"It's done when it's done"

2015-11-04: What a breathtaking sense of entitlement I used to have. Eek!

That is a completely useless attitude toward software development.  Okay, not totally useless, but as far as creating a product and getting it out the door in a timely fashion, it’s about the worst attitude you can have.

Case in point: phpBB.  They have been stuck on version 2.0.x for a long time.  I remember using their software back in the day.  I would check back every couple of months just to see how version 2.2.x (now version 3) was coming along.  “It’s coming along very nicely,” the developers would say.  Great, just a couple more months, right?  Wrong.

According to their CVS stats, they began in January of 2003.  A full three years later, they still haven’t released the next version of their product.

In the interim, Jelsoft, the company that publishes vBulletin, greatly expanded and polished their product with their 3.x release.  Prior to that, I’d say that phpBB gave vBulletin a run for its money.  Now, though, there is no comparison.  vBulletin is by far the superior product, even when compared to the as-yet-unreleased phpBB 3.

To further highlight phpBB’s futility, consider the case of Telligent Systems.  They took the old ASP.NET forums software and greatly expanded it, adding blogs, photo galleries, and numerous other complex features.  And they’ve done all that — with multiple, functional releases in between — within, what, 1-2 years?

I guess if there is no money to lose, no mortgages to go unpaid, no mouths to go unfed, then there is no pressure to step up to the plate and get your project done.  It’s such a shame, too, because at one time phpBB was a fine product.  Now, though, they are hopelessly behind the rest of the pack, and at the rate they develop and ship their software, they will never catch up.  Looks like phpBB might be “done” before we know it.