SMF - Not As Bad As I Thought

NickCF

I come from a land Down Under...
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
710
The ugliest-looking forum script out there is without doubt FUDforum. And you can't even customize it !
That's the one I use. I must be some kind of pervert :biglaugh:
Oh...wow. I would change software, if I were you.
 

NickCF

I come from a land Down Under...
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
710
Likewise i hate the VB default theme its over complicated and very bland, compared to others, With phpbb and IPB, well i won't even go there..

You need to remember Default themes are like pieces of chicken, Cooked on its own is very bland, But knock together some spices and you have a curry out of this world.

I think its pretty sad that people judge a forum by the default theme alone.
I disagree. The vB 4x theme is actually alright, but we think we can do better and give our site a more unique look, so that's why we're creating our own style (not a major one though).

Actually some default themes are not too bad. I quite like phpbb and the IPB default theme is really good IMO.

I think default themes do matter.

Compare SMF with any other forums on the forum matrix http://www.forummatrix.org/

And you'll see Just how good SMF compares to the other forums and even the well known paid forums, It really does set standards :D
I'm not saying SMF is bad, in fact I said that it looks pretty good, except I'm not a fan of the default style, and we're well setup with vBulletin as is.

If I was starting out a new forum, I would probably start it out with SMF and see how that goes. I'd probably either stick with SMF or move to IPB.

There are plenty of forums running SMF with a lot more posts than that.

One of the largest is http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/ - 10,746,528 posts.
Thanks.

On the subject of the design - there are literally hundreds of themes available for SMF, many of which significantly vary from the default theme. If you spend an hour or two looking around, you'll likely find something you like. If there's a particular look/style you have in mind, I might be able to make some suggestions as well.
While also true for vBulletin, we're doing it ourselves anyway. The thing I like about vB 4's default theme is that it's not so bad so we can take our time tinkering with it, but if we migrated to SMF, I'd feel pressured to edit the styles straight away, which is something I don't have the time to do.

For modifications - pretty much anything you want can be done with SMF. It's just a matter of what it is and such. The few things I see immediately (the boxes at the top of the page, the tabs with custom menu items and the custom board icons) are quite easy to accomplish, and can be done in various ways. For the boxes, you can either edit the template yourself or install a portal system like SimplePortal and add them as custom blocks (SP lets you completely customize the look of each block as well). For the custom menu items, you just edit a single file. For the custom board icons, you can replace the ones included with the theme you're using (just name your files the same as what the theme uses and upload them to the appropriate directory).
There are a lot more modifications that what you can see, both as a guest and a member. We have a Twitter-style user tagging and quoting notification mod, plus a LOT of stuff behind the scenes that you won't notice and that I won't mention here.

My point is that we're well setup on vBulletin and we've already been through the hassle of moving software and having to redo much of our setup when we went from phpbb to vB. I'm not prepared to put our community through that again, nor my co-admin. It would mean a lot more work for both of us, and as a full-time student and part-time worker, I can't really give that much time.

I would like us to upgrade from 4.1.3 to 4.2 patch level 3, but that's our plan for now. We'll probably stay on vB 4 ntil the owner decides it isn't secure/supported enough anymore, and then we'll move. I'd say to IPB, but I will suggest SMF too.

Sorry if I've derailed this thread, lol.
 

engineer1964

hoc foro magna est
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
765
Hi Nick

I'm not saying SMF is bad, in fact I said that it looks pretty good, except I'm not a fan of the default style, and we're well setup with vBulletin as is.

I've finally come to the conclusion that default themes are not liked with any boards, They are a plain whiteboard ready to be personalised, there's nothing to like about it. Its the very basic starting point of any forum.

When people say they are not a fan of the default style it implies that you just can't do nothing at all with it and thats not the case.

You don't need to worry what the default theme looks like but what the finished forum and personalised theme looks like.
 

NickCF

I come from a land Down Under...
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
710
Hi Nick



I've finally come to the conclusion that default themes are not liked with any boards, They are a plain whiteboard ready to be personalised, there's nothing to like about it. Its the very basic starting point of any forum.

When people say they are not a fan of the default style it implies that you just can't do nothing at all with it and thats not the case.

