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My feedback for 1.2.4 is: disappointing

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by mrad, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. mrad

    mrad New Member

    On the first view 1.2.4 looks good, but if you look deeper and try to make it look and feel, you come across more and more problems.
    Lets start:
    The whole import-process (from a vb 4.2) took about 24 hours! First I thought I made something wrong and asked a friended webmaster and he told me that his import took almost the same amount of time.
    The import of paid subscriptions failed completly (later more about it).
    The importer offers to either continue with a stopped import (nice feature) or to start a new import. But if I choose this option, I expect that the importer cleans the database, but I dont expect a simple note that this option will add the things again to the database.
    First look:
    After installing a different style it looks pretty nice. Only the statusicons are a bit small and I wanted them bigger. Asking the developer of the style I got the answer that it is impossible, because the board uses sprites and not single graphics.
    More Problems:
    As the import of paid subscriptions failed, I had to add them manually. But I am not interessted in adding 250 users manually. Unfortunatly the importer grabbed the users and put them in their current (paid) usergroup.
    Changing group-colors, adding rank-images and choose them in case of a user has two or more usergroups is also a matter of massive template changes. (I wonder what will happen if the next update is avaible?)
    Trophys are also a thing by itself. The import was done into a fresh install of the software, without any changes. After the import the users got a bunch of trophys. So I changed the way of awarding a trophy (based on posts or on amount of likes). After logging out and logging in again, all users still had the same trophys like before. After updating all caches and two hours later, I logged out and in again and nothing changed.
    So finally:
    The software has alot of potenial, no question, but the actual version is far away from beeing close to vb4.2 in case of features and handling. So at the moment I stopped the project of running my board with xenforo. Maybe the version XF1.7 or 2.0 will be more usefull. I will keep on eye on it.
  2. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    Well I'll comment on the only thing I know how to do, not sure about who you used as a style developer but has he/she thought about using a bigger sprite?

    You can easily adjust the size of the node icon/path via style properties. Secondly if you want you're not forced to use a sprite for the node icons, you simply set a different image path in the style properties.

    I'd nudge your style developer to take a second look or find a new one, as that is an extremely easy thing to do.
    Chris D and HWS like this.
  3. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Liam W likes this.
  4. Liam W

    Liam W Well-Known Member

    Changing group colours doesn't require a template change...

    You're implying it does.

  5. 0ptima

    0ptima Well-Known Member

    How big is your board?

    Did you report any of the issues with the paid subscriptions?
  6. Lawrence

    Lawrence Well-Known Member

  7. mrad

    mrad New Member

    first of all: Hi to all.

    @Russ: I run boards since almost 12 years. And in all these years I learned on thing for sure: Keep changes in the templates as less as possible, because the next software-update is around the next corner, with the result that you can re-do alot of modifications, because the software-update overwrite them. I paid for the style and get updates for this style whenever the board-software requires it (because of an update). But this style is not exclusive and this means that I have to do the changes again, after an update of the software. But having the icons in a folder on the server, the worst thing is uploading "my" icons again via ftp and voila, back in business.

    @Brogan: I read your guide and was only able to shake my head. No, not because of what you wrote, this is exactly what everybody would do, if the first import fails. But why is there the option to start a new import in the importer? It would make sense, if the importer would delete the tables itself, because it knows exactly which tables are used for users, threads and so on. Sure the importer dont know the tables for add-ons and this is good, because it should leave it´s fingers away from them.

    @Liam: It wasnt me implying a template change. It was written here: http://xenforo.com/community/threads/username-color-by-group.28366/ Post #2. And in post #3 there is a link, which is interessting in case of adding custom rank-images (group banners). I am scared, because if you scroll down, you will find the two bad words again: template modification.

    @Optima: I gave up on this issue. I installed it two times already and dont want to spend a third day with importing again.

    @Lawrence: This is for sure an option which I will consider - once I decide to use the software again. After seeing the price of the importer something came to my mind:
    I bought a new car for 200.000 usd. The car itself costs 100.000 and the wheels cost another 100.000.
    A bit strange, but worth to think about using the importer.
  8. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Because it is possible to do multiple imports, in which case you wouldn't want the tables to be dropped.

    Not reading the manual or available guides is not a failing of the software.
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    As for this, you're obviously not familiar with the tools and processes in XenForo.
    Templates are not automatically overwritten.
    In addition there is the template merge functionality.

    As for uploading icons after an upgrade, I haven't had to upload any since the first beta.
    Why? Because I created a custom style directory and set the path accordingly in the ACP.
    Liam W and Claudio like this.
  10. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Based on the average sales per month of this importer, vs the time investment I alone put into it, at my usual hourly rate, I won't make any money on it for another 2 and a half to 3 years. Then you have Digitalpoints contribution AND Jake Bunces, and thats not even counting the ongoing maintainance and updates.

    I know of at least 6 people who have purchased the original version released by digitalpoint, and after weeks of trying and failing end up buying this one and realising just how much effort has gone into making it as robust and easy to use as it is.

