phpBB Falling Behind?

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

Malphas wrote:
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:and, like others, you mention features that phpbb does not have that other bulletin boards do but you do not mention what those features might be.
Actually, he listed a detailed list of grievances here.

You're another one this applies to:
Malphas wrote:There's also a tendency to get hung up on countering individual users' suggestions (e.g. stating why specific feature x shouldn't be included by default, or isn't important) rather than step back and look at the bigger picture of general dissatisfaction that's growing from the lack of progress in phpBB development.
as it does to you.

however, the whole point of this topic was that phpbb is "falling behind".

My point from the beginning was/is... in what way? where are the facts to prove that?
who says it is falling behind?

If one is going to state things as facts then they must be able to back them up somehow. If not, then they are just opinions and that is fine. I am intitled to my opinion that phpbb is not falling behind the rest of the web or even other bulletin board systems. However I am not trying to state it as fact because I don't know what all the thousands and thousands of phpbb users out there are doing with their boards or what their opinions of phpbb are. I don't know how many people( if any ) are dropping phpbb because they think it is "falling behind". I don't know how many people ( if any ) feel just the oposite.
I only know what the few that are posting here feel or think.

My point is , this also applies to everyone else that is posting in this topic.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Malphas »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:as it does to you.

however, the whole point of this topic was that phpbb is "falling behind".

My point from the beginning was/is... in what way? where are the facts to prove that?
who says it is falling behind?

If one is going to state things as facts then they must be able to back them up somehow. If not, then they are just opinions and that is fine. I am intitled to my opinion that phpbb is not falling behind the rest of the web or even other bulletin board systems. However I am not trying to state it as fact because I don't know what all the thousands and thousands of phpbb users out there are doing with their boards or what their opinions of phpbb are. I don't know how many people( if any ) are dropping phpbb because they think it is "falling behind". I don't know how many people ( if any ) feel just the oposite.
I only know what the few that are posting here feel or think.

My point is , this also applies to everyone else that is posting in this topic.

robert
Fair enough, so what it is you actually want to discuss? The thread mainly consists of people expressing their view that phpBB is falling behind, and their reasons for why they think that. If you're asking for concrete proof that phpBB is falling behind, well it's pretty unlikely you're going to get that, and I'm not even sure what that kind of proof would consist of. You've asked who said it's falling behind several times now and people have already answered, e.g.
SilentDeath1226 wrote:There were several threads on here that were removed. There are other sites like people from ForumPromotion, phpBBCommunities(which is planning to change the name because they are becoming more interested in other boards rather than just phpBB - due to its lack of features), some of my friends from MSN, some designers also that I know.
What more are you expecting, someone to have done a poll of every phpBB user in existence? Is it just a pedantic desire to get everyone that's dissatisfied to append all their statements with "in my opinion"? I don't get it.
Last edited by Malphas on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Ger »

Unknown Bliss wrote:I'm sure some people wouldn't mind writing a wiki article (similar to whats being done here) as to how to use Git GUI and/or CLI from installation to a pull request being merged. I wouldn't mind doing this (except I've only ever used mysysgit but I've used mysysgit GUI and CLI/Bash) if people agree and I'll write it up today/tomorrow for posting on the wiki maybe this weekend. If you think it would help?
That would surely help, thank you. And as suggested in my first post in this topic, I think it should be easlily found by someone who want to contribute (so not only far away in the wiki, but also on the Get Involved page or similar).
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by SilentDeath1226 »

Malphas wrote:
Callum95 wrote:Features = bloat. Why on earth would you need to include a blog in the core of a forum software?!
Perhaps if you wanted to have a front page of your site generated using content from your board. You know like phpBB.com has right here? Albeit through some custom implementation I guess.

That said, I've tried to steer of the whole more features vs. bloat debate and concentrate on strictly forum-related advancement that phpBB is lacking like AJAX, WYSIWYG and general look-and-feel qualities that are making phpBB feel increasingly dated compared to the rest of the web as a whole.

