We have changed the forum software; however, you shouldn’t have to re-register — unless you had a username or email address that was from a Russian spam house or contained ‘xxx’, ‘hodia’, ‘cheap_rx’ or anything similar questionable.

Why the change?

First of all, we should say that we never really liked the old forums for many reasons:

  • Since it was based on a common bit of open source software (YABB) I constantly had a lot of spammers trying to get in and spend a fair amount of time deleting dummy user accounts.
  • We felt the structure was far too rigid and forced conversations into tiny little topic areas.
  • It didn’t feel like part of the site.
  • Usage was never very high compared to the article comments.

The solution?

We looked around and ended up written something that is far less structured and easier to use; however, with no content in it yet, we will no doubt need to ‘tweak’ it as it ages. We have attempted to migrate all the user accounts, but if you had a wonky username or email address, you might have been left out and you will have to re-register.

The biggest remaining debate we have is dealing with the differences between Comments and the Forum1. It is clear that many readers are not clear as to the differences and expect them to be the same. We would like to combine them, but it will take some careful planning to figure out how.

So, login or register and try it out. Hopefully you will find it simplier and better, either way, please let us know what you think (editor@stmargarets.london).

1 A Comment is a sequential list of messages that are held with a single article, while Forums are a threaded list of messages that are held inside a forum.