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  • The CareCure website PRE-UPGRADE information





    The time has come to upgrade this site to the latest version of VBulletin. This means some things will change. I know some folks will welcome some of the changes and others might not. So, I want to take a moment to go over a few of these changes in hopes of bringing everyone to the same understanding as to what some of them are and why they're necessary.




    Firstly, why even upgrade:


    CareCure currently runs on commercial software that is no longer supported by the company that developed it (vBulletin) and to whom Dr. Young pays licensing fees. This means when anything breaks it is broke for good. The current software is also plagued with a number of technical (security) vulnerabilities that, frankly, surprise me we haven't been hacked and taken down yet. The site is quite literally on a razor's edge of existence. Upgrading will address both of these issues and is the MAIN driver for this project. Everything that follows is subsequent (and a result of) needing to fix the technical issues. That's important to bear in mind: we aren't doing this just because we want to, we're doing it because we HAVE TO!!


    (Some people might not realize we're already broken in some areas of the site, a big one being new user registration. Fun fact: Jim has had to MANUALLY register over 1,800 users over the past 13-15 months! That's insane and we aim to correct that unreasonable work load for him.)


    We've also fixed the issue with profile pictures and lifted some of the size restrictions so they can be more useful. Attachments and photos on posts are also much simpler.


    The latest version of vBulletin also supports mobile devices much better. Let's face it: an awful lot of people use this site from a mobile or a tablet, and the old software doesn't really do a good job like that. The new software is much better at supporting modern phones and tablets.


    Another important technical update: the site will be running only on secure web connections. No more security warnings in our web browsers!




    Look and feel:


    The look of the site will change. The presentation style of the latest vBulletin version is somewhat different, and more "modern". The feel, however, is something we are trying our best to maintain; meaning, the home page and basic layout of what is where, the forum list, etc, will be maintained as best as possible. It won't be perfectly identical but it will be 100% recognizable as the CareCure we've all come to know. The colors and style will be slightly different but hopefully MOST of what MOST of us use regularly will be round about in the same location with the same labels, etc. Most.


    (One advantage of the newer version, from a color palette/style perspective, is it allows users to choose from a variety of presets if you don't like the basic look, in hopes of finding one to your taste.)




    Functionality:


    Most everything we do today will be doable on the new version, and mostly from the same locations on the pages. Somethings might need to be done differently, but vBulletin did a good job only removing redundant or outdated functionality and replacing everything important it had to. (Most of these are related to site moderation and administration, not daily use.)


    There are several new additions of functionality right out of the box (e.g. branching conversations within threads, user styles, "like" buttons for comments, case-sensitive logins, etc)


    There are also new additions to functionality that we will be exploring after the base upgrade is complete. I.e. better Spam filters, human verification for new users, social media platform integration (sharing, etc), amoung others. These are amoung the exciting new prospects for the functionality and usefulness of this site we will be exploring AFTER we accomplish a stable technical upgrade.


    After a brief down time, 2-3 days, one day very soon, you'll come to sci.rutgers.edu and be redirected to www.CareCure.net . That'll be our new home. We welcome feedback and questions but please understand that many of the things that will be different are just the way things will be. With others we may have some leeway to make changes. We will do our best to be accommodating with the understanding that being stable and secure is the highest priority.



    Lastly, I want to let everyone know that the all volunteer technical team is 100% committed to helping CareCure stay relevant into the future. Upgrades are never easy, for Admins, Mods, or Users, but the significance of this resource is not lost on anyone involved.


    Thanks Everyone, for taking the time to read and I hope everything makes sense and is clear. PM me any questions. This thread might not be open for comment for long.

    Cheers,
    Oddity and OldGrumpyDad
    (Dale and Paco)


    P.s. For the older members who remember the previous attempt at an upgrade, which lost attachments, I can assure you the same won't be happening again. While the previously lost attachments are gone forever, sadly, due to a bug in the upgrade process, (through no fault of the prior technical administrator; see: https://www.vbulletin.org/forum/show...hreadid=322394 ), we have tested the latest version upgrade process in a development environment and are confident it is now working as intended.

    p.p.s
    On a personal note, I've been using this site since 2006 (used to be DaleB); not as long as some, but longer than others, and it has been a very valuable resource on my SCI journey and I sincerely want it to continue to be so for as many others as possible long into the future. I've been working with my life long best friend on this project, on behalf of Dr. Young and Jim, and we are both excited to see it go live.



