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New to XenForo, a few questions before purchase

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by evolve, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. evolve

    evolve New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Long story short, I've been using vBulletin for the past few years on my big board (first on 3.x and then 4.x), and recently have seen their 5.x demo and I'm very unimpressed. Thankfully, I found XF which seems like a very robust platform to build a website on.

    I understand that the Resources manager (like the one on this website) has been scheduled for release in a future update. It's been quite some time since this was announced, however its also been quite some time since an upgrade, so I'm guessing it would be soon? I also understand XF is in the middle of a legal battle with IB which is to be settled early 2013, which may have caused delays.

    This resource manager is exactly how I want the 'downloads' section of my website to work (ie. having a page to download a file and a separate thread to discuss it)..

    The other main question I had:
    if you look here http://xenforo.com/community/resources/categories/add-ons.28/
    you can see child categories under Add-ons (like New Applications, Bridges & Integration, etc).. I was wondering, for those who are familiar with this manager, if it would be possible to have child categories to the child categories? This is needed for the sheer categories of downloads on my website.

  2. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Your assessment is very good. Yes development of XF including making the Resource Manager available is frozen until the court czase is settled. It looks like that will be during February.
    There is no reason to suggest XF will not win. The case against them is rubbish designed to block the business as long as possible, as it has done.
    That said the world can always do something totally unexpected on that 99% probability (ugh) so the wise course is to buy XF as it is now.
    (There are backup plans to keep XF going just in case but that's an unknown area.)


    This does what you want I think and seems a good developer.
    $30 but there is a limited free version I think if you search the RM on the name.
    Jake Bunce and vVv like this.
  3. evolve

    evolve New Member

    Hey, thanks for the quick reply and the link to the resource.. yeah, I'm definitely considering buying XF and initially porting my forums. However, I'm particularly interested in the resource manager that would come packaged with the script, because:

    1) I tend to prefer using/customizing existing features within a script rather than opting for a third party addon, generally safer for updates.
    2) I had past instances where developers dropped support for a crutial plugin on my website, and then having to recode/upgrade it on each upgrade to the forum script (which can become very costly and time consuming).

    Micro Downloads commerical seems like a good alternative for the time being, however it still does not have the ability to create child categories to the child categories.

    Therefore, I'm wondering if anyone could answer the other main question I had posted:

    If you look here http://xenforo.com/community/resources/categories/add-ons.28/
    you can see child categories under the main Add-ons (like New Applications, Bridges & Integration, etc).. I was wondering if it would be possible to have child categories to these child categories? This adds an extra level of categorization required for the downloads on my website.
  4. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, the RM supports that.
    evolve likes this.
  5. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Yes of course the core RM would be better just as you say because of reliability.
    But the soonest we can expect XF development + the RM is March.
    Nor can that be taken as a guarantee.

    So buy XF to use as it is MOW not as you hope it will be.
    Actually this applies generally. I've seen no end of "guaranteed promised" development which didn't happen as promised.
    At least XF is not making false promises. We were warned last August there will be no development till after the court case. Then we have lots of info on how that is going.

    You could ask Micheal of Microdownloads about the sub-cat feature you want. You don't lose much by asking. These XF devs are pretty good at doing extras and he'd probably add it as an update so it would be supported.
    The XF addon devs have a pretty good record of sustaining support. Some pulled out during a stage when the court case was spooking people. But even thery are mostly continuing support for their addons.

    The Microdownloads developer has only been here one year (of the 2 years of XF history). But he took over a very established suite of mods (MicroHellas) on VB.org when their owner retired due to health reasons.
    He's running several of them, converted to XF so it looks like a substantial investment on his part.
    His support thread looks good - it;s lengthy busy and informative. You should check if he answers questions speedily.

