Post Number: 145
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Sunday, 09 July, 2017 - 10:04 pm: ||
The current EPE Chat Zone forum is now over a dozen years old and the elderly but solid Perl-based software that it relies on is completely obsolete. Its original programmer (DiscusWare) shut up shop long ago leaving us with a legacy system and no support. In fact they disappeared just as we ordered a product upgrade.
The Chat Zone software itself has a 100% track record of robustness, but we all agree that it is very clunky by today’s standards, many new users struggle with it and the forum lacks many features that would enhance its usefulness and make it more intuitive to use.
More importantly to us than anything else, it is impossible to upgrade it nor can it be relocated on a (more) secure server. With online security and privacy very much in mind we have reviewed the EPE Chat Zone forum and decided that it is approaching its end of life.
We have looked at a number of other forum programs, but they all still leave us with the problems of very low traffic levels and the constant need to patch and guarantee user privacy. The level of usage these days has fallen dramatically, often with just a few posts a week appearing from regular CZ users. This partly reflects the fact that readers move on to other interests, and there is much wider ‘competition’ online from major forums, Facebook etc. meaning that the traffic on the Chat Zone has dwindled dramatically since its halcyon days.
It is with much reluctance that we have decided that the EPE Chat Zone will therefore be semi-retired in approximately three months’ time. Messages that are archived become less relevant as time moves on, but we expect that all posts dating back to 2005 will still be available for reference purposes for the foreseeable future. However if a rebuild proves necessary then it will be impossible to restore the forum and its contents will finally be lost for good.
The forum will therefore switch to ‘read-only’ mode and it will no longer be possible to post messages from approx October 2017. Forthcoming changes in data protection legislation also leave us with no choice but to remove all user details from our servers. This is the only way that we can safeguard user privacy.
In due course we will suggest some third party forums that will hopefully make EPE readers feel right at home, offering better usability features and more freedom to comment on hobby electronics and magazines in general.
We know that this will disappoint EPE regulars but we hope readers will understand the need to move on, and that the very low levels of traffic, the outclassed usability of the software and (most of all) the intensifying needs for data protection have finally left us with no choice but to semi-retire the forum, and it will become a reference-only resource in the future.
- The EPE team