Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

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Pony99CA
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by Pony99CA »

vellatechie wrote:A proper PROFILE page.. A proper profile page is a must imo.. If we want to start a community instead of just a forum discussion we need a proper profle page.. I am tired of modding profile page.. Just look as IPB profile page, it looks just plain awesome
What are the major differences? I belong to an Invision Power Board site and I'm not sure the profile is that much better (see my profile for details).

Here are the features that it seems to have beyond phpBB:
  • A Status field (whoopie!)
  • A photo area for the user's picture (whoopie!)
  • An About Me page (which is kind of cool, although it doesn't seem to respect BBCode there, which is why I had to make the URL visible)
  • The latest visitors to my profile and how many views it has had (which is even visible to others for some reason)
  • The area I'm currently visiting
  • Profile comments so others can comment on your profile (whoopie!)
Most everything else seems available in phpBB profiles and some of those (Status and About Me) could probably be done with Custom Profile Fields (the photo could be if phpBB added an Image type as an option -- how about it?).

However, IPB's doesn't seem to show the user's avatar or the most active topic.

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vellatechie
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by vellatechie »

@ Steve
In a forum i believe you can either bring about changes yourself or you can do what the majority of the members want.. I never said what you mentioned are absolute must in a forum or that it cant be done in phpBB..

Actually all the "(whoopie!)" you pointed out can be very well done through these mods (http://www.itmods.com/) - profile comment, facebook status, friends list etc
and then theres leftys profile view which will display recent visitors as well.. These things basically will cover everything that IPB have :)

But these dont look as well placed as in IPB.. And its a pain installing themes and then seeing what works with the mods and what doesnt.. I had hard time setting up the forum when i change my theme coz the new tottaly fu**** up the lay out of profile comment and profile view mods... the next time i changed them theme it took me three themes before i could settle on the one which i am able to modify and set up with the mods working properly.. Recently i just changed my theme to ca_black (cyber aliens themes are awesome btw) and the removed all the mods coz i just couldnt set the comment layout properly :|

Now you might say why i need to install all these mods in the first place??? Coz the time i had these mods installed in the forum the user spent 4.5mins more compared to what theyve done in past 3 months and 70% of the users want these mods in the forum
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by arod-1 »

EXreaction wrote:We've had quite a few discussions about stuff like this in the past and that's the reason why we are working on a lot of different changes (the new development model with 3.1.x and 4.x and a bunch of other non-public projects being discussed and worked on behind the scenes).

4.x should fix a lot of the problems with modifications plus a bunch more features (give that one a few years)
3.1 will just add more features
this quote is from pretty far back in this discussion, but still, i want to relate:
IMHO, doing stuff "behind the scenes" is not a good working mode for an OS project.
if you look at the more successful OS projects, things are done and discussed in the open.
it is possible that phpbb.com is not the most suitable place to discuss such things, because the major function of this site is support, and the focus here is on support and use, not on development.
however, there are other *public* venues, such as area51, which are suitable for these discussions.
when you do things like a secret cult, you end up becoming a secret cult.
this is not what you want, and it's definitely not what the users want.

peace.
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by AdamR »

arod-1 wrote:this quote is from pretty far back in this discussion, but still, i want to relate:
IMHO, doing stuff "behind the scenes" is not a good working mode for an OS project.
The website. Advertisements. Incident Investigation Team. Security Team. Planning for events. Etc. phpBB itself is quite open with the QA Team, Junior Developers, and the bug trackers.

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arod-1
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by arod-1 »

AdamR wrote:The website. Advertisements. Incident Investigation Team. Security Team. Planning for events. Etc. phpBB itself is quite open with the QA Team, Junior Developers, and the bug trackers.

- Adam
i am glad to hear that, but this is not what the post i quoted claimed.

peace.
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by stickerboy »

You can't have everything out in the open though. There are some things that should be discussed within the team before bringing those thoughts and ideas to the community. Do you you not like the odd surprise now and again? ;)
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by narqelion »

cherokee red wrote:You can't have everything out in the open though. There are some things that should be discussed within the team before bringing those thoughts and ideas to the community
Not when it comes to the development of the application. Sure you want to keep what in the professional world would be classified as *personnel* type discussion private but anything development related is perfectly appropriate being publicly accessible. This is open source not a proprietary application where the need for secrecy from your competitors rules.
cherokee red wrote:Do you you not like the odd surprise now and again? ;)
No, absolutely not especially when it comes to an application I have invested time and resources into.
arod-1 wrote:when you do things like a secret cult, you end up becoming a secret cult. this is not what you want,
I would have to disagree there, I think that is exactly what they want and I think they have reiterated it often enough with the *phpBB is closed development* responses.

