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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot SoldierMail's Avatar
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    I'm just curious on everyone's opinion. Personally I love vBulletin but I wonder if UBB v6 is going to out do it?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict isuru's Avatar
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    um... somehow I don't think so. There have been huge debates about this both at http://www.scriptkeeper.com (the home of UBB6) and http://vbulletin.com (the home of vBuletin) and I think most people agree that vbulletin is much better

  3. #3
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    The bottom line is any script that relies on CGI is going to be much worse in terms of speed, efficiency, and backend usability than something that uses a newer technology.

    Not to mention the setup is 100x easier with vb.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard
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    vB is still way better than UBB ever can be, especially with the new vBulletin 2 that is almost ready for an imminent release. UBB 6 includes most of the vB 1.x features - not much more.
    vB 2 includes 10x the features of UBB6, is faster, cheaper and more efficient.

  5. #5
    ********* wombat firepages's Avatar
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    Hmmm just tried to get into devshed, who run VB - this is perhaps the 3rd or 4th time it has been down in the last 2 months (or since they switched from UBB).

    Hotscripts forums closed for (among other reasons) I believe the fact that VB used to play up an awful lot.

    I have to say that sitepoint is the only really busy VBulletin forum I know of that does not appear to suffer with any problems (that are apparent).

    Looking at VB code, its excessive use of templates and the fact that it destroys the advantage offered by MySQL's raw speed, by making far too many queries for any said page view.

    In other words.... I am beginning to think that VB is fine for small/medium sized forums but may not be the best choice for larger ones? unless the server is top notch and the admins are handy with a bit of tweaking/optimising/re-indexing etc.
    The bottom line is any script that relies on CGI is going to be much worse in terms of speed, efficiency, and backend usability than something that uses a newer technology
    if used properly

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Well, Gameplays huge forums don't seem to have any apparent problems. Or do they?

    http://forums.gameplay.com/
    "Some people play hard to get - I play hard to want."

  7. #7
    I'm a college yuppie now! sbdi's Avatar
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    gameplay forums take years to load for me some times and can take between 3 and 12 minutes for the post screen to come up
    Back Again

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Oh, ok. I haven't noticed that. I don't visit the forums that often. The index page takes some time to load, but that is simply because it is so huge.
    "Some people play hard to get - I play hard to want."

  9. #9
    ********* wombat firepages's Avatar
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    look carefully and you will see that it is not! , see how many of the posts can actually be viewed.
    Only a small % of the 1 million + posts can actually be viewed. (not that you would want to read them all!)

  10. #10
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I'm one of the admin on the gameplay forums (I'm responsible for some of the templates and look-and-feel stuff, alkthough the technical side i.e server administration is done by someone else) and I can tell you that we have severeperformance problems with vBulletin. These occur between 6pm and 11pm GMT - which co-incides with off-peak (i.e free) internet access in the UK. Basically at 6pm a huge number of users log on simultaneously and completely flatline our database server.

    Running UBB is not an option - we used to run UBB but as the amount of traffic on our boards rose we began to suffer more and more corrupt files. UB stores everything flat file which helps in some ways (as viewed threads are actually static HTML pages rather than being dynamically generated) but eventually the number of simultaneous users meant file locking just couldn't keep up and we started losing quite a lot of data to corrupt files.

    Our resident PHP/mySQL expert (I'm still very much learning) has written a large number of tweaks to help performance - for example he has reduced the number of database calls on the front page from almost 140 to 7 (this is down to badly written SQL in vBulletin itself) - however vBulletin 2.0 is supposed to have completely re-written the database engine and we are hoping it will provide the performance we need.

    Despite our problems I thoroughly recommend vBulletin as a piece of software - very few sites have nearly as much traffic as our forums (which generate in excess of 7 million hits a month) and the software is extremely flexible, generally well written and easy to setup and modify. vBulletin 2.0 looks like it could finally sort out the problems we've been having.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Well, I can't argue with that, now can I?

    BTW. Is there a smart way to count the number of database calls in a script? Getting this information in a simple way would very much simplify optimizations. As of now, I'm simply guessing .
    <Edited by Rickard on 01-28-2001 at 06:39 PM>
    "Some people play hard to get - I play hard to want."

  12. #12
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Rickard - I'm no uber-techie (wish I was) but I've seen the guy who does our optimisations do something like this. I don't know how he did it but he managed to get a console window up that showed him the SQL calls made when he refreshed a page in the browser - I assume this is a tool that works with mySQL on linux.

    That's probably what you need - hopefully someone on here will know how to do it

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Ok, I tried to open WinMySQLadmin and looked at the questions value and how it increased after a page-refresh. I guess this equals the number of database calls. Am I right?

    I have however noticed that there is a comment at the bottom of vBulletin-pages that looks like this:

    <!-- Page generated in 0.131867 seconds with 18 queries -->

    I took this of the index page at vbulletin.com/forum/. Does this mean that it made 18 database calls? If so, the 140 you spoke about seem a bit high.

    Deos anyone know how vBulletin counts the queries and spits out that debug-info at the bottom?
    "Some people play hard to get - I play hard to want."

  14. #14
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Oooh - never noticed that benchmark before.

    I think our huge number of database calls stemmed form us having a huge number of forums - the gameplay forums front page lists over 150 forums so it seems like the vBulletin code does a query for each of those forums in turn (to get name, last post etc).

    My SQL isn't brilliant but I'm sure you can do this more efficiently with table joins - and I'm pretty certain that's what our web programmer did.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thats what I do now in my own forum software. I really have to learn more about things such as joins and indexes. Anyone have any good tutorials on this to recommend?
    "Some people play hard to get - I play hard to want."

