Preview: ZetaBoards BETA

JoshB

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JoshB submitted a new Article:

Preview: ZetaBoards BETA

Over the last month, the creators of InvisionFree have been hyping the launch of their new service to eventually take over the role of InvisionFree in the Hosted Forum Solution market. They Call this service ZetaBoards.

In this preview, we are going to be looking at the features, the look and feel, the administration experience, and thoughts on the new service. I'm going to take you through step by step creating a ZetaBoard, and my experience with it. You can check out a BETA at http://beta.zetaboards.com/test/index/.

Getting Started
I went to http://beta.zetaboards.com/in/board_reg.php, the signup page to register a new forum, and was pleasantly surprised. The signup interface has largely improved in terms of design and usability. I also like the idea of having the ToS there on the page.

I filled in the simple form, and lo-and-behold, with one click of the install button, I was taken to http://beta.zetaboards.com/TAZ/index/, the TAZ Board I will be using for this Preview. I was very pleased with the lack of having to wait on anything, no confirmation, just taken straight to my installation.

I was very pleased to see a reworked feature than the ugly, javascript alert boxes that frequent vBulletin and phpBB when you receive a PM. It was instead, a very stylish floating area notifying me of a Welcome PM from the ZetaBoards Creators.

All in all, I am very pleased with the Creation and first look at Zetaboards.

Getting Started - Rating: 8/10 - Although it is very simple and easy to create, members new to foruming may find that when they hit create, then get taken to their board, they are left thinking "Now What?"

Feature Set
There are an abundance of features within ZB not available in the standalone boardwares (without modifications), such as Message and Private Message Tagging, A Built in Video Gallery Solution, and a Well Structured ACP and Mod CP.

I do feel the Profile System is lacking in many places, however. It doesn't seem to be an expression of the user, more just a page of statistics and numbers. It would be nice to see a more complex system, on a par with the likes of IPB 2.2.


Feature Set - 9/10 - They have done a very good job with putting in many unique features and existing ones. The only thing that lets it down is the Profile System, as mentioned above.

Look & Feel
The Default Look and feel is very different to that of the other...

Read more about this article here...
 
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JoshB

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Just a Quick note to the TAZ staff, thanks for approving this.
I intend to go back and add screencaps soon, but it is midnight here and I will probably already have to make major changes in the morning because I started writing at 11pm.
 

JoshB

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Brandon is the project leader for the ZetaBoards project.
 

ATARI

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I'm there for all of 2 seconds and I get an error message. Add that to all the bugs I found toying with this the other day, and I think it's going to be in Beta for some time yet.

Nice insightful review by the way. Can't wait to see it with screencaps :)
 

Isaac

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I hate how the topics/ replies for each board are displayed. :p

Other then that, it doesn't look too bad. Except that profiles don't work.
 

Forevagrey

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It is really a bad attempt to cover up all the IPB 2.1 features it has by using an ugly skin. Try to make it look different enough to escape lawsuits and stuff. And anyone say it is not using IPB code, kid me not. I might not been a member of InvisionFree/ZetaBoards for a long time, but I was there just before and slightly after IPB announced IPB 2.0. Pretty much they spend 2 years in an attempt to make able for php 5 and add in all the missing features that they lack. It is a pity that it took too long. Worst case was that they only started the project very late. I was one of the few people how told Brandon about that change was apparent, guess he took the message late, but unfortunately for me not late enough.
 

Hostaddiction

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There is many problems with it and they arready reslied the demo ( testing only) which is a bit bad :s
 

Isaac

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what is reslied? i don't understand the sentence - could you spell that correctly - i think i may dump Zetaboard and i prefer VB or IF

Translation:

There are many problems with it and they already released the demo (testing only) which is a bit bad.
 

rockon1824

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Pretty good assessment, just one thing. You said that the CSS was a nightmare and very hard to do, they're actually coming out with an Easy CSS editor that will make it a breeze. It will be released later in the Beta.
 

JoshB

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When that upgrade does come out, rockon1824, I will be sure to reassess the situation when it comes to designing with Zeta.
 

BreadTM

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it looks pretty nice, the one thing they have over IF, is the file uploader in the AdminCP, which i'm pretty sure IF doesn't have.
they just need to add the option to upload more than 1 file at a time, otherwise uploading skin images will take forever, like it does already on IF.
 

Forevagrey

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it looks pretty nice, the one thing they have over IF, is the file uploader in the AdminCP, which i'm pretty sure IF doesn't have.
they just need to add the option to upload more than 1 file at a time, otherwise uploading skin images will take forever, like it does already on IF.

they been talking about ftp function for the last 2-3 years, but of course brandon would not have allowed that due to security reasons, so i guess they finally found a compromise when they discover this technology.
 

Erick L Gonzalez

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Zeta Boards

Hello,

I would like to be very brief here, I have used IF before and I just by using and setting up an Zeta forum and by their functionality, look and feel I would not migrate to Zeta boards.

Here are the reasons:

  • Why reinvent the wheel? IPB 1.3 is great plus there are so many other forum solutions they could had used for their forum software.
  • Saturated, the free forum market is already filled with so many of these services.
  • Quality, this forum software just doesn't have it in their current set up.
  • Customer service, it will be hard to beat IF in this department.

Thanks for reading.
 

JoshB

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Hello,

I would like to be very brief here, I have used IF before and I just by using and setting up an Zeta forum and by their functionality, look and feel I would not migrate to Zeta boards.

Here are the reasons:
  • Why reinvent the wheel? IPB 1.3 is great plus there are so many other forum solutions they could had used for their forum software.
  • Saturated, the free forum market is already filled with so many of these services.
  • Quality, this forum software just doesn't have it in their current set up.
  • Customer service, it will be hard to beat IF in this department.
Thanks for reading.

I disagree with some of these points.

First: Reinventing the wheel is neccessary in this case, basically overhauling the dated 1.3 and bringing it in line with current trends. IPB 1.3 is a great piece of software, and in its time was brilliant.

Second: This isn't saturating the market, as they will eventually phase IF out in favour of this new solution.

Third: Lack of quality? Care to expand? If it is the bugs, I state again that this is early BETA software, and should be treated as such.

Fourth: Customer Service? Again, this is not for live environments, mearly a BETA, and as such, only a BETA level of customer service is being given. As far as I know, the same support staff will be providing support to Zeta, so a decrease in service level is unlikely, although the initial strain of supporting a huge established service and nurturing a bleeding edge new product may impact at first.
 
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