Current state of XF and the participation of the XF Team

Status
Not open for further replies.

Sheldon

Well-known member
You must be new here :). As someone who has been on XF since the beginning, this communication style isn't anything new. These threads ALWAYS pop up, they have for the past 10 years.


(some of these were from the litigation times, but they still pop up almost every release cycle)

A few things I know:
1.) The second 2.3 HYS's come, this thread becomes irrelevant as with the others for the most part (not saying there isn't valid feedback here, but people won't care as much).
2.) Someone will post "where's 2.4" the day 2.3 is released as a joke but eventually turns semi-serious.
3.) XF has a rock solid platform to build a community on CURRENTLY.

Could they be more vocal in the community? Sure. Am I looking forward to the first HYS? Absolutely.

I wondered how long before an old timer posted the classics. You and I both know you've likely missed 10+ other threads....lol

Like you said, EVERY release this happens, starts as a joke then slowly builds up until one of these posts appear. It's literally clockwork. All I do is lurk, and I can gauge within a month or two when these threads will start appearing.

I only stay here at XF because I appreciate what the team does. Not much interaction with Kier, but plenty with Mike (good and... eh, bad....lol), tons with Chris. And a ton with Brogan. I respect the hell out of those guys. I do think if something happens that has been highlighted here (sold, people leaving, etc), we would have been told already. Besides a "roadmap" that is always demanded (and the XF team has clearly stated there will not be one) , they've been pretty upfront with the customer base here. The only issue I really see, is XF has put itself in a corner. They've built by far the best software, and you have rabid custoner base who always wants more, no matter the timetable. And to beat it all.... the time frame is never good enough.

Hell, if I'm Kier, Mike, Chris (can't add Brogan, he's a robot with no emotions) I put 98% of the site on mute. Some here are relentless.

I do agree with OP on one thing... I have had enough with the COVID/pandemic excuses. It's overplayed. Stop using that as a catch all excuse. Half you tools wore a mask thinking it would stop a microscopic droplets or particles from getting to you...

Either way. Enjoy your day guys.

Russ, keep it real. Glad to see you still slaying it.

I almost forgot @Slavik ...

He and I never see eye to eye (usually cause I'm being an ass and he has a job to preform) , but I respect what he does as well. He's also a key contributor to the success of XF.
 
Last edited:

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
The XF 1.0 to 1.2 days were the opposite of it. Actively the devs were participating with the customers and were adding new features "on-the-fly" like by listening to the feature requests gathered through feedback.
Which would you rather have.. .them posting regularly here in the forum?
Or them actively working on new code in the background?
 

sbj

Well-known member
It's more to do with the stalker level content of the OP.

Amaury would be proud.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of situation. Don't know who Amaury is but I am not a stalker, just trying to prove a point.

If I had opened this thread without any data, people would question my points and ask where I get such nonsense. With data, my points are more robust. It is not like I hacked into the database and collected the data or stalked the people for years. I just opened each profile, and counted the dates. It was actually easy to do because most of the team is basically afk the whole year. Except for Chris and you. And yours I didn't bother counting cause you are an actual robot or an alien :D, always active. Chris was always active, too, but his decline is also noticable.

Like you said, EVERY release this happens, starts as a joke then slowly builds up until one of these posts appear. It's literally clockwork. All I do is lurk, and I can gauge within a month or two when these threads will start appearing.
Again, I think this is an unfair outlook towards my thread. This is not about being releases. It is about the missing communication. What happened to them? I used to get help from Chris or Mike when I asked something here, everyone did. Now only Brogan is helping out. Kier was super active in the early days.

If you argue about that they don't have time because of development, well they did it back then? Developed and interacted? Those XF 1.X releases didn't come out of nothing while writing thousands of posts each year?

Say, the communication-workload increased, no time for participation in the forums anymore (which should be not true, because the activity of users dropped immensely, so the workload actually should have been decreased). So their whole focus is on development then, right? With XF 2 development should be faster it was said, +2 new devs, +whole focus on development then and the release of stuff is even slower than before.

Forget development and releases for a second. 2 people from the team hasn't had the time to post anything over a year now. How do you explain that? How does development cycles explain them away for so long?

