What is wrong with PHPBB?


(Chris Bridgett) #25

Like, like, like, like.

Couldn’t have put your points in writing any better.


(Daniel Watkins) #26

Perhaps it would look like Python… which is fine.


(Chris S.) #27

I understand the technical side of wiping PHPBB off the map and it’s an admirable cause. However for all the thousands or hundreds of thousands of installs out there, is there any reason you would migrate from PHPBB?

Those communities probably like the vanity items they get with PHPBB, and for a large number the experience of going from the established forum format to this new UI may be too much.

Bare in mind the majority of forum users aren’t tech-savvy who care if PHP sucks but people who use the internet for facebook, email and shopping. The number of forum installs out there is so vast it might be impossible to convince people to move to a new platform.

Not that this is a reason for not trying of course, my point is expectations of the impact of the Discourse software should probably be lowered.


(Daniel Watkins) #28

MySpace.

Letters.

Walmart.

Why not:

phpBB.


(Jackdoh) #29

I’m wandering around the forum desert where PHPBB is the sand that fills it. Discourse is the oasis on the horizon, whether it will eventually engulf the mountains of sand with vegetation remain to be seen. But i’m just glad there’s a spot of water and shade for now.

I really [quote=“anotherchris, post:27, topic:3763”]
Bare in mind the majority of forum users aren’t tech-savvy who care if PHP sucks but people who use the internet for facebook, email and shopping. The number of forum installs out there is so vast it might be impossible to convince people to move to a new platform.
[/quote]

The way I see it, Discourse is for people who are currently left out and were discouraged from participating in existing forums. I would actually prefer it the existing users of PHPBB stay with it.


(V) #30

PHP is not a Joke language. PHP is a solution to a problem, that of creating dynamic websites A website is really a series of web pages. But what you need to realize is that PHP is a sort of unique kind of Programming Language and it’s only purpose is to make dynamic websites really… whereas Ruby or Python are not essentially built for that. Again, yes they can do that. But require a set of tools to do so, also known as a Framework (Rails / Django).

A lot of people say you can’t compare a programming language to a Framework, but the truth is simple. They are all solutions to build A Website. And so I think in the context, they can very much be compared.

Now with this in mind, I personally believe that Rails and Django can also build websites and many other solutions. But PHP’s is in my opinion a lot more flexible. And while it does create confusion for people who don’t know the difference between a Website and a Script. Or the reason why people use certain techniques the way they do, yeah PHP can come over very complex and sometimes even daunting.

That said, I think that PHP being so abstract is a strength not a weakness. Not only can you make websites in PHP directly. But people have managed to build Frameworks in so many ways that I can’t even count them all. And they have created some of the most complex Content Management Systems in the world. See Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal are perfect examples of how much PHP is capable of.

Don’t get me wrong. Django & Rails can probably do just as much. But the reason why PHP is so popular is because it’s simply easier to get started with. And with that in mind. A lot of people in PHP kling to just one solution within PHP (Wordpress is a great example of that).

It’s also very easy saying that PHPBB is a steaming pile. While it’s fairly true. There aren’t many alternatives… and at the end of the day, It’s not just about making something good. It’s about solving problems.

PHP did it, Rails did it, Django did it, and PHPBB did it. The world has changed, and we need better solutions. But until they exists, and until we put effort into it, I don’t think you can judge those who have provided us with temporary solutions already. Not PHP, not Ruby or Rails, nor Django or Python, et cetera.


Quoting with same formatting
(Joel Uckelman) #31

Everyone who’s replied to my post has focused on what I take to be the least significant of the criticisms of PHPBB which I raised. I’m happy to concede that good programmers can create a good design in PHP. (I already have, in fact—I mentioned MediaWiki above.) We’re clearly not going to agree about PHP.

It’s not like I just started criticizing PHPBB. The problems which are not PHP-specific are ones I’ve been criticizing since PHPBB2, and they all had solutions at the time. FUDForum, for example, does many of these things right and was also started more than a decade ago (in PHP, even), but sadly seems not to have attracted the theme-design crowd like PHPBB did.


(V) #32

And what gives you the right exactly to demand things from PHPBB?

I have written a lot of innovative an new solutions (not forums) and I have never had a single thank you from people who liked and used it. So trust me when I say that I understand that these people who put a lot of Time, Effort and Money into their project, will protect it as long as they can.

I’m not saying it will survive. They had their time. If they really care, they will see what they are missing out on soon enough. If not, they will die a slow death. And either is fine for me. But I think this whole crying over spilled milk thing with PHPBB is a little over excessive.

There are a lot of things wrong with PHPBB, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a viable solution. You should use what works best in your situation. Choosing to use Discourse because they are better and having no experience with rails, really isn’t any better then just using PHPBB.

It is all subjective. And I as hell am not going to setup Discourse, as much as I like it, because I don’t feel like learning or using Rails / Ruby. I don’t complain about Discourse, as the matter in fact, I came here because I want to see what they innovate with.


