, does a reply originating from the forum flow to the proper newsgroup, or would it be crossposted (preferably I would like the option to choose, but a static - 'replies to originating newgroup/source' would suffice)?

Thanks for the info!


Brett
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 18, 2005, 11:44:18 PM
Hello Bjones,

No, there is a one to one relationship between a content feed and a forum on your site. Since most forum software doesn't have a way to track messages in that way ie: a true non-linear chained fashion. The best option if we allowed for such a feature would be to cross post all replies back, and of course messages that originated from lets say alt.widgets would also crosspost into fido.widgets and vice versa. This would make a echoforum feed very able to crosspost to dozens of external content sources, and make alot of people angry. So we have decided to stick with the one to one relationship for now, perhaps in the future as forum software continues to evolve better message tracking on a per message basis will come into play where cross posting could be protected against.  Sorry. Any other questions I could answer for you?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 19, 2005, 01:25:04 AM
Richard -

Thanks for the quick response!  I can certainly see the headaches involved in having to store the original source of each message - and then trying to determine where to send new topics (especially when many people like to create a new thread for their 'replies').

I do think however, that this could be a viable 'feature' if implemented in a fairly strict manner - ie, limit the number of feeds (10 seems a good number), and then display check boxes (with only one selectable) during posting:
With a
As an option if the message is a reply.

I guess I can dream, can't I?  :)

In any event, I'm planning on checking your service out - it's a great idea!
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 19, 2005, 02:08:57 AM
Hello,

     Well I could see how that could work, maybe defaulting to "Post to Origin" and have other options such as local only, etc... But this would be a modification to the forum software itself and then echoforum would carry on the "standard" and pass it back, would take a couple of extra fields for each message. But who knows modifications like that are what "mod" writers are for, adding new and interesting functions to an already outstanding piece of software.  You never know where the future will take you. Have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: ecow on April 19, 2005, 02:18:17 AM
Richard,

Can you move a topic out of the the desigated forum and the replies to that topic still be sent to the original source?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 19, 2005, 01:48:01 PM
No, the system is based on a one to one relationship between a forum on your site and a content feed from the echoforum network. So if you moved a topic or thread out of the designated forum into another echoforum would not know where to look to find it, otherwise you could get crossposting and content duplication within your own forum.

On the other hand it is no problem, to move all threads from one forum on your site to another one, perhaps better named one or just as a matter of reorganization, and then using the members control panel set the new forum as the destination for that perticular content feed.

Hope this helps answer your question, if I can be of any further assistance just ask.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 19, 2005, 05:07:57 PM
Richard -

Gave your system a try ... setup was a little painful (I had to upgrade my version of Zend).  The 'echo ping' feed comes through great - and I just received posts from the newsgroup I selected too.

FYI, some of us don't have a command line version of php, so adding the script to my cron daemon was a little convoluted (I used 'wget http://www.mywebsite.com/forums/smf_laci.php' to get it to work).  You might want to add that little tip to your knowlege base - it took me a while to track down this solution.

Now the questions!

The new forum is created when the first message destined for that forum is downloaded, yes?

Is there a way for you to create the forums without user access?  If the forums are going to pop in with the first message received I may not be available to moderate it before it confuses the beejeezus out of my members!

What is the normal turnaround from setup time until the first newsgroup posts arrive?  I guess I'm asking how often your nntp server is receiving it's feed, and the turn around time before the new messages are available for d/l.

And ... one more!  Can you create a the new user without creating thier birthday (current month+day+1984 is entered now)?  My calendar is getting full with people turning 21!

Thanks!

Brett
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: HoTmetal on April 19, 2005, 10:30:08 PM
Cool, I found this out through google, but didn't see anything on it (until now) .....

I noticed they have banners on the site here too.... I may sign up soon. thanks for the info......

Rickc
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 19, 2005, 10:40:26 PM
Yes, thats why we leave it in the docs that you can setup a crontask, as there are so many ways to do it, some easy through a control panel such as cpanel or plesk, or you could use wget, we even have a few of our member who swear by using a command line like 'curl -s -o /dev/null http://www.website.com/smf_laci.php' And other users just dive in and edit the cron files manually. There just are so many different ways to automate it, we are working on documenting some of the more popular ones and adding them to our FAQ and setup guides.  Now to your questions.

