Olympus vs. the rest

Discussion of general topics related to the new version and its place in the world. Don't discuss new features, report bugs, ask for support, et cetera. Don't use this to spam for other boards or attack those boards!
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Discussion of general topics related to the new release and its place in the world. Don't discuss new features, report bugs, ask for support, et cetera. Don't use this to spam for other boards or attack those boards!
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Eelke »

titan485 wrote: Vanilla VANILLA W00T! I love vanilla! My users never have taken to it because its different, and different can be scary, but if I ever have to pick the best forum software, vanilla wins it. http://getvanilla.com

I must say because of your enthousiasm, I checked this out, and it looks interesting. I'm sure anyone moderating a (semi-)serious forum can admit it's sometimes hard to determine where exactly a certain discussion belongs, so I immediately liked the small blurp on the homepage telling me it wouldn't be any problem to extend the product to tag discussions with multiple tags instead of just a single category (Vanilla at the core actually is a lot like the old school web forums where you just had a long list of discussions on a single page and not the organization in categories and (sub)forums. The one important difference with those old school boards is that every discussion has a category and you can filter on those categories, which basically creates the same structure as a phpBB board with a single level of forums).

Whispering (being able to put a comment in a board discussion that can only be seen and read by a single recepient - it's like PM-ing, but within the context of a board discussion) is a cool concept, and I could (for myself, and all IMHO of course) make a case that it's the only kind of PM-ing that really makes sense on a board; traditional PM is really just a (sometimes poor) alternative to email. Also, I bet it's dead easy to put together your own personal view where you only get to see the categories you want to see.

I think the concept is promising, but also that out of the box it isn't powerful enough for my needs (for example, no direct, built-in concept of moderators and the default view shows all conversations on the board, which would be far too big a scope for most people on my board). I'm sure that everything I want could all be done, but it will take time to figure out the configuration and all the extensions I would need for it - time I don't really have, unfortunately. But I'll try hard to find some time, somewhere, to figure it out. Alternatively, I might just try to mod the features that caught my interest (tagging/multiple forums and whispering) into phpBB ;)
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by titan485 »

Its always nice to have the community to discover new things :) It improves all the different forums company/groups.

Anyways, I personally think Vanilla could use a universal converter similar to phpbb, and a few of the features that you mentioned such as:

I would prefer it if the default view was the categories view also, with the tab for all conversations on the right of it instead of the inverse, because my users just give up at the site of something so congested. Its just the two or three power users a community has that wants that fastness of viewing threads.

I notice that when you have topics with multiple categories (although I haven't actually come across this, I'm referring to the leave trace link when you move a topic... [I hate that that is enabled yes be default :<]), I, at least, end up going to the same topic multiple times when the topic name isn't on the main page of like http://example.dom/forums./.

--> I suggest possibly a 'primary' category? I know that similar things turn out to be uber lame like "pick a sub category" and everyone who uses it goes "whyyy?" and ignores the field. However, if you just had a check-box list instead of one of those drop down lists, I think users might be more prone to use the feature. The 'Primary' category (which could be denoted by a parallel strip of radio buttons?) would be the forum that, if the topic was active, it would show up as most active in, and not appear as most active in 8 other categories at once.

--> --> punbb has a mod called "global topic" (btw, their mod system is amazing, but there just aren't alot of mods made currently) that allows administrators to put the same topic in multiple categories, but instead of cross-sharing a topic is just duplicates it n times in the forums you wanted it in, however the global topic management panel that is added lets you delete all of them at once so you don't have to manually delete them all.

Uh, also I find Vanilla's theme a bit light for many tastes, if they had a 'cooler' theme, it might occupy several of my friends' attentions for longer and not make them say specific things like "ugh barf" but theoretically more graphic. :< 'Cooler' means 'darker' and with more neonish-grunge colorish, but not punky grungeish if you know what I meaaaan :< I suppose skins are very reparable though.

At any rate, with my Ubuntu <3 install on my server my mysql was upgraded so I lost all of my forums till I learn how to basically write mysql from scratch :<<<<<<<<<< so I'm currently using phpbb again :)
-Eagerly awaiting Olympussss-
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by zzDrew »

I've been involved with phpBB for a long time and I have to say, here at the start, that I'm biased. Outside of that I'll give my view on some of the other forum softwares I've used.

First and foremost, I truly dislike vBulletin. My motives for avoiding it have nothing to do with being or not being a resource hog, much of it is purely aesthetic. I really dislike the setup of the AdminCP. I think performing tasks in there is incredibly tedious, and frankly, I really dislike how it is organized.

