phpBB Falling Behind?

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Arty
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Arty »

BK67 wrote:I hope you don't speak for the phpBB Group. If you do, the problem is more serious than I originally thought and will immediately being looking for replacement software.
I'm only posting my opinion. And my opinion is that most posters in this thread want stuff, but they are too lazy or incompetent to create it themselves and blame phpBB developers for it.

You are ignoring fact that phpBB has improved a lot. In old development cycle it was impossible to contribute. I've quit team because of it several years ago just before 3.0 release (and did not talk about it because whole discussion was done in private forum that even most team members didn't have access to... that's how closed process was). Now I'm happy to be back in team, knowing that I can help phpBB improve. I'm only interested in styles stuff, so I've submitted bug fixes for 3.0 and improvements for 3.1 during last few months for styles related stuff.

YOU CAN DO THAT TOO!

Nothing stops you from contributing. Do you want some feature so much, but can't code it yourself? Find like minded people who want that feature too, but can code.

There are many mod authors, most of them can easily write patches. Problem is, they aren't aware that it is now possible to contribute or they can't be bothered.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by 4_seven »

edit: unneeded stuff, where nobody was interested in..
Last edited by 4_seven on Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by DavidIQ »

I think the whole point Arty was trying to make is that there are a lot of things on the "I want X and Y" list but few people are contributing and then when a set of requests is accepted they aren't fulfilled in sufficient enough time to make the users happy and then it's the developers' fault for not delivering on time.

It's easy to ask for things and suggestions are welcome but creating a list that is a mile long will cause the software to fall behind especially when none of the ones that made suggestions are even bothering to provide a code solution. What makes that issue worse is that sometimes those making the suggestions are fully capable of contributing themselves but expect someone else to do it instead.

We are just as anxious to get 3.1 done as anyone else is.
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randomessence
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by randomessence »

I think it is too easy to forget what it is to be an inexperienced end user and what it is they look for from a platform like this, what they expect or hope for from the community and how easy it is for them to achieve that goal using said platform.

phpbb3 can’t seem to shake that hobbyist feel to it where people move on to other platforms as their experience grows. The base seems to be there as does the potential, which seems so obvious when you consider with a few add-ons and tweaks you have a capable forum with a nice capacity to add a javascript here or there, a lightbox and various assortments of bbcodes. It is just that initially, out of the box others products seem to offer more, either from a support standpoint or from a delivery one. Also, add-ons have become a hurdle in upgrading that just puts people off once encountered. It seems to be either keep it super simple and only use the core release files un modded or potentially remain on this version of phpbb3 for all of time as support is not a given.

If phpbb3 could refine it's core offerings, this might in turn expand its base usergroup and knowledge pool. Does it not make sense then to add a little bling, streamline the admin and usage of the forums and refine the process of using addons/plugins so upgrading is not so scary? It does to me as the end user.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Oleg »

BK67 wrote:
Arty wrote:Want to contribute? Don't just post suggestions, code them and submit patches. What many people in this thread want is to just post suggestions, but they expect others to write code for it. Suggestions are worthless unless you can back it up with code.
All that really matters is, that poor attitude be replaced by those who welcome the suggestions from their users and take it upon themselves to bring them to fruition.
Christian 2.0 wrote:
Arty wrote:No, it wouldn't be invalid, but who would code it? Developers have a lot of stuff to do, like fixing bugs and working on features on todo list. So if you really want to contribute, write code or convince someone to do it.
Implementing suggestions that the majority of users want is what every development team does, irrespective of whether it's phpBB, Wordpress, Apple, Microsoft or any other company. It's what they put themselves up for when they accept the invitation to join the team.
Development team does implement suggestions that users want.

What a number of people commenting here seem to expect is that the development team implements a certain set of features (many lists have been posted in this topic and elsewhere), by a certain time ("yesterday" seems to be a popular one), using the resources the development team already has (people requesting these features do not intend to contribute to their development).

This is not possible: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_triangle

"Fast, good, cheap: pick two". The software is free and developers are not paid, therefore "cheap" is fixed. "Good" means scope and quality, the scope is fixed and we have minimum quality standards known as "coding guidelines", making quality also fixed. Therefore "fast" is the side that has to yield.

The only way you are going to get features implemented faster in a free project such as phpbb is by contributing to their implementation. Hopefully if you did not before, you now understand where "it's done when it's done" comes from.
Christian 2.0 wrote: Your comment is a little bit disappointing. I cannot code PHP, but have a qualification in interface interaction & usability, plus have been using bulletin boards regularly for over 6 years.

Therefore, would any suggestion I make be invalid because I cannot code PHP? :?
If your suggestion is indeed worthwhile then surely someone other than the 7 people on the development team would be interested in trying it on their own board and writing/submitting a patch for it.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by callumacrae »

In response to that, I reckon the fact that you think that development will either be good or fast is making you think that development can only be good or fast. Someone who says that they're ill all the time is more likely to become ill than someone who doesn't.

