December 2015 Website Updates and Changes

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Greetings to everyone who visits and participates on Since this will be (likely) the last update of the year, I thought I'd go into some full details, for those who are technically inclined, or perhaps, just like reading about software updates.

On December 1st, XenForo released 1.5.3 of their software. In accordance with best practices, we waited about a week to adopt this software.

Here is a run down of changes in the forum software:
Some of the bugs fixed in 1.5.3 include:
  • Add beta importers for IPB 4.0/4.1 and phpBB 3.1.
  • When using the mail queue and bulk email systems, if an error is received emailing a user, attempt to establish a new transport connection and resend the email. This should help resolve issues where SMTP connections are closed unexpectedly.
  • Added sanity checks to ensure that serialized data is an array (containing only simple data within) in numerous places. (This may cause an error with add-ons that have incorrectly specified option definitions.)
  • When associating an external account with an existing account, you must already be logged into the target account to ensure two-step verification is respected.
  • Add dir="auto" to the sidebar online users list to ensure mixed LTR and RTL usernames do not interact.
  • Improve results when pasting into the RTE from certain programs (such as PHPStorm).
  • Fix converting links to page titles when the title tag is found more than 20KB into the page (such as on Amazon pages).
  • Prevent a fatal error if an import remains unfinished but the importer has been removed.
  • Do not automatically apply avatars during registration if the user doesn't have permission.
  • Prevent an error in the user change log when a user has changed a custom field option that no longer exists.
  • Do not display the RTE to Firefox mobile due to cursor issues.
See the Resolved Bug Reports forum (XenForo website) for further information.

On that very same day, it was time to update a number of other modifications to the software. These include:

Enhanced Search updated from 1.1.2 to 1.1.3 (Elasticsearch engine interface). This is arguably one of the most important changes for awhile, as it included the following:

  • Remove the default stopwords list as it is not applied in many cases.
  • Fix incompatibility with Elasticsearch 2.0 when loading a script for scoring.
  • Fix incompatibility with Elasticsearch 2.0 when limiting user searches to a max date.
  • Improve error logging in Elasticsearch 2.0.
  • Fix inconsistently handling of database names as index names if the database name contained uppercase characters.
We also updated the Resource Manager from 1.2.1 to 1.2.2, which provides the ability to link to many important downloads. Here's some information on that update.

  • Fix an issue where, when editing, more attachments could be added to a resource than should have been allowed.

For the full list of bug fixes, see the Resolved Resource Manager Bugs forum. (XenForo website)

And, finally we updated the Media Gallery, from 1.1.1 to 1.1.3:
  • Private image thumbnails potentially visible in the news feed.
  • Ratings failed to import when using the PhotoPost Pro (XenForo) importer.
  • When in a category or an album marking all media as viewed would only mark the current category/album as viewed.
  • Quota rebuild triggered by the previous upgrade may not have run for all users.
  • Invalid URLs when embedding videos may have thrown an exception.
  • Stored image dimensions were not updated after an image was manipulated.
For the full list of bug fixes, see the Resolved Media Gallery Bugs (XenForo website) forum.

While many users may not get the full "this is an entire new website" vibe from these changes, they are always significant, so I thought I would be extra meticulous in crafting out what has changed in these updates. While, admittedly, filled with technical jargon, 90% of which doesn't apply to this website, our update process slowly does improve the software, so this should be a good maintenance update run going into next year.

Tapatalk API was also updated from 2.4.7 to 2.4.10 which will allow for better communication for future versions of our mobile apps, which are coming.

Elasticsearch updated to 2.1.0. This should drastically improve site search and results.

Privacy Options now allow you to block OS/Browser display.

Thank you so much for your support! Have a great holiday!
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I am pleased to announce a number of back-end updates that we have been working on since Monday. We are now on a new web host! The cloud itself. I would like to thank those involved in making this possible, especially @Josephur at, @nmsuk, and @kemical . A lot of work went into these updates, so we hope you will enjoy a faster and more stable website experience.

  • FontAwesome updated from 4.3.0 to 4.5.0. Resolved.
  • Entire operating system updated to RHEL 7/CentOS7. Resolved.
  • Server migration (Project Bigfoot) to Google Compute Engine Cloud successful.
  • E-mail issues resolved. Some issues still pending.
  • CDN issues resolved: KeyCDN and MaxCDN now fully functional.
  • Page rendering issues resolved.
  • Reconfiguration issues resolved.
  • Website now exists in virtual cloud environment. Resolved.
  • DNS issues and cloud DNS hosting established. Resolved.
  • Image optimization performed. Resolved.
  • Defer javascript. Resolved.
  • Similar threads updated at the bottom of threads. Resolved.
  • Cache issues resolved to improve performance. Resolved.
  • PHP update to improve performance**. Resolved.
  • 1.0.1 theme updated for 4K monitors. Resolved.
  • Numerous additional configuration changes and workarounds.
** Expecting PHP 7 next month for evaluation purposes.

What we expect from this update in general:
  • Better website loading times.
  • Scalability for CPU, memory, and network utilization.
  • Better overall experience when browsing.
  • Easy migration and operating system updates for main server resources.
  • Better network backbone access.
  • Always-on technology to prevent any possible downtime whenever humanly possible.
  • Near infinite resources are now assignable for any given server reason or task.
If you notice any bugs on this site or have feedback related to this website please use the Feedback Forum or Contact Us.


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Further changes today:
  • PHP updated to 7.0.1 (dev) and will be updated as changes present themselves that affect our code.
  • XenForo updated to 1.5.4.
Thank you.


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December 24, 2015 - Tonight, more back-end changes before the Christmas holiday:
  • Tapatalk API update
  • iOS app update
  • Litespeed Web Server updated tonight.
  • PHP 7.0.2 Release Candidate 1
Have a wonderful and super jolly day! Don't download all the cookies! Leave some for Santa Claus.
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