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Welcome to the new PEP Forums!

Postby pepeditor » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:02 pm

The Piano Education Page Forums have been, since 2003, a place where teachers and students could share tips and counsel or just talk. However, the software that was running the Forums, ikonboard, though pretty reliable, was becoming old and was without support of any kind, due to a rights fight among the owners. For those reasons, I decided to take the opportunity provided by the rewrite of PEP to Opus 9 to change and update the software supporting the Forums. What you're reading now is the result of that LONG process.

You may have been automatically redirected to this thread, if you entered the old URL or used a bookmark for the old URL for the Forums, http://pianoeducation.org/cgi-bin/ib311/ikonboard.cgi. The new, direct URL for the Forums index is http://pianoeducation.org/forums. Please modify your Forums bookmarks so that you can go directly to the new Index page.

Some Tips for Using the New Forums

The new Forums run on a different server with different software, phpBB, that provides many advantages. They work pretty much as they did with the previous ikonboard software, although you'll find you can do things you couldn't with the old system. Most registered users from that system should be able to log on with their old user names and passwords. For the few people that have problems logging in, just send me a PM and I'll fix it.

A full list of all the forums in a given category appears in the category title. You may not see all the forums when you initially view the Index page. If you have not previously registered with the Forums, this is because some Forums are limited to registered members. If you have previously registered and you can see your name in the Members list, it's simply because you need to login. Unlike the previous software, where the login was on a separate page, login appears at the bottom of the Index page here, if you are not logged in.

In viewing the Forums, you will see that some posters will be denoted as a long number starting 110. These are simply guests or pruned members from the old Board, who did not have usernames. A few forums may still have some old spam or commercial posts, which were deleted in the old Forums. The import software doesn't distinguish deleted posts from valid ones, so they get carried forward. I have deleted most of them again. If you find any more of these or any overtly commercial posts or ads, please let me know where they are and I'll remove them. I will convert the color scheme to that of the old Opus 9 PEP Forums later. You'll also find that some links between topics imported from the old system will be broken. If the broken link is yours, you can fix it by editing your post. Just change the old: http://pianoeducation.org/cgi-bin/ib311/ikonboard.cgi[forum designators] to the new: http://pianoeducation.org/forums/[forum designators]. I will try to fix the most important ones myself. Some posts in the Editor's Forum, because they were imported from the old system, are no longer applicable to this one. Basically, this includes any post before mid-November 2009 which deals with functional, rather than content, issues. I will probably delete these inapplicable posts later.

Users of the old Forums will find their profiles pretty much intact, except for post color settings and avatars. You can get the avatars back. In the upper left of the page, click on User Control Panel, then on the Profile tab at the top, then on the Edit Avatar tab on the left. Click on the View Gallery and on the drop down menu of gallery types. You'll see three: iB (avatars from the old system), pep (avatars designed for PEP), and uploaded (avatars uploaded to the old Forums). Choose the one you want, then choose the avatar. That's all you need to do. You can also upload a new one if you want.

Because this version of the Forums software incorporates random image verification for registrations and posts, spammer interference is virtually eliminated. This means not only that a big headache has been removed for me, but that unregistered visitors can now post in those forums open to them! :D This is perhaps the biggest advantage of the new Forums software for visitors, although some exploration will reveal some other ones as well. While random image verification pretty much shuts out spammers, unregistered posters should note that their posts will be placed in a moderation queue, before they appear - a few minutes to a few hours later. This gives me an opportunity to remove those posts written by humans, rather than spam robots, which violate Forums policies, are abusive or advertising-oriented.

Another useful feature for some people is the ability to change the font size shown on the Forums with one click. Look for the A^ icon in the upper right part of the screen at the right of the navigation bar. If you have trouble reading the forums at the smaller size, just click on the font size icon to change it. The new software also provides more editing tools for posting and easier use of them than the previous software.

Board policies remain those of the old system. Because this system uses a FAQ for help, rather than storing Help in an editable database, these policies can't be easily incorporated in the FAQ, so I'm going to abstract them from the old system and place them in a post in the Editor's Forum. Mostly, the policies boil down to basic consideration for others, no posting of commercial material on the Forums, and no posting of falsehoods, slander, defamatory or libelous material. The policies which apply to public postings apply to e-mails and PM's sent through the Forums, as well. Any postings or communications which violate these basic policies will be removed at the discretion of the Forums Administrator (me). Any members who repeatedly violate these policies will be deleted and banned. I've only had to enforce that "death penalty" once in 6 years, so I don't expect it to be much of an issue here.

Although all of us will be on a learning curve for a little while, I think that most users will find it worth the effort. Thanks for visiting. If you're a Guest, take advantage of the new ability to post here. You'll find it fun and maybe even learn something! If you're a member from the old Forums, thanks for coming back. Welcome to all! 8)
Last edited by Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed on Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:07 am, edited 12 times in total.
Reason: Addition of information (again)
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