The new forum is created when the first message destined for that forum is downloaded, yes?

    Yes, a new forum is created when the 1st message in downloaded into that forum and added.

Is there a way for you to create the forums without user access?  If the forums are going to pop in with the first message received I may not be available to moderate it before it confuses the beejeezus out of my members!

    Yes, you can pre-create all the forums you plan on adding in advance, if you are usng the basic interface to our control panel it will  name all the feeds you have choosen by their name in our library ie: alt.games. But you can use more advanced functions of the control panel and change that name to anything you want for that forum name ie: Fun Games and then create that forum in advance on your SMF and the LACI will drop the messages into it when some come in, that way you can have it all created, a nice description, etc.

What is the normal turnaround from setup time until the first newsgroup posts arrive?  I guess I'm asking how often your nntp server is receiving it's feed, and the turn around time before the new messages are available for d/l.

    It depends on each newsgroup how much and how often traffic will come in, but as far as our system is concerned, i'm glad you asked as we are in the process of installing a new server now (the current Content Hub is filling up) and that will move our polls to about every 15 minutes may be a few minutes more or less depending on load at the moment. From the LACI side you can poll for traffic as often as every 5 minutes, but most run every 10 or 30 minutes so far.

And ... one more!  Can you create a the new user without creating thier birthday (current month+day+1984 is entered now)?  My calendar is getting full with people turning 21!

    Ahhh... I knew someone would ask about this sometime, yes as we create each new user the day they are created on your system is considered their birthday and they just turned 21.  For most of the forum systems a valid birthday is required for the account to be manageable from the backend admin side, this was the best compromise we have been able to come up with, as everyones birthday has to be somewhere in the 365 day year.

Thanks for the comments and feedback, and we are working on some better FAQ info for the crontask setup under various control panels and methods, have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: greystone on April 26, 2005, 08:12:55 PM
SMF allows 0000-00-00 as a birthday. it uses that when you preregister a member.. anyway you could change it for smf and try using 0000-00-00 as the birthday for the users it creates?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 27, 2005, 06:48:11 AM
Alright, i'll d some tests with SMF and using a 0's birthday to stop the output of birthdays and see whats involved.  If it does work, it would probably become a configuration option in the efsettings.php, as we have has several member love the fact that birthday's show up making the users feel more real and local, since they are just remote users, but real users none the less. I'll keep you up to date on how this goes here and on our support site, have a good day. If you have any other questions or feature ideas just let us know as we love to hear from users their ideas and comments.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 27, 2005, 07:53:39 AM
Yes, either null birthdays or '0000-00-00' please!  Option or no - doesn't matter ;)  They're filling up my calendar!

Thanks Richard!
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 27, 2005, 08:03:47 AM
Working on the feature as we speak, its a bit more complicated as not all forums support this, some require a date, or default the date in one case to Jan 1 (current year) and that would be bad, so we are having to look at each systems LACI independant and do some test runs with it and see what the support can be, some also allow for a NULL field other requires the 00-00-0000 in there to be valid, i assume a check for a NULL value something in the admin code. But we have hear from many users about this, some like having them there others done and only want local members birthdays to appear, so we hear you guys and are working on s solution today. Most likely (dont hold me to this till we have finished all our testing across the board of all forums, but a new setting in the efsettings.php that would read something like "Only Show Local Members Birthdays" YES/NO or something to that effect.

Any comments or suggestions on this path of development before we dive in and start making changes and testing across the board? Would that solve the problem? That way only members local to your system would have a valid birthday and show up in the calendar and at the bottom of the page. Have a good day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 27, 2005, 08:26:35 AM
Richard -

I've found that allowing choices wherever possible is generally the best (you *can* try to please everyone!).

I anticipate, once my site starts generating a little traffic, that I'll have to 'explain' the echoforum member group to the normal board members - not having to deal with the 'Who are all these people turning 21' questions would ease my burden :)

I also have a couple of other problems, but I'm going to leave that for the echoforum board, and at a time I'm a little more coherent [sleep has been a rapidly diminishing resource lately]!


