You either love it or hate it, right?
It seems that the same can be said for vbulletin 4 and its starting to bug me. On one side you’ve got dozens of threads proclaiming “upgrading to vb4 was the worst mistake i’ve ever made” and “why i ditched vb4″ etc. On the other side, you’ve got a handful of people who are defending Ib/vbulletin to greater or lesser extents; some to almost religious proportions. I want to have my say, a more realistic view on vb4 without it getting burried in another ‘omg vb4 sucks’ type thread.
1. vBulletin 4 has bugs; probably more than any released vbulletin version in the past however this is probably due in part to far greater scruitiny of the code, the bug tracker is more active so more stuff is being reported. The other major cause is the fact that vbulletin 4 was rushed out, this was almost certainally done for ‘shareholder’ reasons and I feel it was a shame that this happened. If I were a shareholder, I’d be far more interested in keeping the reputation of the brand up instead of making a quick buck in the short term.
2. Stylevars. Probably one of the biggest causes of complaints. I agree that the system is totally useless, however one of my admins described it thus: ‘Its not ****, its just extreamly verbose.’ I agree with this fully; As a coder, I’ve dug into the style vars system the concept is great, the implemntation is well… lacking. I could go into how and why but thats a tl;dr in and of itself.
3. vB4 itself. A lot of people are ‘holding off on upgrades till its better’ I’ve seen complaints that traffic has dropped on sites that have upgraded already. I upgraded my boards a couple of weeks ago and have seen no sigificant changes in traffic, positive or negative. The only complaints i’ve had from my members is the fact that most of the skins have not yet been converted to vb4. As far as the forum goes, there were a couple of minor issues, nothing site killing mostly style related.
Myself, I’m pleased with vbulletin 4 the upgrade has given a breath of life into a few areas of the forums and I’m hoping that activity will pick up more significantly in the coming weeks after I’ve launched the CMS. The new framework looks promising from a development point of view; I’ve already put together the begginings of my own webcomic content type and written some widgets. For the longer term i’ve sketched out plans for a store mod. The framework needs work, but its almost certainally going to be good to work with once the kinks are worked out.
I think what i’m trying to say here is that there are too many people saying vb4 is a disaster and not enough people giving a realistic view – it works for me, its not spectacular but it does its job.