This has certainly been an interesting read. Took me a few days to work through it all.
Couple of quick responses to prior comments before I interject my own opinions into the mix...
I know it's old, but for grins I did a compare between phpBB2 and phpBB3 using the same site linked above. They were woefully wrong on many points on phpBB2, which does not give me confidence that the rest of their evaluations are reliable. Take it for what it's worth.
SilentDeath1226 wrote:I mean with a simple on/off button you can just disable the feature.
I don't think you can really simplify things to that level.
Features could be added that are peripheral and easily turned on / off as you say. But other features could be very complex and therefore permeate the entire body of code. It's not like the code isn't there, it's just bracketed with a big "if" statement that determines if the code has been enabled or not. In fact, it can make the code far more complex, difficult to maintain and extend, and frankly that's part of the cost that has to be evaluated before adding some new feature to the core. You could go back and look at the attachments MOD for phpBB2 (before it was added as a feature to phpBB3) and see an example. The attachments code touched the permissions system, the posting system, the private message system, the search system... basically almost the entire board. Yes, there is an "allow attachments: yes / no" option in the admin panel, but that doesn't change the fact that there is attachments code throughout the entire system. One of the more popular sub-forums MODs for phpBB2 nearly rewrote the entire codebase; now sub-forums are a core feature of phpBB3. You don't turn them on or off, but you do have the choice of using them or not.
Adding significant features to the core increases code complexity, so in my opinion simply saying "turn it off if you don't want it" is a bit unrealistic.
this thread really does show phpBB2 for the obsolete lump it always was from 2008 onwards and yet we have a merry band of phpBB2 renegades who swear that it still has a use!!
Who would do that?
In the sake of full disclosure, yes, my main board (started in 2002 and now well over 60K users and 750K posts and approaching our tenth anniversary) is running phpBB2. But why? As has been stated previously in this topic, it's because I used MODs or my own custom code to adapt and extend the core board to do what I wanted it to do, including adding many features that ultimately appeared in phpBB3 in some form or another. Given that I manage a fairly large community using obsolete software, one might expect there would be complaints about missing features due to the "user expectations" mentioned earlier, right? After all of these years, the only request that I have seen with any regularity are to add an RSS feed and provide an exact phrase
search. Of course RSS is something present in phpBB3 that was missing in phpBB2.
But nobody has asked about AJAX or WYSIWYG, and believe me I have some very vocal community members that would certainly ask if they thought it was important. Even if they didn't ask by name, nobody has complained about having to "go to another screen to edit a post" or some of the other usability features that have been mentioned here in this topic.
Do I think these features could be nice to have? Perhaps. From a usability perspective I think some of those improvements would be very interesting. But to be honest, I turn off the WYSIWYG editor in Wordpress because I hate it.
I believe that people that use this site (phpbb.com) are likely to be more technical and web-savvy than the general population. They know what trends are because they're leading them or at least very closely following them. The Internet population as a whole is probably several years behind the experience and expectation level of users that have post here (and have participated in this very discussion). You could say that the sheer number of folks still using IE6 is evidence of that!
My original decision to select phpBB2 over the competitors of the day was made because of the active community found here. I believe that this very topic continues to show that the community actively cares about (one might even say is passionate about) phpBB and wants it to continue to succeed. I think that bodes well for the future. A lot of talk in this topic seemed to revolve around the idea of contributing code, but there are far more ways for folks to contribute. What is the one thing that always seems to come up when explaining why things take so long? Not enough time. Do you have some extra time but don't know how to code? Then figure out another way to help, take over some other task that you can do. Or perhaps even make up a new one! I've not visited the dev board for a very long time, and don't have time
to do so now. But in my experience in the IT world one of the most important steps in getting a new feature implemented is a full and complete requirements document.
If you're passionate about a particular feature, go out and do some research. Find out what's currently available, if anything, and document that. Find other people that have shown some interest in the same topic and get them involved, even if you only pester them
with questions. Figure out what this new feature has to do, and how it interacts (in a process way, not a technical as in "write code this way" way) with the rest of the system.
Don't like that idea? Come up with something else that makes you feel good about helping the project move forward. That's the beauty of open source, right? In the old days of phpBB2 the code may have been open source but the development process was extremely closed. That has changed, but as has been observed not everyone is comfortable with or confident in their coding abilities. I'm just trying to say there are more ways to contribute than that, and that in my opinion it's that spirit and and passion that makes phpBB unique.