Jump to content

Invision Community Blog


Managing successful online communities

Lindy
 Share


IP.Board 3.4 End of Support

The adoption rate of IPS4 has far surpassed our initial expectations. In response to this as well as client feedback, we are refocusing more internal resources on supporting and solidifying the IPS4 platform. As such, we are revising our product cycle dates for IP.Board (3.4.x) as follows: 

March 1, 2016 - End of advanced technical support and development. Basic / limited technical support will continue. 

June 1, 2016 - End of all technical support. Only security updates will be provided. 

April 1, 2017 - Complete product End of Life (EOL) 
 

 Share

Comments

Recommended Comments



1 hour ago, Tomzl said:

I think most admins that are disappointed simply leave. Like I did when I left vBulletin. When you see no use about complaining since it won't change anything, you simply leave. And most admins don't even frequent this board or leave feedback.

I fear that this is already happening. There are quite a few 'regulars' who appear to have gone or now post very infrequently. I'm aware of a few who have moved to XF or WBB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Management

I certainly appreciate the feedback and the insight. Certainly, this isn't a perfect science - like anyone, we've made some mistakes. Conversely, we're very happy overall. Much of what you read about here is a relatively skewed perception of the actual reality. I've said before and it's worth repeating, a very small percentage of clients visit this community. The feedback presented here represents a tiny fraction of the feedback we receive via other methods - support tickets, our enterprise channels, sales inquiries, etc. Certainly, the feedback on this community is critical to our success and some things are just no-brainers -- "yes, we should do that." Other things aren't so simple. What the minority want isn't always what the majority want. In cases where it's feasible, we try to accommodate all -- in other cases, the interest of the majority and the product itself must come first. 

Another point of interest and this is undoubtedly a touchy subject is there are trends within different demographics. Those that want everything including the kitchen sink with control over every nook and cranny tend to be more of the tinkerer types on smaller, less active sites; they tend to start a site, play with it for a bit, get a few members, then rinse and repeat, doing something else. Conversely, busier enterprise clients tend to want the less is more approach and just want their community to be a tool. The balance lies in the middle and that's where our key demographic lies. We try to accommodate as many as possible, but there's a lot of options in the industry for those who really want to go all out with endless options... our philosophy is to provide a robust turnkey solution, while keeping it contained in a stock environment and leaning on the marketplace for those that do want to make it their own beyond what we've intended as default. That's what we do and who we are and I may have a slight bias, but I think we're pretty good at it. :)

As for being an "experiment" - IPS4 is indeed a reboot of sorts. If we were to take everything in IPB3 and add everything we want to do in IPS4 such as social groups, expansive reputation system, enhanced profiles and dozens of big ticket items that are coming in the pipeline -- it would topple over, it's as simple as that. As much as we try, we just can't be something to everyone - so like anyone else, decisions have to be made. There are a good number of solutions out there that do things exactly like they were 5-10yrs ago and/or aren't afraid to say yes to everything... there is not a sustainable market out there for keeping everything like it was years ago and many of the clients that come to IPS now don't want that. Some have indeed found other solutions as a result of changes and while regretful, it's ok. Incidentally, we've experienced the highest sales volumes and conversions in years since IPS4 has debuted. I wish we could please everyone, but our focus is on our key demographic. 

Regarding feedback and not listening - that discussion point does get a little frustrating sometimes as frankly, it's literally all we do -- listen, absorb and incorporate. Nearly everything in IPS4 has been shaped based on feedback. It's also why we've strategically chosen this direction for IPS4 -- by solidifying the platform and introducing things in stages, we're able to garner feedback and roll out the best possible experience for the most possible clients. There's obviously no incentive to deliver a product that people don't want to use -- if that was truly the case, we would change direction overnight. In reality, though there's a long way to go, the overall feedback and subsequent business growth is a solid indication that we're doing something right. Not in everyone's eyes, mind you -- but I like to think we're on our way to hitting the mark for most. 

I appreciate having the ability to have this sort of personal dialogue with our clients. Thanks again for the feedback. Be sure to use the feedback forums with specific product suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lindy,

I am one of the quiet ones. I have a popular forum running on 3.4.8 (going to 3.4.9 tomorrow) and it just purrs along nicely. Like many I have been hesitant to upgrade to IPS4.

Luckily I wanted to start a new website. My old website is a classic website with IPS3 plugged in as a forum. This time I decided to go the full blown Pages as front page and content route, which was too difficult to to with my already existing site. Long story short I am no genius at all this but I have my site ready to go live in a few days and have been very happy with the setup of IPS4. Frankly, I am finding it easier to work with than IPS3 and easier to customize. It certainly is easier when targeting everything from a huge monitor to a cell phone. And so far I am committed to staying away from plug ins and have been able to do everything on my own with just IPS4 alone that required numerous add ons with IPB3. The only thing I have running I can't readily replace right now is Classifieds but that is not a deal breaker for me. I think I can implement something similar under IPS4 on my own if need be.

