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Old Oct 17, 2008, 02:21 AM   #1
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What is your favourite Bulletin Board software, and why?

A friend is really into http://bbpress.org/ but I don't get it. It doesn't seem to facilitate easy forum interaction. Does it even have WYSYWIG buttons for formatting text? Does it email you to let you know someone has replied to your thread? Does it format nicely? I don't think so.

http://www.phpbb.com/ forever in my opinion. Anyone else?
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Old Oct 17, 2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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vBulletin - and it's not free, but it is feature packed, solid performance under heavy load, stable releases not too frequent, very secure, follows DOM standards and is accessibility compatible, plus it has a template plugin and hook system which is the most powerful out there so the core code does not have to be hacked in any way. The themes are also very elaborate with properly used Ajax and the technical support forum is superb. I'll be honest, nothing else even comes close - this is by far the best for the reasons I stated. The standard disclaimer is not everyone needs these features, nor does everyone need to customize using the powerful hooks/plugins system, and of course phpBB has been around so long people want that basic layout as it's most familiar to them.

But when you start looking at performace and features overall, vB rocks. If you want free, and that's all you care about, stick with phpBB as it is the most robust, easily hacked, best supported and simple to use forum out there from the user's perspective.

And, of course, it's used here on macrumors - but I am a licensed vB user on my other forums so I'm not saying this simply because it happens to be used here.

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Old Oct 17, 2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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You know what? This BB is so good I thought it was phpbb. Thanks for your input.

BTW how much is Vb?
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 07:08 AM   #4
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vanilla, or bbpress. both are crazy lightweight and much easier to theme than phpbb and vBulletin
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 12:43 PM   #5
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VBull and IPB.

Here is the pricing for Vbull:

https://www.vbulletin.com/order/
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 06:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tominated View Post
vanilla, or bbpress. both are crazy lightweight and much easier to theme than phpbb and vBulletin
I tried bbpress and it seems like you have to search for the latest plugin for email notification, for smilies, for everything I take for granted. I'm a mac user. I want it to just work. I don't want to have to rebuild half the software from scratch, not knowing if I've got the right software.

We farted around with bbpress for a week, trying to find the right bits and bobs to "make it go". I felt like a Star Trek "Pakledhttp://forums.macrumors.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=6453609", "We look for things, things that make us go".

My mate installed phpbb on Saturday afternoon... I had the forums all formatted and running smoothly within 2 hours. It's a bit bland so I've got to install some themes and logos, but one thing at a time hey? At least it works. And it even has smilies.

Check it out.

http://beyondfederation.com/forum/index.php
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Old Oct 19, 2008, 06:36 PM   #7
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i haven't had a single phpBB that wasn't hacked to all hell.

i've had much better luck with SMF (simplemachines.org)
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 06:06 AM   #8
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zim, what do you mean? That hackers got into the site, or that the ADMIN had to "hack it" to get it the way he wanted? Genuinely interested.

Other questions to Macrumous bulletin board ADMINs

Do you run a lot of forums?

How is SimpleMachines different to phpbb? (Aren't they both based on php language?)

How can you tell if your forum has been hacked?

How do you prevent your forum being hacked?

Is phpbb 3 more "secure" than phpbb 2?

Where can I get the most accurate review and comparison to all the free BB software *as I didn't even know about SimpleMachines and Wordpress when I first started using phpbb.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 09:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
zim, what do you mean? That hackers got into the site, or that the ADMIN had to "hack it" to get it the way he wanted? Genuinely interested.
hackers had "made their mark" on the site, as it were.

Quote:
How is SimpleMachines different to phpbb? (Aren't they both based on php language?)
they're both LAMP, yes. SMF has a lot more features; i'd say it's closer to vBulletin than phpBB.

Quote:
How can you tell if your forum has been hacked?
for those phpBB ones i ran, the obvious ones were when the entire front page was replaced with graffiti. other times, they'd messed up names of each forum (e.g. instead of Site News it was something Hax0r).

the most insidious break-in, which happened on each board and i was unable to totally clear up, was something in the admin pages where, on a page where you could reset the admin password, they'd filled in those fields with their own. success there relied on me to not notice and hit 'update', but i thought it was pretty evil.

phpBB : never again.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 10:34 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Where can I get the most accurate review and comparison to all the free BB software *as I didn't even know about SimpleMachines and Wordpress when I first started using phpbb.
Try forummatrix or wikipedia


-stndn.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 04:50 PM   #11
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Eeeeek!

The ForumMatrix site explained that we'd have to have downloaded 20 or so plugins to get bbpress up to phpbb standard, but then mentioned that phpbb didn't have archiving?

Is that true? I thought there was a way to backup a phpbb site?

