Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

vBulletin and Other Forums

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • vBulletin and Other Forums

    Okay, guys... I've been looking at several bulletin boards, both paid and free (vBulletin, UBB, phpBB, IkonBoard, etc), and each have their advantages and disadvantages. So here's the question I'll put to you all. Which BBS is best when each of the following factors would be most important to you?

    1) Customization
    Which bulletin boards give you the most options when it comes to changing the programs to suit your own needs, both operations wise and visually?

    2) Bandwidth
    For people who have hosting plans with a limited amount of monthly bandwidth, which boards would would be best for them?

    3) Size
    By the same token, not everyone has unlimited space associated with their hosting plans. Which full installs take the least amount of room compared to other popular boards?

    4) Speed
    Which boards operate faster than others?

    5) Ease of Use
    When it comes to your website visitors, which would they prefer? Which boards are the easiest for newbies to use?

    So how about it? Anyone got answers? More questions?

  • #2
    Re: vBulletin and Other Forums

    Originally posted by John G.
    Which BBS is best when each of the following factors would be most important to you?
    You're asking the crowd that likes vB, so you can guess what the answer is , but I'll give you fair answers.

    1) Customization
    vB hands-down. PHP, the programming language used, is relatively easy to learn, and is really good for picking up tidbits here and there to do minor things. As far as what the end-user sees, almost everything is changable, from the icons at the top-left to the color of the "submit reply" button to the layout of the entire thing. This is all done with standard HTML via a template system which IMHO is the best thing going. UBB's "templates" forces you to learn at least a little Perl to alter the layout and even then it ain't easy and a lot of stuff just plain isn't changable. The current version of IB (2.x) does not allow any layout changes without editing the full Perl source files. Also important to note here is UBB has a more limited feature set, whereas vB has many more features included, requiring less code-hacking on your part.

    2) Bandwidth
    With UBB you are forced to use no-cache headers, which means bandwidth goes up up up. With vB, not only are you not forced to use no-cache headers (although it is recommended for certain pages to prevent possible proxy issues), you can enable built-in gZip support that can reduce your pages size as much as 90% on the fly, with no extra work required by you or the end user. (Note: this requires your server to have zLib compiled into PHP, which some hosts have and others do not.)

    3) Size
    A full install of vB's php and image files takes approximately 2MB of space. The database is dependent on the number of users, posts, and other items, but you can figure about 5MB per 2500 posts, give or take.
    UBB generates an HTML page for every thread, as well as using a caching system that takes up even more room. One recent convert to vB went from using 200MB of space with UBB to using 50MB, database included.

    4) Speed
    Try this one out for yourself - go search for something at http://ubbforums.infopop.com and see how long it takes (doesn't really matter what you search for). Then come back here and use the search function. The difference speaks for itself.
    In addition to that, PHP and MySQL are simply faster than Perl and flat-files. It's proven fact, despite what InfoPop would have you believe.

    5) Ease of Use
    This is more of a personal preference type question. I much prefer vB to UBB, or even IB (sorry Matt ) due to its' intuitive layout and functions. However there are always going to be those who prefer UBB for whatever reason. The end-user is the one who matters, however, and I think vB is honestly easier to use than UBB.

    One thing to keep in mind when using shared hosts is that you will not be allowed to have over about 30 to 40 concurrent users. This is not unique to vB - in vB's case it's because of the number of connections to the database, in other forum software (that use flat-file instead of a database) its' because of the beating the hard drive takes, as well as other system resources.

    I want to say here that I would say the same thing even if I wasn't a moderator here. The fact is that vB is simply superior to most if not all of the competition, most assuredly UBB. Honestly the current version of phpBB isn't that great, and while I really like where IB is headed, the 2.x line isn't my thing either. That said, IB is superior to UBB any day, not the least of which is because of its' coding.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello,

      1) Customization. vB defintely comes up on top here with way more features than UBB: Avatars, vBCode, etc. However, foreign language bulletin boards are way easier to work w/ in UBB due to the Wordletization feature in UBB 6.

      2) Bandwidth: UBB 6 can be said to have about equal bandwidht of vBulletin.

      3) Size. vB comes out on top here. Storing in a database is more efficient than flat files that UBB uses even though flat files are more portable.

      4) Speed. Depends. Generally, I'll say vB.

      5) Ease of use. Don't ask me on this one. I'm one of those computer nerds who find virtually everything computer related easy.