You don't need to worry what the default theme looks like but what the finished forum and personalised theme looks like.
I respecfully disagree, but perhaps we should leave it at that.
 

Judge Dredd

Old Guy
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Apr 20, 2011
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Personally, I think IPB has the BEST default theme out there, with vB being a close second.
 

HallofFamer

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Sep 6, 2010
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SMF's core code is pretty much purely amateurish procedural code, until their supposedly object oriented version 3.0 comes out Id say its a poorly designed software.
 

Judge Dredd

Old Guy
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Apr 20, 2011
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SMF's core code is pretty much purely amateurish procedural code, until their supposedly object oriented version 3.0 comes out Id say its a poorly designed software.

It works okay. They're only making it harder on themselves and the people who customise by using procedural code. For people just using the board, it doesn't make a difference.
 

Suki

Developer
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
133
SMF's core code is pretty much purely amateurish procedural code, until their supposedly object oriented version 3.0 comes out Id say its a poorly designed software.

You just love to bash SMF do you? I dunno what are your reasons... I suppose you do have reasons...

You haven't even take a look at the code to make an accurate observation. You just blindly assumes OOP == better.

OOP is indeed better in some aspects but not all of them, using OOP for the sake of using OOP for everything is simply erroneous.

Knowing when to use OOP and when to use procedural in your script makes you a good coder, not using OOP or procedural wherever and for whatever reasons...

I already told you, SMF is indeed amateur since is made by volunteers... what you fail to realize is that amateur != bad.

Lastly, can you please show me some of your own work please? you seems so enlightened and confident on your skills that makes me utterly curious to see if your work lives up as high as your words ;)
 

eldritch1969

Adherent
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
495
Personally, I think IPB has the BEST default theme out there, with vB being a close second.
Personally, I think FUDforum has the WORST default theme out there, with FUDforum as a close second.
Don't know why I love it. Must be a lover of ineer beauty.
Is there something called default skin masochism, BTW ?:biglaugh:
 

HallofFamer

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Messages
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You just love to bash SMF do you? I dunno what are your reasons... I suppose you do have reasons...

You haven't even take a look at the code to make an accurate observation. You just blindly assumes OOP == better.

OOP is indeed better in some aspects but not all of them, using OOP for the sake of using OOP for everything is simply erroneous.

Knowing when to use OOP and when to use procedural in your script makes you a good coder, not using OOP or procedural wherever and for whatever reasons...

I already told you, SMF is indeed amateur since is made by volunteers... what you fail to realize is that amateur != bad.

Lastly, can you please show me some of your own work please? you seems so enlightened and confident on your skills that makes me utterly curious to see if your work lives up as high as your words ;)

Yeah, knowing when to use OOP makes you a good coder. Thats why those who develop a forumware with amateurish procedural styles aint in that category. The reason why SMF's development is slower than many other competitors is that its core is procedural and that its impossible to maintain and make minor changes without breaking the entire code.

I never said I was an advanced programmer, Id say I am intermediate skilled at this point but at least I know what programming styles should fit with the scale of the application you develop. Procedural style is only useful for small hobbyist fansite builders, for an actual software its never the solution to whatever problems.

Anyway I am still in the middle of the process converting a script I took over from someone else to fully object oriented code. This is taking a while since I am basically the only active programmer, but I can show you a piece of my minor work available on PHPclasses.org. You can check it out here:

http://www.phpclasses.org/package/7857-PHP-Render-HTML-pages-composed-programmatically.html

Honestly I dont mind if you criticize my work, 'cause if I realize there's a piece of the code not being object oriented enough or at all, Id be willing to do anything to revise and correct it. I actually see you as an excellent programmer, although the way you defend SMF's amateurish code is somewhat incomprehensible. I dont consider critics as haters myself, 'cause without them I'd never improve.

So yeah, in a perfect script everything is an object. You cannot be perfect, but you can approach this limit. I actually like the direction SMF is going, although you just have to confess that this stage SMF is still a poorly designed software. Its a fact you cannot change so long as the core script is procedural.
 
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engineer1964

hoc foro magna est
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
765
Yeah, knowing when to use OOP makes you a good coder. Thats why those who develop a forumware with amateurish procedural styles aint in that category. The reason why SMF's development is slower than many other competitors is that its core is procedural and that its impossible to maintain and make minor changes without breaking the entire code.

