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IPS 4.2 backwards compatibility


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I had a look and as suspected, there's been some rather significant modifications to templates. Forum row, the global template, userbar, navbar, breadcrumb, sidebar, etc. CSS files were directly modified as well instead of perusing custom.css (though that was used extensively as well.) It's frankly a bit of a disaster I'm not able to recover - as a quick courtesy, I even tried creating a new theme and applying just CSS changes, but the layout was far more engrained in template changes than it should have been. 

Unfortunately, you will essentially need a new theme, done properly. Most of the customizations done did not need custom template changes and could have been accomplished via css alone. I could not fix your header issue for you, but I did add reactions to your topic view. I would advise enlisting the assistance of a reputable third party designer. 

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12 hours ago, Lindy said:

I had a look and as suspected, there's been some rather significant modifications to templates. Forum row, the global template, userbar, navbar, breadcrumb, sidebar, etc. CSS files were directly modified as well instead of perusing custom.css (though that was used extensively as well.) It's frankly a bit of a disaster I'm not able to recover - as a quick courtesy, I even tried creating a new theme and applying just CSS changes, but the layout was far more engrained in template changes than it should have been. 

Unfortunately, you will essentially need a new theme, done properly. Most of the customizations done did not need custom template changes and could have been accomplished via css alone. I could not fix your header issue for you, but I did add reactions to your topic view. I would advise enlisting the assistance of a reputable third party designer. 

Wow, great customer service @Lindy - this is why I continue to use IPS and their products - not perfect (who/what is?), but you guys do go the extra mile from time to time and that's what's important.

@steadyoptions - it sounds like the developers you hired to do your custom theme didn't adhere (or possibly were not aware) that in order to maintain future compatibility as much as possible, their customizations should have been confined to custom.css as much as possible, and I would have expected them to provide you with a change list of any template modifications so at least you would have an idea of what they changed so it could be redone after an update.

I'd also recommend that if your site is a business (which it appears to be) and is mission-critical for your members, consider setting up a development environment where updates can be tested beforehand rather than on your live community and save any embarrassment when an update breaks functionality. Beyond your customizations, IPS may add or remove features that your community may not need or want, or lose a feature they rely on, and being aware of that beforehand so you can implement a contingency plan.

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17 minutes ago, steadyoptions said:

Could you please recommend a reputable third party designer? 

Although your question was not directed at me, you could start your search via the Providers page. :)

What I would then suggest is to look at their submissions here (where appropriate) to determine the type of designs they are producing.

I would also recommend taking a look at any support topics for said submissions (usually linked on the file descriptor page) to determine the 'quality' of replies and relative time lapse of questions being answered. Bear in mind this "method" is far from an exact science as things such as people being away on vacation/holiday and time zone 'effects' too. Consideration should also be given when reading replies from the author to those for whom English is not their primary language, by this I mean (in my personal opinion) to not really be overly concerned with any grammatical or spelling issues with any replies if the reply is satisfactory to the original client asking the question.

Ultimately, you're looking for a designer not a language tutor. :) As long as you both can communicate clearly with each other there should be no misunderstandings about what is required.

I think from perhaps 30 minutes possibly an hour spent doing this small bit of research would be very worthwhile for yourself as by then you should hopefully be able to at least narrow the list down to a practical number, and from that stage you could then if you wished simply contact them for availability, likely time-scales and costs.

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This topic interested me. The original post asked why the software isn't backwards compatible. It's not mean't to be and the original poster obviously doesn't have a clue as to how this forum software works. I've been a client of IPS since 2005 and every time there has been a release, the previous versions of premium templates, plugins, blocks, widgets and applications will not work with future versions of the IPS software for which it was designed because these various addons need to have their code updated for each future version release.

For instance, you have a forum tremplate that was created for IPB 2.3. Obviously, it's not going to work on IPS 4.2 because the addon has not had its code updated. Expecting to take an addon that was created for IPB 2.3 to work with IPS 4.2 simply will not work and anyone who has ever used IPS software in the past would be aware of this. The only thing that the IPS platform is compatible with is using the software to upgrade it as each new version is released.

Now, it's true that some addons will be compatible as long as you are within the range of the current version of IPS. Such as, addond that were created prior to IPS 4.1 will not work with IPS 4.1.x and 4.2.x. Even then, there are quite a few addons that need to be upgraded because not every addon created for 4.1.x can be used with IPS 4.2.x. Only thing you can is persuade the addon developer to update the addon.

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