Our Roadmap and Welcome Philosophy Forum!

On June 9th PhilosophyForum.com was hacked (again) through security vulnerabilities in its vBulletin software and associated plugins. We had intended a smooth merger in a few weeks but as you all now know we had to rush this on the 10th to remove the security vulnerability from our servers once in for all and we did so by moving up the merge date to get rid of the insecure vB software from our servers.

Able2know gained many valuable members from Philforum, not just for our existing philosophy forums, which became #1 for “philosophy forum” on the major search engines, but many are branching out into our other many topic areas and the able2know members have, for the most part, done an outstanding job at making them feel welcome.

But this hasty merger caused a lot of predictable consternation that we’d like to apologize for. We’d much rather have done things differently and we’ll work hard to gain your support and become your preferred forum. Here are some of the first things we are working on.

Minor Fixes

  • Usernames/emails with ” phil” appended to them. Duplicate usernames and emails had ” phil” appended to them and we will work with anyone with such an account to either restore their original name or change it to something else they choose. We are proactively doing this where we can but feel free to contact us (through link in the footer) if your account was affected.
  • Some posts were imported with bad BBCode or formatting (often appearing to be missing text until the post is quoted). We will fix such instances in maintenance windows, please send us links (through the help desk in the footer) to any you find.
  • Profiles, signatures, friends, private messages, email update subscriptions, ignore lists, thanks and more are all data we plan to import as we can. In the case of profiles and signatures we will not override any that have be entered on able2know and will only import the data when it is blank on the a2k end.
Major Development
Our current road map is a 3-6 week cycle by our best estimates but able2know is not what pays our bills so please understand if predictions change.
  • Groups – We intend to get a rough beta version of private groups going and we will import the Philforum groups. This will also allow for users to make their own forums with their own structure and rules if they do not agree with how we run things.
  • Read Tracking – One major feature vB had that we don’t yet is read tracking, so that you can jump to the first unread post in a thread or so that your new posts list can only display what you haven’t already read (with topics reappearing if they have a new post). This gives users the ability to much more efficiently manage the new posts lists, and given that our activity levels are so much higher this will only help users deal with all the extra activity.
  • Forum Filtering – Some users want the site to only be about philosophy, others don’t want the site to have so many topics about philosophy (or word games, or whatever) so we are going to implement a solution where you can subscribe/unsubscribe from forums. By default it will just learn from what you do, so if you only posted in philosophy forums that is all you will see, but users will also be able to manually intervene and view all forums or manually select what they want to see. This way users can better tailor the site to their interests.
These are the shortlist of improvements we seek to make in the next few weeks. This is by no means the full list of improvements we will make and things like blogs, albums and other missing features from Philforum will come as soon as we can build them. We just need time to develop them and do them right but give us a chance and we’ll work hard to improve this site and earn its place as your preferred forum.