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Why phbBB2?

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espicom
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008

Posts: 55
Location: Woodstock, IL


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:42 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Downside to updating to v3 for me is:

Loss of Calendar MOD. Replacements I've seen are incomplete.

Loss of Photo Gallery MOD. Not really a BIG loss, but some of my users use it, so those forums stay v2 for now. I've seen several "replacements", but they are either worse than Smartor's MOD (which is saying a lot), or supported by assholes (Yes, CopperMine).

Loss of Knowledge Base MOD. This really only affects two forums, but one of those got converted this week anyway, because people were complaining about the FREECAP confirmation I'm using on the v2 forums. Haven't even looked to see if it's been replaced with a v3 MOD yet, since it went unsupported in v2 for so long...

ProSilver style sucks, and SubSilver2 seems designed to make Prosilver look better.
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~Cowboy~
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Joined: 08 Dec 2008

Posts: 297
Location: Chicago


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:14 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

espicom wrote:
ProSilver style sucks, and SubSilver2 seems designed to make Prosilver look better.


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I think this should be the first template project:

Make a copy of the Prosilver template for phpbb2.

Its not that I like it.. (I really don't) But some people just love those round corners. So if phpbb2 had it also, it would really make some people happy that do not want to downgrade to phpbb3 just to get that template. icon_wink.gif

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Ram
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Joined: 23 Dec 2008

Posts: 100
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 4:47 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=542520 icon_biggrin.gif
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Nightrider
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008

Posts: 41
Location: St Petersburg, FL


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:08 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

IMO, phpBB2 was a great success due to its relative simplicity. It made it so just about anyone with at least half brain could admin a board on the Internet. OTOH, phpBB3 template code is far too complex for the average HTML coder. It totally defies the KISS principle...

Also, phpBB3 has a serious cache problem. For no reason at all, a board can go blank due to errors in the cache files. I have no clue what causes the errors, but they do seem to occur frequently. Most people don't know that all they have to do to get their boards back online is to empty the cache folder. It is not an obvious solution. I have had to fix several phpBB3 boards because of this problem. So there seems to be a flaw in the phpBB3 caching system...

For boards like mine, upgrading to phpBB3 would have meant that we would have to give up a lot of functionality that our members enjoy. I really didn't see how they would benefit by giving up so many features. They weren't gaining anything other than a different forum look. The trade-offs weren't worth it...

I have helped many admins upgrade to phpBB3 who had been happily using phpBB2 for quite a while. Quite a few of them decided to switch to vBulletin shortly afterwards. Based on the difficulty of use and the bugs in the caching system, they dropped phpBB altogether. Before updating to phpBB3, they seemed to be happy with phpBB2...

It is possible that phpBB3 will become a great success. My gut feeling is that it is the beginning of the end of phpBB. The developers totally forgot about the admins when coding phpBB3. They provided some extra functionality, but the underlying template code was much more difficult to work with. When making a change to a template in the ACP, to get the change to appear for the members, the cache file had to be deleted. It just seems that phpBB3 is much more difficult to work with for most admins. I doubt that most enjoy working on the tool. Most prefer to spend their times talking to their members in their community than to be constantly fighting the tool...

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Techie-Micheal
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Joined: 27 Dec 2008

Posts: 49



PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:18 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Nightrider wrote:
IMO, phpBB2 was a great success due to its relative simplicity. It made it so just about anyone with at least half brain could admin a board on the Internet. OTOH, phpBB3 template code is far too complex for the average HTML coder. It totally defies the KISS principle...
I half-agree. It is more complex because the software is more complex. It offers features that are not found in phpBB2, so of course it is going to be more complicated. As with anything, there's going to be a learning curve. That all said, I've not seen many complaints about the templating.

Quote:
Also, phpBB3 has a serious cache problem. For no reason at all, a board can go blank due to errors in the cache files. I have no clue what causes the errors, but they do seem to occur frequently. Most people don't know that all they have to do to get their boards back online is to empty the cache folder. It is not an obvious solution. I have had to fix several phpBB3 boards because of this problem. So there seems to be a flaw in the phpBB3 caching system...
I've never seen this happen. I don't recall seeing topics about it in support either. Links? Maybe we can work on figuring out what's going on.

