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Welcome to the new Thinking With Portals

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We've been hard at work the past few weeks migrating the website to a fresh new platform. We've moved away from the old phpBB forum and onto a new Wordpress powered site and forum.

There has been a few major changes that I'll go over quickly here, and in more detail below.

  • We've integrated Discord logins, so that you do not need to register with the site to comment. You can securely login using your Discord credentials and it will automatically link your account.
  • Speaking of account linking, you can also link your Steam account. There will be some functionality regarding this in the future, but for now it gives you another method to access the forums!
  • The download database has been preserved, although right now it's in rough shape. All of the files are there but it needs some work. More about this below.
  • The website now has a blog component for our news page. Previously the front page of Thinking With Portals was reserved for announcements from site staff. Now we have made it so that Community Contributors can post here as well. Hopefully this means the site will see a lot more activity in the future!

There is almost certainly going to be some weirdness that crops up. Please report any and all bugs that you find here!

[Important Threads] Forum Rules | Welcome to the new Thinking With Portals
Please do not Private Message me for assistance. Post a thread if you have questions or concerns.
If you need to contact the staff privately, contact the Global Moderators via Discord.

I'll be updating this post as more issues come up and their current status.

"Help! My account is gone!"
Yeah that might be the case. Especially if you registered in the past few months. Contact me in Discord and I'll see if I can recover it.

Discord Logins
If your old forum account used the same email address, then you should be able to login using your Discord account and your accounts will be automatically linked. If you are not sure if they did, or if the email on your Forum account is different than Discord, login using your Forum account info first and update your email to be the same as your Discord email, and then link the accounts. Otherwise you will wind up with 2 accounts, and while I technically can combine them, it's a real hassle.

Steam Logins
Because Steam does not give us access to your email address, we can't link your old forum account to it directly and you can't use Steam to login. Once you are logged into your normal account you can link it. Again, right now there is no additional functionality to this, but in the future we hope to add some features using your Steam account.

User Avatars
Unfortunately this is one thing I couldn't easily save. Wordpress doesn't allow users to upload their own avatars directly, and they use Gravatar for it. You can either update your Gravatar avatar (using the same email as your account here), or if you link your account to Discord, it will automatically use your Discord avatar. If you really, really want me to recover your old forum avatar I can, but again, it's a real pain.

BBCode and Forum Text
There were some odd cases of invalid characters that cropped up when moving the forum data. I am pretty sure this is partly related to the BBCode system. I tried to fix these as best as possible, but if you come across an old post and it looks weird or messed up... Sorry. On that note, a lot of old BBCodes are no longer available. Stuff like YouTube embedding and our "bigspoiler" code. Unfortunately I don't think we'll be able to re-add these.

Link Preservation
It always annoys me when I go to a site that has changed and now all of my old bookmarks don't work. (Looking at you, Steam forums.) I did everything I could to make sure that most old links to the old forum should redirect properly. Emphasis on most. There will be some edge cases that can't transfer, and some pages that don't have a corollary, but I did my best to make sure most links stayed alive.

A few things regarding the download database...

  • The download database is intact, although file browsing leaves a lot to be desired right now. The download info page itself is also pretty basic. If you have skills with web design and want to help with these, please let me know!
  • It's possible that many downloads may be broken. Please report any that you find.
  • A final point about the download page, the thumbnails are abysmally small. Unfortunately there's nothing that can be done about this - they were processed to be that size and the originals have been lost.
  • The Community Spotlight system is going to be revamped. Right now it's been disabled altogether - Don't worry, you'll see the best maps TWP has to offer again soon!

That's it for now, thanks for visiting and please report any bugs or problems that you find!

[Important Threads] Forum Rules | Welcome to the new Thinking With Portals
Please do not Private Message me for assistance. Post a thread if you have questions or concerns.
If you need to contact the staff privately, contact the Global Moderators via Discord.

Farewell, influx of bots, yall not be missed.. welcome new TWP.

Level designer, 3D modeler, texture artist ,environment artist.

Quick question: How can I sort types of maps in the downloads in the new Thinking with portals? Eg.: How do I see only Portal 2 coop maps, for example.

Quote from Berna2078 on December 21, 2019, 5:50 am

Quick question: How can I sort types of maps in the downloads in the new Thinking with portals? Eg.: How do I see only Portal 2 coop maps, for example.

The download database is a bit of a mess at the moment. But in the meantime, click the "15" dropdown option and change it to "75" to navigate lesser pages, then click the "Category" header once to sort them. Clicking it multiple times breaks it for some reason.

Right now:

Portal 2 (Work in progress): Page 1 - 4

Portal 2 (Singleplayer): Page 4 - 29

Portal 2 (Other files): Page 29 - 32

Portal 2 (Co-op): Page 32 - 35

Portal (Work in progress): Page 35 - 36

Portal (Released Map): Page 36 - 38

Portal (Other files): Page 38 - 39

Glad to see the new forum put together! Really exciting.

Check out Facade, a super-easy puzzle created by me and RedSilencer.
Quote from msleeper on December 20, 2019, 8:37 pm

"The new forums seem really slow."
I agree, and I'm not 100% sure why. I am looking in to a few possible causes and solutions. It's partly the new forum software, but also because the physical server that the site is hosted on is really old. Hopefully we will have a fix by next week.

Maybe the lighthouse report helps to identify performence problems. PHP 7.4 has preloading as a new feature which speeds up php execution time if you don't have it enabled already. In my experience IO (database operations, read/write files...) operations are a big problem, so you can consider to run them asynchronously if you don't do it already.

Apart from that, the new forum seems to be working good, nice work.

Uploaded files:
Thank you for visiting Thinking With Portals!
Quote from maik12 on December 22, 2019, 8:10 am
Quote from msleeper on December 20, 2019, 8:37 pm

"The new forums seem really slow."
I agree, and I'm not 100% sure why. I am looking in to a few possible causes and solutions. It's partly the new forum software, but also because the physical server that the site is hosted on is really old. Hopefully we will have a fix by next week.

Maybe the lighthouse report helps to identify performence problems. PHP 7.4 has preloading as a new feature which speeds up php execution time if you don't have it enabled already. In my experience IO (database operations, read/write files...) operations are a big problem, so you can consider to run them asynchronously if you don't do it already.

Apart from that, the new forum seems to be working good, nice work.

We were limited in the version of PHP we could run with the old forum. Now that we're totally off of that, I'll be upgrading PHP and hopefully that will help. MySQL I/O is definitely the bottleneck.

I'm also going to move the server to a SSD, I thought it was on one already but apparently it isn't.

[Important Threads] Forum Rules | Welcome to the new Thinking With Portals
Please do not Private Message me for assistance. Post a thread if you have questions or concerns.
If you need to contact the staff privately, contact the Global Moderators via Discord.

I moved the site to a new server and things are significantly faster now. I suspected the problem was all hardware, so I'm glad that's all resolved.

[Important Threads] Forum Rules | Welcome to the new Thinking With Portals
Please do not Private Message me for assistance. Post a thread if you have questions or concerns.
If you need to contact the staff privately, contact the Global Moderators via Discord.

Great, it is about double the speed on my side now. Lighthouse says, the biggest speed improvements can be gained now by using better image formats like WebP. https://web.dev/uses-webp-images/?utm_source=lighthouse&utm_medium=devtools.

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