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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) A Public Perspective (Read 14,967 times)
Zoro
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A Public Perspective
Aug 24th, 2010 at 7:12pm
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Dear friends,

Congratulations on the new homepage! 

Companies invest millions of dollars to receive feedback from the public in order to market their products.  Since I enjoy the benefits of Perl and this community forum software, I would like to give my thoughts on some issues which are important to this project.
  1. Copyright removal donation of $150 is an acceptable option.  But, there should not be a $50 cost for administrators who simply wish to change YaBB.pl into index.pl to match the layout of their existing website indexes, for example, index.htm, index.html, or index.shtml.  There was a previous forum message on this subject before it was moved which detailed this issue.
  2. The orange color in the logo is nice, but the orange text displaying the forum messages link in this community forum is excruciating for viewing, effectively making it more difficult to follow the threads.  I realize we have the option to alter things, but this specific community forum is the showcase of YaBB. 
  3. Reaching this Community Forum from the main page was difficult to find.  I realize it may be easy for some, but it's difficult for the general public to reach the showcase forum to learn more of the benefits of this community software.
  4. Some community features are not implemented, such as member Profile pictures.  Again, there was a debate of the resources needed, etc., but I believe that option should be an administrator's choice depending on their server capacity.  The benefits of allowing a member the ability (admin option) to add five (5) photos to their profile, and the option to have their profile displayed to "everyone", "only their friends", or "off", would make YaBB a unique community forum with a feature which has been proven successful throughout the Internet.
  5. In summary, be open to requests and implement features with an administrator option to turn them on or off to appease both developers and administrators.  Development should not be based on what other forums may or may not be doing.  Sometimes, you may have to lead the way...
All the best for the open source community.

Zoro
  

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression...” — United Nations declaration
The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose.” — Michel de Montaigne
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein
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Corey Chapman
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #1 - Aug 24th, 2010 at 7:53pm
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Thank you for the great suggestions.  I'll reply to each.

1. The $50 file name change was added with the launch of this new site as a suggestion by the team.  We have debated it many times in the past and never officially added it as an option.  Our thought this time was that YaBB.pl as the filename is a promotional tool because YaBB then comes up directly in search engine results and it puts the YaBB name out there very publicly as a free and non-annoying (such as banner ads) advertising method for our free project.  The site runs completely at my expense and has cost me a lot of money over the years, so my hope was that if anyone every purchased it, it would be $50 to help cover costs.  Thoughts?

2.  I agree on the link colors.  This is actually an issue with the site CSS clashing with the forum CSS.  I have fixed some things with it here or there since the new site launch, but there are still several CSS issues I have to solve that have been a pain.

3.  I thought the same thing as you which is why I added the text "community forum" on the orange logo on the top left of all the pages.  It's one large graphic that links to the forum, along with the news articles on the main page linking to specific topics.  I also added a floating div to the top right of all the sub pages that links to the forum if you haven't notice it.  It actually shows your username if you are logged into the forum.  If you have a suggestion on where else to add a link, please let me know.

4.  The user ability to upload profile avatar pictures was enabled here, but I have to figure out a few things on the server setup to get it working again now that we are hosted by SourceForge.  The setup is a bit tricky, and that is one I haven't fully fixed yet.  As far as adding pictures to your profile as a photo album, this feature does not currently exist as a feature in YaBB by default.  This would be up to the devs if they think it is a commonly useful feature to add.

5.  YaBB is one of the best systems at having "on/off" features controlled by the admin and in some cases the user.  The biggest complaint we see in other systems is how bloated they are.  YaBB chooses wisely on what features to add to avoid this and provide ways to turn them off in most cases for people that want a clean and simple communication tool.  I believe YaBB has been a leader in this area.
  

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Zoro
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #2 - Aug 25th, 2010 at 6:50am
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We are kindred spirits my friend.  I have been managing a non-profit website for many years and continue to do so with limited funding, often times supporting it with my own finances... a labor of love.  The sense of being environmentally and socially responsible and associating with similarly-minded businesses and organizations, effectively drives my passion forward and makes the world a better place.

It is a balancing act to manage a website and find ways to support it without having to pollute it with numerous ads as you often see throughout the Internet.  We are fortunate the YaBB website continues to be a breath of fresh air in the Internet.

