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  1. #71
    Senior Member Lynne's Avatar
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    Quote
    Quote: Dave
    Lynne, I didn't answer your questions. phpbb is run by a group of volunteers, although I believe there is an individual at the helm. An open development forum is available for everyone to contribute to new versions. As far as I can see it all works well and has been a stable system for about four years.
    I was just wondering because I had seen some conversations about a year ago about adding a threaded capability. The replies indicated that even though this mod had been requested many times - and someone even ended up writing the mod and putting it on their website - the person making the final decisions wouldn't put that mod in because when you post to a topic, there would always be only one topic. People aren't supposed to go off topic. Hence the name "topic" thread. I thought, uh oh, I don't want to go to another product where the person running it is forcing his beliefs about what is important and what isn't. It just reminded me too much of the initial response of Darryl (and Kevin) as to "why do we need all fancy stuff" (css, tarty's mods, etc.). It really turned me off at the time. But maybe I will go back and look.

    Quote
    Quote: Dave
    FYI, vBulletin is a bit different in that it's a professional team making money. I initially had some reservations about this, my main concern being what would happen if the company went broke. However it seems to be stable with a satisfied customer base so I'm willing to take the risk.
    for my little forum (from which I get no revenue), it is not worth it to go to VBulletin. But I always liked what I saw when I used VBulletin on places like videofitness.com.

    Quote
    Quote: Dave
    And unlike WebBBS, there is such a strong user base for both phpbb and vBulletin that it's hard to imagine them dying.
    I think there would have been a strong user base if Darryl had made WebbBS open source way back when he no longer had time for it.

    Quote
    Quote: Dave
    I still don't know why Google isn't indexing your forum archives but I'm still willing to bet that more links would help. I believe Google makes it's decision on how deeply to spider sites partly on PR ranking. It's quite possible that if you could increase your PR by a point, Google might decide to index one level further.

    In any case inbound links are one of the most important components of search ranking, so even if you do get indexed you'll probably need inbound links to get decent SERP placement.
    Thanks Dave. I have some ideas of different things to do.
    Last edited by Lynne; 18th Dec 2004 at 16:39.

  2. #72
    Senior Member Lynne's Avatar
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    Quote: Dave
    WebBBS should have been given to someone like Rainer or Tarty. Then we would have seen not only progress, but a thriving and healthy community.
    Couldn't agree more. Even if Kevin puts out a new version tomorrow, his whole attitude about the worth of the community's contribution is a real turn off to anyone that has any ideas.

    Anyway, what is is. Actually, I'm glad the conversation did happen on Webbbs, because if people weren't sure about how Kevin felt/worked before, his philosophy is definitely out there now.

    I think I will just submit my request for fixes/mods to Tarty (as I have been doing for the past year or so). Works for me.. plus, I like looking to see what Tarty has come up with next.

  3. #73
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    That's interesting what you say about phpbb. To be honest I probably didn't hang around long enough to get the full picture. On the whole I thought it was a fairly happy community of users - I have seen a couple of minor disagreements but nothing like what happens at awsd.com. Still, there's always a danger when one person is in charge.

    I believe the next phpbb version will not only include many common mods as standard, but include a better way to add mods such as the threaded mod. I could be wrong there so don't take my word for it.

    Also, I had meant to congratulate you Lynne on keeping a cool head and being a voice of reason over at awsd.com. You made some good points and expressed yourself well without getting all upset (like I did). I'm afraid my anger and frustration, built up over a long time, got the better of me. I just had to leave.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  4. #74
    Senior Member Lynne's Avatar
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    Quote
    Quote: Dave
    Also, I had meant to congratulate you Lynne on keeping a cool head and being a voice of reason over at awsd.com. You made some good points and expressed yourself well without getting all upset (like I did). I'm afraid my anger and frustration, built up over a long time, got the better of me. I just had to leave.
    Dave, I'm not so cool; I'm just good at typing long (emotional) posts.. then hitting delete... HAHAHA...

    it did get to me, though when Kevin said that collaboration wouldn't work for webbbs. most of mods in the last few years have been the result of the collaboration of the people on the board. With work done by many people on their own (with no financial incentive, just wanting to improve webbbs) and then bringing that work back to the forum. And that is without any coordination except the forum.

