I started a forum using my own sensibilities, which are clearly primitive and out of step with civilized society. I'm climbing the learning curve, but if I can avoid wasting time on dead ends, that would be helpful.
I'm leaning toward phpbb because of its ubiquity and because so far it's been working pretty ok in my tests.
So my question is, if you've opened a forum and chosen *not* to use phpbb, what was the turnoff, specifically? And do those turnoffs outweigh the benefit-to-a-newbie of its ease of installation?
I don't really have much to say about phpBB especially since I've never really used it, but to throw some props out to QSF….
The Template system for QSF is truely a work of art. It helps separate the programming aspect of the site from the tagging of output. It lets you focus on creating the number crunching, query spamming code, then worry about the layout later. It's increadibly easy to skin. Having just spent the better part of a month toying around with MediaWiki and it's hellish skinning style, I'm pleased to say that I'll be stepping away from it to develop a wiki-style articles section for MudBytes from ground up. You can make simple display modifications in seconds. The templates are very nicely organized and takes -most- of the guess work out of picking the right section for the right template :). Not to mention you can get a few pretty good skins for the default. Or of course, you could make your own that's just black text on white background like the site is currently.
Edit: Hijacked the topic to web related to continue discussion here ;) Think the other thread has been derailed enough! :)
My major peeve with phpbb is the difficulty in modifying and/or skinning it. It takes alot of effort to do so and it's likely the entire layout can be botched with one small mistake.
Then there's the constant security problems they seem to be plagued by which IMO is a sign of poor design. Especially when they keep finding them after having gone through a software audit. Having to update the code so often because of that is a real pain because it will often require reimplementing any mods you might have added.
phpbb also lacks any stock support for file attachments, which in the case of a mudding community is almost a necessity. Nearly every other forum package out there supports them. Even phpbb 3.0 will have them, but who knows how long that will be before it comes out of beta status.
So what should you use? That decision ultimately needs to be yours to make. I would suggest hitting up www.hotscripts.com and looking through their PHP->Discussion Forums category and looking over any options you've missed in your testing. There are enough options listed there to keep you busy for several days evaluating.
I also understand you plan to try and maintain the existing data in the Beehive forum you have installed now. If by some chance you should happen to pick QSF, I'd be willing to provide whatever help is needed to convert that data into a QSF database. Adding another automated converter to our installer can never hurt too.
As I said in the other thread, I feel that which forum software you choose ultimately comes down to the personal preferences of the forum's admin(s). I recently went window shopping for forum software and there are tons of them available out there, many with some pretty nifty features, and a few with some downright scary price tags. For the time being I'm fairly happy with IPB, but I'm also not hosting my IPB forums myself, I'm using invisionfree.com. If I can ever figure out how to easily back up all my existing data there for conversion, I may very well switch to QSF which can handle the conversions nicely, has all the features I want except a calendar which I'm told can be added via a relatively painless mod, has a great support team, and a perfect price tag.
When I looked at phpBB I really wasn't very impressed. There are tons of skins and mods for it, and most are filed under "buyer beware". The forum software itself has rather limited controls built in for posting, moderation/admin, and user handling. Creating your own skin changes for it are anything but user friendly. What I can say for it is that it seems to be have pretty small overall footprint and doesn't require an excessively complex SQL database, on the other hand, that in itself could be part of the security flaws and limitations I encountered.
I'd like to point out that all the features listed as No for phpbb really are there, just not pre-installed. There is a calendar mod I've installed before, there are two different image attatchment mods, one uses your server the other uses imageshack. That is the best aspect of phpbb, mods out the wazoo and being produced daily.
Also, it has Phpbb listed in threaded as "No", which isn't right, as they both support threaded messages.
I think the link is only focusing on stock features, so it is correct in saying that phpbb has none of those. Because it doesn't unless you install 3rd party mods for it. Same reason I did not change QSF to say "yes" for a calendar even though there is an existing calendar mod for it. It's not part of the stock package. phpbb 2.x also does not come with attachment support of any kind stock. phpbb 3.0 will, but it is still in beta release right now.
As far as being threaded, I'm fairly sure by that they mean like the TMC forum has. Where you actually get the indented display and all that. Otherwise no, it only supports linear display. MyBB does however support both types, so it would be accurate to list it as threaded. QSF does not support threaded display. And unless I'm blind as a bat, phpbb 2.x does not support threaded display either. Modding it for this doesn't count.