[Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

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[Discuss] Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting

Postby Marshalrusty » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:58 am

Please use this topic to discuss the Introducing Forumatic - Managed phpBB Hosting announcement.




To preserve discussion that took place in another topic, 20 posts were brought over from the Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1?? topic
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Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby MarkTheDaemon » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:02 am

Interesting that Forumatic appears to be running 3.1-dev, but 3.1 isn't considered stable enough to provide a beta publically? I'd be a bit concerned at that statement if I was a paying customer over at Forumatic.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby MichaelC » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:08 am

MarkTheDaemon wrote:Interesting that Forumatic appears to be running 3.1-dev, but 3.1 isn't considered stable enough to provide a beta publically? I'd be a bit concerned at that statement if I was a paying customer over at Forumatic.


3.1 is currently still lacking migrations (for updating the database and to replace UMIL), template events (to allow changing of the template while being editless) and an extensions admin (to manage extensions). All of which are nearing completion. These are all blocking 3.1 but it doesn't mean 3.1 is buggy. ;)
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby MarkTheDaemon » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:16 am

Unknown Bliss wrote:3.1 is currently still lacking migrations (for updating the database and to replace UMIL), template events (to allow changing of the template while being editless) and an extensions admin (to manage extensions). All of which are nearing completion. These are all blocking 3.1 but it doesn't mean 3.1 is buggy. ;)


Didn't say it was, I was going on what Oleg had said earlier on in this very topic.

Oleg wrote:3.1 is not yet beta-quality. We are still making large changes to the architecture and things do break periodically.


Obviously everyone can make up their own minds as to whether they'd pay $155/month to use software that still has "large changes to the architecture" being made to it.

Interesting developments nevertheless.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby Oleg » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:02 am

"Stable" means two different things: an established architecture that is not going to change and functionality which works without bugs (within said architecture). It is possible to vary both independently, that is, make architectural changes without introducing too many bugs (e.g. with code review or good automated or manual testing) as well as commit untested code which makes an existing codebase buggy without changing how it works much.

Users signing up for forumatic do not maintain their 3.1 installs. That burden lies with forumatic administrators/developers. Forumatic developer(s) also happen to be on the phpbb development team, which means two things:

1. In the event of architectural changes, forumatic will presumably be able to cope with them without breaking its boards.

2. Forumatic will take snapshots of 3.1 tree that are known to not have too many bugs.

If you want to run 3.1 yourself, all you need to do is download a snapshot from github and install it. At this time the support team provides no support for such installations. If you ask developers for help with 3.1 you may be expected to possess basic developer skills.

"Alpha" means the major functionality points have been implemented. So far for 3.1 this is not true. We are not going to release 3.1 without these functionality points, therefore there is no point in releasing an alpha of 3.1 without them.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby Christian 2.0 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:11 am

forumatic will presumably be able to cope with them without

Forumatic will take snapshots of 3.1 tree that are known to not have too many bugs.

"presumably" and "not too many bugs" ?

Was this part of the forumatic business plan to entice new customers prepared to part with their cash?
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby naderman » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:21 am

I would say I have a sufficiently good overview over the current state of 3.1 development to judge which pieces are as stable as they would be in a release version, and which pieces need to be disabled or stay at a lower version.

To answer the general question, anyone is free to run any version of phpBB, especially recent development versions from git. That's necessary so development takes place ;-) However when doing so, you will have to be able to track all patches going into the development version and have good understanding of what is going on in development. Since this is a very moving state we don't advise this to users, and don't offer support for it. However anyone is free to run a development version if they so wish.

Another difference is that on forumatic we can react to issues very quickly with an updated deployment, while with beta release it would take at least a few days to make updates available and even longer until everyone has them installed.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby Marshalrusty » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:23 am

Christian 2.0 wrote:
forumatic will presumably be able to cope with them without

Forumatic will take snapshots of 3.1 tree that are known to not have too many bugs.

"presumably" and "not too many bugs" ?

Was this part of the forumatic business plan to entice new customers prepared to part with their cash?

phpBB releases are tested so the average user spends a limited amount of time maintaining the installation and has a very stable experience.

A rapidly moving development model is used by the likes of Google, Facebook and millions of other websites. It's the process we use to develop this very website (as you know). Even web browser developers are moving toward this model (Do you know what version of Google Chrome you are currently running?).

