The Gang of Five
Happy October, everyone! Please keep in mind that the tie-breaking votes and the appreciated member voting for the annual forum awards will be occurring this month. The voting for the fanfiction awards will also begin once the tie-breaking votes are concluded

Additionally, for the month of October we have a new character showcase. Please give Bron a a warm welcome as his herd comes in for a visit!

Forum update: two weeks on


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Good evening, everyone!

As we are now two weeks on from the liberation of this community from TapaTalk and the major step of moving to self-hosting, I think it is important that we give you all a briefing on the state of the forum at this moment, new features that all can now take advantage of, and some changes in staff at the forum.

New Features and issues

Please note that to see some of the changes you will need to press Ctrl and F5 at the same time on the forum to clear your cache.

The forum is undoubtedly in a stronger position than it was prior to the conversion and rehosting.  We now have full control of our forum and our data.  This will allow us to make new improvements in the future and to make regular security and code updates.  For now, however, I think it is important that we go through some of the major changes that have taken place thus far.

On-Forum Image Hosting

You can now upload and attach images directly to your posts, which will be stored in the forum's server space.  This has long been a dream for many of us at the forum who have been subject to the whims of image-hosting sites which can go down at any time or, like PhotoBucket, can start charging for their services.

To attach an image to a post all you need to do is select "Attachments and other options" below the text box of your post, browse for a file to attach, and then click post.  The image will then appear as a thumbnail under your text message, which can be expanded to its full size by members by clicking on the thumbnail.  The forum currently has a maximum image size of 1 Mb per image, so if you have a larger image then you will either need to compress it into a suitably-sized png or jpg file, or use an image hosting service as before.

Better default options and basic fixes

We have listened to the justified complaints about some of the default options that existed when this forum first came online.  Accordingly we have turned on the 'Quick Reply' option for posts, made "return to topic" the default option when posting messages, increased the maximum number of characters per signature to 800, and increased the maximum number of characters per post to 120,000.  We hope these fixes make using the forum a much more pleasant experience.

User names with special characters

The new board does not react well to special characters in usernames, and this has caused problems for some users.  If you find that you are running into issues logging in due to this issue then please contact me by Discord or via PM on the old forum and I will assist you through the issue.  This can be resolved by having an admin manually change the username and then manually changing the password and giving it to the affected member. The good news is that this does not require the renaming of the name shown on the forum itself, only the username one puts in to login.

Quote issue and the issue where ' " and ... turns into ?

The conversion did come with a major head-scratcher in that not only did old quotes not turn out correctly in some cases, but also some special characters were turned into question marks.  This issue has finally been resolved.  For this, like with many positive developments, thanks must go to James Gryphon of the Redwalll Abbey community.  He spent countless hours just to fix this annoying issue.  We owe him a special debt of gratitude for his efforts.

The domain now links to the new forum

For those of you who got tired of remembering a random string of numbers to access this site, we are pleased to announce that the domain now links back here.  We would like to thank landbeforetimelover for again providing this service for us.

Issues still being resolved: Mobile-friendliness and Intra-forum links still link to the old forum

James is still working on the issue with internal forum links carried over from the old forum still linking to the old forum.  We will let you know if and when we can get this issue fixed.  We are also aware of some of the issues with the quick reply option and empty space while viewing this forum on mobile devices.  Improved mobile support is something we will be looking at in the future as soon as the general issues have all been resolved.

Patreon and Forum Support

As mentioned previously, our ability to continue to operate now requires the active support of the community.  This is the one major downside of self-hosting versus using a free host, but this necessary support provides us with great benefits in terms of functionality, upgradability, and freedom from being subject to the whims of free forum providers.

We are funding this through Patreon.  rhombus is the account manager and all funds go into a special PayPal business account for the forum which directly funds our hosting fees and the cost of future improvements.  Payments can also be directly done through Paypal if you choose.  Right now we set it at two levels: $3.00 and $10.00 but you can basically give whatever you want.  These levels will give you special badges to wear on the forum after each annual forum awards to show that you a proud contributor in keeping the forum online. Here is the link to our support page:

We have been absolutely humbled by the generous response of the community for our Patreon campaign thus far.  With your continued support we have no doubt that this forum will continue to thrive for years to come. From the bottom of our hearts you have our dearest thanks.  We will not let you down.

Staff Changes

With the coming of a new home for the forum comes a new start in many respects.  Though they have our trust and are welcome to resume moderator duties should they return, kor and The Great Valley Guardian have not been active in some time, and the forum does have need for active moderation.  This is true not only for regular moderator duties, but also with basic cleanup such as fixing the numerous lost image links in the Caption topics and preparing forum award banners.

For this reason we are happy to announce that Littlefoot505, DarkHououmon, and AvestheForumFox are our newest moderators.  In this role they will serve normal moderator duties in all forums and, when their schedules permit, also fill the role of the Photobucket obliterater position in the previous forum.  Welcome to the team!  And, in the case of you, Aves, welcome back to the team!

~ The Gang of Five Admin Team

Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Menders Tale.

aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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Can I just say the new forum has a freaking baller ass search engine. You can put quotations around words to search for them in sequence!

You couldn't do that shiznit on the old forum, I just found a forum post I've been trying to find for literal years because it involved the game Dino Run. Absolute impossibility on the old forum because of how frequently y'all mention dinos and running, got it done in like 5 minutes with this new forum. I'm happy y'all