SM Site changes - February 2015

Discussion in 'Site Announcements' started by melbo, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    We've made some changes to the forums this month and wanted to take a minute to explain.
    • Removed Google Analytics
    • Changed the Style/Theme
    • Replaced our Photo Gallery with Xenforo Media Gallery
    Removed Google Analytics - GA is installed on probably 98% of websites and aids webmasters by letting them know how the site is being used, what features are popular, most visited pages, amount of visitors, etc. The problem is that since this data is collected and reports are provided by a 3rd party (in this case Google), we are essentially sharing our data with them. In an ongoing effort to protect the privacy of our users, we have dropped the use of Google Analytics at SM. The only Google code left on SM is in the form of advertisements that we display to those who are not logged in. Members don't see these ads but they help defray the cost of keeping SM running.

    Changed the Style/Theme - As you've all noticed by now, we had to change the theme or style (skin) of the forums. All functions, buttons and menus should be in the same place you've been used to so functionality hasn't changed. Our former style was installed right around the time we changed from vBulletin software to Xenforo forum software (2.5+) years ago. The style was fine but the developer (guy who created it) wasn't supporting it any longer and each new forum software upgrade was beginning to cause headaches to keep certain things from appearing broken. We've attempted to replicate much of the former color scheme into the new style so that it appears pretty close to the former one. Please be aware that we may still tweak things and we'd also appreciate any feedback you have on these changes. The forum is now using an open source font called Open Sans.

    Replaced our Photo Gallery with Xenforo Media Gallery - As above, our old photo album software had become unsupported and was probably only a couple of server updates away from failing totally. We chose to replace it with the official Xenforo Gallery and purchased XFMG. All of your albums and photos should have transferred over to the new system and we apologize if any were lost. You can access the Media Gallery via the tab at the top of the page and there are a lot of ways to see stuff... The first view you land on is the New Media view but you can quickly change that to view individual albums (by others or just yourself). There are comments and rating systems as well. The default for all new media added is 'Viewable by everyone' but this can be changed to other options (private, members only, people you follow, etc). It's an incredibly complex and powerful system and I'm still learning new things. Once you added something to the gallery, that image is available when you post with this camera icon in the editor:

    Clicking that opens up a view of your images which can then quickly be inserted into your post:


    And selecting an image places it into your post like below where the system ads an 'information' tab and clicking the image takes you into the gallery to view the full image.

    As always, feel free to ask any questions or provide feedback.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    sec_monkey, kellory, 3M-TA3 and 4 others like this.
  3. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    As I stated before I like the new format, Thanks!
    sec_monkey likes this.
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Thank you for all the hard work & great improvements to the site, it looks great!!!
  5. natshare

    natshare Monkey++

    Hey, got a question/problem that I've noticed, when I try to access SM from work. Used to have no problem doing so, but now get this error message:

    Secure Connection Failed

    An error occurred during a connection to The server rejected the handshake because the client downgraded to a lower TLS version than the server supports. (Error code: ssl_error_inappropriate_

    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
    Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

    Any good ideas as to what this means to a not so learned monkey, like myself?? I'm using the same link I've always used, with the https:// in front of the site url. When I tried to access it without the secure "s" in the url, it just redirects me back to the secure link.

    Thanks for any suggestions/help!
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Which Operating System and Browser?
    'Client' is your machine, which tried to downgrade the connection to lower security than we currently require.

    Googling your error returns a lot of results although we'll try to figure it out on our end too Google

    I'd say that your work browser is probably not up to date (as are most IT managed systems) and hasn't been set to work with new HTTPS stuff. I don't know that we can workaround it from our end.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I get https errors, occasionally when looking at the Monkey. I know that these are Certificate Errors on my end.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
    Brokor likes this.
  8. natshare

    natshare Monkey++

    Sorry, didn't think to mention that! Windows 7, running a fairly recent version of Firefox (though I won't be able to check that until Monday now). Tried it on IE 11, also, with the same results. :(
    melbo likes this.


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