I never said I was an advanced programmer, Id say I am intermediate skilled at this point but at least I know what programming styles should fit with the scale of the application you develop. Procedural style is only useful for small hobbyist fansite builders, for an actual software its never the solution to whatever problems.

Anyway I am still in the middle of the process converting a script I took over from someone else to fully object oriented code. This is taking a while since I am basically the only active programmer, but I can show you a piece of my minor work available on PHPclasses.org. You can check it out here:

http://www.phpclasses.org/package/7857-PHP-Render-HTML-pages-composed-programmatically.html

Honestly I dont mind if you criticize my work, 'cause if I realize there's a piece of the code not being object oriented enough or at all, Id be willing to do anything to revise and correct it. I actually see you as an excellent programmer, although the way you defend SMF's amateurish code is somewhat incomprehensible. I dont consider critics as haters myself, 'cause without them I'd never improve.

So yeah, in a perfect script everything is an object. You cannot be perfect, but you can approach this limit. I actually like the direction SMF is going, although you just have to confess that this stage SMF is still a poorly designed software. Its a fact you cannot change so long as the core script is procedural.


Thats fair enough so pay $249 and end up with a mess like VB? But thats OK because they have Brilliant programmers :creeper: for me its not just about the coding but the reliability, the security and the the overall product.

I've never had any issue or problems with SMF like what some people are currently experiencing with their forums and that says it all really. I've never had to pay for an update or upgrade, the updates and security updates are all released correctly and in a timely matter with no payment required, Some doubters will moan about the default theme, they will moan about some aspect of the coding, nit picking without looking at the quality and security of the end product.

I'm sure i could nit pick 10x more,if i wanted to go in depth with other forums but i guess i'm looking at the overall experience and not simply trying to base my whole experience on some minor trivial thing from a forum that's completely free. Come on whats the matter with you people, sure the software might have a DIV tag in a wrong place it shouldn't, but the damm thing works and its free to me that says it all.

But don't take my word for it look at the many big board forums that have millions of posts and hundreds of thousands of members, Now thats a Result! :coffee:

I wonder what the next thing will be thats so wrong with SMF, Oh i know, the font they use is so wrong, lets play with that for a while as i'm getting bored of the other excuses :D
 

Suki

Developer
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
133
Yeah, knowing when to use OOP makes you a good coder. Thats why those who develop a forumware with amateurish procedural styles aint in that category. The reason why SMF's development is slower than many other competitors is that its core is procedural and that its impossible to maintain and make minor changes without breaking the entire code.

I never said I was an advanced programmer, Id say I am intermediate skilled at this point but at least I know what programming styles should fit with the scale of the application you develop. Procedural style is only useful for small hobbyist fansite builders, for an actual software its never the solution to whatever problems.

Anyway I am still in the middle of the process converting a script I took over from someone else to fully object oriented code. This is taking a while since I am basically the only active programmer, but I can show you a piece of my minor work available on PHPclasses.org. You can check it out here:

http://www.phpclasses.org/package/7857-PHP-Render-HTML-pages-composed-programmatically.html

Honestly I dont mind if you criticize my work, 'cause if I realize there's a piece of the code not being object oriented enough or at all, Id be willing to do anything to revise and correct it. I actually see you as an excellent programmer, although the way you defend SMF's amateurish code is somewhat incomprehensible. I dont consider critics as haters myself, 'cause without them I'd never improve.

So yeah, in a perfect script everything is an object. You cannot be perfect, but you can approach this limit. I actually like the direction SMF is going, although you just have to confess that this stage SMF is still a poorly designed software. Its a fact you cannot change so long as the core script is procedural.


Please re-read what I wrote:

Knowing when to use OOP and when to use procedural

Using OOP for the sake of using OOP is just as bad as using procedural for the sake of using procedural. Both are extremes ways of thinking and as any other extreme way of tihnking, it is unhealthy.

This is the third time I ask you this, did you even take a look at SMF's code?

You did know that SMF has its own set of classes right? SMF uses classes where it needs them ;)

The word "amateurish" what does that word means to you? does it have some kind of derogatory meaning?