      Good luck w/ your research!

      qasic

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by qasic
        2) Bandwidth: UBB 6 can be said to have about equal bandwidht of vBulletin.
        It can be said but that don't make it true. See my reasoning above.

        3) Size. vB comes out on top here. Storing in a database is more efficient than flat files that UBB uses even though flat files are more portable.
        I would argue with this one too. Flat files may be easier to download but a MySQL dump is just as portable as an HTML or text file.

        4) Speed. Depends. Generally, I'll say vB.
        Try the search thing I recommended. I really don't see how you can say Perl+flatfiles can be faster than PHP+MySQL.

        Comment


        • #5
          Just to counter tubedogg on some points regarding UBB

          >> "done with standard HTML via a template system which IMHO is the best thing going. UBB's "templates" forces you to learn at least a little Perl to alter the layout and even then it ain't easy and a lot of stuff just plain isn't changable."

          False. I have examined both vBulletin's and UBB's template and the difficulty level is the exact same IMHO.

          >> "UBB you are forced to use no-cache headers"

          You're not forced too in any BB product. You can always customize the code to your liking.

          >> "compression on the fly"

          mod_gzip on servers perform the exact same thing, IIS5 automatically comes with this feature already.

          >> "One recent convert to vB went from using 200MB of space with UBB to using 50MB, database included. "

          Be aware that this UBB 5 and that UBB 6 is more efficient in this aspect.

          >> Search Speed

          Yep, vB defintely comes up on top here

          qasic

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by qasic
            >> "done with standard HTML via a template system which IMHO is the best thing going. UBB's "templates" forces you to learn at least a little Perl to alter the layout and even then it ain't easy and a lot of stuff just plain isn't changable."
            False. I have examined both vBulletin's and UBB's template and the difficulty level is the exact same IMHO.
            How do you figure? With vB you click Template > Edit and click the template you want, you edit the HTML and you're done. With UBB you have to find and open the file, and then, let's take the public_daily_topics.pl file (since that's what I've got open). It's got multiple subroutines in the template. Joe Blow comes along and "what's this?" and starts messing with it. Whereas with vB, you aren't editing any code, just the HTML, so you don't have any chance of screwing up the functionality (not to mention the system has a default template that you cannot edit, so you always have the default to fall back on, whereas this same thing in UBB would require getting out the zip file and finding the template file and reuploading it). IMHO code does not belong in templates in any form, beyond simple $variables which are then fleshed out in the Perl/PHP/whatever files.

            >> "UBB you are forced to use no-cache headers"
            You're not forced too in any BB product. You can always customize the code to your liking.
            I am talking about out-of-the-box - with UBB you have to edit the code. With vB it is a simple option in the CP.

            >> "compression on the fly"
            mod_gzip on servers perform the exact same thing, IIS5 automatically comes with this feature already.
            mod_gzip has a known resource leak, and you would have to code your own solution to either IB or UBB as far as this goes - it's not in the product. Again I'm talking out of the box.

            >> "One recent convert to vB went from using 200MB of space with UBB to using 50MB, database included. "
            Be aware that this UBB 5 and that UBB 6 is more efficient in this aspect.
            Not by much.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hello,

              Try the search thing I recommended. I really don't see how you can say Perl+flatfiles can be faster than PHP+MySQL.
              Tried a SCSI RAID hosted @ Exodus Communications on a top of the line server. I think execution time is the exact same. We recently benchmarked UBB on a 200MB RAMDISK and did the same thing w/ vB. You'll be how surprised the results were. Well, the search, nothing can be done about it. Search on UBB sucks

              UBB templates having routines
              It's got routines I'll grant you that. But

              1) they are self explanatory
              2) they are no more difficult than vB

              Any webmaster w/ a decent HTML knowledge can have no problems with the templates. The same is true of both vB and UBB templates.

              In fact, I could even say that with the routines, it's even more versatile powerful as you could code your mini Perl routines (like you can code little PHP pieces of code into vB Templates)

              mod_gzip has a known resource leak, and you would have to code your own solution to either IB or UBB as far as this goes - it's not in the product. Again I'm talking out of the box.
              gzipping also takes cpu time Regarding the resource leak, I haven't heard about it at all. Can you please point me to a URL so I may research it? TIA!

