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Upgrade to vBulletin 4 Virtually Impossible.

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Ragnar

A Master From Germany
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
362
Location
Where The Snakes Are
#1
Past week or so vBulletin customers have been in an uproar since the new pricing structure was produced. Without a demo of 4 even being available, people were expected to send masses of money to vBulletin for future upgrades.
It seems that Internet Brands/Jelsoft has cash-flow problems or wishes to drive hobbyist sites away in order to concentrate on corporate appeal. If that is difficult for the owner of 1-3 licences, it must be unspeakable for those with 10+.


We are currently up-to-date on an owned 3.8.4 patch 1. People with lesser versions cannot even download the present version until they pay for 4.

VBulletin has always offered four options: Owned licence ( which entitles one to run one's site forever ) and yearly Leased licence, both divided into those who paid about $40 a year to remain active and receive updates or those who had inactive licences.


To best explain the new system, there is an unofficial FAQ --- since Jelsoft can scarcely explain it themselves --- most of their main people seem to have left, and the torrent of threads at vbulletin.com, now cleared by thread closures, bannings of dissidents and complete removal of threads, protesting, were marked by their sloth and indifference to answering questions.


Note that Styles [ Themes ] and Hacks present here on 3.8.x will not work with 4's template structure.


FAQ


vBulletin Forum 4.0
$195 for a new license
Run v4.x forever.
Includes all 4.x upgrades (e.g. 4.1, 4.2, 4.3). DOES NOT INCLUDE v5
Includes forum support
Includes 30 days of ticket support
Ticket support is $80 per year

vBulletin Suite 4.0
$285 for a new license ($235 in pre-sale until October 30)
Run v4.x forever.
Includes all 4.x upgrades (e.g. 4.1, 4.2, 4.3). DOES NOT INCLUDE v5
Includes forum support
Includes ticket support for life of v4
Includes Forums, Blogs and CMS modules

The old vBulletin owned licenses included forum support, helpdesk and updates for 1 year. If you want helpdesk support, the vBulletin Suite is the best buy - vB Forum is $195 + $80 per year for helpdesk support ($275) vs $285 for vB Suite which includes this for the life of v4.


--------------


vB Owned License - Active (Current Support) OR current vB Leased License
If you purchased your license less than 12 months ago, OR, renewed your support/license less than 12 months ago, you qualify for all V4 Forum releases until the expiry date of your license. You will not get access to the vB Suite features.
If your license is set to expire, for example, in March 2010, assuming V4 is released before then you will have access to support and the V4 releases up until March 2010. Once March 2010 hits, you will not have access to support or new releases. To continue receiving V4 updates after that point, you would need to upgrade to one of the new licenses - either forum (costing $175 to upgrade) or Suite (costing $250).

At the moment, you qualify for an upgrade to vBulletin v4 Suite for $130. This represents the best deal, as long as you are prepared to purchase a product "unseen" and with no firm release date.

If you do nothing now, you will pay more later - your access to V4 releases under your current license terms will only defer the V4 license upgrade costs, and you will pay more as the pre-sale discounts are not available.




Basically: they are trying to push the new Suite onto everyone by making it cheaper than the forum package alone; although most forums do not need CMS or Blogs ( note that those who purchased the earlier blog add-on, as those who purchased the official plug-ins package, are offered nothing in return for items that are now useless, even if they only bought them two weeks ago ).

We can:

a/ run 3.8.4 forever.

b/ purchase the suite for $130 until 30th October --- Jelsoft dropped this 2 weeks ahead of that date. Or $285 after then.

c/ convert forums alone to 4 for free, now, giving up all rights to use the 3.x.x licence; BUT have to pay $175 to receive updates when our active period ends in July; then not pay any upgrade active fees until 5 comes out, possibly within 18 months to 2 years.

Then when 5 appears all rights, except the ability to run 4 forever, go, and the same thing happens all deja vue.



The best solution seems to be to continue to run 3.8.4 for the next few years even if no further upgrades are issued, especially since the forum black style would go, and all the hacks gone. During that period or after it may be possible to convert to other forum software such as Invision, who are taking advantage of this mess, but it seems doubtful.
 

Anthile

Steel marks flesh
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
4,016
#2
How bothersome. But from what I know it shouldn't be too different to convert to a different board software? Like we say in Germany "Other mothers have pretty daughters too".
 

Ragnar

A Master From Germany
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
362
Location
Where The Snakes Are
#3
The problem is not in converting; but in keeping the unique styles and hacks --- of which we have rather a lot.