Thanks,


Brett
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 27, 2005, 09:38:16 AM
No problem, we are looking into it now and how it crosses all the forums, as we are striving to make the messages that yo exchange between the echoforum networks as seamless as the ones posted locally, since these are real users just not on your system, we call them "remote members" who are contributing to the conversations, adding their opinion, and generally enhancing content. I'll let you know how things turn out on the development side as we have a few other features set for the docket today as well, most requested by other members. Have a good day, and some rest.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 27, 2005, 11:32:49 AM
Alright, we have finished with out testing on the new feature, and now the SMF forum LACI will NOT make all newly added members birthdays as of today and 21 years of age. This patch has been posted and will automatically patch in the background the next time you run the LACI, no need to download anything new or touch a thing, its all easy and automatic.  They have been set to NULL so they will not appear with a birthday at all or show up in the calendar. So not the effect will be that only members local to your system will be represented in the calendar with birthdays.  Let me know if you run into any problems with this over the next couple of days, and hope it didn't take too long to get this fix in ther efor everyone, but we had to test it across all the different forum types and then update all our download sites etc... Hope this helps you guys with the "excessive calendar" problems and have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: greystone on April 28, 2005, 01:21:11 AM
Ok looks like the new patch is causing problems here with a null birthdate.. apparently smf only likes 00-00-0000 as a birthdate(other then a real 1) or something..

Just ran smf_laci...
Got the below
Quote
Launching LACI
LACI Version 1.46
Reviewing (0 of 0) Bizarre Sci-Tech News for export
Importing a Message 1 of 2779
Column 'birthdate' cannot be null ERROR QUERY insert into smf_members(memberName,dateRegistered,posts,ID_GROUP, lngfile,lastLogin, realName, instantMessages, unreadMessages, im_ignore_list, passwd, emailAddress, personalText, gender, birthdate, websiteTitle, websiteUrl, location, ICQ, AIM, YIM, MSN, hideEmail, showOnline, timeFormat, signature, timeOffset, Avatar, im_email_notify, karmaBad, karmaGood, usertitle, notifyannouncements, notifyOnce, memberIP, secretQuestion, secretAnswer, ID_THEME, is_activated, validation_code, ID_MSG_LAST_VISIT, additionalGroups, smileySet, ID_POST_GROUP, totalTimeLoggedIn, passwordSalt) values ('RSS', unix_timestamp(now()), 0, 11, '', unix_timestamp(now()), 'RSS', 0, 0, '', '3304a3f168a68f5b47fc8ee5625c2972', 'nobody@echoforum.com', '', 0, null, 'ECHOFORUM', 'http://www.echoforum.com', '', '', '', '', '', 0, 1, '', '', 0, '', 0, 0, 0, 'efb17912', 1, 1, '255.255.255.255', '', '', 0, 1, '', 4, '', '', 4, 0, '')
either that or something else got broke.. it worked before.. grom what i can read there it is the birthdate though..
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 28, 2005, 02:38:32 AM
It's always something, isn't it!  I'm sure Richard will get it working soon :)
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 28, 2005, 08:09:25 AM
Thanks Bjones for the vote of confidence, and yes we are already working on the problem as we speak, the database entries we see in the DB are NULL, but my gues is that SMF is doing some math caculation on it somewhere else which is causing the error. We are running tests now, and will have a path out that fixes the problem later today after we have fully tested it, sorry for the problem.... Dang bugs try to do what looks like an easy fix and its always something, its my fault for trying to respond to everyones need too quickly I should have left it in testing for a couple of extra days with the in-house systems. But we will have a patch out today and everyones system will automatically patch to the latest version when the run the SMF LACI sometime later today. And we will release more info and an update here and well as on our support board later...Sorry for the problem, have a good day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Midgard on April 28, 2005, 09:16:12 AM
Nice service, but i guess this is only for charter members? your services is paid? i don't understand sorry
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 28, 2005, 10:18:04 AM
Hello Midgard,

Thank you for the kind words about the service, to answer your questions, no, it isn't just for charter members, in fact any member running a SMF forum can join, or many other forum software types as well. The services do have a subscription based option, but it also has free options available in addition to a 30 day evualation period. So far we have had a wonderful response from all the members here at Simple Machines, and for more information please visit http://www.echoforum.com.

