Some of you might remember me asking in this thread
for forum software.
The result of my research was either SMF or MyBB.
I went for SMF v2RC2 and have no regrets according to the performance, looks, ease of use and administrative abilities.
I followed the SMF community quite closely due to this decision and quickly learned of the internal difficulties they are having.
At first it concerned me very much. However, the more I thought about it and the more I studied SMF itself and the people behind it, the more my fears calmed. Now, please mind you - this is not easy to admit, since I have a birthday coming up - I am probably older than most of you and have worked in responsible roles in NGOs for 35+ years. Therefore I have seen a lot of organizations in upheaval, sometimes one might even think that most NGOs are in a constant state of upheaval
Definitely there will come some change to the current organisational structure of SMF - but that is not so bad, organisations need to reinvent themselves from time to time if they have been in a period of stagnation.
Agreed, SMF has been slow with upgrades, but that is also a good point. RC2 is just a release candidate, though has been performing flawlessly for me, no matter what I threw at it. So do you want to go through buggy releases or get good code? Good code takes time to test and write and retest.
So I did think of switching (to MyBB in case you want to know), but when I saw how vibrant the SMF community still is (much bigger than the MyBB community), and how much involved they are (if I have a problem I quickly get answers on their forum, and even if I do not mark my topic as solved, somebody will get back to me and ask if the matter really has been settled to my satisfaction), and how friendly and cooperative, I don't think this software will die a quick death. And even if it does eventually die, I have the strong belief that the community will pull together and develop a successor which you can install either over SMF or for which there will be better conversion software than presently (update: a project named Phoenix is already in the very early formative stages - competition is good and will bring out the best in everyone).
However, after my original thread and also after reading about the upheaval, I became very careful about installing mods. I think it is the mods that can/will give trouble when converting/upgrading as mouser pointed out in the thread referenced above.
The nice thing about SMF 2 is you hardly need any mods, because it is quite feature complete. But I think five times about installing a mod and really assess how many users would really NEED it for a quality forum experience.
Furthermore - to update you on the SMF situation - all people that were banned from the SMF community forum for their criticism have been reinstated and the different parties are again talking to each other via designated speakers and mediators. So progress is there (albeit slow) and I think what will come out will be for the good of the entire SMF community. And just reading some of the most recent posts there people are happy about the new RC3 - and everybody should update reasonably soon (when the mods have been updated to RC3, which is trivial in most instances) from RC2 to RC3, because some security issues (only affecting administrative access accounts - therefore they may not be regarded as serious) have been addressed.
BTW you can tell that SMF is there because the German Government is running a heavily moded SMF site on creating petitions
for their federal assembly.
Finally let me give you one quote from a friend of SMF - Christian Land - who actually made the following comment in a thread that deals about switching forum software:
If you ask me, SMF's future looks better than ever before. Either the whole issues around it are solved or some kind of "fork" (or new project) will happen. In both cases "staying with SMF" is the best option.
My thanks go to SMF for this great free forum software they created and I wish them well and think they have proved that they deserve our loyalty.