5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

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masterkarray
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5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by masterkarray » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:40 am

So I'm thinking of writing a Forum script from scratch, mainly as an exercise since I've been learning Web languages for a while now (still a newbie though :P ).
I'll be using PHP, MySQL, JavaScript (AJAX too) and other standard technologies.

I'm starting to put down some ideas about what I want to do and how I want to do it.
So I'm asking for a little brainstorm/suggestion here: in your opinion, which are the 5 features a modern forum package should not be missing? What functionalities do you love/would love to see when using a forum?

I'd like if you could avoid naming very basic things, which should be obvious enough (account creation&validation, anti-spam, profile customization, social integration and so on) and I'd definitely love if you could suggest original and useful features in a software such a forum.

The more replies I get, the happier I am, so please don't be afraid of suggesting.

Ok guys, your turn!

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david63
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by david63 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:18 am

Not wishing to discourage you from your "project" - but how many years have you got, and how many of you will be working on this project? phpBB has been worked on for something around 15 years by a team of developers and is still being developed.

In my opinion your energies would be better employed creating extensions/styles for phpBB in order to make it work the way you would like.

Going down the route that you are considering means that because it is such a monumental task you will never finish it.

masterkarray
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by masterkarray » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:54 am

david63 wrote:Not wishing to discourage you from your "project" - but how many years have you got, and how many of you will be working on this project? phpBB has been worked on for something around 15 years by a team of developers and is still being developed.

In my opinion your energies would be better employed creating extensions/styles for phpBB in order to make it work the way you would like.

Going down the route that you are considering means that because it is such a monumental task you will never finish it.
Hey there, thanks for the input!

I know it's a big task, but my guess is that from an exercise like this I can learn many things.
I'm not aiming to make the next fully-fledged top-notch forum software, I'm perfectly aware that's a task one cannot achieve on its own in a reasonable frame of time.

I wanted to do something simple to start with (if you have any coding experience, and I'm pretty confident you have, you know that making a very, very, basic board with users, threads and posts should not be monumental task) and add features to test, improve and expand my skills, this is what I was looking here - suggestion on what may I code.

But just for exercise only! I don't aim (not for now, at least) to compete with huge projects like phpBB, vBulletin, XenForo and so on. Though I'm sure, there was a time these projects were very small and basic boards too ;)

So thanks again for your suggestion - worry not, you have not discouraged me :)

If someone wants to chime in, I'm still waiting for ideas based on my opening post! :D

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AmigoJack
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by AmigoJack » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:05 pm

masterkarray wrote:What functionalities do you love/would love to see when using a forum?
Being able to
  • use it with JavaScript disabled,
  • use it with any internet browser (speak: as HTMLish as possible, no tweaks for design, no kludges for features...)
  • search thru it (keywords, negated keywords, phrases, UTF-8, avoiding static sites that aren't searchable)
Most modern BBSes fail with that. Some horribly.

masterkarray
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by masterkarray » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:50 pm

AmigoJack wrote:
masterkarray wrote:What functionalities do you love/would love to see when using a forum?
Being able to
  • use it with JavaScript disabled,
  • use it with any internet browser (speak: as HTMLish as possible, no tweaks for design, no kludges for features...)
  • search thru it (keywords, negated keywords, phrases, UTF-8, avoiding static sites that aren't searchable)
Most modern BBSes fail with that. Some horribly.
Ok, mostly accessibility then. Yeah, that's a great topic that's heavily underestimated. I don't think I'll build with an accessibility-first approach, but I'll keep in mind these things for sure.

Thanks for the input :)

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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by KnownSyntax » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:20 pm

I would say to built it light, and what I mean by that is have limited features (only those needed) and nothing more. If anything make it so that there is a good extensions/modules system that will allow for easy removal and installation of plugins. This will make your forum stick out more, along with how easy it is to write plugins for it.

