jangles (@jangles)

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  • I tried to convert phpbb. It ran through successfully. I had to comment out the code that was causing it to choke.

    Some constructive criticism, if I may.

    I’ve read about a tremendous interest in using bbpress as a viable forum option. I want to start by saying I’ve been involved in open source for over 15 years myself and the work and dedication here is very admirable (remembering ROI.) People such as myself would be willing to put in some time and effort to make this project work but there are some fundamental things lacking here that give me cause for concern in using bbpress. Virtually all forums I see using are either (a) the most basic customer support, nothing long term discussion/community based, or (b) amateurish sites set up that are chop shop and will be down in a few months. It doesn’t have to be that way. Couple of things:

    1. If it’s not relatively easy, simple or clear to theme bbpress, few will ever use it. Fewer will design themes for it too. And if there isn’t at least a decent, comprehensible system, nobody will use a plugin if it just typically looks like another ratcheted in plugin. Hopefully, this is not the case.

    2. Organization here is a mess. I go to plugins and I see listings from 5 years ago and the top. It’s not easy to figure out what is what here. Documentation is incomplete and I remember having a terrible time installing it too – and I’m not a novice. This is the easy part that scares away many potential users.

    3. Sometimes simple is too simple. Some things should be standard. For example, nobody wants to have to scroll down to the bottom of the page just to post a reply. That’s just one issue that leaped out at me. Sometimes less is just less.

    4. No clear vision here, e.g. the latest blog entry is November 28 2011 and this place feels half deserted. It doesn’t have to be that way.

    5. There needs to be an easier way to navigate the forums on this site. I could care less about a long list of tags I’ll rarely use. I do want that short list of forums in the sidebar or somewhere so I don’t have to click my way back to the home page.

    Just a few pointers. I like this project, would love to consider using it for a large site but the ghost town effect is putting me off a little.

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