Just feeding back that virtually everything is awful

There were some seasons over the decades when Advanced Search didn’t work well, but mostly yes I did too.

Google search for SDMB always sucked. No granularity.

Umm, nope.

There’s a triangular disclosure triangle there which, when clicked, lets me specify minimum and maximum replies and minimum and maximum views. Nothing about sorting.

This is what I have (maybe it’s one of the random differences between skins).

No, everybody did not.

Agreed. I used Google for some stuff, but the hamster search function for narrowing down searches.

Until the hamsters all ran away of course. I think it was just a couple of blind white mice turning the wheel in the latter days.

Everybody that wanted search results did.

I wish I could see the OP of a thread in mobile sessions. There are some ‘hot air’ OPs that I steer clear of but that sometimes manage to craft thread titles that trick me into looking. Similarly, I also wish for a name instead of an avatar for most recent post, too.

I’d like a name instead of an avatar in linked threads.
Also, a way to identify the OP as you scroll through a thread.

This is my major complaint (I can live with it, though). My complete Firefox history has about 84000 entries going back to March 2021. 25000 of those entries are for the SDMB. And I visit the SDMB only 2x a week for only an hour or two at a time. 20000 of those SDMB entries are have 1 visit only, due to scrolling within a thread.

I could at least isolate these by setting up a Firefox user profile just for the SDMB, but I haven’t done it yet.

The other stuff just took a bit of adjusting to. For example, with vB, you could fiddle with the formatting tags and get the post formatted exactly the way you want. Discourse has its own way of automatically doing things and interfering can produce unexpected results.

On the other hand, one thing I REALLY like is that it keeps track of your last visited date/time MUCH better.

So all in all, it’s better than vB.

I used advanced searches in vB all the time. But not on the SDMB. I did it on another message board that had a more modern version of vB and wasn’t grossly underpowered. It worked pretty well. It worked way better than google for the vast majority of normal searches.

The SDMB was barely functioning, technologically. And vBulletin had reached the end of its life, and was no longer being actively supported. So they had to move to something different. And they had to move kinda quickly, because the board was barely functioning.

(I mean, they could have moved to a more recent version of vBulletin if they had the hardware to run it on, but it seems dumb to go to all the work of moving only to move to a dying platform.)

This is pretty much my experience too.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t complain if someone comes up with a front end skin that makes Discourse look and work like vBulletin, and that any user can choose to download and install.

Actually we did try to move to a more recent version of vBulletin. Too many things broke during the conversion, and too many things didn’t work the way we needed them to in the new version. It was basically trading one set of bugs for another and wasn’t really an improvement. We needed something that worked, and the later version of vBulletin wasn’t it.

It was actually much worse than most people realize. It wasn’t just spotty and slow. We were rebooting the system at least once per day (often more) and the tech folks had to constantly rebuild and repair databases. Many of those times when people thought the board was just slow and couldn’t get in, it was actually either completely offline during a reboot or one of the SQL databases had crashed.

The goal with Discourse was not to get better software, it was to get working software.

vBulletin wasn’t just barely functional, it was dying, and it was taking the SDMB with it. Many people were so fed up with the problems that they stopped visiting. Our user numbers dropped rather significantly.

It was down all the time. For a while it seemed like every time I tried to visit the site was unavailable. There was a period where I stopped coming and figured the SDMB was over.

I doubt there would be a SDMB today if it had stayed with the same software. When I said in my initial post here that the board is functioning and that should be the end of the story I wasn’t being dramatic.

I get griping about Discourse, I gripe about it too, but lamenting the fact that we’re on it is like complaining about bruises after someone saves your life with CPR. Would you rather have died?!

Yeah, there are lots of things i don’t love about Discourse. I still really dislike the infinite scroll, for example. But it works.

And fwiw, all but one of the forums i regularly visit are now on Discourse. It’s actively supported and pretty robust. That’s a huge value proposition right there.