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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Olympus vs. the rest

Post by soundboy »


I've been using phpBB for a long time now, and I'm very eager to see the final release of Olympus. Recently I was asked to install another message board at work, so I decided to try other boards, just to see (I'd never installed/administered nothing other than phpBB).

Now, I found that especially vBulletin and SMF are very, very well made, fast and light, and loaded with features, a lot of which will be included in Olympus.

So my question is, for the people that have deeper message board experience, with phpBB and other boards as well... how is Olympus going to beat the competition? What am I going to get with Olympus that I wouldn't get with SMF for example?

I really hope nobody jumps at me with "if you prefer SMF go away and use SMF" or an answer along those lines... I'm a big fan of phpBB, so it's just a straight honest question.

PD. I hope it's not against the rules to mention other message board software. If it is, I apologize.
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by yexusbeliever »

I haven't been paying too much attention to the other softwares, but I do know little bits about them.

In my opinion, vB is the best. It has a huge collection of mods, varying from what phpBB has and more. However the cost to keep it is not easy. I think it is too expensive. Some good mods are requiring a payment as well as its templates. Of course since it is a paid software, their developers get paid for the work. Therefore they can have hours daily concentrating on writing scripts to improve the software. This is why I believe even Olympus will have less features than vB.

With vB price, I rather go with phpBB. Though Olympus is not filled with so many features that include in vB, it is still one of the best software. Olympus has all the basic required features for an online BBS. This is always the motive and objective of the phpBB devs to keep the phpBB board basic, not complicated. This is also one thing I love so much about phpBB. A great advantage to phpBB is that so many mods are made free. It is not going to be a charge price for mods and templates like vB.

vB and SMF have axaj posting, calendar, and other little features in their software which Olympus did not inclue in theirs. These are little things that Olympus has disadvantage of. Still there are so many great modders for phpBB that soon Olympus will be carrying so many free mods. This is one advantage that you will not find in vB and SMF. So whatever mods you need to improve your Olympus board the way you like it, there will be a mod for it just like for phpBB 2.0.

SMF has a great advantage over both vB and phpBB for being able to input a feature similar to our phpBB easymod. It is about 4-6 clicks and your new mod is installed. Installing mod is that simple for SMF. But there are not too many good mods made for SMF in my opinion.

vB has the second easiest installing mod process. It does not take long to install a mod for vB. It may take only a few minutes the most.

Olympus is unknown yet for mods since no modder release any mod publicly. We are all waiting for RC. Still I believe this time around, it is way easy to mod the Olympus. It will be as easy as doing with a vB.

Overall, phpBB Olympus is the best.
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by cooleo100d »

First off, vBulletin is NOT light. It uses a ton of server resources and most shared hosts don't even allow it because it uses so many resources on the server.

I'm a big phpBB3 fan, and I think it's better than both vBulliten, and DEFINITLEY SMF.

I think phpBB3 has all the features vBulliten has. It is faster, and of course free. Also, I guarantee the final phpBB3 stlye will be better than the vBulliten default theme.

As for SMF, it's not even fair to compare them because phpBB3 blows SMF out of the water.

SMF's private messaging is crap, like the entire forum. Don't even consider SMF as phpBB3 is just so much better.
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by gLiTcH_ »

I'd say Olympus would beat in speed, permissions, interface, and the fact that it's easy to customize. (and perhaps the style too) :)
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by twister17e »

I like phpBB or Olympus because of the community. phpBB gives me the core essential features needed to run a forum, while the modding community lets me add the rest and then customize those features. Even though phpBB has EasyMod and installing a hack in vBulletin could take less than 10 minutes with a plug-in, I like phpBB because I can install the mod line by line allowing me to add features, remove features, or tweak features. With vBulletin, I would have to go hunt down the code to make changes. phpBB's modding community usually releases mods for the good of open source (to help out other boards), whereas vBulletin's modding community is becoming somewhat unstable with mod authors pulling mods off a peculiar resource and suggesting monetary compensation for releasing quality hacks.

