Xenforo Update + Elasticsearch (Finally) + Info That Forum Will Be Closed For Several Hours

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
For those who do not get our monthly newsletter, this was included in October's Newsletter. Please be aware that the forum will be closed for an estimated 5 hours while the update takes place



What's Best Forum migrated from vBulletin to Xenforo mid 2018.
This migration allowed us to offer a more modern and flexible forum with better graphics, image handling and many other features not possible in vBulletin.

We can announce we are to upgrade again!
We are to update our version of Xenforo v2.0.9 to the latest version Xenforo v2.1.11. This update will allow us to develop the forum even further and offer more facilities to our members and our sponsors.

For example, XenForo Enhanced Search is an add-on that replaces the built-in XenForo search system, and is built to take advantage of Elasticsearch to provide a higher performing and more flexible search system for XenForo. It allows searches with as little as 3 characters. This is a big deal and will help members find content inside the forum more easily.

We are planning this update mid October, and undergoing tests at the moment. When the upgrade date is assigned to the forum, it will be flagged up on the forum home page. We are expecting the forum to be closed around five hours while the upgrade takes place.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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We all appreciate your efforts
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Some links, from Ron's system down in the October Newsletter are broken.

david
 

Hear Here

Active Member
Feb 14, 2020
174
69
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76
Portsmouth, UK
Hello Steve. I seem to remember that you recently announced that the Search facility would be improved so that 3-character phrases could be found.

Two questions:

1. Could results of all searches show the relevant word highlighted in yellow? I ask because recent searches have sometimes led to long texts where the chosen word has been near-impossible to spot.

2. Could results for strings of words (eg NAD M33) be listed without their constituant words being shown? In other words, I don't want all NAD results and all M33 results - only NAD M33 results. This can often (in other forums) be done by ticking an "Exact Phrase" box ,or (more obscurely) by puting the phrase in commas - "NAD M33".

Many thanks if this can be achieved. Peter
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Peter

This has been a labor of love as we are still discovering ourselves

We were all ready to upgrade this week to the latest version when Xenforo 2 days ago announced the release of their even newest update which is a major update. So after having all of our plug ins updated to the newest version and we were ready to go, we now have to once again wait for the developers to update the plugins to the current version . WE are hoping to be able to do this major update this month. Our sole desire is to be able to use elastic search

as to your questions I truly don't know the answers yet


For those interested in trying elastic search head-fi uses it. https://www.head-fi.org
 

Hear Here

Active Member
Feb 14, 2020
174
69
30
76
Portsmouth, UK
Many thanks and good luck with the changes. I'm sure they'll improve the Search facility despite the unwelcome delay.

Peter
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
This has been a labor of love for us and just when we thought we were ready to go Xenforo just released a major update

I know little about Elasticsearch other than you can search using only 3 characters.This is very helpful in. audio.

I found this on Wikipedia. Not sure if it helps or not....

Elasticsearch can be used to search all kinds of documents. It provides scalable search, has near real-time search, and supports multitenancy.[4] "Elasticsearch is distributed, which means that indices can be divided into shards and each shard can have zero or more replicas. Each node hosts one or more shards, and acts as a coordinator to delegate operations to the correct shard(s). Rebalancing and routing are done automatically".[4] Related data is often stored in the same index, which consists of one or more primary shards, and zero or more replica shards. Once an index has been created, the number of primary shards cannot be changed.[13]

Elasticsearch is developed alongside a data collection and log-parsing engine called Logstash, an analytics and visualisation platform called Kibana, and Beats, a collection of lightweight data shippers. The four products are designed for use as an integrated solution, referred to as the "Elastic Stack" (formerly the "ELK stack").[14]

Elasticsearch uses Lucene and tries to make all its features available through the JSON and Java API. It supports facetting and percolating,[15] [16] which can be useful for notifying if new documents match for registered queries. Another feature is called "gateway" and handles the long-term persistence of the index;[17] for example, an index can be recovered from the gateway in the event of a server crash. Elasticsearch supports real-time GET requests, which makes it suitable as a NoSQL datastore,[18] but it lacks distributed transactions.[19]

On 20 May 2019, Elastic made the core security features of the Elastic Stack available free of charge, including TLS for encrypted communications, file and native realm for creating and managing users, and role-based access control for controlling user access to cluster APIs and indexes.[20] The corresponding source code is available under the “Elastic License”, a source-available license.[21] In addition, Elasticsearch now offers SIEM [22] and Machine Learning [23] as part of its offered services.
 
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rando

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2019
281
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@Steve Williams The "Latest Activity" feed loads correctly upon pressing the button in title bar. When using the "SHOW OLDER ITEMS" button you are taken directly to bottom of the page instead of showing the result with next oldest timecode.
 

admin

THE FIXER (I build websites)
Staff member
Mar 27, 2010
192
47
605
You click 'latest activity'. Then look down the list, and then click 'older items, you see further (older) items.
It works for me here, on a Mac and Android phone.
 

rando

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2019
281
214
45
Correct, using updated Chromium on PC. Show older results button stays in view with results loading above it.

I didn't suspect this was a unique problem but it now appears to be. Even hit the wrong thread to report this (erroneously thinking it was related to a site update that has yet to be instituted). The error following an update would appear to be on my end.