Quote:
For boards like mine, upgrading to phpBB3 would have meant that we would have to give up a lot of functionality that our members enjoy. I really didn't see how they would benefit by giving up so many features. They weren't gaining anything other than a different forum look. The trade-offs weren't worth it...
There's a lot more to phpBB3 than a different look. A whole lot more.

Quote:
I have helped many admins upgrade to phpBB3 who had been happily using phpBB2 for quite a while. Quite a few of them decided to switch to vBulletin shortly afterwards. Based on the difficulty of use and the bugs in the caching system, they dropped phpBB altogether. Before updating to phpBB3, they seemed to be happy with phpBB2...
I've actually seen more and more people pick up phpBB after holding off on phpBB2 because they didn't like it.

Quote:
It is possible that phpBB3 will become a great success. My gut feeling is that it is the beginning of the end of phpBB. The developers totally forgot about the admins when coding phpBB3. They provided some extra functionality, but the underlying template code was much more difficult to work with. When making a change to a template in the ACP, to get the change to appear for the members, the cache file had to be deleted. It just seems that phpBB3 is much more difficult to work with for most admins. I doubt that most enjoy working on the tool. Most prefer to spend their times talking to their members in their community than to be constantly fighting the tool...
The ACP templates problem, as was discussed at Londonvasion, is being fixed for 3.2. However, I have to strongly disagree that phpBB3 is the end of phpBB. As I mentioned above, more and more people are seriously considering phpBB again and moving to it now that phpBB3 is out.
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~Cowboy~
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Joined: 08 Dec 2008

Posts: 297
Location: Chicago


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:35 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

@ Micheal

I disagree with you on many issues. But the one that shines out to me most is people going to phpbb3 because they like it better.. That my friend is not happening. I have not seen one case of this. Every case I see is people wanting to convert back to phpbb2 because phpbb3 is impossible for them to navigate. Both in the ACP and the client end.

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SamG
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008

Posts: 48
Location: Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:50 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Micheal wrote:
Quote:
Also, phpBB3 has a serious cache problem. For no reason at all, a board can go blank due to errors in the cache files. I have no clue what causes the errors, but they do seem to occur frequently. Most people don't know that all they have to do to get their boards back online is to empty the cache folder. It is not an obvious solution. I have had to fix several phpBB3 boards because of this problem. So there seems to be a flaw in the phpBB3 caching system...
I've never seen this happen. I don't recall seeing topics about it in support either. Links? Maybe we can work on figuring out what's going on.

There have been several support topics on this, back toward mid-year. People searching for solutions to "white page" errors are often mentioning that they've already tried clearing the cache because of these older topics.

Some have inquired about tools to auto-purge the cache, but that's not a good idea. Whether it's a cache problem or an environment issue, I can't guess. But cache corruption isn't an isolated problem, as far as I can tell.
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Nightrider
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008

Posts: 41
Location: St Petersburg, FL


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:52 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Micheal wrote:
I half-agree. It is more complex because the software is more complex. It offers features that are not found in phpBB2, so of course it is going to be more complicated. As with anything, there's going to be a learning curve.

As a coder, I know that just because you add numerous new features to a program, you don't have to make the underlying code more complicated. In fact, if your code has to be understandable for the largest possible audience, it is better to make the underlying code as simple as possible. They call it the KISS principle. Complex does not equate to better, which is something a lot of coders don't fully understand. I can write code that no one can understand. Is that better? Most of the time it is not. If you are writing code that non-coders can understand, the last thing you would want to do is make the learning curve steeper. Most simply won't make the trip if you make things too difficult. And that would defy the whole KISS philosophy that made phpBB2 such a great success...

Micheal wrote:
I've never seen this happen. I don't recall seeing topics about it in support either. Links? Maybe we can work on figuring out what's going on.

Perhaps if the phpbb.com search was working correctly, I would be happy to provide you links to topics dealing with this problem. I am not about to waste my time manually searching through the 1500+ pages of topics looking for them though. They are there though if you want to do that time consuming search yourself...

