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Those of you in charge here, please consider!

KC9UDX

Space Commander
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
7,468
Location
Lutenblag
When the time comes when you decide to upgrade VBulletin, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't do it! XenForo is better in every way (from the user's perspective) and it's even CHEAPER than VBulletin.

I've never used either of these from the other side of the wall. But really, XenForo is so much faster, and just does everything right. The new versions of VBulletin depart from the way things are done here, in bad ways.
 

mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
Staff member
Joined
May 3, 2003
Messages
6,236
We can put XenForo on the todo list of things to look at.

Does it have a migration utility? If not, it's going to be a hard sell.
 

Lutiana

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 26, 2009
Messages
3,203
Location
Dublin, CA USA
We can put XenForo on the todo list of things to look at.

Does it have a migration utility? If not, it's going to be a hard sell.

Some quick Google searches seem to indicate that there is a migration route from vBulletin to Xenforo.

Anyways, if it's a question about moving away from vBulletin, then my vote will always be yes...
 

ngtwolf

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
972
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Some quick Google searches seem to indicate that there is a migration route from vBulletin to Xenforo.

Anyways, if it's a question about moving away from vBulletin, then my vote will always be yes...

I think everyone generally dislikes vBulletin but yeah, having built some forums in the past, it's hard to completely swap out an entire forum then it is to just do a quick upgrade and move on. Especially in a case like this where the entire site is maintained by volunteers who don't have time or much incentive really to go through the effort. Usually quite a bit of effort involved running concurrent platforms until your comfortable switching everything over, and then possibly hours to a day of being down while the migrations happen (and hopefully don't error out). The best way is to do it on a separate server, but then still have DNS propagation to contend with.

Anyway, I wouldn't envy anyone facing the task.
 

SomeGuy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,143
Location
Marietta, GA
May I ask what the specific issue(s) with new VBulletin is? I don't follow all of the different forum programs as closely as I should.

Went through a forum migration on another site a while back, and there are things that will probably never work right now. On top of that the forum developers seem to be moving in the direction of washed out dumbed down "mobile" appearance. My idea of forum perfection, at least from the user end, is something like: http://forums.mozillazine.org/
 

vwestlife

Veteran Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
5,122
Location
central NJ
Out of curiosity, I checked what the other forums I visit use:

68kMLA: Invision Community
Audiokarma: XenForo 2017
MSFN: Invision Community 2018
NASIOC: vBulletin 3.7.0
Steve Hoffman Music Forums: XenForo 2017
Tapeheads.Net: vBulletin 3.8.5
TDIClub Forums: vBulletin 3.8.5
Videokarma: vBulletin 3.8.4
Vogons: phpBB 2013
VWVortex: vBulletin 4.2.2

So far (thankfully) none of the places I ever have a reason to visit are using vBulletin 5.x. And most are using older versions than here!

As for XenForo, based on my experience with the two sites which I frequent that use it, it seems to be very fast and works very well. The only thing that confused me at first is that private messages are referred to as "conversations".

Invision Community is very slow and bloated, and phpBB seems frozen in time in 2003, and not necessarily in a good way.
 

SomeGuy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,143
Location
Marietta, GA
The older Invision worked fairly sensibly as I recall. I used to visit the MSFN forums all the time until they upgraded, and the the entire site became a pain to look at, even in a "modern" browser.

I've been told phpBB is a mess underneath the hood, but I've never had a chance to look for myself. But damn it works sensibly above the hood.

I have a list a mile long of UI complaints regarding the "Vanilla Forums" including the presence of a useless "activity wall" feature that can't be totally turned off that people keep mistaking for private messaging. Supposed to be decent under the hood though.

Eh, can hardly find a single sensible product these days.
 

Tor

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
984
Location
Norway/Japan
"Vanilla" forums: Yes, never go there. The UI works against the user all the time. It doesn't even have a functioning 'mark all as read'.
 

Doug G

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
541
Location
SoCal
Did I miss some announcement that vbulletin is going to be replaced here at vcf and opinions on alternatives are being solicited? I regularly visit 3 or 4 forums that have migrated off vb to something else, and for me the "something else" has always seemed worse and harder to use. Is therer some significant functionality that would be gained from spending the hundreds (or more) of man-hours needed to migrate these forums to "something else"?
 

SomeGuy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,143
Location
Marietta, GA
Did I miss some announcement that vbulletin is going to be replaced here at vcf
No, but as with all software, eventually it must be "upgraded" and in these "modern" times upgrading means things get worse. The only announcement, as such, is the new version looks like it will reach the point of unusability sooner than expected.
 