    What a putdown to the regulars on the board that have contributed (or tried to contribute) to webbbs.

    man.. don't get me started. gettin' pissed again. HAHAHA...

  5. #75
    veteran
    Guest

    small world....

    Hi Lynne & David,

    Small world this..(I posted a few frustrated messages on the awsd.com site recently about the lack of updates)..was searching for something else for a pal (Webbs 2 phpbb convertor) and a link to this message board popped up.

    Can I just say congrats..this forum looks great.


    that's all. I just thought I'd say hi!

    Cheers

    Veteran

  6. #76
    Administrator Dave's Avatar
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    Hi Veteran,

    Funnily enough, I was going to post a message here saying "I wonder who that veteran person is"! Are you keen to say more about yourself or your site(s), or would you prefer to stay anonymous? If it's the latter, I understand.

    I see you share the same frustrations that we have been through. As you can see, there's not a lot of point in trying to get your point of view across over at awsd.com.

    However, at least Kevin has partly responded to the criticism and released a history list. This is a positive step - at least people know what to expect now. Some time ago I tried to get him to release such a list so I could make plans and he dissed me with a sarcastic response. Oh well, good on him for doing it now, albeit very belated.

    I am very glad to see the mods from Tarty, Lynne and others included. Frankly I think there would have been a riot if they weren't, and let's face it -- Kevin would have had an embarrassing version 6 without them.

    Not wanting to keep bagging Kevin when he's made some effort, but I do think a few things need pointing out:

    - The list seems impressive, but given the time it's taken, it's not actually impressive at all. Most of the work Kevin has done seems to be bug fixes, and not very time-consuming work. In any other software these things would have been added to regular incremental releases instead of saved up and used as padding for a major release.

    - Most of the good stuff has come from other contributors. I think the implications for Kevin's "man alone" strategy are fairly obvious.

    If you exclude the mods done by other people and compare Kevin's work to the work I've done on my own WebBBS installation in the last two years, I have kicked Kevin's butt. As well as a large number of minor fixes and tweaks (which on their own are appoximately equal to what Kevin's done), I have developed a complete MySQL-based user management system with registration, flexible group/individual permissions, and much more. I have also developed a moderator system to allow multiple moderators with various access levels. I could have done a lot more except that I saw where WebBBS was going and gave up early this year.

    If I could do all this (not being half the programmer Kevin claims to be) whilst holding down my day job, dealing with my own family situtation, and working on many other projects simultaneously, what the #### has Kevin been doing? I know, his wife has been unwell. We all do appreciate that fact, but the other fact remains: Kevin is clearly far too slow.

    - Even with the new features, WebBBS is still woefully behind other software. This release doesn't even begin to address the burning issues such as lack of user management, file system inefficiencies, lack of template system, etc. These are the things which prevent WebBBS from being taken seriously in the big wide world, and until they are resolved, the prognosis for WebBBS is "Still dead, condition unlikely to change".

    But let's be happy for those still using WebBBS. This is good news for them.
    Dave Owen
    MediaCollege.com

  7. #77
    Senior Member Lynne's Avatar
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    Quote: veteran
    Hi Lynne & David,

    Small world this..(I posted a few frustrated messages on the awsd.com site recently about the lack of updates)..was searching for something else for a pal (Webbs 2 phpbb convertor) and a link to this message board popped up.

    Can I just say congrats..this forum looks great.


    that's all. I just thought I'd say hi!

    Cheers

    Veteran
    Veteran, I had nothing to do with this forum. This is all Dave's work. If you look thru the thread, Harry has links to his new forum, too.

    My forum is still webbbs.

    so... veteran, are you going with Drupal?
    Last edited by Lynne; 20th Dec 2004 at 04:42.

  8. #78
    Jason (Veteran)
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    small world...

    Hi Dave,

    My name is Jason. I work as a freelance web/new media guy in Ireland & the UK specialising in music stuff..a mix of artist and label clients.

    My frustrations with webbbs is fuelled more by embarrasment and grief, I have to say. Not to mention Kevins attutide.