But perhaps now is a time to rethink the approach to features, and what solution phpBB is designed to fill exactly. To my knowledge phpBB has never set out a philosophy of being a minimalistic, bare-bones forum solution, in the way PunBB - for instance - has, and it was only really in response to increasing features in vBulletin and Invision that prompted developers to start this line of argument in response to user feature requests (and I'm talking way back in the mid 2000's with 2.0.x here). So really those in the community that cry bloat and that phpBB is strictly for discussion board related features are really basing their stance on nothing - especially since phpBB already includes features like private messaging which some could argue are non-board related (more minimalistic software like PunBB generally don't include PM in the core).

A solution that might keep everyone happy would be a fairly bloat-free core, much as we have now, with some officially-supported MODs for the most heavily requested features, that get updated and verified along with every new core release.

I'll have to agree with you 100% on this one. Well said.
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Re: phpBB and Hooks

Post by Pony99CA »

Big-Jim wrote:
Stickygreen wrote:HOOKS SYSTEM!
I understand the "hooks" system is supposed to simplify installing a MOD. But that pre-supposes someone is going to make the MOD available for the next version of phpBB, which may or may not be the case. Just because a MOD works for the current version of the software doesn't necessarily mean it will work in the next version of the software. So if you are using a MOD and everyone on your board likes it, and then suddenly you upgrade to the latest and greatest version of phpBB and you can't get the same MOD for the new version, all of a sudden your members are without that MOD. If it were included with the phpBB core, then it would always be there and it would always work.
I think that you misunderstand hooks. Not only do they make it easier to install MODs, but because they don't require core code changes, they make the MODs more forward compatible. The only time that might change is if the hooking system changes in some way (a hook API is changed to add a new parameter and a reasonable default value can't be chosen, a new hook is added and that MOD now requires use of that hook, etc.).

Also, because multiple MODs can use hooks, it should isolate MOD conflicts to some degree (where MOD A changed the core code that MOD B looked for causing MOD B to not install correctly).
Malphas wrote: A solution that might keep everyone happy would be a fairly bloat-free core, much as we have now, with some officially-supported MODs for the most heavily requested features, that get updated and verified along with every new core release.
Yes, and I've been suggesting officially supported plug-ins for over a year (I'd even strip out some of the current core features and make them official plug-ins). I won't claim that I invented the idea, but I hadn't seen it discussed here before then.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Pony99CA »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:once again, who decides what are the needed MODs?

if you get to decide, then I may or may not want any of those MODs, I may have a completely different list etc.

this is the same old arguement.

as was mentioned before, where is the list of features that are required for a bulletin board to make it not fall behind?
Go back and read the first post. Eric specifically mentioned two features (or, more correctly, techniques) -- WYSIWYG and AJAX. It's not so much about phpBB falling behind other boards (although it may be) as it is about phpBB falling behind user expectations of how to interact with a Web site.

I was the person who started the talk about having more feature releases. Feature releases are what keeps the buzz up about technology. How much buzz would there be if the iPhone or iPad only released every four years except for bug fixes to the software? (And lest you think that buzz isn't important, "buzz" is basically word-of-mouth -- one of the best ways to promote a product.)

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by noth »

The thread mainly consists of people expressing their view that phpBB is falling behind
and when you say phpBB you mean phpBB3 right?

so if "these people" are saying phpBB3 is falling behind WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE our blessed phpBB2 renegades ?

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!! :lol:
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Malphas »

Yeah, but there are still people that prefer to use Windows XP, so it doesn't really mean much. There are always hardcore groups dedicated to old versions of most popular software that gets radically overhauled.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Big-Jim »

For some reason, from reading over the posts in this thread, I get the distinct impression some people seem to feel that because the software is free, that is the determining factor for using the phpBB software. I really don't think this is the case, although the fact that it is free is a big plus. But that aside, I think people use the phpBB software because it fits their needs (at least for now) not because it is free. I mean think about it for a moment, would you use a piece of software just because it was free if the software didn't suit your needs? I know this is just an opinion, but I tend to think that if the developers continue along in the same mindset as they have in the past, the number of people who are using the phpBB software will decline.

