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Hey everyone,

Our boards have had, besides minor updates, the same version of forum software and the same layout for the past ten years. Ten years on the internet is about a century in the real world when it comes to advancements in technology and design. Today, we're upgrading to the latest version of phpbb 3.2.

I'd like to address several of the advantages of today's update:

Security
As I mentioned previously, ten years is a lot of time to advance technology, but also a lot of time to break it. The old version of our forum was vulnerable, and even though we patched the critical issues, we were still exposed by using what is now considered, obsolete software. Once the update settles, we also plan to introduce optional two-factor authentication (i.e. google authenticator, not what you're used to on lsgov boards) and other ways to make sure your account is as secure as we can make it.

Design
This is what I feel will be the controversial point of tonight's update. It's different. Not too different though, we stuck to the same general layout of the boards, but the design is much more modern, flat and responsive. It's also very scalable, which means using it on your phone should be a smooth experience compared to the theme we're all acustomized to. It might take some time to get used to the new design, but I'm confident it's a step in the right direction.

Performance
Ten years of innovation also bring better algorithms and frameworks the software is built on, which can yield significant improvements in the responsiveness of the forum. It should now run faster and be more stable than the old version. This might not be noticable right away however, as things take time to cache properly. We also plan to upgrade to php 7 (as opposed to php 5), which is faster as well. More on that later.

phpbb3.2 features
The new version also offers new features that both improve workflow and user experience; notifications would be a good highlight of that. If you want to read up on all what's new, you can do so on phpbb's page.

If you find any issues, please let us know. Give the new design some time and try getting familiar it, we'll be accepting feedback on the user experience and what we could improve a couple weeks after everyone has had a chance to get used to the brand new changes.

Oh, and you can use emojis.

Kind regards,
Mmartin