Whether you have seen them or not, the problem does exist. I have had to fix this problem several times for boards that asked for my help. Once I saw it happen twice, I knew exactly what to do each time I saw it repeated on other sites. When the cached files get corrupted, the forum goes blank and stays that way until the cache folder is emptied. Since there are no error messages, most have no clue what to do to remedy their problem...

I will leave troubleshooting this caching problem to the phpBB3 developers. I continue to offer tech support mostly to phpBB2 boards and will only help with phpBB3 boards whenever it appears that they are fighting this caching problem. Otherwise, I really am not interested in troubleshooting phpBB3 problems since I have no desire to ever "upgrade" my heavily modded phpBB2 community to it...

Micheal wrote:
There's a lot more to phpBB3 than a different look. A whole lot more.

What does phpBB3 offer that I don't have in my heavily modded phpBB2 community? I can tell you a lot about what I offer in my heavily modded phpBB2 community that we would have to give up to "upgrade" to phpBB3...

Micheal wrote:
I've actually seen more and more people pick up phpBB after holding off on phpBB2 because they didn't like it.

I've seen more and more long term phpBB2 admins moving away from phpBB since phpBB3 was introduced. VBulletin probably is very thankful for the introduction of phpBB3...

Micheal wrote:
The ACP templates problem, as was discussed at Londonvasion, is being fixed for 3.2.

It appears that the current phpBB version is 3.0.4. So how long do people have to wait for this obvious problem to be corrected? It should have been corrected in 3.0.1...

Micheal wrote:
However, I have to strongly disagree that phpBB3 is the end of phpBB.

Time will tell...

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SamG
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008

Posts: 48
Location: Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 10:54 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

~Cowboy~ wrote:
But the one that shines out to me most is people going to phpbb3 because they like it better.. That my friend is not happening.

I took Micheal's comment to mean that some people who've avoided phpBB altogether because of disliking phpBB 2 have been willing to rethink their view on the strength of phpBB 3. I think there is some evidence that that is happening.
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Nightrider
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008

Posts: 41
Location: St Petersburg, FL


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:08 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

I wonder how many who avoided phpBB2 but have tried phpBB3 have now gone back to avoiding phpBB again after they gave phpBB3 a run? I do know that phpBB3 is much more difficult than phpBB2 for non-coders who are just installing their first boards. If they couldn't understand phpBB2 code, then phpBB3 is likely to be impossible for them...

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Techie-Micheal
Board Member



Joined: 27 Dec 2008

Posts: 49



PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:19 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Nightrider wrote:
Micheal wrote:
I half-agree. It is more complex because the software is more complex. It offers features that are not found in phpBB2, so of course it is going to be more complicated. As with anything, there's going to be a learning curve.

As a coder, I know that just because you add numerous new features to a program, you don't have to make the underlying code more complicated. In fact, if your code has to be understandable for the largest possible audience, it is better to make the underlying code as simple as possible. They call it the KISS principle. Complex does not equate to better, which is something a lot of coders don't fully understand. I can write code that no one can understand. Is that better? Most of the time it is not. If you are writing code that non-coders can understand, the last thing you would want to do is make the learning curve steeper. Most simply won't make the trip if you make things too difficult. And that would defy the whole KISS philosophy that made phpBB2 such a great success...
You are misreading what I wrote. icon_smile.gif As a programmer myself, I am well aware of what KISS is and how to write code for simplicity. However, I also understand that if you modify modify and improve one system, you cannot help but modify and improve the remaining affected systems. As I wrote, I agree that the templating is more complex, but there's a valid reason for that.

Quote:
Micheal wrote:
I've never seen this happen. I don't recall seeing topics about it in support either. Links? Maybe we can work on figuring out what's going on.

Perhaps if the phpbb.com search was working correctly, I would be happy to provide you links to topics dealing with this problem. I am not about to waste my time manually searching through the 1500+ pages of topics looking for them though. They are there though if you want to do that time consuming search yourself...