Amateurish to me means you're not getting paid, nothing to do with the actual quality of your product or services.

I was like you, just a few months back I though OOP was the holy grail and the solution to all my problems, then I understood it is just a way to get things done, nothing more. It seems futile to try to explain to you that OOP isn't everything, but you will get to that eventually.

As for your work, there is no need to get defensive and please don't get me wrong but, you are quite a few years behind the original SMF developer (who wrote the 1.0 codebase more than ten years ago).

You wouldn't understand why SMF's own database abstraction system was built in plain procedural and not in OOP, hint, efficiency.

SMF's template system implement its own MVC pattern, (granted, not a "pure" MVC pattern) and its incredible simple, efficient and fast, oh, and its plain procedural too ;)

You are bashing a 10 years old codebase with a lot of legacy code based on new coding tendencies and practices, thats not really objective in any sense, if you are going to make a truly accurate dissection of SMF's code then you first need to take a look at the code! and then would take all aspects of it, not just the codebase.

But alas, nothing I said will make you understand that OOP is a tool, not a goal and that amateurish != bad, quite the opposite, just take a look at some Olympic athletes, they are the very best on their own disciplines and yet, they are amateurs :D

Anyway, I hope you pass the "OMG! OOP is so awesome" stage soon, for the sake of your own development skills.
 

GasaiYuno

Adherent
Joined
Sep 2, 2012
Messages
399
I used to not like SMF either at first. I then just started using it more and got used to it. Everyone still gives me crap for doing so.
 

Judge Dredd

Old Guy
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Apr 20, 2011
Messages
3,144
I have to with Suki, and HallofFamer, quite frankly. Suki, regardless of your opinion, an application of the size and popularity of SMF should be written in OOP. Using the ten-year-old codebase as an excuse not to update it to OOP is a poor argument. It may be ten years old, but that's ten years the team had to rewrite it, and only now are they beginning to do it.

However, HoF, SMF works fantastically on big boards just as much as it does on small boards, and it's written procedurally.
 

Suki

Developer
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
133
I have to with Suki, and HallofFamer, quite frankly. Suki, regardless of your opinion, an application of the size and popularity of SMF should be written in OOP. Using the ten-year-old codebase as an excuse not to update it to OOP is a poor argument. It may be ten years old, but that's ten years the team had to rewrite it, and only now are they beginning to do it.

However, HoF, SMF works fantastically on big boards just as much as it does on small boards, and it's written procedurally.

And who says I don't want to update it to OOP?

Thing is, it should be done properly, I'm not going to move to oop just for the sake of using oop.

There are features in a forum software that are more appropriated for oop and there are features that are more appropriated for procedural, they key is finding a balance and using both oop and procedural whenever fits rather than just using it because everyone else is doing it.

The ten years mention, the poor argument as you call it, is actually because for years SMF had 0 progress on development, it is only in recent years that it has had some movement. Its a heavy ballast we need to carry.

And I would love to see any other forum software that is ten years old and is still as fast, robust and reliable as SMF ;)

Do you have any idea on how much work and effort will cost to re-write an entire app as big as SMF? add to that the fact that it is an organization built by volunteers, making the development process even slower.

A refactoring is taking place, a well thought-out refactor (using oop when needed and procedural when needed as well), taking SMF users concerns in first place rather than making a full re-write just to comply with the new and shiny design patterns.
 

HallofFamer

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Sep 6, 2010
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@engineer1964:
I am not really quite sure about the opinion on VB. They surely are hiring professional programmers, they aint expected to be at the same caliber of Mike and Kier but they should still be able to create a better script than VB5. A coder from vbtruth pointed out that VB5 actually had some programming flaws in it, so perhaps it does seem that professional coders make mistakes too. Its unfortunate though.


@suki:
You cant have a good database abstraction layer and MVC without OOP, procedural can roughly mimic a few features from OOP, but just dont do it remotely as properly. There's a reason why OOP is the paradigm to use to develop softwares. Perhaps procedural style was somewhat efficient when SMF initially got started, but I am pretty sure nowadays its just a hindrance. Just like you said in the second post, the SMF team dpo realize that the initial procedural design was bad and they should've gone with OOP, but the codebase was already too big to convert in a short period of time. Guess I should say good luck with this task, from the way it sounds it does not look like it will be completed anytime soon?

