XenForo 2.1 and beyond

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The Sandman

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Now that XF 2.0 is in the late beta stages I think it would be interesting to see what the consensus of the community is regarding future development of XenForo.

Once XF 2.0 and the inevitable bugs are squashed, what do you think Team XenForo will turn their attention to? What plans have they baked into the new framework? Do you think they'll start out with small, incremental additions or go for additional major "official" add-ons? Will they work from existing customer suggestions or do they have a roadmap of their own in their heads?
 

Maddox

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It's this lack of transparency that annoys the hell out of me with ALL forum software developers; they keep everything close to their chests for fear that their competitors will get the jump on them. What a load of crap. There's very little innovation in forum software, there is simply features being added to the core or as official add-ons that have been around for aeons from 3rd party developers.

It would be most helpful to end users and 3rd party developers to know what is being considered for the next iteration of forum wares - cost being the deciding factor; why shell out for a 3rd party add-on if it's going to be in the core of the next release? Why would a developer want to code something and spend a lot of time doing so if all their efforts will be negated if what they are developing is going to be added to the core or released as an official add-on. It's not the forum software providers that have to foot the bill - if they did then they may choose a different path.

As for what's to come in XF2 - who knows? It could be loads of goodies, but then it may be wishy-washy titbits that neither inspire or excite.

Speculation often leads to disappointment in this arena.

;)
 

we_are_borg

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I wish they made the option to allow multiple thumbnail sizes, this way you can use XF with the correct add-ons as a sort of news paper layout. I have said it a few times the developers of XF need to start looking beyond forum use many people use XF as a framework to expand their site(s).
 

zappaDPJ

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xF 2.1 needs to innovate.

It's becoming apparent that almost all forum start-ups are doomed to fail while established forums have become mainly read only. The modern, more mobile user has too many hurdles to jump in order to contribute while the older desktop users are now bored witless with forums and have gone sailing.

Forum software across the board has to evolve or I suspect it will die through lack of sales.
 

we_are_borg

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Yes forum software needs to evolve but of all the paid software only IPS is trying at this point. But even IPS has not tried to evolve forum software all parties involved has not tried this. The problem is that everyone is keeping it what they know 15 years of the same forum software, yes the UI changed but not the way forums work. Another issue is that SM is trying to evolve they try out new stuff all the time some off it never see daylight but they try. The problem XF has and the other paid software they are not asking what we need or listen what we ask of them. Without evolution forums will die its basic evolution.
 

Maddox

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Headway will never happen until the forum developers actually 'listen' to what their users are saying, but they are either deaf or wearing earplugs. They simply believe that we, their customers, have no idea what we're talking about and just continue to deliver the same old same old with a few tweaks here and there. That just doesn't cut it in today's market; we need a much simpler means of people getting active; personally I don't have an immediate answer other than making the registration process so simple that all is required is a username, email address and password, which is basically what FB and Twitter ask for.

People also need some assurance that if they use their FB or Twitter accounts to register that no important details about their account are accessible to anyone other than themselves; that is not plain or clear, so people err on the side of caution and do not register at all.

There are other aspects that need attention, all of which have been debated to death, but still the forum developers stick their fingers in their ears and starting chanting 'la,la,la,la,la' - it's as though their clients haven't a clue and they just don't want to hear what is being asked for. They are as archaic as their software, and that's a damn shame because they are contributing to the demise of forums; their bread and butter.

:sleep:
 

Alfa1

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Maddox If there is one thing that the XenForo team has demonstrated then its that they listen and implement feedback. Most XF1.X releases are made of the most popular suggestions. I'm not sure how you can call that deafness.
 

doubt

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Maddox If there is one thing that the XenForo team has demonstrated then its that they listen and implement feedback. Most XF1.X releases are made of the most popular suggestions. I'm not sure how you can call that deafness.
On VB one of the most popular mods is/was the Thank you mod.
For XF there is a mod called Post ratings. Very popular.
IPS implemented it in the core as Reactions.
Are the XF team blind not to see that they should implement it in the core?
 

Alfa1

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Are the XF team blind not to see that they should implement it in the core?
I have seen several nudges towards it, so no. I don't think so. Its one of those things that seems very likely to make an appearance in XF2.1

But I agree that there has been some blindness in this regard. XenForo was designed with a specific use case in mind. i.e. only likes, no dislikes or more flexible, diverse ratings.I and many others have beaten that drum for years but it was not only denied but also considered not done and never to be done. With the extreme popularity of post ratings, IPS offering it and even Facebook changing course, there is now a new reality. I personally would be surprised if we do not see post ratings in one of the coming XF2.x releases.
 

LeadCrow

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Not specific to XF, but I'd like it researched at least.