There are few proprietary brands; and of the free ones, most are dreck. Although Claver told me he has installed SMF forums before, and they offer a converter: at present only for vbull 3.7 to SMF 2 ( which is still in beta ).




Plus the market for owned licences has rather disappeared.
 

Anthile

Steel marks flesh
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
4,016
#4
Yeah, I know most board softwares. I was a long time active in a forum that used SMF and it was very stable. However, I don't think that we use such exotic hacks that wouldn't be available in other form. Except for the dice plug-in maybe.

Personally, I like Woltlab BurningBoard with transparent menus which I used on my old guild forum which can be seen under www.anthile.net
 

Ragnar

A Master From Germany
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
362
Location
Where The Snakes Are
#5
A list of hacks can be provided:

Advanced BB Codes Toolbar
1.5b
Add new bbcodes with a new toolbar inside the editor.

Advanced Ip Ban Manager
0.3
Allows advanced management of IP bans.

Ajax Poll Preview
0.5.5
Displays poll preview in FORUMSDISPLAY using jTip.

AJAX Preview For New/Edit Thread/Reply/PM
1.3
Shows preview of the message you are writing without leaving the page.

AME - The Automatic Media Embeder
2.5.5 Automatically embeds media URLs with posts

Change Posts Owner
1.8.0
Changes the owner and date of selected posts and threads

Continue Search
1.2
This mod continues searches even if words are too short.

Country display for who's online
1.0
Shows the country of the user, guest or spider in the who's online display

Cyb - Advanced Forum Statistics
6.6.1
Cyb - Advanced Forum Statistics

Cyb - ChatBox
2.3
Cyb - ChatBox

Dice Roller
1.0
Rolls dice in postbit

Display OS and Browser
1.00
Displays the OS and Browser information for each post

Download Thread As PDF
1.0.1
Outputs a thread in PDF format

Enhances Post Time
1.0
Show the time and date of a post from the poster's point of view.

EZ Bounce Management - by Antivirus
1.11
Allows Admin to easily manage members with bouncing emails

Force Users to Read a Thread
2.0
This hack allows you to specify a thread that you would like users to read. They would not be able to do anything else on the forum before reading it.

FractalizeR: Registration Form AJAX Enhancements
1.1.7
Enchances registration form with AJAX

Gameroom
1.1.1
Multiplayer gameroom

Geographic Location Awareness (GLA)
1.0
Provides the capability to determine visitors' country based on IP address

GTPrivate Messages Alert Popup
1.0.3
Replaces vBulletin pm alert popup

Guest Tracking
3.8.002
Track Guest Visits

IB myNotes
1.0
Scratch space for users

ibProArcade for vBulletin
2.6.8
ibProArcade - professional Arcade System for vBulletin

Icons for UserCP
1.3
Add icons to your UserCP Navigation Bar.

IpInfo
1.5
IpInfo is a replacement standard view users Post ip

Is Bot
1.0.0

Registration Time Check

Live Topic
1.07b
Live Topic transforms your forum into an amaizing live enviorment, which will keep your users active and happy.

MARCO1 Google Custom Search
1.5
Put Google Custom Search Under vBulletin search

Navbar2
3.7.1
Additional navbar (Navbar2)

No Logout for Banned Users
1.1.0
Created By VisionScripts (www.visionscripts.com)

PM Search
2.0
Search through your PMs

Profile Fields in a Postbit Dropdown
3.1.0
Adds a Dropdown for Profile Fields in the Postbit

Real ip detection
3.8.001
Makes your forum aways use the real ip when a proxy server is detected, the proxy ip is recorded in an extra field but then ignored.

Remove Spiders from Who's Online
1.0
Disables the display of all known spiders from Who's Online, as well as removing spiders from total number of guests

Separate Sticky and Normal Threads
3.0.0
Separate Sticky and Normal Threads

Smilies in Quickreply
1.2.0
Show Smilies in Quickreply.

Stop Spammers From Joining
1.01
Using the http://www.stopforumspam.com database, stops known spammers from joining your forums.

Template Modification System
1.1.5
This Modification allows automatic managament of Template-Modifications

Ultimate Media Gallery Lite
1.4.5
The ultimate vB Gallery

Username Request
1.0.9
This powerful administrative tool will allow members to request usernames. All the requests are stored in a small list for an administrator to view.

Usernote Creation on Name Change
1.01
This product adds a usernote to the user's profile when their username is changed.

vB Enterprise Translator
2.3.2
Translates your forum pages to 52 languages using Google translation.

vBStatistics
1.0
a big Statistic for your vB

vBTwitter
1.0.4
This adds integration with Twitter into your vBulletin installation.

