Disappointed in NodeBB after being away



  • I was a huge proponent of NodeBB a couple years ago thinking that NodeBB and Discourse were A1 and A2 options for anyone looking to launch a forum.

    Having a large project coming up and looking at including a forum, I instantly thought of using NodeBB as we are using Ghost as our CMS for our main page. Having setup a test server, I was disappointed in how messy NodeBB has become with the majority of the plugins I installed not working. Features I would assumed would have been integrated or become official plugins largely aren't.

    I still think NodeBB is a great core, but was hoping that it would have matured at the same rate as Discourse the last couple years.


  • Swedes

    What version did you install? If you are using the latest then there will be bugs but try to use a more stable version. I love the NodeBB platform and i cant really se why one would choose Discourse over NodeBB.

    "matured at the same rate as Discourse" <-- Could you pleas specify exactly what you mean with this!

    Its easy to complain, better to help out instead. Be more specific about what features you need. Hey, its opensource 😉

    "majority of the plugins I installed not working." <-- Please specify the plugins.



  • What version did you install? If you are using the latest then there will be bugs but try to use a more stable version.

    I installed 1.5.3. Since it is a point release stablity shouldn't be an issue.

    "matured at the same rate as Discourse" <-- Could you pleas specify exactly what you mean with this!

    Discourse has really listened to their audience and features that the community wanted they either caved, built it themselves or if a community plugin becomes popular, it is forked and maintain by Discourse. I feel Jeff and company has made a decision that the core is strong and by pulling some community plugins they provide a seamless and maintained product.

    Its easy to complain, better to help out instead. Be more specific about what features you need. Hey, its opensource

    So is Discourse and Vanilla (kinda). Open source doesn't magically make it better.

    "majority of the plugins I installed not working." <-- Please specify the plugins.

    nodebb-plugin-emailer-ses - Settings page doesn't load.
    nodebb-plugin-ns-spoiler - Spoiler reveal button doesn't work. Causes formatting issues in the post.
    nodebb-plugin-btn-spoilers - Doesn't work.
    nodebb-plugin-youtube-embed - videos don't play. formatting all messed up.
    Imgur

    NodeBB is a fascinating project that has great potential, BUT, I am fearful that it is going a similar route that of Vanilla. A paid SaaS version with all the really cool features with all the bells and whistles and then a bastard opensource version with community maintained features where half of them have been abandoned. I rather have a solid foundation of core team maintained plugins (if any at all) over a house of cards that can collapse at anytime or have to maintain.


  • Admin

    Hi @shinyidol! Do keep in mind that our paid version is exactly the same as our open source version, so you can rest assured that there won't ever be a good paid version and a crappy open source version.

    There are some plugins that don't work with latest, that is true. This is because we've been focusing on some big changes in some of our newer releases. 1.5.x was a big change and many plugins didn't make it. We strive to maintain backwards compatibility but this is not always possible.

    Every time breaking changes are made and we release a minor version, many plugins don't make it (and so they aren't reflected in nbbpm). It certainly looks like a lot of plugins end up "broken", but many are actually still compatible. If they're not, then opening an issue to the plugin author is a good first step.

    We made this decision (to remove plugins that don't properly report compatibility with the latest version of NodeBB) because we went through a tough period where new versions of NodeBB would be released followed by hundreds of plugins not working while still being advertised in the admin panel. It's not a perfect solution, but it definitely helps.

    As our API stabilizes, we expect fewer breaking changes to come into play, meaning our plugin system can once again 😄



  • @julian said in Disappointed in NodeBB after being away:

    Hi @shinyidol! Do keep in mind that our paid version is exactly the same as our open source version, so you can rest assured that there won't ever be a good paid version and a crappy open source version.

    That is good to hear. Test with other platforms like Vanilla have been very frustrating and their own policy quickly made me abandon that platform.

    We made this decision (to remove plugins that don't properly report compatibility with the latest version of NodeBB) because we went through a tough period where new versions of NodeBB would be released followed by hundreds of plugins not working while still being advertised in the admin panel. It's not a perfect solution, but it definitely helps.

    Having community driven development is great, but you put a lot of trust in the hands of someone who interest level might have changed. I guess that is why when I said Discourse has matured is they have noticed what features their userbase were interested in and either folded them into the platform or forked a plugin and maintained it themselves. Sometimes you just want things to work and if you do plan on extending a platform it is in the customizations that will seperate your experience to fit your audience and not having to worry about if your image embed or iframe plugin is going to fail if you upgrade. While it is a long shot something as Wordpress with the "Tested on x.x.x", so while you just validating that a plugin is functional, but aren't responsible for maintaining it.


  • Admin

    @shinyidol said in Disappointed in NodeBB after being away:

    While it is a long shot something as Wordpress with the "Tested on x.x.x", so while you just validating that a plugin is functional, but aren't responsible for maintaining it.

    Definitely... this is one of @psychobunny's ideas for plugin compatibility... 😄



  • for plugins that stopped working... I had the same issue. But thanks to the nodebb team, I had to run "./nodebb build" to fix the issue. A bit of a bummer, as it wasn't mandatory to do this when installing/uninstalling/enabling/disabling a plugin. It worked in v1.4.0 (if I remember correctly).

    Hopefully that can be fixed 😉


  • Admin

    @Adam-Poniatowski Prior to v1.4.x (or thereabouts)... NodeBB rebuilt all of the assets every time you started it up, but it also meant that startups could take 30+ seconds on slower servers 😞

    It's especially wasteful if you aren't actually compiling anything new, and your site is essentially down while this is happening. We made the decision to move the build step out of the startup phase, so it can be run while NodeBB is still running, and then NodeBB can just seamlessly restart in < 10s.

    It does mean every time you activate, you have to rebuild as well. Just hit "restart" in the admin panel.

    Yes, it's not exactly the best naming 😞



  • @julian so if I restart the forum in the ACP, it technically runs /build as well? I will give it a shot and let you know.

    I usually just ssh into my vm and run my famous one liner...
    cd /nodebb; ./nodebb /restart; ./nodebb build; echo "ALL DONE"

    I installed saltstack on my rpi recently, so I will start using that... but if the restart option does that, then I don't need to log in anymore 🙂


  • Admin

    @Adam-Poniatowski You'll want to build first, then restart 😄



  • @julian aaah, gotcha. 😄 thanks for that


  • Swedes

    Works as it should 😉


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