I believe I can say that at this time I'm speaking for most of the IPB customers.
Before I continue I would like to the let the IPB staff know that I'm not in any kind of way attempting to cause unrest in the community beyond a civil and polite disagreement.
While a lot of your members like the changes done to IPB in the 3.2 version there are quite a large number which do not like the way its headed (I'm also speaking for myself).
Though changes aren't always bad, when you change IPB to something completely new and without really hearing your customer your bound to make quiet a few unhappy.
(Add) = We want it back
(Rem) = We don't need it / Remove it
(Acc) = We accept the change
Avatar Galleries: (Add)
I think that deleting this was unnecessary, the images are already in the board, and they could of been used by anyone while lowering bandwidth (since you now force them to upload them to the board).
Linked Avatars: (Add)
IPB no longer allows users to use externally-hosted avatars. This pretty much forces users to waste disk space and bandwidth, which is a big deal in big boards. Some of the boards I've been on don't allow the uploading of avatars for this reason. And, yes, the users could use Gravatar, but why force users to use a third-party service which I don't even use myself? That just adds more steps to be taken just to use an externally-hosted avatar. I don't even think you can specify avatars for individual sites using Gravatar. Furthermore, users can no longer use dynamic avatars regardless whether they use Gravatar or not.
Animated Avatars: (Add)
Most of the members think... "Well now we are going backwards".
We all know that during the very few days of IPB 3.2 Beta testing there where a few members using flashing avatars, they where quiet annoying I will agree to say but was this your only reason? Please note that any forum moderator is able to remove an avatar, if in any community this was not allowed moderators have the power to remove them.
Now because of this incident you are stopping a ridiculous number of non-annoying GIF(Animated avatars).
Status online/offline: (Acc)
Though some of you dislike the idea of this being remove, I sadly have to agree with IPB.
Does the user being online or offline impact how you reply to the topic? I don't see how it does especially when you also allow users to login anonymously meaning they will always show offline.
The point of a forum, as opposed to a chat room, is that you don't have to be "online" to participate in a conversation. For example, I am often online but not on our forums here. Yet if someone posts a reply to a topic I am tracking I get an email and instantly read the topic. I would not want someone choosing not to post because the little indicator next to me name shows offline.
To summarize: the online indicator on a forum is misleading to the average user. The average user does not understand that, unlike your instant messenger application, the user could have signed off 15 minutes before and it would still show them online. So, in the end, the online indicator is not really telling you what you think it is nor is it bringing any useful information to you that will impact how you interact with the topics.
Topic Description: (Add)
While you've fail to find a reason to keep this (I've personally have too) a few of our members don't feel the same.
I find it possible to alter easily the system of Tags for Descriptions (Just how you have "Likes/Reputation").
IPB 3.1 Skin: (Add)
Out of all the boards I've seen using IPB about 90%+ of them are using the default 3.1 skin. I personally think that skin is excellent and why most of them feel no need to get a custom because its just that great. I've actually purchase 2 custom skins and I'm still using the 3.1 skin as default. We are not asking to pick one of the two. We are not asking to have the 3.1 skin instead of the 3.2 skin. We are only asking to release 3.2 with an upgrade 3.1 skin (We know it won't be 100% like it was in 3.1 since the forum has changed and we are OK with that). Most of us find the 3.1 skin to be "too plain" for our taste, you can never go wrong with giving us a choice!
Member Viewing: (Add)
You can no longer see what a member is doing/viewing while in their profile.
This is now only possible by viewing the full online list which might not even be enabled on some boards.
I find this to be something necessary to have... after all... it is their profile.
Cute Little Images: (Add)
Now I know that most of them where part of the skin, but now it just feels like we are going back.
For example: The forum images seem to have extremely low quality compare to the previous forum images, they look choppy and unprofessional.
Even the "Edited by" image looks unprofessional or "done in a hurry".
ACP Dropdown Menu: (Rem)
I've fail to hear anything good about it (Maybe I'm not reading in the right place but I think so too).
It seem to be so troublesome, and very much like "In your face" kind of thing. Now I'm not talking about the color cause I know that can be changed as well but just the dropdown menu itself. Unless you know where something is already by heart, you will find that using this its very tedious work.
