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Last post Author Topic: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?  (Read 9456 times)

40hz

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2010, 11:43:09 AM »
@CT: anything you like as long as it doesn't make more work for you. ;D

I was thinking just something about your goals; how the technology was selected; any design decisions that needed to be made; how well it worked - and what didn't; suggestions for those who want to follow in your footsteps, or branch out from there. Or just a journal where you talk about the experience from a technical and philosophical perspective.

That sorta thing.

Maybe it could be included in what you are making. Something like a designer's page, or the story of how your site came to be. That should also be of interest to your users since somebody will need to take on administrative responsibilities down the road. Almost like your own City of Ember where it's good to know how something first came to be in order to maintain its relevance in the future.

It is a very cool project you're considering. 8)


CodeTRUCKER

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2010, 11:53:25 AM »
SMF is pretty great right out of the box and has proved very stable, and has a wonderful feature set and organization that just makes sense.
...
What this means is that addons and mods are not easy to maintain, and can be a bit hairy to deal with when applying updates to the core forum.
...

That's an important point, and I'd like to add to it from a ServerAdmin point of view.
...
I see a lot more vulnerabilities posted for phpbb than smf.
Now that doesn't mean that it's more secure, it could just be that it's more popular/targeted

Thanks, Gothi[c] and mouser,

I appreciate all the heads-up.  When you say "add-ons" I get a cold chill down my back because I don't know much anything about php.  I have installed one (Spoiler BBCode 1.1.3) to save screen real estate since I often write some very long posts, but that is all the mods so far.  I would like to have a simple "Go to Top" button at the bottom of each thread (each post?), but I haven't found one yet.  Aside from those two (and maybe some smileys) I really don't have a need for anything else AFAIK.

I have noticed how much just plain work is involved.  The good news is it is worth it for me because of what I hope it will become.  Already I have discovered some very special things about my children I did not know they possessed in their writings.  It has been a blast!  :)

Quote
Honestly I think we (especially mouser ;) ) dread the day we have to finally go for a major version upgrade of smf :D


I can only imagine!  :o

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2010, 12:09:46 PM »
@CT: anything you like as long as it doesn't make more work for you. ;D

I was thinking just something about your goals... Or just a journal where you talk about the experience from a technical and philosophical perspective.

That sorta thing.

...  Something like a designer's page, or the story of how your site came to be.
...
It is a very cool project you're considering. 8)


@40hz - These are excellent and very salient considerations! :Thmbsup: 

As you first noted in your comment about, "...not making more work..." I've given up on that!  :P  It just comes with the territory.   :)

My original question to you was "where" I should blog?  I originally thought you were suggesting DC, but now I reread you I can see you are suggesting somewhere in my own cyberspace.  I guess this means I will have to start a new thread, "SMF BlogSpot or phpBB my own web site... that is the question?"  :D

At any rate I'll be sure you have access to the blog or report when it materializes.  Thanks for the encouragement. :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2010, 01:39:09 PM »
FWIW I was thinking maybe a new thread once you got rolling. You could always do a cut & paste later if you wanted to incorporate it into a more finished account somewhere else.

Possibly put it in the Developer's Corner since it is a development effort even if you won't be doing any coding. Check w/Mouser and see what he thinks.

 :)

Thanks for the encouragement.

Thanks for the inspiration.  Like I said, very cool project. :Thmbsup:

JavaJones

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2010, 02:50:18 AM »
Nice thing about SMF, at least as compared to Vanilla, is it will have most of what you need out of the box, so while plugin handling is not great and makes upgrades hard, at least you may not have to have a lot of plugins!

vBulletin is certainly a comprehensive solution (and expensive, considering the quality of free systems), but *man* is it complex to administer. I'm not a fan. I'm currently the admin of 2 SMF sites and a vB site and by far I prefer dealing with SMF despite some of its limitations.

With SMF and *any* straight forum system I do wonder how well it will meet all your needs though. I think all the basic functionality is there, but it's not *designed* to do what you want to do explicitly. So I think a big part of making this work will be figuring out specific techniques, use cases, and methods to take advantage of features and structural functionality to enable your purpose. Example: Use the forum hierarchy system to roughly emulate familial organization, with a different category for each major family branch, top-level forums for each family "root" (progenitor? I don't know the right term), sub-forums for different families down the line, and individual posts for pieces of info on each family or family member. Not that this is an ideal way to approach it, a completely different method might work better, but it's an example of leveraging the existing functionality to achieve good organization and accessibility of the info. Making a clear and intuitive organizational structure will, I think, be key.

You may also end up having to look at plugins like a gallery system for photos (attaching all photos to forum posts may not ultimately be that great for later viewing).

- Oshyan

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2010, 05:54:42 PM »
...
Making a clear and intuitive organizational structure will, I think, be key.

