Big Updates: Dark Mode, Web App (PWA), Notifications on Android and Desktop, section updates

Bradley

Admin/Operations
Staff member
Hello everyone!

I've installed some major updates to the forum software, bringing us up to the latest version, and made some backend tweaks to help things run smoother.

Here's the highlights:
  1. Dark mode is now available. Click the Light Bulb Icon next to your user name or the login button to switch between light and dark mode. Switching based on OS/Browser preference is coming soon.
  2. There is now a progressive web app available to add to your mobile devices or computer. On all browsers except Safari, this supports push notifications. (Safari is rumored to support them in the next Mac and iOS release in 2023). On Desktop, you can add Sailing Forums to your Dock or Taskbar and access the forum in a dedicated window if you would like. On mobile, you can add to your Home Screen by clicking the Share Icon and then selecting add to Home Screen, for easy access. See the screen shot below of the Desktop version in action!
    pwa.jpg
  3. Question and Answer threads are now available. See the example here: New Feature: Questions!
  4. Attachment storage is now moved to an S3 style Object Bucket, so we can continue to grow at a lower cost and without requiring a server migration when disk space runs low (which we were about to need prior to this move). What this means: Bring on the photos from all your sailing adventures as Sailing Forums is ready to host them! I'm still researching the best way to handle video support, so that will be coming in an update later in 2023.
  5. There's a new version of the Sailing Forums logo to go along with the style and naming adjustments on the site.
  6. The "Laser" sections are now reflecting the new name of the boat, the ILCA Dinghy. The laser name will be co-branded for the foreseeable future so casual sailors can still find us and the help they are looking for.
  7. Registration is now using CloudFare Turnstile to protect against bots and spam without having to click on traffic lights.
  8. There will be more tweaking of the site organization over the next few weeks as we head into the spring sailing season in the northern hemisphere.
  9. AMP support for faster mobile loading is in the works. This should help boost incoming traffic on Google and make the site faster for folks dropping by for a quick search on how to do x, y, or z.
  10. Finally, I bought a new to me "Laser" this fall and am looking forward to getting back on the water and hopefully sharing some of the experiences here!!

Cheers!
Bradley
SailingForums.com
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
1. The dark mode looks great, switched to it right away :D
6. The last ILCA-legal Laser was, I believe, number 217500, so the "foreseeable" future may extend quite far :rolleyes: Moreover, the "Laser" trademark won't stay forever with its current owner, so there's a non-zero chance of getting it back some day...
10. Yes! :)


Then for the only complaints...
  • I don't see many of the pictures anymore, and none of the avatars. (Probably because I'm using a pretty old version of Safari, but it worked fine until now.)
  • the 470 Forum is missing from the top of the pages!
_
 
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Bradley

Admin/Operations
Staff member
Then for the only complaints...
  • I don't see many of the pictures anymore, and none of the avatars. (Probably because I'm using a pretty old version of Safari, but it worked fine until now.)
  • the 470 Forum is missing from the top of the pages!
_

Thanks for the feedback @LaLi ! I wouldn't call these complaints, they are valid feedback.
1. What version of Safari are you running? The avatars and thumbnails are now served from a different sub domain name than the rest of the site now. Can you send me a screen shot of what the page looks like for you? Also, you could try completely clearing your cache on your browser. If you use the same computer, internet connection, and a different browser, do you have the same issue?
2. The 470 NA Class pulled out of Sailing Forums a few years ago. I've kept the section online for posterity, but will merge the posts into general sailing at some point in the future with a [470] Thread Prefix. Without direct linking in from the class, there's not really enough activity to warrant a dedicated section.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
1. What version of Safari are you running?
Oh, an embarrassingly old one... 10.1.2. I have 14 on my phone and no problems there.
The pages look otherwise fine except there's a question mark in place of most pictures, and all avatars.
Will update whole MacOS and the browser with it one of these days so that'll most likely fix it (among many other things).

2. The 470 NA Class pulled out of Sailing Forums a few years ago. I've kept the section online for posterity, but will merge the posts into general sailing at some point in the future with a [470] Thread Prefix. Without direct linking in from the class, there's not really enough activity to warrant a dedicated section.
Having written more than 100 posts there, I disagree :rolleyes: Ok, it's not hugely active, but still much more so than at the time when there was a class association connection! Like the other class forums, it's a most useful helpdesk and should stay "independent", and listed up there with the others. (By the way, I don't see "General discussion" there, either.)

_
 

Bradley

Admin/Operations
Staff member
@LaLi:

Ok, yikes that is an old version!! I don't have access to anything that far back to try to find the issue. Both the image bucket and the server support the same versions of TLS(https). I have Internet Explorer in a VM, I can see I have the same issues there.

Your great posts are one of the reasons I didn't merge the content already!! Let me think on this a bit more. I might can get 3 more letters up there without it overflowing on smaller screens. "https://sailingforums.com/470/" and "http://470na.org" still work for direct access as well. You can access the general section (and everything else) by clicking the Sailing Forums logo at the top left.

One of my thoughts for the General Sailing Talk section is to create prefixes for the most popular dinghy sized boats that don't have a dedicated section. This would allow you to filter by that type (like you can filter by state in the Classified Ads). I'm hoping that online community groups outside of the big social media companies make a comeback online. :)

Bradley
 

Bradley

Admin/Operations
Staff member
One other update, as of midnight 19 DEC 22 US/ET (-5), Sailing Forums is now using CloudFare as our edge CDN. This helps protect the origin server's (what you used to access directly, prior to today) location from being publicly exposed to the internet and moves as much content as possible to CloudFare's Edge content delivery network, which should result in faster load times, especially to people outside the United States. I have a few parts of the site that still need optimizing so they can be served from the edge, so the speed increases should continue over time. The origin server is going to change in January, but it should be completely transparent to everyone here, minus a few minutes when the site closes to protect the database during the switch over.

Also, the AMP (accelerated mobile pages) are now online.

Cheers!
Bradley
 

Bradley

Admin/Operations
Staff member
@LaLi I have made some changes to the way avatars and thumbnails are served. Any change it fixed the broken images for you on your older version of Safari?
 

Bradley

Admin/Operations
Staff member
That's great! Thanks for providing the feedback.

I changed the spacing from 20px to 12px to made some room so the 470 link could be up there as well!
 

Bradley

Admin/Operations
Staff member
So the "Forum Support" section is now defunct. I've merged all the content from there into the "Open Talk", formerly "The Dockhouse" section. I'm not sure about the name, but trying to stick with the same naming as "Sunfish Talk", "ILCA/Laser Talk" etc....

For support please start a conversation with me or us the contact us form.
 

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