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  • #16
    dklassen and jcerious share an IP by any chance?

    Of course vbulletin knows about 3rd party addons, but why should it be up to them to support them? You're talking about ten seconds of work for vbulletin support staff in one case, however in another case disabling plugins straight up may save them hours of work.

    Why make it harder than they have to? If you can't handle installing mods, don't install mods. It's very straightforward...

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    • #17
      If you were always able to reproduce the problem on live you could try backing up and restoring the system on your local system (or a test database on live under a different URL) and disable them then.

      That way it has no user impact and you most likely will be able to re-create the problem.

      Comment


      • #18
        That's what I'll end up doing. I'm doing the migration and sending my members to the new vb site tomorrow night. Or I should say tonight I guess.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by jcerious View Post
          That's not really true. Of course they know about the major mods. And if they don't, they certainly should. Are they really going to pretend a product called vbadvanced doesn't exist?
          No, but they have no reason to know how it works or exactly what it does (even if chances are they have a general idea of what it does). Modifications can have remarkably extensive effects sometimes.

          I'm not going to argue you're totally wrong. I'm sure Jelsoft could put in some extra effort and take less of a hard-line stance against modifications. It might even be a good idea. But I'm not at all surprised that they don't. It's really standard in the software industry. It is not standard in the support or web administration industry, but those are completely separate.
          Originally posted by dklassen View Post
          VB really should change their attitude on this. I don't expect them to support and trouble shoot all the mods floating around but on the other hand it's not always feasible to strip your site down to troubleshoot one small problem.

          So lets say I have a board with twenty thousand members and generally two or three thousand on-line at any one time. I come up with an issue and the first thing out of the gate is I have to pull down my CMS, all my mods, revert templates, re-upload org files, etc before anyone at VB will even point me in a direction that may get me fixed without doing all that.
          To disable plug-ins, you can add something like this to config.php:
          PHP Code:
          if( $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] == '123.45.67.89' ) { define'DISABLE_HOOKS'true ); } 
          where 123.45.67.89 is your IP address. That will disable plug-ins only for you, so you can debug without them as required, to establish the problem persists. Reproducing locally also works.
          Originally posted by dklassen View Post
          It's little more than a matter of attitude. If the other forum makers out there can do it so can vBulletin especially since it's a paid for script.
          What other forum-makers out there do it? SMF does it because, as I said, otherwise they'd lose their entire market, since support is the only thing they sell. I bet you aren't going to get much interest from phpBB devs if you're using third-party mods. Does IPB support hacks?
          Originally posted by dklassen View Post
          It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Here’s one from today. If a member posts a photo too large it will blow out the sides of the forum margins. What’s the answer from vBulletin support?

          “Sorry, there is no function to do this. This requires modifying the code. We cannot officially support code modifications or forums running modified code, however you can try searching or asking for help with this over at www.vbulletin.org.”

          Code modification? That isn’t a function, it’s a defect. How about just fixing it so no mod is necessary? Ever heard of a scroll bar within a post? I don’t mind installing a mod to take up the slack but as a paying customer it really pisses me off when they then turn around and blame mods first when you are having issues.
          For feature requests there are two answers: "maybe we'll implement it", or "use a hack". I've seen various people from Jelsoft suggest using hacks when perhaps a better answer might have been "Please post this in the Suggestions and Feedback forum and we'll consider it for future versions. For now, you might be able to fix it using a hack from vbulletin.org, but we don't support hacks."

          (Incidentally, your problem doesn't need a hack to fix. It can be fixed using CSS, or JS at most.)
          System Administrator, Total War Center

          Developer, MediaWiki

          Comment


          • #20
            I once worked for a manufacturing company that bout an ERP software package from HarrisData for over $200,000+. Because the company's business process was slightly different than the software package, they had to modified the code a bit to add on features. HarrisData dropped support completely once that happened, because the customizations. This is on a $200,000+ software running on an IBM AS/400 server that cost them over $180,000 annually just to lease it. My point is that although it's annoying as hell, but it is standard practice in the industry.
            So Cal Sportbike forum - So Cal Moto - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum - Custom vinyl decals - Southern California camping forum

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            • #21
              Thanks SIM. Good tip on the IP address, I will use it. I just put the site live and did the final migration so hopefully my users will get in and not have too many issues.

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              • #22
                To me, I've basically noticed a change in tone of support, where once apon a time it used to be entirely friendly, now its bog standard templates for responses, and if you ever end up getting help that isnt prewritten, and it turns out that vBulletin cant cope, the universal response is "Change what you're doing" or "head over to vbulletin.org".

                Tis a shame and my observations are only for the limited bugs and feature requests I've submitted lately [because I know they'll be denied or ignored] so others may have different milage.

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                • #23
                  Wonder if they read these comments? Do they care what their customers are saying?

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                  • #24
                    In my experience, if customers say something loudly enough they'll listen.

                    Im not too fussed personally. I use vBulletin as a platform now days. "Lucky" for Jelsoft, I'm tightly integrated enough to make it too much effort to move. All I do now, is if I need a feature, I'll just code it myself, rather than ask only to never know if they plan to address the issues I raise.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      jcerious:

                      How idiotic would it be of us if someone called and said they had a problem with a script they were running for us not to at least take a look and see if it's a problem we recognized. 90% of the time we'll spot a flaw in their php coding right off the bat and we thus save them the trouble from having to contact their other vendors for support. It's something we can do very quickly and easily and it helps them a great deal.
                      You run a small company with a fixed amount of resources - if you find that 90% of your time is spent supporting third party scripts, you would change your trouble shooting procedure to eliminate them as the cause so you can ensure the issues that are related to your software or hosting business are seen to and addressed.