Anyway I think I am going to drop the argument with you here. Not because I am even about 1% convinced of the rationales of SMF being procedural, and I still believe the SMF's procedural code is haunting its future development and maintenance. The fact is that I realize this is a place for end user discussion, and coding is not of the biggest concerns. As a coder we know how difficult and even impossible it is to work with chunks of procedural code, but for customers other important factors come into play. After all, most of them do not look directly through the sourcecode, its ultimately their foruming experience that matters. I understand what engineer1964 and judge dredd said in their posts, so guess I should stop here. I hope I havent said anything harsh to you, 'cause personally I have nothing against you. Though I must say its tough to develop a Mod/plugin for a procedural software, dont you think so?


@Judge Dredd:
Indeed, SMF should've started with OOP in the very first place. But anyway, seeing how they've come this far without a core object oriented codebase, Id give them credits for maintaining a seemingly unmaintainable project for this long. I kinda feel sorry for their current developers who have to clean up the mess from the original coders, but well, so long as the end users are comfortable with their experiences I am in no position to talk about whats behind the scenes. Thats why I said I would stop here, the argument is going nowhere anyway and I do not plan to continue to expand the topic of what coding style one should use on a subforum in which it's supposedly for end users to discuss their experiences admining a forum.
 

lordi

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Oct 9, 2011
Messages
318
my first project was SMF before convert to IPB, I still love this script, and using it for my another project right now
 

Suki

Developer
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Sep 26, 2011
Messages
133
@HallofFamer Thank you, I least you dropped the "amateurish" mentality.

And yes, you can have a god DB abstraction and MVC pattern on procedural, again, take a look at SMF's code!

An MVC pattern is as simple as keeping the logic outside the view, SMF does that in a fast, pretty simple and efficient way, you don't need oop to keep things organized, for the last time, oop is just a tool.

SMF should have started with oop?

Do you even know what was the state of PHP oop back in 2001 (when SMf started)? php4 was the king back then, you prob don't know that php4 oop capabilities aren't the best and that creating a bog project like SMF for php4 oop would have been a suicide...

Don't take me wrong but again, you don't have any idea about why the script was developed the way it is.

You don't have any idea about code structure either, you keep talking about "unmaintainable project" without even taking a look at the code, you just assume that is unmaintainable because it uses procedural, which doesn't seem very legit or objective to me...

Due to SMFs code architecture, it is relatively easy to maintain the codebase (relatively easy for a project of its size), again, been coded in procedural doesn't mean is a mess or it doesn't mean it has no organization at all.

I don't know where you learned that procedural can't be maintained or that it is mess just because is procedural.

oop can be spaghetti code as well, oop can be a mess as well, again, oop and procedural are just tools, they do not define how good you are.

If you haven't take a look at SMF's own code then we can't really continue to keep arguing since you base your assumptions on things you heard rather than taking a good look at the code.

I really hope for you to pass the "oop is everything" stage soon, took me a while for me to realize but eventually I learned oop is just a tool and I learned when to use oop ad when to use procedural and when to use both. And I really hope you stop bashing SMF without taking a good look at the code first.
 

Judge Dredd

Old Guy
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Apr 20, 2011
Messages
3,144
No one's bashing anything. Let's try to refrain from using the term "bashing" since criticising a coding style is hardly "bashing," and HallofFamer doesn't seem to be posting with the intentions to "bash" or insult anyone.
 

Suki

Developer
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Sep 26, 2011
Messages
133
No one's bashing anything. Let's try to refrain from using the term "bashing" since criticising a coding style is hardly "bashing," and HallofFamer doesn't seem to be posting with the intentions to "bash" or insult anyone.

I know why I said "bash" since what HallofFamer is doing isn't criticism.

Again, if you want to criticize a forum software, the least you can do is actually look at the code, but he didn't do that, he posted based on vague assumptions about coding styles without any sense of context.

He isn't criticizing he just wants to talk about how oop is the best thing ever invented, he hasn't provided any real comparison or even a real suggestion for SMF, all he is doing is preaching about oop, thats not criticism, thats bashing a procedural coding style for the sake of talking about oop.
 
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