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Thread: Forum software: our very foundations

  1. #1
    Not dead Derek's Avatar
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    Default Forum software: our very foundations

    As mentioned in the stickied thread, one of the decisions I need to make involves my licence for vBulletin, which expires in April. The version we have has been superceded, and the new version costs US$175; alternately I can get the Publishing Suite version, move the old (increasingly-defunct) news site onto this server so that everything is running from one site, and pay an extra US$75.

    Or I can attempt to roll back to phpBB, a move that would save me that amount of money but could cost me many hours of time- a bug last year meant we lost weeks in downtime right at the end of the season, and cost me countless (unpaid) hours trying to fix things. This is not the preferred option and, without an experienced PHP programmer and database guru coming in to oversee the install and migration, is fraught with danger.

    Or I can look at some other alternative system, I guess.

    One caveat- by changing forum software systems, we may run into difficulty keeping our existing archive. And I barely have time to run one forum, I?m not going to run an active system for ?current posts? and maintain an old one in order to keep our archive. If a new system means losing our archive, I?m very unlikely to support the idea.

    DN
    The Reverend Doktor Derek Nielsen, FEIT, CTAJ, v2.0

  2. #2

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    Would you consider 'outside' (probably) free assistance from a D/B admin, if I can talk them into assisting?

  3. #3

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    My vote would be for moving to a superior and cheaper system (ie phpBB) even if it meant losing existing posts -- let's face it, we've lost probably 90% of The Boards' legacy posts already, the last 10% won't kill us.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumps View Post
    My vote would be for moving to a superior and cheaper system (ie phpBB) even if it meant losing existing posts -- let's face it, we've lost probably 90% of The Boards' legacy posts already, the last 10% won't kill us.
    I think the point Derek was trying to make was that unsupported software is not cheaper. Unless you have the expertise to run it, it costs you hours of time when things go wrong. If you pay for it, you get support with that expertise. I'm guessing this product may be inferior feature wise, but superior in stability?

    I'm a technical person and even I would prefer to outsource a task of technical support for a forum system. It's too specialised and complex to waste time on supporting it unless you have the skills. I doubt very much a DBA would even be any use apart from the most basic database tasks.

    My gut feeling is that $200 a year sounds cheap for software, and $800 a year for hosting sounds expensive. In the day and age of micro billing, I don't think it's acceptable that Derek is out of pocket for the boards.

  5. #5
    Mr. Pink mattic's Avatar
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    PhP seems fairly prolific, which would suggest it's quite easy/reliable. Is that not the case? Was the problem with OzHoops Boards a one-off type disaster that's made you shy, or a bound-to-happen time bomb likely to scupper us again?
    Last edited by mattic; 01-03-2010 at 06:48 PM.
    As far as we know, we are the first and only instance of the Universe becoming aware of itself. Given long enough, carbon begins to wonder where it came from.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mattic View Post
    PhP seems fairly prolific, which would suggest it's quite easy/reliable.
    I think vBulletin is just as prolific, and more prolific when comes to large popular forums. I haven't done the analysis, but I think it's possible that going back to phpbb wouldn't just be a "ZOMG this forum sucks" type reaction.

    It's probably a better idea to list the problems that need solving, rather than base a software decision on speculation?

  7. #7

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    Derek - as a supporter and sponsor of Ozhoops for a number of years now, I would be happy to continue our financial assistance in order for you to make improvements as you see fit.
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