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by Rickard
    Ok, I tried to open WinMySQLadmin and looked at the questions value and how it increased after a page-refresh. I guess this equals the number of database calls. Am I right?

    I have however noticed that there is a comment at the bottom of vBulletin-pages that looks like this:

    &lt;!-- Page generated in 0.131867 seconds with 18 queries --&gt;

    I took this of the index page at vbulletin.com/forum/. Does this mean that it made 18 database calls? If so, the 140 you spoke about seem a bit high.

    Deos anyone know how vBulletin counts the queries and spits out that debug-info at the bottom?
    I believe that is one of the new features in vBulletin 2 - the database abstraction layer that vB uses counts the number of queries and sends it out to the end of each page.

    vB 2 is very much more optimized than any other version.
    For some busy vB forums, check:
    http://were-here.com/forums
    http://animeboards.net

  17. #17
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Other big vBulletin forums are located at http://www.fanhome.com and http://www.bigbigsavings.com.

    Bigbigsavings has problems once they get to about 300-450 concurrent users. Fanhome.com ported vBulletin to Sybase because MySQL can't support their 1.2 million posts and 17,000 plus users.

    I have used vBulletin 2.0 extensively in both public and private beta sites and find it to be far superior to UBB in any form. On vb-world.net, 2.0 can return a search result set of 6000+ records in less than .1 seconds and have it on your screen 10 seconds later.

    vBulletin 2.0 also supports gzip compression which means instead of a 60K download of the main page here at SitePoint you will only have to download 25-30K and your browser will unzip the HTML behind the scenes resulting in better bandwidth usage and a speed increase for everyone including Dial-up users.

    Many other features have been added to vBulletin with little decrease in performance. In most case there is an increase in performance and the ability to handle larger loads because global information is truly global through the use of sessions.

    More information is also available to the Forum Administrator so that they can make advanced templates that the end-user can appreciate.

    2.0 supports style sheets which allow you to pick a look and feel from those offered. It can also be easily modified so that you can pick your own colors if the System Admin desires such.

    There is much more.. Check out http://vbulletin.com/forum/ for more information.

    From what I have seen of UBB6, you should just save the money and stick with 5.47.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  18. #18
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Skunk
    Oooh - never noticed that benchmark before.

    I think our huge number of database calls stemmed form us having a huge number of forums - the gameplay forums front page lists over 150 forums so it seems like the vBulletin code does a query for each of those forums in turn (to get name, last post etc).

    My SQL isn't brilliant but I'm sure you can do this more efficiently with table joins - and I'm pretty certain that's what our web programmer did.
    This must have been a old version of vBulletin... In version 1.1.4 the main display was reduced dramatically.


    In version 2 a forum the same size as SitePoint would render the ForumHome page with

    Page generated in 0.194731 seconds with 21 queries


    A Page with 40 threads on it

    Page generated in 0.200505 seconds with 24 queries


    A Page with 25 posts on it.

    Page generated in 0.038808 seconds with 9 queries

    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I don't think vBulletin can necessarily be blamed for some of these performance issues. Their code, from what I understand, has been fairly optimized since 1.14.

    I will say this: performance issues or otherwise, you sure as heck can't recommend UBB to a large forum.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Originally posted by James
    I believe that is one of the new features in vBulletin 2 - the database abstraction layer that vB uses counts the number of queries and sends it out to the end of each page.
    Yeah, but the "Generated in ..." appears on vBulletin.com's support forums and they're run on vB 1.1.5, so it's not only a vB 2 feature.
    "Some people play hard to get - I play hard to want."

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard jumpthru's Avatar
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    Originally posted by W. Luke
    Originally posted by Skunk
    Oooh - never noticed that benchmark before.

    I think our huge number of database calls stemmed form us having a huge number of forums - the gameplay forums front page lists over 150 forums so it seems like the vBulletin code does a query for each of those forums in turn (to get name, last post etc).

    My SQL isn't brilliant but I'm sure you can do this more efficiently with table joins - and I'm pretty certain that's what our web programmer did.
    This must have been a old version of vBulletin... In version 1.1.4 the main display was reduced dramatically.


    In version 2 a forum the same size as SitePoint would render the ForumHome page with

    Page generated in 0.194731 seconds with 21 queries


    A Page with 40 threads on it

    Page generated in 0.200505 seconds with 24 queries


    A Page with 25 posts on it.

    Page generated in 0.038808 seconds with 9 queries

    This is a interesting thread...

    Wayne: Where do those numbers come from? They seem unrelated to the actual number of items on the page...?

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by Rickard
    Originally posted by James
    I believe that is one of the new features in vBulletin 2 - the database abstraction layer that vB uses counts the number of queries and sends it out to the end of each page.
    Yeah, but the &quot;Generated in ...&quot; appears on vBulletin.com's support forums and they're run on vB 1.1.5, so it's not only a vB 2 feature.
    They are actually running vB 2 now

  23. #23
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff - I should definitely stress btw that I am not the main administrator for the gameplay.com forums (as was hinted at in the SitePoint tech times) - I help maintain the templates and other 'super moderator' duties but the actual administration of the server and overall forums is down to two other people.

    I'd love to know more about the Sybase move made by fanhome...

  24. #24
    Database Jedi MattR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Skunk
    I'd love to know more about the Sybase move made by fanhome...
    What would you like to know?


  25. #25
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I sense a tip off there...

    May as well chuck in a few questions then - any answers will be passed on to our forum tech heads.

    1. How hard was it to convert the scrip over to using Sybase rather than mySQL?

    2. How significant were the speed enhancements gained?

    3. With hindsight... was it worth it?

    Very nice forum set up btw - /me bookmarks


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