vBulletin 4.0 RC1

Discussion in 'vBulletin Discussions' started by SimpleMan, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Adept

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    I was a bit shocked when beta 5 came out because I didn't think they would make their Q4 2009 timeline. A few days later, the announcement comes out that vBulletin 4.0 will be soon entering the RC1 stage with the vBulletin.com forum already sporting it:

    Upcoming vB4 RC1

    On one hand I think that an RC is welcome news for vBulletin users. However, I think it's also a bit of a concern. It's almost a here we go again type thing for me. I was slowly gaining confidence in vBulletin again. I switched my primary forum to SMF, and so I've toyed around with vB in the background.

    I just feel like the beta stage was particularly buggy, even for a beta. The product did not feel polished and it was really like IB changed course with the backlash and put out the software earlier than it wanted to.

    There have been hundreds of bug fixes in each beta and now we're basically at the RC1 doorstep with the gold version to come out in less than two weeks. I like the look, but I just don't know that the software will be up to par. I feel like it's rushed, and I just feel confused. It's like yet again I get the impression that IB is manipulating things in the background.

    I guess I'm confused about the basically one week RC to gold period. It seems really quick given the state of the software in beta thus far. RC1 does look more polished, but it seems like that's mostly cosmetic. I mean even the official forum still uses the half-arsed SEO links, yet that's RC1 and the feature is not even up to snuff?

    It seems like they anticipated the argument a bit this time:

    I'd simply point out that we don't pay money for Java and Apache releases...
     
  2. Brandon

    Brandon Regular Member

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    you're not the only one that has these feelings ;)
     
  3. tech

    tech Regular Member

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    Atleast they fixed the Last Page, that thing was annoying me @ vB.com

    Style also looks slightly better..
     
  4. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    What is concerning for me is that they are announcing that vB "gold" will be out before Christmas. NO way is this anywhere near ready for gold in just 13 or so days. I won't be running it on my forum.
     
  5. Shelley

    Shelley Regular Member

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    My thoughts exactly. They are now cutting corners to push out an incomplete product. I would still class the latest release as an alpha. No way should this be released on the 21st (whatever the date).

    Desperation will result in the most silliest of actions.

    The thing is, you'll get the less knowledgeable people running to install this and encounter an array of issues that are reported and still needing fixed and issues yet to be found on different environments.
     
  6. Brandon

    Brandon Regular Member

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    I don't think it'll be "Ready" in time either, but wouldn't be surprised to see it pushed out.
    I just hope they remove all that clutter in the search screen. I cringe every time I click "new post" on vb.com
     
  7. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

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    Ditto. :cool:
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    I like Shawn's thread which calls the quality assurance into question: vBulletin Community Forum. Things aren't being taken care of at they rate they should be for such a soon projected release.
     
  9. Shelby

    Shelby Regular Member

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    Ultimately,

    What else can they do? As a business they can't keep 4.0 in development forever. How long do you belive should pass before they do release it? What are the effects of delaying a release from a financial standpoint?
     
  10. MjrNuT

    MjrNuT Grand Master

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    Only way to venture anything concrete is to know what the Quality Assurance Acceptance Criteria is. Anyone besides a vB employee know?

    Software has to meet the criteria, of which is supposed to be defined before, but in some cases can occur simultaneous depending on the cycle.

    The financial aspect is taken into account in that regime.

    Even watching the bug tracker can be quite misleading. Submitted bugs, that get tagged as fixed, which may have in a beta X, bet then a beta X+2 reproduces it again.

    By Wayne's response on the thread, Priority 1 issues are the ones, when mitigated, will constitute a Gold Release.

    Are there historical definitions for vB on Gold Release for RCs and Gold's? I would suspect none of them have been consistently the same, thus not much of a relative comparison to vb4.
     
  11. twhiting9275

    twhiting9275 Regular Member

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    What I find very disturbing as a developer is the exact statement you quoted. vBulletin has a bunch of rookies behind the wheel here, and it shows when statements like that are made.

    Proper programming protocol says you DON'T ship something with bugs, you fix the bugs and then ship the product. Yes, this is an RC release, but come on, there's really no excuse for shipping a release with bugs! That's just asking for trouble. Fix the bugs THEN ship the release!

    Of course, this is from the same company that brought you what has to be one of the shortest timelines for "testing" their product. They started alpha, what, in September? And now we're on RC? I don't care how many developers you have, or how experienced they are, with as big a rewrite as they're doing, that is nowhere near enough time.
     
  12. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Adept

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    Well, most of the deadlines I've ever seen set for software are not met. This really does seem to be the case with forum software especially, and I personally don't have a problem with it. I've seen many a thread where software is delayed, and the posters usually groan a bit, but in the end everyone is happy with a stable product. I think you ask anyone if they'd prefer a quick unstable or a slower stable release and the answer is obvious.

    I think you certainly can set a deadline, but I don't think you can truly plan a release for beta and RC stages in software down to the day. Let me post my disclaimer where I admit I am not a programmer here, but I work with software on a daily basis and keep myself fairly abreast of the issues. I followed through with IP.Board in it's beta to RC stage, and I recall a much, much more stable product entering RC1.

    Obviously it does hurt the bottom line to have a delay in the timeline, but it's almost inevitable and a good project manager will account for it. The problem for me is that with the recent backlash, IB has obviously pushed vB 4.0 out earlier in response. That's not necessarily a bad thing unless it begins to affect the quality of the product. In this case I believe it has and continues to do so.

    I'd reference the post Nick linked to as well as a blog entry by a former vBulletin staff member: Scott's Blog: Funemployment Part 1: Becoming Unemployed

    These are people who work rather extensively with the software and I'm seeing them validate how I feel and what I see.