Whether you have seen them or not, the problem does exist. I have had to fix this problem several times for boards that asked for my help. Once I saw it happen twice, I knew exactly what to do each time I saw it repeated on other sites. When the cached files get corrupted, the forum goes blank and stays that way until the cache folder is emptied. Since there are no error messages, most have no clue what to do to remedy their problem...
Please note I never said the problem didn't exist, I asked about it because I had never seen it or run in to it myself.

Quote:
I will leave troubleshooting this caching problem to the phpBB3 developers. I continue to offer tech support mostly to phpBB2 boards and will only help with phpBB3 boards whenever it appears that they are fighting this caching problem. Otherwise, I really am not interested in troubleshooting phpBB3 problems since I have no desire to ever "upgrade" my heavily modded phpBB2 community to it...
That's not how a community grows.

Quote:
Micheal wrote:
There's a lot more to phpBB3 than a different look. A whole lot more.

What does phpBB3 offer that I don't have in my heavily modded phpBB2 community? I can tell you a lot about what I offer in my heavily modded phpBB2 community that we would have to give up to "upgrade" to phpBB3...
Advanced permissions, native attachments, enhanced templating abilities, native subforums, and plenty more that most of the more popular MODs offer. Perhaps you could give me examples?

Quote:
Micheal wrote:
I've actually seen more and more people pick up phpBB after holding off on phpBB2 because they didn't like it.

I've seen more and more long term phpBB2 admins moving away from phpBB since phpBB3 was introduced. VBulletin probably is very thankful for the introduction of phpBB3...

[...]

I disagree with you on many issues. But the one that shines out to me most is people going to phpbb3 because they like it better.. That my friend is not happening. I have not seen one case of this. Every case I see is people wanting to convert back to phpbb2 because phpbb3 is impossible for them to navigate. Both in the ACP and the client end.
Actually, as SamG pointed out, it is very much happening. As you pointed out above, just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. icon_wink.gif I've seen a number of people just recently that are going with phpBB3 now that it is out, rather than phpBB2 because they don't like phpBB2. Heck, if I were in their position, I'd be doing the same. I much prefer phpBB3 over phpBB2. By leaps and bounds.

Quote:
Micheal wrote:
The ACP templates problem, as was discussed at Londonvasion, is being fixed for 3.2.

It appears that the current phpBB version is 3.0.4. So how long do people have to wait for this obvious problem to be corrected? It should have been corrected in 3.0.1...
Because from what I understand the developers don't consider it a bug in the current design, but rather a change from the current design. The current design works as it should from what I've seen, but it is the design itself that the developers are looking to change, which those kinds of things should wait until the next minor release, rather than a revisional release.
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Techie-Micheal
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Joined: 27 Dec 2008

Posts: 49



PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:51 pm 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Nightrider wrote:
I wonder how many who avoided phpBB2 but have tried phpBB3 have now gone back to avoiding phpBB again after they gave phpBB3 a run? I do know that phpBB3 is much more difficult than phpBB2 for non-coders who are just installing their first boards. If they couldn't understand phpBB2 code, then phpBB3 is likely to be impossible for them...


On the contrary, I find reading phpBB3's code much easier on the eyes. It is less spaghetti code and more coherent logical code. icon_smile.gif I'm not the only one who feels that way. David, aka Highway_of_Life, feels so strongly about that that he refused to MOD for phpBB2 and sticks with phpBB3.
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Nightrider
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008

Posts: 41
Location: St Petersburg, FL


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:16 am 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Micheal wrote:
As I wrote, I agree that the templating is more complex, but there's a valid reason for that.

So what is the reason? If you make the system too complex and difficult, then some who could barely admin a phpBB2 board will never be able to do so for a phpBB3 board. So how is that a benefit for promoting a growing phpBB community???

Micheal wrote:
Please note I never said the problem didn't exist, I asked about it because I had never seen it or run in to it myself.

It's a common and recurring problem in phpBB3. And since there are no error messages, few will be able to figure out how to correct the problem. The caching problem can happen at any time even though no changes have been made in the code. There is no warning, no errors, and no hint of what might have happened. The phpBB3 community simply goes offline, which really isn't good if you are trying to grow a new and active community...