And if you have any other questions just let me know I'll be happy to answer any that you may have about the service and how much it can enhance your existing SMF forum. Have a good day
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: [Unknown] on April 28, 2005, 01:41:13 PM
Richard Rhoden,

As it happens, the error message you received was from MySQL.  Different versions of MySQL will handle the NOT NULL constraint differently, but some will disallow the insert.  In SMF's case, it's better to simply leave off the column in the column list and value list, because then the default value will be inserted.

-[Unknown]
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 28, 2005, 01:42:33 PM
Greystone,

A patch has been issued that fixed the problem you discribed and a couple of other minor tweaks, more info can be found in our Announcment forum on http://www.echoforum.com. But your SMF LACI will auto-update to the latest version which is 1.47 on the next time that it runs and will take care of the "birthday" problem within SMF and from now on no "echoforum" user will show up in the calandar list cluttering it up, and all birthdays will be set to 00-00-0000. Hope this solves your problems, and if you have any other questions or feature ideas just let us know, and have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 28, 2005, 01:45:08 PM
Unknown,

Thanks thats what we found out as we were investigating the problem here, and hadn't seen it before, well you can never truly test a product completely till you get it in the hands of thousands of users all with different configurations and setups. But all is better now, for us the most important this is to respond quickly to our members whatever the case... Thanks so much for your input! and Helping out.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: greystone on April 28, 2005, 03:43:41 PM
Quote from: bjones9942 on April 28, 2005, 02:38:32 AM
It's always something, isn't it!  I'm sure Richard will get it working soon :)
Yeah.. Im not trying to criticise at all.. just trying to help...
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 28, 2005, 05:08:36 PM
I didn't mean to imply otherwise!  In fact, my face is a little red at the moment!  FYI - if you 'host' a mail list on echoforum and it points to your mailbox, echoforum needs to be granted access to your pop server before they can transfer any messages :)  Darn me and my paranoid mind (well, perhaps not too paranoid - I have people from Hong Kong trying to get into my system all the time)!

Brett
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 28, 2005, 05:11:15 PM
Quoteus the most important this is to respond quickly to our members whatever the case

Probably the fastest response to my questions I've seen in a very long time.  I think Richard sleeps less than I!
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 28, 2005, 05:25:10 PM
Sleep, what a interesting concept, well since the release of echo I've adopted the Uberman Sleep Pattern where I sleep 20 minutes every 4 hours around the clock. Ready for support at a moments notice, and that explains some of those 3:30am technical support answers.  ;)
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: greystone on April 28, 2005, 09:41:01 PM
I was wondering if there would be a way to have a text listing with the listing of the forums available(Excluding the Usenet 1's)...  or maybe improve the search a little? It is difficult to select forums to choose when you have a list of thousands with a couple per page..
otherwise I think this is a great idea..
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 28, 2005, 10:38:53 PM
Thank you, well a text list could get long and still need alot of detail, tell me from your experience what type of powers would you want in the search page of our system, assuming that we had many different kinds of content, and lets say 100k different feeds across the board, what all search powers beyond and/or/not/phrase would you want. Or how would you design it to be more useful...

I'll start things off... what is beside each forum title there was a field "Avg Msgs A Day" or the like showing that this forum gets 17 msgs a day on the average would that be of use?

Well thats the ball rolling, please help us design what you think would be the best and most useful interface to a search page or method for all our content, we really want to know expecially since its the members that will be using it most often. Have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: bjones9942 on April 29, 2005, 06:13:30 AM
Richard -

Though you might need this  (http://www.waitertalk.com/images/joltcan2.gif)

re: echoforum - I'd like to see the 'Advanced' page merged with the main 'Host a forum' page.  Too many steps, and too many clicks on 'yes I saved that'!  :)
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on April 29, 2005, 07:04:32 AM
Ok sounds good, i've marked them down, any other ideas? And a nice IV of Jolt cola would be nice right next to the workstation.  ;D
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Gregor on May 06, 2005, 10:29:18 PM
Quote from: Richard Rhoden on April 28, 2005, 10:38:53 PM


Well thats the ball rolling, please help us design what you think would be the best and most useful interface to a search page or method for all our content, we really want to know expecially since its the members that will be using it most often. Have a great day.

