What should replace phpBB in bitweaver

Created by: Chaim Krause, Last modification: 18 May 2008 (12:40 UTC) by laetzer
phpBB is getting old. There are several open source projects devoted to building the ultimate PHP-based forum. This page is a place to gather information on the various options available, and to compare and contrast the candidates. There is a forums thread and a (old TikiPro) listserv thread about this topic.

The only forums we have working at the moment are phpBB. TikiWiki forums for 1.8 (the bitweaver fork branch) were very ugly, and slow and weren't considered worthy of re-inverting "yet-another forum system". There has been some debate about "replacing" phpBB, which is a non-debate. We are looking for *alternatives*. Some people are stuck with phpBB and love it. Some can't even run it (Firebird people).

To quote a message from spider in the listserv thread above:
A framework inherently allows for multiple solutions. phpBB is very important to some, and incompatible for others. If you have a phpBB forums install with thousands of posts, someone else could make an equally founded argument.

bitweaver was founded on the principle that all needs are considered to have equal value. We must always be able to support solutions such that all needs can be addressed, and simultaneously not be forced to adopt someone else's solution.

There is nothing I would love more than to have an alternative phpBB available that we could offer. I support any initiatives in this area, though have little cycles to burn on it myself.

So, here are the contenda's:

  • PunBB - multi database support, seems to have some serious security issues
  • FUDforum - supports mysql and postgres. no other databases listed.
    (notes from Tinjaw) I installed FUDforum on my website and created some forums for some people to play with. One of the things that caught my attention is the ability to sync FUDforum with email mailing lists and newsgroups. I also has RSS feed creation available. These features alone have me thinking about abandoning phpBB where I am using phpBB stand-alone. I'll post more as I play with FUDforum.
  • MiniBB - supports any php compatible db. Small, quick and easy.
  • ProBB - ProBB is a web bulletin board written in PHP and backed by several databases, including MySQL, MsSQL, and PostgreSQL.^
  • K4BB - has many of the standard forum features, AJAX, support for MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite.
  • phpBB 3.0? - It looks interesting, and a huge improvement over 2.0. Will try to checkout CVS soon and play around with it. — {userlink login='jasp'}
  • TikiWiki Forums - Port the TikiWiki forums, where much work was done on 1.9, to be Liberty based. {userlink login='lsces'} is a big fan of this approach, but unsure of available cycles.
  • UNB - Only support MySQL as far as I can tell.
  • Build our own - {userlink login='drewslater'} did some awesome work on LibertyComments that are inherently a light-weight forum system with nested threads. libertyforums/ would make a fine package but would take a lot of work
  • Tight Integration - Tightly integrat any / all of the above options. Lose integration is functional but makes for a messy DB and will always make the BB system feel just not quite right.
  • Beast - Lightweight Forum

There is a listing of forum software at The Forum Insider.



by Chaim Krause, 04 Jul 2005 (18:45 UTC)
One forum I visit regularly runs on vBulletin. I like its feature set, but it isn't free.

PunBB experience

by Helge Karl, 04 Jul 2005 (19:24 UTC)
I've been trying PunBB alongside the bitweaver phpBB implementation. PunBB is faster, easier to install, has better text wrapping (good if you wish the forum to be slim) and very easy administration. I belive it would be easier to integrate it with bitweaver than phpBB even though xing have made a very useful trick to make it look like the overall styling for the site.

RSS integration

by Chaim Krause, 06 Jul 2005 (01:23 UTC)
I think it might be a good to find one that has tight RSS integration.

Some thoughts about the forum package

by Helge Karl, 06 Jul 2005 (18:14 UTC)
I think the most important thing is to choose one that is easy to integrate and that gives the site developer control over whatever he/she wish to run his site on. The big question is if there is any message board software that can do this better than phpBB. All has its strong and weak sides, but punbb and minibb seams to be able to run on everything and have a more pleasing styling system than the phpbb. I doubt in that it is worth the effort to extend the commenting system to become a full featured message board system. On the other hand, the comment system is great as it is and can stand on it's own legs with possible futher refinements. Some people may disagree with me in this points of view.

When it comes to message boards I like it to be threaded, like in usenet clients so that you se who is answering who. Happy to see that, but maybe not so important though.


