So I've been trying to get around to writing up this plan for a little while now, and unfortunately my internet dropped a few times so I had given up, apologies this has taken so long to write up.
This is my current plan for how we start to move away from Flarum and on to something that is going to better fit the servers needs especially as we're now growing into other games and game modes, and that for me is a key area of strategic growth for us going forward.
Phase 1 - Technical Preview
The first phase of the new forums will be what I'm calling a technical preview, this will be a developer environment effectively where we will allow members of the community to create accounts and ultimately have a bit of an explore of the software. This is more to focus around the software itself and the infrastructure we're going to need, but should help us flesh out any considerations that we need to make.
Around this time we will create a new section on these forums to include suggestions, bug reporting and other discussion around the new forums, this will help guide us in creating the best possible experience down the road.
Phase 2 - Small Migration Testing
During phase 2 the intent will be to look to migrate a small section over from Flarum to the new forums to prove the migration is possible and how technically complex it is going to be, part of this may require the development of bespoke tools / scripts as moving off of Flarum isn't something a lot of people seem to have done before.
We wouldn't have moved anything over permanently, just tested to see if it is possible and how practical it is.
Phase 3 - Full Beta Testing
During phase 3 the forum instance used in Phase 1 and 2 will be destroyed and a new beta forum provisioned. During this time we will stand up the structure we would expect the final new forums to look like, with all the groups, roles and similar configured. This would let folks properly start to use the forums and get a feel for it, while helping us to make sure everything is right for go-live.
Phase 4 - Full Data Migration Testing
As an extension to Phase 3, once we're happy with everything in Phase 3 we will then move all of the current content over as a snapshot in time, while still maintaining the Flarum forums as our primary forum. It's likely we would delete a lot of the content / re-create the forums to the setup as in Phase 3 for this.
Phase 5 - Go-Live
Phase 5 will result in us destroying the beta forums, and standing up a new forums and performing the full data migration. From this point on our new forums will replace the Flarum forums, and Flarum will then be archived off and decommissioned.
Hopefully that gives a bit of a better idea of where we're going. I'm hoping to get the initial technical preview for Phase 1 available in the next week so people can start to see the direction we're moving in here. There are some dependencies with other work I have ongoing so how fast this moves I'm not too sure yet.