Naderman appears to have made an effort to start what looks like a high level architecture document for version 4 in the wiki and I just tried to link to it but the wiki is apparently down atm.... :roll: So maybe at least one development team member sees the value is open development but only time will tell.
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by Cap'n Refsmmat »

I always got the impression from the bug trackers and so on that submitting a patch larger than a few lines was generally not encouraged. It's "open source," but the developers have their own roadmap, their own plans, and they don't just incorporate the ideas thrown at them.

If phpBB were more open, where bugs tracked new features to be added and anyone could suggest a patch to add the feature, its development would probably proceed more quickly.

(I actually did have a patch [somewhat] incorporated into phpBB3; I found a way to simplify and improve the file cache by using var_export() instead of serialize(). I posted a bug, added a patch, and it was later incorporated with a few modifications. But I generally get the impression that, say, adding a patch to add AJAX post editing, or some other large feature, is not encouraged. They might accept it, but they make no attempt to encourage it.)
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

(the new post since you started your reply thing got me again :twisted: :twisted: )

to summaraize what that long post that is now gone said;

I don't see any problem with development going on in private. we are not on the team. the team gets to decide how and if phpbb development goes along.

remember, open source does not neccessarily mean that the development process is open, only that the final product is open and available to the public.


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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by EXreaction »

arod-1 wrote:
AdamR wrote:The website. Advertisements. Incident Investigation Team. Security Team. Planning for events. Etc. phpBB itself is quite open with the QA Team, Junior Developers, and the bug trackers.

- Adam
i am glad to hear that, but this is not what the post i quoted claimed.

peace.
But that's exactly what I was talking about.
Cap'n Refsmmat wrote:I always got the impression from the bug trackers and so on that submitting a patch larger than a few lines was generally not encouraged. It's "open source," but the developers have their own roadmap, their own plans, and they don't just incorporate the ideas thrown at them.

If phpBB were more open, where bugs tracked new features to be added and anyone could suggest a patch to add the feature, its development would probably proceed more quickly.

(I actually did have a patch [somewhat] incorporated into phpBB3; I found a way to simplify and improve the file cache by using var_export() instead of serialize(). I posted a bug, added a patch, and it was later incorporated with a few modifications. But I generally get the impression that, say, adding a patch to add AJAX post editing, or some other large feature, is not encouraged. They might accept it, but they make no attempt to encourage it.)
Major patches to add new features really are not going to be accepted too often. If every mod author submitted their own patches for all of the mods in the ModDB it would turn out to be quite a mess wouldn't it?
narqelion wrote:Naderman appears to have made an effort to start what looks like a high level architecture document for version 4 in the wiki and I just tried to link to it but the wiki is apparently down atm.... :roll: So maybe at least one development team member sees the value is open development but only time will tell.
Do you really think naderman would have gone and posted that stuff in the Wiki without the rest of the development team approving?
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by narqelion »

EXreaction wrote:Do you really think naderman would have gone and posted that stuff in the Wiki without the rest of the development team approving?
:? Where did I say or indicate that naderman needed approval from the rest of the development team? What I said was..."So maybe at least one development team member sees the value in open development but only time will tell." Just as in the case of QA and testing, naderman was (and still is TBH) the lone advocate of formalized testing. Actions speak louder than anything, as does inaction. If and when there is any public activity towards a more open development process by anyone other than naderman then I might believe that the project as a whole had changed its position, but naderman's example alone does not indicate that. Time will tell. ;)
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by SamG »

While I don't see the closed development process that has been part of phpBB from the very beginning as being some sort of evil empire or cult thing (cults retain leaders and followers, not rotate them), I can understand why some people find it objectionable.

That said, the practical difference between open and closed development in OSS does escape me somewhat. As a smaller project, phpBB is easy to pick on. But draw the development circle where you like and as big as you like, at the competency line if nowhere else, and at some point an end user is still on the outside.

I am heavily invested in open development OSS through work, and at times I'm hugely disappointed with the response (or lack of it, more often) to my particular problems. At the moment I am trying to recover from a major problem with OSS groupware data portability in an integrated OSS server product. The server dies, so I attempt to restore the groupware data to a clean install. The process fails, repeatedly, by leaving the groupware product completely unusable. I'm not saying nobody cares, but my crisis isn't their problem, as the saying goes. I'm not technically competent to solve the problem on my own and submit the solution beyond saying that it seems to be an LDAP problem (if I was, I might not be using the "Server for Dummies" approach in the first place), and I'm screwed. If it wasn't for the fact the my RAID array survived the death of the host machine, I would be in more trouble than I already am.

So my problems and suggestions fall on patient ears, but in the end, the development process may as well be closed as far as I'm concerned. Nobody at Canonical Ltd or in its vast community cares, for all intents and purposes, that in the process of working out a more robust groupware solution I bought three older servers that I cannot directly install their current LTS release on because of some odd installer compatibility issue with the widely used Adaptec AIC-7899 SCSI controller. I have to go the long way around, through an EoLed LTS and the upgrade process, to get the job done. Or, even less convenient from my point of view, use something else which does install as expected (CentOS 5.4 drops right in). Pretty fragile working arrangements in a productivity setting, if you ask me.