(My attempt to talk some sense into IPB Dev's)
I'm sure you guys will let me know about other people making hooks and apps to do these that have been removed but fact of the matter is this...
We don't want to rely on a 3rd person to have a functional board how we want it to (Not saying they aren't reliable but often than not the hook author vanishes or stops supporting the hook when a new IPB version comes out and then your left in the air). We pay you a renewal fee so that we can stay up to date with these things and so that we don't have to rely on other people for things that most boards have as default.
We aren't 100% happy with all these changes and we can cope with some but if you don't want/like a certain feature you should at least give us the option to enable/disable it!
Removing features is very counter productive, we know you have your reasons but you should take the time to listen to us.
Give the power of choice back to Admins and communities not tells us what we want.
Thank you for reading and thank you guys whom I've quoted to make this topic possible.
Here are a few of these customers below.
Just don't like the direction its gone. Little things that make forums more attractive have been taken away because they 'serve no purpose'. The new skin design is nice and clean but clean isn't everything, the board index and forum view especially is boring, very bland. Look at the board index for example, the avatar overload is simply too much. You've got them on the right of every forum under last post, and every part of the sidebar has them too. Whilst adding these avatars everywhere, you've taken away all little images that such as in the sidebar that make it abit more attractive. (online statuses, folders etc and I could go on but I've done enough of that over the months).
Even the bullet points that signalled if a sub forum has new posts in it by turning green has gone from the board index. Now that was useful, you know...
I love the new functionality but the whole look means I don't get to have that. Can you make a 3.1 skin available? Afterall, this is still 3.x, we shouldn't see a complete overall in the design, especially if we don't want it. Have used this software since 1.3 and this is the first version that makes me
Personal experience so far I would have to say I doubt very much I will upgrade until I have no other choice, now I fully understand it is a very competitive market and I fully respect the amount of work thats gone into it.
Some features I can see as being very handy especially within the ACP side like making skinning easier etc but I feel there is also things I would class as "bloatware" that 99% of members will never even notice far less use.
I've spent nigh on 2 years work and a lot of money on custom made mods, a couple which were never public release and now find that most mods have errors or skin problems which will mean more time and money to rectify.
For some reason the entire look keeps screaming out facebook to me and although I know this will probably please a lot of customers, I am one of the few that it won't as I completely detest facebook and anything that remotely looks like it.
I still would never run any other forum software as I have always said IPB was the dogs since my 1st account back in I think it was 04 but I will be in the 1% that are not a fan of this latest generation.
Sorry and no offence intended,. John
After surfing here for a few days on this version I got to say I really don't like it and it's not going to be a good fit to my forums. It was said earlier "bland", that's a very good way to say why. And I'm not one to want to "customize" much more than applying a skin and being good to go. I'm sorry, but I don't like it at all. Please don't do this to us!!!
I have been with IPB since 2003 and 3.1.4 will probably be my last upgrade. I really like "some" small things that have been done in 3.2 like the login (which I had a similar one for 3.1.4) but i really don't care for the look and the brightness and the squareness of everything. I have been playing with 3.2 since yesterday and I really don't find modifying it any easier than 3.1.4, but that is just me. I don't like how everything is so hidden and you have to hover over it for it to appear as my forum caters to seniors and they won't like that one bit. I don't like that the topic "description" was removed as my users use that all the time. I don't like that the editor will not display the emoticons on the side anymore. I have asked for a contact form for years and always falls on deaf ears, and still no contact form. I could go on and on but won't for now.
And the list goes on...
There have been so many great new features added, some of them I will never use, but there have been necessary features removed *sighs*
One problem I have with IPS at the moment is that I don't know on what "studies & statistics" they base their decisions on. When we were talking about the removed topic descriptions Charles told us that the majority of people didn't use them. Well, this may well be, but I still thought that there would be some kind of official poll or anything like that.
Apart from that, I'm not quite sure if I'll renew my license and upgrade to IP.Board 3.2 or use another software in the future. It now heavily depends on IP.Content. If it's still only usable by myself and my users don't get it because it's too complicated for them I'll leave IPS behind.
Change IPB 3.2 before its too late, support this topic by liking it!