Xenophobic XenForo

So, since my last post on the subject of XenForo, very little has changed.  Everyone has been left wondering what exactly is going on behind the scenes at XenForo Limited.

I posted on their August Update discussion thread (as you might have guessed) and frankly I thought that my question about XenForo was reasonable.  My question was:

Would someone be willing to identify the cumulative number of hours that have been expended altering/amending/improving/patching/etc the codebase since the last announcement on 19 June 2012. Personally I’d sleep better having some proof that things are being worked on even if there is no scheduled time frame for a release.

Now on Wednesday this week it will be a fortnight since I posted that question and as of now it has not been answered.

Unsurprisingly the current moderators of the XenForo community were left with little option but to close the discussion thread as it degenerated swiftly.  Personally I did not find the moderators themselves particularly helpful because whilst I understand the logic behind telling people how they should interpret things at the end of the day that makes everything on the XenForo community hearsay.

I sincerely doubt that we are going to see anything back from XenForo Limited any time soon, in fact I predict that we will hear nothing whatsoever until they post a “September Update” or similar.

Personally I cannot see the problem with answering the question that I posed, many other projects freely allow people to draw down information and statistics on the amount of programming being done.  For an example you can take a look at the entry for Mozilla Firefox on Ohloh.net which notes that there have been 2525 commits in the period 09 August 2012 to 08 September 2012.

Is the current set of circumstances really so bad that XenForo Limited has to take this xenophobic approach to their own customers?

Staying Zen about Xenforo

I thought I would try being a bit more imaginative with the title this post, not sure if I have succeeded.

So, rubbish humour to one side for now, XenForo Limited has released an update for August 2012 about what is happening on their end.

Frankly it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

Whilst I’m sure that there is an awful lot that is happening behind the scenes which is affecting the development process, e.g. the often referenced personal issues of the developers, this blanket of silence that has appeared is absolutely awful.  It really just isn’t good enough to leave everyone hanging around waiting to see what happens next whilst paying their hard-earned money for the privilege.

Doubtless there is a limit on what can and cannot be revealed given the ongoing legal issues that have arisen around the product and the developers, however saying nothing at all does nothing to still the waters.  In fact I think that their latest post has only served to stir up the questions around what will happen to XenForo.

All this said, it will be a real shame if XenForo cannot manage to pick itself up after being taken to the canvas by the owners of vBulletin, since the software shows a fresh and innovative approach to hosting communities online which will be sorely missed if it disappears.

Everything in moderation

Forum moderation. Sometimes I really do wonder why people do it, myself included. Recent discussions in the forums of FreddysHouse really have led me to wonder.

Unlike a lot of forums on the internet that are set up by completing a form in 2 minutes on a free forums website, FreddysHouse has a bit of history behind it. A history that is explained rather nicely here. The community is solid and has a reasonably family friendly feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an internet forum and everyone clashes opinion on a daily basis, but rarely does anyone ever take it deeply personally or get seriously bent out of shape about it.

Unfortunately, despite the rarity, there are still those occasions where people do.

Moderating is always a sensitive area as too much one way is censorship and too much the other way tends to lead to a flood of posts containing nothing more than swearing or personal insults.

On FreddysHouse I tend to take the approach of cracking down hard only when completely necessary and then letting the dust settle. So far it works but it strikes me that it is a shame it is still necessary to kick people into touch in such a friendly environment.

On the other hand someone has to keep out the riff raff, no?

Back from the dead… (again?)

Well, I’ve been getting rather bored recently of not doing anything with my websites again. So, having had enough of watching it sit there in ruins for far too long I’ve just switched Console Forums from phpBB3 to SMF.

As usual there isn’t a major reason for this. The decision has been made purely on the basis that phpBB3 seems to be shit at preventing annoying bots from registering (100+ a day for over a year despite the board requiring activation by hand). SMF on the other hand has been up for a couple of days with a nice little plugin that seems to have held all the spam registrations at bay 😀

The next one on the list is to try and get Akismet up and running on it. That would be a bit more difficult as I have found a nice little plugin but it’s a bit out of date and I’m no wizard when it comes to code!