IPB4 / xF: 2015's opinions?

Discussion in 'Forum Software Development' started by jekyll, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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    Not unlike many other people, I started a forum immediately when I saw XenForo the first time.

    Not unlike many other people, it bores me to see XenForo now as everyone has it and everyone uses the same old effects and styles.

    After having looked at the current Woltlab Burning Board (which is like an even more annoying version of XenForo) and stumbled upon the IPB4 release, I wonder if anyone of you has had a chance to directly compare IPB4 and XenForo yet. (I tried to get a demo, but I got one with "Bandwidth Exceeded", sigh.) How's your experience?
     
  2. Digital Phoenix

    Digital Phoenix Coffee Ninja

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    I played around with the pre-release and wasn't happy with it. Compared to both woltlab and Xf it falls flat on it's face.
     
  3. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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    What can Woltlab do better? All Woltlab boards I've seen so far all look the same and have annoying pop-ups everywhere.
     
  4. Digital Phoenix

    Digital Phoenix Coffee Ninja

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    It has more features for a start, also if you're needing chat, Tim's chat has no comparison. I'd write more but it seems life is getting in my way and I have to run. Lol
     
  5. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    I'm running IPS4 on a site I have and I have 2 on XenForo.
    Overall I'm liking IPS 4, but there are some issues that have raised their head (not really show stoppers but more a pain in the ass type stuff).

    One is that if you run in SSL mode, your linked content will cause your green secure flag to go yellow due to insecure content. There is an add-on that somewhat resolves this, but it has a few small issues itself. It is on the roadmap for inclusion of a proxy for images in an upcoming version of IPS but no firm date on it.

    Another issue I ran into involves the use of nginx and IPS and some of the back end related functions. The FURL location definitions for the in the VHOST works fine for the front end and a lot of the back end (the try_files call). You have issues if you try to punch down further into some of the area options. Specifically where I had issues at were when you went to the System -> Applications and then punched down (expanded) those applications to make changes to any of the settings. You would get a
    Code:
    #3S101/A
    We could not locate the item you are trying to view.
    error. I was able to resolve that by having to insert a special try_files in a location definition for the admin panel links.

    If you plan on the heavy use of promotions for anything, then you are restricted to 2 items with IPS that you can use for promotions. They are length of time of membership and # of approved content. If you want any other type of promotions it will require the use of an add-on. If you have plans for more than 10 of any type of promotions using more than those 2 types, then it will require purchase of said add-on.

    The editor has some real quirks to it. Once you learn how it works, then it's not so bad - but it's a radical shift from how most work. Trying to delete quotes you've inserted (either accidentally or because you no longer want to quote them) are not as easy as with XenForo or even WBB.

    Their support site is "adequate" in that getting a question answered is frequently hit & miss.... and if it is something to do with styling then the frequent refrain is "Here, get this add-on" or "There's an add-on that does that". I had several tell me to get an add-on, when the issue could be better resolved by a simple 1 line CSS code addition that resolved the styling issue better than the add-on did.
    Lord help you if you actually want to know how to do CSS/Template styling related actions. It's like they have a real lack of technical competent people over there on the support site (users) - different than what WBB or XenForo has. There ARE a few, but then they tend to have made an add-on for stuff and they push you towards it. I'll be the first to admit that I prefer doing edits than adding add-ons, especially since when you have an issue on the site and use the "support" guide, one of the first things it does as it walks you through is disable all add-ons.


    As for WBB, I haven't gotten a copy if it yet (other than the BETA release they had out that I didn't spend a bunch of time on), I'll probably be grabbing a copy on the 1st - if I decide to bring the other domain back online that I have, so I can't really speak from first hand experience on it.
     
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  6. the grayson

    the grayson Aspirant

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    Your second sentence definitely echoes a sentiment I hear quite a bit in regards to Xenforo communities really. From my understanding, nearly 30 percent of their users are now running on IPB4. This thread on TAZ gives you a taste of various forums running it and I enjoyed reading their feedback threads to see what major issues there are/were and improvements they have taken.

    https://theadminzone.com/threads/forums-running-ipb4-ive-found.134167/

    They do have some bugs/flaws to iron out, which is expected of a brand new product, of course but it does seem like they are moving in the right direction. Quite a few big sites are using them.