And I didn't bother going back to previous years. It is like a difference of day and night.
I would say the activity around here dropped easily 50-90% easily in the last 4-6 years.
Not just by the XF team, but all around. No new developers, no new addons. Many have left the scene. How is all of that not concerning to any of you?
 
Last edited:

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Also, aren't XF a little embarrased at having members start threads like this? I would be if I was running the company and would want to do something about it.
It's a regular thing by "newbies". Those of us that have been around the last decade have seen it go through the wash/rinse cycle numerous times.
 

sbj

Well-known member
Which would you rather have.. .them posting regularly here in the forum?
Or them actively working on new code in the background?
Both, just like in the early 3-4 years.
Right now (and for years) we get none of the two.
And if I had to pick, I would pick the new codes but that is yet to be seen. Not just for 2.3, even 2.2 or 2.1 or 2.0 are just too slow.
And if that "slowness" is actually not slow but the norm, then at least communicate with us so we are a "community".
 

Tracy Perry

Well-known member
Both, just like in the early 3-4 years.
Right now (and for years) we get none of the two.
And if I had to pick, I would pick the new codes but that is yet to be seen. Not just for 2.3, even 2.2 or 2.1 or 2.0 are just too slow.
And if that "slowness" is actually not slow but the norm, then at least communicate with us so we are a "community".
That's not what I asked... I'd love to have 30 tons of gold deposited in my back yard... but reality tells me that I have to be happy with the little bit in the ring on my finger. I don't get to "get both".
It's a pity that many of the whiners don't actually know what it takes in involvement to convert a standalone script to support a SAAS environment, then at the same time configure said SAAS environment infrastructure with the appropriate billing and support backend.
The only thing that concerns them is their own little world... never mind the fact that XF is a business that is designed to make a profit.
As some others have said.. this is a rinse & repeat cycle that is as regular as clockwork.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TFW

Starbucks

Well-known member
It's more to do with the stalker level content of the OP.

Amaury would be proud.
This is one of the things I meant with communication styles.

Instead of telling the OP off as stalker, you can also see this data as an opportunity to talk to your other colleagues about what’s really happening here.

“hey guys, someone made this post and I think we should take this serious and see how we can solve this.” As he’s not the only customer of yours that’s raising this issue.

The OP, also known as your customer @sbj probably put quite some work into this to show you and the others the bigger picture. And now you, who kind of represents the company XF tells him off as a stalker, publicly? Just Because he puts the raw data and facts together with a great explanation? Ufff… Imagine if another company said this publicly about their customers and reacts that way.

Oh come on Brogan. Take this data as an opportunity to solve things instead of joking around or telling him off.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
And I didn't bother to go back to previous years. It is like a difference of day and night.
I would say the activity around here dropped easily 50-90% easily in the last 4-6 years.
Not just by the XF team, but all around. No new developers, no new addons. Many have left the scene. How is all of that not concerning to any of you?

Communication about development pace, or development pace itself are not really the reason why resource providers are inactive, but I can only speak for myself and what I know of others who have left that have shared the same reasons.

There is no separation of suggestions or feedback from resource providers and normal license holders; there is a large portion of suggestions that have been ignored because they will never matter to Joe Blow but would make my life easier if I ever decided to release styles again. Because suggestions are a popularity contest (at least visibly) there is no way to know if suggestions from resource providers are paid much attention to.

Resource sales are also not profitable for most resource providers. It may cover the initial time investment, but it will never cover the cost of support or maintaining the resource. Custom resources are an outlier to that where sales after the initial development basically cover some amount of support.

I know for myself and others that a big reason has been general toxicity and entitlement. I recently had a customer from 2011/2012 demand I update his style for free to 2.2/2.3... When I had already given him a steep discount (about half my minimum rate back then because he was dealing with financial difficulties). Look through free resources and look at people either demanding or pestering for things rather than waiting patiently or you know... pay to have it done. Look at resources that get bad reviews because someone did something stupid and blamed the developer, and then did not give the developer time to rectify the issue for them. Look at how much hate Audentio got before they pulled back publicly from XF, and now people complain that they're no longer offering their products the way they used to.

You used game development as an example, but outside of small teams/indie/crowdfunded/early access games it is extremely rare for developers to have communication with customers with the exception being PR or technical responses. I used to work at Activision in the early 2000's, and I currently manage a small dev team, and we literally pulled our devs from our public Discord to stop people from talking to them (at the request of our devs).

