System Machine Forum - Becomes harder to find using Google

Zelda

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You know your development is failing when your development can no longer be easily found via a Google search. These searches were done in private browsing as not to obtain custom results.


To actually get a result, you now have to type out the full name, plus the initials too.

Not really of importance. I just thought it was interesting. I am perhaps easily amused or perhaps frustrated that I waited years for the development to advance (it never did). I am betting on both. :LOL:
 

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Last edited:

Pete

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If you mean SMF the forum, try using the correct words, it stands for Simple Machines Forum, not System Machine Forum.

However I’d be one of the first in line to tell you about the failures. We’re 7 years since I left the dev team and everything I see just gives me unreasonable anger issues.
 

Zelda

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it stands for Simple Machines Forum, not System Machine Forum
D'oh! :LOL:
God, the name is even hard to recall at this point. It is not intuitive.




We’re 7 years since I left the dev team and everything I see just gives me unreasonable anger issues.

I think what upsets me is how they kept leading people on. I cannot tell you how many times the word "soon" was repeatedly used. It is a word they no longer use. But I held onto that belief for a lot longer than I would have liked.
 

Pete

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Of all the complaints I could level, I don’t think “unintuitive name” is one of them, actually. The original concept was that it was like a simple machine (in the classical sense, hence the logo being a fulcrum) where a little effort yields a bigger result.
 

Zelda

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Of all the complaints I could level, I don’t think “unintuitive name” is one of them, actually. The original concept was that it was like a simple machine (in the classical sense, hence the logo being a fulcrum) where a little effort yields a bigger result.
Yes, a machine, not multiple machines. But we're splitting hairs. I goofed. It is what it is. :X3:

My biggest upset is that I kept waiting and waiting. I should have walked away a long time ago. But I somehow kept the faith.
 

Pete

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Yes, a machine, not multiple machines.

And this is where you make another assumption. There was never meant to be *only* the forum. There were plans to have other products too. I should know, I built two off the list but both ended up being add-ons to SMF rather than addons to the core because the split-core was never finished as part of the 2.0 build.
 

Zelda

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And this is where you make another assumption. There was never meant to be *only* the forum. There were plans to have other products too. I should know, I built two off the list but both ended up being add-ons to SMF rather than addons to the core because the split-core was never finished as part of the 2.0 build.
It is not an assumption if the reality of the history of that development never manifested differently. It is, however, poor naming on their part, since ultimately, they never became the very thing they claim to be. A lack of applied foresight and intent makes for poor business practice.

I can see you had many reasons to depart from the development. It seems all too confusing that they are not intuitive to themselves.
 

Pete

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Well, they were intuitive for the goal they set out to be when they named it. It's just unfortunate that the 17 years since that happened never manifested - can't fault them for ambition, especially when the people who named it for that ambition departed due to life stuff 2-3 years after that... basically, by the time SMF 1.1 was done, I don't think any of the original SMF founders were around, and it was already 5 years from 2.0 starting to 2.0.0 being launched.

You, however, seem intent to find reasons to bash them - you complain it is not intuitive because the name is plural, then when it is explained why it is plural, you complain that it was a bad choice because... of a lack of foresight? Please do not do either of us a disservice by making claims about something you clearly know nothing about.

Complain about the name if you must but don't try to do it from a moralistic standpoint.
 

Zelda

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I think you are taking what I am saying too seriously. I am not even taking myself that seriously and am just spitting out random thoughts of hindsight as I think of the reasoning behind it all.

My biggest issue with them, which I repeated twice, was how upset I felt waiting forever for a dream that never developed but was promised often. I presumed, incorrectly, it would seem, that I was still pointing out how far SMF has fallen. But as someone who worked on the developing side of things, I presume you know that all too well. I assume you're frustrated too on how everything turned out with SMF.

There is no argument to be had here or debate. It is what it is.
 

zappaDPJ

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From a forum owners point of view the frustration is not so much the glacial pace of development, more the certain knowledge that the development team are incapable of seeing beyond their limited vision of what a forum should be. It really wouldn't surprise me if some of them are still running Windows 3.1 on DOS.

An example; there is no provision to embed an uploaded image into a post, it can only be displayed as an attachment.
 

