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#1 2008-12-24 01:13:33

Connor
Former Developer
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 1,127

The future of FluxBB

This topic is to get an idea of what people want from FluxBB and how we can achieve this, we welcome any reasonable comments, but unreasonable posts will be removed

This is simply a proposal at the moment and is not by any means definite as to what we are going to do.

This topic is based on discussion between me and Elbekko, we both think this is a good idea but we wanted to bring it to public discussion for more input.

First of all I want to say I know a large number of people are unhappy with the way things are going right now, and so am I. I believe something needs to change, and so I am going to outline what I think would be the best approach for the future of FluxBB.

The current 1.3 branch has developed far past a subversion and is obviously really version 2.0 and I think we should rename it to that. I also think there are a number of ideas that have not been included in 1.3 yet which are important (a templating system of some form, subforums/no categories mode, etc). Therefore I think we should rename 1.3 to 2.0 and delay the release of its beta for a number of months, this will give the PHP developers time to change things and Paul time to definitely finalise the markup. It would also relieve a lot of pressure on us and mean we can work on a decent release and not a rushed one. I realise this may be unpopular with some people, but I believe in a years time it will be better for everyone.

The second half of my proposal is that we continue to develop the 1.2 branch into what the 1.3 version should have been, in order to relieve some confusion I suggest we name it 1.4. This version would keep the general style of 1.2 and be in the spirit of 1.2, but it would include features from the current 1.3, such as UTF-8 support. This would be worked on immediately and released in a reasonable timeframe, and would try to maintain maximum compatibility with 1.2 styles and mods (obviously some minor changes may be required).

To summarise the timeline I am suggesting is

  • 1st Quarter 2009, Release 1.4 beta and then 1.4 full release which is a direct upgrade from 1.2 with various features such as UTF-8 support, however missing extension support or templating system.

  • 2nd-3rd Quarter 2009 Release 2.0 Beta/RC which would be the developed version of what we now have as 1.3, this would feature 1.3s extension system, some form of templates and other improvements to 1.3 we thought of after we stopped developing features

  • 3rd-4th Quarter 2009 Release 2.0 Final

  • 2010-onwards Support both the 1.x and 2.x branch on the site, continued development on both, with 1.x being in the spirit and style of 1.2 as a lightweight forum, and 2.x being a lightweight but extendible forum

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#2 2008-12-24 03:57:06

twohawks
Member
From: Stateline, NV USA
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 135

Re: The future of FluxBB

Thank you for this interesting 'call', Conner.
Hmmm, I have some things to input here possibly, but before I go there, what other types of things for v1.2 besides UTF-8 are you thinking about?
And how significant an upgrade is it to apply UTF-8 (I have not looked into this at all)?
And I assume we are not talking about any kind of extension capability for this upgrade path, correct?

Thanks ;^)


TwoHawks
Love is the Function.
No Form is the Tool.

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#3 2008-12-24 04:53:31

Meow
Member
From: New Taipei, Taiwan
Registered: 2008-05-10
Posts: 677
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

So:

1.2 -> 1.4
1.3 Beta -> 2.0

Are these correct?

I really hope the timeline won't delay again, as phpBB3 has delayed for 4 years until late 2007.

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#4 2008-12-24 05:25:14

dstroma
Member
Registered: 2008-12-09
Posts: 6

Re: The future of FluxBB

This is certainly a decent idea and seems a lot better than stringing people along, with them thinking 1.3 is right around the corner.

My thought from the beginning is why not just go back to 1.3 beta 2, fix the bugs and anything that is critically broken, and release it? After all, that is the point of a beta. Then the current revision, with Paul's work incorporated, would be a later version to come after that (for example, 1.3 beta 2 released as 1.3, and current revision when finished released as 1.4). But I am not opposed to your idea of further developing the 1.2 branch as a intermediary version between 1.2 and 2.0.

