• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, the built environment, planning adjacent topics, and anything else that comes to mind. No ads, no spam, and it's free. It's easy to join!

Goodbye vBulletin 4, hello XenForo! (ongoing announcements; report issues)

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Google Maps BBcode


Google Maps kludge with [gmap] tags.

1) Go to Google Maps, and center the map on the location you want to embed.

2) Click on the Google Maps menu (three bars).

3) Click on "Share or embed maps" from the dropdown menu.

4) Click on "Embed map".

5) Copy the long code between https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb= and ". For the map above, it looks like !1m18!1m12!1m3!1d93532.55571272006!2d-78.93448215309492!3d42.89621760304876!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x89d3126152dfe5a1%3A0x982304a5181f8171!2sBuffalo%2C%20NY!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1607881637462!5m2!1sen!2sus ,

6) Paste the code between the [gmap] and [/gmap] tags.

If you want to embed a Google Streetview location, do the same thing.


Urbanism!

I wish there was an easier way to do this, but Google changed their Maps API a few years ago, in a way that made easy embedding on a message board page difficult. For now, the old [map] tag is broken, but I'll fix it when an easier way to embed maps with BBcode comes along.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Stupid me. I tried to block a bot called "Rome", but by doing so, it also blocked Google Chrome.

You have my permission to post pad today. :)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Moving Cyburbia to a new server (with the same host) this weekend, as a part of upgrading the operating system. There may be some interruptions, but hopefully they'll be minimal. :)
 
Messages
3,112
Points
26
Where's the blog?
Nobody was using it, so it went bye bye. I might add a blogging platform in the future, if traffic picks up.

There are two** possible Cyburbians who may want to start a blog here, (in addition to having a blog in another location?). There is also one person who would definitely like to start a blog here.

I don't want to put the two possible people on the spot; posting two links here:
and

The one person who would definitely like to start a blog on Cyburbia is me. Or should I say, Re-start? I kept a small blog here in the late 2000's.


**Who knows, there may be other potential bloggers that I don't know about. I posted the two I saw.
 

wintergirl

Cyburbian
Messages
35
Points
2
Two small issues I've noticed:
  • Roughly 1 time out of 3 when I post a post, it seems to end up in some kind of quarantine for moderation, I don't know if this is some kind of malfunctioning anti-spam mechanism!
  • I like dark themes and I cannot lie. The Cyburbia After Dark theme is great, except for the fact that links are the same colour as body text within posts, so you can't tell what's a link and what isn't without mousing over.
Thank you :)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Upgraded to Xenforo 2.2.4. :)

  • Roughly 1 time out of 3 when I post a post, it seems to end up in some kind of quarantine for moderation, I don't know if this is some kind of malfunctioning anti-spam mechanism!
  • I like dark themes and I cannot lie. The Cyburbia After Dark theme is great, except for the fact that links are the same colour as body text within posts, so you can't tell what's a link and what isn't without mousing over.
Thank you :)
Just saw this. For users with five posts or less, if a post has any spammy keywords or Web addresses, it's sent to a moderation queue. It should be okay.

I'll have a look at the Cyburbia After Dark colo(u)r scheme, and fix the link issue. Thank you for noticing!

EDIT: I still have some fine tuning to do with links in the theme, but I think the changes so far will make navigating the site a bit easier.
 
Last edited:

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Ongoing housekeeping

You might notice the total post and thread count for the FAC is shrinking. I'm slowly moving old on-topic threads to appropriate Planning and Placemaking subforums as I find them.

Because there's tens of thousands of threads, it's probably a task that will never be finished. Still, ten minutes here and there will help balance out the on-topic and off-topic thread count.
 
Messages
3,112
Points
26
You might notice the total post and thread count for the FAC is shrinking. I'm slowly moving old on-topic threads to appropriate Planning and Placemaking subforums as I find them.

Because there's tens of thousands of threads, it's probably a task that will never be finished. Still, ten minutes here and there will help balance out the on-topic and off-topic thread count.
When we find topics in FAC that almost certainly belong in Planning and Placemaking Subforums, should we let you know with the links?
If so, what's the best way to notify you?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
When we find topics in FAC that almost certainly belong in Planning and Placemaking Subforums, should we let you know with the links?
If so, what's the best way to notify you?
You can post them in this new thread. It's best that you post more than just a few threads a time, though. Thank you!