    If you watch the beta progress, you see a half-complete skin rewrite evolve into a skin rewrite. That's not a typical beta. While software does certainly change in beta, it generally is a fairly complete product. In this case there were no major rewrites and really the only thing that changed for the forum was the skin. However, the skin was not even 50% complete by the first beta, and many commented on the remarkably poor design. (The quality of the the buttons/images was questionable at best, and the CSS not very complex at all - I know enough CSS to know a rush job when I see it.)

    Beta5 introduced yet more bugs, but now we're going RC with a gold release set for just over a week later? Yet over 1,000 bugs remain to work on, and there is much discrepancy about the bug scoring as well.

    This looks, feels, and acts like a rushed project. Based on the timeline provided by Scott in his blog post, you can clearly see this type of scenario was planned well in advance of the fiasco as I call it. While the former staff members probably found themselves in disagreement with the new folks anyway, the slower development path would not work with the new licensing scheme.

    IB has to get you rushing to buy the next best thing. I don't believe their plan is to jack it up for businesses at all, I believe it's becoming more and more evident that IB wants you to have that perception so you'll run in and buy.

    I want to pull for vB, I loved vB 3.8.4, for me it was clearly the best at the time. Unfortunately for IB, fool me once...fool me twice...
     
  13. GTB

    GTB Regular Member

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    I couldn't agree more with you. How they can publish a planned date for the 21st December to go Gold with vBulletin 4, without knowing if they'll have all the bugs reported fixed by then.

    Quite astonishing that they even posted that in the first place, knowing what people would make of it. As it clearly sends-out a signal that "no matter what", it will be released before Christmas.

    Again, I totally agree. You can excuse BUGS popping-up after a release is made, but not when they know they already have a huge list. And it seems the excuse being used to get around it for a Christmas release is to fix only Priority 1 bugs only like Wayne said.

    The aim should be to fix them all before going Gold, and just accept they won't make it for a Christmas release. I really am gob smacked that they even had the nerve to post a planned Christmas release date like that right now. A total "Bo Bo" by Ray Morgan that one on the PR front before leaving IB.

    He must have been wetting himself laughing when he wrote that, knowing he'll not be around to take the flak for it. I can just imagine him smirking, thinking "Oh my god, here goes World War 3" when he hit the Post Button.
     
  14. Abomination

    Abomination Zealot

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    That is the way SW QC is supposed to work. I even started a thread about it "somewhere" asking if the test databases were available for download to see how various mods might affect performance on larger 'standard' databases.

    I had assumed there were standardized testing procedures with various test databases, that was probably a bad assumption.



    I should probably go read that SQA thread on vb.com now.
     
  15. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Regular Member

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    So?

    Being a developer of free software, I can't help but take offense to this comment. The cost of a product has absolutely nothing to do with release quality.

    Also, FWIW, Sun owns Java, which is a multi-billion dollar corporation. I highly doubt their developers are unpaid.
     
  16. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

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    8) MyBB is also one prove that money doesn't determine the quality of a product.
     
  17. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Adept

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    I believe you took that the wrong way Ryan, please reread it or listen to my explanation. Sometimes I feel like you OS/free devs are looking for a fight where there is none. ;)

    If I can get the quality of Apache or Java for free, then why should I pay for a competitor? In this case, Java and Apache can put out great products and I don't pay them to do it. I pay vBulletin for a license, so they better darn well have a product that is relatively bug free. I use Apache for everything, but despite the large bug queue (on a project that is MUCH larger than vB has ever thought about being), I get a stable product.

    So, looking at it from a business perspective, if I use a paid product there should be a legitimate reason I'm paying for it. One of those obvious reasons should be a stable product worth paying for!
     
  18. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Regular Member

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    I must've misread you then. I did read the entire post, but only needed to quote that particular line.

    Apologies.

    And sometimes yes, we have to pick fights. Seems some people don't like to listen to us from time to time. ;)

    Still, I'm not happy about vB4 being released so soon (and I've stated this on vB.com), but I'm going to reserve my judgment for when I actually have it in my hands.

    As of right now, we have no way of telling what kind state the release will be in. Every opinion since the announcement is based on pure speculation, with no fact to back it up. And no, the current bug count doesn't qualify as fact.

    Why are there no facts?

    Simply because we don't have the release.

    It's pretty obvious there is little that will change between now and the 21st, so why waste the energy throwing around speculation when that energy can be put to good use managing your website in its current state?

    That's what I've been doing since the first missed deadline. :P
     
  19. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Adept

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    Well, I have to agree to disagree.

    We have facts that are admittedly difficult to quantify. However, you can quantify that the "SEO URLs" aren't fully functional, the design has changed considerably (almost completely when it comes to CSS and graphics), and other such issues. I've seen enough betas in my life to put two and two together, and sometimes it takes "soft skills" to do that. I respect your programmer's logic for sure, and value your thoughts and opinions, but this is a multi-faceted issue.

    Future software does have a bearing on forums in one way or another. vBulletin 3.8.4 won't be forever and us owners have to figure out where things are going. I guess I'm just trying to figure out what vB is up to and if this is a viable product in the future.
     
  20. Ryan Ashbrook

    Ryan Ashbrook Regular Member

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    vBulletin 3.8 is a very stable product, and, while it won't be around forever, it will be around for some time.

    I'll be running it for the foreseeable future. Until either a) vB4 suits my needs and I get time to recode my custom mods or b) I get time to recode vBulletin's SN features and my custom modifications into a custom Imperial. I'm leaning more towards option B, because my license is about to expire on the 27th, and I'm broke. (Anyone need a fulltime developer? :P)
     

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