    A while back I persuaded a client that webbs was better compared to the www.velvetrope.com (phpbb) style message boards - which are good, but ergonomically and aesthetically they don't cut the mustard in my opinion.

    I agree with you when you say they (phpbb style boards) may not be the best but it's what a lot of people are familiar with and therefore more pragmatic.

    The cost of webbbs was not the issue with the client, that was minor, it was the clients insistance to not use it because other sites were using phpbb style boards and therefore development would be quicker....it wasn't lost on the client that the last significant update of webbbs was dated 2002.

    To cut a long story short, it took a lot of persuading and I fought the webbbs corner.

    And have since lived to regret it...having to hack away at the code myself, trawl through the webbbs forum looking for tips/help etc. and many very late nights trying to sort something out. I'm not a perl, php, cgi or code expert, so, I shouldn't really complain, but, it was the sheer silence from support. Tumbleweed stuff. And the recent reaction to the discussion/questions from other people in similar situations that compelled me to post a message on the site.

    Worth mentioning that before posting on the support forums, I went to almost every single link on the site to see if I was missing something very obvious and I actually thought Kevin was really Daryll at one stage...I had made a knee jerk connection with the personal problems Daryll had with his life and the tone of Kevins responses to queries...i.e. it was Daryll in disguise as Kevin. It looks like I'm wrong and Kevin has had his own personal problems of late with whats going on in his life. The logic and tone of Kevins posts suggested to me that something very weird was going on that hadn't anything to do with webbbs..hence the ASSumption (pun intended!) that it was really Daryll in disguise.

    Part of me really enjoyed webbbs at the outset, especially the way people used to help each other out on the support forum, it was fun. That soon turned into frustration when a client was on my back screaming for upgrades, new features etc. and there was no response from awsd.com and the inevitable finger was pointing at other phpbb forums...not to mention other designers the client had asked opinions from.

    Hope that explains where I was coming from.

    In response to your points about Kevins update, I'm afraid I wouldn't give him as much positive karma as you do.

    I probably haven't explained myself properly on the webbbs support forum (probably too frustrated to be coherent), but, there is an extremely simple way of getting people to post their own "hacks" or minor "upgrades" on a site so that everyone can use them. It's not rocket science and it's simply setting a protocol and procedure for posting patches so that other users can a) understand what the patch does, b) which pl files need to be modified c) which elements will be affected by the patch and d) how to apply the patch.

    It's a pity I wan't very good at explaining myself, as deep down, I'm still fond of webbbs and will be saddened not to use it anymore (clients site is moving across to drupal with a drupal forum in frames - like webbbs).

    I couldn't agree more with your comments about the latest "updates". I think you are being too charitable to Kevin/webbs team. I genuinely and naively thought that suggesting a shift in strategy with the project - which is obviously at a pivotal stage - would inject some life and longevity in the project. I was wrong. As Lynne correctly pointed out, there are thousands of sites out there using webbbs who will be screaming for upgrades at this stage. It's not rocket science to work out the cash value of emailing everyone with an "elastoplast" upgrade for free under the original agreement..and following up with a version 7.0 release. And charging for it.

    I have no problem with someone making money for work they do. I just think it is in very bad taste the way it is being managed. I believe it's people like Lynn, Tarty, John, Kevin & others who should own webbbs now.

    Ironically, I was going to volunteer helping out in structuring the "new phase" in the project and help revamp the website to bring it up to date and make it more fluid and er..welcoming..for lack of a better word. Which still would bring in revenue...which would be shared across the people who deserve it. As opposed to one or two individuals.

    Anyway...just thought I'd drop by and respond to your post Dave. Hope that gives you a better idea to where I was coming from.

    I have bookmarked your site and will pop back here when we have completed the changeover from webbbs to drupal and paste in a link.

    cheers

    Jason (veteran)

  9. #79
    Jason (veteran)
    Guest

    Hi Lynne

    Quote
    Quote: Lynne
    Veteran, I had nothing to do with this forum. This is all Dave's work. If you look thru the thread, Harry has links to his new forum, too. My forum is still webbbs. so... veteran, are you going with Drupal?
    Hi Lynn,

    Apologies...the congrats was directed at Dave...will check out Harry's forum as well when I get the chance.