 
Last edited:

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
More tweaks

1) There's now three language choices for the Cyburbia UI; US, US ANSI/ISO, and US international

:unitedstates: US​
:unitedstates: US ANSI/ISO​
:unitedstates: US international​
DateDec 1 20212021-12-011 Dec 2021
Time4:30 PM16:3016:30

2) The Cyburbia After Dark style has a few more tweaks.

3) In the default Cyburbia New Blue style, links to sticky threads on subforum pages have a gray background.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Microsoft email issues

The past month, email from Cyburbia to hotmail.com, outlook.com, live.com, and similar free Microsoft email addresses is blocked on the Microsoft end. I put in a support ticket to Microsoft. and I'm seeing what else I can do to fix this.

In the meantime, if you register from a free Microsoft email address, you will not get a confirmation notice. If you now use a free Microsoft address for Cyburbia, and an email bounces, you may have to change it before you can post again. Please do NOT change your email address to a free Microsoft address.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Smileys

Added a LOT of new smileys.

Just to clarify, yellow smiley faces, hand gestures, etc. are intended to be racially / ethnically neutral.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Wow, Dan sure caters to his clientele. You can tell some of them were probably even selected with particular users in mind.

Yikes! I screwed up! I meant to use one of these for the Québec smiley.

canadiens.png
cigarette.png
pepsi.png
chalice.png
poutine.png









:D
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Even more smileys

There's more smileys coming. Not all of them are redundant with existing emoji. I know I have to get a few more state flags in there (Georgia, Utah, Indiana, etc).
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,619
Points
74
There's more smileys coming. Not all of them are redundant with existing emoji. I know I have to get a few more state flags in there (Georgia, Utah, Indiana, etc).
You know, flags aren't necessarily the best way to convey a state's identity. Lots of states have boring blue backgrounds with an equally uninteresting seal or device in the center (e.g. Michigan, Indiana, South Dakota, etc.) Maybe there's something more emblematic of Indiana than the flag is what I'm saying.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
6,032
Points
49
You know, flags aren't necessarily the best way to convey a state's identity. Lots of states have boring blue backgrounds with an equally uninteresting seal or device in the center (e.g. Michigan, Indiana, South Dakota, etc.) Maybe there's something more emblematic of Indiana than the flag is what I'm saying.
...and just what would you say is emblematic of Georgia?
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,611
Points
59
You know, flags aren't necessarily the best way to convey a state's identity. Lots of states have boring blue backgrounds with an equally uninteresting seal or device in the center (e.g. Michigan, Indiana, South Dakota, etc.) Maybe there's something more emblematic of Indiana than the flag is what I'm saying.
Like a Buckeye?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
You know, flags aren't necessarily the best way to convey a state's identity. Lots of states have boring blue backgrounds with an equally uninteresting seal or device in the center (e.g. Michigan, Indiana, South Dakota, etc.) Maybe there's something more emblematic of Indiana than the flag is what I'm saying.
I know the seal-on-a-blue-bedsheet flags, shrunk down to 44x44 pixels (for retina displays; otherwise it's 22 x 22), will be pretty much indistinguishable. I'm only using flags where the state is more-or-less easily identifiable. NYS has the bedsheet flag graphic, but that'll probably change.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
UI tweaks

1) Tweaked the editor so the button order is closer to that of Microsoft Word and other word processing programs. The number of buttons that appear still varies depending on browser window width.

2) Added a few more smilies, and changed a few others. Also, most smilies that were left facing are now right facing.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Typing special characters

There's now an option for special character entry in the editor menu. Click on the 3rd overflow menu ⋮ from the right, and then the omega / ohm symbol Ω.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Lost and found content

1) Used a XenForo 3rd party addon (XF Addons - Convert Image by Domain) to convert about 2,000 hotlinked images from Photobucket into watermark-free post attachments. This means those images won't go away if Photobucket ever goes offline. (Hotlined images that were hosted on Imageshack and TInyPic, unfortunately, are probably gone forever.)

2) Restored 23 old essays from the late @Perry Norton, FAICP, an early supporter of Cyburbia. They have the Articles: original content prefix in the Make No Small Plans subforum, under their original posting date.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
UI tweaks

1) The New Posts button is gone in the default Cyburbia New Blue theme. This button was redundant with the New Posts link under the Forums tab at the top of the page, and the Latest Posts link in the Latest Posts window.