Long story short IPS4 still has rough edges but you guys are working hard on smoothing them out. I am glad I am getting the chance to build a new site from the ground up with IPS4 as it will make me far more comfortable when I make the switch with my other site later. I will make another post later on my full experience with IPS4 so far including some little bugs but so far I am not seeing any real issues and there certainly are many benefits. Main thing I want you to know is I am holding you to delivering the " dozens of big ticket items that are coming in the pipeline". I like the sound of that. Happy New Year and best wishes to the entire crew at Invision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3. 1. 2016 at 7:58 PM, Lindy said:

As for being an "experiment" - IPS4 is indeed a reboot of sorts. If we were to take everything in IPB3 and add everything we want to do in IPS4 such as social groups, expansive reputation system, enhanced profiles and dozens of big ticket items that are coming in the pipeline -- it would topple over, it's as simple as that. As much as we try, we just can't be something to everyone - so like anyone else, decisions have to be made. There are a good number of solutions out there that do things exactly like they were 5-10yrs ago and/or aren't afraid to say yes to everything... there is not a sustainable market out there for keeping everything like it was years ago and many of the clients that come to IPS now don't want that.

Regarding feedback and not listening - that discussion point does get a little frustrating sometimes as frankly, it's literally all we do -- listen, absorb and incorporate. Nearly everything in IPS4 has been shaped based on feedback. It's also why we've strategically chosen this direction for IPS4 -- by solidifying the platform and introducing things in stages, we're able to garner feedback and roll out the best possible experience for the most possible clients. There's obviously no incentive to deliver a product that people don't want to use -- if that was truly the case, we would change direction overnight. In reality, though there's a long way to go, the overall feedback and subsequent business growth is a solid indication that we're doing something right. Not in everyone's eyes, mind you -- but I like to think we're on our way to hitting the mark for most. 

I appreciate having the ability to have this sort of personal dialogue with our clients. Thanks again for the feedback. Be sure to use the feedback forums with specific product suggestions.

@Lindy, speaking for myself it would give me much more peace of mind to know in which direction IPB4 is heading. If a feature is missing or executed badly but is planned to be overhauled or reintroduced in the near future that would be great to know. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feelst this way. There used to be a list of features that are going to be developed (I think users could even vote for the next feature they wanted) but it's gone now. Why?

My main frustration with IPB4 isn't so much the lack of features (I actually agree with the less is more concept) but that certain things have been suggested so many times but are always ignored. I remember when IPB4 Gallery was still in its very early stage and numerous suggestions were made about how it should work and admins complained it makes it difficult for users to browse the albums and how the competition does it better. Or how cool it would be to be able to post images by copy pasting them directly into the editor. Other software like Atlassian Confluence have this feature so it can't be rocket science to develop it. If feedback like this would be taken seriously and IPB4 improved while staying lightweight that would make me an IPB4 believer. At the state it is now, IPB4 is in my eyes still just a less reliable IPB3 Lite version. What is so groundbreakingly new in IPB4 from the user's point of view?

Fast forward to now, the same problems reported long ago are still there. No link to open the lightbox by clicking the gallery image (why on earth is it a separate button?), no way to move to the next image within the lightbox. These are the things that were suggested long ago. OK, you say you listen but still some fundamental user experience errors are there or at best suggestions go unaddressed. You did reply to me in another topic and said you will address the lightbox navigation issue but going by your record so far, I highly doubt that I will see that happen soon. And these are suggestions how to make things more intuitive (IP.Content anyone?) not requests to make IPB4 bloated with trivial features.

I am complaining because I know you do read these posts and I appreciate that. I may annoy the h*** out of you but my intentions are to make IPB better. If I didn't care, I would go away. There are beter ways to spend one's time. Sorry for the rant but I'm just trying to convey my frustration with seeing so many things stay the same for a long time or get broken (hover topic preview is useless, Activity Stream is beta at best as far as usability is concerned and forced instead of VNC).

So yes, it's still a long way before IPB4 will fill the shoes of IPB3 in my book. Hopefully before April 1st, 2017.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 25/12/2015 at 0:40 PM, Arthur73 said:

Same problem here. I run a larger board with 3 vital addons (map, classifieds and tutorials). None of this addons has been updated to 4.x so far. It is really a pain, the 3rd party development is so poor in IPB. I can't code myself, but I really would love to pay much (50, 100 or even 200 bucks) for a good addons, which is updated frequently.

I must say, while we run a really fairly 'out of the box' ipb forum, the member-map is a very commonly used tool which has seen very little support at all.