Micheal wrote:
Quote:
I will leave troubleshooting this caching problem to the phpBB3 developers. I continue to offer tech support mostly to phpBB2 boards and will only help with phpBB3 boards whenever it appears that they are fighting this caching problem. Otherwise, I really am not interested in troubleshooting phpBB3 problems since I have no desire to ever "upgrade" my heavily modded phpBB2 community to it...
That's not how a community grows.

But you are assuming that I want to help phpBB3 grow. I don't. I totally lost interest in phpBB3 because of the coding mistakes and unnecessary complexity and because of the rudeness of the phpBB.com community. I avoided that rudeness by offering technical support in Area 51. That worked well until phpBB.com was hacked and was offline for 3 weeks, and the rude moderators from phpBB.com brought their attitude to Area 51. You can't expect to build a community if TPTB are hostile. The release of the overly/unnecessarily complex and buggy phpBB3 was the straw that broke the camel's back for me, so it was easy for me to walk away. I see no benefit in growing the phpBB3 community...

Micheal wrote:
Advanced permissions, native attachments, enhanced templating abilities, native subforums, and plenty more that most of the more popular MODs offer. Perhaps you could give me examples?

Strike One (and this is a major strike): There is no modding tool included or built for phpBB3. I offer tech support and modding instructions for those using EasyMod. When will EM be designed to work in phpBB3? Since EM was not strongly supported by the current phpBB3 developers, is it safe to assume that phpBB3 will never include a modding tool like EM???

I have everything that you listed and much, much more in my phpBB2 community. And yet, my underlying code remains fairly straight-forward and simple. I have radio, a game room, a gallery, newfeeds, digests, notes, emoticon library, phoogle map, posting history, etc, etc, etc. So why would I give those up? Are these MODs available for phpBB3? Even if they were, what is the benefit for me to start with a clean phpBB3 board and have to manually add those MODs to the code when we already have these MODs installed in my community???

What does phpBB3 offer that we don't already have other than a different look? As far as looks go, I have 12 fully modded templates installed in my community so that people can choose their own preference...

Micheal wrote:
Actually, as SamG pointed out, it is very much happening. As you pointed out above, just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. icon_wink.gif

And just because you say it doesn't make it true either. If you noticed, saying the "fundamentals of our economy are strong" didn't make it true. I have seen many switch AWAY from phpBB since phpBB3 was introduced. If phpBB3 is so great, why have I seen so many admins quit using phpBB after "upgrading" to phpBB3? They seemed content with phpBB2 before they "upgraded" to phpBB3...

Micheal wrote:
Because from what I understand the developers don't consider it a bug in the current design, but rather a change from the current design. The current design works as it should from what I've seen, but it is the design itself that the developers are looking to change, which those kinds of things should wait until the next minor release, rather than a revisional release.

The current design does not work correctly, so can't be considered a "feature". If you edit a template in the ACP and can't see the changes in the forum, then that is a bug. You can't sugarcoat that. If you offer an editor in your ACP that allows admins to modify their templates, then their templates should display the modifications in the template after saving them in the ACP utility. There is no mention that the admin must then go to the FTP server and delete the cached file for the changes to appear in the community. Why should they have to take that extra step? And how would most non-coding admins know that they have to take it???

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drathbun
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Joined: 24 Jul 2008

Posts: 728
Location: Texas


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:21 am 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

An "EasyMOD" replacement was recently released for phpBB3.

AutoMOD 1.0.0 Beta 1 released

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espicom
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008

Posts: 55
Location: Woodstock, IL


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:51 am 
Post subject: Re: Why phbBB2?

Quote:
The current design does not work correctly, so can't be considered a "feature". If you edit a template in the ACP and can't see the changes in the forum, then that is a bug. You can't sugarcoat that. If you offer an editor in your ACP that allows admins to modify their templates, then their templates should display the modifications in the template after saving them in the ACP utility. There is no mention that the admin must then go to the FTP server and delete the cached file for the changes to appear in the community. Why should they have to take that extra step? And how would most non-coding admins know that they have to take it???


You do not have to go to your FTP program. You do have to find the button on the ACP's default page to clear the cache, however, AND remember that you have to do it. Just been there, had to find it, to put Adsense back on a just-converted forum.
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