vb4 Upgrade = Paid Beta Tester

Discussion in 'vBulletin Discussions' started by banger, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. banger

    banger Addict

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    Let's look at the hilarious reality that is this "vBulletin 4 upgrade" bonanza and which I have not heard discussed yet. We are all to pay a multiple of annual maintenance fees, in advance, to buy into the vBulletin beta software release and become beta test guinea pigs on our dime. Right now, even spending the money doesn't get you into the alpha/beta program to see what you may need to do to upgrade.

    I've heard rumors and plans about vBulletin gold being planned for release MONTHS ago as early as early Q2 or as late as early Q3. As of right now in mid Q4, customers are being held at gunpoint to buy ALPHA software! There isn't even a beta and Ray has warned that the "beta" is very raw. Now how much money does anyone want to bet that vBulletin 4 will be rushed to market in order to make sure that the paying masses don't lynch the people responsible for selling them on a dream with no specific promises?

    My friends, as we all know, once your money is out the window the incentive to perform is usually significantly diminished. If Internet Brands thinks I'm going to pay for ticket system help because I'm going to need it during this extensive beta testing period, they are kidding themselves.

    Here is another funny question to ask. What is the road map for version 5? What does that include? In the event that version 4 takes forever and is a disaster in beta, does that mean I'll expect the need to release version 5 in order to pay the developers to stay on "for the good of us all and the future of the produt we all love?"

    Let me know where to send my resume if Internet Brands is interested in long term success and a viable business plan that will make money and continue to have reasoanbly good relationship with its customer base.
     
  2. Imperial

    Imperial Adept

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    I'm a bit worried that Internet Brands is trying to throw something out the door to compete with the latest Invision Power builds, even if its not anywhere near ready to go. I'd rather have seen a release candidate go up on vB.com, but they really wanted to show us what vB4 would look like...and now I'm even more worried about it.
     
  3. mlx

    mlx Newcomer

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    The love is gone since IB took over.
     
  4. Wayne Luke

    Wayne Luke Regular Member

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    If that was the case, gold would have shipped on July 15th, 2009 as originally planned. The software went up on vBulletin.com so we can get valid customer feedback and refine the software outside of the beta test. The Alpha/Beta test process has been talked over a lot of times and a larger testing team does not actually improve testing. You can see this now with customers posting bugs in the vBulletin project now that it is live on the site. Most are duplicates or not actually bugs. However we do have a solid testing team, including third-party developers and designers.
     
  5. Mark.B

    Mark.B Guest

    Well I've just capitulated and had a look, and it's actually looking much worse than I expected. I'm still half expecting someone to come and admit this was a wind up or a mistake.

    I know it's an early beta still, but many comments about the style are being met with the predictable "that's how it is" remarks so I guess what we see there is close to what we'll get.

    I'm not filing bug reports and I'm not making constructive suggestions (or any suggestions) - they don't want people on the beta programme so they don't want our feedback. They can fathom it out for themselves, since that was clearly the intention behind the new closed beta scheme.

    This is what happens when you lose goodwill, as they have done with me.
     
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  6. banger

    banger Addict

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    Wayne - I have a great deal of respect for you personally and my comment is directed straight to where the ultimate responsibility lies. The fact that gold was originally planned for July 15, 2009 and on October 15, 2009 IB doesn't even have product to show customers whom you are requiring to upgrade or lose their investment speaks for itself. There isn't a public CMS, no back end, tons of things that need to be addressed... in two months?

    I edited the part that is slightly off topic. I'm just having to be honest with myself about what we are seeing and not allowed to see. How are we supposed to develop our sites over the course of months being shut out from looking under the hood but required to pay on faith? We've all learned a hard lesson about investing in things that I really don't see but are promised will come at some unmentioned time in the imminent future...
     
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  7. kev

    kev Regular Member

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    I fail to see a problem here. You join the beta program upon your own free will.

    Its not like someone kicked in your front door, and held a gun to your head while you were forced to switch to vb4.
     
  8. Mark.B

    Mark.B Guest

    I don't think that's what he's getting at.

    I think the point being made is that first people to implement 4.0 after release will be effectively beta testers as it will have been insufficiently tested beforehand.

    At least, I think that's what's being said.
     
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  9. gnatster

    gnatster Regular Member

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    I think it's silly for us to think that 4.0 will be ready for prime time. Unfortunately we as a software buying public have allowed this to happen. How many times do you hear don't install Windows x until SP1 is released. To me it seems the x.0 releases are always full of issues that the .1 version starts to fix.

    So what ends up happening is we accept these somewhat complete x.0 releases. Many of us just have to be the first on the block so we suffer and work around the issues. Communities that support the product a forced to retool in a mad dash to collect as much revenue as possible supporting or devising add on products to work around the flaws and no real progress is made till the 0.1 version is released.

    We allow the software makers to put us on this treadmill and look where it has us now.
     
  10. banger

    banger Addict

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    Yes, it is a gun to the head. You get hand picked to be in the alpha and beta testing team. They don't care whether your forum has been around long enough to have helped put Jelsoft on the map or whether it's large enough that a transition when it comes out would be a huge undertaking. IB had their own criteria for their own reasons. Considering my updates for security fixes is just recently expiring, I have been given no choice but to pay them in full for a copy of vb4. There is no option to continue on the 3.8 path and they did that on purpose -- they put a gun to each of our heads and said "either upgrade to vb4 or have your forum vulnerable... we don't care."

