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Big board will not go live with XenForo due to lack of maintenance

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by n0mDePlume, May 31, 2012.

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  1. n0mDePlume

    n0mDePlume Member

    I'm a big board admin who recently paid for XenForo and enhanced search. Imported my VB3 forums just fine onto a test site. I love the look and the features, way better than VB3, and it seems clear the performance advantages could save me a bunch of money. Love the software.

    However, my feedback as a customer is that I cannot actually go live with it in the present state of no releases. Without the proper cycle of identifying and fixing bugs, from a security and stability point of view it would be irresponsible of me to switch.

    I stuck with VB3 rather than upgrading to VB4 because I didn't need the new features or the new slowdowns/instability, and VB3 was a well-tested product with a commitment to releasing security fixes well after they stopped selling the product. With a less established product I can't go live with it in a "frozen" state, I have to expect more bugs and it's only safe if those are being regularly addressed. I'd be very happy to go live with XenForo if maintenance was ongoing.
  2. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Well-Known Member

    What unresolved bugs are you having problems with on your test site?

    Also what lack of maintenance? I wasnt aware of any major outstanding issues. Which ones are you referring to?
  3. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    There's around 8 boards who are roughly the same size or bigger than yours in this post: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/the-big-forum-list.26352/

    That list isn't exhaustive, it's just the ones we know about.

    As for bugs, security and stability, there are no current outstanding bugs, security or stability issues. Even forgetting the size of the boards that currently use this software, well, if there were any of these issues we'd be aware of it by now.

    Although there hasn't been a major release recently. I'm certain that if there was a major stability or security flaw then it would be addressed immediately.

    It would not be irresponsible for you to switch.

    Ourselves? Well we're quite big. We have over 3 million posts, and this is now three months since we did the switch. Do we regret it? Hell no. This is by far the most stable, reliable and secure product we've ever used.
    Sola and Chimpie like this.
  4. n0mDePlume

    n0mDePlume Member

    I'm not going to get into a back and forth argument on this. This is basic IT. All complex software packages have a bunch of bugs which are discovered on a regular basis, so if there isn't a process of regular maintenance releases something is guaranteed to be wrong. Exactly what's wrong can be a bit academic if all you need to know is "something's wrong".​
    Xenforo has a bunch of open bugs reported in its support forum (note that industry standard practice for security bugs is that those would be reported privately, and not mentioned until a fix is out the door, so these should be the non-security bugs).​
    It also has a bunch of bugs officially reported as fixed:​
    There have been a considerable number of bugs marked fixed since the last release, but there has been no maintenance release.​
    To the people who seem to think "people are using the software now and it isn't exploding in their face, so we don't need maintenance", this argument is a misunderstanding of the basics of software engineering.​
    There are always bugs. There are always a lot of bugs that you have not found, some of which will explode in someone's face. The only way to deal with this is to have a commitment to jump on bugs when they're found, fix them, and release the fixes regularly.​
    Customers who place a high priority on security and stability worry about all the bugs that haven't been found yet, and need to know that those bugs will be dealt with quickly when they show up. Security issues are especially bad because if your software is popular, hackers will keep banging away at it long after it was released.​
    Vendors know this, so when they slack off they know they're hurting their business prospects. ​
    One reason I stayed with VB3 is that they kept fixing the security issues long after they switched to VB4, so I was comfortable with the commitment to maintenance. Now it's basically dead software, and I really want something actively supported and maintained.​
    Floren, Cal, AzzidReign and 3 others like this.
  5. Coop1979

    Coop1979 Well-Known Member

    Jeez, I hope you don't depend on Windows or OS X on a daily basis, because their bug list is infinitely longer than XF's.

    I just finished my migration to XF yesterday (Big Board), and I am already starting to realize what a piece of crap vB 3.8 was compared to XF. I'll take bugs like "Sidebar avatar sizing" in exchange for the amazing performance differences we are already seeing.
    ankurs, pjfry and Yorick like this.
  6. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    I'd never thought of it like that before and it's a good point. When you see "bug fixed" reports it's reassuring but as the OP says, these don't mean anything to us unless there is a maintenance release. Unless I am missing the point, and bug fixes are incorporated immediately in the downloadable package?
    Floren and Peggy like this.
  7. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Please remember guys, n0mDePlume's opinion is valid. If he does not feel the cycle of releases is fast enough for him as a customer then that is his choice, keep it respectful.

    n0mDePlume, I understand your point of view and hope you may change your mind. As a big board owner myself I think moving over to XenForo was the best thing we ever did. And even if KAM were to be abducted by aliens or sucked into a black hole, the platform I now have is far superior than any VB product and wouldn't change it for some time to come. Hopefully up and coming updates will change your mind.
    HWS, Lone Wolf, pjfry and 2 others like this.
  8. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    The next major maintenance release was scheduled for 2nd quarter 2012. As far as I'm aware, we're still on course for that.

