Post by Kami on Dec 26, 2017 19:23:22 GMT -8
I hope you don't take this as rude, because it isn't my intent, but the fact of the matter is: yes.
I know that sounds harsh and may be difficult to hear, but the fact of the matter is the way technology is advancing, there is no point in catering to the lowest denominator of users. This is why support is dropped for older versions of any form of technology. We've seen it in Microsoft dropping support for XP and Vista, websites dropping support for IE versions below 11, Apple dropping support for iPhones older than 5, and so on.
To put it in less nebulous terms, would you expect a motor company to just simply keep stock, constantly, for a very old vehicle? Of course not. After a certain point, there's no benefit to doing this to cater to the handful of people who still own this vehicle. Case in point, I found it very difficult to find a mechanic / spare parts for my '94 Taurus. I don't think anyone here finds that unusual for a 20+ year-old vehicle, even if it was still capable of running mostly on its original bits.
Why then, do people expect it of technology whose obsoletion rate is exponential? Where software literally changes from year to year at best? Especially from a company whose last upgrade was literally four years ago?
To further illustrate this: At work (for clarification, I am a front end developer), we no longer support anything under IE 11. Is this inconvenient for people who don't wish to upgrade? Yes. But the latest version of IE fixes a lot of problems that its predecessor had. Sure, the aesthetic of it is a bit different, but ultimately that is such a minor thing. Eventually, IE 11 will also be phased out, as our analytics indicate IE use is rapidly approaching falling under our minimum required user average to stay supported.
While I don't have access to PB metrics, I hardly think that they would arbitrarily push for a mobile-first upgrade if there wasn't visible need for it. For every person that has thus far stated that responsive views are not important to them, I have seen at least double that number (if not more) stating that the lack of a modern mobile experience was a detriment to their forum's health over the course of the last few months alone. I have, in addition, seen prospective PB customers leave the service entirely once they find out that PB is not compliant with modern mobile standards.
It does not make sense, then, to put off these updates because people are daunted by the prospect of having to learn something new. Communities who decide to mass exodus from ProBoards are confusing to me as well; you don't want to learn something new, so you leave the service for a new one where you will have to learn something new? Plus, they'll find it difficult to stay there because all websites are rapidly recognising the need for mobile-first strategies and are (albeit slowly) adapting. Soon, you'll not be able to find a provider that isn't also mobile-responsive.
PB is also (no disrespect intended, admins) rather behind the curve when it comes to mobile accessibility and function. Perhaps that is not important to some people, but as a company it is in ProBoards' best interest to catch up with current standards if they want to stay relevant in today's online world. Forums as a whole are already becoming less relevant than social media platforms like Facebook and tumblr (both of which have fairly extensive mobile-friendly web versions and apps), so why should PB further alienate themselves from the growing mobile trend?
Lastly, the focus here is so much on the upgrade to responsivity that I feel like people are neglecting the other benefits the upgrade will bring:
- Unlimited plugin space (currently requires $$)
- New emoji / gender options for those who would make use of them
- A better posting experience / WYSIWYG editor
- Language packs to make PB more accessible to non-English speakers
- Admin panel updates
- Easy Theme Creator + default Colour Theory assistance
- Forum wide search feature / upgraded search functionality
- Easier Account Switching
- Updated PB store
Skipping out on the upgrade not only is impractical, but will make you miss out on literally everything else that will come with it in addition to the responsivity, much of which people have complained about!
And, I feel like people are dismissing the assistance that PB volunteers will provide. I know I, along with so many theme and plugin creators, are chomping at the bit to get our hands on v6 so that we can learn it and help everyone else learn it too (and make cool new stuff for everyone to use). No one is going to have to go through it alone.
Anyway, TL;DR: It's impractical to expect PB to not upgrade to a mobile-first strategy based on current trends and yes this does mean that those in the minority of not wanting this will not be accommodated. Ultimately however, everyone will benefit even if it is daunting to begin with.