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Vanilla & Higher Logic - An Update!

AdrianAdrian MVP
edited May 2021 in General Banter

Hey Everyone,

We meant to have something yesterday and I apologize for the delay. As you can imagine yesterday was a bit a big day for us, with lots of things going on. There was no intention to leave you out and I 100% understand the concern.

I can tell you we have spoken to the team at Higher Logic and Vanilla itself will continue to be maintained and we have no plans to discontinue our open source releases. I hope my words assure you, even if slightly delayed.

Thanks for all you do and the amazing communities you are building 🙂




  • Thank you, @Adrian. Congrats to the team!

    A good start would be to update this topic: Vanilla 2021.003 RC2 is now available, where a broken version is up for download for weeks now. It's missing the /addon folder. A simple fix would take a lot of frustration from new OS users.

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  • Hey @phreak - I'll make sure the team is alerted! I don't normally play with the release candidates, I have stayed on the gold builds.

  • Thank you for the info!

  • just a quick update: "We just branched the new release, yesterday. I'll be putting it up on the OS community either today or tomorrow."

  • phreakphreak MVP
    edited May 2021

    @Adrian: Great to hear. I know, in general, that is not our piece of cake, but if the Team could let us know (when the time is right) what the future brings for OS would be interesting.

    In none of the announcement played OS a role. Was the OS scene in any way part of the discussion or negotiations in the merger?

    Who will stay on board or leave after a grace period (are Luc, Tim, etc., staying)?

    Who and what is driving Vanilla forums strategically now?

    Will the name Vanilla Forums remain (how long)?

    What is our say in the process? Can we expect the same as before or any improvements for the OS scene?

    What part plays the OS scene in the general future (short and long time) of the merger?

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  • TimTim Vanilla Staff
    edited May 2021

    Hi phreak.

    The communications were completely focused on the two business entities, which is why Open Source did not play a part in them. That said, there are no plans to discontinue or cripple the open source offering in any way, and in fact we are making some changes that should increase the frequency of open source releases.

    I can't share too many details about internal employment information, but I can tell you my own situation - I am still around.

    Vanilla and Higher Logic are now a single entity and so Vanilla's product direction is governed in the same way as Higher Logic's products - through product management within the Product organization, based on numerous inputs such as market direction, customer feedback, internal initiatives, etc. Pretty much how it was before, but with more stakeholders.

    Vanilla's name is still around and there is no timeline on that changing.

    As I mentioned, you can expect some improvements but you have almost no say in how Vanilla and Higher Logic businesses operate.

    Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter, About.me]

  • phreakphreak MVP
    edited May 2021

    Hello @Tim,

    Thank you for your answer. It didn’t hold too much clarification on a long term perspective for me. As a OS community I guess many here need an outlook or at least a few more corner stones of what the future of the software they are working with will bring.

    Could you get an answer from Higher Logic to this question:

    • What is the long term reason for Higher Logic to hold onto a Vanilla Open Source version?

    Thank you.

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  • CaylusCaylus ✭✭

    Disclaimer: I'm obviously neither involved with Vanilla Forums nor Higher Logic so the rest of the post is pure speculation

    I'd assume it'll be hard for anyone involved with Vanilla to give definite answers, as it'd involve promises about the future they wouldn't necessarely have the authority to make. However, I personally don't think we've got to worry about the OS version for the following reasons:

    • The OS version doesn't compete with the paid version all that much. Vanilla inc doesn't sell software as such - they sell expertise with said software. The OS is more like a free trial version for largely non-commercial purposes, while anyone who would be willing to spend money on forum software will pay for the cloud version, simply because they need reliable technical support. A lack of expertise while self hosting leading to significant downtime would cost tons more for commercial customers than paying Vanilla a few bucks each month.
    • The OS version serves as free advertisement. The more forums that run Vanilla forums, the more people interested in the paid version. If the OS would compete with the paid version it would be another story, but as long as they're two seperate target audiences (individuals vs. business) free advertisement through the OS for the paid version is great for Vanilla/Higher Logic.
    • The OS version serves to increase security and stability. We're free testers. If we notice a problem and communicate it to the devs, it's one less problem that paying customers might run into.
    • Not to mention the great themes and plugins that the OS community develops, which are only available because Vanilla is open source.

    So honestly, it's not impossible that Higher Logic will get rid of or neglect the OS version in the near future, but I'd say it's pretty improbable. It would make very little business sense IMHO.

    Of course, if Tim could get an official statement of Higher Logic that would still be awesome!

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