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Update 9/23 - The layout/theme I was hoping to get was unable to be acquired for various reasons. Will most likely go with a more basic one and take it from there. We are hoping to have more time (or funds) by October to install and finalize a new site layout either ourselves or through a professional if necessary/possible.
Update 9/19 - What I thought was good news yesterday that I mentioned to some of you on Skype has turned into a disappointing reality. As of yesterday I was hopeful that I had found a way to retain the two layouts that we've had available for everyone to use for years now. Unfortunately I was dead wrong in that assessment. The more I attempted to fix and salvage, the more problems I would find... and the list of problems/compromises just kept growing to the point where there would be no reason to even try and use the site in that crippled manner. Somehow they have managed to make this update screw up so much of the already existing layouts that even the simplest functions (like using the EDIT button on a post!) could not be repaired even after hours of effort. The built in word counter for new posts is also useless as it only works in the Quick Reply box, totally eliminating the point of using it for new RPs. The list goes on and on...
This sets us back several days as an entirely new design has to be implemented and tested, followed by requiring all of the XWF based features, customizations and plugins added into it by hand one at a time. The only good news so far is that the bare upgrade process in itself was a "success" if you can call it that, meaning all posts along with user data/avatars/sigs/etc have been saved.
I've temporarily restored this page to the old black and blue layout that had always been my personal favorite throughout the years. This layout had been available for several years, surviving many upgrades and challenges, and even was able to be saved after a hack attempt deleted several portions of it back around the time we crossed over to these new boards. This will be one of the last times any of us see what's still left of this layout. Even the hackers could not destroy what the latest board software "upgrade" has officially rendered useless... :(