Migrating from Simple:Press to phpBB

We’ve just turned on our shiny new forums, which run on phpBB3 instead of Simple:Press. Existing posts, threads and user accounts have been migrated across to the new site, and permalinks to old posts and threads should redirect correctly. Thanks, as always, to Paul Beech for the design and phpBB style-wrangling.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had trouble finding a tool to migrate data between the two formats, so I had to write my own. You can download the Python script here.


simonIOW avatar

Ta muchly!

LastSilmaril avatar

This is totally excellent. The old forum had me crying on the inside. Thanks a lot!

liz avatar

I bet it made me cry more than you. The new one is *so* much easier to use if you’re moderating, too – and hasn’t Paul done a great job?

TheCrazyInventor avatar

Ah, yes. Finally. The forums are a real joy now. Finally I can read stuff easily using my entire screen. The layout is perfect, all nice and clean and simple. Thank you very much. :)

Joe avatar

The forum looks much better.

What ever happened to the Fedora Remix?

Andy Cater avatar

The Fedora remix was down as a little buggy. Seneca plan to rewrite it to cope with Fedora 17/18 – but even if F17 is released this month, the porting effort means that F17 on ARM / for Pi won’t be ready before November which is when F18 should be out. It doesn’t help that ARM is not yet a primary architecture for Fedora, unlike in Debian.

Joe avatar

Thanks for the info. I’m familiar with both distributions. Just wanted to make sure that all that hard work didn’t go to waste.

guru avatar

Thanks guys :-) and thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to say what they want, and what their problems are so we can improve it.

Things will continue to be tweaked and improved over the next few weeks while everyone gets comfortable and breaks things in new and interesting ways.

stevepdp avatar

Fantastic job Eben and to all involved in the testing.

phpBB is a pleasure to use and the upgrade to it is very much appreciated :-)

milhouse avatar

Many thanks for bringing the forums into the 21st century! :)

Unfortunately the default theme is utterly shocking, so more thanks for allowing the prosilver theme in Board Preferences – it’s dull, but usable and doesn’t induce migraines. Please rethink the theme to be something less offensive and more usable.

liz avatar

We don’t agree with you, and moreover, that’s an extraordinarily rude thing to say. Please keep it civil.

guru avatar

He’s very sensitive to headaches after using the white, barren wasteland of Google day-in, day-out.

milhouse avatar

Sorry, but what was “extraordinarily rude” – to describe the default theme of red on white as “utterly shocking”, which IMHO it is, red on white is not pleasant to read for any extended period of time. More contrast and toning it down is essential, or supply each Pi with a pair of sunglasses (joke, see? Keeping it civil).

stevepdp avatar

What you said was rude and and perhaps discouraging to Paul Beech who designed and built the theme.

Constructive, friendly discussion is healthy and welcome, but you chose the wrong words and an negative tone to voice your argument.

Please be more respectful of people’s efforts in future posts, regardless of whether or not you agree with them.

milhouse avatar

Maybe because constructive feedback on the theme during the beta was entirely ignored? Now it’s just a case of telling it like it is. Apologies if anyone is offended, but constructive feedback by many was given during the beta and ignored, which was pretty frustrating. Even now it seems there is no acceptance of how jarring the new theme is – it’s got nothing to do with being “new” as Liz seems to think, it’s just not easy on the eyes which is kind of essential for something you read…

liz avatar

Ignored? Not at all – if you’d been paying attention, you’d have noticed that Paul has incorporated a large number of the requests people made into the theme.

We clearly don’t agree on this, but I’d ask you to drop it now, please.

milhouse avatar

It’s unfortunate you don’t agree, but judging by the posts in the “new forum” thread a significant number of users of the forum seem to prefer the prosilver theme to the default – what does that suggest? Room to compromise perhaps?

liz avatar


milhouse avatar

De Nile.

Otis avatar

To quote Guru from the last Beta comments “I’m happy to reduce the inter-post spacing a little, and make the start of posts more distinctive, other than that, it’s staying roughly as is.”