    Hmm in your place I think I'd try out an XF licence, play with it on a sandpit install. Add Microdownloads and some other addons. You'd need to play around a fair bit before you transferred a big site anyway. XF support is always good but in this quiet period it'll be faster and more detailed than when everyone crowds back in when it all revs up again ;)
    By the time you've got a system worked out and got used to XF (which is easier but different to VB) we should be close to decisive legal news. So the timing suits your prep period quite well.
    evolve likes this.
  6. Slavik

    Slavik XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    An accurate assessment. You can keep track of the case in these 2 threads


    RM categories are just like forum categories, you can create as many child categories as you would like :)
    evolve likes this.
  7. evolve

    evolve New Member

    I was just messing around with a demo I created for the past day and I'm liking what I'm seeing.

    However, what concerns me is your statement of updates not being a guarantee when you said there's an extremely insignificant chance that IB would win the case. I decided to investigate this and have heard stories of the developers who created XF being on shaky grounds (ie. Mike -- although many people say that he's still active and busy with the other aspects related to the business, he did not himself post anything to clarify this confusion in threads where this was the topic -- so, I feel if there was no issue then he should have just openly let everyone know this, instead of using avoidance).

    Therefore, my other main question: is there a team ready to develop XF when it comes out of the lawsuit (obviously this can't be a one-man-show with a shaky development team in order to have a successful product with future upgrades).
  8. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    I very much understand your concern here because of a lot of anxiety about it on the forum over the last year.

    The policy of the development team was to make a public statement (August) hat they needed to stop development due to the court case. Their decision was to not discuss it further.
    Now many of us felt like you, we needed reassurance more than that but they stuck to it that they would not discuss it.
    So far my explanation is facts.
    Opinion. I have only just now realised a possible reason. If they later explained some more it would set up a lot more discussion - and complaints. I think they did not want to deal with complaints because they felt unhappy themselves about this decision they were forced to make. But what happened was a lot of complaint ANYWAY :( So it made no difference.

    Anyway back to facts.
    Kier, who is one of the developers, has recently made a comment making it very clear they intend to return to work once the case is done. (Sorry I do not have a link. It was on the big California case thread.)
    Secondly their legal statement to the court just recently said that what they wanted was to go top court to get the cse heard so they could get back to development on XF.
    Thirdly (and this is less fact but still strong interpretation) with a whole life career dedicated to world class forum design - what else are they going to do? Why start another forum - abandoning XF - when XF is already surprisingly successful in spite of the court case? The toughest part of any business is the first 2 years and XF has completed that. So I would bet good money these guys will get back on the job.

    As you say there are signs on the gossip circuit that there was strain among the team earlier this year. I don't find that surprising. They were under massive stress and that makes people quarrel. That was also the period when they were in negotiation with IB on whether to settle out of court or not which would be appallingly difficult to decide.
    That stage is past and it is now fully moving into the final stages of court stuff Jan/ Feb.

    Mike by the way was never as much seen on the forum as Kier. It was always Kier who was the frontend boy who talked with us, so I would not see any concern that Mike is not seen very much. The mods mention that he does work with them if they need help.

    I hope this helps. Generally I have found XF to be very transparent and open as ateam, and so am I as an admin. Many people have criticised them that they did not keep posting news and reassurance. The bottom line is they have no duty to do so even though it probably would have been better if they had.

    The ultimate bottom line to me is that we are on a 99% certainty XF will win the case, and the probability is almost that high the team will continue development. If they don't I think that could happen because once XF is free of the court case XF will be highly valuable. Someone might offer them big money for it. But I think they'd hold on because it will be even bigger money for them if they keep going!

    Finally on that 1% uncertainty? Well I've been buying and using net software for 15 years. It's NEVER 100% reliable. People crash for all kinds of reasons - health, insanity, divorce etc and software means people. I'd say the tiny 1% risk of a lost csae is a lot less than the instability of most software which is about 10% likely to disappear suddenly anyway.

    Phew! Hope this helps. Along with others I have had to make this assessment. I have 3 X XF going and a 4th arising now.
    Jake Bunce likes this.

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