Next I'll examine IPB. Lately, since taking down my phpBB2 board (only because I got a new job :) ) I've had much more experience using Invision boards. From a moderator standpoint, I think features are well accented by MINIMAL integration of AJAX (moving, closing, editing topics). If I'm not mistaken, someone a couple of pages ago had mentioned phpBB3's use of a tabbed AdminCP. The 2.1.x version of IPB I have been administrating has a tabbed AdminCP as well, and it can come in handy >>As long as you know what you are looking for. I for one truly dislike using the AdminCP to edit skins. I guess perhaps I'm very attached to phpBB in the sense that I really enjoy manually opening those tpl files and staring at all of the code, changing it as I wish and not having to let some dynamic menu guide me around by the nose like IPB. >> Feature-wise, for a paid software, IPB rivals vBulletin. I've had limited exposure to administrating vBulletin so I cannot make a valid comparison.

I've never had any experience with SMF.

I may be a little out of topic by mentioning PHP Nuke because it is more of a CMS than a Forum software. Stay away from it, I dont know their devs got more careful or not but the versions used to be updated every week. I do not really remember if Nuke was Open source or not, I do know it was free.

I dont have to say anything about phpBB3, only that I anxiously await the RC so I can bring my old phpBB2 board up!
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by titan485 »

I do not like nuke either, and that is a bit off topic.. it's open source, yes, but it just sucks.

I personally wish that if you could access all the files like the tpl files unedited from the admincp I'd be fine with it, I like complete control, however, ease is nice too if it doesn't compromise the oooother.
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by DraconisCombine »

Here's my opinion:

Phpbb2 is a light forum system that I install, then put mods on top of it to customize it to my liking. It has a huge support forum, styles and mods database and a lot of users.

vB is crap and evil. It costs a load of money to buy, and more to run. Its default skin sux and it's aresource hog. It's only advantage is that it has so many features that the chances are that it will by default have the ones you want. The only time I would ever use or recommend it would be in the situation of a company's support forum, where looks don't matter. I hate the feel of it, it's the complete opposite to the elegant phpBB3, which will have everything I will ever want and will make vB users wish they hadn't payed for vB.

IPB is elegant, well-designed and thought through. I enjoy using it because it feels so good and is nice to look at. But it's a ripoff. It is also supported by a greedy corporation, and I would only consider it for a large organization that is based around its website. Ikonboard is very similar to IPB, but it's free. I have yet to see all its features, but it looks pretty good (though it is cgi).

SMF, YaBB etc don't even come into the equation. I would only recommend them for an individual looking to start a chat site that would be simple for them to administrate.

IMO, phpbb3 wins hands down. It's free, yet has the elegance of IPB and the features and support of vBulletin. It's definitely got my vote. :)
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Tienchen »

I think IPB isn't as well thought through in the ACP as phpBB3. IPB is- in my opiunion- only sometimes thought through, and sometimes not. For the quite same actions you have to use for example two different ways of doing it. And: IPB is not very stable (I used the 2.1- even the current Beta4 of phpBB3 has less bugs and less server strains.)
vB is of cours very confusing in the ACP- but, if you work sometimes with it- much better and more thought through than IPB.
I think the new Woltlab Burning Board (version 3) is the real competitor to phpBB3, which it has to fear. Of course- phpBB3 has the incredible advantage of being open source and having a bigger community (I think, WBB is quite limited on Germany). But the very easy, but new handling in the UCP or ACP isn't known to the whole bulletin boards.
But: Of course phpBB3 is open source, and will be the first choice of many people (me included.) :) And besides, it is quite well known to the users that know the phpBB2.
I don't like these cold, precise, perfect people, who, in order not to speak wrong, never speak at all, and in order not to do wrong, never do anything. (Henry Ward Beecher)
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Gunsmith »

I have very little knowledge upon vBulletin; I've truthfully, never used it, and I won't claim I have. So, I can offer no arguments for it being superior to, or inferior to, phpBB3 Olympus - save, phpBB3 is free, is open source, and from what I have checked into vBulletin - doesn't have people trying to profit off every little useful feature released on a 3rd party perspective. That, right away, makes me consider phpBB3 prior to vBulletin.

Now, let me be honest. Prior to Olympus? I was not a "phpBB Guy". Seriously. =P Wasn't how I rolled - I enjoyed phpBB2, but not to a point where it surpassed other softwares I tended to utilize.

However, when witnessing the development of Olympus, I quickly jumped ship; and admittedly, I'm waiting for R1 to use on my newly bought domain patiently.

The following softwares, I have delved into with some experience:

[IPB v1.3.x, 2.x, IceBB, SMF, Acmlm Boards, TuvaiBB Software, Fusetalk.]
[Invision Power Board]: I actually enjoyed/enjoy version 1.3.1 Final, and on my old community, modified the software into what I call "1.3.1 Final Bolt" - in reference to part of my website's title - and as a sign that, I had made the software [as much as humanly possible on my end] compatible with newer versions of php/MySQL, and applied non-official security fixes [seeing as, IPB no longer truly supports 1.3.x.]