    This site recently moved to IPB4 and the site seems to be doing quite well
    http://www.uk-muscle.co.uk/
     
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  7. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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    Lovely. IPB4 forums look similar too. But I guess that's because of its rather young age ... :)

    I don't expect much of a forum. I'm just tired of the missing QA in the Open Source world and I want to have something which doesn't come in my users' way.
     
  8. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    There's been comments on the QA that IPS is using.... but IPS doesn't HAVE to look like every other one.
    This site is brand new, and I've only been messing with IPS for about 2 weeks (or less) now.
     
  9. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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    Neat. Is there a IPB4 skins gallery available?
     
  10. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    There are some in the marketplace... but I think (don't take it as gospel) that you have to be a member there. But a simple Google search on IP board styles will turn up several.
    ipsfocus.com has several nice ones.
    skinbox.net (think these are mainly 3.x series)
    ipsthemes.com
    those seem to be the major ones for paid stuff. There are some free ones in the market place but none that really are that fantastic.
     
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  11. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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  12. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    You have to be careful.. that was a 3.x series theme... so if you DO go with IPS, be sure that you buy a theme matching your version.
     
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  13. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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    Ahh, I see. :morganna:

    IPS4 seems to lack community contributions yet.
     
  14. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    That's because it's fairly new - and 2 of the 3 sites I gave do have 4 series themes.
    Me, I like the challenge of doing one myself. That one I linked to is the shipping style with tweaks done to it.
     
  15. TheChiro

    TheChiro Devotee

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    Source?
     
  16. tomk

    tomk Adherent

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    jekyll depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a forums-only option, then I'd stick to Xenforo or WBB with a paid style/theme and some custom work. Both of those scripts offer far more features when it comes to forums features compared to IPS4, things like selective quoting, better editors, and so on.

    IPS Blogs and Gallery are also very new, and lack basic features, like Archive by date for Blog. If you need either of these options, I'd suggest you look at WBB with Blogs and Gallery (2.1 beta).

    The value-add for IPS is Pages, which allows you to create custom pages and integrate with all the other add-ons into your site. Very powerful and I don't think they have a competitor with this add-on, but I could be wrong. At least not one fully integrated into the package released and updated by the core team.

    WBB is pretty powerful and full featured, and they have a pretty aggressive release schedule for fixes and features. You are correct though, without some style work WBB is boring and looks like most other WBB sites. There are some awesome styles available and very affordable from cls-design however, which change the entire look of WBB. Take a look at this site for what an awesome custom skinned WBB site looks like (not my site btw).

    I like where IPS is headed, they are doing some neat things, and more focused around 'content' then topics/threads, and bringing it all together. The development pace has finally picked up, which is good. The bad is that each new release brings many new bugs, some so simple you question if they actually test this stuff before they put it up for download. They just released 4.0.10 this morning, which is focused mainly on bug fixes, we'll see how this release works over the next few days.

    TLDR; if you need forums-only, XenForo and WBB with paid styles are your best bet. If you need blogs/gallery/etc, WBB and IPS (if you can wait) with their respective add-on's are your best bet.

    All my opinion btw, at the end of the day you should sign-up for the hosted demo's from each vendor and test them out and see how YOU like them.
     
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  17. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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    Isn't this true for all software?

    Thanks for your insight. :)

    I gave WBB a demo run today but I still don't like it. It has all of XenForo's pros with some very own cons (including the weird "tree" widget which looks out of place wherever I see it). IPB has a demo too, but they seem to have serious issues. I have a "509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded" on my freshly registered demo all day yet ...
     
  18. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Depends on the QA. XenForo releases new features -but normally they are well tested and their releases rarely have bugs.

    What "weird tree widget" are you referring to?

    It happens... it's probably due to a config issue they have.
     
  19. jekyll

    jekyll Enthusiast

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    The one that sits in every single WBB I've seen yet. "Board structure" or something. It seems that it's mandatory to have it look exactly like it does, or at least no one seems to be willing to change it.

    Well, I guess my trial period is still "running". I can't even post a help request in their forums about it, as I'm not a "client" yet...
     
  20. Digital Phoenix

    Digital Phoenix Coffee Ninja

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    You can submit a support ticket though, client or not. Someone will respond.
     
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