I would like to see a new approach to development. It seems you need help, but yet, you don't want it, and have even stated in the recent past you do not want or need new developers. I think the project should be opened up more, by either a) letting anyone submit work, and having the official developers approve or rejected it, or b) designating a handful of "assistant developers", who are assigned only one or a few tickets at a time, whose work must be checked by the real developers. Also I think the refusal by a developer to use Trac is a very bad thing.

In hindsight, full page one rewrites always delay projects like this, and shouldn't have been attempted this close to 1.3's completion.

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#5 2008-12-24 06:59:08

Ledo
Member
Registered: 2008-05-10
Posts: 217

Re: The future of FluxBB

Yes template system is a good idea. And the most important thing is timeline. This is something that is very important to users.

When i found PunBB there was no FluxBB at that time. Then everything happened!

I liked 1.3 back then very much. Evan if it was not completed yet. I remember puting 1.3 on the server, installing Portal extension by Daris and some more smaller extensions. And i have what i thought is the ultimate solution i needed.

Sure it was "beta not complete and still far from perfection". (Evan if i personaly disagreed.) But then all stoped and the "frustration" with timeline started.

So i welcome any effort in making "good time roll" again. FluxBB should not be a "prisoner" of the new FluxBB. So yes. Do what is the most rational thing and the most optimal one.

Simply enjoy and develope. Users won't mind in the end if it is 1.3 or 1.2 branch. As long it will work fine, fast and safe and won't give them troubles.

Last edited by Ledo (2008-12-24 11:21:34)

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#6 2008-12-24 07:48:32

Kaboon
Member
Registered: 2008-05-28
Posts: 24
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

I like the idea but I'm not sure if the planning would work out. The way I interpret  it, it means that the improved version of 1.3 will be released in roughly a year. Knowing when Paul does commit his changes it shouldn't take too long (from what I've understood) to finish the actual 1.3 release. A lot of people seem to have be especially waiting for this release. Releasing a delayed, but improved version of it might not make them too happy.

I'd personally wait a bit more longer for Paul to commit his changes and polish things up for a release, extend 1.2 anyway and then develop/merge 1.3 into the new 2.0 version. 1.3 would make an excellent starting point for that.

I just think that too many people got used to the looks and feeling of 1.3 and for those, 1.2 might be a step back. They might even considering leaning over to using PunBB 1.3 instead and that's the last thing I'd like to see. smile

On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with the proposal. I'm glad to see some action from you dev's again.

Last edited by Kaboon (2008-12-24 07:49:32)

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#7 2008-12-24 08:12:32

MattF
Member
From: South Yorkshire, England
Registered: 2008-05-06
Posts: 1,233
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

I'd suggest staying on track with 1.3* as you are, personally. Once the CSS/markup is finished, it should be fairly close to R.C status? Work on 1.2* can easily co-exist, and working on two separate, (with the code being rather different between the two), branches for the main devs does seem somewhat counter-productive, and quite possibly, confusing. smile


Screw the chavs and God save the Queen!

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#8 2008-12-24 08:51:11

Strofanto
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-14
Posts: 288

Re: The future of FluxBB

Connor wrote:

1.4 a direct upgrade from 1.2 with various features such as UTF-8 support, however missing extension support or templating system.

In my opinion you should consider adding an extension system to 1.4 because it makes lot faster to update hotfixes and install new features. I think vast majority of the community wants to see 1.3 (or 2.0) for the extension system. If you give them such tool I'm sure they won't ask you for 2.0 as much as they have done so far.

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#9 2008-12-24 09:06:50

horus
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 59

Re: The future of FluxBB

In this months I've read this forum waiting for the moment to install new version on my forum, meanwhile I've done some work on tranlating, styling and extending svn version to integrate it with my cmsms site.
My site now running 1.2.21 and I'm fully satisfied so I can wait another year but I love 1.3 version and I would like to install as soon as possible. Someone suggest to finish beta2 and then release that version as 1.3 leaving markup revision to 2.0 version; from what I've read on this forum beta2 is very buggy, it will be possible to take svn718 revision and make a beta3 or RC from that point? It will have quite all of 1.3 improvements and it will be very stable (I've never seen a bug on this forum that runs svn715).