    Now my point about being a beta tester is very simple. After an entire year of doing whatever back slapping it is they do in California at Internet Brands, they have precious little to show for it in the vB4 alpha. They just took money from hundreds if not thousands of current vb3 owners who will complain why they still cant use vb4 with everything that was promised. They have earnings calls which investors asking why vB4 is taking longer than the Saturn to build. It will be released, perhaps with not all the features and with plenty of bugs, far more than would have been released if IB wasn't pressured to put something out. Good luck playing with any of the first iterations of vb4.

    Several of our clients are saying "screw it... Invision Power Board looks very cool, it works, it is here, we can play with it, it costs practically the same and it would be a pain to move our board to vb 4 so why not just do it now?" I can't argue with that reasoning. Sure beats playing with this fuddy duddy vb4.
     
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  11. kev

    kev Regular Member

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    That is the way it is with anything. Whether its a game, forum, operating system, medicine, a new car, truck, air plane,,,,,, the first people that use it can expect to run into problems.

    Does anyone remember windows 98 first edition, how about XP before service pack 2, how about the first polio vaccine that gave people polio,,,,,, the list goes on an on.
     
  12. banger

    banger Addict

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    NO. My point is that given the insane need to release something called "vBulletin 4 Suite", the release will be significantly premature. In the past, vB didn't go gold until it was close to being ready.

    Microsoft didn't even come close to forcing customers to buy the next copy of Windows during alpha testing as Internet Brands is doing to customers here, nor did they box themselves into a corner regarding release dates and earnings calls in this fashion. And to compare the need for Windows to interact with thousands of large third party solutions, they had to do what they did and deal with the consequences. Not the case with vB 4. What gets released is some stage of beta, like it or not.

    Perhaps vBulletin 5 is scheduled for release in July 2010.
     
  13. p4guru

    p4guru Addict

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    I can see original posters concerns, but basically comes down to the fact that no one is forcing you to be a beta tester. The price of not being a beta tester is the higher regularly retail price for vB 4. The price and reward for being a beta tester and existing customer and offering your time/effort is the cheaper discounted vB 4 pre-sale price.

    Unfortunately, for technological products we're always paying to be beta testers. When new motherboards and computer components come out which require firmware updates are released, we're always paying for that continued fix, update or refinement. We're always 'beta testers' as such.

    I can name several products that I paid for and have had firmware or bios updates since I purchased to fix bugs, issues or add new features from pdas, mobile phones, digital cameras etc etc.
     
  14. kev

    kev Regular Member

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    Nothing is ever "ready" - everything in this life has problems in one way or another.

    My lightbulbs still go out, my truck tires still lose their air, I still have to blow my nose from time to time, my computer desk still collects dust, I still have to wipe my butt,,,,,.

    Those fluorescent light bulbs that are supposed to last forever, one went out in my wifes lamp last week. What is the freaking deal? Lightbulbs have been around for 100 years, and I still feel like a beta tester.
     
  15. Shelley

    Shelley Regular Member

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    One of my light bulbs blew the other night, previous to that a ps3 stopped working, 2 hardrives failed and a partridge in a pear tree died and we couldn't even cook him be cause the cooker mysteriously stopped working. We later found out it was faulty wiring throughout the house.

    I'm not sure how relevant this story is to this thread but I'm sure it can be applied and adapted upon creative thinking somehow.
     
  16. kev

    kev Regular Member

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    Did you contact the company that built your house and tell them your not a beta tester? If your not going to beta test for vbulletin, your sure not going to test for them. At least not for free. If your going to beta test the houses, they need to hand over some money. Maybe beta test a house and get a house for free?

    Same thing goes for that PS3, those hardrives, and you need to give GOD a call and complain about that the stupid bird. Maybe you can bury the bird in the garden and use it as fertilizer.
     
  17. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    ROFLOLOLOL!
     
  18. banger

    banger Addict

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    Kevin, the only thing I can use as fertilizer are Ray's press releases. :D

    If a builder leaves me with a house that isn't fully "beta tested" and ready for occupancy, you know what happens? THEY GET SUED!!! Remember the phrase during vb3 development? It will be released when it's ready. Well, you're going to PAY for the release before it's ready and not even get a finished product. AND if I don't upgrade now before I see it, I'll have to start paying all over again like a new customer. Jab to the head followed by roundhouse to the jaw of the customer.

    Quite frankly, the entire gun to the head upgrade process has smelled like a small three card monte dealer trying to make a quick score. We all know it. Looks like it. Smells like it. Stuck on the sidewalk like it... fertilizer. Anyone defending this nonsense will make you look even less credible than OJ. :D
     
  19. MjrNuT

    MjrNuT Grand Master

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    cmon now. I do give creative points on this.

    house is built to codes and standards under the premise of human safety. that wiring was fine (Aluminum) back then for its usage, while today its overloaded and a safety hazard. Or basically the protective covering has deteroriated so bad, mice ate it and exposed it, which then made it unsafe (ie., bad wiring). It still met codes and standards then.

    but I understand Kevs concept of expectations for a product. Software is finicky as it truly is always evolving..whether enmasse or tid bits. If you've got software related to human safety, like say a Nuclear Power plant, you can be damn sure that a Beta version will not be launched and used and accepted.

    The larger point I think is....what is reasonable for receipt of a Beta in terms of out of pocket payment? What should be the expectation? I'm not very versed in the forum software for this. Many of you here can probabaly answer I suspect. :D

    ...even typical, high end software would not be received in this way me thinks.
     
  20. KearaO

    KearaO Novice

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    Whoa! You're kidding right?

    We should none of us be taking advice from someone this seriously out of date. :D
     

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