However, I never was much of a fan of it's templating system. Better than some, don't get me wrong - but not my cup'o'tea. A number of other miscellaneous issues kept me from enjoying it to it's full extent, and well, much as I tried to keep it modernized - it was outdated software. And I felt, as I moved from my old domain/host [to a much larger host & what I think to be, personally, a much catchier domain. =P], I needed to check into new solutions for my message boards. Since, the community is a core element of my website.

So, I checked into IPB 2.0, which I did have a demo of. Not long after, unfortunately, higher versions came out that [in my opinion] ripped 2.0 apart- but, did cost money.

Now, I'm all for spending a little money if it means getting a quality product in return. But, I felt like Invision Power Services had.. sold out, frankly. Even their official support forums [sadly, a modification/support community that crushes even the free Invisionize] requires you to have a license. And, after testing out the newer versions of the software at some friends' domains, I had to say.. I wasn't thoroughly impressed. I could go into a long rant of -why- I felt less than static, but if I could sum up one word on my experience with the newer versions of IPB: It felt.. bloated.

Still, on a modification stand-point, I've always enjoyed what's been developed for IPB. And their Quick Edit feature is something I still, heavily, feel every message boards software should try and incorporate. The ACP's not the worst I've seen either; tabbed, but horrible for modifying.
[IceBB]: After IPB went commercial, a number of free derivatives of 1.3 began to surface. This was, and still is, one of them.


Upsides: Definitely improves on 1.3 in many aspects, clean interface, secure from what I can tell, has potential.

Downsides: The community for it's small. Very small. Not very many mods released. Not too popular, either. Does it's job, though. Still - not what I desired at all.
[SMF]: Ah, Simple Machines Forum. When I first saw it, I thought, ".. This could be interesting." Admittedly, when I saw the home site itself for SMF, I was intrigued; seemed to combine the role of site and forums in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Yeeeet.. I'll say: templates other than the default? Downright.. ugly. No offense to those whom may read this topic that could've developed some of these [WANNA GGGGOOOO!!??!11one?], but I realized: I'd -have- to modify the default theme if I wanted a message boards that wasn't.. well, unpleasing to the eye.

The thread views are definetely not my personal favorite of any message board software, the ACP is kind of low-rate, and.. I can't say, I enjoy SMF heavily. It's definetely well-featured, and if more third-party communities started to delve into it, SMF may yet prove to be an interesting choice. But, just bleh @ the templating. ;-;

Ah, now these are lesser known softwares. AcmlmBoards & TuvaiBB are rather lower-key softwares, but I happened to enjoy them heavily; they have their own features that most message boards don't gun for on default. On Acmlm's side: Post templates using variants of HTML, post counts being logged by default as "EXP", etc. You can check the boards themselves over for more features, though I'll warn you, the Christmas template isn't as appealing as the usual.


Here's a sad story. TuvaiBB, the software Tuvai himself used to release, was a very interesting kind of mixture of a message boards, and a content system. Like a simplified, yet feature-filled version of Joomla, with a community software built in. I happened to have v1.2 at one time - and I'd kill to have it again, just because it was good. =P

Unfortunately, Tuvai [owner of TuvaiBB and Tuvai.net. See a pattern?] decided to take down the section of his site releasing the software - and in general, releases aren't seen, kept towards his own uses instead. A true pity.

Both of these softwares suffer from little-to-none third party support & modding, and on Acmlm's part - slow patching for securty, but still - they are/were more than interesting.

[Fusetalk]: I won't even get into this. Rediculous amounts of cash for a poor, poor software that isn't worth 1/100th of it's prices [versions of this have licenses well over $1,000. O_o;] appalling, frankly - and if my opinion sounds biased, check http://forums.g4tv.com/ as a nice example of the message boards software.

Nice threaded view. Alright private message system. But it's features are low-key at best, it has some serious problems [a horrendous defaulted censor system, for one-] and it's nothing near worth the amount of money Fusetalk charges, although I'll admit, it can handle quite a stress load.
Still, in the end: I do prefer phpBB3 Olympus, and as I've said, I intend to use it, RC1 and on, as my community's software, for good. I love the BBCode system, I love the updating system for RC1 & on, I think the default look is hands down the best message boards default theme I've ever seen, I enjoy the community involved around the project, and I know from having monitored phpBB2 - the moddings, whether as plentiful as vBulletin or no, will be something massive. And I think I've fallen in love with the ACP. XD

All of these, of course, are my own opinions. Everyone's entitled to their's.
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Freelance »

Now that's quite some review,
makes me believe even more in phpBB3, not that this is possible cause there's not one hair on my head that would choose for some other forum software :lol:
Sh*t Can Happen !!!
[Building a large project based on phpBB3 - Progress 15%]
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Highway of Life »

Are you bald, then?

;) :P
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Nicholas the Italian »

Freelance wrote: Now that's quite some review,
makes me believe even more in phpBB3

Eh, but you should check other products' boards then, just to have a contradictory... ;)
[Building a large project around phpBB3 - Should be finished by the end of 2008]

Your project, or phpBB3? 8O
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