As I said before, I would be far more willing to contribute to phpBB if I had an incentive (like, enjoying it). At the moment it isn't really that enjoyable, and I'm only doing what little I am to keep my PHP knowledge up to scratch (except for phpbb-ideas - that's fun because it is challenging. Slightly depressing how little support I have got for it, though >_<)
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Oleg »

Callum95 wrote:In response to that, I reckon the fact that you think that development will either be good or fast is making you think that development can only be good or fast. Someone who says that they're ill all the time is more likely to become ill than someone who doesn't.
Given a fixed number of people contributing up to a fixed maximum number of hours per week/month/year, it is impossible to increase both speed and quality.
Callum95 wrote: As I said before, I would be far more willing to contribute to phpBB if I had an incentive (like, enjoying it). At the moment it isn't really that enjoyable, and I'm only doing what little I am to keep my PHP knowledge up to scratch (except for phpbb-ideas - that's fun because it is challenging. Slightly depressing how little support I have got for it, though >_<)
Yes, sometimes you have to do things you don't like or don't consider important because phpbb has users and they have needs different from yours.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by MarkTheDaemon »

Oleg wrote: "Fast, good, cheap: pick two". The software is free and developers are not paid, therefore "cheap" is fixed. "Good" means scope and quality, the scope is fixed and we have minimum quality standards known as "coding guidelines", making quality also fixed. Therefore "fast" is the side that has to yield.

The only way you are going to get features implemented faster in a free project such as phpbb is by contributing to their implementation. Hopefully if you did not before, you now understand where "it's done when it's done" comes from.
Then perhaps the phpBB project as a whole needs to look at additional revenue streams that would mean the project could afford to add some staff to a payroll. And before you all start shouting, I'm not saying "lets charge users and change the licence", I'm thinking more along the lines of what Automattic do with their WordPress VIP service. The core project gets helped by companies who want that support directly from the writers of the software.


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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Ascareus »

Christian 2.0 wrote:
Arty wrote:Current process: you want quick reply? Create RFC on area51, submit patch. It will be discussed with high chance of it being approved.
See, this is what gives users no hope of anything changing. It basically shuns any suggestion / contribution no matter how good or bad by basically saying: "We're not interested unless you know how to code it".

How many phpBB forum owners do you think can code? Let alone code well enough to implement into phpBB?
+1
i like this comment
i am phpbb admin that can't using php
i always hope that phpBB always increase their main feature.
but i'd seen many user who had requested many feature
being responsed with such that statement.
the matter is, who the one which i can ask him write the code?
for godshake, my friends or others have their business to do
rather than making a code for maybe they do not know the software itself?
so, the main hope is Dev Team. but if the situation goes such this
what must i suppose to do rather than leave phpbb?
somehow i want to know how is the development condition of other free open source forum script
let me check and compare it for myself to judge.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Malphas »

Seriously? Are we really going back to "do it yourself or shut up", "it's free, what do you expect?" and "it's done when it's done" mentality? Wasn't that one of the major problems in the 2.0.x days? How can you expect people to continue to consider phpBB as a professional-quality software solution if you're not going to act like one? I second randomessence's comment about being stuck in a hobbyist mindset. Can you imagine Firefox or Ubuntu or WordPress displaying that kind of attitude to their userbase?

I don't think anyone expects to be able to click their fingers and have the developers instantly release new versions with masses of new features, even if that's what the developers think people are saying. It's more that people have expectations for phpBB to be in line with other open source software, rather than waiting half a decade for a hooks system when other projects have feature releases in six month increments.

Mark's idea of setting up revenue streams and hiring staff is a good one. An official pre-installed, automatically updated and supported phpBB hosting solution offering a free ad-supported version and paid ad-free solution is something I've thought would be a good idea for a long time.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by MarkTheDaemon »

Malphas wrote:Seriously? Are we really going back to "do it yourself or shut up", "it's free, what do you expect?" and "it's done when it's done" mentality? Wasn't that one of the major problems in the 2.0.x days? How can you expect people to continue to consider phpBB as a professional-quality software solution if you're not going to act like one? I second randomessence's comment about being stuck in a hobbyist mindset. Can you imagine Firefox or Ubuntu or WordPress displaying that kind of attitude to their userbase?

I don't think anyone expects to be able to click their fingers and have the developers instantly release new versions with masses of new features, even if that's what the developers think people are saying. It's more that people have expectations for phpBB to be in line with other open source software, rather than waiting half a decade for a hooks system when other projects have feature releases in six month increments.
Couldn't agree more with everything said here.
Malphas wrote:Mark's idea of setting up revenue streams and hiring staff is a good one. An official pre-installed, automatically updated and supported phpBB hosting solution offering a free ad-supported version and paid ad-free solution is something I've thought would be a good idea for a long time.
There are a huge amount of possibilities for revenue streams when you provide professional services alongside the core open source product. Most if not all of the services offered by the WordPress VIPs could and would be applicable to phpBB. Businesses are prepared to pay to ensure that their software is maintained by the best teams, and who better to pay for support than the team that built the software in the first place?


