Poll: What are your thoughts on phpBB 3.1?
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phpBB 3.1 is a great step forward from previous releases!
0%
0 0%
It's a step forward, but it still feels outdated in some respects.
100.00%
2 100.00%
They've made improvements, but it's still not interesting
0%
0 0%
phpBB was out of the game years ago.
0%
0 0%
Total 2 vote(s) 100%
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Phpbb 3.1

#1
Originally, phpBB had planned on a ground-up rewrite from their existing phpBB 3.0 base for phpBB 4. Relatively recently, they completely changed their approach to modernizing their development and have come up with... phpBB 3.1. It was released today, and it looks pretty slick. Most of the changes are very much beneath the surface changes, but they have done some really neat stuff, including:
  • A responsive default theme (whoo!)
  • Notifications system
  • Contact pages and improved "show team" pages
  • Many theme improvements (may look similar, but they've touched up on a lot of details)
  • A real plugin system (finally!)
  • Tons of code cleanup (and symfony components)
  • Security auditing to ensure minimal vulnerabilities
  • Improvements with announcements, soft deletes, and other forum related features.
  • More neatness on header links, usage of dropdowns, etc.
  • Lots of additional ajax

To me, the software still feels outdated, but this is a HUGE step forward without a doubt, and they plan on doing annual releases too. It's impressive that they managed to rewrite such a large portion of the code base without a from scratch rewrite, which, in my opinion, is something MyBB should learn from. (Check out the demo to try it for yourself. Make sure to login, otherwise some of the additions aren't so interesting. Check it out on mobile devices, it's pretty sweet. )

I find myself comparing this with MyBB in many respects. MyBB has been a leader in customizability for many years, but MyBB 1.8 is still outdated for what it was supposed to be. Its theme is messy, unresponsive, and hard to build upon. Even dropdowns aren't compatible with absolute page layouts in the CSS, so I find myself copying JavaScript functions and fixing stuff just to get things to work. It seems that a lot of the talented developers that made MyBB what it is are gone from the community, and to me, that makes me wonder about its future when the developers have yet to agree on a framework.

What are your opinions on phpBB and forum software in general? Be sure to vote in the poll!
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#2
PHPBB's default theme still looks annoying, but you were right. There is a near-overhaul of the code.

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#3
I'm looking into maybe developing a simple theme or something of some sort for phpBB. I looked at some of the official extensions that are being developed, and they look interesting, but the code for them is in a number of different folders and it's more confusing than MyBB's way of doing things.

At this point, considering the fact that phpBB uses twig for the templates and various smfony components, I almost wonder if phpBB's approach will end up being more powerful long term, however. Unfortunately, as a forum software for the front end user, it's still a pain to work with. Hopefully 3.2 fixes some of that. If it's more user friendly and they beef up some of the user CP, header, and profile sections of the software, I'll definitely consider migrating a lot of stuff over long term.

I suppose I really just don't feel MyBB is on the best track at this point, but it is arguably still more complete than its alternatives for the time being.
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