In exchange for temporarily putting up with some occasional bugs, users receive the latest and greatest features and fixes much sooner than stable versions are released. Obviously, this only works if you're constantly pouring time into maintenance, and that's the service in a nutshell. Revenue generated by the service is then recycled into improving the product, which is free and open source software available to all. The more people using Forumatic, the faster phpBB development moves, and the happier everyone should be.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby MichaelC » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:23 pm

Christian 2.0 wrote:
Forumatic will take snapshots of 3.1 tree that are known to not have too many bugs.

"not too many bugs" ?

Was this part of the forumatic business plan to entice new customers prepared to part with their cash?


not too many bugs - Every phpBB version has bugs. Whether it is a stable maintenance release or beta release or the latest repository version.

All 282 tickets open for Olympus
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby Christian 2.0 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:35 pm

Unknown Bliss wrote:not too many bugs - Every phpBB version has bugs.

Sure - although this wasn't really the point. The point is that those who are prepared to part with up to $155 per month should not be subject to experimental software that may or not break.

Unknown Bliss wrote:All 282 bugs open for Olympus

This is deliberately misleading anchor text. You know that they are not 282 "bugs". Many are improvements, tasks or new features to be added.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby MichaelC » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:57 pm

Christian 2.0 wrote:
Unknown Bliss wrote:not too many bugs - Every phpBB version has bugs.

Sure - although this wasn't really the point. The point is that those who are prepared to part with up to $155 per month should not be subject to experimental software that may or not break.

Unknown Bliss wrote:All 282 bugs open for Olympus

This is deliberately misleading anchor text. You know that they are not 282 "bugs". Many are improvements, tasks or new features to be added.


Not deliberate, but in that case - 174 bugs to be fixed in olympus. Even more bugs apply to olympus but wont be fixed until ascreaus as to fix them they require large changes.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby MarkTheDaemon » Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:31 pm

Say when 3.1 does get released and new features are added, does this mean that Forumatic will get the new features before they are released into phpBB as a downloadable package that the average user can install? I'm interested in the relationship between Forumatic and the phpBB software, will we all have to sign up to Forumatic and let them run our boards in order to get the latest release of phpBB? How long might it be between Forumatic pushing a feature out and it appearing the phpBB package that anyone can download?

Could turn into a bit of a slippery slope if you ask me.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby wGEric » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:41 pm

MarkTheDaemon wrote:I'm interested in the relationship between Forumatic and the phpBB software

I would like to know this as well since it appears to be a separate business that Nils and Yuriy are running and has no relationship to phpBB Ltd. If it is under the phpBB Ltd umbrella then why isn't that obvious?
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby imkingdavid » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:48 pm

MarkTheDaemon wrote:Say when 3.1 does get released and new features are added, does this mean that Forumatic will get the new features before they are released into phpBB as a downloadable package that the average user can install? I'm interested in the relationship between Forumatic and the phpBB software, will we all have to sign up to Forumatic and let them run our boards in order to get the latest release of phpBB? How long might it be between Forumatic pushing a feature out and it appearing the phpBB package that anyone can download?

Could turn into a bit of a slippery slope if you ask me.


phpBB 3.1 is not released yet, so it would make sense to me to update the Forumatic boards as new features are added in the repository (of course only after they are tested so that Forumatic boards don't break). We try to make sure that nothing that is merged into the repository will break anything, so while I wouldn't call the repository code "stable", since it is not officially released, I would feel confident installing and using it live myself if it didn't change as often as it does and if it was easier to update on the fly from the repository.

When 3.1 gets released, I would assume that Forumatic will only be updated when 3.1 versions are released, or perhaps shortly after. While I am actually not involved in Forumatic, I think it's safe to say that once 3.1 is out, Forumatic will not update until a release is made, just like any other phpBB host.
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Re: Why there isnt atleast beta version of 3.1??

Postby Christian 2.0 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:55 pm

imkingdavid wrote:I think it's safe to say that once 3.1 is out, Forumatic will not update until a release is made, just like any other phpBB host.

Marshalrusty wrote:users receive the latest and greatest features and fixes much sooner than stable versions are released.

*shrug*
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