(Joel Uckelman) #33

You’ve misunderstood. I’ve never demanded anything from the PHPBB devs. I’ve reported bugs. I’ve asked them for some features. I’ve offered to contribute code. I’ve tried a few times to convince them to do better. I’ve never once said “You must do this.” (But, I certainly could demand things from them if I wanted—you seem to be confusing the right to demand with the right to force compliance—I just wouldn’t get the things I’m demanding.)

I don’t see how any of this is germane to a discussion of the problems with PHPBB.


(V) #34

Aha, you just made a very good point. Nothing really. I just disagreed with something you said before. Which spurred a whole drama of disagreement replies. Which is Interesting to say the least…

You don’t have to agree with me. But you are the one being unreasonable. Then again, that’s your right of course… and that, was my mistake.


(V) #36

I think I have explained why you are being unreasonable before. My mistake was thinking that you shouldn’t have the right to judge people. But I was wrong. It is in our nature to judge. Weather it’s justified or not.

Perhaps you don’t fully understand me. There are a lot of Web Developers who see things black and white. Don’t believe me then google something like “the best way to do x”.

The hard truth is that we are all different people, in different situations. And these all call for different measures. What I find is that having many different solutions available simply allows everybody to do things their way. And that’s great.

I see things a lot more open minded. To me, I think all these situations can co-exist. It doesn’t matter if Discourse is a better solution or not, this doesn’t mean PHPBB has to go away simply because Discourse is a better solution.

Some solutions are easier to setup then others. In terms of Rails & Python vs PHP this is definitely the case. If one solution becomes obsolete, then eventually it will go away. I just think it’s unreasonable to crucify them for it.


(Aaron) #37

What is wrong with Vbulletin could take days to answer but let’s start with the elephant in the room: it’s now owned by Internet Brands. Ever since IB bought the product, they have gouged their loyal customer base with ridiculous changes to the licensing scheme. The product has gotten worse, not better under their stewardship. Don’t believe me? Then why does IB’s own large network of forums all use versions of Vbulletin that were written prior to IB buying it out? That’s right, IB’s own sites don’t uses their own software product.

I have a lot of experience with Vanilla (mentioned in a post above) and while it is a neat product with a lot of potential, it is potential that is never realized. Vanilla staff has completely failed in nurturing a vibrant community around their product. Most of the plugins are unfinished, bugged, or incompatible with the latest version. Despite some demand for custom Vanilla development, the professional development community at Vanilla is almost completely non-existant, literally consisting of one or two guys willing and able to do work of any real complexity.

So other than the functionality of the software, I would say that distinctive strengths of Discourse are that it is run by a competent team that has a lot of excitement for the product, and the community here is very strong already.

Also this wysiwyg editor is by far the best I have ever used :sunny:


(Chris S.) #38

I think my original point has been lost in a PHP war a little bit. What I was trying to say was why would the large amount of existing installs, migrate to Discourse?

It’s not like there’s a huge demand for new forums now, most hobbies are catered for. So Discourse may be like Stackexchange and provide a quality experience, there will be a lot of people thinking it ain’t broke, let’s not migrate it - unless perhaps there is a really easy 1 click install and migrate button from phpBB and VBB.


(Joel Uckelman) #39

Some installs will switch because the people maintaining those installs are unhappy with PHPBB. Some will switch because they get pressure from the users, but my guess is that will be less common. One thing which I expect would trigger a lot of defections is a major version switch with PHPBB. The last time that happened, it was a massive pain. My project moved from PHPBB2 to PHPBB3 with great reluctance. If Discourse is well-positioned when PHPBB4 is released (part of which is having a foolproof converter), it will gain many installs that way.


(Kuba) #40

As the authors already said, as soon as Discourse will be concidered stable, someone will create such scripts to make the migration as simple as possible.


(James P) #41

That’s fine, because IP.Board (Invision Power) is better than vB anyhow.

I just completed a forum round up. Vanilla’s hosted offering is interesting… but it’s hosted. vB < IPB, and Discourse is also interesting, but not really ready for mainstream.


(Joel Uckelman) #42

Get it into something like cpanel (I think that’s what it’s called). Ask SourceForge to provide it as one of the things they host for projects. Integrate with GitHub somehow. These things create leverage way beyond what you can get by picking up an install here or there by word-of-mouth.


(Chris S.) #43

If http://discussion.evernote.com/ is a IP typical forum, it’s hard to find anything on the page as you’re swamped with information


(Brandon Rampersad) #44

What about XenForo XenForo? I think it’s going to be on the same level that discourse is trying to achieve–the next evolution in discussion. Its certainly better than any of the free solutions (phpbb, smf etc) and better than vB by a long shot (In fact it’s written by the devs who wrote the versions of vB before IB took over). The way i see the future is that its going to be a fight between 3 major solutions, XenForo, IPB and Discourse. vB5 is a complete and utter joke and it remains to be seen if the vBulletin brand will survive.


(Jeff Atwood) #45

Apparently XenForo is caught in some legal wrangles with vBulletin, which puts its future in doubt.

(scroll down to “lawsuits”)