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Programming Philosophies... have they changed?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jeremy, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Jeremy

    Jeremy XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Personally, I feel that they have. Before, you had a core set of features and added and added to them... Now a lot of software has things like "Forum" or "Suite" where you get everything, or nothing. But, you see XdnForo come along and say, hey, a Calendar isn't a "core" forum feature... so let's not put it in the core product. And its moving towards a somewhat completely modularized software set up. I think (especially in the web) that this is the way software is heading. To create a core product, with little features, and release a bunch of modules. So if I say I need a calendar, I download and install the calendar. Boom, its now the way I want it. Another example: Galleries. I'm building one as an add-on. Other software has sorta half-baked solutions built in... to expand the core feature set. If I don't want a gallery, I'd have to go in and disable it, rather than not install. OK, random thought rant down... Anyone here agreeing?
  2. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    I dont believe this at all... I just think we generally have two different philosophies...

    1 - give the user everything, even if they don't need or want it...
    2 - give the users nothing, and let them tack on features as needed...

    You can see both these philosophies in everything; even when you compare something like FireFox to Chrome. I personally find FireFox completely bloated, and its why I don't use it. But then I see chrome and its like an empty slate; completely lacking of features. But I like it that way, because I can tack things on with extensions/plugins one by one. I only get what I needed. I'm a minimalistic; my computer starts up with only 22 processes running because of the amount of work and tweaking I do to my services.

    XenForo is clearly in the camp of #2. Which is why I now use it over another forum which is clearly in the camp of #1.
    Caelum likes this.
  3. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    I like the modular approach. You can tailor your setup in the way *you* - the customer - wants. :)
    Jamie and Jethro like this.
  4. Drky

    Drky New Member

    I don't think programming philosophies have changed at all. The fundamental logic programming still provides the fundamental foundation to any software. We do have whole new roster of programming methodologies that allow us to modify and work with that logic programming to come up with creative and innovative solutions daily.

    As per the first comment where you feel software programming has changed from being focused on core offering to jack of all trades - ultimately all software starts in the first step with the option to expand its offering.

    What was Google other than simple search? Now Google is my provider of choice for various horizontal and vertical products: email, calendar, tasks, phone, documents, etc.

    What was vBulletin other than a simple forum? Now it offers a string of social features that Jelsoft felt encompasses their vision for their product suite.

    What is XenForo other than the core forum functionality? Does this mean XenForo will continue to only be forum software? Probably not, but XenForo is definitely at the first step of offering a targeted core product, but I'm sure the options are there to build on XenForo to hopefully offer a suite of products or addons.

    Essentially, going back to Jaxel's post, most software development starts off in Camp #2. Then it becomes the developer's choice to move it to Camp #1 or not. Usually not a problem if in the process of moving to Camp #1 the additional features become more of an a la carte / modularized offering. I was put off from vBulletin after I lost control of the core forum functionality.
  5. Jeremy

    Jeremy XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    But I don't have to use all of google's services to use one. I feel that XF will expand, but I see it being a little more modular (calendar, etc.). vBulletin is either all or nothing now. I think that philosophy is changing.
  6. Drky

    Drky New Member

    I think we're saying the same thing. I also don't need to use all of Google's services, but the decision to be modular is something that usually expands from an initial and central launch around a few core features or solution.
  7. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Active Member

    On the contrary, that is where the change lies. Moving from one philosophy to the other.

    Before, almost all forum software were "all or nothing" packages. Almost all of them were in Camp #1. Now with the MVC Framework methodology on the rise, we're seeing a lot of packages move from Camp #1 to Camp #2. IPB is a prime example, though they've always been modular to some extent.

    From what I've heard, MyBB is also moving camps. And clearly XenForo started in 2 from the get go.

    Now, we have phpBB moving to the Symfony framework in version 4. I have no doubts that this move will trigger phpBB's move into a more modular system as well.
  8. Jethro

    Jethro Well-Known Member

    To disprove this statement, the move from top/down to object orientated coding shows programming is evolving and different methodologies are always bubbling away.
  9. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    Hell... I still dont know what MVC means.

    I see MVC, and I think Mobile Construction Vehicle.
    Darkimmortal, Ryan Ashbrook and Sador like this.
  10. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

  11. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    GeeksKickAss likes this.
  12. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Active Member

    I think you have an example that is pretty interesting here. When Mozilla stopped working on the Mozilla Suite and used the forked version that became Firefox, the reason it was initially so popular was because it was relatively stripped down feature wise. Compared to the browsers of the day, it was attractive because it was fast, clean and simple.

    Now you use it as an example of bloat and scope creep in relation to Chrome. The reason Chrome seems like the "good" example here is that:

    1) They don't really announce new features through version downloads (i.e. You need to upgrade from Firefox 2 to the new Firefox 3!), they are done pretty much out of site.
    2) What features they do add are typically completely unobtrusive unless you look hard for them.

    Things don't bloat intentionally. Usually when a product stays "simple" it is a conscience design decision by the development team (Chrome) or is ingrained into the culture of the company (see 37signals) .
  13. Sador

    Sador Well-Known Member

    You and me both.
  14. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Active Member

    Lol, indeed.
  15. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    I believe the best approach is to concentrate on what you do best, and have a set of externally accessable APIs to allow interoperability with other programs and a framework for building extensions.
    If I were developing forum software, I wouldn't be concerned with a CMS, gallery or blogs. I would just make sure I had the ability to interface with software that did do that so that they could all be brought together into a cohesive whole.
  16. FreshFroot

    FreshFroot Well-Known Member

    I think they have.. When I see younger Professors teaching a programming class vs Older Professors.

    They both concentrate on different aspects more on one area.

    I think programming has evolved and a lot of older people just haven't
  17. Drky

    Drky New Member

    I did not mean that exactly, you'll have to read my whole post to understand that the statement is rooted in a more philosophical senses, targeted towards the marketing-end (suited vs. standalone). I do agree that programming methodologies have evolved. OOP being one of the god-sends for me personally.
  18. Jason

    Jason Well-Known Member

    The only thing constant is change, but change happens in cycles (i.e., history repeats itself).

    As for OOP, it's nothing new, and has been around since the 50s. It's only recently that some languages, such as PHP, have adopted it. Programming paradigms will continue to shift as languages evolve and needs dictate (but again, history repeats itself). For instance, functional programming is all the craze right now (though it has been around since the 50s as well, though its roots go back even further than that), and that will continue into 2011 as we rely more and more on highly distributed systems.

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