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Why did you choose Vanilla ?
K17 Français / French Paris, France ✭✭✭
edited November 2017 in General Banter
I have a simple question that I find really intresting.....
Why did you chose Vanilla ?
It's a real question because a lot of forum software exists and have sometimes different ways do to same things, sometimes same way to do different....
In my case i first choose Vanilla for the user experience (I'm here from 22.214.171.124 but not registered on this forum before 03/2014).
I find it easy for users in face of MyBB (1.6) and better to see face to esoTalk (1.0.0g1), who are the two I used before kknowing Vanilla ^^
And for now I never figured a case where Vanilla couldn't fits (in all installations I did for me and others).
And you ?
It was random(ish) tbh.
I had a very small forum on myBB, but then needed to provide for a larger community, and Vanilla happened to be an offering in the CPanel of my then host, so I had a look to see how/if it was different.
I've stayed with it because it works for me, and because of the support that has been given when I have needed to know how to do something.
After trying Bulletin Board and SMF and Discus and others, I found Vanilla and stayed with it because of it's simplicity and user friendliness. Coming from a background with some CSS and HTML knowledge I was able to learn PHP and JS as I learned how to make themes and plugins for myself. I have not encountered anything else that does this. Everything else is very limited as far as extensibility.
I would not waste my time with something else again. To me Vanilla is the Best Forum Software there is.
❌ ✊ ♥. ¸. ••. ¸♥¸. ••. ¸♥ ✊ ❌
Several years ago me and some friends were planned to start a community with some complex requirements: I knew that out of the box solutions wouldn't be sufficient. I started some research but it turned out that my friends (and probably me too) were having much more interest in planning (i.e. sitting around with a cool drink in our hands, talking how famous and rich we will be one day) than in doing something.
Nevertheless I never really dropped the idea of running a small, local community and I kept on looking around for easily extensible forum scripts. I had just enough knowledge to read code at that time and even that was limited somehow.
I have taken a look at nearly every forum software you can get hold of at that time and what I always did was inspecting their plugin "system" to see if I would be able to write my own plugins. What I found have been two completely different things:
use ...statements at the top of every file you are looking at. Classes, more than you can count. I never even dared touching such code. I'm a hobby-developer.
And then I found Vanilla. I was already very positive when I read that Vanilla is a forum which is based on a framework which has been written to be exactly that: a framework for a forum! How nice is that?
Only being a hobby-developer I knew that a framework prevents you from re-inventing the wheel again and again and again and again... It also helps getting a predefined structure. Nevertheless frameworks are no precision tools. They are like a Swiss army knife with a thousand functions when all you want to do is to cut, but you don't need a tooth-picker, a bottle opener etc. A framework as such will let you do anything and therefore it is by nature not made for a single purpose. But Garden, the framework running Vanilla, is written for exactly one purpose. Very promising for a starter like me.
When looking through the plugins I was very happy to find out that I was able to really read what plugins do. There were some questions left (it took me quite a while to understand
$Sender) but it looked all very doable.
I already had a good understanding of the MVC concept and the way Vanilla has implemented it felt very intuitive to me. So looking at Vanillas code immediately gave me the confidence that I would be able to write simple plugins for that forum quite soon and that writing complex extensions would be possible even for me.
And it turned out that I wasn't wrong. In the meantime I not only have written several plugins, but what I consider as a more convincing point, I was able to tell other beginners how to transform their own plugin requirements into a running plugin.
It all comes down to that you don't have to be a hard boiled developer to be able to achieve stunning results with Vanilla and that Vanilla is a fine piece of software to start to the world of development.
Sorry, do any of you mind sharing links to your forums?
I basically switched to vanilla cause of its simplicity. Like every thing has been don for you (well, most).
Hope to create my plugins and themes soon!
1.) Open Source
2.) Single Sign On
(ie. WordPress plug-in and Custom JS connect (would like SAML2))
3.) Embed (able)
4.) Portability (from other forum platforms)
Being a full stack developer, I am torn with the simplicity of this forum. On one hand, I appreciate not needing to know how exactly things are working to get it to work, but on the other, I'm leery of not having to delve into the exact mechanics... It's perhaps good therapy for me. :-) Ultimately, I appreciate good UI and UX, which I think Vanilla has over many other forums.
I'm in a (fairly recent) position of needing to create / manage quite a few forums, so I researched quite a few platforms over the last couple years. For those reasons above, I came upon Vanilla. However, I think what put me over the final line with choosing the platform was the familiarity with the MVC format. I had just built my first site using the CodeIgniter framework (sunshineartist.com). Vanilla uses some similar concepts.
Oh, and yes, the forum users.. can't forget the help you get from the forum.