Vbulletin World Map Plotter
3.5.4
Plots User Locations on a World Map

View Your Posts/Threads from Navbar Search
3.8.003
View your posts or threads that you have started from the Navbar Search menu.


There are rather a lot.


Anyway, there won't be any need to worry for a long time yet. I just thought to pre-empt enquiries as to why we haven't moved to 4.

Unbelievably, although 4 will have pretty SEO urls; and will be able to replace AME for youtube videos, there is still no thought or possibility of enabling local files ( flv etc. ) to be played. Despite the fact that people keep asking for this; that it is better to host one's own files, safeguarding them for when youtube plucks them; and that even Drupal or Wordpress offer this simple ability, thanks to people like Jeroen Wijering. Whose free flash player is installed here, but doesn't work properly with vBulletin


 

Ogion

Paladin of Patience
Joined
Jun 23, 2008
Messages
2,310
Location
Germany
#6
Are there good opensource Forum softwares? I don't know, generally i am someone who likes to try out opensource before commercial, though i haven't had to maintain a forum with our userbase before.
Companies that feel the need to blackmail their clients like this suck.

Ogion
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
357
Location
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
#7
Are there good opensource Forum softwares? I don't know, generally i am someone who likes to try out opensource before commercial, though i haven't had to maintain a forum with our userbase before.
Companies that feel the need to blackmail their clients like this suck.

Ogion
This has been discussed before, and might be discussed again. Basically, the fear is that the experience might be cheapened. If someone can find something better that is opensource, we'd be interested to know. Keep in mind that we've done a good bit of experimentation over the years, on this forum and others, and there isn't much we haven't tried.


Vbulletin license fees are bullshit.
 

fullerene

Prolific Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
2,159
#8
I dunno about the rest of the people here.... but I basically only use this place for posting and idea-swapping. I don't even know what version 4 would have that 3 doesn't, but I'm quite sure that I won't miss whatever new things they're offering if we just stuck with the current software.
 

Claverhouse

Royalist Freicorps Feldgendarme
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
1,161
Location
Between the Harz and Carpathians
#9
I dunno about the rest of the people here.... but I basically only use this place for posting and idea-swapping.

Exactly. But I would be sorry to move to a new software, either 4 or another make and lose the dark styling...

Standard vBulletin themed boards suck.



I don't even know what version 4 would have that 3 doesn't

Oddly enough, neither did the people who on receipt of the email rushed into a future upgrade with straight-up money in advance like lemmings of wealth and distinction.



Claverhouse :phear:
 

ifelloverboard

Social Engineer
Joined
Oct 2, 2009
Messages
144
Location
Boise, ID
#10
Are there good opensource Forum softwares? I don't know, generally i am someone who likes to try out opensource before commercial, though i haven't had to maintain a forum with our userbase before.
Companies that feel the need to blackmail their clients like this suck.

Ogion
It depends on what you want the user experience to be. I myself could fly with Vanilla or Ice and the built in forums of Drupal but my friends always ask for more functionality than is available on those and it makes no sense in spending a month modifying and reinventing the wheel when a couple hundred bucks will save you that time.

I know Ubuntu (although open source philos) uses a modded version of vBulletin for their forum. http://ubuntuforums.org

I really like how clean their forums look with a fluid width and other design elements.
 

Jesin

Prolific Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
2,036
#11
How about phpBB? It's open source, and from what I've seen of it, it looks pretty good. Why not use that?

I guess Invision could work too, if we decide against phpBB.
 

Ragnar

A Master From Germany
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
362
Location
Where The Snakes Are
#12
Well, we're safe for a year or two.

VBulletin isn't going to send out a bug to wipe out all previous vBulletin versions: under the previous legal contract we can run 3.8.4 forever. Which in practical terms means about 5 - 8 years since computers by then will use 16GB to browse the web.
 

Kuu

Galactic God-Emperor
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
3,375
Location
The sea of stars
#13
A year, or two.... or ten.

:rip:
 

Ragnar

A Master From Germany
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
362
Location
Where The Snakes Are
#14
Interesting.


As a hint on how different the past was I've just come across a page on Punch and Judy from The Nada Farm Museum of Archetypes referenced in the Wikipedia of that name. It offers a pdf on the subject.

This book is a must for anyone interested in Punch and Judy. The pdf file will take about 5-10 minutes to download depending on your connection, but it is most definitely well worth the time.


The pdf weighs 1.9 MB.
 
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