Where do you see the current softwares in (time frame)

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by LeftWingNutjob, May 27, 2005.

  1. LeftWingNutjob

    LeftWingNutjob Enthusiast

    Fanboys need not apply, thank you :)

    The primary softwares I would like to discuss are the ones I consider to be most used on the Internet (alphabetically):
    - Invision
    - phpBB
    - SMF
    - UBB (both .threads and .classic)
    - vBulletin

    I don't really care what time frame you discuss, as long as:
    1) You specify it
    2) It is longer than one year

    My opinion on where these will be in 3 years:
    • Invision -- Doing well as a paid software with version 5, people having forgotten the snafu with version 2.0.1
    • phpBB -- I really don't see phpBB having made all that much progress, although it will still exist in some form. Its success and the size of its community will depend on when phpBB 3 'Olympus' goes gold. If it is within 2005, I don't see it falling from the 'big 3' as the phpBB team likes to call it. If not, their fall is more likely to begin, and their users will probably split to MyBB or perhaps SMF.
    • SMF -- Will definitely exist, and its popularity will probably increase. The software will improve similarly to how phpBB did between 1.x and 2.x.
    • UBB -- I do not believe that the new, merged Groupee product will go over all that well, so this line may cease to exist. For one thing, David Dreezer (UBB.Threads developer) has apparently become ill and unable to work on the merged Groupee product. I am also not too sure that all of the UBB.Classic users will want to move to a php/MySQL solution. And the UBB.Threads crowd is reportedly pretty disenchanted with some of the bugs that crept into 6.5.x and haven't been fixed yet due to David's absence.
    • vBulletin -- Probably will maintain its dominance in the market unless Invision Power pulls off a miracle. The development seems to be steady and innovative. And more importantly, no one (except fanboys of other software) seems to be critisizing them for...well...much of anything.

    I'm hoping to be enlightened :)
  2. DavidDreezer

    DavidDreezer Neophyte

    Rumours of my demise ...... ;)

    I'm not a developer, to be honest, I'm the Product Manager. Which means that as long as I can give my developers they guidance that they need their work will still continue. And, it it has been. Yes, the beta release of UBB.threads 6.5.2 got moved back due to an unexpected flight to the east coast for a funeral, then the subsequent cold I picked up along the way, but that's all. Work on the new product, on the final stages of UBB.threads, and on UBB.classic didn't skip a beat. :)
  3. MGM

    MGM vBulletin Guru

    I really think vB and IPB will start to become more competitive in 3 years. I mean, even now they're starting to have similar features and more and more updates.

    However, I'd be willing to say vB will stay at the top in 3 years time, and at that point, Jelsoft may very well have released other products (such as the fabled vCMS). That alone might give them an even bigger marketshare ("We have vBulletin! Need a website too? Get the vCMS!" Best... marketing... ever....)

    I've been hearing lots of good things for phpBB3 so I'm pretty sure that a future phpBB 4 or 5 will keep interest in the script as a free product. Who knows, maybe phpBB5 will be what vB3 and IPB2.1 are today? :p

    As far as SMF or ubb, I really dont know enough about them to comment.

    MGM out
  4. destalk

    destalk Enthusiast

    Timeframe 1 year. No point looking any further ahead.

    vB carries on as is, the reputation is too good. Unless it becomes bloatware.

    IPB... debateable. Too much like vB, but then, there's plenty of room in the market.

    phpBB - depends on the security issues. Been very bad of late and these things can take a toll.

    SMF - Building slowly but surely and has a good team behind it. Being distributed via Fantastico on Cpanel as standard, so attracting the same market as phpBB. Perhaps a bit too 'purist' for some commercial tastes.

    UBB - no idea. Never used it.
  5. AxisTalk

    AxisTalk Adherent

    vBulletin would have to do something REALLY stupid to go out of business or lose their reputation, so they'll stay dominant.

    As for the rest of them.. anything could happen to be honest.
  6. phoenixdown21

    phoenixdown21 The Man with the Plan

    In the next 2-3 years:

    Invision - I could them going down two roads. On the one path, I think they could become a viable company generating solid products and helping to further better the forum & Community market as a whole. On the other, I cant help but feel that they are expanding beyond the forum software too quickly and that there other products aren't competively situated or as up to par as thier forum software - especially in terms of price. Overall, I think Invision will have a good future if they can mature as a company and solidify themselves.

    phpBB - I dont think they will ever go away. They're market share is amazing despite some of the security problems they have had. If php 3 comes out, I think it could kick start some innovation that will push them even higher

    SMF - is getting a lot of good press. We'll see

    UBB (both .threads and .classic) - they used to be a top player but where are they now? I don't know, do they market to the corporations? I dont see how they are even still around today.

    vBulletin - I think will still be one of hte innovators in forum / community technology and while they have been responsive to community needs, I think they could really benifit by expanding thier product set into providing the solutions thier customer base is looking for (aka CMS).
  7. bonelifer

    bonelifer Adherent

    Invision - Invision has a good community and it's user/admin interfaces seem to me to be the better among the paid board software. I find it easier to use than VB. It also seems to have a better looking group of skins available.

    phpBB - Despite some vulnerabilities the phpBB Group have done a good job patching security holes and fixing bugs. It's my personal favorite. It's strong point is that it doesn't have the bloat that the paid boards do. It has a friendly and strong userbase. Most of the mod authors are friendly and all the prominent mod authors are helpful with debugging why their mod doesn't on your board and helping to find a solution. I only have one complaint and that is that the ADMIN panel needs to be better sorted and organized. By that I mean that the Admin menu categories are grouped alphabetically rather than giving priority to the more used ones.