    Source: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/development-update.25726/
  9. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    So was my opinion, and so should he.

    Instead his response was dismissive of my own opinion and rather condescending. Thus why I'm no longer responding.
  10. Deebs

    Deebs Well-Known Member

    The difference is they release pretty regular maintenance releases and detail them.
  11. Brent W

    Brent W Well-Known Member

    That isn't a maintenance release. That is a feature release. There should be a 1.1.3 at this point imo with the amount of bug reports marked as fixed. PHP 5.4 compatibility being a big one.
    John, Peggy, AzzidReign and 2 others like this.
  12. Coop1979

    Coop1979 Well-Known Member

    I am willing to bet that there are thousands of bug fixes for almost all major software out there that don't get pushed out until either a) a quarterly/semi-annual/annual update schedule bundles all of the bug fixes together into an update, or b) a major component needs to be fixed.

    My point is that there is nothing in XF that requires a bug fix to be posted TODAY. And that is very unlike the current vBulletin software, where I get emails on a monthly basis regarding security updates for vB 4.x - a product I've never even purchased from them.

    Don't you think there would be gigantic threads about "When is this existing feature going to be fixed?!?!?!?!" if XF had that problem. No, instead you see gigantic threads about "When is this mythical feature going to be added?" Two very different things.
  13. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    I thought according to SDLC guidelines the last number represented minor release, where as the middle number represented a major release
  14. Sadik B

    Sadik B Well-Known Member

    Like Slavik said, the OP's opinion is valid. I would advise you to wait about a month or so since an update is expected within a month or there abouts.
  15. Deebs

    Deebs Well-Known Member

    You were the one that mentioned Apple/Microsoft. I was merely pointing out the fact they they DO have regular maintenance releases and cannot be compared to how XenForo Ltd is running it's maintenance program.
  16. Naatan

    Naatan Well-Known Member

    If you already have a license I would recommend opening a support ticket rather than relying on the forums to have your concerns addressed. Reason being that whenever the devs post on the forums there are usually a bunch of conspiracy threads to follow, but in a private conversation they will likely not be as hesitant to give meaningful feedback.
  17. MGSteve

    MGSteve Well-Known Member

    *quickly fires off a PM to Kier asking when 1.2 will be out and promising not to tell* ;)

    Seriously though, I can sort of see the OP's point. 1.1.2 release was a while ago. There have been a number of bugs fixed since then, surely it wouldn't be hard to push out a 1.1.3 release so the fixes are available.

    Of course if 1.2 beta is about to drop, that's fine (although 1.1.3 would probably still be a good idea, people aren't going to want to upgrade to a beta simply to fix a few bugs.)
    JVCode, AzzidReign and Deebs like this.
  18. Coop1979

    Coop1979 Well-Known Member

    Fair point, but I don't think that they have a set maintenance schedule, and there are bugs that don't necessarily get fixed with each .x.x release of OS X.

    I will change my tune a bit and say that regular (quarterly) maintenance releases would be nice, but I'm not sure if I would want to feel the pressure of updating my forum software 4 times a year for some bug fixes that never effect me. I don't think the standard forum admin is discriminating enough to know the difference between an update that he really needs to install and an update that can be pushed off to the next .x update. And you probably need to go with the least common denominator.
  19. Deebs

    Deebs Well-Known Member

    The point is though that those "bug fixes" may not affect you but could be affecting someone else. It is horses for courses. Regular maintenance releases are a must. For those that need the fixes they can upgrade, for those, like you, that don't do not have to upgrade. Having the choice is a good thing.
  20. Naatan

    Naatan Well-Known Member

    I meant that you are more likely to get a reply at all. Not that you will get a direct answer to any question you can possibly think of :p
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