A few suggestions...

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

WiK

Just a few suggestions from browsing around the site, all IMO, of course:

1. The search engine AntiVirus problem is still there - this really ought to be a priority.

2. Logo - this may just be a temporary logo, but it's taking up a *lot* of vertical screen space

3. Too many forums - maybe it's just me, but do we really need seperate forums for Regional/Local and National events? Same thing with Yard Sale and Wanted - surely Yard Sale is the best place to put Wanted ads anyway? More people will see them, I know I wouldn't check the Wanted section anywhere near as often as the Yard Sale section. And again with Electronics and Rocketry Software... both fairly small subjects (really), and they kind of fit together well. Rocketry Electronics and Software, maybe? Oh, and don't the descriptions for the Support & Recovery section and the Electronics section overlap completely?
Perhaps I'm just being picky, but I hate forums with 50 million different sections. It makes working out where to put a thread too much hard work, no doubt adds to the moderator workload with all the threads being put in the wrong section, and adds to all the scrolling needed to see all the forums

4. Wording on the forum descriptions - The use of "NAR" in the forum descriptions is a bit vague and doesn't come off as very inclusive, IMO. Like the Local events section: "Discussion of events, complying with the NAR Safety Code, in your area - including personal launches". Does this mean I'm not allowed to post about launches taking place under the UKRA/CAR/TRA/etc safety code? It's the same with the National events forum - am I not allowed to post about national UKRA launches in there?
It's also on the Advanced forum: "Please keep this forum geared towards legalized activities, as constituted by NAR." I'm assuming this means no talk about ex motors, active guidance, metal airframes and that sort of thing, but mostly no Ex? If so, I think it would save a lot of problems/misunderstandings if it specifically stated what wasn't allowed, rather than leaving it something as vague as that. Last one - the HPR forum: "Rockets using motors from H impluse upwards, that are not classed as "Research" " - does this mean that a build thread for some of the awesome rockets going on O/P/Q motors wouldn't be allowed, even if it contained no information about the motors whatsoever? If so then I think TRF will lose out on some fantastic stuff and some seriously knowledgeable people.

Apart from that it's looking good, I'm glad to see TRF back online!

Hmm, that turned out a lot longer than I was expecting. Feel free to ignore it all

Cheers,
Phil

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AKPilot

Well-Known Member
WiK, welcome back!

1) Talk to me about the Antivirus problem? I'm not seeing it, nor am affected by it.

2) The logo is temporary. Once this version of vbulletin is stable, we're upgrading to the next version. Hopefully that'll be within a month or two, as it's already released. I have someone working a new "skin" for TRF and hope to bring it into the 21st century with the next release. We'll be getting away from 2-d logos and going with something more up-to-date. You might remember that we had a TRF logo contest right before it went toast.

3) I hear what you're saying about too many forums as well. Lets see how it pans out and if we want to combine, I'm all for that. I do agree with the minimalist theory when it comes to things, but would like to balance that with organization.

4) I agree with the terminology being more inclusive. I'll take a look at that within the next few days and make the changes as necessary to be more inclusive of our worldwide audience.

Btw, within the first 24 hours we had users register from the States, Canada, UK, Australia, Sweden, Germany, & France. Kinda neat I think.

WiK

What happens when you click on the TRF search result (first one) here? Be careful, and don't let it install anything...

For me, using Firefox, it comes up with a warning about a Reported Attack Site. When I use Internet Explorer, instead of TRF it comes up with a website for 'AntiVirus 2009' which "scans" my computer and claims to have found several viruses. Then it tries to get me to buy AV 2009 so it can fix them. It's a well known piece of malware/scare-ware.

That's a fair few countries! Not at all bad considering there's been less than 200 registrations so far.

Cheers,
Phil

rstaff3

Oddroc-eteer
What happens when you click on the TRF search result (first one) here? Be careful, and don't let it install anything...

For me, using Firefox, it comes up with a warning about a Reported Attack Site. When I use Internet Explorer, instead of TRF it comes up with a website for 'AntiVirus 2009' which "scans" my computer and claims to have found several viruses. Then it tries to get me to buy AV 2009 so it can fix them. It's a well known piece of malware/scare-ware.

That's a fair few countries! Not at all bad considering there's been less than 200 registrations so far.

Cheers,
Phil
I see it from that link also. Didn't see it when I entered the link manually yesterday or on the web hosts site that was mentioned earlier. Or from my sidebar.

kandsrockets

Well-Known Member
I like the "yard sale" and "wanted" forums being there own. If I am selling something or looking at things for sale I do not want to dig through wanted posts. Just my 2 cents

Now the Electronics and Support and Recovery should be the same Forum.

