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  #1  
Old 16 Jul 2011, 21:39
bchertov's Avatar
bchertov bchertov is offline
 
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Location: Sonoma County, CA
Real name: Barry
Modern Alternative to vBulletin?

I'm losing patience with the slow development of VB4 and its clunky interface and limited feature set. I'm thinking of jumping ship and switching to something else within a year. But to what?

I'd like a modern web 2.0 interface, jettisoning the decade old paradigms of what a forum should look like, with a skin that doesn't need so much customization to make it look friendly. With lots of social features built, integrated calendar, business directory, html email notification and digests, etc. Along with all the things that VB said they would implement but haven't. You know, a full community site, not just a forum.

My forum's users are not long time forum pros. The expect the site to be intuitive and don't know about so many of the standard conventions that vbulletin keeps perpetuating. For instance, when my users come to the site and they want to post something, they are (were, actually, I fixed it) forced to pick a category before they could begin to post. Think about it. It doesn't make sense. That's software designed for the inside-out, from the computers/programmer's point of view, not the users.

And forcing you to click "Edit" to delete post! What??? I don't know if they turned off delete or what, but I just posted in the VB.com Testing Area and couldn't figure out how to delete my post!

Here's another thing that just hit me: there's no built in editor control to wrap text around an image - like above! I know it's fairly easy to do, and I have done so on my forum, but that should be standard!

On the plus side, for standard forum operations, the vb backend/engine is quite flexible and robust, but the user interface sucks!

JomSocial looks good, except it doesn't an integrated forum! Vanilla looks like a nice re-imagined forum, but it seems to be missing alot of other features (calendar for instance)

Have you guys considered jumping ship? What's looks good to you?
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  #2  
Old 16 Jul 2011, 22:20
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BirdOPrey5 BirdOPrey5 is offline
 
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I've considered it, I've looked at the big competitors, and I always come back to VB 3.8. If you want honest discussion on a topic like this vBulletin.org probably isn't the best site.

I just hoping for a good VB5.
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  #3  
Old 16 Jul 2011, 22:55
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CarlitoBrigante CarlitoBrigante is offline
 
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I agree with BirdOfPrey5 - we worked on the platform for years and years, also on our own websites, and we always come back to vB3.8. And we work with some of the hugest vBulletin forums around. And vB 3.8 is still a great engine to start custom projects, with the easy to develop for backend, and features like the datastore with cache integration.

vB competitors have very nice and professional packages that will do great for starting communities, but for some reason or another (userbase not liking the switch to the new system, finding it too different), they are not a good replacement for all communities.
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  #4  
Old 16 Jul 2011, 23:13
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BirdOPrey5 BirdOPrey5 is offline
 
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I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with having to "add on" some things like share buttons, likes systems, etc... Even new "modern" forums are of the mindset that anything besides a basic forum be considered an "add-on." As long as you are given an environment that is good for development you'll be OK and vBulletin (3.x) has proved to be the most easy to develop forum ever.

A good fresh style and a few add-ons and it can still compete head to head IMO with anyone. People are even starting to use jquery tricks with it.
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  #5  
Old 17 Jul 2011, 00:23
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Alfa1 Alfa1 is offline
 
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Have you checked out IPB? That seems to come the closest to your needs.
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  #6  
Old 17 Jul 2011, 01:09
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bchertov bchertov is offline
 
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Originally Posted by BirdOPrey5 View Post
If you want honest discussion on a topic like this vBulletin.org probably isn't the best site.
Is there a reason not be honest here? What's to lose for non-IB employes/official volunteers from speaking their minds?
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  #7  
Old 17 Jul 2011, 01:22
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BirdOPrey5 BirdOPrey5 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by bchertov View Post
Is there a reason not be honest here? What's to lose for non-IB employes/official volunteers from speaking their minds?
By definition it's a biased pool to ask... Everyone here basically is using vBulletin- That's going to affect the results.
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  #8  
Old 17 Jul 2011, 02:27
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TNCclubman TNCclubman is offline
 
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once xenforo gets a calendar and user galleries, you may want to check it out.
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  #9  
Old 17 Jul 2011, 07:45
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Sean James Sean James is offline
 
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IPB 3.2.0 looks very very good.
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  #10  
Old 17 Jul 2011, 19:54
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Princeton Princeton is offline
 
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The problem is you will NEVER find a system that will fit all your needs.

Last year, I was ready to jump ship but noticed a change in focus at vbulletin. It was a change for the better.

Today, vbulletin 4 is a whole lot better than it was when it was first released. Is it perfect? No, but neither are any of the other systems available on the net.

vBulletin 4 is still bloated but I'm not afraid to edit files, remove features, etc.

I know my needs are different from you and that guy over there.
Personally, all I want is a great engine that we can extend.

-----------

Too many people today rely on a "plugin system" for extensibility - they want the system to be and do everything for them.

They want a disabled button for every option available to them and their members.

This will never happen. In fact, I think the future will be about less features/options.

Many people will find that hard to believe but I'll put money on it.

-----------

If you want something your way...
Don't rely on the plugin system to satisfy your needs.

Don't be afraid to edit files ... remove features ... etc.

You waste more time, effort, and money by waiting around for a system that fits ALL your needs.
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  #11  
Old 17 Jul 2011, 20:47
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Alfa1 Alfa1 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Princeton View Post
If you want something your way...
Don't rely on the plugin system to satisfy your needs.

Don't be afraid to edit files ... remove features ... etc.

You waste more time, effort, and money by waiting around for a system that fits ALL your needs.
Off course one should not rely on the plugin system alone, but the vb plugin system makes adding/developing new features a lot easier. IPB is making good changes in this regard as well.
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  #12  
Old 18 Jul 2011, 16:13
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bchertov bchertov is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Princeton View Post
The problem is you will NEVER find a system that will fit all your needs.

Last year, I was ready to jump ship but noticed a change in focus at vbulletin. It was a change for the better.
What change?

If you want something your way...
Don't rely on the plugin system to satisfy your needs.

Don't be afraid to edit files ... remove features ... etc.
What's particularly bugging me is that I modified the interface quite a bit (because I think VB's one sucks!) and now upgrading is a real bear! I'm at 4.07 and I want to goto 4.1.4 to get the new editor and mobile style, but its alot of work!

I'd really like to get out of the development business and concentrate on the community business!
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  #13  
Old 18 Jul 2011, 19:41
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insaneoz insaneoz is offline
 
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Well vBulletin has the best 3rd party developers by far, vbseo.com...forum-skins.com among others.

Its like apple and the app store but for forums
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  #14  
Old 20 Jul 2011, 08:53
River J River J is offline
 
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I like vB3.8s look a lot.
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