Big Changes To XDA Forums are Here
Today we have some news to share: over the coming weeks, we will be launching a ground-up forum redesign, which we’re calling XDA 2020. We’ve outgrown vBulletin (which was never designed to handle a community our size) and are moving to XenForo, a more modern platform that powers some of the biggest and best forum communities that you might already be a part of. While it’s difficult to pick an exact date for such a large project, we’re currently targeting mid-October 2020 to make this change and we’ll communicate more specifics as we get closer to the date.
While we’ll be gaining a lot with XenForo, including a new forum design with multiple templates from which to choose (two dark modes, two light modes, and even a “classic” template that is similar to the look of the forum today) and overall much better performance, there are a handful of XDA features and products that we’ll be sunsetting. Doing so ensures we can confidently take a step into the future and make a break with some of the more resource-intense features of the past that our small technical team is unable to support. Some of these features you may not have heard of, which is fine; many of them launched without fanfare and aren’t used much.
- All DevDB threads will revert to regular threads. DevDB Downloads will be removed, and we are significantly increasing the max file size for the attachment system on Xenforo. Any files uploaded via DevDB should be downloaded as they will be removed by 12/31/2020. To help ease the transition, we’re working on a mechanism to contact developers that have files on DevDB to provide download links and suggestions on hosting files elsewhere.
- Real Life Review will be imported and flattened with no interactivity for now. We have some exciting future plans for reviews in the community that we’ll share a later date.
- Our current search system, powered by Algolia, will be replaced by Threadloom, which is built for forums, and in our view gives a better search experience.
- The main XDA app on the Play store will undergo a major update in the coming weeks to work with the new forum backend. Support for XDA Labs is tentatively ending at the end of this year, but we’re exploring options to keep it going, because we know that a small handful of developers use Labs to distribute their app. We’re hoping to open source and find a team to take the reins and continue development, and if you’re a developer that wants to work on Labs, send a PM to svetius. We’d be delighted if Labs could continue, but as a small technical team and we don’t have the resources to maintain it. Over the coming weeks we will be taking steps to inform any developer that is actively using Labs about this change so they can plan accordingly.
- All Tapatalk integrations (our legacy app for older versions of Android & integration into the main Tapatalk app) will cease to work. We recommend any Tapatalk users download the new XDA forum app once it’s available.
- Authentication for Swappa, Xposed, etc will no longer work, but we plan to reintroduce XDA authentication shortly.
- Our Forum API will be migrated to the XenForo built-in API
Attached to this post you’ll find a handful of screenshots that should give you a good sense of what XDA 2020 will look like, though they’re subject to change as we continue to refine the look and feel of the new templates. Undoubtedly, the migration won’t be perfect as it involves many moving parts. We expect 6-12 hours of downtime when we make the move, during which time we will have the forum in “read only” mode for as long as possible.
We ask for your patience and understanding as we make this big change. Once launched, we will make a feedback thread for issues, bugs, and comments.
We will follow-up once we have a confirmed launch date, and as always, thanks for all of your support.
-svetius, js1999, and bitpushr
Update (11/15/2020): Forum Migration Date, Template Name, XDA Labs Upkeep
Please note the following information ahead of our planned forum migration:
- The name for the new forum template will be XDA 2021
- The forum migration will now take place on 11/30/20 and will result in several hours of downtime (we’ll communicate a precise timeline as we get closer to 11/30)
- After hearing from many developers, we have decided that we will continue to maintain the resource necessary to keep XDA Labs running as an app distribution platform, though development on the app will be suspended until we establish a new development team (hopefully by mid-2021), and the forum component of the app will cease to work (though we’ll be introducing our new XDA forum app around 11/30/20)
Update (12/2/2020): We’re Live! Addressing post-migration bugs
We did it! We made the move, but if anyone tried to use the forums last night (12/1), you know that we had a rocky start with some serious performance issues caused by some database problems. Those performance issues are largely fixed, and the forums are pretty speedy as of now, but there are still a handful of issues we’re actively working on.
You can see our bugs/issues thread here, where XDA users are stepping up to help us identify what’s broken and help each other learn how to use the new forum system (hint: “subscribed” forums are now “watched” forums, etc). If you haven’t seen the new forums yet, check it out. Thank you for your patience as we migrate from old, 1990s forum software (vBulletin), and move into the future with a much more robust and modern platform (XenForo).