Apologies.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
XENFORO UPDATE

I finally have an update on our latest project, specifically the update of Xenforo to its most current version which finally allows us to make use of Elasticsearch a search engine that allows searches using as few as 3 characters. I am happy to report that we have finally succeeded. This project became far more complicated and much longer than we ever anticipated. The ticket was issued to our web host on June 3rd. WE figured that this would be a routine update. Along the way we discovered we had to be on a VPS to allow for Elasticsearch. So we paid a large fee to do the transfer to our new VPS. It was my thought that all we had to do was to install Elasticsearch and we would be good to go. Well it turns out we had purchased the most current version of Elasticsearch which unfortunately did not work on our version of Xenforo

As a result our next project was to purchase the newest version of Xenforo and presumably the problem was solved. Well hardly, as this was just the beginning. Turns out with the Xenforo's newest update we would also have to update all of our plug-ins as they would not work on the new Xenforo version. We use 11 plugins to our website and we then had to wait for each one of those to be updated by the creator, so more time spent waiting.

Well we finally got all of our plug ins updated and were ready (so we thought) to begin the Xenforo update. The day before this update was to happen, Xenforo released a newer and major update to Xenforo, so this resulted in our having to return to the developers of our plugins to ensure they would function on yet this newest version of Xenforo. We lucked out here as all of the plug- ins indeed would function on this newest version.

Finally about 3 weeks ago we began working off line and in the background to commence this update in conjunction with our web host. Their work was supposed to be 10 hours including a 5 hour down time when the site would be off line. A mirror site was created by our web host without any issues EXCEPT that our most important plug ins, namely our forum home page Xenporto and the pretty colored theme did not transfer across and Julian was faced with the task of recreating the style of our Xenporto home page as well as the colored theme we see on the forum itself.

This work was finished yesterday by Julian and honestly after he was finished I said to him that everyone is going to wonder what we did as it all looks the same except for the appearance of the "bubble" that we see to the left of each new thread. In our existing live forum these have a square appearance and the newer ones have a round bubble. We are now trying to get that square bubble back as we like it better.

Well it didn't stop here. I order to create the mirror site we ran out of memory and we were forced to chase an additional 50 Gb's of memory. Once we had done this things went smoothly and we thought we were done. Finally I got to try the Elasticsearch function and much to my chagrin it remained inspirational. It turns out that with the mirror test site and the live site plus our database which is now huge we could not run elasticsearch as once again we were running out of memory. We new this would rectify itself as once we take the test site live, the test site would be deleted freeing up much memory. The hitch here is that we want to maintain a test site going forward allowing us to continue to roll out new developments that we have planned for the new future. These new developments are made available by this new version of Xenforo so stay tuned on this.

So this takes us finally to why we did this in the first place and that was to offer Elasticsearch to our members. Finally yesterday I purchased yet another 50 Gb's of memory after which I finally got to see and use Elasticsearch. Suffice it to say I am impressed and I can say with confidence that all of the trials and tribulations to get us to this place was worth every penny. Searching with only 3 characters is now totally possible. It is fast and provides photos as well as posts and threads. I believe everyone here who uses search will find this a significant uppgrade

Well this now takes us to the next waiting mode as to when our web host can pencil the time in. As of now they have said this will happen in the coming week.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE SITE WILL BE OFFLINE FOR 5-7 HOURS ( the extra 2 hours are now necessary as Julian will once again have to recreate our Xenporto home page and the theme look.

The last thing to remind members is that some post will be lost in the update so please don't yell at us if this happens

The good news is Elasticsearch was worth all of the headaches we suffered to get this done plus the new version of Xenforo allows us to develop new ideas to bring to the forum. We are working on one such idea now which we believe will be a major plus for the forum

So check this thread daily for the time and date. when the transfer will take place and be reminded that the site will be closed for 5-7 hours

We thank everyone for being patient with us in this latest endeavor
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,693
576
658
Amazing dedication (and investment)! Thank you! I am going to go straight away and search for XLF!
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Lloyd.
you will be impressed. Plus it’s much faster than what we had

I searched ML3 and LL1 and almost immediately got every thread , post and picture of the product
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
Just a reminder to all that the forum will be closed from 0530 PDST -1700 PDST tomorrow Oct 26 in order to complete the update to the current Xenforo version. As stated one of the big features is to finally allow us to use Elasticsearch. There are also several new features of this Xenforo version that we are going to use in order to roll out a few new things in the coming weeks . So please stay tuned for all of this. Once the forum is back up and running please report any bugs or concerns. We have been working on this since June 1st and I have to admit that a first look at the update won't show many (if any) changes to what we know now. Presently the new icon for dialogue is a round bubble whereas previously it was square. Both Julian and I like the square one better and we will change that once the site goes live.


Lloyd, I did a search for XLF as you were going to and it immediately produced 7 full pages of posts. This is the beauty of Elasticsearch
 
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ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
6,306
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Looking good. Will take a little getting used to again... Lost my old view with the blue background and larger font, forgot how I configured it
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,693
576
658
Lloyd.
you will be impressed. Plus it’s much faster than what we had

I searched ML3 and LL1 and almost immediately got every thread , post and picture of the product
I did a search for XLF, and it came back in a flash! Well done...another investment of money and time to keep improving the best site going. Thank you.
 
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tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
2,003
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Maybe it's my eyes. Did the font size of message text get smaller?

The green flashing thingie under a person's avatar is really really distracting. Its presence is more than sufficient to say a person is on-line, but why does have to flash?

Does it ignore the 'preference' for: "Show your online status" or is my on-line status only shown to myself?
 
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Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
No but it is a different font. We like the other better and are going to change back to it.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I agree about the flashing green light. It is a distraction and more so IMHO than seeing “likes” in blue on the latest activity page.
we are looking into making it solid green as it was in the last version.
 

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