Here my suggestions: First take out all images, flash stuff, sounds and thinks like that from the admin section. Also I would like to see a txt file for d/l. "Avg Msgs A Day" would be interesting, on the other hand I know most of the groups I would select, and if not I would monitor them for some time anyway before opening them to the public.

Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on May 07, 2005, 12:47:15 PM
Hey Gregor,

Nice to see you again over here. As we discussed on our site, I've put the request in for a textual version or some type of downloadable version of the Complete Feeds list, still not sure of how to implement it as a by category, or during a search using the control panel maybe there is a option to download results, or just a complete downloadable list(rather large), but I'll see what everyone else around here has to say on it.  Yes, I tossed out there Avg Msgs a Day, but for the most part the majority of members know of the newsgroup, listserv, RSS, or whatever feed themselves and have been a member of it and now are just importing it into their SMF.  So they are aware of the traffic it has. So not as usefull as I had once thought and of course as was brought up by another member, for a newsgroup he could easily bring down the last 1000 or so msgs see if he likes it and how many it got over the last few days to give him an idea of traffic. On the admin section, there are no sounds and such, there still in the flash header as in the main website, but of course a much smaller version, your the first we have had mention this for the most part we have gotten compliments on it, but no its slowing down anything remarks.  Does it seem to make things sluggish on your system? Have a good day, and again glad to have you as a subscriber.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Anguz on May 11, 2005, 09:30:28 PM
Richard, I've never used usenet or RSS so far, but the concept of your service sounds awesome. I just wanted to congratulate you. I'll read more about EchoForum at your website and have it in mind for whenever the need arises. ;)
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on May 12, 2005, 09:57:22 AM
Hello Anguz,

Thanks for the kind words, we are very exicited about the service and getting everyone involved.  So far the response has been great, and we will be making some new announcements shortly, including one related to mod developers and free access for SMF operators to a new SMF Enthusiasts Community. Well have a good day, and if you have any questions about echoforum, just let me know.
Title: Moderation in Echoforum content
Post by: spiros on May 22, 2005, 11:54:32 AM
Hi,

How does moderation work say in an imported alt group? Do local moderation actions reflect to all forums sharing the content?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on May 22, 2005, 10:19:22 PM
Hello,

if you were say importing a ALT group, local moderation would only effect your local system, as the content is imported from a newsgroup to all members subscribed to that feed and we didn't want one systems moderation to effect anothers, whats off topic for one SMF may not be considered off topic for another SMF.

More moderation powers have been discusses but only in the context of hosted out content between multile systems and not imported feeds. So say if you were hosting out a forum from your systems, we would allow you greater moderation over the forum considering it more "yours" and others are subscribing to it. But as of now they are just on the drawing board, along with it seems dozens of great ideas we are getting from members, there needs to be more hours in the day!  ;) Have a good day.  And hope this answered your question.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: spiros on June 13, 2005, 07:51:15 AM
Thanks for you reply Richard.

Are there any examples of SMF forums running echoforum that we can see? Any updates on Echoforum development regarding SMF?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on June 17, 2005, 11:28:16 AM
Hello,

Regarding the latest SMF development, for the most part the most recent change was to ensure the new version 1.04 was working and compatible with the network, which it was and required no code modifications.  Most of the changes we are working on currently are more network wide features and enhancements that our members are submitting to us, one example would be a daily activity summary that is delivered via email once a day. Although alot of this information is contained within the log files, many of our members told us it would be far more convenient for them to have it delivered via email then have to log into their server and view a log file, or setup a Cron task to have the log delivered to them etc...  So we have added that to the development list, and have other members commenting on it with excellent ideas such as not only having a summary but having it where you could "checkbox" that you want a summary delivered via email and then (of course) your email address, but also have a series of checkboxes that represent all the info you would like to have or not have included in the summary, we think this is also a great idea but haven't finalized all what could be included in the summary.