A Subscription Based Forum

by Lee LaMont Bell Jr., 17 Jul 2005 (06:12 UTC)
I don't care which Forum packages are included in bitweaver. / I Do think that we need a Subscription Based Forum for / I try to keep up - but we have TOO MANY places to look at every day/week. / A Subscription Based Forum would provide Notification of New Threads when they are Posted / As well as allowing you to turn on/off monitoring at both the Forum Level and the Thread Level / PhpBB - provides email notification / but it is only provided AFTER you make a Reply to a Post / So what are you supposed to do - Be a Lurker and sit in there 24/7 - and if someone asks a question that you don't have an answer to (but would like to) / Send a reply saying / Dahhh - I don't Know / Just so that you can monitor the thread / Sounds simply stupid to me

Re: A Subscription Based Forum

by dspt, 24 Apr 2006 (06:37 UTC)
this can be pushed harder towards TOTAL subscription feature for liberty content. would come in handy after Damian finishes with his liberty-based damoboards. I believe wiki pages and news topics also would benefit from subscription feature.
I've seen e-mailing features integrated to wiki-engine. nice and useful.
At the moment we have working newsletters module and non-functional watch system, left from TW. I think in HEAD release it's possible to add to the existing newsletters module something to work as the mail-based watch.
as a drawback, mail-in feature rises security and identity steal issues...

by MsTeryGuest, 16 Aug 2005 (02:18 UTC)
Since the bitweaver structure is very amenable to having more than one solution, I think more than one should be available.

phpBB has, as far as I can see, a fairly loyal following and it suits the needs of many sites. However, it's way overkill for certain other uses, such as a private site for a small group of people or someone who doesn't want to spend half their time reading manuals trying to figure out how to configure it.

I think another consideration is how it's licensed. The GPL is a great license and has been a tremendous boon to OSS acceptance. However, many companies considering the use of OSS in their own projects shy away from it because of the legal entanglements it may cause with their own proprietary software. Thats one of the factors that led to creating the LGPL and several other "looser" licenses.

For those who depend on bitweaver as a foundation to build upon, or those considering bitweaver for this purpose, the license distinction becomes important. The ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and bitweaver and TikiWiki team realized that as has the Bitweaver team.

It appears phpBB is already working within the bitweaver framework and should provide at least several categoies of users a solution to their needs.

I think at this point the path of least resistance would be to integrate the old forum from ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and bitweaver and TikiWiki. Like Lester, I use the Firebird database and I personally don't think it's a good use of time trying to hack table structures and code in order to shoehorn something into place.

As far as the DB is concerned, with a little bit of massaging the old forum can be integrated into bitweaver. With a few changes made to field names it should slide right in. I can probably track down all the places in the code where those field names are referenced and change them as well. However, I never used ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and bitweaver and TikiWiki and I'm new to Bitweaver. It would take someone more knowledgable than I to take it from there.

Now, having said all that, the big question in my mind is: Is the old ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and ((bitweaver and bitweaver and TikiWiki forum worth the effort to port it over?

phpBB 3

by Jared Woodbridge, 25 Feb 2006 (04:17 UTC)
The next version of phpBB is looking good:

...but there'll still be the problem that it's only loosly intregrated, and breaks continuity with other bitweaver modules. I like the idea of building a new forum for scratch, but doing some things differently to your average forum. IMHO a hybrid system that can be an imageboard, a forum or something inbetween would be cool.

IPB 1.3 or 2.0.0

by t3chb0y, 22 Apr 2006 (19:47 UTC)
some people probably still have older free versions of IPB....

I like its features and would like to see it integrated


by Krisstoffer, 29 May 2006 (18:14 UTC)
After reading all the posts my only conclusion was ugh (:confused:) - my personal point of view on several of the above is rather low to tell you the truth, phpBB will probably be finished by the time its outdated once again leaving it once again feature lacking.....

My suggestion is one im shocked not to see and thats SMF

its free open source ( view TOS tho ) and from the amount of plugins being made ( more so bridges than plugins ) it would appear its easy travelsal across several platforms....

Joomla/mambo, phpnuke, drupal, xoops, modx and various others are already or have already a good working bridge/plugin for this great FREE forum system ( note VERY secure also )
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