              Not by much.
              I'll dare say it's much, much better than UBB 5. Static HTML files no longer exist. Your file space would have been chopped 33% (1/3) at least from UBB 5 and UBB 6.

              qasic

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by qasic
                It's got routines I'll grant you that. But
                1) they are self explanatory
                To the avg Joe they are certainly not. Actually when I was writing that response I opened the file just expecting to see some Perl here and there - I didn't expect to find practically the whole Perl code of the page layed out in it!
                2) they are no more difficult than vB
                vB doesn't have any routines in the templates. That's my point - Perl, in UBB's case, or PHP, in vB's case, does not belong in the templates. The avg webmaster has no idea what to do with them. We get support questions here from webmasters who do not know that much about HTML - imagine what it would be if we had functions and routines etc in the templates!

                Any webmaster w/ a decent HTML knowledge can have no problems with the templates. The same is true of both vB and UBB templates.
                You yourself admitted UBB has routines and functions in their templates - how does the webmaster who knows little to moderate HTML have any clue what the stuff is that is certainly not HTML?

                In fact, I could even say that with the routines, it's even more versatile powerful as you could code your mini Perl routines (like you can code little PHP pieces of code into vB Templates)
                I know I'm harping, but code does not belong in the templates, save for special templates set aside for that (such as vB's phpinclude).

                gzipping also takes cpu time
                That wasn't your initial argument - your initial argument was that it could be done in UBB. It takes CPU time whether it's done in UBB or vB. However vB has provided the option to do it and has built it in, whereas you are SOL with UBB if you don't know what you're doing.
                Regarding the resource leak, I haven't heard about it at all. Can you please point me to a URL so I may research it? TIA!
                I don't have a URL, however I'm going on what I've heard in the past on these forums - try the search (it's mighty quick from what I hear ).

                Comment


                • #9
                  How about some of the free boards, guys? phpBB, IkonBoard, ect. How do they compare to each other with the factors I mentioned? How do they compare with the pay boards?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The vast majority don't compare to the pay boards.

                    Ikonboard is a notable exception - if I had to use a free board that would likely be it. IB3 is progressing very nicely. IB3 is already better than UBB and it hasn't even been released yet. IMHO it's not quite as good as vB, but there is the old adage you get what you pay for. Matt, who is one of the developers, is a semi-regular here. (His username is [email protected]).

                    phpBB: I don't have much experience with this board. I know from heresay the last version was a horrible query hog - something like 400 on the main forum page with 100 forums, whereas vB did the same page in 1/5 or less of that many queries. However as far as I know they are going through at least a partial rewrite for improved speed and efficiency.

                    IB vs phpBB: I'd take IB anyday.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tubedogg
                      The vast majority don't compare to the pay boards.


                      phpBB: I don't have much experience with this board. I know from heresay the last version was a horrible query hog - something like 400 on the main forum page with 100 forums, whereas vB did the same page in 1/5 or less of that many queries. However as far as I know they are going through at least a partial rewrite for improved speed and efficiency.
                      This is no longer true. Latest available version of phpBB (1.4) maxes out at something like 5 queries to build the index no matter *how* many forums you have. The older version (1.2.1) did have a lot of inefficiencies in this regard *as did older revs of vb for that matter* They have completely reconfigured the dbase structure to be more efficient that way. I've seen one particular board run 1.4 with over 100 concurrent users with no problems at all. IB is nice, but matt has sold himself and the board to a large corporate entity. Searching will yield the details, but for now IB 3.0 is really really late...

                      Suffice to say, vB is the best deal you're gonna get in a commercial board. Most features for the price, stable, easy to use and so on... As far as free boards go, Ikonboards are nice, but who knows what's gonna happen now that they *and matt* are corporate owned? The flat file system seems to be very compatible with servers not having mysql, but man does it make searches sloooooowww when there are a lot of posts! I've heard that 3.0 of IB will support other databases, so this might help if it ever gets out of beta. A few different hosts have told me that they feel that ikonboards doesn't scale as well as a php/mysql solution because the flat file thing really holds it back when your board starts being heavily trafficked. It's there opinion ,of course, and could be wrong. Do a search here for the board named an you will get some really good discussion without us having to rehash too much here...

                      My recommendation would be:

                      If you want the nicest commercial board, go for vb.

                      If you want a free board, then definitely try out IB, phpBB, and a new one called xmb. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and all are free for you to download and evaluate.