Well not to get too long winded but thats an example of one of the upgrades going on, its not "SMF specific" but will be a useful addition for SMF forum operators none the less.. As far as example SMF sites, we don't really give out any of our members forum sites unless they agree to be included in our testimonials section. But I will ask around a bit and let you know, of course you could just setup a FREE trial account yourself and take a look at everything first hand, there is no better way to evaluate any service than trying it out for yourself, and of course we are always there to help you if you run into any problems or have any questions. Hope this answers your questions and have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: claygucci on June 25, 2005, 01:39:11 AM
This is a great idea. I remember the ol'  BBS days and the echo's.  I was thinking about this while a go and hoping someone would develope something that was similiar to that way FidoNet,ChateauNet, and other national echos were back "in the day". Congrats.  I have signed up and have gotten to a stopping point(Before I want to stop).

I realise that this is not an EchoForum support area or forum, and I hope I'm not "stepping on any toes' but I've submitted a suport ticket and posted in the forums over there and would really like to use this service.

I have gotten to the point where I am supposed to point to smf_laci.php and get this error when I do:



Warning: main(MyLibrary.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/pilldis/public_html/smc/smf_laci.php on line 3

Fatal error: main(): Failed opening required 'MyLibrary.inc' (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/pilldis/public_html/smc/smf_laci.php on line 3





What am I doing wrong?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on June 25, 2005, 12:00:27 PM
Hello Claygucci,

No problem, thats what we are here for, you can post on our forums, enter a helpdesk ticket, or email us and we will get you up and working.  This is an easy one, you forgot to upload the Mylibrary.inc file to your site along with the other files.  If you have any other questions or run into any problems just let us know.

Glad to hear from another BBSer we have several now that remember the "old days" and see what we are doing and where it is going to lead, expecially with all the advancements and additional features the internet offers now, we have alot of very cool plans on the board, just wish there were more hours in a day  ;)

Well have a great day, and looking forward to seeing you in our forums.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: spiros on June 25, 2005, 12:50:07 PM
Richard,

A couple more questions.

1) Is it possible in the "Recent posts" section to display only local members posts?

2) Has there been any progress in not displaying remote users birthdays?

Thanks!
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on June 29, 2005, 11:52:25 AM
Hello Spiros,

Sure always happy to answer some questions  ;D

1) Actually this is outside the scope of echoforum, we have added the messages to the forums within your community and then SMF picks them up for stats, "recent posts" maybe some last 20 post generators etc... The best way to do what you are asking for is to look for a configuration on these mods or SMF itself that allows you to exclude certain member groups from the stats (some forums call this a "does not count list") and then you could flag the echoforum member group to not be including in your stats, recent posts, etc... But there isn't a way that I know of to have SMF ignore messages in its system.

2) Yes for the birthdays, now it shouldn't be a problem, as we will not enter any birthday records for remote user accounts now, this will result in a much cleaner calender and all the echoforum remote users birthdays will not appear in your system.

Hope this helps answer your questions, if you have any others don't hesitate to ask, and have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Xarcell on August 22, 2005, 12:33:45 PM
I can't seem to find a list of feeds you support.

-Xarcell
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on August 22, 2005, 01:28:51 PM
Hello Xarcell,

All you need to do is create a account in our control panel at http://members.echoforum.com and then you will be able to use the search for feeds function and sort them by portal type or just use keyword searches. Currently the feed list has grown to over 140k feeds and counting. Hope this answers your question, and if you have any trouble or are looking for something specific let me know. Have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: mennou on August 22, 2005, 03:46:49 PM
do u have a sample (demo)?  i am curious to see how it works. How many visitors can i get daily if i sign up for your service?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on August 22, 2005, 03:57:40 PM
Hello Mennou,

Sure the demo is completely free, just sign up, find some content feeds of interest and give it a try.  But you wont get "visitors" from the service we are a message exchange service.  You can exchange messages with other forums, other SMFs, usenet newsgroups, as well as, a host of other content portals and have those discussions going on in your SMF forums.  If you meant what type of activity, its all up to how many and how active are the feeds that you decide to become a member of, we have one member that is being feed somewhere around 130 feeds and gets on the average 2-3k of messages everyday from us, creates alot of activity for his members to participate in, and was a big help is getting his forums "off the ground" so he said.  If you have any other questions just ask, and have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Xarcell on August 23, 2005, 09:56:36 AM
Ok, I tested it and it's a very superduper awesome concept.