1. More options for monetization that accomodate small forums.
Since XF1, certain types of funding have become mainstream like Patreon (a recurring subscription basically). I'd like to see more become core options, so users can back their favorite sites in more ways than through the legacy approaches of 1-off payments for premium memberships (both non-expiring or time-limited). Continued sponsorships are more sustainable, easier for users to justify and do not depend on constant promotion of the scheme to nudge paid users towards making one more payment.
I'd like to see this accomodate the Ressource Manager for rewards in particular, to make certain (paid or exclusive versions) downloads free for Patreon-type backers of a minimum contribution tier.

2. Tweak the trophy system to encourage users to come back and stay active.
Right now pretty much all trophies unlock only once. I'd like to see repeat trophies out of the box, where performing multiple types of actions everyday or less frequently is encouraged, especially after the first day of membership.
Examples: log in 5 consecutive days / Perform 3 or more specific daily actions (create a topic, reply to an existing thread 3 times, visit this section, rate a post, change your avatar, post a status update...)

3. Options to reduce exposure to uninteresting content.
The native ability to filter out sections users are not interested in seeing content from unless subscribed to, and add others to a 'favorite' list or the default listing. Think of it as reddit's user-editable selection of subreddits shown to users (or 'ignoring' threads/sections - not everyone wants to read about politics and sport), and the top menu that keeps favorite sections a quick click away (the board ordering doesnt suit everyone).
 

webmastr

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I'm impressed with XF 2.0 after migrating from VB4, but I think a lot of the changes are something like a step in the right direction and just not quite breaking out of the traditional forum software model far enough.

Widgets for example, while the XF 2.0 control we have over widgets is an improvement, it could be much better if it were taken further to be more like what widgets are in WordPress. Widgetizing areas in WordPress themes is so easy and offers virtually unlimited flexibility with the ability to add arbitrary text or code. I would love to see something like that in XF 2.1.
 

ManagerJosh

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I'm impressed with XF 2.0 after migrating from VB4, but I think a lot of the changes are something like a step in the right direction and just not quite breaking out of the traditional forum software model far enough.

Widgets for example, while the XF 2.0 control we have over widgets is an improvement, it could be much better if it were taken further to be more like what widgets are in WordPress. Widgetizing areas in WordPress themes is so easy and offers virtually unlimited flexibility with the ability to add arbitrary text or code. I would love to see something like that in XF 2.1.
Doing widgets well is the hard part. While WordPress as a strong widget areas, each widget added adds performance overhead, which potentially could negatively impact one's sites overall performance.
 

Maddox

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Most XF1.X releases are made of the most popular suggestions.
Please explain how 'popular' is determined - by the number of likes, which is a pretty dire means of determining popular! It's been said numerous times on the XF forum that if you want something added put it in the suggestions forum, or if it is already there 'like' it. That's the only means visible of defining 'popular', which as I mention is a pretty dire means of making a determination.

A more broad view would be to look at what's 'popular' out there on the Net and combine that with what people are asking for. And although this topic is about XF2 in my statement of 'deafness' I did say 'forum developers' (plural) meaning ALL forum developers, the XF team are like clones of the other forum developers who follow the same pattern.

But getting direct to XF - on the XF site in the suggestions forum there are over 5,000 topics for suggestions (there will obviously be some duplication); how many of those suggestions have made their way into XF1/XF2. I'm not advocating that 'every' suggestion be implemented, but I've been with XF from the outset and I have seen very little functionality added for the end-user; for the admin there have been some additions, but that's back end stuff that end-users (and by that I mean members) never see.

And of course the XF team will lap up and 'like' all those who defend them, but is that really showing forward thinking and delivering something spectacular and different. It's the people who are critical that they should listen to, because constructive criticism (although never really palatable to hear) is a means of benefiting not just admins and site owners and their members, but also the vendor in question; and that edict applies to any software developer.

There have been more than a few people voicing how disappointed they are with XF2, along with the uncertainty of what is to follow, and it's these people whose voices should be heard, rather than sucking up the praise from those who would be happy with anything being delivered, because even those dishing up the praise would benefit in the long term.

This isn't criticism for criticism sake, it's an attempt to deliver a message to all vendors that, if you value ALL of your clients, start listening to ALL of them and not just the ones who follow the leader like lost sheep.

;)
 

Pete

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The problem with implementing "what the users want" is that it inevitably leads to cloning what other places already have.

The other problem is that it will inevitably lead to making the software less suitable for some of the established users. Imagine all the permissions were simplified, it would improve the situation for some and make the software totally unsuitable for others.

The same applies to other things: make it easier to post etc. but inevitably that kills the categorisation and structure that are the major thing forums have that social media doesn't.
 
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