After 10 years, I'm done with IPS

ibaker

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Pretty simple explanation why there has been a huge increase in marketplace transactions...they just released v4.5...doh
 

Pete

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Indeed, it escalated further. And, from my personal point of view, ironically and hypocritically. It's also not entirely wrong, this group of people is somewhat power users, but it's not all power users, and as I suspected, not everyone upgrades promptly.

To the point about 4.5 driving sales, well, yes, that was a given. Which is why I want to see if the reaction is still valid when 4.5 is 6-8 months old and people get around to deciding whether to renew.
 

tony45

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To the point about 4.5 driving sales, well, yes, that was a given. Which is why I want to see if the reaction is still valid when 4.5 is 6-8 months old and people get around to deciding whether to renew.

Good point. This means that this system rewards invision team if they´re constantly creating improvements in their product.
After version 4.5, the next big thing is improvements in the mobile application.
 

Steve M

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Thought I would chime in here. I've been with XenForo since beta of 1.0 over 10 years ago. I will always choose it over anything else because they listen to their customer base but I'm at the point that I want to release add-ons for other forum software starting with IPS. After reading this entire thread, I am happy with what IPS has done. When I had a license, you let it expire, you list access to the marketplace and addons. But with the changes introduced with 4.5 I've decided that I will be purchasing another license and extras once I'm able to afford them all.

IPS has come a long way since the days of it being free and I'm very happy with where they are now and can't wait to take my XenForo add-ons I'm working on and code then for IPS.
 

Steve M

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So I decided to go to IPS site and login only to discover I still have a license that is expired so I'm going to renew and get a couple add-ons.
 

tony45

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So I decided to go to IPS site and login only to discover I still have a license that is expired so I'm going to renew and get a couple
IPS has come a long way since the days of it being free and I'm very happy with where they are now and can't wait to take my XenForo add-ons I'm working on and code then for IPS.
Interesting. What kind of stuff do you do?
 

Chemical

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The open source forum market is... oddly stagnant though.
I think this has less to do with open source and more to do with the forum market as a whole being largely stagnant. Even those adopting newer technologies are mostly still displaying content in the much the same way as bulletin boards did in the 80s. I believe this is mostly because 'good practice' promotes the use of greater levels of data normalisation (level 2, 3, 4 etc), which in turn manifests itself in the traditional structures we see in forums today. But as we've seen, graphing databases (we built our first graphing [xpath] database in 2006) offer more variety in the way we store relationships and in turn can influence the way we design our applications.

I thought Discourse was heading this way 5 or 6 years ago with their graphing of relationships between topics. They had the ability to start a new thread based on the current topic and this was reflected in the right hand gutter of the post. See below in orange box. It was fabulous functionality and allowed the user to follow themes by clicking on the continuation arrows. But alas, they saw this as valuable real estate and replaced it with a thread scroll bar.

1606137315406.png
 

Pete

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What I find funny is how many arguments I had with Jeff personally about some of Discourse’s more exotic thinking and how despite the “toxic hell stew 90s forums”, he’s ended up going back to something closer to what he didn’t want to build.

I wasn’t going to be bold enough to suggest that forums as an entire industry have stagnated - IPS in particular has done a number of things to suggest otherwise. But it does point to a question, how do we evolve the format beyond incremental improvements in UI... can we even do so?

Yes, there are things we can do to improve some workflows e.g. uploading media but that’s not a step change.
 

Chemical

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I wasn’t going to be bold enough to suggest that forums as an entire industry have stagnated - IPS in particular has done a number of things to suggest otherwise.
As I said:
more to do with the forum market as a whole being largely stagnant

But it does point to a question, how do we evolve the format beyond incremental improvements in UI... can we even do so?
FB are trying different ways of presenting groups. But, within groups themselves, trying to maintain a long form discussion is very difficult. I like the way FB has implemented bookmarks, although terminology and labelling is a little skew.

Yes, there are things we can do to improve some workflows e.g. uploading media but that’s not a step change.
IPS does image uploading well, possibly best of breed. But industry wide, wider video support for transcoding would be welcome, either natively or passing off to AWS or similar. XF do this quite well already with their FFmpeg functionality.
 