I’m sure he’s put in lots of work and getting away from WordDepress was essential but the above statement is not terribly accomodating in my book.

I didn’t comment myself as there seemed to be ample amounts of feedback expressing the same sentiments. Guess I was wrong.

Perhaps a way for users to tweak colors down the line at least?

This really is hard on my eyes. I guess I’ll just toddle off to the white, barren wasteland of Google which I find slightly easier on my head.

Raffy avatar

The forum is great, except for the red big subtitle in the front page (also is redundant with the logo). A “Forum Index” using the same fonts as the subtitle of the inner pages will be OK. (Actually, the subtitle font can be made smaller.)

Thanks as always for your great work. :)

Raspberry Pi for Beginners avatar

So much better!!!!

Raspberry Pi for Beginners avatar

Well done Paul, looks stop on.

Phil avatar

I may be mistaken, but it seems my account on the new forum has been deleted twice now.

I signed up on the new board about a week ago, and posted a message about PWM registers on the Broadcom chip. The next day, I came to see if it was approved (is this true of all posts, or do members go through a probabtionary period of being moderated, out of interest?) and it seemed to have forgotten my login.

Indeed, I was able to sign up with the exact same username, suggesting it really had totally forgotten me- and I know it’s the same, because I received the welcome email, and copied from there.

Second time, I signed up, posted the same message and one other, and then never saw it get approved, although others who must have posted after me did, but it looked as though moderations were not being done on the new board after the 9th.

I come back today, and my post isn’t there, and I’m being told my username doesn’t exist.

Seems unlikely that PWM is a forbidden topic, but had to check before signing up for a third time :)

liz avatar

That *is* weird. I’ll look into it.

Phil avatar

Thanks. I’m not saying my insights into the PWM control registers are startling. I’m also not saying they’re *not* startling.

Mike Thompson avatar

I’m VERY happy to see the new forums go live. I had to bite my lips many times to keep from saying unpleasant things about the old forums. Something about “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

alex avatar

Is there a way of making links in posts stand out? I can’t tell them apart from the text.

guru avatar

I think there will be. Consider it on the list :-)

The link colour was toned down forum-wide as the topic lists have a *lot* of links, but in the context of posts, you’re right that they need to behave more like normal web pages.

alex avatar

Excellent – thanks :)

Sander avatar

It looks like the permalinks to the old forum are just redirecting to the main site. For me at least.

reiuyi avatar

Image ratios are still off with that new phpbb skin, and I think it doesn’t log you into the wordpress part when you log into the forum (also why “/phpbb3/” and not “/forum/” ? Anyway, great improvements were made

jbeale avatar

The new theme has artistic merit, but I find the prosilver option to be significantly more useable on the screen real estate I have available to me, so I’m using that. One thing I do miss is having the “view unread topics” button in that skin (unless I missed it somewhere).

milhouse avatar

Once you are logged in, click on “Board Index” then across the top of the various available forums you’ll have links for “View unanswered posts”, “View unread posts”, “View new posts”,”View active topics” and over on the right hand side “Mark forums read”.

jbeale avatar

One win for the new forums is that I can actually post from my Android phone! Previously I could not. Would enter the math problem answer correctly but the post button never got enabled; some host-side script or code was not supported I guess.

bonelifer avatar

The new theme still doesn’t work right in FF.

Link to my old comments, obviously the old link no longer applies.


AndrewS avatar

A few quick things I’ve spotted:

My “website” got copied across, but my “location” didn’t, so I had to edit it in my profile.

None of my subscribed/watched topic lists got copied over :(

When you edit a ‘copied’ post, all the formatting/tags disappear! After adding them back in again, the post looks different – compare all the differences in http://www.andrewscheller.co.uk/RP-oldpost.png and http://www.andrewscheller.co.uk/RP-newpost.png

Logging into the new forums doesn’t “log me in” to the main site blog, so the “Copy this password” spam-catcher has reappeared :-/

Apologies for not doing any testing during the forums beta-period…

AndrewS avatar

Oh, and the previous forum had a handy mouse-hover preview of the last post in a topic, which this new forum doesn’t seem to have?

