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Need Advice on Forum Software

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I don't have any practical experience with Liferay, but I'm considering it for use at one of my jobs. I think it could meet your needs, but it's a pretty complex and broad system, it might be complex to implement what you need, at least vs. other systems that include more functionality out of the box. It's all about finding the right addons, and as far as robust forum functionality I'm really not sure it can fully cover that, except by integration with an outside system (e.g. SMF or PHPbb).

I think it might be best for you to outline your needs with more detail, particularly ratings of importance. It sounds like permission control is of particular importance, for every module, so that's something you should keep strongly in mind. For example I might recommend a CMS like Joomla for its ease of use and huge amount of free modules that cover all your needs, however its user access permission system is not very good at present. So even though it might meet 90% of your other needs, if granular security is as important it seems to be, it might not be ideal. That being said there are addons currently that enhance user permission control, and also upcoming version 1.6 will improve it further at the core (not that you'd want to wait, but you may be able to make do until the upgrade - on second thought probably not something to count on).

Anyway, SMF is a great forum system, but I agree with Mouser, the addon approach is not good. Not sure if the upcoming 2.0 version (currently a freely available release candidate) will fix that or not. I hope so.

The bottom line is I think your needs are varied enugh that a general CMS system might be justified. Look for something with the best community support in terms of documentation, availability of plugins, etc. This is where Joomla rates highly. Because of your security/permissions needs, you'll need to pay particular attention to this.

Above all I agree that you should implement *something* ASAP. Note that there is possible integration between Joomla and SMF with Jfusion, so this might be a good way to start - setup SMF, then use Joomla integration to add other features like file library, etc.

- Oshyan

Thank you for your comment - Oshyan, I think you hit the nail on its head.

Point b.) Preferably it should be able to handle HTTPS, be strong on privacy/security features (no search robots access, invitational password to sign up, if possible for a certain board only), and have fine permission granularity (childboards and even subchildboards with different permissions). F.e. one group of researchers working on a particular project has access to a certain childboard, but not to another one which deals with another topic.

... is definitely the most important for me.

Jbridge to integrate Joomla later is a nice idea. I checked into it and it would also work with other boards.

After Mousers comments I looked into more modern boards with hooks instead of code changes for mods and found MyBB. The default skin is awful, but the underlying board seems very nice. See discussions:

I will try to install it and see how it works out.
I will change themes to:

SMF I installed but I am not very at home with the administration part. Hope MyBB has more options, though the best (option wise) is supposed to be phpBB, but some say it doesn`t perform well and is a hog on resources, but then again other people rebutt that claim.

Now I have uploaded MyBB to a folder on the host which I called "MyBB" and I am trying to connect with ./MyBB/install/ (where the file index.php is located - verified by FTP) but nothing is happening (404 Error) :-[ so I will see if things change (in the root folder I have SMF installed - should work this way - shouldn't it?).



In fact, most forum software can be turned into a social network. bbPress for Wordpress is another one...

From this thread I'd prefer elgg. ;)

I don't know if MyBB has the kind of granular permissions you want, but I know SMF does. Just another thing to think about. I find the admin panel quite easy to use, especially in 2.0...

- Oshyan

rssapphire: has a lot of open source forums, CMSes, wikis, etc. set up and running so people can see what they are like as both a user and an admin.


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