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Thursday, March 22 2012

A Thursday Passage for March 22, 2012

(The title is a reference to a regular segment on the television program Sunday Morning on CBS that notes an historic event)

Thanks to a tweet from @stickerboy, I went looking to see what he was talking about. The most notable change is the retirement of the longest serving team member, Florian Messner.

I don't know much about Mr. Messner other than that he is German. Never met him, never really interacted with him in any kind of social context. But he served in the phpBB teams for a period of almost ten years, a most notable achievement. (I believe he joined the support team in October of 2002, and retired quite recently as moderator team leader.)

Messner is replaced by Paul Cammish, whom I did meet in London in 2008.

On a semi-historical note: I'm fairly certain that the longest serving active team member is now Nils (aka naderman) who joined up in 2005.

Wednesday, July 6 2011

Want to air your legal laundry? Become an OSS Project!

I've written a number of blog posts over the years about other people's legal problems. I mean, "WordPress" and "GPL" are two of my five most-used tags on this blog. But the key point is that I've done it on my blog, a resource for which I pay and on which no one should feel compelled to write a response.

Now look here: http://tracker.phpbb.com/browse/PHP...

I couldn't think of anything better to do than smile.

Monday, June 6 2011

Development in the Bulletin Board space

There are 32 bulletin boards listed in the Wikipedia article Comparison of Internet forum software (PHP). Only ten of them have had any kind of a release in 2011 so far. Of those ten, only XenForo and BeehiveForum have made feature releases this year.

To me, this is evidence that the products are mature. As "revolutionary" as XenForo was supposed to be, it seems to be running less than a thousand sites. The other commercial developers have made sure to copy the unique features for their upcoming releases (IPB 3.2 and vBulletin 4.1). But even though the effects of competition are meaning new features, I don't see many users clamoring for those features. Some, sure, but not even a major fraction.

Does the relative stagnation mean the products will slowly disappear? I suspect that many of the smaller free solutions will go away. The same for many of the smaller paid solutions. This is more of an effect of fewer individuals starting up their own sites to satisfy their egos.

Friday, January 14 2011

phpBB donates €5000 to Sensio Labs

I woke up this morning and checked Twitter.

skoop wait. what? *gasp* *faints* #phpBB just donated a whopping 5000 euro towards the #Symfony2 donation drive! These guys ROCK!

(link to tweet)

I'm glad Stefan and Fabien posted about this on Twitter and on their blog which describes the fundraiser (see the comments).

This isn't the first donation that phpBB has made to such an organization, but it may be the first one you've heard of - only because this one was publicized by the recipients of the donation. phpBB has traditionally reciprocated well to the organizations which provide services to it (Symfony, OSUOSL, and others).

Monday, December 13 2010

Two Anniversaries

Three years ago, I was a little wrapped up in one event to recognize another important anniversary.

On December 13, 2007, Richard Strauss was getting airplay via a Flash ad at phpBB.com. For it was on December the 13th that phpBB 3 was finally released.

I don't remember exactly how I spent the day, but I know a fair chunk of it was devoted to phpBB-ing. So much so that I ignored the other major event of the day, locally at least. The 30 year anniversary of the worst aviation disaster (link to Bill Merkel's blog) to ever happen locally.

Since that date three years ago, I've come to understand far more deeply the impact which that event had on the local area. Bill's blog post links to an inter view that Mike Blake gave at the 30th anniversary.

Blake:

I come back from covering a game at [Roberts] stadium, and as soon as I come in the back door, ... and my boss, the man who ran the station, a man named Conrad Kagel, looks at me and he says 'the Aces.' And when those words were said, everything changed.

It changed the city of Evansville for decades. Everyone I've spoken to who was living in Evansville at the time remembers the event. There was a service in memoriam to that 30th anniversary at 12 noon on December 13, 2007. I remember walking past the crowd gathered on the Memorial Plaza centered on campus. There were several hundred people present, even though the event being remembered took place so long ago.

Sunday, November 28 2010

Shopping for Open Source

Frequent visitors to phpBB.com may note that I have retired from the phpBB teams after three years. Retirement feels good!

I'll be looking around at other open source projects, outside of the bulletin board space. This blog software, the PHP language, maybe even something in Ruby for the fun of it. This is my version of Christmas shopping!

Wednesday, November 10 2010

phpBB appears in "Map of Online Communities"

I sat looking at the 2007 edition of "Map of Online Communities" from XKCD tonight, and I realized I hadn't written about this yet.

phpBB has made an appearance in the 2010 edition of that map. Some might argue four times, but I'll only claim three occurrence. See the map

In the "forums" inset at the bottom-right, you'll find just to the west of CruiseCritic, and across a bay from BodyBuilding.com and something called Forocoches, you find Bokt.nl. Bokt is most likely the largest phpBB3 forum on the Internet, and certainly the largest phpBB3 site listed on big-boards.com. It is also the longest running phpBB board in the world.

Other phpBB boards appearing on the map include JLA Forum (apparently using phpBB2!), and Rus-Chat, neither of which I personally know much about.

The fourth board that some people might claim is Gaia, but I don't believe they are using phpBB any longer. The same also appears to be true of Jogos, which is listed on big-boards.com as using phpBB.