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Old 08-15-2006, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi,

I visit & paritipate in a lot of online discussion forums and have come across many forum softwares. While I like the vBulletin format I've found the phpbb based forums much more user friendly. They look more organised and have great appearance. The feel of the forum is much richer & the ease of browsing too.

I was wondering if the forum moderators and administrators might want to have a look at that. Their website is www.phpbb.com

Regards,

Siddharth Thakkar
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Old 08-15-2006, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It would take a lot of work to switch the forum type. I don't even know if the databases are compatible.
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Old 08-19-2006, 08:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah it would take some work for sure.

Hey but here are a few things that I found were quite amazing about using phpbb.

1. When you post a reply & then check for 'view posts since last visit' or 'new posts' your thread is also there. Hence it is more real-time.

2. It has a richer feel to it. Not only the background but also the posting stlyle is cool.

3. Supports more signatures & avatars. So if you wanna get really cool signatures.

4. Supports massive traffic really well (not that vBulletin does not). Visit www.politicsforum.org which gets heavy traffic & has members with ultra-cool signatures. (Aaah! Exxageration)

What I don't know is how well phpbb can support a wap site. Have not come accross that. While I do not disagree that vBulletin is more popular than phpbb, we could certainly have a look.

Siddharth
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Old 08-19-2006, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just wondering - are you willing to fund this change and provide 24X7 technical support.
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Old 08-19-2006, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ahem!



I'd recommend vBulletin only now.Kiddin!



Just to inform you that phpbb is free and has technical help available too. It's open source & open to mods too.



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Last edited by siddharth : 08-19-2006 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Just reminding people that switching costs should always play a role in any upgrade discussion. And this is a free forum with minimal advertising.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Haha.

My Appologies for laughing, but the thought of ever going back to a PHPBB community based forum makes me want to laugh.

When BBF just started out (as BlackBerryClub.com) it was a phpBB driven community, up until the instability and server overload features of phpBB were revealed. See this archive for yourself:
http://web.archive.org/web/200502030...rryforums.com/

phpBB is a free, open source software, with many security issues and constant patches necassary, it barely supported this community when there was 6,000 or so members, and had the server do some crazy things such as 30 minute SQL queries.

Therefore, the decision to switch to VBulletin was made, which is a paid board software, takes up similar server resources as a 60,000+ userbase board, as phpBB did with a 6,000 users.

In terms of the other points you mentioned,

Signatures (picture signature that you find "cool") have been disabled on this site to reduce page load and clutter.

Avatars, as long as within size limits are not limited by board software, but rather by the users creativity.

In terms of a Richer feel, Im not sure about that one.. Styles and the way a site looks and feels is dependant on the template, therefore dependant on the owner. This site is feature and stability rich as it needs to support a large community. The days of adding flash to every page just to make it look cool are over. This site is succesful because it follows a similar style model RIM does: Simple and Effective.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree guess that phphh ver 1.0 had the problems and they've been ironed out in the ver 2.0. The site www.gaia.com (the world's largest online forum) uses phpbb mod very effectively.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siddharth
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I agree guess that phphh ver 1.0 had the problems and they've been ironed out in the ver 2.0. The site www.gaia.com (the world's largest online forum) uses phpbb mod very effectively.
last version run was 2.0.11, so it was ver.2.0

GAIA is running such an advanced version of PHPBB (on custom code) that its no longer PHPBB at all.. its pretty much their own inhouse software that started off as phpbb at one point.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think it's a step backwards. I know a few forums that used to be PHPBB and than switch over to vBullentin or other forum software.
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree that Gaia has modified phpbb to an extent that it does not look like phpbb anymore. I still appreciate that you guys had considered the forum software that I liked (from the looks of it).
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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siddharth, I run a few websites with a few forums, some running vBulletin 3.5.4, 3.5.5 and 3.6.0, and others running phpBB 2.0.19, 2.0.21 and another running the new phpBB 3.0b2. Without saying anything else, I agree wholeheartedly with Tom.

I'm not sure if you've done more than simply use the phpBB interface as a user, but in terms of administration, vBulletin is LIGHTYEARS ahead of phpBB. phpBB's 2.2 beta turned 3.0 beta has left me speechless that they simply did not improve hardly ANYTHING - it seems like more of a maintenance patch than anything else, to be honest (and it's taken 3 years to develop!).

The only advantage that I would say that phpBB has over vBulletin is the number of non-commercial add-on styles available. The development community for vBulletin is much better, although some of the great mods are priced-to-sell rather than freely available. Editing styles and templates in vBulletin is a pain in the ass. The configuration of the board is basically limited to a few choice and shared settings. vBulletin has limitless configurable options, the entire template system is in the admin control panel, they have a built-in product/hack and style installation module (one-click installations/configurations, basically). While phpBB offers something similar, its nowhere near the same. Aside from the installation module, perhaps the most improved feature of the 3.5 interface was the AJAX-based posting and moderation system (inline changes, no refresh changes) - really, REALLY awesome.

As far your point on support for the product, there is a HUGE difference between dedicated and professional support (I know two of the support personnel/developers for vBulletin) versus an open-source community for support options (which you also get with the vBulletin.com and vBulletin.org communities). On a related note, when searching phpBB.com's forum, you'll notice that a lot of terms used for looking up 'support-related' items (such as an error) often return a BLANK page (no graphics, PHP loads, etc) - quite humorous for such a great product.

vBulletin pushes the envelope, while phpBB tries to keep pace with its far inferior product. There's also a great level of quality control on the vBulletin product (although a lot of their code *could* be improved). When money is an issue, then phpBB may be a solution; however, when money is not much of an issue, then vBulletin is definitely the preferred way to go.

There is absolutely NO comparison between the two, unless money is the obvious flaw in one's plan for a site. As a user of quite a few forums, there are no features found in phpBB that are superior to those found in vBulletin. If you think they are, they are simply add-ons/hacks that can likely be found in vBulletin as well. For obvious reasons, these hacks and modifications are kept at a bare minimum on forums as large as this one (unless it actually could improve performance).
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Last edited by jibi : 08-20-2006 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I help run a couple of vB based forums, one of them with insane ammounts of data going through it on an hourly basis. vB kills phbb in both speed, themes and UI.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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DONT CHANGE A THING....PLEASE

Tom-You have created a forum that is free of a lot of the pitfass that consume so many forums. I hate going to sites with so much clutter on the page I can't make heads or tails of the posts. The cosmetisc of the site make useing this site unintrusive and useful. The clean no nonsense informative forums like this one are a rearity. I appriciate the amount of manhours it takes to keep this running.

You can please only so many people a day, and today ios not their day...Tomorrow doesn't look to go either
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've got to echo jibi et al.

phpBB is free, but vBulletin blows the doors off it in every way I could imagine that's important from an Admin perspective. I made the switch at MUST (see my sig) from phpBB to vB and I couldn't be happier with it.
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