Having said that I will stay tuned on this forum and I will install next release, whatever it is.

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#10 2008-12-24 09:09:45

Aabaz
Member
From: Paris, France
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 36

Re: The future of FluxBB

So maybe the simplest idea (maybe not the best) is to release the latest usable svn version as 1.3 (as dstroma said) so that people who are waiting for the extension system can start their project and give you developpers more time to add what features that you want to a 1.4 (2 ?) version.

Of course as i read that a lot of people are still planning on using 1.2 for quite a long time (heavily modded forums ...) you could always continue to improve it in the meantime if you have time.

Just my opinion

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#11 2008-12-24 10:03:31

FSX
Former Developer
From: NL
Registered: 2008-05-09
Posts: 818
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

I don't mind waiting longer for 1.3 (2.0). 1.2 is a good piece of software. smile

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#12 2008-12-24 10:09:39

twohawks
Member
From: Stateline, NV USA
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 135

Re: The future of FluxBB

Oh boy, here I go... I really hope this is meaningful (useful) and not just a ramble to waste all your time....

I tend to generally agree with horus, Aabaz, and some others with similar reflections, to wit...

   I am a fan of 1.2 and have some fairly modded up 1.2 installations - to me very involved, and I bet not near as much as many others out there.
   I see migrating to a newer/upgrade forum platform very attractive, but a lot of work as well (meaning time and co$t).  The common consensus 'here' is to stay with what works for now, and give the new toy (1.3 model) we are looking at some time to ripen a bit once its out, then start moving into it.
   This could mean  waiting as much as a year once the new toy comes out.
   This does not necessarily mean totally avoiding investing in new features (mods) for 1.2, but certainly being frugal, upgrading some here and there, and only adding anything that's needed during this waiting period.

   The reason the new code base would be important to us is because it will make upgrading and modding much more viable (and possibly fun), easy to do and work with, and hopefully provide a more advanced php coded base for working and growing with.

   If the foregoing is fairly relevant in any universal sense here to this project and its users, I would think it important to look at any proposals put on the table 'within this scope of considerations'.

   Thus, if the forgoing is fairly relevant in any universal sense to this project and its users, then I would consider, and propose, the following if I were a developer on this project...

   It may bring on undue work for keeping an old thing alive, and be wasting precious energy, and even be potentially confusing and difficult for our user-base, if we try to facelift and upgrade 1.2 'too much'.  We should look to the future...
   'Facelift and upgrade too much' meaning... beyond the scope of fixing anything that breaks with it, or keeping it secure, or adding any mostly minor improvements ...that would also need to not break away from supporting the current modifiable structure (i.e., we do not want it to be breaking existing mods, and we do not want to impose upon users the need to rewrite new code for old mods that serve them, when they are going to be facilitated to be doing that with a newer base later anyway).

   I may be wrong on this next part, but from what it sounds like considering your comment, Conner, "...this would feature 1.3s extension system, some form of templates and other improvements to 1.3 we thought of after we stopped developing features...") ......1.3 currently is falling short of our (our dev team's) hopes and expectations, i.e., we are already thinking about features we want for fluxbb that 1.3 in its current base isn't necessarily going to support.   But we got this far with a new 'extensible-model' [if you will], and people are ready for it. 
    I would suggest that styling changes are going to be the easiest for the users to deal with, i.e., if we go ahead and stablize our 1.3 model, with an existing styling model that we know will have to be scrapped later, I feel this is much more acceptable, and exciting, to the end users ...to allow them to start to spread their wings with the new model-base, than to be waiting to release something just because there are going to be some styling changes that will affect extensions to some extent when the uprgraded 1.3 comes out.  Let the contributors simply upgrade their new extensions base when it comes to that and continue forward - without complicated version models of old (1.2) and new (1.3) stuff competing for our precious time.