As far as the moderator team being less active... They are probably more active in tickets? Those are generally going to be a higher priority than the forum for a business.

I don't know, I honestly feel there is this parasocial expectation that Mike, and Kier (and Chris) have to socialize ignoring the fact that they are likely busy at work trying to get out a major update. Could they do more about communicating development delays? For sure. But needing them to maintain a high average post count is just literal insanity to me. It sucks that interaction from early XenForo is gone, but businesses need to grow and the larger a team gets means that there is more work, and that generally comes with people leading the team being busier overall.
 

The Dark Wizard

Well-known member
I wonder if the people behind any of these threads over the last decade have fun, active sites. That sounds mean, but I think a lot of this stems from people thinking that the software will be some sort of magic ticket to a popular site.

What is xF missing that impacts anyone’s success?

Again, don’t renew if it bothers you until you need updates, it’s what a lot of us do.
 

sbj

Well-known member
Communication about development pace, or development pace itself are not really the reason why resource providers are inactive, but I can only speak for myself and what I know of others who have left that have shared the same reasons.
I didn't say that's the reason. But you agree that resource providers are more inactive than before. You explain why it is. But have you considered it that the problems of resource providers could have been prevented/lowered if this place didn't feel like an abandoned ship?

The RM is utterly underdeveloped for years now. Many of what you described later could have been prevented with a better infrastructure (RM), if they developed it at all. The RM is almost as its original state released many moons ago. It just is not developed for commerce and developers see the problems with it with bad reviews for examples. Or if we had a XF team listened to the problems of resource providers, we might have a different system. Who knows? Communication is not there, development of the infrastructure is not there, of course in the long run resource providers will see the negative sides of it.

Because suggestions are a popularity contest (at least visibly) there is no way to know if suggestions from resource providers are paid much attention to.
Another point displaying that the communication is not there. You say it yourself.

Resource sales are also not profitable for most resource providers. It may cover the initial time investment, but it will never cover the cost of support or maintaining the resource. Custom resources are an outlier to that where sales after the initial development basically cover some amount of support.
I talked about it somewhere else I think. Mini transactions (app purchases) are probably top 5 most lucrative thing in the IT world. We have 160k registered people on here. I assume 20-30k at least license holders. Theoretically resources should be profitable as hell on here. If you say they aren't, then the question is why. And I believe the reason is because the 3rd party world is treated like an unwanted child. No incentives, no corporations, no ads, no involvement at all. Right now Xon, AndyB and Ozzy are carrying the whole system on their own. Obviously the quality of Xon is another level, but these 3 pillars are the backbone of the system right now. There are also other good devs like Siropu or Bob, but the amount of resources they have are not that many unfortunately.

You used game development as an example, but outside of small teams/indie/crowdfunded/early access games it is extremely rare for developers to have communication with customers with the exception being PR or technical responses.
Well, I was not expecting them to have a chit chat with me. Just pure technical responses is and was good enough. And in the early 2-3 years Kier was always active, always responding to technical stuff. Mike's 27k posts weren't pillow talk either. Like a machine when you asked a question in the support section you got an answer. I know because I got many many times help like that. That is history now. Why, what happened?

As far as the moderator team being less active... They are probably more active in tickets? Those are generally going to be a higher priority than the forum for a business.
But this is the "XF community". How do we have a community around here without moderators/admins who participate in the community? Ticket system is imo also carried by Brogan but I have no real evidence for that. Brogan and Chris are the only real community members from the XF team for years now with Slavik a bit too. But lately the latter two also disappeared.


I don't know, I honestly feel there is this parasocial expectation that Mike, and Kier (and Chris) have to socialize ignoring the fact that they are likely busy at work trying to get out a major update. Could they do more about communicating development delays? For sure. But needing them to maintain a high average post count is just literal insanity to me. It sucks that interaction from early XenForo is gone, but businesses need to grow and the larger a team gets means that there is more work, and that generally comes with people leading the team being busier overall.
I would buy into this, if we would see these "major updates" left and right. But we don't see them, do we? Not just talking about 2.3. If you look closely at the release dates and what was released, you would come to the conclusion that even in the development part they are extremely slow.
Look at Xon's addons, the amount he released in the same time frame, the amount of updates (and support) and he does it in his free time. On the other hand we have full committed full working devs in the team yet nowhere the same level of development. It doesn't add up.
 

sbj

Well-known member
I wonder if the people behind any of these threads over the last decade have fun, active sites. That sounds mean, but I think a lot of this stems from people thinking that the software will be some sort of magic ticket to a popular site.