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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by Oleg »

I am trying to explain what is going on, why it is this way and how it can change.

I don't think I want to engage in debating rhetorical questions. At the end of the day rhetoric does not change the laws of nature.
randomessence wrote: phpbb3 can’t seem to shake that hobbyist feel to it where people move on to other platforms as their experience grows.
This is not true of the current development team. Incidentally, the high bar that we set for quality means development takes longer.

The hosted offering/professional services is a legitimate suggestion, but again requires someone else to actually do the work. And a nontrivial amount of work by any calculation.

If you want to help the project, there is any number of ways for you to get involved. If you expect someone else to do this and that, that's fine too but how long it takes is entirely out of your control and complaining about it is not going to achieve a thing.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by KetchupSamurai »

Arty wrote:And my opinion is that most posters in this thread want stuff, but they are too lazy or incompetent to create it themselves and blame phpBB developers for it.
Always feel's good when a staff member call's 90% of the community incompetent and the other majority lazy. I mean really, did you honestly just say that about the users who use this software? Did you possibly fathom that people somewhat might not have the skills to actually produce mods, patches, hotfixes or things of this nature before saying something as arrogant as you did?
MarkTheDaemon wrote:
Malphas wrote:Seriously? Are we really going back to "do it yourself or shut up", "it's free, what do you expect?" and "it's done when it's done" mentality? Wasn't that one of the major problems in the 2.0.x days?
Of course they did, they even claimed in 3 they got rid of the problem which created such a thing. In fact it seem's the problem is well still there. "Shocker"

No offense to anyone on the phpBB team, but personally i could run the management aspect better then most of you can. It's not a poke but it's the truth. You guys expect to build community yet really offer no solid software. It's not about what users want it's what the net is changing to. This software at one point used to dominate over all forum software, but sadly its dropped and isn't even considered by most anymore.

Even the crappiest software online has 98% of the features that phpBB doesn't even have yet. You guys are falling behind. You sit here call people incompetent, then point the finger at us. That's deplorable at it's best and you guys are wondering why people are leaving? Or is it the fact you guys actually need help from people who actually know what they are doing because indeed you guys directly do not know how to implement these things in?

MyBB free = Sadly security wise it's bad, but they are active patch bugs and are on the ball and have more progressive features then phpBB.

Smf = same as mybb in aspect, without all the security issues.

These are free products, open source, and yet they manage to develop the software with no issue? You guys have a bigger team then both of them and still cannot produce something quite as valid and it's sad. Instead you point the finger back at us and say it's us being lazy or incompetent? I love phpBB i really do, but you guys are just drilling this sh*t into the ground.

So to sum this all up, if your on the phpBB team and you cannot produce solid work for free, expect money then get off the team and let the project actually begin to grow again. Otherwise if none of you haven't learn from even the 2.0 days most of your users will just keep leaving and you guys will just continue to re-invent the wheel.

Asking us for help is one thing, pointing it back at us is entirely a different story.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by BondGamer »

I came here to find out why there hasn't been a news post since August 23 or a release since July 10.

Why can't someone write up a blog explaining the overall status of phpBB development, what the targeted release dates are and what major features are planned. This should be a quarterly report to keep the most casual phpBB users up to date and at the very least make it appear like this project is not dead.
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Re: phpBB Falling Behind?

Post by /a3 »

KetchupSamurai wrote:You guys expect to build community yet really offer no solid software.
KetchupSamurai wrote:Even the crappiest software online has 98% of the features that phpBB doesn't even have yet. You guys are falling behind.
KetchupSamurai wrote:You guys have a bigger team then both of them and still cannot produce something quite as valid and it's sad.
Please be more specific. Saying phpBB sucks doesn't get us anywhere.
KetchupSamurai wrote:MyBB free = Sadly security wise it's bad, but they are active patch bugs and are on the ball and have more progressive features then phpBB.

Smf = same as mybb in aspect, without all the security issues.
I've had a look at both vBulletin.com, vBulletin.org and MyBB.com for what most people over there say is wrong with phpBB. Here's the results:
  1. Code edits is the main complaint. However, with AutoMOD, and with hooks in phpBB 3.1, this should be greatly improved.
  2. Permissions are too complicated. Unfortunately, it's not really possible to have something so powerful without being less simple. I personally like the phpBB permissions; it's nearly the same as Windows permissions with the Allow and Deny boxes. Only difference is that Windows uses ticks and phpBB uses radio buttons.
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