    I would propose we (remember, I am playing dev member here) let out a 1.3 beta, with some old hat styling, and turn this model loose.  Lets continue to work on 1.4, i.e., not even bother to try to bring 1.3 out of beta because we want to spread out wings with other feature ideas in the new base model, but go for developing the features we really want, and just pass 1.3 and go straight to 1.4.  I bet cleaning up the mess afterward, meaning migrating/porting extensions for 1.3 beta over to 1.4 alpha once it hits the ground, is going to be less tedious, and probably more exciting a pathway for the userbase than may seem apparent right now.  I mean, look at them - they don't want a better 1.2, and they don't care about doing a little work like changing some styling or adjusting some extensions down the road, they are so eager to move into the new extensible model, lets turn it loose in beta, and let the better stuff come as it will.

   Well, that's my limited two-sense about it, limited in that I cannot claim to really be able to project myself very meaningfully (necessarily) into the developers circle/conversation, but the idea you and Elbekko are discussing Conner seems to me a little combersome, possibly not necessary, and, with all due respect, maybe even a little backward (from where it seems your dream is wanting to go).  Hell, I think you might even consider rolling 1.3 back a bit to attain the 1.3 beta proposed... simply boil it down to like a 1.2 that graduated to an extensions-model with utf-8, maintaining some old 'styling' basis for now, then push on to the next level as 1.4 - make that your 2010 new year's goal.

Cheers,


TwoHawks
Love is the Function.
No Form is the Tool.

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#13 2008-12-24 10:40:58

Rich Pedley
Member
From: Liverpool, UK
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 246
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

I can fully understand why what has been suggested has been erm suggested but I personally don't agree. So what follows is my personal opinion.

1.2 shouldn't be developed any more - sure maintain it for now with security releases but don't do more with it. Keeping it going will only dilute what resources you have.

renaming 1.3 to be 2.0 makes absolute sense.

I would take the current code for 1.3, iron out the bugs, clean up any CSS/layout issues and release. Probably as 2.0beta. or as a branch release. Before the end of January. Leaving it longer, as suggested, will not help and will only lose impetus for the project.

Providing you don't mind using the current Oxygen style I can probably help out with tweaking things for places that need it (report post for example). I can also tweak code to add in css hooks where needed - as included in my forum fixes extension (though obviously without the images).

So far as I can tell the only reason that 1.3 hasn't been released is because of possible style/template changes that Paul might be making. Then why not say OK we can wait, but in the meantime we'll release what we have and make Paul's version 3.0. Yes some things might have to be retrofitted, but surely its a possibility. Then Version 3 can follow your suggested timeline.

I could be way off, but like I said this is my thoughts.


my mind is on a permanent tangent

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#14 2008-12-24 11:56:45

SuperMAG
Member
Registered: 2008-05-10
Posts: 715
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

no no no no NO.

this will make it worseee, let the things right now be like that untill paul complete his markup css.

template system along with other updates can wait untill till 1.4.

do you know how annoying it is to update core with large mods like in 1.2.

and besides how worse can it be the css problem, i mean look at this forum running on 718 with no problems except in the viewtopic place, the closed problem.

ok i have a new very good idea:

let paul do mini css fixes the fixes the small important problems and then release beta 3. (should be release in a week at most)
and when paul complete his markup css, release RC1. (should be released at most 2 or 2.5 or 3 months)
and then bugfixes in RC2. (should be done in 3 weeks)
Then Final. (give it 2 more weeks of no bugs)

Last edited by SuperMAG (2008-12-24 12:11:25)


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#15 2008-12-24 12:17:30

yemgi
Member
From: Crawley, West Sussex
Registered: 2008-05-09
Posts: 78
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

Changing 1.3 to 2.0 is a very good idea and I think it should have been done right from the start to avoid confusion.

I like the idea of continuing the 1.2 development for the time being, it is a robust platform and moving it to UTF-8 will be a good move to keep it attractive as it will help for integration with other softwares.
I think 1.5 would be a better number numbering choice than 1.4 as it shows a rupture whereas 1.4 could be thought to be an evolution of 1.3 and will only bring confusion.