                      Do you want to pay your employees to fix problems with vbulletin when customers are paying jelsoft for the software and for support?

                      But yes, the vb staff have on more than occasion advised a customer if an issue had to do with an addon that they knew about. They go above and beyond but lets be clear that it is above and beyond and should not in any way shape or form be considered apart of the normal support functions.

                      Yeah, well it may be perfectly acceptable, but it's annoying as hell to customers. Especially when you know they know! And I know they know some of the things they've asked me to turn everything off for had nothing whatsoever to do with any plugins.
                      I've done very high level tech support and as tedious as it is to ask a customer to reset a network device, you do it anyway because sometimes that really is the root cause. you do it, you get it out of the way, and you move on. If you do trouble shooting you know that its not a matter of finding out what an issue is but rather its a process of finding out what the issues is not.

                      Case in point - I am far from a novice with vb software and coded a few small mods of my own. Once, I was having a lot of trouble with errors. I opened a support ticket. They said "re-upload the original files" and i was like "well thats exactly what I did!". So I did it again. Argued about it for a bit when it didn't work. I finally gave vb ftp access and sure enough - the uploads didn't complete properly. All my years of experience and yet I made a complete @ss of myself because I argued about the routine.
                      Plan, Do, Check, Act!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Reeve of Shinra View Post
                        You run a small company with a fixed amount of resources - if you find that 90% of your time is spent supporting third party scripts, you would change your trouble shooting procedure to eliminate them as the cause so you can ensure the issues that are related to your software or hosting business are seen to and addressed.
                        Not really the same thing. Jelsoft has certain very popular third party scripts that they run across all the time... they should know something about them. And in the same way we have certain third-party applications we run across all the time and we do know something about them. We know something about php for instance. We can help clients troubleshoot simple php problems and we do so happily. And that is beyond what we "technically" have to do. But we love to go beyond whenever we can. Our clients love it too.

                        And of course you can't spend 90% of your time on third-party apps you know nothing about. But we don't spend anywhere near that kind of time.

                        I'm just saying that I've had problems that jelsoft KNEW didn't have anything to do with any of the two third-party apps I use, yet they still make me go through the whole long routine to rule it out. I use ones that are very popular and very well known and they could have just gone onto the next step after I told them what they were. But you know what they did? They pretended they had never heard of them! That's what I'm talking about.

                        Originally posted by Reeve of Shinra View Post
                        Do you want to pay your employees to fix problems with vbulletin when customers are paying jelsoft for the software and for support?
                        Well, it depends. If it's a problem they happen to know the answer to I certainly want them to let my clients know that they know what the problem is. I don't want them just knee-jerk telling everybody to contact jelsoft when they already know the answer. Our clients find this to be highly valuable and are extremely loyal to us as a result.

                        But you're right on one count. If my employees don't know the answer, then no, I don't want them spending time looking into some third-party software trying to troubleshoot the problem. I don't mind if they take a quick look... but I don't want them to dwell on it. If they don't know, I tell them to tell the client they don't know and they'll have to contact the software vendor.

                        Like jelsoft not supporting third-party add-ons, we don't support third-party anything. You're right, no company can support some other company's stuff. BUT, if we happen to know, and we often do because we have so much experience on so many things, then I always tell my people to solve the problem the fastest best way for the client. Even if that means giving them a tip on a third-party product like vBulletin. And yes that is going above and beyond... something we do often, something our clients reward us for and something I recommend that other companies do.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by dklassen View Post



                          Now while this may in fact be a good way to trouble shoot and help you come up with a solution, what do you do when you are using a few mods, portal software such as vBadvanced and have thousands of users on your site? ?

                          now put that into context. If you purchased a new car ( most of the posts use the reference), would you provide support for customers that installed a turbo or a suspension drop or would you point them to a forum that deals with modifications of that type?

                          My problem is help on their mod site is far and few between. If you post on the "mod site" and you do not have 200+ posts you are pretty much ignored. My other problem is mods that are still listed as under "support" go unanswered.
                          www.Copiertalk.com - Everything Copier , Printer, Fax

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by copiertalk View Post
                            now put that into context. If you purchased a new car ( most of the posts use the reference), would you provide support for customers that installed a turbo or a suspension drop or would you point them to a forum that deals with modifications of that type?.
                            Dealerships are still required to provide warranty and support for all parts of the car that havent been modified aftermarket.

                            If you add a turbo or a suspension drop, it doesnt change the transmission, air conditioning system, brakes, fuel pump, and so on.


                            Car analogies dont work, slashdot proves that

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by dklassen View Post
                              I understand what you are saying and I'm not knocking vb but wouldn't that then be true for all forum software scripts? I can get support for SMF without first disabling everything and reverting back to default templates. vBulletin does offer a way in admin to import mods from places such as vbulletin.org so modding a forum is widely accepted.

                              So I guess one of my questions is, how do people deal with this on LARGE busy commercial boards that have been highly customized?
                              That's roughly the equivalent of telling somebody who has a virus to reformat their hard drive. I understand your point, but the advice is completely useless. You think if you run a commercial forum that has been customized that you can upload fresh templates taking down your company logo and everything else? If that is the extent of their support they might as well not bother.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by JPnyc View Post
                                You think if you run a commercial forum that has been customized that you can upload fresh templates taking down your company logo and everything else? If that is the extent of their support they might as well not bother.
                                Reverting a template does not, I repeat not, remove the logo. Reverting a template may change how things are presented, but it does not remove information unless it has been added in the change. The logo has always been there so it is safe.
                                Toddler from Hell

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