Onward to this public perspective discussion:
  1. The YaBB.pl to index.pl fee needs to removed and the default setting should be set at index.pl, or with the option clearly available to administrators to choose.  At first, this may appear to be counter-productive, but there are advantages.
    • YaBB.pl may be fine to promote within this specific website, but elsewhere, it appears confusing since the forum messages contain a word, namely YaBB, which is unrelated to those websites. index.pl is marketable to any website, with the forum messages blending naturally with their websites' indexes such as index.htm, index.html, and index.shtml., especially LAMP (Linux, Apache...) servers.
    • No fee for this option simply makes it more appealing and marketable
    • Promoting index.pl instead of YaBB.pl will increase the use of YaBB community forum software over others
  2. We agree.
  3. We agree.  As you noted, the new homepage has the community forums link on the left side of the header on the new logo.  The right side where the image of the 5 YaBB forum examples appears, links back to the root homepage.  Thus, I clicked on that image twice believing it will display the forums, then noticed I'm at the same place.  The link should also go to the community forums.
  4. The feature of Member Profile Photos alongside the selection of an avatar would be unique to YaBB.  In general, the forum software should have an emphasis on community features.   Profile Photos, Profile Setting  (public|friends-only|off), Community Calendar, and AJAX Chat/Shoutbox (integrated|popup) features effectively makes YaBB a community forum software. Additionally, these functional changes 1 and 2 should also be implemented.
  5. We agree.  YaBB is one of the best systems at having "on/off" features controlled by the administrator.  Linux with Perl enables developers to pack features into this forum software to transform it into a community forum software.  Features will be the deciding factor in the rise in popularity of YaBB and its sustainability in the forum market.
The Open Source community is more suited to be socially and environmentally responsible, and the future of YaBB will be a source of inspiration for many years to come. While the sofware is free, I firmly believe administrators who have downloaded, installed, and built their successful online community with this software will reciprocate and donate to the YaBB project which allows them this freedom.

Zoro
« Last Edit: Aug 25th, 2010 at 7:02am by Zoro »  

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression...” — United Nations declaration
The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose.” — Michel de Montaigne
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein
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Derek Barnstorm
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #3 - Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:20am
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Zoro wrote on Aug 25th, 2010 at 6:50am:
The YaBB.pl to index.pl fee needs to removed and the default setting should be set at index.pl, or with the option clearly available to administrators to choose.  At first, this may appear to be counter-productive, but there are advantages.
YaBB.pl may be fine to promote within this specific website, but elsewhere, it appears confusing since the forum messages contain a word, namely YaBB, which is unrelated to those websites. index.pl is marketable to any website, with the forum messages blending naturally with their websites' indexes such as index.htm, index.html, and index.shtml., especially LAMP (Linux, Apache...) servers.
No fee for this option simply makes it more appealing and marketable
Promoting index.pl instead of YaBB.pl will increase the use of YaBB community forum software over others

If you don't mind me saying, I do totally agree with Zoro on this - I have been meaning to mention it myself for some time now.

I know it probably seems quite trivial, but I do think something as simple as the URL can put some users off. Just by renaming YaBB.pl to index.pl would make the URL look a lot cleaner. Users could then even delete index.html from the yabb2 directory and access the forum with 'http://yoursite.com/forum/' without the need of using a redirect.

I would really like to see proper search engine friendly URL's in YaBB though, even if it was just an option for people on a *nix machine, and friendly URL's would ultimately mean having to hide YaBB.pl anyway...

Just my two penneth.
« Last Edit: Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:31am by Derek Barnstorm »  
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Corey Chapman
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #4 - Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:36am
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With a .htaccess file, you can eliminate the YaBB.pl, index.pl, index.html or any filename from the URL.  Notice that we have done it here... http://www.yabbforum.com/community/.  In fact, I can make it so it never shows YaBB.pl very easily.

Also, "friendly" and more meaningful "indexable" URLs is a built-in feature within the YaBB admin center.  I just don't have it turned on here.  This is in the advanced settings called PermaLink which puts the date, board name, and topic title in the URL using / like folders and removing all the ; and topic ID #.
« Last Edit: Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:47am by Corey Chapman »  

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Michael Prager
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #5 - Sep 3rd, 2010 at 9:40am
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I recently noticed that this permalink feature is not as powerful as it could be. It does NOT replace any links, it just adds an additional link to the message index for every topic  Tongue
  

Nail here for a new monitor! --> [x]
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Derek Barnstorm
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #6 - Sep 3rd, 2010 at 2:39pm
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Corey Chapman wrote on Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:36am:
With a .htaccess file, you can eliminate the YaBB.pl, index.pl, index.html or any filename from the URL.  Notice that we have done it here... http://www.yabbforum.com/community/.  In fact, I can make it so it never shows YaBB.pl very easily.