Pete

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it can only be displayed as an attachment.
Attachments can be displayed inline in 2.1 with the ATTACH bbcode, similar to what XenForo offers, but naturally less elegantly.
 

zappaDPJ

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Attachments can be displayed inline in 2.1 with the ATTACH bbcode, similar to what XenForo offers, but naturally less elegantly.
True. Let's hope it gets released this decade!

Somewhat related; am I the only one that was bemused when it was announced that there would be an RC4? Everyone else seemed to think that indicated some kind of progress :unsure:
 

Oldcrow

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I understand they are fairly active, and almost ready to release RC.4

SMF still has a long way to go, but the volunteers do a excellent job. It's free software, and does serve the purpose

Just too bad all the good folks have either left or just don't participate any longer.
 

ThornInYourSide

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Jul 12, 2021
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If you mean SMF the forum, try using the correct words, it stands for Simple Machines Forum, not System Machine Forum.

However I’d be one of the first in line to tell you about the failures. We’re 7 years since I left the dev team and everything I see just gives me unreasonable anger issues.
Yeah, I was wonder if I had misunderstood something there.

I don't have a functioning site up right now, but I got to the point of preferring SMF over phpBB. I liked that you didn't have to scrap addons and plugins to upgrade.

Wasn't aware of the inside problems though.
 

Overscan

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Feb 11, 2021
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I used SMF from fairly early on - my forum was founded December 2005 on SMF version 1.0. It was hands down the best open source forum at that time. 1.1 came along with several improvements, then came 2.0 in 2011. This was a bit mixed - some user facing improvements but the admin page arrangements and menus were poor. Still, 2.1 was coming soon...

Then, the wait.... 8 years passed without a new version. I tried out alternatives like MyBB and forks like Elkarte (some nice new features but rather slapdash QA) but in the end I took the plunge and paid for Xenforo.

Converting the forum wasn't easy, it two two attempts and I ended up rewriting parts of the SMF-Xenforo converter relating to attachments and private messages (first foray into PHP!) to get it over the line. However, it was worth it. User visible improvements everywhere, and an admin interface that made sense.

Two years later, SMF 2.1 has limped from RC2 to RC4. Xenforo has gone from 2.0 through 2.1 to 2.2 adding new features. It's not perfect, but its definitely proved worth the money. My forum is now heading towards its 16th anniversary online.

I still host an SMF 2.0 board for some friends, so I check in from time to time on progress. It looks old and tired these days.

Maybe one day there'll be a 2.1 final. Or maybe my friends will have to have to pony up for Xenforo or Invision.
 

Pete

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Not surprising 2.0 looks old and tired, it’s literally just passed 10 years of stable (and getting there was about 2 years too many).

Other than minor superficial changes I can’t actually see what’s changed in 2.1 since 2014 when the last of the big feature work was done.
 

ThornInYourSide

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I don't mind old and tired. I see that in the mirror. I want function and simplicity, which SMF has/had. I don't like change for the sake of change.
I don't need fancy or updated for no real reason. My curtains and miniblinds are 20+ years old and I have no plans to change them.
 

haqzore

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I don't mind old and tired. I see that in the mirror. I want function and simplicity, which SMF has/had. I don't like change for the sake of change.
I don't need fancy or updated for no real reason. My curtains and miniblinds are 20+ years old and I have no plans to change them.
Understandable & nothing wrong with this.

But - this isn't how the majority of web end-users think/feel in 2021. Put a default SMF install in front of 10 people and I'd bet a paycheck 9 of them immediately distrust it due to its appearance.

Right or wrong, it's the truth.
 

Nev_Dull

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Apr 27, 2010
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If I weren't half Scottish, I'd be tempted to take that bet.

As owners and admins, we have a natural bias towards new features and looks because we can see the progression of the software. We always want to take advantage of the latest ideas to help in the constant struggle to attract new members and keep our sites moving forward.

That isn't how most people online look at it. They don't come to our forums because we're running the latest XF or Invision versions. They come because we offer content on a subject they are interested in. I've conducted a lot of user testing over the years and the truth is this: Simple and clear wins every time.

It's a fact that if you present two or more sites side by side, each user will pick one they find most visually pleasing. However, when it comes to using the site, all users will prefer the one that is easiest. They prefer clear, simple interfaces that don't get in their way. I've said it many times -- software doesn't matter. What does, is how good your content is, how well it's organized, and how fast and easy it is to get to the content they want.
 
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