What is xF missing that impacts anyone’s success?

Again, don’t renew if it bothers you until you need updates, it’s what a lot of us do.
This kind of thinking is very arrogant.
So people without active sites should have no opinions or what? Or should matter less? Also nobody is arguing about that the software will magic ticket you to a popular site. This is a loaded assumption of yours, almost belittling the people with new forums or unsuccessful forums.

As to myself, I do have a pretty successful site relatively to my niche and audience. I opened my site 4 years ago from zero. Right now 5.5k members (considering that my target audience is 50k which makes me successful). All professionals in my field (professors, academicians, musicians) use my site, they have to. My site is mentioned in their dissertations or academic papers. But the activity is abysmal, not on the level I expect it to be (if I exclude the moderator section, I get like 10-20 posts a day, if there is an event, it goes up to 100 or 200 for that period but dwindles down to 10 again). I am working on that problem but couldn't find a way to make it more engaging for people. Also having a super-super-tiny niche is not helpful. PM me if you want to see it for yourself.

1663855137336.png
 

The Dark Wizard

Well-known member
This kind of thinking is very arrogant.

Not really.

You know that these kinds of threads get push back.

I know these threads get push back.

It lowers the reputation of the people who make them. It’s not going to change anything. If your site is up to date, don’t renew.

I advocate for people to enjoy their sites, work on them and if xF’s lack of communication is troublesome, then find a new platform.

My opinion is that while any tickets or concerns are answered, then the support is worth it and even then I don’t always renew if there isn’t a new version.

I promise you that not renewing is infinitely more effective than the weird table in the first post, it felt harassy and stalkery to me.
 

sbj

Well-known member
Renewing or not renewing is not the question here. I also haven't renewed. But even if I renewed, the points stand. This is not relevant to the discussion.

Also "find a new platform" is the most medieval thinking I know of. So, when you are unhappy with your wife, do you go out trying to find a new one or do you try to communicate the problems and work on them?

If I am unhappy with a product but I like the company, then I will try to communicate it with them. Threatening to leave in every instance is childish. I can at any point go to any other platform, this is not relevant to this discussion and not a solution to the problems. And say I wanted to go, I and many others have too much invested (mostly time, customizations and custom development) that we can't just go and have to live with what we have. So we try to make the best out of it.

I also don't understand why God forbid we can't have expectations and standards? Like every time when someone asks for something or is unhappy, the answer of "then go" is not helping at all.

To me it looks like you are one of those lucky ones @The Dark Wizard with a popular site. You are like insalely rich people and can't understand simple problems of simple folks. Talking from high horse and looking down upon people. Not everyone here is fortunate enough to have a popular site, I would say 80% of us don't. But we are also part of this community, we also have expectations.
 

Nicolas FR

Well-known member
If your site is up to date, don’t renew.
Clearly you do not understand the purpose of this discussion.

You know that these kinds of threads get push back.
I know these threads get push back.
We are lucky enough to be able to express ourselves freely, so why deprive ourselves of it? People are dying all over the world for that same privilege. I'm not going to politicize the thing but this discussion does not hurt anyone whatever you say, it's just a discussion on a subject that interests some, nothing more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sbj

RobParker

Well-known member
If I am unhappy with a product but I like the company, then I will try to communicate it with them.

You've used a LOT of words in this thread to fail to say what about the product you're not happy with.

What's actually the problem you have? Some missing killer fearture? Some site-breaking bug?
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
To me it looks like you are one of those lucky ones @The Dark Wizard with a popular site. You are like insalely rich people and can't understand simple problems of simple folks. Talking from high horse and looking down upon people. Not everyone here is fortunate enough to have a popular site, I would say 80% of us don't. But we are also part of this community, we also have expectations.

