Review: vBulletin 4

If you’ve been following me @ twitter or on this site you know I am converting my sites slowly from vBulletin to IP.Board. I did upgrade one vBulletin license to vBulletin Suite. The decision to convert had nothing to do with the software. It had everything to do with the way that Internet Brands, the owner of vBulletin, treated long time supporters of the product. Since converting my first 3 sites I found that being loyal to vBulletin made me keep a blind eye on other products. Now no matter what happens with vBulletin 4 I doubt I’ll ever switch back. IPB and their suite of products is light years ahead of whatever IB can come up with. Damn shame to see the market leader, vBulletin, taking a back seat to IPB.

I did download the vBulletin suite and I did install it using a copy of one of my sites. The rush to get it out the door to stop the exodus of customers to IPB has show how unfinished this beta is. Sure it is called a beta, but, in reality it at best alpha quality. The CMS does not even work on Windows Server if you use IIS. Here are a few bugs I have found and yes I did have the courtesy to post them in the bug tracker or confirm ones that other posted.

Lets start with the CMS. Keep in mind that these are specific to my setup which is Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with IIS 7 and fastcgi.

All links to the content have a \ in the url so the link looks like content.php/\?keyworded-title. When you click the link it obviously goes nowhere.

Add on top of that all links begin with https://. A person posted a fix for this which didn’t work for me. I instead removed a whole section of code to get that problem solved. I can’t get the other tracked down.

If you delete all the content that is inserted when you install it magically reappears even though it shows as gone in the admincp. I haven’t looked into this one since the CMS is useless because of the other issues.

Now the forum.

Search engine friendly URL’s don’t work. All links go to 404.  Again this is specific to Windows/IIS server. I was able to fix this one by removing a block of code from a file and inserting

$_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’] = $_SERVER[‘HTTP_X_REWRITE_URL’];

in class_core.php. This only works if you have Helicon Isapi rewrite installed. Windows server don’t pass the variable REQUEST_URI.  This is an easy enough problem to fix if the programmers know where the mistake is.

Hint:  function fetch_scriptpath_raw and function fetch_basepath in class_core.php.

The forum itself runs like 3.8.4, but then again it really is 3.8.4 with a new style and templating system. The blog also runs well. There is nothing real earth shattering with vBulletin 4. The CMS might have been the thing to turn vBulletin around, but, instead it is buggy and not even close to being ready for release.

I feel the problem was the testing process. I was a supporter when it was first announced that the aplha and beta phase would be a closed test with a select group of testers. Unfortunately after IB forgot to add testers from all possible server platforms and OS’s and this has left those of us that run Windows with a garbage product.

Look for my suite license to go up for sale soon. Now that I see what is offered I’ll happily stick with IP.Content and IPB.

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2 Comments on "Review: vBulletin 4"

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Rick
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Thanks for the read. We also have no plans of upgrading our forums to the new vBulletin yet moving over to IP is a bit daunting, especially considering some of the customization / dev work in place for vBulletin.

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