Just Curious about the About Us page

I’m relatively new to this software so, I’ve been poking around the site a bit which has given me some insight on what you’re trying to achieve aka breaking the stagnation of forums which is a fantastic goal with how forums have been like for the last decade.

I might have misunderstood something or missed something but, I’m just a little curious about why vBulletin 3 was used as an example of a 2013 system on the About Us page rather than something more recent like vBulletin 4 or IPB3 or possibly even vBulletin 5 which is a similar layout with just a sidebar stuck on.

Well… I had to check out vbulletin 5 since you’ve mentioned it, but now I’m back rather disappointed. I clicked on view video on the homepage, and found out that basically nothing changed. Compared to vbulletin, Discourse is revolutionary in many aspects.

  • Open source, doesn’t cost 400$ with mobile support
  • Immune to Xrumer spam, and overall better spam control
  • Much easier login with a few clicks
  • More the look and feel of an application compared to a website
  • Awesome infinite scroll implementation
  • Offtopic discussions can be moved to a new thread
  • Categories are much simpler to manage then subforums
  • Oneboxes which expand links
  • Knows where you have been the last time you’ve read the forum
  • Does topic suggestions based on your reading interest
  • Much nicer embedding of pictures and video’s
  • No irrelevant features like signatures (among others)
  • No duplicate content and wasted space with quotes

Among many others… and since it’s open source it will only get better. :wink:

1 Like

The main disappointing one was probably vBulletin 5 as it felt incredibly underwhelming compared to what it could have been.
I’ve got to agree against vBulletin’s price point, I don’t know how the paid software get away with charging absurd prices but, I suppose that there’s always someone who will pick it up regardless of the price.
Only problem with infinite scroll is that it doesn’t always remember where I left it on the page which creates a slight issue but, it’s not the end of the world.
As for signatures, really depends on whether some admin wants it or not which is really just more customisability for forums although, people tend to use it overwhelmingly for advertising which isn’t that great as opposed to other potential uses.
Immune to Xrumer spam? I wasn’t aware of that feature.

XenForo pretended to be a bit of a revolutionary although, I never did get the benefits of it as it just looked like yet another competitor to me as opposed to Discourse where you look at it and it instantly stands out from the rest of the competition.
With revolutionaries which fail to deliver entering the market quite a bit, it’s good that someone is taking a new stance to it all as opposed to the more traditional approaches.

Last I checked The Straight Dope and many other forums I still frequent are on ancient versions of forum software.

That reflects the reality you will find on the Internet, and highlights one of the deeper problems with forum culture: nobody wants or needs to upgrade – and if they do, it’s generally a huge clusterfuck from both a technical and sociological perspective.

One of our longer term goals at Discourse is to avoid that kind of long term ecosystem upgrade toxicity – it’s why import/export is a first class feature we had @neil build very early on and we use every day to reset http://try.discourse.org so we know it works.


The problem with the forum software market in general is that vBulletin is a monopoly and it has new management after the takeover which seems to be pushing for rather rushed releases where versions end up with many features missing so, admins aren’t all upgrading to newer versions.

Another problem which the monopoly creates is that revolutionary software have a hard time competing due to how widespread vBulletin is and dismantling the monopoly would certainly go a long way towards heating up the forum market again.

vBulletin even went as far as suing XenForo which was a brand new competing software which was trying to innovate.

Statistical Source: http://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_management/all

Edit: Appears that according to some of those charts there, most of the forum software usages have been dropping dramatically without any such increases seen among other forum software which means the market might be shrinking.