Forum Closure

We’re pleased to be able to announce that we have been developing a new website, and we will be launching it very soon for everyone to use.

Sadly we do also have to report that the forum will not be included in the relaunch of our new website, but it will be replaced with a ‘How to’ section.

The ‘How to’ will include various articles on all different aspects of Greenpower and will also include a comment feature which will allow people to comment and ask questions on articles.

Effectively the new section will be replacing the forum, by still allowing teams to communicate on various threads and topics.

The 'How to' section is all about sharing knowledge, hints and tricks when building a Greenpower car, so we would like as many articles from teams and employer partners as possible.

Everyone is welcome to contribute articles to the ‘How to’, and if you have any suggestions of topics that you feel should be covered, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

The website will be going live at the end of August, so we would advise that if you find any particular threads useful to personally save them before the forum is completely removed.

We're sorry for any inconvenience caused, but we hope you'll like the new and improved website.



  • A bit odd that Greenpower have decided that almost 10 years of advice and discussion will no longer be available to future teams. The forum has certainly become quieter over the last few years, but to advise everyone to make "personal backups" is unusual.

    Are the web hosting resources so tight that it is not possible to export the forum to a static site or prevent new replies from being created?

    The how-to section sounds like a great idea, probably based off of the elusive 2011 A-Z Guide, although I'm not sure how many more experienced people would be bothered to check each individual "how-to" page and comment on it.

    Assuming the new site is based on wordpress (most are at the moment), have you considered exporting the Vanilla forum to bbPress? Whilst many of the questions on the forum could be answered in comments to how-to pages, what about teams buying/selling cars/equipment? New regulation changes, post-race discussions and results of testing?

    I hope Greenpower might consider at least making a public archive, it doesn't really bother me or our team, but newer teams might be looking for more detail than the how-to can provide, I know it was invaluable to us when we were in the the early learning stage.

  • There is a wealth of info on this board which I'd hate to lose. A lot of history too. I'm with Dan on this. Please try to set up a public archive if at all possible.
  • edited August 2017
    Greenpower is about learn a lot from that's "How not to...". Then there's "Best Practice" which would benefit from a "How we got here" section. Just providing a "How to" is helpful but isn't the whole story.
  • edited August 2017
    I agree with sentiment expressed so far, the knowledge accumulated in this forum is vast and should not be lost, but there is also some excellent debate and banter as well which I am not sure would carry over into a 'how to' section. Is the forum really broken? Plenty of websites thrive through their fora... Perhaps the two can run alongside each other? The discussions that have produced meaningful outcomes such as the roll hoop thread could be boiled down to a 'how to' once the discussion has happened. In the roll hoop threads case the discussions and argument (i'm assuming) produced a rule change to steel and minimum wall thickness for the roll hoop. Not sure that would have happened if someone had just written an article - the knowledge came from several members collborating, and the evidence of the discussion is there for new members to see. Engineering almost always requires a discussion between engineers, bouncing ideas around to see what works. The forum allows that to happen and is therefore in itself educational. Likewise rule changes have produced fantastic debate which may not always be comfortable reading for the Greenpower team, but allowed a little steam to be vented which helps to keep people on board the project... A further thought is that a 'how to' section may decrease creativity. There are many ways to achieve a quick car as can be seen in the diversity of design at the top of the fleet. Keep the forum!
  • 100% agreed. Its much easier to develop something from an existing idea than starting with a blank sheet of paper....but....informing teams on how to make a roll bar sort of short-circuits the process unless some history is provided, from which new ideas might well spring (and have done so). I guess that's how Tim Berners-Lee progressed too.
  • In the words of the social network "using some wget magic" I have (or will do later today) a copy of every discussion in the forum. Only issue is they aren't indexed in a useful way, only by the thread ID, which you will see in the address bar. I think I can index them but it'll have to wait until I have the time/desire to do so.

    In the meantime if there are specific threads people would like let me know the ID number and I can pass on HTML files.


  • I'd had a similar idea too, WinHTTrack is a useful tool for making complete archives of a website, a complete mirror of the site as of today can be found here:

    Just extract the zip to a folder, open index.html and you should be away. You can also use the windows search box to look for specific topics. If you know how to use the advanced search tools you should also be able to search within each topic like the original forum.

  • Hi all,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    We're investigating the possibility making the forum a public archive, but wanted to ensure you all had warning that the forum would no longer be functional.

    We'll keep you posted on any progress we make on this.


  • Laura,

    I understand that greenpower will no longer be hosting this forum and I assume there are good reasons for this. I would like to understand if those reasons also prevent it being an 'ok' idea for someone else to port all of the data on here to a new forum that can still be used by GP teams.

