Vanilla 1 is no longer supported or maintained. If you need a copy, you can get it here.
HackerOne users: Testing against this community violates our program's Terms of Service and will result in your bounty being denied.

There are so many excellent free forums these days...



  • I had to, I know your rebellious nature too well *shifty eyes*
  • End of October sounds nice. Thank you Mark. It is probably best you sleep a little in those two weeks. Working two week straight could (I think it actually would) kill a man. :P Koso: Get rid of the nasty things. How could you?
  • nathan: what can I say, I'm a people person :D
  • that cyan theme is seriously hot!
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    cyan? that's more like baby/sky blue, hehe, get off the laptop and check it on a crt :D
  • Well as a furthement of this dicussion, you all mention the learning curve is quite severe for most people. How do you all propose to lessen the steep curve most people have to go through when they're presented with this forum? I mean if people are turned off from the forum, people aren't going to utilize it.
  • hynes, the funny thing is, I think Vanilla makes sense to people who have never used a forum before. Its just simple and easy. It is the people who have used conventional forums for several years that have a hard time with this.
  • Even so, what can be done practically to help people convert over to a completely new style of forum dialogue? I know personally when I was first introduced to Vanilla it was terribly clunky and unorganized to me. Yet when I finally understood the discussion took precedent - things started to make sense. As I try to pratically look for opportunities to use Vanilla, this will be a constant hurdle I will have to cross. Finding ways to eliminate or lessen that hurdle will allow me to use it more often then other forum software packages.
  • I don't think there is anything anyone can do in particular. It's all up to the individual. If they have used something like phpbb forever, then most likely their opinion will be biased towards Vanilla, and they wont want to use it. I did not like Vanilla at first. I thought it was awkward, and just plain funky. Being a phpbb user for most of my internet life, this was my biased opinion. I forced myself to actually check it out, and use it for a few days. After using it for a few days I found that it is actually phpbb (and the others) that are awkward and funky. This is how a forum should be. There are a few threads about making it more appealing towards those "other forum" users, but I don't see how. The only thing I can think of is making a style that more resembles the other forums. But that would be going against the Vanilla Movementâ„¢. People just have to actually try it out, not just look at it for a few seconds and then go "ah, it sucks" then go back to the other foums. Use it. Then you'll learn it, live it, and love it. I think thats the biggest problem. People just look at it, and go ack, because its different. If they actually used it, I'm sure more than half of them would like it.
  • I guess it doesnt help that o8 was discussion based (though i do recall there being a time where it had a selection of categories? i cant remember if that was the first page); but i've always found this the most natural way of viewing. I guess cause i literally hang round here checking out all the threads that pop up rather than going to a forum for a particular purpose (i.e. i go to to check out the electronics category and therefore just sit in that one) that it makes more sense. That said, if i was using bit-tech for that purpose and it ran vanilla i'd just hop into categories and block the rest. Job done. What's more, i never check out any other discussions on b-t because all i see is electronics stuff (cause i'm looking for help) but chances are there are some very interesting threads in other categories. I think a view like vanilla helps much more broader reading because people can scan all the discussions and think 'ooh. whats this' wheras if you're *forced* to view by category you might just get into one and not bother sniffing around. </rant> But seriously, it might be a big change for some users, but if they cant be bothered checking it out, theyre not worth it. If they do, i'm pretty convinced in 80% of cases they'd appreciate it a great deal more and get a lot more out of their forum experience. If you are just dropping by for a quick visit to look at something, do it in categories. Otherwise, hi, pull up a chair. Get me? :)
  • Totally agree.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    From my perspective, Vanilla is clean, in regards to how discussions and categories are displayed. It's all easy to read and find discussions you're looking for. I'm very familliar with all other forums and have to admit that all forums like phpbb and others do information over-kill when it comes to displaying threads or categories. It's an akward mess trying to hunt for stuff via those forums and not fun. Setting up those beasts is another story. Setting up and running Vanilla the first time around was a bit clunky but it has since gotten better and by far the easiest damn forum to set up, straight forward and to the point, it's damn good.
  • edited October 2005
    I've only really stumbled across Vanilla in the last month or so and I'm very impressed with the layout and the move away from "feature bloat". Whilst we're on the subject of other forums, the Wordpress guys are also writing their own forum software which I'm pretty sure will be along similar lines to Vanilla, at least in spirit.
  • It is very likely that bbpress will get better, but right now it just looks nasty and I'd rather use phpbb over it.
  • I've never really cared for WP's forum. I don't think it flows nicely. But it is nice to see that more people/companies are starting to go with clean simple forums/software.
  • I agree bbpress is not up to scratch yet but if it's anything like Wordpress (which I'm using as the new backend of my website), I'm sure they'll make a good job of it.

    And Krak, you're right, WP's forum layout is a bit weird with the usernames displayed in the right column. I tend to find my eyes are darting back and forth so much I go dizzy! It doesn't read very well.
  • Wordpress is a pretty solid base. I'd like to see them just create a very modular CMS out of it.
  • edited October 2005
    bbpress is alright, but it's not nearly as intuitive as Vanilla is. About getting people to use vanilla, I think it's a matter of getting people just to slow down a bit. I have been discussin switching to vanilla to a few of my staff. I told them to visit these boards, and at first they all hated it. I told them just to slow down, and look around, everything is in an easy to find place. After an hour or two of exploring Vanilla, they all loved it. Like all revolution, Vanilla's biggest problem is simply that it's different. It's also the strongest feature. I do have to make a suggestion for some form of quoting and some minor BBcode buttons or simple WYSIWYG editor. Markdown and HTML is just not easy to use, and users have come to expect that formatting text is fast and simple.
  • After seeing Mark's comment, I need to get me some of that "next version Vanilla" and write some extensions. I'm now realising, coming from PunBB or Invision or SMF, that as much as I like the look of Vanilla, and can get used to the idea of having "whispers" instead of PMs, I *know* people will complain if they don't have their old sigs and can't quote people. I'm willing to write extensions for them, to make the migration easier for people, but I can't seem to find this "next version" anywhere - although I did find threads talking about Subversion or CVS access, but no links. And the developer pages are pretty darn useless. I thought this was open source? So where's the latest source?
This discussion has been closed.