 - Can IPB consider implementing a formal member-map add on?

Our community is obviously an online one, but there is a core tradition of members spending time together in real life, meeting for a evening in a pub and getting to know each other that way, we even have a few marriages to our name, and the map is a great way of new members finding each other getting into that.

 

Daniel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Point 1 - What is greatly missing is developer support for add-ons that we have come to rely on. I have lists of add-ons I want and I'm willing to pay marketplace prices for, but (nearly) all of my suggestions have gone ignored.  We need some sort of kick starter like area where we site owners can submit development ideas and others can sign on to commit money to the project. Then some dev comes along and picks up the project when they see enough support for it.

Point 2 - Some fairly basic functionality requests I've made to IPS have gone completely ignored by staff, only to have a marketplace developer code it 10 months later in under 12 hours (I pointed it out to him one evening, he was done with it and submitted to the marketplace the next morning).

While that particular functionality request isn't a deal breaker for upgrading to 4.x, there are others that are. RSS output for Pages is still borked and part of it goes back to some rudimentary fields they left out of the articles database that are available in 3.4.x.  Yes, you can recreated those fields in 4.x and they will carry over from a 3.4.x upgrade, but because they aren't there by default, the RSS feed won't pick them up.

These are just two of the issues that I reported 10 months ago and have had zero traction on from IPS, and thus I have zero confidence in the repeated assurances that IPS listens to customer concerns. They may hear them, but they don't listen.  If they listened, then such simple fixes would have been taken care of months ago. 

Such oversights on IPS' part in 4.0 make me very hesitant to upgrade from 3.4, yet they want to force me into upgrading to 4.0 just so they don't have to support my 3.4 board that I pay the support contract on. 

It's too soon to be dropping support for 3.4 IPS.... just too soon.

Edited by CheersnGears
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Management

We don't ignore feedback. If it seems like something that doesn't appear to be, on the surface, to be priority or something we'd ordinarily consider, we leave it for others to chime in and determine if it has traction. I'm sorry your ideas and requests have not received the response you've hoped for. It doesn't mean we're not going to do them, it just means the "simple fixes" are in queue with other seemingly simple fixes and prioritized based on demand and impact. You'll note there's been hundreds of fixes and implementations in the past year since IPS4's debut. The more we're able to focus our attention on IPS4, the quicker your ideas and requests will materialize. We're not ending use of 3.4 or requiring you to upgrade - we'll still keep it safe and secure to use until 2017; we're simply telling you we're focusing our support and development resources on keeping IPS4 progressing. 

We have a lot of clients with a lot of individual requirements. Your ideas are great and they're definitely something we plan on addressing, but in the grand scheme of things, changing the author of an article -- something that a relative handful of people want -- is just not a priority over, say improving embedding and quoting... something nearly everyone wants and uses. We do listen. We do care. We just don't always share the same priorities. Don't take it personally. :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Lindy said:

We don't ignore feedback. If it seems like something that doesn't appear to be, on the surface, to be priority or something we'd ordinarily consider, we leave it for others to chime in and determine if it has traction. I'm sorry your ideas and requests have not received the response you've hoped for. It doesn't mean we're not going to do them, it just means the "simple fixes" are in queue with other seemingly simple fixes and prioritized based on demand and impact. You'll note there's been hundreds of fixes and implementations in the past year since IPS4's debut. The more we're able to focus our attention on IPS4, the quicker your ideas and requests will materialize. We're not ending use of 3.4 or requiring you to upgrade - we'll still keep it safe and secure to use until 2017; we're simply telling you we're focusing our support and development resources on keeping IPS4 progressing. 

We have a lot of clients with a lot of individual requirements. Your ideas are great and they're definitely something we plan on addressing, but in the grand scheme of things, changing the author of an article -- something that a relative handful of people want -- is just not a priority over, say improving embedding and quoting... something nearly everyone wants and uses. We do listen. We do care. We just don't always share the same priorities. Don't take it personally. :)

 

I don't take it personally.  I've resigned myself to the fact that it will take months if not years to get things done, and that to get anything done I have to be a really squeaky wheel, and while I'm waiting I continue to fall behind in website technology. 

 The front end author change functionality is something that we have in 3.4 and how do you know what people use or don't use aside from the relatively low take rate on Content/Pages?   It's not like I was asking for new, never before seen functionality, it was something that was left behind in the move to 4.0.  It is one of those frustrating "Hey! Wait! I was using that!" types of things that many site owners complained about on the 4.0.   Again, it isn't an upgrade show stopper, but lets be honest here, how long and how much of your resources would it have really taken up to code that one?  