Another great thing about phpBB is the great styles. The styles and community mentioned above are what destroys SMF. SMF's code might be ok, but man IMHO their styles and modding community pale in compersion to anybody. For phpBB, the styles are usually released free, whereas vBulletin a good looking style will cost you usually around $30 per style on top of the $160 you spend already on software.

phpBB also wins on price since it's free to download and change the source. This is all the credit I will give SMF as it's free as well. With vBulletin, you typically look @ $30 per style if you don't create your own, $160 for the software, and another $30 per year to keep that software up to date.

Now, finally, vBulletin has more features yes (especially Ajax related features that I would love to see added to the core level in Olympus), but not all the features are needed. It seems vBulletin at times adds an option for just about everything inside the admincp, but I do like the paid subscription feature of vBulletin. Another thing I do like about vBulletin is the use of conditionals which allows so much more control over the software. However, nothing comes close to phpBB's new permission system & tabbed admincp!
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by SamG »

Just out of curiosity, why are products like vB and SMF/YaBB considered forum product benchmarks by many? When I see topics like this one (I'm focusing on the term "the rest"), I generally see phpBB being compared to one "class" of forum products (the "feature rich" or "bloated" class, depending on your point of view), not really to "the rest." There are products like miniBB and Phorum that belong to "the rest" category, I think, but that are omitted. This makes topics like this seem (to me) more like a "big three" competition by people already committed to one class of products rather than true product comparisons and evaluations with "the rest," and I'm curious as to why that happens so consistently. What if phpBB 3.0 is in fact properly placed somewhere between "minimalist/lean core" products and "feature rich" products? Is that a bad thing? If so, why?

Just to be clear, this isn't some sort of loaded question (or questions). I'm not baiting anybody, honestly. I had the opportunity to participate in broad scope forum product comparisons at one time and I know it isn't easy to do without bias.
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Waleed »

My opinion wouldn't really count as I have a very limited BB usage experience.

I have never used vBulletin or SMF for that matter. I used IPB for a while before I got my own web space. The free IPB I used were on the most stripped of many features by the service providers I guess, and it didn't impress me very much.

phpBB on the other hand is a free, open source BB system and that, for me, is its biggest, simplest asset. Although it lacks full-time developers and stylers, the phpBB community is so vast (because of it being free) you can find anything you would need on the 'net. And all for free.

Besides the top runners -- phpbb, ipb, smf, and vbulletin -- the other BB systems tend to get ignored, yes. I don't know why. I guess they don't have enough exposure and stuff like that. Not a lot of people use them, and people generally tned to stick with the big 4.

If you ask me, I would recommend either IPB or phpBB. Seeing that IPB is expensive, I would say, "Go with phpBB. Because it's free."

hehe. nice tag line, eh?
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by KeLLie »

My thoughts: vB and SMF who??

phpbb3 far surpasses both softwares. SMF because it just aint much and vB because by the time you are done paying for the software, mods, etc. you realize that you either have to start charging members to become a part of your forum, or take a second mortgage on your house. ;)
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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Acyd Burn »

SamG wrote: What if phpBB 3.0 is in fact properly placed somewhere between "minimalist/lean core" products and "feature rich" products?

I wonder myself why no one even think about this. We do not want to compete with vB's or IPB's features, regardless of how often a person says: "hey, look at vBs features, you are behind the competition". We choose our features well.

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Re: Olympus vs. the rest

Post by Eelke »

The cost argument is a valid one, but I find it a shame that argumentation in "SMF v phpBB" rarely surpasses the level of "Software X is pants, software Y nails it hands down". Depending on who you talk to, software x and y can be either SMF or phpBB. I stumbled upon a thread about this very same subject on the SMF user forum, and it didn't have a lot of sensible argumentation, and where it did have argumentation that at least looked like it had some depth, I doubted it was actually very well informed (e.g. the claim was made that phpBB is hard to template and SMF was way easier - I have no experience with SMF, but I had no trouble at all adapting the template for phpBB 2, and from what I gather, the template system for phpBB 3 is more flexible still).

I am planning to upgrade a website I run that is currently running phpBB 2, and one part of the upgrade will be an upgrade of the forum software. I will give both SMF and phpBB 3 a good look (i.e. a feature comparisson on features I want, not who's got the longest feature list ;)). I am more familiar with phpBB, but I am drawn to SMF mainly because (supposedly) the work they have done towards integration with other webapps.
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