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Is it true vBulletin is the world's most popular BBS?

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  • #46
    I'm not that surprised vBulletin is first but I diddn't think phpBB would beat Invision.


    • #47
      Originally posted by Jagged Tooth
      I'm not that surprised vBulletin is first but I diddn't think phpBB would beat Invision.
      Well, phpBB is open source and free.

      Anyhow, my thoery:

      1) vBulletin was one of just a few linear MySQL/PHP based message boards in early 2000, when it was released.
      2) There was high visibility to users on sites that converted from UBB.
      3) The Usenet exodus was in full swing.
      4) Full-featured Web hosting finally became affordable.

      vBulletin was one of the first PHP/MySQL-based message boards with linear thread display. Before 2000, there were very few message boards with linear thread display - I think UBB and Discus were it. If they didn't shell out hundreds for one of those programs, or thousands for the "corporate" message boards, they used one of the primitive Perl/CGi-based threaded board scripts; WWWBoard or a variant. (I used WWWBoard from 1996 to 2000, and a free but crippled version of Discus until mid-2001.)

      Also, shared Web hosting wasn't affordable by most until 2001. In the late 1990s, your ISP account didn't offer the privileges needed to run something like UBB; you were stuck with the Perl-based threaded boards. A good-sized number of UBB board owners started switching over to vBulletin beginnig in the middle of 2000. Many people who participated on those boards bought vBulletin when they started their own message boards, having seen it in action. Many long-time Usenet enthusiasts finally gave up, fled from the newsgroups, and fueled the demand for new Web-based message boards. From there, it kind of snowballed. phpBB 1.0 was released in late 2000, but few really knew about it.

      Pretty much, Jelsoft was in the right place at the right time.

      Was the code of early versions of vB sloppy? I'm not a coder, so I can't judge. If it was, though, it was probably the case for all the message board software packages of the day, only because it was a new market and coders didn't have the experience of making complex message baords, or learning from previous experiences.

      UBB and Discus were the big players of the day. They're still around, but they seem to have fallen off the map along with some others (when was the last time you heard people hold forth on Ikonboard, Gossamer Threads or Snitz?). The buzz is now all about vBulletin, Invision Board, phpBB, and Simple Machines.
      Last edited by cyburbia; Tue 12th Jul '05, 8:04am.
      Cyburbia Forums - a third place for urban planners


      • #48
        Originally posted by Brad.loo
        This comes up so often, there are a few threads around here about it if you use search .

        In my mind this is kind of how it all came to be, at least this is how I saw things happen. Of course my short term memory is not that good anymore .

        Way back when (98 or 99 can't remember) ubb was what most people used, unless they where willing to put up a lot of money for something custom. The linear thread layout was on of the biggest things people liked about ubb, most other scripts used a threaded approach to get things done.

        When I say ubb I refer to ubb.classic, at the time known as ubb 5.x. You don't see many of these running anymore, but back in the day most forums used this script (or a pirated copy of this script) for their forum.

        We won't go into ubb's short comings, that's been done to death. To make a long debate short many of the infopop customers where having problems keeping their servers up when their forums got large, ubb stored everything in flat files and was a big resource hog even unhacked.

        Around this time mySQL was starting to become more widespread and people where releasing scripts that used it for storage. We where desperate to get mySQL support in ubb and turned to infopop to add it to ubb, promises where made but never delivered. At one point it looked like something might come to be but it turned out to be 'Open Topic' a hosted solution that costs more then your wife and first born child are worth.

        Somewhere around that time people in the ubbdev community started passing around links to posts by John on an ezboard (iirc). He was in the process of coding a php/mySQL clone of ubb for the VBworld forum. At one point vBulletin was going to be sold to infopop but infopop was not interested. In time vBulletin became more then a simple ubb clone and Jelsoft begin selling it to the masses.

