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Comments April 16, 2008

The End Is Near…

Filed under: phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 8:15 am  

Well, I think everyone knew this was coming:

Today we are announcing our retirement plans for phpBB 2.0.x. This is advanced notification so that everyone can stay informed.

Commencing Wednesday 1st October 2008, phpBB 2.0.x download links will be removed from the download page at phpBB.com. Anyone wishing to obtain phpBB 2.0.x can continue to obtain the 2.0.x package at sourceforge.net.

Commencing Thursday 1st January 2009, phpBB 2.0.x will be formally retired, and support will no longer be actively provided for 2.0.x. Converting from 2.0.x to 3.0.x will continue to be supported.

Security patches, if required, will be provided until Sunday 1st February 2009.

The reason for the early retirement is the PHP Group’s decision to retire PHP 4. phpBB 2.0 mainly runs on the PHP 4 codebase and it would be unwise to require people to have an unsupported version of PHP installed in order to use phpBB.

Teams will announce how they will handle the retirement in the coming days.

I have some thoughts on this. I always have thoughts. :-P I’ll be posting them in the coming days, after I have time to digest what this means for me personally, for the phpBBDoctor site, and what I think it means for phpBB overall.

Stay tuned. 8)


  1. I would have handled this differently.

    First off, the remark about PHP4 is completely contrived, in my opinion. The latest phpBB2 runs without any problem on PHP5. I’m right, and I’ve been proven right. PHP 4 has nothing to do with it at all; it’s not “required” like the announcement stated.

    Second, setting dates is like telling people, “OK, hurry up and upgrade to 3 or get the f*** out.” I personally wouldn’t have set any date at all, at least not at first. What I would have done is just not mention 2 so much. Let it continue on; it’s already declining anyway. And then after awhile, check its interest and popularity. If it still is getting traffic and discussion, then continue on; if not, then issue an announcement similar to the one posted for ending at a future date.

    As for me, I’m not going to formally release any of my MODs at phpbb.com, nor am I going to upgrade my forums to phpBB3, nor am I ever going to need support from anyone. I suspect that this announcement affects me personally less than it does/will to others. And by others, I mean the millions of people who still have phpBB2 boards, many un-MODified, many who would need support if something happened.

    Comment by Dog Cow — April 16, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  2. For me the statement is not 100% clear.

    ” … and support will no longer be actively provided for 2.0.x”

    What does this mean? No bugs allowed in the bugtracker? No fix provided for non-security issues? Shutting some of 2.0.x forums to read only? Like the discussion one. They could allow MOD and style authors a place to continue to talk but discussion about the 2.0.x line itself would not be needed. It could mean all 2.0.x forums are moved to read only?

    I understand the needed to draw a line in the sand, so I think a date annouced in the future is the correct way, however I would have preferred more clarity.

    So without more details I am not clear of the impact.

    Comment by Esmond Poynton — April 17, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

  3. He’s back! Welcome back, Esmond, glad to see you around. If my memory is correct, you were hard at work updating phpBB Garage to V3 anyway. So at least your users will have a legitimate upgrade path.

    There is an active discussion going on in the topic at phpbb.com so you would probably be able to get a clarification there. Until the various team leaders (MOD team, Styles team) weigh in on what they’re doing with their respective forums I have decided to withold my comments. :)

    Comment by Dave Rathbun — April 17, 2008 @ 5:24 pm

  4. Now that wGEric has posted the MOD team status I can further state my reaction. In two words. Very disappointed.

    The decision to move MOD writer discussion to read only is a bad move in my opinion. This area is mostly void of moderation requirement and serves the community by allowing an area to talk.

    Later moving all forums out of public view is terrible. The community loses a HUGE source of information valuable to people. This is a terrible move as far as I am concerned. REALLY bad.

    Also removing downloads for phpBB2 MODs. Another decision I do not agree with.

    I would like to see the reasons behind the thinking for this decision. I am guessing it will be the same for styles as it would not make sense for one but not the other.

    This comes as the first major decision I have seen phpBB take that I have a really serious issue with.

    Comment by Esmond Poynton — April 19, 2008 @ 7:22 am

  5. As soon as the phpBB2 forums are set to read-only, my activity on phpbb.com is going to drop to almost none, for simple reason that I use phpBB2, so that’s what I like to talk about. For me, upgrading my main site to phpBB3 is out of the question, so I don’t really have much to say about it.

    Comment by Dog Cow — April 19, 2008 @ 10:53 am

  6. Update: Just today, the Discussion topic ballooned from 6 pages to 12 and is now locked. I am quite glad that I posted only once on the first page; it looks like all of phpBB.com’s finest trolls (including the ones with colored badges) were out.

    Comment by Dog Cow — April 19, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

  7. I feel like they, the phpbb.com staff, are showing a very harsh attitude towards phpBB2 in general and it’s many users in particular. It seems like it’s not even tolerated that people talk about the EoL of their beloved phpBB2 as the locked discussion shows.

    As it looks like I think that pretty soon there will have to arise some community where all knowledge and communication about phpBB2 can continue to take place because phpbb.com is going to close the doors without any further ado, far too soon.

    I for myself am not at all happy with phpBB3, it´s awfully modded, I have always intended to have a board with exactly the modifications I want, which are many, but without making the board hard to use for inexperienced users as that’s what my visitors are. I’d hate to present them phpBB3 because I know that many of them will get lost in that jungle. I’m even sure this would mean demotivation on the user’s side and thus less traffic.

    The only good thing I have discovered so far in phpBB3 is the prosilver template, but I’d rather live with the mess of my current phpBB2 template for the sake of continuing with my phpBB2 then switching to phpBB3 and having to cope with all the “free” issues that come with it.

    Comment by dogs and things — April 20, 2008 @ 4:58 am

  8. I assume that someone, somewhere will become the “go-to” source for phpBB2 support. I will be opening up this site (or another site that I own) to support my phpBB2 MODs since the MOD forums will be closed as part of the retirement.

    I think that pretty soon there will have to arise some community where all knowledge and communication about phpBB2 can continue to take place…

    To be honest, I expect several such communities will start up, and most will fail. :)

    Comment by Dave Rathbun — April 21, 2008 @ 1:04 pm

  9. Yeah,

    It won´t be easy to get a good and working replacement for what used to be. We’ll see what happens.

    Comment by dogs and things — April 21, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  10. There is no truly successfull phpBB “fan-site” or MOD site out there, that I know of. And these people have had years to create one. The best one I can think of now would be the phpbbhacks site. However, I’m not a member at the forums there, so even I’m a bit out of touch with things.

    Comment by Dog Cow — April 21, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  11. I am a member of “hacks” but I don’t like it. There are too many advertisements and there are things about the way the board is run that I don’t agree with.

    I have some ideas, but need some time to carefully consider them. :)

    Comment by Dave Rathbun — April 22, 2008 @ 9:39 am

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