KC9UDX

Space Commander
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
7,468
Location
Lutenblag
Did I miss some announcement that vbulletin is going to be replaced here at vcf and opinions on alternatives are being solicited? I regularly visit 3 or 4 forums that have migrated off vb to something else, and for me the "something else" has always seemed worse and harder to use. Is therer some significant functionality that would be gained from spending the hundreds (or more) of man-hours needed to migrate these forums to "something else"?

Not that I'm aware of. A lot of sites with vBulletin <5 have recently upgraded to 5. It seems everyone in the world is on this "is not supported, it's not secure, we're all going to die" kick lately. Every site that has upgraded vBulletin has turned into a really bad experience. The only (very high profile) site that didn't, which I stuck around for, went to XenForo. It was shocking how everything got better with XenForo. I'm not being paid by XenForo, and don't have any stock in the game whatsoever except that I like it here (probably spend too much time here) and don't want to see this place go down the toilet.

I'm hoping others have seen the same thing, or at least can say they've seen better alternatives. Whatever it takes so that this site doesn't become one that's just too much of a pain to bother with, like all the vBulletin 5 sites have.
 

VERAULT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
5,100
Location
Connecticut, USA
It seems everyone in the world is on this "is not supported, it's not secure, we're all going to die" kick lately.

Remember when programmers released software and the bugs were already ironed out and there were no future updates? Remember when the only thing you updated were your antivirus DAT files? (manually I might add)

Now-a-days we have forced updates... and everthing is broken. Most of my houshold pc's run windows 7 64 bit (pre-SP1) with no updates, updates are disabled on everything. And I might add all my computers work friggen great! running the same image they have for years now,, at the same speeds.. no issues. The only thing bothering me constantly is my web browser,, which I am sure would still work fine if IT would just shut the hell up.

my phone however(running android) and forcibly updating everything,, all the time and restarting all day long with a stupid startup jingles so everyone could hear it... barely works... Why? Because updates are stupid and only bog down an already glitchy system.

Im against most updates and im proud of it.
 

SomeGuy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,143
Location
Marietta, GA
Remember when programmers released software and the bugs were already ironed out and there were no future updates?
No :p

But I do remember when there was lots of competition and people knew if they did something stupid that a good chunk of their customers would go elsewhere.

Seems like in this case there is actually a bit of competition in this area but everyone is drinking the same metaphorical cool-aid. They want to look "new" and "trendy" so they remove half the useful stuff for a minimal mobile look, or they add crazy animations (Who cares if doesn't work? Look at that hypnotic scrolling!), or they jumble everything up trying to badly copy someone else.

I'd hate to jump ship because some new forum software was too painful to use. But it has happened before and will happen again.
 

VileR

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
546
Location
Israel
...and phpBB seems frozen in time in 2003, and not necessarily in a good way.
*shrugs* VOGONS, which uses phpBB, is still extremely fast and responsive (more so than XenForo's own Community section on my end), and isn't missing much functionality that would be needed in forum software. Adjustments for mobile devices, yes, but that can easily be done with media queries in Styles.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
38,877
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
At least one forum that I sign onto daily uses Vanilla. While there have been small updates, the version is basically the same as it was in 2009--and it's pretty robust. New != better.
 

ngtwolf

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
972
Location
Los Angeles, CA
At least one forum that I sign onto daily uses Vanilla. While there have been small updates, the version is basically the same as it was in 2009--and it's pretty robust. New != better.

I'll be honest, that looks like a pretty miserable forum. Heres the thing, if I'm just here to post 'Anyone know where i can find' threads then something like Vanilla might be perfectly acceptable. However, I know in some cases I haven't posted threads or responded to threads because what I want to do or say isn't easy or quick so i figure i'll just do it later when i'm 'back at a pc' which I may forget by then. Sometimes I read this site on my phone and while I can do basic text replies, I can't do anything elaborate. I think in a technical forum like this, it would be great if there were ways to easily respond to things. For instance, as much as I (and most of us) hate facebook, its super easy to post something. I can quickly write a message, click the photo button and select a bunch of photos, then hit submit.. Even doing that on this board isn't the easiest, luckily most of us work with retro computers so we don't mind all the added steps, but I'd certainly wish I could quickly drag and drop photos into my post or even use it from a mobile device easier. I personally think having more features and easier/cleaner web 2.0 interfaces allows us to express ourselves better in our posts, which does allow better, fuller discussions.

That said, i'm not advocating one way or the other whether this site should change software, i'm really just suggesting that in many cases software improvements do enable more things to be done and can improve the experience. I think we can all agree that MS Word doesn't do much more than Word Perfect did back in the day, but I certainly know which one I'd rather use and which one has enabled more people, more use with less training.
 

t.ment

New Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
3
If I had a vote, I would vote to "leave well enough alone". This is a vintage federation.
 
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