Which person in particular are you quoting Ben?
I mentioned that it could bring new problems hiding around the corner.
By that, I am simply suggesting that the quite popular Bitcointalk is a target for hackers and something that gets bombarded by huge loads has stood up to the task fairly well using the open source SMF forum.
If we want to experiment with a forum software that is proprietary like XenForo, we now have to deal with their development schedule, bug fixes, etc. This puts all of our eggs into their basket.
useful feed (so things don't get lost) and a mechanism to "@mention" someone, are just two of the things that this community could benefit from. Also, the forums don't work well on mobile, and do not yet leverage the UI improvements that HTML5 makes available (in the core templates).
So you recommend the prospect of chasing new features. Any programmer will tell you, new features also bring along the possibility of new bugs, new exploits, and hundreds or thousands of lines of unaudited code.
What makes that problematic, is we are dealing with cryptocurrency here. It doesn’t look good when a forum crashes because of newly released features that aren’t working as intended, or where new exploits in proprietary code are found.
When people mention "security" as a major benefit of SMF, I'm curious what context they are using it in. I see the SMF team push security patches on a semi-frequent basis, which is a good thing, but I would expect that the XenForo or Discourse teams would be doing the same thing, when a vulnerability was discovered.
Have you spent any time on Bugtraq or similar? Dozens of exploits are released into the wild when people say:
“We contacted the company 6 months ago gave them a deadline to fix this problem and they haven’t yet. As a result, we’re releasing this into the wild”
Commercial software is forever guilty of not patching bugs and exploits because very rarely is the IT department driving the company. Instead it’s the marketing, sales, and investment giving the IT department direction. They are a for-profit company, and if it means “we need feature X tomorrow, to make our share holders happy, then that’s where the IT department spends its time”
Open-source software doesn’t have that same urgency. So it usually more stable and better designed.
While XenForo may seemingly be doing well posting new bug fixes, etc. How solid is their software? What other forum, like Peercoin, with a current market cap of $100 Million dollars is using Xenforo?
Our entire coin depends on this Forum as it’s principle method of communication. $100 Million dollars in the industry of trading. We’re going to play around with the forum software “so it looks nicer” or “has more features” without taking any serious look at the new possible problems that may be brought with it?
Now, if the reason that we wouldn't consider updating is that it's extra effort on FuzzyBear's plate and he's already slammed, I can understand that. But if that's the case, we really need to figure out how we can support the people in the community who are stepping up to provide services -- for being the third-largest currency by market capitalization, we have a surprisingly small number of people who actively contribute. This is not a criticism of those who are new to the community, or those who already contribute beyond their "share," but it would be nice to see some of the concentrated wealth get put to good use through bounties.
I have an idea. Why not start your own XenForo forum for Peercoin talk and call it something else, like PeercoinForum.org or some other name. If your pretty forum with lots of new features by a proprietary software author works out then I think FuzzyBear might point this domain to your website, who knows.
I’m not willing to risk the gamble from switching from something that currently works well, to something pretty and feature rich at the expense of causing an outage later.
Maybe you, or others, can convince Bitcointalk to convert to XenForo too?
There’s also the issue of usability too that no one seems to understand. It’s quite reasonable to expect that people have been very familiar with using SMF over at Bitcointalk for years, and still use it on a daily basis. Those same people come here and the similarity makes it easy for them to also use this system too.
Asking every one to graduate to a completely different commercial forum software for some new features sounds reasonable on the surface, but it’s fraught with possible problems. Just because these problems aren’t waving a flag in front of your face going in, I see these flags early on.
There may be people here who agree with me. If so, now is the time to speak up. Ben may believe I am the only one with these concerns.