Also the National and local events should be one forum

Again this is just my 2 pennies.

The Advance Topics need the wording reworked "constituted by NAR" There are other orginizations that set rules in the rocketry community.

rocketguy101

Well-Known Member
I see it from that link also. Didn't see it when I entered the link manually yesterday or on the web hosts site that was mentioned earlier. Or from my sidebar.
The same thing happend on the Yahoo scaleroc group a couple weeks ago. If you manually type the link, no problems. weird stuff

WiK

If you manually type the link, no problems. weird stuff
Indeed, it's a clever little trick. Basically there's a file on the server (https://www.rocketryforum.com/.htaccess) which can control where people go. Currently it's set as:

Code:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*oogle.*$[NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*aol.*$ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*msn.*$[NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*altavista.*$ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*ask.*$[NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*ahoo.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* https://87.248.180.89/topic.html?s=s [R,L]
Which, as you might have worked out, redirects people who click on links from all the major search engines to the URL at the bottom, which is the AntiVirus 2009 site. If you type the TRF address into the bar, or click a link on a site not listed above, you'll never know. This happened due to security flaws affecting the whole of TRF's hosting services (IX Web Hosting), not because of anything done by AKPilot. Deleting the file might work for a while, but I don't know how to stop it from happening again.

Phil

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rstaff3

Oddroc-eteer
Indeed, it's a clever little trick. Basically there's a file on the server (https://www.rocketryforum.com/.htaccess) which can control where people go. Currently it's set as:

Code:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*oogle.*$[NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*aol.*$ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*msn.*$[NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*altavista.*$ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*ask.*$[NC,OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*ahoo.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* https://87.248.180.89/topic.html?s=s [R,L]
Which, as you might have worked out, redirects people who click on links from all the major search engines to the URL at the bottom, which is the AntiVirus 2009 site. If you type the TRF address into the bar, or click a link on a site not listed above, you'll never know. This happened due to security flaws affecting the whole of TRF's hosting services (IX Web Hosting), not because of anything done by AKPilot. Deleting the file might work for a while, but I don't know how to stop it from happening again.

Phil
Thanks for the explanation. I knew it was the host's issue as it was first reported before the site was up.

m85476585

Well-Known Member
The .htaccess file should never be publicly visible. First, make sure permissions are set to 644 (or -rw-r--r--). Second, make sure trying to access it returns a 403 forbidden error like this:
https://micronetsoftware.com/.htaccess
I don't know how to set that, though. It was already set up like that on my website.

Nerull

Well-Known Member
It's not just search results. There are lots of yahoo groups based rocketry lists that will get hit by the redirect. George Gassaway posted a note about TRF being up on ContestRoc earlier and its directing people to the AntiVirus 2009 IP.

m85476585

Well-Known Member
If you just delete the contents of the file and leave it there empty, that should fix it. Then change the permissions.

I see that the forum is running on a Windows server, so changing the permissions might be different than what I wrote previously.

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sailmike

Well-Known Member
May I suggest a backup of everything that's on this forum? And then a backup of the backup?

Did I need to remind you of that?

Mike

Nerull

Well-Known Member
Seems to be fixed for now - should keep an eye on it in case it comes back. If it got in before it can likely get in again.

TRF Supporter

WiK

May I suggest a backup of everything that's on this forum? And then a backup of the backup?
And make sure Archive.org's Way Back Machine is able to make an archive of the forum from time to time...

AKPilot

Well-Known Member
ixWebhosting was really good about helping me through this, telling me what to look for in the future, and help shoring us up.

To be honest, the problem is that "I" infected our own forum. My other website was infected, when I went into that it went onto my computer, and when I started up TRF again, it transposed itself. So I was my own worst enemy without knowing it.

My systems clean, and again, ixwebhosting helped me shore things up. I'm not techno geek (affectionate term for people who make more money than me), but our host was very good in helping me through this.

powderburner

Well-Known Member
Just a few suggestions from browsing around the site, all IMO, of course:

1. The search engine AntiVirus problem is still there - this really ought to be a priority.

2. Logo - this may just be a temporary logo, but it's taking up a *lot* of vertical screen space

3. Too many forums - maybe it's just me, but do we really need seperate forums for Regional/Local and National events? Same thing with Yard Sale and Wanted - surely Yard Sale is the best place to put Wanted ads anyway? More people will see them, I know I wouldn't check the Wanted section anywhere near as often as the Yard Sale section. And again with Electronics and Rocketry Software... both fairly small subjects (really), and they kind of fit together well. Rocketry Electronics and Software, maybe? Oh, and don't the descriptions for the Support & Recovery section and the Electronics section overlap completely?
Perhaps I'm just being picky, but I hate forums with 50 million different sections. It makes working out where to put a thread too much hard work, no doubt adds to the moderator workload with all the threads being put in the wrong section, and adds to all the scrolling needed to see all the forums

