Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

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tbackoff
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by tbackoff »

blockrocker wrote:
Bloat bloat bloat bloat bloat bloat bloat bloat (I think I covered all 8 points of yours).
Do you feel the same way about Youtube's thumbs up/thumbs down system? Is the Facebook's like system also unnecessary bloat? Or the rating-system at eBay? What do all those systems have in common? They create more relevant information and people love them. Funniest thing is that there is a birthday-feature in the core. I can't imagine anything more unnecessary than that.
<sarcasm>No... you didn't take my post out context at all :roll: </sarcasm>

The problem here is that YouTube and Facebook are doing exactly what I proposed (vote up/vote down and like). Out of the 8 "features" you mentioned in your previous post, maybe only one of them is included in YouTube/Facebook. But I'm glad you finally picked out what I was getting at, as shown here:
blockrocker wrote:I take whatever you're giving as a start. Just please give us something
blockrocker wrote:I'm sorry to say this but PhpBB has the worst plugin system of any CMS I have used
As has been stated, this is been addressed in 3.1 and will only get better as we progress through each subsequent version. Undoubtedly, 4.0 will make great strides in this area.

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VSE
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by VSE »

t_backoff wrote:<sarcasm>No... you didn't take my post out context at all :roll: </sarcasm>
Now that is something phpBB could use! A sarcasm bbcode! ;)
Has an irascible disposition.

blockrocker
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by blockrocker »

I just found out that Stack Exchange is actually free and open software. Previously I thought it's not available for everyone or that you would atleast have to pay for it.

This means that I will be moving my business there and wont need the things I was asking for in this thread anymore. Sorry for the trouble.

I want to thank PhpBB for all the past years for providing a nice bulletin board!

Socially Uncensored
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by Socially Uncensored »

A default mobile web style is the only thing phpBB needs. More to the point, a responsive design. Something that will adapt the the many changing screen sizes that are emerging.

The Internet has changed a lot over the years and so has how people connect to it. I use both my desktop computer with a 32" flat screen (HD), but I also reach my site using a small Amazon Kindle with only 7" for viewing. My sister uses her cell phone and you figure that is 5" at most?!

A responsive design is something phpBB needs.

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Ger
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by Ger »

Are we going to repeat all 3.x RFCs in this 4.x discussion thread?
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

peartree5
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by peartree5 »

Socially Uncensored wrote:A default mobile web style is the only thing phpBB needs. More to the point, a responsive design. Something that will adapt the the many changing screen sizes that are emerging.

The Internet has changed a lot over the years and so has how people connect to it. I use both my desktop computer with a 32" flat screen (HD), but I also reach my site using a small Amazon Kindle with only 7" for viewing. My sister uses her cell phone and you figure that is 5" at most?!

A responsive design is something phpBB needs.
I agree. PhpBB needs a mobile site. I get a lot of my members complaining that there is no mobile version of my forum for mobile devices. I'm probably going to have to code it myself during to summertime which needs to be in the core of phpBB. In my opinion, phpBB is far behind its competition. Quite honestly, if I had the money, I would move over to IPB.

Martian
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by Martian »

The rating/thanks system has been discussed before, for example here where I submitted my thoughts on this.

A simple like/dislike has become widely popular on the internet, and I think there might be a place for it in phpB too. Already people regularly comment with "+1" or similar at forums.

But I think it should be very basic, as it is at most sites. Just "like/dislike" or maybe even just "like" (or thanks/+1/thumbs up, whatever you call it). As I suggested before: it could be made an option in the ACP to use only "Like" or both "Like" and "Dislike".

I think a rating system adds useful possibilities like sorting, searching and filtering based on score.

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DavidIQ
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by DavidIQ »

peartree5 wrote:
Socially Uncensored wrote:A default mobile web style is the only thing phpBB needs. More to the point, a responsive design. Something that will adapt the the many changing screen sizes that are emerging.

The Internet has changed a lot over the years and so has how people connect to it. I use both my desktop computer with a 32" flat screen (HD), but I also reach my site using a small Amazon Kindle with only 7" for viewing. My sister uses her cell phone and you figure that is 5" at most?!

A responsive design is something phpBB needs.
I agree. PhpBB needs a mobile site. I get a lot of my members complaining that there is no mobile version of my forum for mobile devices. I'm probably going to have to code it myself during to summertime which needs to be in the core of phpBB. In my opinion, phpBB is far behind its competition. Quite honestly, if I had the money, I would move over to IPB.
I don't think there is much you can think of that hasn't already been done. For instance there are several mobile styles in existence, one of which is very good and solid. Doing a simple search on Google would have produced that.