@The Dark Wizard worked his ass off since XF launched to make his site what it is now; it is literally not luck, it comes down to the fact that he has invested a lot of time and money into his community and has a niche that grew in popularity, but still managed to not lose out to his many competitors. Just as you are saying he is being arrogant and talking down to people, you are being dismissive and downplaying the work that was put in to get to where he is now.

Not really interested in replying to your response to my prior post as it's basically you just cherry picking for a narrative and makes assumptions and false equivalencies (such as comparing micro transactions to resource sales, or resource development to platform development).
 

Nicolas FR

Well-known member
When he talks about luck I guess it's a way of speaking, everyone knows, here more than anywhere else, that the success of a forum and a community has nothing to do with luck but is the fruit of hard and long-term work. You know he knows it too.
 

Kier

XenForo developer
Staff member
Hello everyone, I'm here for general information dissemination and rumour management.

Let's start from the basics.

XenForo Ltd. is doing just fine. The developers are hard at work developing 2.3 and beyond, and the support staff are busy doing their thing too.

Yes, the volume of our postings on the forums has dropped but that is to be expected. We are now running a mature but still small company with roles that are far more clearly demarcated than those in a startup where everyone does a bit of everything. You may think you want to hear more from the developers here on the forums, but to do so would be at the expense of getting code completed.

A point has been raised about the volume of bug reports left outstanding, but I think it's important to balance that observation with an analysis of the severity and seriousness of those reports. XenForo 2.2 is a supremely stable piece of software and a decent quantity of the bug reports outstanding can be considered edge cases or trivial issues. When serious issues are reported, especially when they are security-related or have the capacity to affect large numbers of sites, we deal with them very swiftly.

I commonly see complaints that XenForo doesn't yet have feature x that person y desperately needs for their site and bemoaning the lack of a roadmap to see when and if that feature might become part of the core system. To this, I can only say that XenForo has a feature set that more than delivers the requirements of most communities, but it was always built as a platform upon which third party developers can build new application code that is in no way disadvantaged against core, first party systems. We are meticulous in maintaining backward compatibility wherever it is feasible to do so, even when it means that core development is held up as a result of having to maintain legacy systems. If your site requires a particular feature that is not currently part of the XenForo core product, post in the Resources and Add-ons forum to see if a third party developer is interested in building it using the XenForo add-on framework and best practices - that is really the essence of what XenForo is about.

I regret that 2.3 has taken longer than I anticipated to come to fruition. A combination of Mike stepping away from day-to-day operations, and the need to divert some development resources to building our Cloud platform has unfortunately resulted in 2.3 being later than we all would have liked.

To avoid a lot of unnecessary speculation with regard to Mike, he has been winding down his commitments to XenForo since before the release of 2.2 and hasn't been part of the active team for over a year. Like me, Mike has been building forum software for over twenty years, ten of them with XenForo and simply felt the time was right to move on.

XenForo 2.3 has been bubbling away for quite some time now and we are coming close to being able to show you the fruits of our labours. I'm confident you will all find something valuable in the new version when all is revealed.
 

imno007

Well-known member
Right now Xon, AndyB and Ozzy are carrying the whole system on their own. Obviously the quality of Xon is another level, but these 3 pillars are the backbone of the system right now. There are also other good devs like Siropu or Bob, but the amount of resources they have are not that many unfortunately.

I would tend to disagree with this statement, as the number of addons a developer releases does not necessarily correlate to being the "backbone" of Xenforo or any other system, by any definition that a majority would agree on. First off, most people are not going to need most of those addons, so the whole system will not collapse like, well, a vertebrate without a backbone, if they ever stop developing addons. (Although, for me personally, I'd probably be on the verge of tears if I had to make do without a few of them!) I think Xon probably only develops as many addons as he does because he actually uses a lot of them on his own personal sites, not because he's getting rich on them. AndyB has a lot of addons - probably more than anyone, technically - but they're almost all functionally one-offs, meaning they're simple addons that each do one simple thing. That's not any kind of knock on him, I'm just pointing out the obvious fact that one addon by another developer might perform all the functions of half a dozen or more of Andy's addons, and so, again, you can't point to just sheer numbers as being substantially meaningful. Ozzy... well, I'm not going to presume to speak for him, but I suspect he's suffering a little burnout now, and might serve as a good reminder for why a developer might NOT want to take on too many addons, as it just becomes a nightmare trying to support them all over a long period.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top