As for 1.3 (2.0) further development, I think Connor's proposal of implementing more features as templating is worth the wait and I would not mind the release to be delayed further. As some other users, I do not need 1.3, 1.2 does all I need, with modifications yes, but I don't feel the need to upgrade. If delaying the release allows for a better product, I say go for it.

Edit: Meow, could you please try to use your brain before writing, I am really fed up of reading your constant nonsense all over this forum

Last edited by yemgi (2008-12-24 12:19:06)

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#16 2008-12-24 13:25:05

elbekko
Former Developer
From: Leuven, Belgium
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 1,132
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

dstroma wrote:

I would like to see a new approach to development. It seems you need help, but yet, you don't want it, and have even stated in the recent past you do not want or need new developers. I think the project should be opened up more, by either a) letting anyone submit work, and having the official developers approve or rejected it, or b) designating a handful of "assistant developers", who are assigned only one or a few tickets at a time, whose work must be checked by the real developers. Also I think the refusal by a developer to use Trac is a very bad thing.

I was actually thinking along the lines of having separate developers for both 1.x and 2.x. But your point that we need help is just plain wrong; we can handle pretty much anything code-wise, but we're waiting for the markup changes.
Right now, nobody is stopping you from sending in patches. They've been sent in before and applied when it's possible to apply them.
And where you got the idea of a developer refusing to use TRAC, I have no idea. Paul said before that large commits make TRAC crash, so he splits them up file by file. And that he'd rather use his little spare time to actually work on code instead of messing around with SVN, I don't see the problem with that.

Kaboon wrote:

I like the idea but I'm not sure if the planning would work out. The way I interpret  it, it means that the improved version of 1.3 will be released in roughly a year. Knowing when Paul does commit his changes it shouldn't take too long (from what I've understood) to finish the actual 1.3 release. A lot of people seem to have be especially waiting for this release. Releasing a delayed, but improved version of it might not make them too happy.

It doesn't have to be a year. It could be less. That all depends on the amount of work required (shouldn't be *that* much) and, as usual, when Paul is finished.

Strofanto wrote:
Connor wrote:

1.4 a direct upgrade from 1.2 with various features such as UTF-8 support, however missing extension support or templating system.

In my opinion you should consider adding an extension system to 1.4 because it makes lot faster to update hotfixes and install new features. I think vast majority of the community wants to see 1.3 (or 2.0) for the extension system. If you give them such tool I'm sure they won't ask you for 2.0 as much as they have done so far.

The extension system is one of those things that makes a 'small' release like 1.3 actually a 2.0 wink It requires a pretty big rewrite, especially in page variable handling etc.

twohawks wrote:

   I may be wrong on this next part, but from what it sounds like considering your comment, Conner, "...this would feature 1.3s extension system, some form of templates and other improvements to 1.3 we thought of after we stopped developing features...") ......1.3 currently is falling short of our (our dev team's) hopes and expectations, i.e., we are already thinking about features we want for fluxbb that 1.3 in its current base isn't necessarily going to support.   But we got this far with a new 'extensible-model' [if you will], and people are ready for it.

The problem of extensibility has been there for a while, and it's becoming more and more clear that a templating system is actually quite important if we have to have extensions really succeed.


EDIT: The posts that are off-topic have been removed. Meow, please adhere to some basic common sense and read the disclaimers in a topic before posting random crap. If you keep doing this, you will be banned.

Last edited by elbekko (2008-12-24 13:26:39)


Ben
SVN repository for my extensions - The thread
Quickmarks 0.5
“Question: How does a large software project get to be one year late? Answer: One day at a time!” - Fred Brooks

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#17 2008-12-24 13:45:51

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,744
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

Rich Pedley wrote:

renaming 1.3 to be 2.0 makes absolute sense.

Correct. Maybe there should be the changes like template system etc. until 2.0 release.

