Last week the Blender Artists crowdfunding campaign ended. Time for an update!
The speed of this campaign was impressive - we reached the initial goal of €2500 (12-month migration) in two days, and three days later we hit the €4500 mark which allows for a full migration of ALL history on Blender Artists! But even so, generous backers kept coming. The final amount we raised is €4920, which will allow for some paid customization work - more about that below.
If you still want to contribute, I recommend you use the BlenderNation Patreon for now. I'm considering opening one for Blender Artists after the launch too.
The Migration Project
Work on the migration started immediately after we hit the €2500 mark. But of course we ran in to some snags - especially with attachments in vBulletin. Jay (the expert we hired for this project) is currently solving these and will run a test migration of a few thousand conversations shortly. After the Blender Artists team has carefully checked and approved this test, the 'bulk' migration will run. This is expected to take between 1 and 2 weeks, after which we'll run one or two 'incremental' updates to bring the new site up to date. During the final update we'll close down the current Blender Artists so we won't lose any conversations.
Jay is also one of the authors of the vBulletin importer script for Discourse. Any improvements he makes for our project will be merged back into the script for everyone to use.
Customization: Grid Gallery Plugin
With the additional funds, we're able to hire a Discourse plugin developer to create a 'Grid Gallery' view for artwork forums and tag galleries - details here. I just started talking to some candidates and I'll share progress updates later.
Logging in with Blender ID
We worked with the Blender Foundation to add Blender ID login - if you have a Blender Cloud account and it uses the same email address as your Blender Artists account, you can log in seamlessly. Thanks Sybren!
- Will my account/password be migrated? All accounts will be migrated, and most of the passwords should, too. You may still need to reset your password if your current one does not match the Discourse requirements for secure passwords.
- Will links continue to work? Yes, all links to individual topics will be redirected to their new URLs.
- I don't like X, Y or Z! Can you fix that? While I'm definitely happy with feedback or suggestions, we should not try to solve issues until they prove to be an actual problem that affects the majority of the users. I'd rather work with the new site for a few months and then carefully make changes that are important for many people instead of starting by adding layers of plugins and modifications to satisfy individuals before we're even live. At this point, the only major change I'm trying to get before going live is a 'grid gallery' option for art galleries and tags.