As far as having to pay for the phpBB software is concerned, just like many people here, over the years I have purchased several thousand dollars worth of software. So buying software isn't something new for most of us, it is just the way things are in the real world. We buy software that fits our needs, and allows us to do the things we want to do in an easy and efficient manner. If the software happens to be free, that's great, but the cost isn't the determining factor. The determining factor is whether or not the software has the features we want and is easy to use.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Pony99CA »

Go back to my posts where I listed what admins and users looked for in boards. I think that I covered it pretty well.

The point is that they're all determining factors to some degree. When it comes to features, there are must-haves (required features), want-to-haves (features that I would definitely use but aren't necessary) and nice-to-haves (features that I might use at some time, but don't need or want yet).

So let's say there are only two boards out there -- xBB has all of your musts and wants and yBB is missing a couple of musts and many wants. Which one do you get? You think that the answer is obvious -- xBB. Wrong -- you don't have enough information.

Suppose that your board is for a hobby (not a business) and xBB costs $200 per year (or whatever you would consider too much to pay) and yBB is free. Do you think that people would make due with yBB? I think that many would.

Of course, that's not to say that the yBB team should say "We don't need to add more features; the software is free." It's just pointing out that economic reality can step in.

And it's not just the cost of the software, either. How many people using phpBB are using either a free forum site or a free Web host? Your own domain only costs $12 per year (assuming a .com and not some expensive one) and inexpensive Web hosting can be had for under $60 per year. Almost any employed adult could afford that, but some have other priorities, so the cost can be a major factor, especially for a hobby.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Big-Jim »

Pony99CA wrote:The point is that they're all determining factors to some degree. When it comes to features, there are must-haves (required features), want-to-haves (features that I would definitely use but aren't necessary) and nice-to-haves (features that I might use at some time, but don't need or want yet).
What you consider to be a "want to have" feature or "nice to have" feature is not necessarily the way other people look at it. A feature you consider inconsequential may be a feature someone else finds completely indispensible.
Pony99CA wrote:So let's say there are only two boards out there -- xBB has all of your musts and wants and yBB is missing a couple of musts and many wants. Which one do you get? You think that the answer is obvious -- xBB. Wrong -- you don't have enough information.
If yBB doesn't have the features I need, then I would not use it. Free software is wonderful, I am not trying to tell you it isn't a good thing, but if the software isn't capable of doing what I want to do, then it is of no value to me. To put it simply, if the yBB software doesn't meet my needs, it is essentially useless to me, and just because it is free isn't going to change that.

Pony99CA wrote:Suppose that your board is for a hobby (not a business) and xBB costs $200 per year (or whatever you would consider too much to pay) and yBB is free. Do you think that people would make due with yBB? I think that many would.
If someone can "make do" with the yBB software, then it meets their needs. If the yBB software is such that it can't do what someone needs it to do, then they won't use it. Software that isn't capable of doing what you want to do is of no value to you.

Pony99CA wrote:And it's not just the cost of the software, either. How many people using phpBB are using either a free forum site or a free Web host? Your own domain only costs $12 per year (assuming a .com and not some expensive one) and inexpensive Web hosting can be had for under $60 per year. Almost any employed adult could afford that, but some have other priorities, so the cost can be a major factor, especially for a hobby.
The cost of the hosting fee is not relevant. Whether someone uses yBb or xBB or whatever other BB you can think of, there would still a hosting fee.

