For a good portion of this year it looked as if we might see the newest incarnation of vBulletin by year’s end, but now I’m not so sure. The other thing I’m not so sure on is how I feel about the product, or should I say the company behind it.
Back in May there was a mess up with permissions on the official forums and details about future plans were revealed to the public. When this hit I was floored and more than a touch angry. Recently IB has come out and stated that if one has an active license when vB4 is released they can download it under the current terms.
The entire thing is just disappointing because vB4 is not a complete rewrite (yet) so the idea of having to pay for it again was just…ugh. Right before the leak I had been trying to get excited about it, mostly thinking of the new style. I’m still looking forward to an easier way to skin the forum, good lord am I ever. But their SEO features are not really something I care for, especially since one of the changes that has been proposed isn’t really for the better: getting rid of page numbers in the title of threads you’re browsing. Hopefully they have rethought that or at least have made it an option. In general I really don’t care much for SEO dodads, but the sitemap feature will be nice.
All that is to say that vB4 wasn’t all that exciting before the leak and during the three months of IB stalling giving any sort of response, things were looking dimmer. One of the reasons I went with VB over IPB was the attitude of IPB, specifically how they handled going from “free forever!” to a payed solution. IB’s attitude about the leak was almost enough to make me switch, except IPB3 at the time didn’t have its payed subscription manager up and running yet. Not to mention converting can be a real pain in the ass. However the fact that I even went over to their site and checked out what they offered was probably the biggest sign of how much IB screwed up. Plenty of other forum owners just went ahead and made the plunge to switch.
Still, in all likelihood I will be upgrading to vB4, we’ll see about version five when it gets here. I’m hoping IB doesn’t disappoint further when they finally release the pricing info. It really shouldn’t be taking them this long, but I figured when the leak happened they’d wait until the last minute and so far looks like I’m right.