vBulletin Licensing Concern

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Original poster
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
Solon, OH
For a site as heavily used as this one... it would be a shame to see it forced offline by, of all things, the expiration (and impossibility of renewal) of your license to use the vBulletin forum software, due to the annual scheme used with V3.x being LONG since discontinued... heck, the vBulletin folks are about to unveil version 5 final, and we're still on 3.8.

That being said, if the license is NOT an issue at this time, there have been significant changes to vBulletin's features (we don't use the Member List, which is gone completely in vB5 and is not going to be reinstated, according to the developers) that will need to be taken into careful consideration if an upgrade is attempted.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,077
9,270
Detroit
I certainly believe that the site owner would be well aware of any potential upcoming issues with the license. I've heard that support on this version is about to expire, but not the licensing. :)
 

ericrwalker

macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2008
2,812
3
Albany, NY
For a site as heavily used as this one... it would be a shame to see it forced offline by, of all things, the expiration (and impossibility of renewal) of your license to use the vBulletin forum software, due to the annual scheme used with V3.x being LONG since discontinued... heck, the vBulletin folks are about to unveil version 5 final, and we're still on 3.8.

That being said, if the license is NOT an issue at this time, there have been significant changes to vBulletin's features (we don't use the Member List, which is gone completely in vB5 and is not going to be reinstated, according to the developers) that will need to be taken into careful consideration if an upgrade is attempted.

Any chance you work for Jelsoft Enterprises?
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,802
2,240
For a site as heavily used as this one... it would be a shame to see it forced offline by, of all things, the expiration (and impossibility of renewal) of your license to use the vBulletin forum software, due to the annual scheme used with V3.x being LONG since discontinued... heck, the vBulletin folks are about to unveil version 5 final, and we're still on 3.8.

That being said, if the license is NOT an issue at this time, there have been significant changes to vBulletin's features (we don't use the Member List, which is gone completely in vB5 and is not going to be reinstated, according to the developers) that will need to be taken into careful consideration if an upgrade is attempted.
We have a lifetime license. So we can keep using 3.x for as long as we like.

vBulletin 4.x had issues. And there were potential performance issues moving to it. There weren't a ton of must-have features in 4, so we skipped it. A lot of the new features were in areas we didn't need (CMS, Blog). 3.x has been reasonably stable over time, and has the core features that we need.

vBulletin 5.x is a major departure from the traditional forum setup. I understand why they went this direction, and have thought myself that forums do need to evolve in a similar direction. However, their beta implementation of it right now seems poor. It's slow to load and still very much in beta. http://www.vbulletin.com/vb5demo/

My current plans are to stick with vb3 and add additional customizations to it using our own developers. If we pursue that route, we will never upgrade to vB 4, 5 and beyond.

arn
 

Comeagain?

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2011
2,190
44
Spokane, WA
Even if the vB3 license expires, with the vB5 (and 4) licenses, you could download and use almost any version, even vB2.

vB5 is not ready for a system of this scale. It may work well for smaller community, but not one of this scale. It is too slow, missing too many features, and is currently focused less on in depth discussion, and more on sharing things like pictures, with small amounts of text. And who would want to spend the time to port so many features and additions to an almost complete rewrite of software, over two generations?

(Although I do like where vB4.2+ is going.)

Any chance you work for Jelsoft Enterprises?
You mean Internet Brands?
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
22,040
8,394
CT
We have a lifetime license. So we can keep using 3.x for as long as we like.

vBulletin 4.x had issues. And there were potential performance issues moving to it. There weren't a ton of must-have features in 4, so we skipped it. A lot of the new features were in areas we didn't need (CMS, Blog). 3.x has been reasonably stable over time, and has the core features that we need.

vBulletin 5.x is a major departure from the traditional forum setup. I understand why they went this direction, and have thought myself that forums do need to evolve in a similar direction. However, their beta implementation of it right now seems poor. It's slow to load and still very much in beta. http://www.vbulletin.com/vb5demo/

My current plans are to stick with vb3 and add additional customizations to it using our own developers. If we pursue that route, we will never upgrade to vB 4, 5 and beyond.

arn
Would you ever consider dumping vB altogether for another forum software?
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,802
2,240
Would you ever consider dumping vB altogether for another forum software?
I'd consider it, especially as we are dead-ended. Options are limited, however. And migrating a forum this size isn't a quick/easy task.

From my casual looking around, it seems IPB might be the only real viable alternative, but I haven't looked into details of limitations and issues of it.

If we dive headlong into customizing our install, though it would make it harder to move elsewhere.

arn
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
22,040
8,394
CT
I'd consider it, especially as we are dead-ended. Options are limited, however. And migrating a forum this size isn't a quick/easy task.

From my casual looking around, it seems IPB might be the only real viable alternative, but I haven't looked into details of limitations and issues of it.