Yeah, I've used .htaccess to to tidy up the URL myself before now, but hiding YaBB.pl is going against the license now isn't it?

Corey Chapman wrote on Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:36am:
Also, "friendly" and more meaningful "indexable" URLs is a built-in feature within the YaBB admin center.  I just don't have it turned on here.  This is in the advanced settings called PermaLink which puts the date, board name, and topic title in the URL using / like folders and removing all the ; and topic ID #.

Michael is right about Permalinks - it doesn't actually change the URL in the address bar, it just adds a link in the message index and message display for the topic.

Another slight issue with Permalinks is that it displays a link in message display under each individual post, but it still only links to the topic and not the actual post - which can seem a little confusing.
  
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Corey Chapman
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #7 - Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:20pm
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I agree the Permalink feature needs improvement, but at least it's a start.

What does everyone else think about the recently added license for changing YaBB.pl?
  

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Captain John
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #8 - Sep 3rd, 2010 at 8:52pm
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Personally ... I think it (YaBB.pl) should be retained ... but fee is a little high for simply allowing index.pl
  
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The Boy
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #9 - Sep 7th, 2010 at 8:39pm
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Corey Chapman wrote on Sep 3rd, 2010 at 4:20pm:
I agree the Permalink feature needs improvement, but at least it's a start.

What does everyone else think about the recently added license for changing YaBB.pl?

Having recently been 'caught out' by using forums.net for one of my sites, which morphed into Community Server, then slowly became mostly, then entirely commercial (yet I'm stuck with it due to other systems that link in to it), I am getting more and more nervous about the licencing restrictions, even though they do not currently affect my YaBB site.


And before you try to reassure me that won't happen, Telligent initially said there would always bee a free version for not-for-profit sites - this was true up until Community Server 2 (although the free versions were already severely limited by then), but then they completely went back on their word.


If that is the way YaBB is heading, then I need to get my biggest YaBB site -  http://www.omegaowners.com - migrated to something else before it grows too big to successfully migrate. YaBB does suffer poor migration support, both into YaBB (YaBB's problem) or out of YaBB (other software's problem).
  
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Corey Chapman
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #10 - Sep 8th, 2010 at 2:44pm
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I can tell you right now, the new filename change of YaBB.pl is nothing to get worked up about.  We've had this discussion off and on with the team over the 10 years and never implemented it as an option.  Now we have, but there have been no takers; there are rarely takers on the copyright removal (moreso the first few years but not much the last few years).  It has nothing to do with restricting via the license or going commercial.

I CAN tell you what you experienced won't happen.  The fact that I just dissolved my business XIMinc should give you much assurance to that fact.  A few big companies were working with me in the beginning when YaBB was the most popular to buy it out but that didn't end up happening.  There has been nothing since, and I don't expect that to happen in the near future.  YaBB TRULY is free and open-source and is staying true to its original intent.  I would think after 10 years, you'd realize that.

As far as your community growing past YaBB's limit, I'd encourage you to wait it out.  There are some exciting changes coming to YaBB, hopefully the database support being one of them.  Either way, we are going to be making some big leaps in the next version to play catch up.
  

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The Boy
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #11 - Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:37pm
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Corey Chapman wrote on Sep 8th, 2010 at 2:44pm:
I can tell you right now, the new filename change of YaBB.pl is nothing to get worked up about.  We've had this discussion off and on with the team over the 10 years and never implemented it as an option.  Now we have, but there have been no takers; there are rarely takers on the copyright removal (moreso the first few years but not much the last few years).  It has nothing to do with restricting via the license or going commercial.

I CAN tell you what you experienced won't happen.  The fact that I just dissolved my business XIMinc should give you much assurance to that fact.  A few big companies were working with me in the beginning when YaBB was the most popular to buy it out but that didn't end up happening.  There has been nothing since, and I don't expect that to happen in the near future.  YaBB TRULY is free and open-source and is staying true to its original intent.  I would think after 10 years, you'd realize that.

As far as your community growing past YaBB's limit, I'd encourage you to wait it out.  There are some exciting changes coming to YaBB, hopefully the database support being one of them.  Either way, we are going to be making some big leaps in the next version to play catch up.

Thankyou for the reassurance, but I heard the reassurance from Rob Howard before Telligent was formed.