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:25 pm

KnownSyntax wrote:I would say to built it light, and what I mean by that is have limited features (only those needed) and nothing more. If anything make it so that there is a good extensions/modules system that will allow for easy removal and installation of plugins. This will make your forum stick out more, along with how easy it is to write plugins for it.

kind of like....let's see....,mmmmmmm... oh yeah! phpBB

:lol:

robert

masterkarray
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by masterkarray » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:20 pm

KnownSyntax wrote:I would say to built it light, and what I mean by that is have limited features (only those needed) and nothing more. If anything make it so that there is a good extensions/modules system that will allow for easy removal and installation of plugins. This will make your forum stick out more, along with how easy it is to write plugins for it.
Great suggestion, I agree.

Since I'm not a seasoned programmer I will have to think this through, as I do not have a clear idea how one should implement a modular plugin system.
But I will do my research and this will be one of the thing I will learn and one of thing that will have priority in my project.

Thanks :D

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Lumpy Burgertushie
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:28 pm

download phpbb, install it, use it, go through the code, find out how phpbb does all these things and you will learn how it can be done. I would suggest it is one of the best ways to learn how to design exactly what you are wanting to do.

it is not about being a "fanboy" , it is about the fact that phpbb is one of, if not the, best and most widely used bulletin board scripts around. it is comparatively light weight, has no real "bloat" , has all the basics of what a web based bulletin board needs etc.

good platform to learn from.

robert

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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by masterkarray » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:23 am

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:download phpbb, install it, use it, go through the code, find out how phpbb does all these things and you will learn how it can be done. I would suggest it is one of the best ways to learn how to design exactly what you are wanting to do.

it is not about being a "fanboy" , it is about the fact that phpbb is one of, if not the, best and most widely used bulletin board scripts around. it is comparatively light weight, has no real "bloat" , has all the basics of what a web based bulletin board needs etc.

good platform to learn from.

robert
Yes, I agree with you. There's a lot of thing I can learn from phpBB.

I don't know if you were only talking about open-source boards, but I personally prefer XenForo over phpBB.

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Mess
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by Mess » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

masterkarray wrote:I don't know if you were only talking about open-source boards, but I personally prefer XenForo over phpBB.
I'm guessing about 99% of people reading this thread thinks the opposite is true. ;)

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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by AmigoJack » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:19 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:it is comparatively light weight, has no real "bloat"
I fully agree for 3.0 and only partly for 3.1 - the definition file overhead and the inefficient event system and thus the usage of external frameworks are bloating.
masterkarray wrote:I do not have a clear idea how one should implement a modular plugin system
It's more or less a chicken-egg problem: the software has to provide enough interfaces for potential plugins to access or expect everything. There will always come the point when one plugin meets a condition where the software lacks a specific interface (or the interface lacks a specific communication) and the software just doesn't expect a plugin to jump in in a specific place/time.

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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by masterkarray » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:34 pm

Mess wrote:I'm guessing about 99% of people reading this thread thinks the opposite is true. ;)
Agreed and I think it's quite obvious since we are in the phpBB community :)
AmigoJack wrote:It's more or less a chicken-egg problem: the software has to provide enough interfaces for potential plugins to access or expect everything. There will always come the point when one plugin meets a condition where the software lacks a specific interface (or the interface lacks a specific communication) and the software just doesn't expect a plugin to jump in in a specific place/time.
Interesting thoughts about that. I will indeed go deeper in this at a later stage. Thanks :)

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david63
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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by david63 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:01 pm

masterkarray wrote:I will indeed go deeper in this at a later stage.
Can I offer a bit of advice based on 30+ years in the IT business.

Plan ahead - do not start off and then look at options, get your options fixed before you start otherwise you will end up re-writing/working code. That is not to say that you should not be flexible.

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Re: 5 features a modern Forum package should not be missing?

Post by masterkarray » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:36 pm

david63 wrote:
masterkarray wrote:I will indeed go deeper in this at a later stage.
Can I offer a bit of advice based on 30+ years in the IT business.

Plan ahead - do not start off and then look at options, get your options fixed before you start otherwise you will end up re-writing/working code. That is not to say that you should not be flexible.
100% agreed - with "go deeper in this at a later stage" I meant that I didn't even start planning this thing and I will surely look into this when planning and before starting to develop. My fault, the phrasing was not clear enough :roll:

As for now I'm just collecting interesting ideas on this, I'm not under pressure for this personal project so unlike most things I'll take my time and not rush everything :)

Thanks for the heads up btw! :D

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