4. Wording on the forum descriptions - The use of "NAR" in the forum descriptions is a bit vague and doesn't come off as very inclusive, IMO. Like the Local events section: "Discussion of events, complying with the NAR Safety Code, in your area - including personal launches". Does this mean I'm not allowed to post about launches taking place under the UKRA/CAR/TRA/etc safety code? It's the same with the National events forum - am I not allowed to post about national UKRA launches in there?
It's also on the Advanced forum: "Please keep this forum geared towards legalized activities, as constituted by NAR." I'm assuming this means no talk about ex motors, active guidance, metal airframes and that sort of thing, but mostly no Ex? If so, I think it would save a lot of problems/misunderstandings if it specifically stated what wasn't allowed, rather than leaving it something as vague as that. Last one - the HPR forum: "Rockets using motors from H impluse upwards, that are not classed as "Research" " - does this mean that a build thread for some of the awesome rockets going on O/P/Q motors wouldn't be allowed, even if it contained no information about the motors whatsoever? If so then I think TRF will lose out on some fantastic stuff and some seriously knowledgeable people.

Apart from that it's looking good, I'm glad to see TRF back online!

Hmm, that turned out a lot longer than I was expecting. Feel free to ignore it all

Cheers,
Phil
Some good points. And just to sound wishy-washy, I'm not really sure how many need to be fixed (at least, right now).

(Tooting my own horn) I suggested a couple TRF logos that would take less vertical space on the screen. That was part of the thinking behind those ideas. Troy, do you still have that old info?

Too many forums? Yeah, I guess. Maybe combine 'Want to Buy/Sell' or a few changes like that? I would urge the TRF mods & admins to go (right now) with whatever takes the least work. I'll trust your judgement and I'm willing to try working with what you guys want to do.

50 million different sections? Whew. I'll have to take my shoes off to count that high. In the mean time, yeah there may be a few more options than we had before, but after maybe six months the traffic count should show which forums aren't really necessary and which could be combined/simplified.

Wording and labeling are kind of quirky things that will strike a note with some people and totally irritate others. We just got new cell phones in our family and I HATE my new one (the phone button labels s##k), probably because I am used to the old one. If there are possible TRF label improvements, we can always go ahead and make suggestions; we just need to remember that our own 'brilliant' ideas are bound to make someone else go 'HUH?' and sometimes old dogs just have to learn a few new tricks.

And I agree with Phil that it's great that TRF is back!

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powderburner

Well-Known Member
Perhaps a bit off-thread, but I think that it is more important than any of the items above for us ALL to be able to discuss ideas and options (like Phil's suggestions and thoughts above) while trying to be aware of how our words look when posted online (with no way to differentiate friendly teasing from spitting) and while working a little harder to GET ALONG with everyone else. There aren't enough of us rocketry people to throw away half the eligible pool. Those of us that had some experience (i.e., post count) from TRF1 (and I mean anyone with 10 posts or more) need to set the example for new people here, and take an extra minute to look twice at our words before hitting 'submit.'

And right after I wrote all this stuff about 'everybody play nice' someone else asked me if I was mad at Phil. Seems that my comments appear to be an attack on him. Certainly not what I intended, but an excellent example of being sloppy when posting something and having completely unforseen misinterpretations. (Phil, I was simply typing along and had a little diarrhea of the fingers, N O N E of this was pointed at you!, in case I got you worried)

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WiK

. (Phil, I was simply typing along and had a little diarrhea of the fingers, N O N E of this was pointed at you!, in case I got you worried)
Haha, don't worry, no offence taken

Phil

powderburner

Well-Known Member
Has anybody else noticed how the top of each thread is now labeled with a note that says '1 day ago' or '5 days ago' or something like that? Right now, while TRF2 is still new, this doesn't make too much difference to me, but after a couple months when the note says '4,622 days ago' it is going to hurt my head to try to figure out what calendar date that is supposed to mean.

Long story short: is there a switch hidden somewhere that we can use to change that note to a just plain date?

powderburner

Well-Known Member
While TRF2 is still 'new' (and not too much info would really be lost), what does this bunch think about deleting the number of posts by each user?

