phpFoX 1.6 RC3 released – quick review : vBulletin, FlashChat and php121 support dropped

Update: The final download PHPFoX 1.6 was released in February 2008 and there were 2 important patches.

phpFoX announced the release of RC3 of phpFoX 1.6. Raymond Benc of phpFoX also confirmed once again that they have Dec. 17, 2007 as a release date for the stable build of 1.6

This release candidate of phpFoX has numerous bug fixes and some slight enhancements, but the following announcements stood out:

Php121 Instant Messenger and FlashChat Chat modules replaced by internal Konsort IM and Chat functions. One of the reasons for this is to avoid many of the user session problems people were encountering. By using integrated chat and IM functionality it doesn’t rely as much on interfacing with the 3rd party user management schemes of php121 and FlashChat. This is yet another reason to migrate to these RC versions of 1.6 since phpFoX will no longer formually support these two modules!

Of even more significance is the dropping of vBulletin from the list of officially supported plug-ins – Once the 1.6 stable release is out, that will be the end of the roadmap for phpFoX and vB integration. At least as far as it receiving any sort of official support from phpFoX.

Why? Simple: vBulletin are realising the wave of social networking craze that has swept the web and are implementing more and more Web 2.0 (ugh) social interaction features into their well-established forum software system. As a result, they are quickly becoming a direct competitor to phpFoX … So from 1.6 onwards, phpFoX will be working hard on their very own forum module to compete with the established forum players such as vB, Invision Power Board and phpBB.

I am a great fan of vB as a best-of-class forum and community suite… but I wonder about these players spreading their core expertise a bit too wide and thin – I’m generally for the integration of multiple leading systems than investing it all in one monolithic design and supplier.

Download phpFoX 1.6 RC3.