Steve, all I am saying is, the fact that phpBB is free is a really good thing, but it is not the factor that determines whether someone uses the software or not. In order for software to be beneficial, it has to meet the needs of the user. As an example, I save a lot of my data on CD's and/or DVDs and because of that I have tried numerous free labeling programs. I have never found a free one that does what I want to do, and does it easily and without a lot of screwing around. I finally gave up and went out and bought some label making software. I could have used the free stuff, but it didn't meet my needs, so I went with software that does what I want it to do without having to jump thru hoops. I am not going to use software that doesn't do what I want it to do, and I am pretty sure most people feel about the same way as I do about it. We don't mind paying for something, but whether we pay for the software or not, we need the software to allow us to do the things we want done. And every person's wants and needs are different, the wants and the needs that apply to me, or to you, may or may not apply to someone else.

Right now phpBB is acceptable to me, it meets my needs. I will continue to use it until it no longer meets my needs, at which point I will switch to something else. I may go with another free one, or I may go with something I have to pay for, but one thing for certain, it will have to be software that meets my needs.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

And every person's wants and needs are different, the wants and the needs that apply to me, or to you, may or may not apply to someone else.
that is the exactly correct which means that you saying that most people will not choose something that is free because it does not do exactly what they need is also not completely true. for many people, like you, it is true.
for many other people ( I think a lot of other people ) the fact that phpbb is free is the only reason they looked at it to begin with. many people including myself can not afford to spend any money on software.

If free bulletin board software ( phpbb in particular ) had not been available back when I started, I probably would not have begun with bulletin boards at all.
'
So, the point is that blanket statements can not be made about the masses no matter which side of the fence one is on.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

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Big-Jim wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:The point is that they're all determining factors to some degree. When it comes to features, there are must-haves (required features), want-to-haves (features that I would definitely use but aren't necessary) and nice-to-haves (features that I might use at some time, but don't need or want yet).
What you consider to be a "want to have" feature or "nice to have" feature is not necessarily the way other people look at it. A feature you consider inconsequential may be a feature someone else finds completely indispensible.
When I used "I" above, I presumed that people wouldn't assume that I was dictating which features were musts, wants and nice, so I'm not sure why you're pointing out the obvious. What I said was intended to be taken from the point of view of the user (me in the case of my board, you in the case of yours).
Big-Jim wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:Suppose that your board is for a hobby (not a business) and xBB costs $200 per year (or whatever you would consider too much to pay) and yBB is free. Do you think that people would make due with yBB? I think that many would.
If someone can "make do" with the yBB software, then it meets their needs. If the yBB software is such that it can't do what someone needs it to do, then they won't use it. Software that isn't capable of doing what you want to do is of no value to you.
It does not necessarily meet their needs. They may have revised their needs based on a cost-benefit analysis. What they initially thought was required turned out to be too expensive, so they compromised (like most of us do in many facets of our lives). More on that below.
Big-Jim wrote:
Pony99CA wrote:And it's not just the cost of the software, either. How many people using phpBB are using either a free forum site or a free Web host? Your own domain only costs $12 per year (assuming a .com and not some expensive one) and inexpensive Web hosting can be had for under $60 per year. Almost any employed adult could afford that, but some have other priorities, so the cost can be a major factor, especially for a hobby.
The cost of the hosting fee is not relevant. Whether someone uses yBb or xBB or whatever other BB you can think of, there would still a hosting fee.
Completely incorrect. There are free forum hosting facilities that use phpBB, which means that's there is zero cost to the board admin. Do you think that a business could set up free hosting with vBulletin, where the hosting company would likely have to pay vBulletin for each installed board? (I suppose that it's possible if you can subsidize the costs with advertising, but it's a lot less economical than using free software.)

The point is that hosting costs need to be taken into consideration. You may be able to afford hosting or afford xBB, but not both. What do you do? Do you compromise on your requirements or do you decide not to run a board at all? What would you do?
Big-Jim wrote:Steve, all I am saying is, the fact that phpBB is free is a really good thing, but it is not the factor that determines whether someone uses the software or not.
I disagree. Suppose there are two programs that meet your needs, one free and one that costs. Which will you use? The determining factor won't be function (as they both meet your needs); it will likely be the cost. (For businesses or power users, support may also fall in there, of course, but cost will be up there.)