    To answer your question re: Drupal...yes. It is truly superb and the community around drupal is just as superb as the one that was around webbbs in the past.

    The learning curve to getting to know drupal was high for me (I'm not very techy..I understand the black box side of technology and can tweak a bit of perl and php, but am no where near an expert) but once that was over, it is great. Can't wax lyrical enough about it to be honest.

    For what it's worth, the main reasons for changing over from webbbs to drupal, beyond the issues with Kevin etc., is for a few reasons:

    a) the natural progression or next generation message board

    Originally (webbbs) message boards were a simple extention of a website guestbook or comments page, where people could simply post a message. After a while a mini-community started to evolve around message boards as people exchanged opinions, tips, links etc.

    Drupal is an example of the next stage where web sites handshakie with message boards more intimately...where visitors or the mesage-board-community want to be able to interact more than just leave messages.

    The application I'm working on at the moment is for a music website in England. The visitors are a mix of artists and business types..like record label managers, promoters, managers etc.

    Music is a good example of an area where opinion is a currency and where a message board alone isn't enough to maintain an online community anymore in my honest opinion.

    Similar to what happened in the USA recently with the presidential election - all the big news stories were broken on weblogs. Not by a newsdesk research team at a national broadcaster...but by a website that allows people to post weblogs. So the general devaluing of the mainstream media, coupled with the rise of independent opinions leaves scope for message board communities to evolve into something more.

    The similarity with music is simply a combination of the sheer volume of news and music releases that are out there, coupled with the general mis-trust of the media. No longer do people take notice of reviews in the newspapers or magazines to help make the decision on what albums to buy, instead they would tend to listen to word of mouth online..via weblogs or message boards.

    From the business side of music perspective - there is so much news items and things happening, it's becoming common for publishers to switch to telex type newsletters with a link to opinions. i.e. one sentance for each story. "The BBC lays off 22,000 employees" is the news sentence with a link to Editorial or increasingly to a well thought out weblog of opinions.


    b) Beyond the obvious news/media and opinion sharing capabilities of weblogs etc. there are a lot of other features that Drupal allows you to setup very simply and easily, while at the same time acting as a simple Content Management System for the complete website.

    Such as chat rooms, voice-chat, photo galleries, mobile phone weblogs (nicknamed moblogs..allows people to submit photos from their mobile phone and reviews of gigs etc. for example straight into their blogs), collaborative articles/books, classifieds, members directory, ecommerce, affiliates, mp3 directory and I could go on..

    c) Drupal is fully scaleable. the community that has grown around drupal is contributing new modules and features at a breakneck speed. The guys behind drupal have simply set up a simple protocol on how to submit a new module/feature, which makes it extremely easy for someone as thick as me to download, install and try out the new feature. And pop back in to mention any problems i had installing or suggestions for improving it.

    (as an aside - what a pity I couldn't explain this properly to Kevin as there is still scope for Kevin to make money with the drupal style approach of development)

    Sorry for gushing so much and waxing so lyrical about drupal. I just love it.
    in an ideal world, I would love to be able to combine webbbs with drupal...i.e. use the webbs style board instead of the drupal forum..and using the drupal backend for authentification. But, I haven't got a clue where to start with something like that. Instead, I'm going to modify the drupal forum using CSS and templates to be frames based. I like the mix of old and new they have achieved with the ninja tunes forum...which looks like webbbs, but, isn't.

    Recommend you have a quick look. It is so like webbbs...but not..all at the same time..

    http://www.ninjatune.net/forum/

    If I can come close to that with my attempts, with different colour schemes, I will be very happy..

    Anyway..sorry again for going on so much...am obviously hooked by drupal and the spirit of sharing that goes with that..

    Jason (Veteran)

  10. #80
    I see this thread grows on as does the crazy insane stuff on awsd.

    Here's my latest adventure: http://www.smokstak.com/gallery/

    I have a lot more to do in the aesthetics department and to decide how to let users create directories, but this is a start.

    -- Harry

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