        A lot of the early customers came over from ubb (at least from what I saw), simply because Jelsoft was doing what infopop refused to do, give us a downloaded bbs script that used a database for storage for a fair price with good support. People took notice at ubbdev and infopop's support forums, at one point the word vBulletin was censored on the support boards at

        I think one of the main reasons people liked Jelsoft in the early days was it was a group of people working from their homes. Unlike infopop who spend a lot of money on their headquarters Jelsoft put theirs towards improving the product and support.

        Thats the history lesson for today more or less, if you have questions ask, there are a ton of 'old timers' around here that where active in that time peroid I think deep down inside everyone still loves a good UBB vs. vB debate
        They Liked a downloadable BBS like ubb with mysql storage, but still costed money?
        Well, Im going to go make a downloadable BBS like vbb and make it free!
        yep yep!

        Wish me luck! lol j/k


        • #49
          VBulletin Popularity

          I'm in the process of evaluating whether or not to buy and it seems as if most people appear to be pleased with the customer service. I am not even a customer and received a quick reply to an email question. I guess the question I still have to other users is that is this format "user friendly" to the newbie in bbs software?

          Are there statistical warnings to keep the admin posted when he/she may have to increase the size of space on the host (I will not be maintaining my own server)?

          Is GD required and how hard is it to use?

          Am open to suggestions from all. And I am aware of the saying that goes something like "you can please some of the people...etc. etc."

          The price certainly is reasonable considering what is offered. I will more than likely purchase this software. The final decision rests with those to whom I am proposing the idea.


          • #50
            It is fairly user-friendly - Like with any forum software you will need to have basic knowledge of FTP, and be able to configure the config file...

            There are no warnings to let you know if you need to increase the size of the space on your host - You can elect to have a "Quick Stats" box show up in your Admin Control Panel which will advise you on how much space the database takes up... If you monitor this you should be able to anticipate when you will need a space upgrade...

            GD is not Required, nor is ImageMagick - However if you want the Image verification & Thumbnailing (for Attachments) features you will require one of these two to be installed on your server...

            I certainly would recommend purchasing vBulletin - The staff here are great, really helpful, and will guide you with any problems you encounter - The members here are equally as helpful, and some just as knowledgeable as the staff themselves, and will also make time to reply and help you as best they can



            • #51
              The questions regarding hosting space? We dont know how much space you have available so we wouldn't know how to inform you when your near full.

              But your hosting control panel should be able to tell you how much of your quota your using and it should email you when you start getting near your limit.
              Scott MacVicar

              My Blog | Twitter


              • #52
                Something to keep in mind, some hosting providers offer you 100mb space, but don't count the mysql database space. Some give you 20gb, but only give you 100mb for the mysql database. Some count 100mb for both the files and the database. This is really worth asking about before buying a hosting account.


                • #53
                  That makes sense...will keep it in mind. thanks.


                  • #54
                    Good point...that would be something to take up with the hosting site...


                    • #55
                      Vbulletin is the best, I would pay $160 even if IPB was free, its that good of a board.


                      • #56
                        vb was orignal a script modified to handle more users it was orignally ubb.classic, and ubb.threads is another competetor against vb....


                        • #57
                          This is over two years old....
                          MCSE, MVP, CCIE
                          Microsoft Beta Team


                          • #58
                            Still, jolly good fun to (re-)read.
                            Toddler from Hell


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by sniper910 View Post
                              vb was orignal a script modified to handle more users it was orignally ubb.classic, and ubb.threads is another competetor against vb....
                              I thought vB was actually pitched to Infopop (now Groupee) as essentially a PHP/MySQL version of UBB.threads, but was ultimately rejected. Kind of ironic that the script that was rejected by the market leader at the time ended up becoming the one that dethroned them.


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by eXaulz View Post
                                Let me just say one thing...

                                I never said that I think vBulletin has sloppy code, but that others think that vBulletin has sloppy code.
                                Actually that is a general consensus.

                                I'm curious when was the last time they cleaned up the code and tried optimizing VB even more through php and sql to make it less server intensive?
                                Last edited by whitetigergrowl; Wed 5th Sep '07, 6:47am.


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