(runs for cover)

My thinking, such as it is, is this: Why do we really need this? Is this the rocketry forum, or the ego forum? Think of how much drivel was posted on TRF1 that was little more than 'This is one more post for ME!' or 'I am just padding my post count' or some equally astounding revelation. Yeah, it's fun to be silly from time to time, and every single post is not required to be 100% focused on some major rocket tech subject, but it's also nice not to have to wade through extensive inane blather that is thrown in our face so some high-school-aged noob can show off and climb up the list to be among the 'big' guys. And yes, you can avoid it if you want...if you know ahead of time that the next post in a thread is going to be a cow pie, but how do you know until you have read it, and by then you have wasted your time again.

I am certain that some amount of waste will continue no matter what, but I think that un-glamorizing the user post count should significantly reduce this.

We could substitute something as simple as Beginner and Member and leave it at that.

Well, maybe for Jim Flis we could have a special category (Get A Life).

(still friends, Jim?)

sailmike

Well-Known Member
I think the "inane blather" mixed in with the useful posts is part of the charm of this forum. There is a RC helicopter forum I used to frequent where the owner of the forum moderated it too far, angering off many of the top helicopter pilots who then stopped going there. The post count doesn't bother me and is a source of pride. I do like to see how many posts I have to my credit.

Mike

WiK

but it's also nice not to have to wade through extensive inane blather that is thrown in our face so some high-school-aged noob can show off and climb up the list to be among the 'big' guys.
We have a Word Association thread (for ALL TRF'rs) for that sort of thing now

andytherocketeer

Well-Known Member
Has anybody else noticed how the top of each thread is now labeled with a note that says '1 day ago' or '5 days ago' or something like that?
That's something I'd like to change. I'd much prefer it to indicate either a real time, unless it's possible (unlikely) to have it dynamically update every minute. Not just top of thread/post, but also in the thread listing search.

Other improvements that I'd suggest are:
1. make "Watering Hole", "Forum Feedback", and "Area 51" visible only to logged-in users.
2. remove postcount increment from Area51 (if not done already)
3. make threads in Area51 auto expire after (say) 30 days (if not done already).
4. allow search engine access to subforums except those mentioned in point 1 above.

edit:
and 5. hide the "What's Going On?" section on the front page from non-logged in users.

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tonypv

And so it begins...
Has anybody else noticed how the top of each thread is now labeled with a note that says '1 day ago' or '5 days ago' or something like that? Right now, while TRF2 is still new, this doesn't make too much difference to me, but after a couple months when the note says '4,622 days ago' it is going to hurt my head to try to figure out what calendar date that is supposed to mean.

Long story short: is there a switch hidden somewhere that we can use to change that note to a just plain date?
I too would rather have the date and times of posts than the days, hours and minutes ago.

powderburner

Well-Known Member
OK, tony's post makes three of us (I know, I know.....wow, three) that prefer dates (TRF1-style) instead of elapsed time.

Can any of you admins tell us how we might make this change, or is it a pain-and-agony-with-days-of-work sort of thing that only you TRF staffers can perform?

AKPilot

Well-Known Member
Sorry gents, am finally getting in a position to sitting down and reading all of these. I'm a simple man and try to operate in a simple manner, meaning I break the bigger tasks down into simpler ones. With the registration issues and trying to get everyone in, I honestly was holding off on reading these as I realized that many of the suggestions are cosmetic and my initial desire is to get everyone up and operating on the board, and then work on the niceties.

I've taken glance and see that there are some absolutely great suggestions from everyone! Thank you for your input and providing the constructive dissatisfaction we need here, to continue to grow.

Tomorrow, I'll be taking each of the suggestions down on paper. From there, we'll take a look to see if they're something we can do. I'm sure there'll be some easy ones and some toughers ones to consider. And while I'm not sure if we can do everything, we can do everything in our power to consider each and every one of them.

Thanks again,
Troy

JAL3

Well-Known Member
3. make threads in Area51 auto expire after (say) 30 days (if not done already).

FWIW, the old Area 51 threads were useful to me as I tried to learn forum navigation on the old TRF.

powderburner

Well-Known Member
my initial desire is to get everyone up and operating on the board, and then work on the niceties.
Troy, sorry if I sounded like I was whining or something, what you are talking about doing is what I meant but didn't say. Obviously, it is far more important to get basics running and to get people registered and running.

All my ranting about wanting date marks instead of elapsed time is something that I would like to see.......eventually.

And thanks again for all your work and time. I'm sure this could easily be wearing thin on the home front; when that starts to happen, you KNOW what the right choice is!