Yes I am still in love with IP.Board. I just can’t wrap my mind around the speed of development as well as how responsive they are to feedback. I remember watching and waiting for phpBB 2.2 (which would eventually become 3) on the Area 51 forum. It wasn’t just the snail’s pace, it was how the support team at the time seemed in utter denial about faults within phpBB 2.0.x. Specifically its being a spam magnet. One needed to some modification to just slow down the speed of spambot registrations. It was this denial and the resistance to consider feedback on features–like the quick reply, something just now being added–that pushed me to vBulletin.
Jelsoft developers spoke of vBulletin 4, but then one day it was revealed that no actual work had been on 4, just talk. New, rather useless and/or ill implemented features were being added to the 3.x line, features that screamed “I want to be MySpace!”. There was the Ad Sense fiasco. Oh, not to mention price raises for both the product and renewal. And of course, the now infamous leak. Not only was vB4’s rewrite going to take years longer than expected, but Internet Brands seemed bound and determined to drive away long time customers.
After seeing version 4 in action I have to say I would be very disappointed if I had paid for that script. And when 5 comes around you’ll have to pay $$$ all over again!
On the IPB side, I recently added my voice to those who wanted a soft delete feature in IP.Board. After a couple of weeks a developer blog update showed that the team had made progress on implementing this into 3.1. That isn’t to say they stick in everything people request, but what they do is give feedback on their feedback. That is to say, if something won’t be added they explain why. They also ask for clarification of feature requests so they have a better idea of what the user is actually asking for, how’d they like it to work within the existing forum etc.
phpBB were, and probably still are, good with talking about their current development. They were just really stubborn and seemed to be focusing on how they themselves would administer a forum and maybe not so much on the end user experience. vBulletin seemed just as focused on trying to attract MySpace users to use VB powered forums, without really thinking things through. IPB seems to be trying to refine what they have before adding onto it, which is also something phpBB did. I guess when it comes down to it phpBB’s lack of spam protection is what makes me not really like being an admin of that software. I would pick MyBB over it. But even so, that free script is able to give better communication than vBulletin PR? I don’t even mean the guys behind the scenes busy coding, I mean people who are supposedly getting paid to talk to the customers.
Oh oh oh oh! I don’t know if it is obvious but I love reading about drama involving scripts! I did the same thing when Joomla! came into being, and now it seems SMF are going through some issues. There is the standstill in development and management issues. I never paid much attention to SMF because I find it ugly and confusing, so a lot of this is kind of “dur” for me, but still…drama drama drama.