I don't doubt your word, though, and its good to hear that it appears there are no current plans afoot to limit YaBB via licencing restrictions - but hearing of licencing restrictions creeping in, such as the script rename restriction, does set the alarm bells ringing. I'm sure I am not alone, and if I was looking for forum software now for a new site, this alone would make me look elsewhere  Cry.  In fact, its made me look more seriously at the converters to other software a bit more closely  Lips Sealed



I don't think I have reached YaBB's limits yet, not by a long shot, despite the modest resources I throw at it (its a VM running on a very busy ESX server, and has only been allocated 1G RAM). Fair play to the work by Deti and co when they implemented the big speed improvements around 2.3 (or was it 2.2?)  Smiley


  
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Captain John
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #12 - Sep 9th, 2010 at 11:37pm
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The Boy wrote on Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:37pm:
but hearing of licencing restrictions creeping in, such as the script rename restriction, does set the alarm bells ringing.

  mmmm This has "always" been the policy.  Read the terms agreed to on the download page for a YaBB Installation zip.

Quote:
License Information YaBB is completely free to use. All we ask is that you keep the copyright in tact and visible on the bottom of your forum. This is to ensure that the project and all of the developers are given credit for their hard work. YaBB is distributed under the YPL (YaBB Public License), which is a slightly modified form of the GPL. You can read this license in the Quick Guide  distributed with YaBB. If you would like to remove the copyright, redistribute YaBB, or use it in any other non-standard fashion, please consult the Licenses page


   This has NOT changed in the 10yrs. of YaBB.  The ONLY addition to this has been the opportunity to use default.pl, index.pl or other, instead of YaBB.pl to call the forum from an url.
   This is a New option and still requires the display of the copyright and internal script credits.
« Last Edit: Sep 9th, 2010 at 11:40pm by »  
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The Boy
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #13 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 2:58pm
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Quote:
The Boy wrote on Sep 9th, 2010 at 8:37pm:
but hearing of licencing restrictions creeping in, such as the script rename restriction, does set the alarm bells ringing.

  mmmm This has "always" been the policy.  Read the terms agreed to on the download page for a YaBB Installation zip.

Quote:
License Information YaBB is completely free to use. All we ask is that you keep the copyright in tact and visible on the bottom of your forum. This is to ensure that the project and all of the developers are given credit for their hard work. YaBB is distributed under the YPL (YaBB Public License), which is a slightly modified form of the GPL. You can read this license in the Quick Guide  distributed with YaBB. If you would like to remove the copyright, redistribute YaBB, or use it in any other non-standard fashion, please consult the Licenses page


   This has NOT changed in the 10yrs. of YaBB.  The ONLY addition to this has been the opportunity to use default.pl, index.pl or other, instead of YaBB.pl to call the forum from an url.
   This is a New option and still requires the display of the copyright and internal script credits.

I was talking about the new licencing restrictions on URL name. I was NOT talking about the copyright notice, that I believe should be there.


Its a new licencing restriction, whose only function is to raise money. Its not about creditting the developers with their work.  Whether or not a single individual should (or has the right) to make some money (or recoup some costs) on a larger open source project is another, unrelated debate.


The alarm bells are ringing, because I've been here before. The next step, in order to recoup costs/make money is the licence only allows 10 Boards on a forum, or it can only be for not-for-profit sites. Then the next stage is its entirely commercial.



As said earlier, the restrictions do not affect me - the URL is easily got around at a server level should I wish to (be a grey area on licence, as the script is still called YaBB.pl), not that I have any plans not to use YaBB.pl.  And I don't mind the YaBB (c) notice - in fact I am delighted and proud to be able to display it at the bottom of my site.
  
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Corey Chapman
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Re: A Public Perspective
Reply #14 - Sep 10th, 2010 at 4:25pm
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Honestly, I don't expect many if any people to purchase the file renaming new license option.  If they do, then hey it's less out of my pocket to support YaBB. 

We will NOT start restricting boards per forum or anything else one could dream up like number of forums on a site, number of members/posts, or putting in ads. 

Like CJ and I have both said, YaBB has been here for TEN YEARS with the same license options the entire time.  This is the only new change and there are no more coming.

YaBB is not supported or run by a company and never has been.  The closest was the sponsorship by XIMinc which was really a front, since it was me running a small business and paying out of my pocket to host the project.  After losing way too much money, I have ended the business and am left with just YaBB.  That should make you less nervous than before all that went down.
  

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