What you're ignoring is that the cost is often one of the requirements. The software may not have to be free (although to some it may), but it usually can't cost more than some upper bound, so cost is a determining factor. (Bill Gates and Warren Buffett may have different perspectives.... :D)

Again, see below.
Big-Jim wrote:As an example, I save a lot of my data on CD's and/or DVDs and because of that I have tried numerous free labeling programs. I have never found a free one that does what I want to do, and does it easily and without a lot of screwing around. I finally gave up and went out and bought some label making software. I could have used the free stuff, but it didn't meet my needs, so I went with software that does what I want it to do without having to jump thru hoops.
One problem with your argument is that you're assuming that any of the software meets your needs. For example, it sounds like some of the labelling programs did what you wanted, but weren't as usable as you'd like (they required "a lot of screwing around"). That's fine -- usability is a reasonable requirement.

Now suppose that none of the programs met all of your needs (or required you to "jump through hoops" to use them). Would you just not label your discs? I suspect that you would have made do with one of those programs. (I presume that hand labelling is out of the question.)

My point is that, for many people, there's no such thing as "perfect software". There's always one more thing that we wished it would do, or one more change that would have made it easier to do. A lot of people hated when Microsoft changed Office from menus to the ribbon, but how many actually stopped using Office? They either learned to live with it or they found some add-on that brought their menus back. They compromised.

Or, put another way, suppose that the program that really met all of your needs cost $2,000 (for example, it was intended for CD/DVD manufacturers, not for consumers). Would you have compromised and used a cheaper (or free) alternative? (If you would have paid $2,000, pick some number that you wouldn't, or couldn't, have paid.)
Big-Jim wrote:I am not going to use software that doesn't do what I want it to do, and I am pretty sure most people feel about the same way as I do about it.
I love how many people assume that "most people" feel the same way about things as they themselves do, as if they're the "standard". I doubt that you have evidence to back that up, though. ;)

Again, the point is that people compromise. A Ferrari or Porsche would meet my needs in a car, but I can't afford them. So what do I do? I compromise and pick a cheaper car that also meets my needs. So price has become a determining factor.

If there were a free car that met my needs, I'd probably choose that. Why pay more if free meets my needs? I might even be willing to compromise a little (giving up the ability to drive 150+ mph) to save a lot of money. Or, to look at it another way, if the Porsche were free and the Ferrari "only" cost $10,000, guess which one I'd choose? :D

There's probably some limit on how much one is willing to compromise on features, just like there's a limit on how much one is willing to pay, of course. But what happens when there's no happy medium? There are probably some (many?) people who would rather compromise on features than go without.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Pony99CA »

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote: If free bulletin board software ( phpbb in particular ) had not been available back when I started, I probably would not have begun with bulletin boards at all.
I added a board to my site to allow commenting on my content. However, if I had had to pay for vBulletin or IPB, there's no way that I could have justified it. It just wouldn't have been worth it for a hobby site.

Now, not all free software is created equally, of course. Maybe MyBB, SMF or some other board would have worked, too, but I'd been using phpBB on my favorite hangout at the time, so I chose it (phpBB 2.x back then).
'
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote: So, the point is that blanket statements can not be made about the masses no matter which side of the fence one is on.
Precisely. Or, as I said above, many (I won't say "most" :D) people are willing to compromise. I understand what Jim is trying to say, but it comes across as saying "price is irrelevant", which I strongly disagree with (as my previous lengthy post shows :D). I would even disagree with "free is irrelevant"; it's probably quite relevant to some people (like us).

Of course, no software developer should use "it's free" as an excuse to remain static. (Not that I think the developers here are doing that. At worst, they're advancing too slowly.)

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Big-Jim »

You can try to explain it away however you want, but in the final analysis, when someone isn't happy with the software because it doesn't meet their needs, they will go elsewhere.
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