If we dive headlong into customizing our install, though it would make it harder to move elsewhere.

arn
Have you looked into Simple Machines.
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
15,011
35
Texas
Have you looked into Simple Machines.
nah, just googled it a bit. not sure if it seems as mature as IPB (not that that's an imminent move anyway).

arn
I'm an admin on another forum that uses SMF, and it isn't nearly as feature-packed as vB. I think we'd have a hard time making it work here, especially with the amount of tweaks there are to the basic vB.
 

Comeagain?

macrumors 68020
Feb 17, 2011
2,190
44
Spokane, WA
I'm an admin on another forum that uses SMF, and it isn't nearly as feature-packed as vB. I think we'd have a hard time making it work here, especially with the amount of tweaks there are to the basic vB.
What's the speed like? I've never actually seen or used a fast SMF forum.
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
15,011
35
Texas
What's the speed like? I've never actually seen or used a fast SMF forum.
Depends on the server, really. We (the SMF forum) have a single server for the website and forum and a much smaller user base, so it is quick, but still slower than here.
 

AlphaDogg

macrumors 68040
May 20, 2010
3,415
6
Boulder, CO
I use another vBulletin forum frequently, which has vBulletin 4.0.8. I really like the quick response feature. I also like that it lets me do command+b for bold, or command+i for italics, etc. In many ways, I think 4.0.8 is superior to the version that we have here.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,155
1,502
5045 feet above sea level
I use another vBulletin forum frequently, which has vBulletin 4.0.8. I really like the quick response feature. I also like that it lets me do command+b for bold, or command+i for italics, etc. In many ways, I think 4.0.8 is superior to the version that we have here.
I do like the quick reply feature seen on other forums. IS there a reason that is not implemented here? or is that something vb 3.x can't be tweaked for?
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,802
2,240
I use another vBulletin forum frequently, which has vBulletin 4.0.8. I really like the quick response feature. I also like that it lets me do command+b for bold, or command+i for italics, etc. In many ways, I think 4.0.8 is superior to the version that we have here.
I do like the quick reply feature seen on other forums. IS there a reason that is not implemented here? or is that something vb 3.x can't be tweaked for?
Quick Reply is a feature in 3.x. We just never turned it on. The main reason for the hesitation was always due to the way it handled threading -- and I had long thought we'd try to do something more useful with threading.

arn
 

BigPrince

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2006
2,052
105
So hypothetically if there was a move, what are some general changes the end user would see?
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Original poster
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
Solon, OH
So hypothetically if there was a move, what are some general changes the end user would see?
First of all, the default skin's totally different. That change would be noticed by everyone right away, regardless of whether the move is to v4 or v5. Secondly, if the administrator chose to enable them, users would notice blog/CMS-like features in the forums. Finally, they'd notice missing features, such as the Member List being completely gone.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,168
1,212
NYC
vBulletin offered a perpetual license for version 3.8; I'm sort of surprised MR didn't opt for the removal of branding. Then people won't know what version MR is actually on.
 

BigPrince

macrumors 68020
Dec 27, 2006
2,052
105
First of all, the default skin's totally different. That change would be noticed by everyone right away, regardless of whether the move is to v4 or v5. Secondly, if the administrator chose to enable them, users would notice blog/CMS-like features in the forums. Finally, they'd notice missing features, such as the Member List being completely gone.

Would it look like a forum and No members list? WTF!
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,802
2,240
vBulletin offered a perpetual license for version 3.8; I'm sort of surprised MR didn't opt for the removal of branding. Then people won't know what version MR is actually on.
You can remove the version number either way. I just never have.

arn
 

snowleopard48

macrumors regular
Mar 11, 2009
113
0
Australia
We have a lifetime license. So we can keep using 3.x for as long as we like.

vBulletin 4.x had issues. And there were potential performance issues moving to it. There weren't a ton of must-have features in 4, so we skipped it. A lot of the new features were in areas we didn't need (CMS, Blog). 3.x has been reasonably stable over time, and has the core features that we need.

vBulletin 5.x is a major departure from the traditional forum setup. I understand why they went this direction, and have thought myself that forums do need to evolve in a similar direction. However, their beta implementation of it right now seems poor. It's slow to load and still very much in beta. http://www.vbulletin.com/vb5demo/

My current plans are to stick with vb3 and add additional customizations to it using our own developers. If we pursue that route, we will never upgrade to vB 4, 5 and beyond.

arn
Well that's a little sad. vB3 is ugly and old and will always be difficult to customise. I know many, many forums that use vB4 and it's fast and has no issues at all. Sure, skip vB4. But at least have a look at vB5. Please.

vBulletin offered a perpetual license for version 3.8; I'm sort of surprised MR didn't opt for the removal of branding. Then people won't know what version MR is actually on.
Unfortunately that wouldn't work. It's easy to tell when a forum is running software that was discontinued over 2 years ago.

I understand the issues that you face with upgrading, but at least have a think about it. It's awful to be stuck in the past, and I just want the best for MR. :(
 
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