OK, so I hear a lot of MyBB fanboys squealing about how much better MyBB is than SMF, and not once have I ever heard why it is so, so I thought I'd try and figure it out for myself.
I'm looking at the default theme and my very first reaction is "This reminds me of vB 3.8.x". It's not an exact knock-off but somehow it reminds me more of vBulletin than anything else does; phpBB and SMF have very much their own identities, even back in SMF 1.1.x days.
The second thing is how cluttered it all seems - as per first screenshot. MyBB claims to support a threaded view but I'm not sure it works properly or if it does, it isn't working properly for me, as I can't consistently get something to be a nested child. Strike one for MyBB.
And HOLY FUCK IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY... I know a lot of people dislike the whole 'return to the board' thing but then we have the interstitial screen, the infamous 'Thank you for posting, you will now be returned to...' with an option to dive out to the board. Eeeeew. Fortunately, it is disableable in the admin panel, but still...
OK, one thing I did see that impressed me, AJAXive quick reply. But that's not that much right now. Other than that it's not really much different; though the layout of information above the post itself makes it clumsy IMO, if you have an inch+ header on top of every post to put the user information in.
OK, so let's take a look through the admin panel.
The front page is not really surprising - admin notes, some interesting mini-stats (MyBB/PHP/SQL versions, number of threads/posts/users, subdivided by totals, new and awaiting approval)
Oh, that's weird... there are two different themes in the admin panel. Classic and Sharepoint, I'm using Sharepoint because it looks slightly nicer to me.
Then I see something learned from vB: a page whose sole purpose is to link you to page after page of settings. They're very long pages, too... see attached. I'm all for comprehensive options - and the options seem pretty comprehensive without going overboard, but the layout needs some serious work IMHO. There's only 25 options on this page, but you can see how long that page is. And there are 21 pages of just settings, if that makes sense.
Most of it is pretty straightforward stuff until I see this particular option in the Server and Optimization page:
Enable XMLHttp request features?
This will enable or disable the XMLHttp request features.
() Yes () No
And WTF... I've seen this elsewhere but it truly makes no sense to me: Add New Setting. You can actually add new items to the admin panel directly, but unless you're actually doing something with it, it seems a bit redundant and if you are doing something, you might as well make a plugin out of it.
That leads me to something else that *really* grates on me: display ordering. Various controls give you the option to set their order (like custom fields being ordered, settings/setting groups)... and you set this by putting in numbers. Want a new custom field to be the second one down? Put in a display of 2 then order the rest to move them down too... because that's a nice user experience.
Other stuff seems fairly straightforward, though I slightly baulk at the 'MyCode' new bbc options. You create it with straight up regex, their example:
A history lesson: SMF used to do their bbcode with this back in 1.0. One of the main reasons 1.1 dropped the old ubbc function and replaced it with the scary beast that is parse_bbc is because of ReDoS vulnerabilities. If you have regular expressions, it's possible to craft a post that can mess with them to cause the PCRE library to poop itself and create incredibly slow-parsing situations which can DOS the server (hence ReDoS - regex denial of service)
All in all, it doesn't strike me as being anything that exciting and certainly not being deserving of the fanboyism... hell, even the Apple vs Android fanboys have valid arguments in their favour but this doesn't seem like it.
In fact the only thing I can see that has any advantage so far is the plugin system but when I looked at the plugin architecture... whooo... my exact comment last night was that it blows monkey chunks compared to Wedge, it looks like the plugin's actual file must be loaded at startup to initialise it (as opposed to us which doesn't explicitly have to load anything, just validate its existence)
What I will say is that it does have a bunch of things in the core, like thread prefixes (where you pick a prefix out of a set list), as well as stuff like announcements (setting predefined messages in a board above all the topics like super-pinned topics)
Permissions are weird though, see attached. You set the default permissions per group elsewhere (where it's a simple tickbox, yes/no) and set per board overrides here. There doesn't seem to be deny permissions so it is simply allow/disallow as we know them and you drag the permissions between the two or you can press the 'Set Custom Permissions'. It does seem very clunky compared to SMF's let alone what I've talked about for Wedge.
So yeah, pretty much as expected, MyBB stacks up reasonably well to SMF in terms of features but the admin navigation is ugleeeeee... and yet it's much like how XenForo does it and that's considered good... I dunno what goes through these peoples' minds sometimes.
|1.||Which I might add to Wedge, though before I saw it in MyBB|