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LeadCrow

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how do we evolve the format beyond incremental improvements in UI... can we even do so?
As an industry, its possible.
However, I believe it'd require the forum maker providers to converge towards common goals and abandon behaviour hurting cross-software interoperability (like deliberately crafting specific uncommon features in order to cause vendor lock-in because other providers' migration scripts do not cover it and a community that now depends on it becomes forced to stick with that provider, or for SaaS services not offering workable backups or migrations since taking hostages is so much more profitable).
 

Pete

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Surely vendor specific features are the differentiator? IMO there is no financial benefit for IPS to interoperate with XF for example, and such interoperability is an easy way to diminish their respective selling points.
 

Oh!

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Surely vendor specific features are the differentiator? IMO there is no financial benefit for IPS to interoperate with XF for example, and such interoperability is an easy way to diminish their respective selling points.
It is also anticompetitive (smacks of a cartel - illegal in most jurisdictions and for good reason).
 

Pete

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I’m not sure I understand your point. Interop exists in a number of industries where moving from package to package or system to system is desirable. IP.Connect (remember that?) had its specs published years ago so forums could connect together, including enough details for non IPS sites to connect.

But getting the forum softwares to erode their unique features, that’s not a cartel in action, unless it were being used to justify price hikes somehow.
 

Oh!

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If databases are to work across the different platforms/software, this rather implies a very similar feature set across the different software. After all, this is not just some basic standard. And if the different software is almost identical to the point where it may as well be just a different skin, it makes it difficult for an innovator to come into such a controlled market. Maybe I overstated it - but I think there is logic to this.
 

Nev_Dull

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And if the different software is almost identical to the point where it may as well be just a different skin, it makes it difficult for an innovator to come into such a controlled market. Maybe I overstated it - but I think there is logic to this.
I think you're very much overstating it. Under the hood all forums are much the same. Strip away the graphics and the bells and whistles and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between a thread in IPS, SMF, XF, or MyBB. That is why forum developers focus on presentation layers and adding other functions, like galleries, articles, etc.

As a forum owner, I would love to see standardization in the database structure across all forum software. That would allow me to much more easily switch software, which in turn would actually drive innovation in those other areas.
 

Oh!

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What happens if a developer has some great new ideas, but it requires some marked differences to the 'standard' database structure employed by all the existing forum systems out there? Would it not be an uphill struggle to attract existing forum operators using the standard database to the new software, where they would need to either start over or import a nobbled version of the important user generated (and other) data? I am not saying that you are wrong - only that I am not totally convinced by your argument.
 

Jeremy8

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As a forum owner, I would love to see standardization in the database structure across all forum software. That would allow me to much more easily switch software, which in turn would actually drive innovation in those other areas.
That's not practical and isn't really a thing in any industry. XF isn't going to change their structure every time IPS adds something new or vice versa. The best way to switch software is by using officially supported importers, which do exist.
 

Nev_Dull

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What happens if a developer has some great new ideas, but it requires some marked differences to the 'standard' database structure employed by all the existing forum systems out there? Would it not be an uphill struggle to attract existing forum operators using the standard database to the new software, where they would need to either start over or import a nobbled version of the important user generated (and other) data?
I understand what you're saying. I should have been more specific. I was talking about only the db structure of the core function of every forum, how they store posts, threads attachments, and such. That doesn't curtail any sort of innovation or individualization of the different softwares or additions to the database structure for other functions.

Go back a few years to Mac's running System 7 and look at Apple's Human Interface Guidelines. Apple enforces strict standardization on how every program by developers worked. All the menus, the icons, the location and names of functions, had to be the same across the board so that any user who was familiar with using one program could quickly use any other program. It wasn't easy on the developers, but it also didn't stop plenty of innovation from happening. And it made using a Mac a far better experience for users than the free-for-all confusion that was happening on PCs at the time.

The point is, standardization does not equal sameness. Nor is it limiting. In almost every instance, standards produce more innovation and freedoms.
 
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