Part of my RSS notes are actually a bug and I should be opening up a bug report on it, but I'm dedicating resources to other things. It will be ready when its ready. :p

I know you're not forcing me to upgrade, but you are forcing me to pay a support contract for support you will no longer be providing if I want continued access to 4.x for development purposes while running a 3.4 site. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm willing to upgrade, but I'm not sure I understand the only upgrade doc I've been able to find:

Do I really just run the validator (all passed) and then FTP the new files over the old like I do a minor version upgrade in 3.x?

There are instructions for a test installation somewhere and then instructions to overwrite the files, but if overwriting the files borks the forum, it doesn't look like there's a recovery path. The download of version 4.x doesn't have instructions inside the zip file for upgrading from 3.x.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've got my fingers in my ears, my eyes closed and I'm going ner, ner, ner.  I'm on 3.4.9 with so many mods and hooks that it's perfect for my needs.  If I move to 4.0 I'll be taking several steps backwards.  I don't see any benefit. Security and basic maintenance are prerequisites of course and without them I have potentially a broken site. :-(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a bad idea to stop working for ips 3.4x because that is more easy then ips4 . I was have ips 4 and is very dificult more member from my forum they don't like ips4 because is very dificult. We invest money for ipd 3.4x end is not right to be end life for that , i am not agree with that.

Edited by marian123
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alright! Well, I'm one of those quiet admins someone mentioned somewhere. Years ago, I used IPB 3 on a gaming community website. Recently, I purchased IPB 4 for the same reason and I am seriously impressed. The amount of improvements is stunning. It's just a really solid platform. That isn't to say there aren't problems, but it's pretty great and I'm happy with the purchase. If you'd like to check out my site- http://tyrenale.net 

But ah... There's a singular piece of feedback given that holds a load of merit: the problem that certain plugins / features are required for certain communities, ie 3rd party plugins / certain features IPB hasn't gotten to yet. The latter is valid, but we can't blame IPB for 3rd party devs not updating things.

 

On 12/25/2015 at 6:40 AM, Arthur73 said:

Same problem here. I run a larger board with 3 vital addons (map, classifieds and tutorials). None of this addons has been updated to 4.x so far. It is really a pain, the 3rd party development is so poor in IPB. I can't code myself, but I really would love to pay much (50, 100 or even 200 bucks) for a good addons, which is updated frequently.

Now, while 3.x is not updated anymore and 4.x is no alternative for me, I probably will migrate to vBulletin in 2016. This is really sad, as I use IPB for many, many years now. But in my eyes IPB's fanbase is getting smaller and smaller. Too bad, really. :-(

You should try contacting the developers in private. If that doesn't work- pm me. I'd happily help you find a freelance developer to update them. I've found Java developers, web devs, etc with ease before. Just gotta know where to look! If you're willing to pay that much, you can easily get those plugins updated.

 

On 1/2/2016 at 6:42 AM, Sheffielder said:

Until the custom RSS export is put into the IP 4.x I have to stay with the current version

I've upgraded one of my forums to 4.x and it really seems to offer nothing more than the previous edition, but does have some features stripped out that I absolutely critically rely on (like the custom RSS export that allows me to send out my content on twitter and Facebook automatically)

The 4.x version has pretty much killed the site I've installed it on so there's not a chance in hell I dare move onto it with my main forums, and absolutely never if it doesn't have a custom rss export on it like the 3.x version

Entirely valid reason not to. 

 

IPB, I'd honestly suggest just creating some sort of public way for IPB admins to say- "Hi, this is what I need worked on before I can upgrade to IPB 4.x"- so you can work from there. It'd be a shame to see so many leave the IPB community because certain things aren't done yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 20.2.2016 at 3:32 AM, Lyonharted said:

The latter is valid, but we can't blame IPB for 3rd party devs not updating things.

I am not blaming IPB for not updating 3rd party plugins! But I do blame them for two other points:

  • As many important 3rd party plugins are not yet updated, it is in fact to early to end the support for IPB 3.4. Many others complain about exactly this point
  • Why do have 3rd party plugins to be updated at all? They are just a set of functions and tables. If functions and tables change, then integrate a kind of translator.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ridiculous.

Version 3.4.0 was released on November 27, 2012. Only 5 Years to abandon users or force you to go for fixed routes.

Over 6 months for porting data and contents from old (2!!) platform and now, another change? No, thanks. I will stop immediately the payments. 

Edited by SardiniaNET
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/29/2016 at 5:34 AM, Prem Sehmi said:

Hi everyone, if I'm on 3.4 is it easy to upgrade to v4 without messing with my data

Yes. The upgrade process is very simple and very matured at this stage. Please submit a ticket if you have any issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why don't you just keep 3 series ticking over with security patches and essential maintenance forever. I'd stay forever paying my way as I'm sure many more users with heavily modified sites would.  Over the next six months I'm forced to make a choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites




Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Important Information

We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. See more about cookies and our Privacy Policy

×