The new forum seems much easier to navigate though, and I appreciate the extra text-formatting options it has :-)

AndrewS avatar

Something else I’ve just spotted – one of the old threads I created had a double-quote in the subject line:
Beta board “Xray” image
but the subject now gets displayed as:
Re: Beta board

I hope this doesn’t mean there’s an SQL-injection vulnerability?!

markb avatar

Please, please, please,turn-on the mark-all-posts-as-read option!

Montala avatar

This might have been mentioned before, but can we please have the posts ‘numbered’ again.
This facility was very useful when referring back to something mentioned already.
I would also prefer to see the details of the ‘poster’ on the left hand side of the page, rather than the right, which gives a more balanced layout.

Montala avatar

In both styles there seems to be a problem with all existing embedded graphics and pictures etc.
In the default one they are ‘stretched. while in ‘prosilver’ some are being displayed far too large.
I am sure this has been mentioned before, so hopefully it will soon be ‘sorted’!

It would have been good if subscribed and watched topics had been carried over though… I thought that everyone had suddenly stopped posting on here, for a moment! ;)

Whoop John avatar

Paul Beech, why don’t you take the red colour for the headings from the Raspberry Pi logo? It’s got too much yellow in it as it is.

Otherwise all the best with the new fora.

Peter Green avatar

One thing that almost every forum i’ve used has that seems to be missing from this one is an indication of where you are in the heirachy of the forums with links to move back up the heirachy.

Yes in some cases you can use the back button but when you have followed multiple pages of a thread it’s nice to be able

bob_binz avatar

+1 to this. Please can we have the “return” button at the top as well as at the bottom of each page.

Also, out of curiosity, how long did the python script take to migrate the data, and did you do it on a Raspi ;-)

arena avatar

Hi Liz, could you open an sub forum under Projects and Collaboration

Cases and accessories

thank you

Jeremy Freudberg avatar

I hate to say it, but I liked the old forum better. (I can live with this one)
When you go to a subforum, it’s a bunch of skinny (not-bold) medium dark gray text on a white background, so I can’t browse nearly as fast for some reason I can’t really explain. Also, you can’t see what day the topic was started, only the most recent post date.

Dave avatar

That’s loads better. Great work in getting it moved over.
Is there any way you can scrunch up the vertical white space? It’s currently only 4 posts per 256 pixels, which is not easy to get an overall view, especially at 1024 resolution! We don’t all have huge designer monitors. : )
Thanks, if not never mind, it still functions beautifully as it is. The old forum was slow.

Mole125 avatar

Still no sign of RSS feeds unless I’m missing something?

Judging by this post http://www.jeremylindh.com/phpbb3-forum-rss-feeds/ and navigating to http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/feed.php it looks like it should just be a simple configuration option in the Admin Panel.

Will avatar

Hi Eben,

Would it be possible to add a français section to the forum? In the longer term, would it be possible to add a http://www.raspberrypi.org/fr/ or similar? (I know there is a French Twiki section, but having a forum in French would also be very helpful.)

Thanks and best regards,


psergiu avatar

Please add a link to http://www.raspberrypi.org/wp-login.php to the 1st page to allow people who are commenting on the blog posts lo login to WordPress.
Logging in to PHPBB won’t auth you to WordPress.

Mike avatar

Two itmes seem off in the new layout:
1 – apostrophes are displayed as double quotes.
2 – when I did a search, the results were linked to the thread, not the particular post containing the search keywords.

Is anybody else seeing this?


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vbulletinpro avatar

hey, can you please tell me to run this python script to run and convert my simple press forum to phpbb. if you can write a step by step tutorial to do this that will be very appreciated, because i am totally noob, but i want to move my simple press forum to phpbb also..

Thanks in advance..

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