2) If you're logged in, you'll see a new subforum, Recent Planning and Placemaking Subforum Threads, at the top of the Planning and Placemaking subforum category. This is a compilation of the 500 most recently updated "on topic" threads from all the subforums in the Planning and Placemaking category.

3) In the default Cyburbia New Blue theme, subforum links in the Latest Posts window are now in blue text. This makes those links consistent with others on the main orums page.

4) The Tumblr, Pinterest, and WhatsApp share buttons are gone. This should save a couple of milliseconds of page load time. Really, the sharing buttons in general don't see much use, and it's likely nobody has ever clicked on the Tumblr, Pinterest, or WhatsApp buttons.

Blogging and posting original articles

There still isn't a good integrated blog feature with XenForo. However, in the Planning and Placemaking subforums, you can now start a new thread, with the original post being in the form of an article. Here's an example of what an article looks like. (Yes, others can respond to it.)

Use the article feature only if you're posting a blog-like article that you wrote, about a subject that's on topic for the subforum. If you post an article, use the Article: original content thread prefix. If you have a blog, I encourage reposting articles from it. (I'm considering allowing second accounts, with a real name as a username, for article reposting. :) Regardless, you can post an article under your regular username if you prefer.)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
More blocked IP addresses

I added a bunch of IP ranges to the blocked address list over the past couple of days. Most of the blocked IPs are from Web hosts with VPN exit points. If you can't visit Cyburbia from a specific device or location for any reason, let me know. (We're not going to unblock VPN IP addresses, because they're the source of most malicious traffic on the site; mainly spam, content scraping, and hacking attempts.)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Software update

Updated to XenForo 2.6.6, which came out this morning.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Another software update

Applied the XenForo 2.6.6 bugfix update.

More security tweaks

Blocked more troublesome IP blocks (mostly Web hosts, server farms, and VPNs) and user agents over the weekend.

As before, if you can't visit Cyburbia from a specific device, browser, or location, but you can access it from somewhere else, or using a different browser, let me know.

If you use a VPN service like NordVPN, IPVanish, or Proton VPN, and you're blocked from Cyburbia, we're not going to unblock the VPN IP address. Most VPN traffic we get is either malicious (spambots, vulnerability testing scripts, hacking attempts, etc.) or worthless (content scraping, etc.). You're free to visit Cyburbia without using a VPN service. Thanks!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
New style

Added a new style last night, Subdivision. You can choose it by clicking on the paintbrush at the bottom left side of the page.

The blue color in the theme is pretty, but it seemed a bit searing when I first tried it last night. This morning, it looks a lot better. Maybe I need to make the color a bit less vibrant, I dunno. Let me know what you think.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
More smiles

Pretty much what the title says.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Subdivision theme as default: an experiment

I'm going to make the Subdivision style the default for a couple of weeks, to see if it makes a difference with the number of new members. I'd like to see if the style's visuals, which I think says "planning!" more clearly than the default generic blue theme, help entice those who land here after a Google/Bing/etc search to sign up.

If you prefer the old default style, you can select it with the style chooser link on the bottom left end of the page.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,540
Points
71
Commercial VPNs and blocked IPs

I know some folks use commercial virtual private networks (VPNs) like Nord VPN, Express VPN, HideMyAss, and the like for "legitimate" purposes. You know, like torrenting without the anti-piracy cops finding out, or watching TV shows and movies on Netflix that aren't available to US viewers for some reason. (This is different than a workplace VPN, something you might use when when you're working remotely from home.)

Even if there's a few legit uses for commercial VPNs, most traffic we get from VPN exit points is malicious -- hackers, content scrapers, spammers, and the like. That, or just noise that chews up our bandwidth for no benefit. For the past couple of years, I've been blocking the IP ranges of VPN exit points -- mostly sketchy Web and cloud hosts, and network transit firms -- as soon as I discover them. The number of visits we get from VPN exit points is growing at what seems like an exponential rate, along with IP ranges we block.

If you use a commercial VPN, you might see a "this IP is banned" message when you visit Cyburbia. If you don't, eventually you will. You'll still be able to visit Cyburbia from work or home, but "bareback" with your real IP address, not through a commercial VPN.
 
Top