Hacking vs Abandoning XF

Tradidi

New member
There's a lot of things I like about XF, but there's also quite a few things that annoy me. So the question that's always on my mind is whether I should invest the time and energy to try and resolve these issues, or whether I should abandon XF and go back to something like Drupal, which allows me much more control to design my website the way I like it.

One option I have is to commit myself to hacking, tweaking or improving XF and get some return on investment by selling these hacks/tweaks/improvements as AddOns. But will it be worth it? Or would I just be wasting my time and digging myself further into a dead end hole? Maybe it is better to cut my losses sooner rather than later?

Has anyone here been in the same position, made a decision and lived to regret it, or was pleased with it?
 

Mangini

Well-known member
Depends what you want to build and if you see a good future for the softwate. There's loads of XF sites out there and if you develop a solid vision for addons/designs then people will go along. I'm still waiting on the "full" return on investment for developing my only paid addon but it's been worth it for reasons other than just sales.
 

Tradidi

New member
XF and Drupal are completely different types of software. Question is, what do you need? Forum software or a CMS?
Both. I need a CMS for publishing articles and a forum for discussing these articles. Both need to be seamlessly integrated.

XF is trying to accommodate people needing a CMS with their Article type thread, and Drupal is trying to accommodate people needing a forum with their Forum extension. Question is, which of the two will get to an acceptable middle solution best or first? That's what I'm trying to decide.
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
The last Drupal forum I was on was terrible but it may have been a custom job. My XF forum is basically what replaced it.

XF is about the best forum software I have used as a user. Can't speak to admin because XF is the only one I have been an admin for. But I have been quite happy with it from that standpoint.
 

briansol

Well-known member
I wouldn't use the word hacking.

I'm in the middle of building out a quite extensive custom addon for myself (25 db tables) to handle my content. It's less article and more tech tables of relational data but each entry will trigger the need for comments, questions, and even errata. So, a custom addon to surface and relate the data, and an XF powered discussion on the topic.

So, with that in mind - it hasn't been easy. The learning curve is quite steep. It's been 10 years since i've written a line of php (been in python mostly) and the documentation, while available and a good starting point, it is just that - a starting point and lacks a lot of detail.

I'm having betters results learning by reverse-engineering other addons "What did they do in the entity script?" .... "ok, that makes sense"

Building it right the first time is important to me and by following the xf design standards, i hope to see that it is easily upgraded for many years to come.
 

Tradidi

New member
I wouldn't use the word hacking.

I'm in the middle of building out a quite extensive custom addon for myself (25 db tables) to handle my content. It's less article and more tech tables of relational data but each entry will trigger the need for comments, questions, and even errata. So, a custom addon to surface and relate the data, and an XF powered discussion on the topic.

So, with that in mind - it hasn't been easy. The learning curve is quite steep. It's been 10 years since i've written a line of php (been in python mostly) and the documentation, while available and a good starting point, it is just that - a starting point and lacks a lot of detail.

I'm having betters results learning by reverse-engineering other addons "What did they do in the entity script?" .... "ok, that makes sense"

Building it right the first time is important to me and by following the xf design standards, i hope to see that it is easily upgraded for many years to come.
What you described as "reverse-engineering other addons" I tried to describe as "hacking." That's been my experience as well, the documentation is only a starting point, something to whet your appetite. After that you basically have to follow some unconventional ways to educate and help yourself.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
There's a lot of things I like about XF, but there's also quite a few things that annoy me. So the question that's always on my mind is whether I should invest the time and energy to try and resolve these issues, or whether I should abandon XF and go back to something like Drupal, which allows me much more control to design my website the way I like it.

One option I have is to commit myself to hacking, tweaking or improving XF and get some return on investment by selling these hacks/tweaks/improvements as AddOns. But will it be worth it? Or would I just be wasting my time and digging myself further into a dead end hole? Maybe it is better to cut my losses sooner rather than later?

Has anyone here been in the same position, made a decision and lived to regret it, or was pleased with it?

I am in a similar position, where a lot of what I want to do either needs to be custom built on XenForo, or we have to do our own platform entirely.

For now we've mostly stuck with XenForo as I do not have the time to do all the work (mostly UI and planning everything out myself) for our own platform, but it is expensive and time consuming to get everything done with XenForo. Within the last ~6 months we have probably spent about $10k on custom work alone, and there is probably is probably at least $10k-20k worth of work I still need to have done.
 

Tradidi

New member
I am in a similar position, where a lot of what I want to do either needs to be custom built on XenForo, or we have to do our own platform entirely.

For now we've mostly stuck with XenForo as I do not have the time to do all the work (mostly UI and planning everything out myself) for our own platform, but it is expensive and time consuming to get everything done with XenForo. Within the last ~6 months we have probably spent about $10k on custom work alone, and there is probably is probably at least $10k-20k worth of work I still need to have done.
With that kind of budget, maybe a custom Drupal site would have been a better option, no?
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
With that kind of budget, maybe a custom Drupal site would have been a better option, no?

I'm not a fan of Drupal, and none of the developers I hire or work with want to work with Drupal. We had a decent foundation using Node, but then Covid happen and one of our developers got swamped at work (they let go of 40% of their staff, and he had to take over most of it), and one of the other developers wife rudely got pregnant, so any free time he had is no longer available.

XenForo works for some of what we want, but the issue comes in with how much functionality we need, and how unwieldy having a huge navigation becomes for users. What we've kind of decided on is that we'll include as much as we can into XenForo, and then one of the larger features (a WoWHead style database system) will be split off on it's own and we will manage that separately.
 
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