But people have been waiting for a new version for a long time. So, finish the markup, release it as 1.5, and work on 2.0!! wink

Thanks for all the work though! Just an idea


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#18 2008-12-24 13:53:08

Strofanto
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-14
Posts: 288

Re: The future of FluxBB

elbekko wrote:
Strofanto wrote:
Connor wrote:

1.4 a direct upgrade from 1.2 with various features such as UTF-8 support, however missing extension support or templating system.

In my opinion you should consider adding an extension system to 1.4 because it makes lot faster to update hotfixes and install new features. I think vast majority of the community wants to see 1.3 (or 2.0) for the extension system. If you give them such tool I'm sure they won't ask you for 2.0 as much as they have done so far.

The extension system is one of those things that makes a 'small' release like 1.3 actually a 2.0 wink It requires a pretty big rewrite, especially in page variable handling etc.

I understand, but extensions make FluxBB admin friendly, installing an extension needs a click, adding a mod gives an headache. Updating to a new version while you have an extension system takes a mass upload, updating to a new version when you must compare and manually change single files, which, personally, gives me the creep. Are you sure you can't include extensions in 1.2?

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#19 2008-12-24 13:53:36

Kaboon
Member
Registered: 2008-05-28
Posts: 24
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

Affirmative, elbekko. smile

Glad to hear that. If that's the general idea then I'm fine with it. I'm also comfortable with the idea of having separate development teams.

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#20 2008-12-24 13:55:29

vnpenguin
Member
From: VNOSS
Registered: 2008-07-17
Posts: 74
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

lie2815 wrote:

Correct. Maybe there should be the changes like template system etc. until 2.0 release.

But people have been waiting for a new version for a long time. So, finish the markup, release it as 1.5, and work on 2.0!! wink

1.5 or 2.0 or whatever you want, but 1.3-final should be released, of course with finished markup work in this.

I don't think we need more feature for 1.2. Just security fix is ok. You have not powerful team (at last I think) so have to focus the work to important branch (1.3 here).

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#21 2008-12-24 14:14:24

liquidat0r
Member
From: London, England
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 418
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

Just out of curiosity, which version would the FluxBB Forum run?

I am all for new ideas ... but I can't help agreeing with what MattF said.

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#22 2008-12-24 14:18:37

elbekko
Former Developer
From: Leuven, Belgium
Registered: 2008-04-30
Posts: 1,132
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

@Strofanto: No, 1.2 can't have a proper extension system, as you can already see in the current 1.3, it's far from perfect.
@liquidat0r: Not sure, we'll use the most stable version I guess tongue But this idea is far from final.


Ben
SVN repository for my extensions - The thread
Quickmarks 0.5
“Question: How does a large software project get to be one year late? Answer: One day at a time!” - Fred Brooks

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#23 2008-12-24 14:43:32

Strofanto
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2008-05-14
Posts: 288

Re: The future of FluxBB

elbekko wrote:

@Strofanto: No, 1.2 can't have a proper extension system, as you can already see in the current 1.3, it's far from perfect.

Too bad, but I can live with that, thanks for the quick reply.

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#24 2008-12-24 15:55:45

Scripter
Member
Registered: 2008-05-10
Posts: 92
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

My comment is very short and simple. I don't see any point for this to be happening even though there are lots of reasoning backing it up

Last edited by Scripter (2008-12-24 15:59:06)


Choose a career you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

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#25 2008-12-24 16:20:34

liquidat0r
Member
From: London, England
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 418
Website

Re: The future of FluxBB

Once 1.3 (or 2.0, whichever you prefer) has been released and extensions have been developed providing all the functionality of a current "heavily modified 1.2.* forum", what will be the point in 1.2 (namely 1.4)?

As far as I can tell, the main reason people do not want to upgrade to 1.3 from 1.2 is that they will lose all the extra functionality they have implemented via hard-code.

Won't 1.2/1.4 be a somewhat: Fast; lightweight; user-friendly; inextensible forum?

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