So I dunno. I continue to think OSS isn't for everybody, open development notwithstanding.
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by narqelion »

SamG wrote:and at some point an end user is still on the outside.
Not in a good open source project, IMO. ;)
Eric Raymond wrote:
  • 6. Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.
  • 7.... And listen to your customers.
  • 11. The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from your users. Sometimes the latter is better.
  • 12. Often, the most striking and innovative solutions come from realizing that your concept of the problem was wrong.
  • 13. Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but rather when there is nothing more to take away.
Ultimately, and ironically, I do believe personally that the closed development environment and the insular, isolationist tendency to resist outside input from the user community is exactly what has led to the current state of affairs and topics such as "phpBB is falling behind?"

While it was certainly an interesting announcement that there would be two supported branches (3.0.x & 3.1.x) going forward, I think that is a mistake if only for the fact that I do not believe the project has the resources to support that scenario. Personally I think the project and phpBB users would be better served by freezing the 3.x branch as far as new features and limit releases to bug fixes and security patches and instead start work on the 4.x architecture by defining what is and is not a core bulletin board function and start building a truly extensible architecture that satisfies both the core minimalists as well as the "everything including the kitchen sink" bloat lovers. Once that platform exists the whole "I want a pony" argument becomes mute as those users would then be able to add features and functionality to their hearts content without the pain of hacking core that exists today. The faster that happens the better off phpBB and it's users will be. Drawing out the lifespan of 3.x by adding 3.1 to satisfy the short term needs of the "I want a pony" users is IMO at least, very short sighted.
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by arod-1 »

SamG wrote:While I don't see the closed development process that has been part of phpBB from the very beginning as being some sort of evil empire or cult thing (cults retain leaders and followers, not rotate them), I can understand why some people find it objectionable.
some cults do rotate leaders and followers: some cults are significantly older than a single person lifespan, so i would not agree that by the mere fact that people rotate something can't be a cult.

and for the record: i did not call phpbb team a cult, i just advocated against cult-like behaviors.
this was in response to the phrase:
"and a bunch of other non-public projects being discussed and worked on behind the scenes"
not to any real event or behavior.
SamG wrote:...........
So I dunno. I continue to think OSS isn't for everybody, open development notwithstanding.
first let me say i sympathize with your pain.
second, i can't think of any development process, open *or* closed, that would guarantee a solution to every single problem any single user experiences. it will always be a balancing act, where questions like "how many people are hurting from this issue", "how severe is the pain", and "do we even *know* how to fix it, and if so, how much work would it be" will always have to be weighed against available resources and the pressure to develop new features.

regarding open/close development question:
i sometime have a feeling that the proponent of "closed development" conflate the "open dev. model" with democracy.
i do not advocate democracy. every project has a maintainer or maintainer group, and the final decision is not by vote, not by the vocality of advocates and not necessarily even by consensus: when consensus can't be reached, eventually someone decides.

however, on the way to this decision, the different options are aired out in the open, the pros and cons are discussed in the open, contributions from "outsiders" is weighed on merit, and any joe can make a point.

with the "open dev" model, proposals are considered more valid when there is a patch that accompany them, where many (maybe even most) projects will ignore or nearly ignore any proposal not accompanied with a patch that implement (or at least outlines) it.

the spectrum of closeness/openness of projects is wide and diverse, from projects that do not accept any contribution and never discuss their plans, to extremely open projects.
phpbb is by no means at the "most closed" end of the spectrum (although it may be closer to this end than to the other): it maintain an exposed repo, it accepts (if not solicit) input from the community, it has an open bug tracker, and it endorse community contribution in the form of plugins, MODs, styles and translations, although it rarely incorporates them in the core.

so no, absolutely not "evil empire", but please try to keep the "behind closed doors" part to the essential minimum (such as security issues).

peace.
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Re: Discussion: phpBB is falling behind?

Post by SamG »

narqelion wrote:Not in a good open source project, IMO.
Sure. In theory. As I said, I understand the objection to closed development. But as i also said, in the real world even the so called successful, solid, good OS projects cannot listen to and benefit from the experience of every end user. It's not that simple, apparently. Look at KDE for a classic example, IMHO, of a project where whole groups of people hang on and defect and the project seems to muddle on anyway.

We can have this discussion here not only because phpBB is closed development, but also because phpBB is small enough that a handful of people can raise a stink and not drop off to page two before the hour's up, and because memories here are short. Acyd Burn was once a vocal critic of phpBB as a project, if my memory does not fail me completely. AJD felt led to save phpBB from self destruction by forking Olympus. Etc., etc. My point is simply that there's little in my experience to suggest that opening up phpBB development would solve all end user complaints. I could well be wrong, but then again, I might not be. Since this is just discussion and not a decision-making process, I don't mind sticking my neck out for the sake of the discussion. ;)
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