I apologize for the inaccessibility of Forums. It has been a wild ride troubleshooting the problem. The short story is that FrontPage was not properly FTPing all of the Forum files, so some code was missing. WS_FTP solved it.
The most confounding thing was that everything seems to work except registration and actually viewing the content of the posts. As a Moderator, I was able to view the text of the posts. The Administrator panel was fully functional. All the Forum categories and Topic titles appeared, and the Polls appeared.
After much back-and-forth with my ISP and searching online discussions, I finally saw a mention of sometimes the entire not getting posted when a "non-real" FTP program was used. Now, I've been using FrontPage for exactly the same thing for many years and never ran into this issue. Now I'm very leery about even using it.
If you have been a regular visitor to RF Cafe, then you probably notice a new interface appeared last weekend. That is when the Forum broke. Because the dynamic web template (DWT) changed, it required re=publishing every HTL file on the website; that's over 1,700 pages. Somewhere in the process, the Forum files got corrupted.
Here's another facet to the enigma. During the troubleshooting effort, three separate times I downloaded the same, latest version of the software from the phpbb.com website and uploaded it. During one of those episodes, I had the ISP wiped the entire server of every file and I published the entire website yet again, from scratch. That meant FrontPage had more than four tries to get it right. It was not until I did one more upload using SW_FTP that suddenly everything worked again. I had even done a restore on the entire Forum database (mySQL, 50 MB big) from last week when everything was working - nada.
I have been considering porting the entire website to Adobe's Dreamweaver developer environment. It is unquestionably the most widely used software for large, professional websites. I think RF Cafe has outgrown FrontPage, and if it hasn't yet, it soon will because of the massive content increase that I am planning. Accordingly, there might be funny stuff going on in the next few weeks as I come up the Dreamweaver learning curve.
One of the many really cool features of Dreamweaver is a special interface for developing mobile viewer content, so I'm planning on designing some pages specially for those of your the access the Internet via your phones and PDAs. I'm hoping to really make RF Cafe a whiz-bang website without bloating it with code that slows page loading.
One thing I will NEVER do is add one of those utterly annoying "Welcome" pages that splashes a full-page ad in front of you and then makes you either look at it for 15 seconds or click a button to move on to the page you want to see. I personally detest those schemes. The other utterly annoying “feature” a lot of sites are using is where certain words are automatically underlined and when you cursor over them, an information box opens, cluttering your view. You will never see those on RF Café, either.
Well, that’s all for now. Thanks again for your patience.
Oh, one more thing, sometime in the not-too-distant future, I will be adding either a chat session interface (hopefully with a webcam), or at least an IM session.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster