phpBB Falling Behind?

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by MichaelC » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:42 pm

I believe there has been some discussion dotted around and quite a bit of support for going straight to 4.0 after 3.1 and altogether skipping 3.2. However if I recall correctly, a decision was going to be made after 3.1 is released about whether to do this or not. But I don't think 3.1 will be skipped over due to the amount of work that has gone into it and how close to the finishing line it is.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by R45 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:48 pm

imkingdavid wrote:They're not ready yet. Unfortunately, coding takes time, reviewing code takes time, testing code takes time, fixing bugs in that code and repeating those three tasks takes time, merging code takes (less, but still some) time. All of the developers have work or school (or both; I'm in school full time and have a potential job starting in March), as well as personal life, and many have other projects to which they also contribute at varying degrees. That, and any paid projects take precedence over non-paid projects, even phpBB. None of us are full time phpBB developers (we couldn't exactly live off a salary of $0). So we do what we can, but it takes time. MODs are available to provide most functionality that is most often requested. If features are wanted in the core, it's not an overly difficult process to put them there; it just takes time.

Ultimately, a community-driven project benefits greatly from contributions from community members. All current Development team members started out as regular community members who decided to contribute on some level to the development process. Without help from the community, the project will not improve.

I won't say "If you want it, build it yourself," because I recognize that not everyone is a developer and that not everyone has time to spend coding it. But I will say "If you want it sooner, rather than later, if at all, contributing at some level to the planning, coding, testing, and/or reviewing stages will greatly improve the speed at which a given feature becomes included into the core".

If someone has suggestions on how to increase community involvement, please share. I'm not going to waste time and energy that would be better spent developing by going back through 26 pages to find the occasional suggestion among the (mostly) non-constructive criticism.
This post essentially is a prime example of the negative attitude that has stalled the community's involvement in the core development. The sentence highlighted in red is rather shameful honestly.

There have been several good suggestions throughout this thread. Many people (who have been around longer than yourself) have said everything points to poor project management. The current RFC process is bureaucratic and poorly implemented. It isn't working, period. The segregated Area51/Main sections are not conducive to wider community involvement. There are underlying issues with the code structure that are not conducive to rapid development (see Nutzy's post on page 25).

There are suggestions, and even offers to help (from a project management side) throughout the 26 pages.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by DavidIQ » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:06 pm

R45 wrote:There are suggestions, and even offers to help (from a project management side) throughout the 26 pages.
Obviously you don't get it either. We don't need help with the project management side. You can argue all you want about how our setup is wrong, how you don't like the RFC process, how you don't like the responses from developers but the bottom line is that the problem is and has ALWAYS been that few people are contributing code. Even if the project was managed to your expectations we still have the same underlying issue about not enough contributors. And even with that limitation the code for 3.1 has been slowly getting closer to the finish.
leviatan21 wrote:All plans are right in the right context of time.
When 3.1 or 3.2 or even 4.0 came out all the features in phpbb will he totally out of date.

That's is important, and IMHO we should jump to 4.0 after 3.0.xx
Yes...we should delay the next release even MORE and throw away all of the work done on 3.1. :roll: You do realize that 4.0 is a complete rewrite and would take a whole lot longer to get to a working state than 3.1 or 3.2 right?

Does everyone that posts in this topic actually know that there is work being done on 3.1? Or does everyone just assume that the development team, styles team, and everyone else that is helping is just sitting around watching?
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by R45 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:15 pm

DavidIQ wrote:Obviously you don't get it either. We don't need help with the project management side. You can argue all you want about how our setup is wrong, how you don't like the RFC process, how you don't like the responses from developers but the bottom line is that the problem is and has ALWAYS been that few people are contributing code.
Project management has been the root cause of poor core development contribution since phpBB2. The vibrant MOD community is a key indicator of the resources that have never been fully tapped into.

Here's a relevant Benjamin Franklin quote:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
To be so stubborn and insist that the systems are fine and not the problem is insanity. I don't see much of a point of either continuing to post here or offering help with that attitude.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by DavidIQ » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:28 pm

R45 wrote:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
To be so stubborn and insist that the systems are fine and not the problem is insanity. I don't see much of a point of either continuing to post here or offering help with that attitude.
Have you actually looked around at the development process here and how it has completely changed in the past year or two? Or how they moved code development to github to better collaborate with the users? Or how the RFC process was opened up to anyone that cares? We're doing the same things since phpBB2? Doesn't really look like it...

Tapping into the MOD community is an excellent idea...except that most of those in the MOD community that know how to work git or care to learn are already involved but there are countless others that just don't have the time or don't want to bother learning to use git. Even attaching a patch to a tracker ticket seems like an impossibility for some even though we have instructions on how to do it.

We knew changes were needed and we knew not everyone would like the changes we've done but it's like starting a diet today and expecting to lose 20 pounds tomorrow...you can't expect results overnight. It takes time.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by MichaelC » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:45 pm

R45 wrote:This post essentially is a prime example of the negative attitude that has stalled the community's involvement in the core development. The sentence highlighted in red is rather shameful honestly.

There have been several good suggestions throughout this thread. Many people (who have been around longer than yourself) have said everything points to poor project management. The current RFC process is bureaucratic and poorly implemented. It isn't working, period. The segregated Area51/Main sections are not conducive to wider community involvement. There are underlying issues with the code structure that are not conducive to rapid development (see Nutzy's post on page 25).

There are suggestions, and even offers to help (from a project management side) throughout the 26 pages.
So you want the developers to spend the time they do spend on phpBB, reading a 26-page topic. In that time a developer could probably complete a small RFC?

Looking through the topic and following it from quite early on. There hasn't been that much constructive criticism. It has been mainly a topic for pointing out the bad points of phpBB. There have been a few constructive suggestions, but most of which either aren't feasible, have been mentioned and discussed elsewhere already.

So far the reccuring themes of posts seem to be:
  • "An ideas centre, similar to Wordpress'" - Link. Multiple softwares have been suggested and researched. One is currently being developed as a phpBB MOD which has a demo. There is also a demo of ideatorrent.
  • "Increase revenue streams (by premium services and such) & hire full time developers" - I'm guessing the teams are looking into this.
  • "Add feature XYZ, a calender, user reputation and a kitchen sink" - phpBB is designed to stay compact. Yes phpBB could use more features being added to the core and this can be done via the RFC Process. Submit an RFC and it will go from there. A feature won't be added unless there is an RFC and if there is an RFC then a developer (or even another community member) might contribute a patch for it.
  • "Add me to management, I'll do a much better job" - See DavidIQ's reply.
  • "Add a feature request forum on phpBB.com" - Probably not because of the idea centre.
  • "Software XYZ has releases every ZYX month" - Again, phpBB only has a small development team, all of whom are volunteers that do phpBB in their spare time. Development was opened up to speed up the cycle but according to the Area 51 contributors list. 38 people have contributed to phpBB (inc. developers) of whom, only 10 are not on the team (or have been on the team since the move to git). Wordpress (Or drupal, I've forgotten which software) once had 50 contributors contribute in 1 month (If I recall correctly). Also when you look at IPB and vB, they have paid full-time developers, they are a for-profit company and look at their security record compared to phpBB. ;)
  • Ivory Tower Theory - I think this has already been explained but with Area51, the ideas centre etc. I don't think this applies to phpBB.
  • Skip 3.2 and go from 3.1 to 4.0 - Is being discussed
  • MOD Authors - See DavidIQ's reply about git and also, MOD writing is very different from contributing to the core and people quite often forget this.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by callumacrae » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:03 pm

I disagree with you, DavidIQ - I used to contribute. A few people in this thread used to contribute. Why don't we, anymore?

Because I'm made to feel, by a couple members of the development team, that they're doing me a favour by letting me contribute, and not the other way round. I get - quite literally - *nothing* from contributing to phpBB. I contribute to other projects, I feel good. Not with phpBB.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by wGEric » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:08 pm

DavidIQ wrote:Have you actually looked around at the development process here and how it has completely changed in the past year or two? Or how they moved code development to github to better collaborate with the users? Or how the RFC process was opened up to anyone that cares? We're doing the same things since phpBB2? Doesn't really look like it...
The project management of the development team is the same and it is terrible. There are no deadlines, no goals, nothing that you can use to measure whether they are doing a good job or not. Only measurement is when someone complains but those usually get dismissed.

What I would like to know is what the current plans are to get 3.1 released. Will be done when it is done and that all depends on how much the developers and community contribute? Or are you going to actually set goals and work towards them? Will it be released in months or years?

What RFCs are blocking the 3.1 release? I know hooks and David has mentioned AJAX. Are there others?

What are you going to change in the future so that it doesn't take 6+ years for a feature release or are you not going to change anything?

Are you going to skip 3.2 and go straight to 4.0?

There is a lot of uncertainty at this point and that makes it hard for people to make decisions.
Unknown Bliss wrote:So you want the developers to spend the time they do spend on phpBB, reading a 26-page topic. In that time a developer could probably complete a small RFC?
The fact that it reached 26 pages and has been kept alive for 4 months must mean that the community doesn't have any issues and the topic should be ignored and no one should spend any time on it. :roll:
Last edited by wGEric on Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by R45 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:30 pm

DavidIQ wrote:Have you actually looked around at the development process here and how it has completely changed in the past year or two? Or how they moved code development to github to better collaborate with the users? Or how the RFC process was opened up to anyone that cares? We're doing the same things since phpBB2? Doesn't really look like it...
I have. I commented before that the system is bureaucratic and not conducive to fostering community development. Project management is more than source control systems or deciding where the development forums are. Its a philosophy. It's the systems in place to manage development (including direction, release cycles, code fundamentals, developers [team and community], testing and QA). There are fundamental problems with the way parts of the core development is managed that has resulted in the project being unable to keep up its development cycle (that refers to how things are today, not in the past).
Unknown Bliss wrote:So you want the developers to spend the time they do spend on phpBB, reading a 26-page topic. In that time a developer could probably complete a small RFC?
Missing the whole point.

This is my last post in this thread. It is clear that the team has chosen their path and or not considering any external advice on the management of development. The attitude here is rather hostile to even suggestions of change. As such, I won't waste anyone else's time.

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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by MichaelC » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:52 pm

wGEric wrote:
DavidIQ wrote:Have you actually looked around at the development process here and how it has completely changed in the past year or two? Or how they moved code development to github to better collaborate with the users? Or how the RFC process was opened up to anyone that cares? We're doing the same things since phpBB2? Doesn't really look like it...
The project management of the development team is the same and it is terrible. There are no deadlines, no goals, nothing that you can use to measure whether they are doing a good job or not. Only measurement is when someone complains but those usually get dismissed.

What I would like to know is what the current plans are to get 3.1 released. Will be done when it is done and that all depends on how much the developers and community contribute? Or are you going to actually set goals and work towards them? Will it be released in months or years?

What RFCs are going to be implemented before 3.1 is released? I know hooks and David has mentioned AJAX. Are there others?

What are you going to change in the future so that it doesn't take 6+ years for a feature release or are you not going to change anything?

Are you going to skip 3.2 and go straight to 4.0?

There is a lot of uncertainty at this point and that makes it hard for people to make decisions.
Unknown Bliss wrote:So you want the developers to spend the time they do spend on phpBB, reading a 26-page topic. In that time a developer could probably complete a small RFC?
The fact that it reached 26 pages and has been kept alive for 4 months must mean that the community doesn't have any issues and the topic should be ignored and no one should spend any time on it. :roll:
Merged RFCs for 3.1:
http://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic ... 63#p231163
As far as I know the blockers are Migrations, Hooks, MOD Installer and Extensions.

From keeping an eye on pull requests and area 51 it looks like user pruning, cleanup ACP UI, removing the phpBB 2 convertor, skip confirmation pages, a load of style changes, saving post on report, guest language overide by url, style-specific languages, template engine (possibly), soft delete (possibly), self-delete, permissions purge, always reply to PMs and a contact page will all (maybe) get into 3.1
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by wGEric » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:55 pm

I meant to ask which RFCs are blocking the 3.1 release. My mistake.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Paul » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:16 pm

R45 wrote:
DavidIQ wrote:Obviously you don't get it either. We don't need help with the project management side. You can argue all you want about how our setup is wrong, how you don't like the RFC process, how you don't like the responses from developers but the bottom line is that the problem is and has ALWAYS been that few people are contributing code.
Project management has been the root cause of poor core development contribution since phpBB2. The vibrant MOD community is a key indicator of the resources that have never been fully tapped into.

Here's a relevant Benjamin Franklin quote:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
To be so stubborn and insist that the systems are fine and not the problem is insanity. I don't see much of a point of either continuing to post here or offering help with that attitude.
And thats why 5 of the current development teammembers are/were pretty active MOD authors in the past, and several of the past development teammembers were before they joined the development team MOD authors as well.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by leviatan21 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:39 pm

callumacrae wrote:Abandoning 3.1 in the process? A lot of people have spent a lot of time on 3.1 already.
DavidIQ wrote:Yes...we should delay the next release even MORE and throw away all of the work done on 3.1. :roll: You do realize that 4.0 is a complete rewrite and would take a whole lot longer to get to a working state than 3.1 or 3.2 right?
I answer with another question :
What do you want, release an outdated application and every user comes back with this same question about "Falling Behind" and migrate to another software out here ?
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by callumacrae » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:01 pm

leviatan21 wrote:
callumacrae wrote:Abandoning 3.1 in the process? A lot of people have spent a lot of time on 3.1 already.
DavidIQ wrote:Yes...we should delay the next release even MORE and throw away all of the work done on 3.1. :roll: You do realize that 4.0 is a complete rewrite and would take a whole lot longer to get to a working state than 3.1 or 3.2 right?
I answer with another question :
What do you want, release an outdated application and every user comes back with this same question about "Falling Behind" and migrate to another software out here ?
You are aware how long phpBB 4 will take to develop, right?
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by leviatan21 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:16 pm

callumacrae wrote:You are aware how long phpBB 4 will take to develop, right?
I guess the same time we are waiting to see 3.1 :x
Is not my fault that the next version is delayed almost a year
I we are waiting so match time to see 3.1 with no great changes I think another users will be available to wait another year to see a great piece of software

Since I join to the team, I'm waiting a reply to my question : why develop 3.1 3.2 and 4.0 at the same time is we can goes directly to 4.0 ?
Nobody answer me, and now other users are complaining about it.

IMHO 3.1 is obsolete before release it, I have download if from GIT and I did not see important changes from 3.0.7 :shock:
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