A week ago I got an email letting me know the forum software I use had released an update. As one of my sites runs on this software I planned to do the update this Sunday (today). I awoke at 8:30am and decided to crack on with it, but as I turned on my laptop I received another email… there was ANOTHER update!
“Great”, I thought!… oh… how wrong was I?!!!…
The problem was, the forum I run is quite a large one, with lots of members and a few modifications. As it is a worldwide forum there is a mod on there letting members display a little flag showing their nationality. This is a great little mod, and people like it a lot, but upon upgrade it broke! After the upgrade happened the flags were no more.
The problem is the way the forum software works is not very “mod friendly”. It’s not like WordPress where your mods are protected somewhat, modifying a forum required major surgery to the core files… not nice when it comes to upgrade time!
Anyway, all in all there were two mods that broke, the flags and the “quick reply” feature. The quick reply was an easy fix, as it only involved alterations to a single file, so fairly low maintenance, but the flags mod was a lot of work to find out what went wrong.
By the time I had finished with this fiasco it was well into the afternoon. This made me think, are these mods really worth it? Fair enough, if the version of the forum was fixed, great, but it’s not… there will always be fix released and bug patches going on, each giving the possibility of your mod breaking.
I have learned a lot of the the past year or so, but I am learning that sometimes it is necessary to simplify things in order to give the reliability necessary to keep a site running, in order to maintain your own sanity, and not give your entire Sunday up in the quest to get “the little flags working”.
By the time I think about all the time I have spent making sure these modifications survive all the upgrades, these aren’t half expensive little flags!