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Poll: Would you use MyBB on a future project
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Absolutely. MyBB is still great software.
1 16.67%
Probably, but it depends on the project.
3 50.00%
1 16.67%
Most likely not.
0 0%
Definitely not.
1 16.67%
Total 6 vote(s) 100%
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Does MyBB have a future?
Recently a lot of scrutiny on the quality of MyBB as forum software has come around in recent months. Historically, despite its ugly theme and its lack for certain features, MyBB has had a number of advantages that has made it the software of choice for quite some time for me and for a number of others that I have worked with. In the past, some of its most significant advantages have included its ability to easily modify all theme attributes straight from the ACP, its great plugin system, robust forum features, its simplicity, etc. However, I wonder if it really has much of a future in light of a number of trends, both for MyBB, and for forums in general. 

Yes, it's still great forum software, and in a lot of ways, it still stands high on its crown. However, if you compare MyBB with phpBB 3.1, there are now some important differences. Yes, MyBB is still ahead in terms of its features, but it's based on old technology, and quite frankly, I simply cannot see MyBB 2.0 going anywhere anytime soon at this point. Yes, it's still in planning, but software development takes years, and the team has been disorganized ever since 1.8 was announced over  two years ago. Without more talented developers on the team and/or more organization, MyBB 2.0 will also likely be outdated the day it is released. To compare a few important differences between a newly revived player on the forum scene and MyBB's most recent release...
  • PhpBB 3.1 has a responsive default theme. MyBB has virtually no customized support for mobile devices. The archive mode is as close as it gets. Yes, other forum softwares also land in the same boat, but MyBB may become behind fast once other softwares catch up over the next couple of years. 
  • PhpBB 3.1 has features for notifications, eliminating the need for header and PM notifications all over the place. As much as some notifications annoy me, this is an essential feature for modern forums these days that integrate forum capabilities that require a variety of notifications. 
  • PhpBB 3.1 has broken a longstanding trend of depending on old technology and has established a system for incremental improvements over costly rewrites. MyBB is still running on old steam at this point. (Don't get me wrong. 1.8 is a good release in terms of polishing what's done, but I feel that's all it really is. They haven't really done anything ground shaking with it, to be honest. More than anything, it just means fewer plugins will need to be installed on a fresh forum because some of these essential features are now included in core. )
  • PhpBB 3.1 is now based on modern coding standards and makes use of symfony components, which will significantly help its development long-term. I find this impressive considering they did not do a from scratch rewrite to achieve many of their deep improvements to the code base.
  • While MyBB's plugin/theme system is most certainly much simpler to use, phpBB has made significant steps in improving many aspects of their backend code that includes features that MyBB cannot offer, such as template level hooks. 
A lot of phpBB 3.1's changes are back-end, and aren't obvious to the front end user. However, I feel that because it is based on modern coding standards and because it is developed by a team of dedicated developers, that it may have a better future in the long run. I feel that overall, MyBB simply won't go far in terms of major developments because the development team feels disorganized and I don't see the from-scratch rewrite as likely to happen at this point. Some of the reasons I personally feel this way include:
  • 1.8 has had quite a few security issues since its release. Not speaking well of the software at this point. Yes, every software has vulnerabilities, but the most recent github attack and the total of five vulnerabilities (three of which were serious) are a little worrying as someone who uses MyBB, and we were really pretty lucky that none of these vulnerabilities have yet affected us. (To be fair, they have taken steps to prevent this from occurring again, but it's still worrying. MyBB has not generally had a record for security issues in the past. ) 
  • 1.8 was outdated the day it was released and simply feels like it is running on old steam. Their plans for 2.0 are good, but it's been in planning for years and development has not begun
  • While the situation (for the first time) seems to have radically improved for MyBB themes, many talented plugin developers seem to have either gone towards developing premium plugins, or have left the community. Some may disagree, but compared to the plugin developers for other competing softwares, I feel MyBB is really a bit behind in a lot of ways.

As far as front end features, MyBB is ahead at the moment, without doubt. However, I feel that it won't be long before MyBB falls behind unless 2.0 has serious work beginning very soon. I can't really see myself using anything other than MyBB for MS at this point, but I'm not sure I'd consider basing any future projects on it. 

Of course I am not trying to bash what has arguably held the best free forum software crown for years, nor am I trying to bash the work of many developers that have worked for free. However, I don't think it's unfair to compare it with rising alternatives at this point (phpBB, for example, which wasn't even a contender until the massive improvements made in 3.1). What are your thoughts on the matter in general? 
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I will most likely continue using MyBB as long as it receives timely security updates and works for my projects. I haven't really bothered to mess with other forum software since I started using MyBB two years ago.

I have heard good things about phpBB 3.1. I'm interested in testing it out when it actually releases.

So far, the differences between phpBB 3.1 and MyBB 1.8 are miniscule. The responsive theme and modern coding standards seem to be the biggest advantages over MyBB 1.8 I am still choosing to use MyBB 1.8 as I have trust in the software and its competitors don't appeal to me much.

One thing that frustrates me is the latest Github attack on MyBB. I was dumbfounded to even know that was possible. A person could hack into an admin's account on Github and have the chance to destroy every MyBB forum? That will be extremely bad PR for MyBB if words ever gets out (but so far I haven't read anything outside of MyBB).
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phpBB 3.1 is already released. Tongue

And yes, the words have gone out about the recent attacks, and as far as I'm aware, apparently people have been hacked as a result of the DB dumps. I'm also pretty certain that there are additional vulnerabilities that are unpatched in 1.8.2 based on additional hackings and the administrators I have discussed the issues with. It's a little unsettling. Part of me wants to convert to something else to wait out of the instability, but I find it hard to see MS running on anything different at this point. Tongue

IPB4 looks pretty freaking interesting at this point. Check out their new support forum.
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MyBB released another security patch today. It's really scary how many high risk vulnerabilities have been reported since 1.8.0.

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(November 20th, 2014 at 2:47 PM)Electric2Shock Wrote: MyBB released another security patch today. It's really scary how many high risk vulnerabilities have been reported since 1.8.0.

Holy cow, I can hardly believe it. I'll be checking for new releases daily. That's for sure. 

I had MS down for the afternoon until I could get to upgrading it (wasn't going to attempt an upgrade over my phone). I'm unwilling to take risks at this point. 
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Wow. For a software that seems to have been doing well up to know in terms of security (nothing major like these past few events, anyways) this is pretty... bad. Especially the GitHub incident... that is seriously bad. The fact they can essentially hack any MyBB forum through that loophole is scary.
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Thanks given by: Electric2Shock

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