    SMF - I've never used it but originally being from a YaBB GOLD (PERL) background, I have to say that SMF has come along way since the first port of YaBB to PHP. I get the feeling from people I know who've used it that it is currently in a stalled state but picking back up. Time will tell if they get out of the slump I've been told their in.

    UBB (both .threads and .classic) - I can't say much about UBB other than I just wasn't impressed with it.

    vBulletin - vB seems successful and I don't see vB disappearing anytime within the next decade. I've never worked with their admin UI but for the most part depending on what skin is used the USER side of the UI can be top-notch.
  8. destalk

    destalk Enthusiast

    Be interested to hear more about that, if you have any info, as I have a couple of forums running SMF. As far as I know, they have recently released some minor updates and a public beta of the next version (which is more of a user interface reshuffle than anything else).
  9. GeorgeB.

    GeorgeB. ............

    I think it's too late for that. Any product that vb releases won't be free and so long as there are avid hackers out there creating stuff like vbadvanced for free why on earth would anyone pay for it?

    They waited too long. Should have released it long ago before all the great free hacks got released. Maybe they could create a gallery that's cheaper than photopost but better? If they do anything it's gonna have to be something thats never been done before to grab any marketshare.

    If they try and release a CMS 1 of 2 things will happen.

    1) vBadvanced will just improve to match it and still be free.
    2) People will slowly start releaseing hacks that mimic it's functionality till there is no need to pay for the original or someone just ties them all together in a release.

    just my :2cents:
  10. GeorgeB.

    GeorgeB. ............

    Very very well sad I couldnt agree more. There are hosts that actually ban phpBB based on the security problems alone yet people still use it to run major forums. So I doubt it's going anywhere. IF Olympus ever comes that will give them a major boost.
  11. Chit_n_Chat

    Chit_n_Chat Habitué

    IF/IPB - I see this being quite a success like it is now! I'd be surprised if they don't strip more of the features for the free one or destroy it alltogether!

    PHPBB - I can see this being okay, it's never going to become a huge success like Vb though...

    SMF - Never heard of it so I can guess it's goign to be a bit of a failiure. Well, thats a lie, i've heard of it, I just don't see any boards using it!

    UBB - I don't see this being amazing, I can't this being a success, it's one of the rare ones again! Everyone knows exactly where to go for free ones, the most popular ones! This one doesn't seem to be used much so I don't really think they are going to pull of a miracle!

    VB - Success written all over it! It's going to get better than it is now, provide more features and i'd be surprised if the price doesn't come down a bit with all the competition out there! I can see them offering Long Term lisenses for more than a year like 3 years ect. and an expensive lisense that gives you lifetime access to the downloads section!

    This is where I see them going really! Most others appart from them I can see failing appart from a few of the new ones!
  12. grudge

    grudge Aspirant

    I'm a developer over at SMF and I would say it's quite far from being in a stale state. Considering we released 1.0 Final in January, and have recently released our public beta of 1.1 in July I'd say we've done pretty well. Our development is very pro-active, and as soon as 1.1 approaches final we'll of course turn our attention to 1.2 :D

    Obviously we are still fairly new in the grand scheme of things (And SMF is a completely different beast than YaBBSE) - but we have a constant growth in downloads and members - and I hope our support team helps keep people confident in what we produce (Especially considering it's free :) )
  13. destalk

    destalk Enthusiast

    Indeed. My experience of SMF development has been very positive. Which was why I was so intrigued.
  14. snowcrash

    snowcrash loafing

    SMF has recently been attracting around 2000 new members per month on its forum. Surely a positive sign of growing popularity!
  15. crackers8

    crackers8 Developer

  16. Dietrich

    Dietrich Developer

    YaBB was the first forum I ever used, I still like it and how it looks/works, just as YaBB SE and now SMF. However something seemed to have gone wrong because YaBB 2 is taking years to complete...

    It will stay the number one Perl board but I think PHP boards will keep taking the lead. Maybe by using MySQL in YaBB 2/3 it will get a little more popular.
  17. Zachery

    Zachery Moo

    On the simple note of the vBulletin price, why would it come down when we are already more cost effective (as in cheaper overall) than our competitors?
  18. k4st

    k4st Aspirant

    In one year...

    vBulletin - Competing with IPB for forum dominance.. It needs to make a new, easier to use and look at ACP otherwise it will be, as it is, bloatware.

    IPB - Doing the same competing thing, ahead in look and feel but behind in community and customer support

    vB/IPB - One will innovate and the other will copy, this process will switch between the two

    phpBB - when Olympus comes out, it will be looked at extremely well. The current releases of it are promising and if phpBB ever releases it, in one year's time they will still be one of the big 3.

    MyBB - Definetely more popular, but it will always be regarded as a vB/IPB clone. That will be its advanatge/disadvantage because it will be looked at as an amazing substitute for those two boards and will also be criticied for never innovating.

    SMF - Needs to get a new look or it's going nowhere.
  19. Wayne Luke

    Wayne Luke Tazmanian

    Because we get thousands of requests a week for add-on products? Because vBAdvanced makes a nice portal but lacks anything that should allow it to call itself a CMS? Because there are people and companies out there that equate cost with quality and will pay whatever it takes? Because paid products offer paid support, more than forums or a mailing list. Actual support.

    Hundreds of reasons to list.

    Of course, I believe vBulletin 4.0 will break the mold on what people think community software is. I see the software moving from being a forums software to a community platform and there will be a multitude of new options available to the customer.
  20. snowcrash

    snowcrash loafing

    LOL - SMF is attracting something like 2000 members per month on their support forum.
    Apart from phpbb, how many other free packages are gaining that much membership, that fast?
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