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Why are there so many FREE competing BBSs? [message #7932] Sun, 29 December 2002 19:37 Go to next message
tjjuggle is currently offline  tjjuggle   United States
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I'm having trouble chosing a BBS for a board I hope to set up for my college. But the thing I can't figure out is, why don't people work together instead of starting there own hacks?

This board looks good, as well as phpBBS which is also:
done in PHP
works with MySQL, and PostgressSQL
is GPLed

there are also about 50 other BBSes that have basically the same attributes.

Instead of developing seperate code bases, why don't the developers work together (it's not like there's a profit motive here...). At most, I could see 2 or 3 major competitors in the open source BBS market.
Re: Why are there so many FREE competing BBSs? [message #7943 is a reply to message #7932] Tue, 31 December 2002 15:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PlatinumGamer is currently offline  PlatinumGamer   United States
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tjjuggle wrote on Sun, 29 December 2002 19:37

Instead of developing seperate code bases, why don't the developers work together (it's not like there's a profit motive here...). At most, I could see 2 or 3 major competitors in the open source BBS market.



Most developers don't care about profit, but they all have their own coding style, sure most look and perform the same way, but that's because most coding has to be done a certain way for it to work right. If all of the Free BBS developers worked together, it would probably come out looking horrible because of the fact that they all have their own style when it comes to coding. There would also be the factor of Perl developers, unless the board developed both a PHP and Perl version of their script, the Perl Developers would probably be left 'Useless' unless they were accomplished graphics makers in which case they could make the graphics for the board/project. That's my take on it at least...
Re: Why are there so many FREE competing BBSs? [message #7950 is a reply to message #7943] Wed, 01 January 2003 20:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tjjuggle is currently offline  tjjuggle   United States
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Being a proffessional software developer, I can say that coding style causes issues, but if people code well (modular, reusable) then it is always beter than developing seperate code.

Seperate but functionally equivalent code development is basically the worst thing that can happen in a coperative environment and companies recognize and act on the need to avoid it.

I understand the PHP/Perl problem. But at most that should lead to two competting open source boards.
Re: Why are there so many FREE competing BBSs? [message #7967 is a reply to message #7950] Fri, 03 January 2003 11:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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The more competition the better it is for the consumer. It means that there is greater selection and you probably can always find EXACTLY what you are looking for. I fail to see why you would complain about a competetive market.
As a developer you should also know that old projects often cary large loads of baggage due to the need for backwards compatibility and so on. By starting from scratch you get a clean slate and a chance to do it properly without having to worry about BC.


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Re: Why are there so many FREE competing BBSs? [message #7982 is a reply to message #7967] Sat, 04 January 2003 14:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tjjuggle is currently offline  tjjuggle   United States
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Competition is important in marketplaces because good quality/price ratios result (optimally in ideal marketplaces). But even in profitable marketplaces (unlike ours) large corporations are born because without large scale cooperation, it's hard to create a great product. If it were not this way, we would see no Micro$ofts, Apples, ID softwares, etc... Instead we would find only 3-5 people hack shops putting out software, and those products would come and go all the time, leaving customers with broken products and no support.

All I'm saying is that if there were 2 or 3 competitors, then those products would be feature rich and well supported. Currently this BBS seems to be very good. But there's no guarantee that the developers won't get bored and stop supporting/developing it in which case other BBS's will surpass it. Rather than someone spending the time to catch up to and then surpass this board, why not just start from this board and develop from there?

There is some wisdom in your comment about starting from a new code base and tossing out the old. Refactoring (see: extreme programing books) is my preferred method. If parts of the software suck, you re-engineer those parts, throwing out code as you go. To actually toss an entire product and restart is only wise when you are going a drastically different route and the amount of code that can be reused is not worth the time it takes to extract it from the existing code base.
Re: Why are there so many FREE competing BBSs? [message #7996 is a reply to message #7982] Sun, 05 January 2003 18:51 Go to previous message
Ilia is currently offline  Ilia   Canada
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The bigger the product the more people are needed to maintain it. Forum (any forum) is probably a small or a small-midlevel size application depeding on the complexity and feature set of the forum. As such it does not require more then 2-3 people to maintain it. Which is probably why you see so many forums in the market today.

When you change parts of the software that are part of a larger package you'll often discover that you are still limited by existing APIs and so on. So, you'll still be limited in regard to what you can change. You have no such litations when you start from scratch, you also can raise the requirments bar a little higher (script languages & database version), which otherwise may unleash the wrath of users who still use absolete versions software.


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