However, I feel it needs some tweaking. With SMF that is...

So far here are a few problems that stop me from keeping it.

1.) It ruins the stats pages. RSS takeover... I can't compete with a "RSS" named guy that posts 20 topics a day.

2.) For some reason, the BBC code doesn't work. It doesn't make the url's linkable, but if I click to modify the post and don't change a thing, then it's linkable after I save it. WTF?

3.) It ruins my members list. Is there not a way to hide the 10 different "RSS" members?

4.) I'd like to see an alternative to the author info of each post. Maybe I can set up a membergroup or changes certain permissions. I don't mind the user having a avatar (i'll create custom), and web url, but I dunno. I'll see what I can do and get back to ya...

EDIT:: I changed the "displayed name" manually of each rss poster.

-Xarcell

Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on August 23, 2005, 01:05:19 PM
Hello Xarcell,

Ok let me address the points one at a time, and answer them.

1.) It ruins the stats pages. RSS takeover... I can't compete with a "RSS" named guy that posts 20 topics a day.

A) This is a function of SMF, what we would be looking for is additional configuration in the Membergroups section of SMF, remember we are just an addon for forum software and although we have access to are currently shying away from making any direct modification to the forum software iteself or requiring a "mod" for additional configuration.  Remember we have to and currently do work with many of hte top forum software packages and are trying to leverage the specific features of each software, SMF's membergroups are mostly visual configuration such as color in list, and what gif for the "stars" and such, where the feature you would be looking for is "do not include this membergroup in stats" or "do not include this member group in memberlists"  We are always reviewing and beta testing new versions as they come out, and when 1.1 hits release we will be looking for these features either in the membergroups or perhaps the members profile itself, so that we can use those features to do what you are looking for.

2.) For some reason, the BBC code doesn't work. It doesn't make the url's linkable, but if I click to modify the post and don't change a thing, then it's linkable after I save it.

A) Ok this one is a bit odd, i've marked it down and will be sending it in to be tested as I know we have testing the links and BBC codes before, might I ask what version of SMF you are running, and we will get back to you on this change.  But this one we will look into as it should auto link them and the links be available when anyone reads the messages.

3.) It ruins my members list. Is there not a way to hide the 10 different "RSS" members?
A) see answer for number one above.

4.) I'd like to see an alternative to the author info of each post. Maybe I can set up a membergroup or changes certain permissions. I don't mind the user having a avatar (i'll create custom), and web url, but I dunno. I'll see what I can do and get back to ya...
A) I'm not really sure what you mean by this one.  You can setup membergroups and change them in your system any way you choose and we will use whats there so any custom setups you want to use is available, but I'm not sure what you mean by "alternative to authors info of each post" Can you elaborate a bit?

We are always open to new features and ideas, and as you come up with things fire them off to us either here or using our own forums or helpdesk.   Most of our new features come from the pool of requests by current members such as our new Ebay portal that will be opening up soon, and are trying to get all the new requests, features and tweaks into the system before a large 2.0 release we have been working on.  Thanks for your comments and kind words and have a great day.




Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: [Unknown] on August 23, 2005, 04:43:09 PM
Are you calling preparsecode() on the code before inserting it into the database?

-[Unknown]
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Richard Rhoden on August 23, 2005, 05:16:00 PM
Hello Unknown,

Yes we have found the problem, I forgot to come back and update the thread, as the messages from Xarcell had gone to private mail, as he wanted us to take a look at his system and see what he was talking about.  So all is fixed now, it was some code we had in place to filter out malicious HTML content, we will have a new version going out through the patch system with the update in the next couple of days. Thanks for the quick reply and the help.  Have a great day.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: thegoodkelly on November 10, 2005, 10:15:23 AM
Has the ball been dropped on this?