    It's "expensive" for a reason, and arguably I could put the price up to $300 or $600, the boards that need it would still be happy to pay that amount, but we keep the price reasonable to make it more accessable for more people.
    DBA, Brad L and Claudio like this.
  11. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    There are some true things in your review (the importer should give the option to automatically truncate the tables AND the stock importer should be very much quicker so your are not forced to pay a very high sum for an add-on importer), but most of your negative findings are simply a sign that you do not understand this software.

    Please give yourself time to get familiar with Xenforo, play around with it before even thinking at going live and try all things out. I am sure you will write a better review after that.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
    Liam W likes this.
  12. mrad

    mrad New Member

    What do you think is more often? A multiple import in one database or a new import because something went wrong at the first time?

    And in case of not reading guides or the manual, have you ever heard something about "intuitive software handling?"

    The template-merge-feature is an old item. And I think we both know how such things end up.

    If you are using a third-party style and need to get ...

    Do you know what? Let´s stop it here, because it makes no sense.
  13. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    It would appear you approached the software with preconceived ideas based on past experiences.
    All software is not the same.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    0ptima, Chris D and Claudio like this.
  14. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    No valid software should drop databases and information unless it is a fresh install. ImpEx (since you mentioned vBulletin) works exactly the same way when it comes to the importer within XenForo -- it doesn't drop tables.
  15. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    Our import of a very, very large vb3 database went through without problems. It took days, but it worked the first time. So I assume people do not need to redo an import very often. It helps with testing if you take a snapshot immediately after that. So you can set back your database for the next test without the need to restart the import.

    Reading the manual is a must with a software you want to earn money with. Also due diligence before the decision and a long testing and preparing period before going live.

    Template merge works without problems at XF. Not even near the same vb feature which worked not very reliable.

    Customized Third party styles are no problem at all if done correctly (EXTRA.css).
  16. HWS

    HWS Well-Known Member

    The importer should give the option for a "Fresh Install" and delete the database automatically in that case.

    However this is no big deal. Deleting a database is a beginners task if you administrate a forum web site.
  17. Jeremy

    Jeremy Well-Known Member

    Deleting the database would require an install to occur. Duplicating that functionality is unnecessary.
  18. Claudio

    Claudio Well-Known Member

    So..if Acer computers are really bad does it means all computers have the same quality because they just have the shape of an Acer one?
    Both know how the software you're using ended up...just check the 5th version of it. You are talking about XF without trying it. Does a successfully import make you an expert on XF? Use it, try it and let your members to do the same.
  19. mrad

    mrad New Member

    Do you know what a feedback is, claudio? It covers MY experiences, not yours or someone else experiences.
    As you mentioned acer, well, from my point of view xf is like a sports-car. It looks amazing and stylish on the first view, but if you open the motor-room you see 10-years-old-technic.
    The whole template modifications are not required on, for example vb4, because most of the features are part of the core.

    Brogan brought it to the point, because he wrote this two sentences:
    He is right and I totally agree with him.
  20. jadmperry

    jadmperry Well-Known Member

    I don't understand your opinion at all. However, it is your opinion and if you are happy staying with vb 4.2, then that is a solution that works for you.

    Almost all of your issues, from my read, were with problems that you had with importing and changing platforms. It seems it is not an XF problem, it is a your importing from your website with things set up the way you like it, and not making any changes to your site after XF install.

    If you have a really large board, a longer time is to be expected. But, from what you said, your import worked (without using the faster paid option...which seems to not be needed because the import worked?) I don't see the problem in retrospect. Sure, in an ideal world, everything would be instant.

    I have read a few folks talk about this as an issue in discussing not wanting to migrate. So, on this one, I think you may have a reason that a change does not make sense. I am not sure if the issue is any better with any migrations though- I suspect is is a payment gateway/API issue that may or not may be able to be overcome. I have no idea about this. Maybe someone else knows (or has posted on this already).

    I can see you wanting this....but, as stated, the documentation explained that this is not how the importer works (nor does importers from other software). Not sure why you had to choose this, though. Sounds like you may have thought the importer was not working and you restarted? But, if that is the case, maybe that is why it took 24 hours? I.e, you tried to import twice? In which case it didn't really take 24 hours, it took however long and then you restarted? I don't know what happened, but it makes me wonder.

    This should not be a big deal...look at Russ's post, above.

    I am confused by this...don't you want those who paid to be in their current paid usergroup? That would seem to me to be what you want? Unless you meant something about the time of their subscription?

    I think this is not such a big deal (i.e., it is very easily done). If you are coming from vB, I think you see more issues with this with that platform (it has been a few years now, but I migrated from vB4.2 (I think) and had a lot of problems with templates. In my experience, XF is much easier to work with. Not to say that you keep everything from vB when you change. But, that is not an XF issue.

    I have not had this problem. But, I think that this should be relatively easy to fix.

    Good luck staying with vB. Hope that works for you. I think, though, your concerns are not with XF, it is with your import/migration to XF from vB, and I think you could fix most of these issues. Aside from the subscriptions issue, I migrated without the problems you describe. Every board is different, though, so I am not suggesting you did not have problems. I am just suggesting that your problems don't seem to be XF specific. Anyway, though, maybe someday you do migrate. Hope all works out for you in the meantime.

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