    Last edited by Oddity; 03-21-2020, 02:32 PM. Reason: Stickied post
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

  • #2
    Thanks for taking up the baton and helping Jim out with this, Oddity! Looking forward to the improved functionality as we move into our 3rd decade with this site.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks to everybody who’s kept this site going. It has been invaluable to me, especially when I was first injured and trying to figure this whole new life out.

      I look forward to the upgrade so we can grow back bigger and better than ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for your hard work - looking forward to checking out the new diggs !

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for the details about the upgrade. This site is still our go-to for all things SCI with a great community and the generous time of the SCI-Nurses.

          Comment


          • #6
            So very thankful to Dale and Paco. They are doing this all on their own, have dedicated many, many hours. Lookng forward to a new CC.

            Comment


            • #7
              This all sounds great to me. Thank you for your hard work and attention to detail, Dale and Paco.
              MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm a veteran of lots of IT upgrades and migrations, and I can tell you it's the same in IT as they say about everything else: No plan survives first contact with reality. So we've been practicing this migration since about November and I think we've got a good handle on the big picture and the moving pieces. But this is a complex site with rich history. 1.7 million posts! Thousands and thousands of images. It's humbling to keep something going that is so well used by so many.

                The site is a number of software revisions behind, but not just VBulletin itself. All the IT technologies that bring this site together (unix, PHP, databases, etc.) have all moved on while the site stood still for a while. We will be up to the latest and greatest when we're done. We're also adding more protections against failures while we're at it. We will have a lot more backups, and ability to recover if anything goes wrong. No more lost attachments that can never be recovered.

                No matter how good we are, there will be bumps in the road. We'll probably start an upgrade thread where people can report stuff that's not working the way they expect. Be patient and let us know what you see, and we'll figure it out and fix it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Many thanks for your hard work and commitment. The CareCure Community is an invaluable resource.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks to you, the volunteers and the SCI nurses who made this place chug. CC is important to my wife and me.
                    Hotel list: Hoyer-friendly beds, low and adjustable-height beds

                    Blog: https://thewheeledwonder.wordpress.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Everyone's dedication and efforts to keeping this site up and running safely is so very appreciated. I'm looking forward to the new site!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone. OldGrumpyDad is doing the technical heavy lifting on the backend and we're super lucky to have his commitment to this project. I feel very grateful. I'm learning vBulletin as quick as I can and have a good amount of professional IT experience supporting database servers in high volume production environments so I feel really confident this will work out well.

                        If all goes to plan it looks like next weekend will be our downtime and upgrade window.

                        Thanks for all your support.
                        Last edited by Oddity; 03-21-2020, 08:46 PM.
                        "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

                        "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

                        "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Oddity View Post
                          Thanks everyone. ... Thanks for all your support.
                          Well you two deserve *all* the thanks that is to be handed out. This community is very fortunate that you two have the ability and stepped up to the plate for this project.
                          I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bumping to get as many views as possible. This weekend is still a "Go".
                            "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

                            "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

                            "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Since you are a veteran in IT, you should know not to do an upgrade at a critical time. With COVID-19 around, and getting worse, it would be bad for this website to be down/disrupted/unavailable just when people are looking for answers, reassurance. Just my opinion.



                              Originally posted by OldGrumpyDad View Post
                              I'm a veteran of lots of IT upgrades and migrations, and I can tell you it's the same in IT as they say about everything else: No plan survives first contact with reality. So we've been practicing this migration since about November and I think we've got a good handle on the big picture and the moving pieces. But this is a complex site with rich history. 1.7 million posts! Thousands and thousands of images. It's humbling to keep something going that is so well used by so many.

                              The site is a number of software revisions behind, but not just VBulletin itself. All the IT technologies that bring this site together (unix, PHP, databases, etc.) have all moved on while the site stood still for a while. We will be up to the latest and greatest when we're done. We're also adding more protections against failures while we're at it. We will have a lot more backups, and ability to recover if anything goes wrong. No more lost attachments that can never be recovered.

                              No matter how good we are, there will be bumps in the road. We'll probably start an upgrade thread where people can report stuff that's not working the way they expect. Be patient and let us know what you see, and we'll figure it out and fix it.
                              Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

                              Comment

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