I tried to register to ask questions in their forum and didn't get an email. (and yes, I know to look in spam and I'm not on aol, and I have cookies allowed...yes, I used search.)

I want to see all available feed without having to download anything to my hard drive. I'm only interested in very specific content. If you don't have it, why should I waste my time and hard drive space looking at what amounts to only advertising?

Yes, the free trial period is available, but for a newbie like me, too greatly time-consuming to download and install. Particularly if you end up having to pay someone to fix it when you hit a wrong key. And what happens after all that, if it doesn't suit my needs? Lots of time, effort, and possibly money uncompensated.

I want to see an example. If members don't want to volunteer, the owners should set up their own test board where we can view it in action.

Or, at the very least, screen shots.

Does upgrading the trial version to paid involve any additional work or is it automatic? (beyond adding additional feeds, of course)

I will be moving a board very shortly and am greatly interested in this, but the details that are important to me haven't been addressed at all.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: cjexotic on November 14, 2005, 06:41:11 PM
I had Echoforums working and posting to my forum.

If you just want to see it ran with smf,  check my forum  (http://forum.cjexotics.com).

I ran it just long enough I was going to convert to the full version,I liked it! BUT it doesn't seem to work right with 1.1 and I didn't get a reply from they're technical people to figure out what went wrong after the upgrade.

The service still works but with 1.1 it doesn't work right  :(
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: KingPin on February 19, 2006, 11:43:06 AM
anyone know what happened to this service? the site leads to a parked page....
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: DeadJellyfish on February 27, 2006, 09:07:14 AM
Yeah, I'm quite disappointed that it disappeared.  It was a really cool service.  I hope it either comes back or someone else creates something similar.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: KingPin on March 03, 2006, 11:12:40 PM
I have the resources to run something like this but Im not too sure what it even was (i have the very basic idea) or how to create it.....
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Xarcell on March 07, 2006, 06:13:59 PM
Crap...

I really wanted the service...
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Ben_S on March 07, 2006, 07:10:07 PM
Just wondering, what did you want from it?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Xarcell on March 08, 2006, 07:56:22 AM
Exactly what it was offering.

I thought thier prices were a bit steep, and you couldn't set up more than one account.

I was really needing it now though, for a new site I have.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: spiros on March 08, 2006, 08:58:25 AM
This is quite strange indeed. Anybody knows why they closed down?
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Ben_S on March 08, 2006, 11:14:53 AM
If it was the rss parts you wanted, look in the General Discussion and Feedback board for the RSS Injector.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Xarcell on March 12, 2006, 10:07:59 PM
Quote from: Ben_S on March 08, 2006, 11:14:53 AM
If it was the rss parts you wanted, look in the General Discussion and Feedback board for the RSS Injector.

Found it and it's what I'm looking for. However I could not get it to work.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Tony Reid on May 26, 2006, 06:22:28 PM
Sadly I never got round to trying this out.

I wonder - was the mod for it configurable for other NNTP servers?

If so was it released?

Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Sincere on August 19, 2006, 06:03:58 AM
Quote from: Joseph on April 18, 2005, 09:19:11 AM
gain access to a wealth of informational content that can be  directly imported into your SMF forum.

I can IMPORT to my SMF Forum, by inclusion in my DB or only by feeds from your network ???


How well can I then control any spam / hate / illegal content ?

Can the moderators on my site delete, edit, move, merge, split topics ????


I am very much willing to pay for such service.... in many languages......

Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Trekkie101 on August 19, 2006, 06:31:05 AM
Saldy echo forum has died, the owner seems to have moved on.

It was never a simple machines project, but rather something a user of ours decided to try and do, it did work but it seems to have gone.

I suppose things like RSS injectors became available defeating the point in the echoforum service, I don't really see a point in letting this topic go on...so im locking it.

Thanks :)

Edit: seems I cant, an admin will probably have to.
Title: Re: New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member
Post by: Sincere on August 19, 2006, 06:46:58 AM
Quote from: Trekkie101 on August 19, 2006, 06:31:05 AM

I suppose things like RSS injectors became available


thank you very much for this very kind help.

I appreciate it.  ;)