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SMF or phpBB... that is the question?

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CodeTRUCKER:
...
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 (November 19, 2010, 02:50 AM)
--- End quote ---

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:
Hi CT,

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

http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=20929.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.

CodeTRUCKER:
Hi CT,

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

http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=20929.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.
-brahman (November 22, 2010, 11:19 AM)
--- End quote ---

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:
Do you know what kind of security issues (if any) MyBB has had to face?
-CodeTRUCKER (November 22, 2010, 01:41 PM)
--- End quote ---

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.

CodeTRUCKER:
Do you know what kind of security issues (if any) MyBB has had to face?
-CodeTRUCKER (November 22, 2010, 01:41 PM)
--- End quote ---

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.
...
-brahman (November 23, 2010, 10:31 AM)
--- End quote ---

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.

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