You may also end up having to look at plugins like a gallery system for photos (attaching all photos to forum posts may not ultimately be that great for later viewing).


JavaJones I really appreciate these comments, especially at the outset when mass edits are less painful.  Your comments and others are sparking quite a debate among my family.  It makes for quite a dinner time discussion!
FYI - So far, the "family" consists of only my wife and I and our eight children.

Your comments provoke other questions, but I like the way this thread is heading.  I don't want to derail it, so I'll start another thread that's somewhat related.

brahman

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2010, 11:19:28 AM »
Hi CT,

I am late to the party. There was a similar thread here:

http://www.donationc....msg187798#msg187798

SMF is a good choice. They are straightening out their differences and are going full steam ahead releasing v2 gold.

A system with more hooks (like mouser allured to) would be MyBB.

You may want to incorporate links to Picasa or an online storage system for picture and documents, which may help in spreading the risk of loosing the material over time.
Regards, Brahman

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2010, 01:41:32 PM »
Hi CT,

I am late to the party. There was a similar thread here:

http://www.donationc....msg187798#msg187798

SMF is a good choice. They are straightening out their differences and are going full steam ahead releasing v2 gold.

A system with more hooks (like mouser allured to) would be MyBB.

You may want to incorporate links to Picasa or an online storage system for picture and documents, which may help in spreading the risk of loosing the material over time.

Hi brahman,

Thanks for the links and the comments.  Do you know what kind of security issues (if any) MyBB has had to face?

brahman

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2010, 10:31:50 AM »
Do you know what kind of security issues (if any) MyBB has had to face?

That's kind of a loaded question. In my experience there are die hards for any forum software and they always accuse the other forum softwares of being lax on security.

But my opinion from superficially scrutinizing SMF's and MyBB's record for security *FIXES* would be that MyBB is quicker to respond to any vulnerability that is discovered. SMF's approach seems to be (I am a bit speculating here) that they only respond quickly to truly serious vulnerabilities. OTOH, SMF would probably and rightly respond to this that it is their philosophy to only release thoroughly tested code, which simply takes longer to test and produce. If there is a vulnerability found, they would first describe ways to fix it with a workaround, while working and testing the code to fix the matter completely.

There is a lot of validity in SMF's approach, since forum administrator often shy away from quickly updating (jo - mouser ... what are you running? 1.1.11 ???  :tease:) because of extension compatibility issues.

But just the same MyBB's approach also has merits.

Choosing forum software is not an easy task, because once you have decided,  changing will be laboriously and could bring about complications. Therefore I suggest get your feet wet without putting any money down:
Download MyBB and SMF and whatever else you want to try and get some free hosting accounts: X10hosting and Zymic are probably good choices. Now install the forum software and start setting up your board.

Before you do, spend some time planning out your forum:
  • What topics, subtopics, membership groups etc. you want to have?
  • What features do you want to activate (f.e. karma features, post ratings, etc)? Keep it as simple as possible at first.
I would strongly favor the forum software that

a.) looks the most visually appealing out of the box or with minimal changes
b.) has all the critical administration features out of the box
c.) is easiest to use for you and the user (but please do figure some "becoming familiar with forum software" in general time in this step, it's not like clicking the "start" button in windows)
d.) you feel at home with.

Couple of more points to consider:

The more you start relying on mods and themes, the more you put yourself in the hands of somebody else who may be around a lot less longer than the forum software itself, and this is detrimental to a long range project.

Highly technical security issues are usually beyond the understanding of a budding forum administrator, but I think you can rest assured that both MyBB and SMF have taken security to heart and are good and secure choices in their default configurations.

You may want to keep one trial forum installation for the software you have finally chosen to try new things before you can then with some level of confidence apply them to your live forum.

If you choose SMF definitely go with the latest v2 beta, this will give you no or least amount of headache upgrading when v2 gold comes out (the betas are very reliable and stable).

Good luck - and just remember: The most meaningful experience you will get by simply starting to play with the software - intellectual pursuit at this point has become futile ;).

A joke about that:
Question:
What will a follower of antroposophy do when he is offered to go to Heaven?

Answer:
He will go to a library and read about Heaven.
Regards, Brahman

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2010, 12:30:51 PM »
Do you know what kind of security issues (if any) MyBB has had to face?

That's kind of a loaded question. In my experience there are die hards for any forum software and they always accuse the other forum softwares of being lax on security.
...

I assure you I don't know enough about any of the forum software to be a "die-hard," but I do appreciate your contributions.

Gothi[c]

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Re: SMF or phpBB... that is the question?
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2010, 12:50:02 PM »
Quote
accuse the other forum softwares of being lax on security.

Maybe they are all right ;)
Webapps tend to suck at security in general.  :D