It amazes me how many people are ready to jump ship because phpBB doesn't have feature X or Y when most of what is being asked for is already available as MODs/add-ons. Sure it would be nice to include some of these features in core but including everything everyone would want in the core would make phpBB a bit bloated and we need to maintain a good balance between good core features and bloat and including everything everyone has mentioned is just not reasonable.
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sdaugherty
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by sdaugherty »

Stack Exchange may not be a threat, but the up and coming Discourse, Vanilla, and countless others certainly are.

<flame>The experience of using most forum software makes me want to puke, and then go back and find the poor unfortunate soul that had the idea that forums on the web were somehow better than Usenet, and boil them alive for their crimes against humanity.</flame>

Most forum software out there is horrible painful to use. You have to scroll and scroll and scroll and page and page and page and page and click and click and click and click, and then you have to do all of that over and over again because you posted a message or clicked back to the index when you wanted to go back to the topic, or weren't looking at the right post. A moderately busy "traditional" web forum will take you hours each day if you are actually trying to keep up with everything, and attempts to use the "unread posts" feature are frustrated by an endless sea of "Me too!!!!" posts. It's no wonder that many forums get taken over by the trolls and spammers - they tend to be the only ones persistent enough to stick around in the long term.

Now as for competition, Discourse (http://www.discourse.org/) is forum software created by the same people as Stack Exchange, under the same principles. It builds on Stack Exchange and applies it to a discussion format rather than a Q&A format. All the "oh, that's Q&A we're forums" stuff I saw in this thread, well, watch out, because Discourse shows how the same principles can and do apply to forums.

Almost as important as what it has is what it doesn't have (http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/0 ... loper.html) (http://meta.discourse.org/t/what-is-wro ... 63/best_of). The user interface is very clean, and makes good use of the space. "Categories" are emphasized in favor of "Boards", and by default, the first thing you see is a list of all the active topics, regardless of which category they are in. Topics are at the top level of the site, and categories are something you can filter by, rather than boards being at the top and having to drill down into each one to see what's being said. Takes some getting used to, but it makes it easier to digest the information and find what's interesting - once you use it for a while and go back to having to visit each of two dozen topics, you'll see what I mean.

Another thing Discourse does right is getting rid of the paging. There are no pages to a topic, to matter how many posts it gets. Instead, as you scroll, more data is loaded via AJAX requests in the background for an endless scroll effect. This is less jarring than having to click back and forth between pages of anywhere from 10-50 topics or posts each. Small but important win.

As for how "social" features can apply, you have reputation systems, which are being implemented along the same model as Stack Exchange to gradually give people with good reputation access to moderator tools, and gradually push people with bad reputation away. You have social login almost right out of the box, so you don't need yet another account for every forum, you have real threading and quoting to maintain context, a "best of" view on busy thread's that's powered by the "like" button, bookmarking, @mentions, etc. All of this feels like it's a natural extension of the software rather than "oh, that looked cool, let's add it"

Already, in it's infancy, the interface shows a lot more polish -small details like side by side previews in the editor are appreciated, as is the post editor appearing right there in the page, with the ability to scroll through the other posts and quote them as you are composing your own - even as they continue to be posted..

It's also worth pointing out here, Discourse and StackExchange are also very purposely built to promote a certain cultural ideal, that of intelligent, insightful, and efficient discussion. By having the culture and code work hand in hand, the signal-to-noise ratio on these sites tend to be orders of magnitude better than just a traditional forum, because they go out of their way to weed out anything that's not constructive, and reward everything that is. Sometimes this is done gently, sometimes it's done very abrasively, but not only do these sites deny trolls a forum, they also deny "me too!" posts, 2 page signatures for one line posts, and many of the other things that seem cool at the time, but in the aggregate, make a forum site a cesspool. (see http://try.discourse.org/faq)

Now, I'm sure someone's going to say "well, why don't you use that instead". phpBB used to be the state of the art, awesome software. Now it's kindof stale, but it doesn't have to be - there's still obviously a vibrant, dedicated community that is passionate about phpBB, and that's a good point to start from. There are lots of others out there including bbPress and Vanilla that are nowhere near as stagnant, but there are so many of them that none of them really have the following the phpBB has.

KnocksX
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Re: Biggest competition threats to PHPBB forums

Post by KnocksX »

DavidIQ wrote: It amazes me how many people are ready to jump ship because phpBB doesn't have feature X or Y when most of what is being asked for is already available as MODs/add-ons. Sure it would be nice to include some of these features in core but including everything everyone would want in the core would make phpBB a bit bloated and we need to maintain a good balance between good core features and bloat and including everything everyone has mentioned is just not reasonable.
They are ready to jump ship not because of missing features, but because of how unwelcome new feature requests are on this board. Most user requests get shut down by the development staff immediately, even the most reasonable ones, things that have been implemented by other forum software for many years. The most common response here is "this should be a mod, not a core feature." And the requests that do get accepted simply get added to the queue and the end user again doesn't see them for years, if ever.

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