                      Do keep in mind that free boards don't provide you with the level of support that a commercial board will. Part of the money that you pay for a commercial product goes for hiring support people...
                      Last edited by wert; Fri 8 Jun '01, 11:19pm.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The truth: vB is not comparable.
                        Here is a list of the best BBS systems available:
                        1. vBulletin: Features a database backend (mysql) with dozons of features, plus it is FULLY template-driven.
                        2. WWWThreads: Features a database backend (mysql,Oracle,postgreSQL) with a very good set of features although it is not template-driven. It has language packs.
                        3. iKonBoard [3]: Powerful, features database backend, provides a lot of features and delivers a professional looking bulletin board.
                        4. DCForum: Uses flat files, it's features are excellent as well as the layout. If you are a programmer, you'll be thankful to David (the programmer of DCForum) because he gave it an excellent modular design.
                        5. UBB: Uses flat files, and has a lot of hacks and modifications. It provides a feature called 'wordlets' which enables you to translate it very quickly. However, it's very slow and it's design is not really modular as they say.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wert
                          This is no longer true.
                          I did say the last version, not the current version.

                          I've heard that 3.0 of IB will support other databases, so this might help if it ever gets out of beta.
                          I think you're being a little impatient. IB3 hasn't even had a public release yet, so technically it is still very much in the development stage. Programs can go through years of development before release. vB2 was in public beta for about 3 months, but it was in development for close to a year.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So when the first version of vB came out , John was planning (or let's say coding) for vB2? Why? did he feel that his code needed to be re-written once he had finished it ?
                            This summer I'm gonna learn PHP/MySQL/Linux , so I know that a very good example of PHP coding is in my hands !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I love these threads. In my opinion vBulletin is a wise choice. It will save you having to sell your UBB on eBay at a loss when you do purchase vB.

                              I owned both and just recently sold my UBB license after some difficulty and getting proper permission from the company.

                              Just as the search function of vB is superior as to the competition, so is speed in my opinion when I did a side by side comparison of both softwares installed on my server. This was a real time comparison as to page load and posting speeds. vBulletin came out on top regardless of to what has been written here. The best testing can be done with both softwares loaded and running on the same server with identical templates in a "real world application". Being I had both of the latest versions at that point, this is what I did and how I tested.

                              This is not theory or one saying I am faster than the other. This was ran with g_zip turned on and all of the functions of both vBulletin and UBB turned on. Nothing was turned off to save bandwidth or reduce load times with either of the softwares.

                              vBulletin was visually faster by a large margin on both page load times and posting times. This translated into much faster searches and was noted as such by myself and another helping with the testing. Page access and download times with both forums using the same exact html templates reflected as such.

                              I'm not much into theory or ones talking of what is faster and more efficient. If you want to see the difference in a "real world application" and not take the word of my testing, you are welcome to try it for yourself by purchasing both and installing identical setups on the same server. This also included the same graphics for both setups.

                              Another good one besides vBulletin is Ikonboard. I loaded this and tried it. It is very nice software for free. This would be my second choice over the others mentioned above if I didn't want a commercial software with the features and support I currently have. I agree with Kevin, Ikonboard would be my second choice to vB in comparison with UBB also.

                              My testing coincides with what JB007 said above.

                              "UBB: Uses flat files, and has a lot of hacks and modifications. It provides a feature called 'wordlets' which enables you to translate it very quickly. However, it's very slow and it's design is not really modular as they say.

                              This is basically what I found also. And of course speed is important to our communities. With that in mind, vBulletin is a wise choice in comparison when it comes to the other items you had mentioned up top also. The control panel is fabulous and well layed out. The templates are easily modified (knowledge needed as to html etc.. of course) and has the option to revert to original template if the need arise. I really like that option. Bandwidth can be conserved through the g_zip compression which is easily turned off or on from within the control panel.

                              This is my opinion and my results of testing. Yours may differ but I seriously doubt it. I do not work for vBulletin.com or do I moderate forums here. I am completely an outside party giving my opinion to a question. If I would have found the others to be the best, I would be in their forums talking about my testing and what I came up with most likely and vBulletin would have been on eBay. (don't hit me )

                              Hope this helps with your research....
                              Take care,
                              Hooper
                              Last edited by Hooper; Sat 9 Jun '01, 3:01pm.

                              Comment

                              widgetinstance 262 (Related Topics) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.
                              Working...
                              X