    I guess what I am asking is 'is the forum coming down due to difficulties hosting it, or is it because it's difficult to moderate, or is it because you want to have more focus on the how to part of the new site?, or other..?'.

    I accept and respect that the answer to this is probably not easy and possibly not possible to share, if this is the case I understand. However I expect that since their are many passionate (and as seen above with the wget skills) intelligent users posting on the forum and using it for a common place to discuss all things GP, it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility that a new forum(s) would spring up outside the control of the GP team which I think would be a shame and would only further dislocate useful information sources.

  • I'm with Ben on this - as well as being a treasure trove of existing information, the forum has been an excellent place for discussion, and I find discussion to be far more powerful tool for learning than an encyclopedia. No matter how well thought out a set of instructions are, a discussion with someone who has experience will provide better results (and usually the 'experienced' person learns something too!). I understand the point and logic of a 'how-to' section on the website, but before a 'how-to' can be written, subjects need to be discussed and studied.

    Further, the 'engineering' content is only a part of the forum - although I've gone quiet of late (who knew having a kid was this time consuming?!) - I love the forum as a place to discuss the last race / barmy idea / disaster / rule change and I think its a place that the greenpower community really comes together. I understand there is a workload associated with maintaining a forum, but another one (or three) will probably pop up outside of official control, because there are a lot of people involved in GP with a lot of passion and they like to chat!
  • I understand that the forum doesn't get a lot of traffic and therefore might be a lot of effort to host for not a lot of use.
    However, as everyone else who's commented here previously has said, their is a lot to be lost by taking it to a more formal, less conversational format.

    As Ian pointed out, those of us commenting here shows an (albeit small) demand for a forum like this which could result in a forum run by someone other than Greenpower. This removes the possibility to speak directly to Greenpower as a group. In some instances such as the Roll Bar thread discussed above, this would be a potential problem, especially with roll bars being such a safety-orientated subject.

    Anyway, on the subject of the "How-to" forum, perhaps a "Where to get it" section might be useful for things that we all need, but can't buy from Greenpower. Foam for the crumple zones, for example.

    Hopefully Greenpower will come up with a good solution that enables us to retain the good features of this forum. The mere fact that we've had replies from Josh and Laura highlights that a forum or similar is a good way for us, the competitors, to share our thoughts and opinions with Greenpower.


  • I also think it would be a bad idea to lose a forum type of system. There needs to be an easy way to allow communication between students, all of the volunteers who help with the Greenpower project and Greenpower admin to bounce ideas around and log the results of these for everyone to see and refer to. A how-to section is to prescriptive. Also this really should be an "ideas" section. There is no "how-to" in Greenpower just a set of different ways of doing things with various pros and cons.
    Twitter/Facebook etc just does not give the same degree of easily accessible and documented history that is needed.

    For Greenpower to work well there needs to be good communications and listening between the various parties involved. This is especially true as it is mainly volunteer based. The real work of Greenpower, that is showing young people what engineering is about and getting them involved, is done by the army of volunteers. You need to keep them well on-board.

    Technically and cost wise I can't see any reason to ditch a forum type of system (although the existing system could have a better indexing/search system). It would be easily to keep the forum running on a webserver somewhere.
  • Hi all,

    Thank you to everyone for their feedback.

    We do understand that discussion is important and that is why we have chosen to have a comment section on the how to section, allowing teams and individuals to comment on articles, but we do understand that this would not allow people to raise new topics, as easily as they can on the current forum. We are also working on other channels for teams to discuss and openly communicate with us, we're hoping to confirm these plans this week.

    The 'how to' section will thrive on content from the Greenpower community, as previously mentioned we would like invite everybody to submit us topics or articles that they would find interesting and would like shared on the section. Thank you Sam for your input on this, we can add this to content wish list.

    The passion for the forum is clear and that is why we're continuing our search for a solution, so please just bear with us until we can confirm our plans.


  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Doesn't stop improvements though....

    Curiously, Greenpower started very competitively in the late 90's, with teams closely guarding their "secrets". Now its very co-operative with many teams helping each other - which (I think) is how it should be. We are all in this together and inter-team chat should be encouraged in the simplest possible way.

    Carry on.
  • Hi Laura. Will there be a For Sale section on the new website? Thanks!
  • Shall I take the silence as a no then?!
  • Sorry for the slow reply, Crag Rat.

    At the moment there are no plans for this to be included, but we will use the blog to advertise anything they people would like to sell. A dedicated section may be something that we can phase into the website at a later date.

    Once again, very sorry for the slow reply.

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