I always thought this was not a "permanent" decision, and that if we decided to go with another bb we could always save the database and move across later.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 05:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Is that true? I thought there was a way to backup a phpbb site?
My guess (as I haven't used it), would be that there is no web interface for doing the archive, but you could of course do a manual archive of the database by directly working with your database.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 05:45 PM   #13
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone 3G; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; ISO-2022-JP) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Vendor/DoCoMo Mobile/3A100a Safari/419.3)

I've been unhappy with phpBB, happy with vBulletin (even before it went crazy for social-networking features), and have heard good things about Vanilla, without having tried that one myself.

I've recently had my first experiences with PHP-Nuke, which uses a modified version of phpBB, but have no opinion yet.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 05:50 PM   #14
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Doctor Q, why unhappy?

I'm still confused by that ForumMatrix statement that it had no archive function. I logged in to check, and phpbb definitely has a system maintenance section with archiving, downloading to my computer or archiving up on the site, etc.

Anyway, I don't have much more "RAM" in my head for learning new BB's at this stage... so my group might just have to put up with phpbb for a while until some other open source software reaches complete and utter universal nirvana-hood.

then I'll probably just be able to save the database, upload "Nirvana-php", upload the database, and don't worry be happy.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 06:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Doctor Q, why unhappy?
I think vBulletin spoiled me. In comparison, phpBB lagged in features and robustness, and I was disturbed by reports of phpBB forums being too hackable. I originally picked phpBB based on price (or lack of) and I always had the feeling that I got what I paid for.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 06:38 PM   #16
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I'd recommend Invision Power Board.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 07:08 PM   #17
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But isn't that $150?

I ran a comparison here.

It says phpbb has no WYSYWIG editor but I thought they all had that... you can even install more "buttons" (for Youtube etc) in phpbb if you want, just have to know where to copy and paste some extra code, but it's all in the phpbb boxes and very neat. Hit submit, and there they are... Youtube buttons.

Isn't that WYSYWIG?


Edit to add: One guy at Forummatrix thinks phpbb Version 3 cleared up a lot of trouble with the far more hackable Version 2.

http://www.forummatrix.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=294
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 07:03 AM   #18
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phpBB and vB both have decent WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors and each can be either replaced or enhanced depending on the amount of work you want to put into it. Do not base your choice on just the editor, look at security, performance and features.

I am going to stress that the template/hook system in vB used for customizaion is NOT hacking. This is because a vB owner who learns the system never has to touch the core distribution code which is common in other software. So upgrading to the next vB version is quite simple since the core code is separate from the template/hook system mods. This is a BIG deal to alot of folks, it is to me.

-jim
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 09:17 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SrWebDeveloper View Post
phpBB and vB both have decent WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors and each can be either replaced or enhanced depending on the amount of work you want to put into it. Do not base your choice on just the editor, look at security, performance and features.

I am going to stress that the template/hook system in vB used for customizaion is NOT hacking. This is because a vB owner who learns the system never has to touch the core distribution code which is common in other software. So upgrading to the next vB version is quite simple since the core code is separate from the template/hook system mods. This is a BIG deal to alot of folks, it is to me.

-jim
Yeah. A hell of a lot easier to skin vB. phpBB does not have WYSIWYG though. vB does and it's awesome.
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 12:34 PM   #20
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phpbb is essentially the Windows of the forum world. It gives people the features they are familiar with but it is buggy and a security nightmare. It gets hacked so frequently that many web hosts will not allow you to run it.

I evaluate a lot of graphic artists/web designers and one thing I look for as a red flag is whether they used phpbb on any of their portfolio sites. Sometimes they explain that the client insisted and they used it after informing the client of its short comings, but most are just clueless.

There are a lot of good forum software. Software like bbpress (vanilla, punbb, etc) are designed the way good modern programming is done. It has a lean modular core and requires plugins to customize the functionality. By saying you are unwilling to use plugins you are basically saying you only want to use software that is coded using anachronistic or legacy code. Its akin to saying you want a brand new car while lamenting that the new cars don't come with horses and a buggy whip. If you insist on using a horse and buggy (perhaps your group is Amish) then I'd suggest something like vbulletin (its more the Mac OS 9 in the OS metaphor - old and bogged down by legacy code but still a solid performer), but I would encourage you to look at some of the software written using modern programming techniques and asking yourself why you want everything to behave exactly like phpbb (reminds me of windows switchers who want advice on how to make their mac act like their pc). Sometimes new things are different from old things for a good reason.
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 05:44 PM   #21
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So the guy over at Forummatrix says go for it, version 3 is much more secure, and you say no don't do it it's bad, bad, all bad. Without some kind of independent website evaluation, how am I to know? I'm not a coder, and don't have years of experience using one bb or another.

I don't think your analogy about OS's works. When I buy a mac I want it to "just work" and not have to do all that PC maintenance garbage. When I install a bb I want it to "just work" and not have to do 20 plug ins.

Are you saying the mac OS is no good because we don't have to add-on half of it the way my dad does every time he buys a PC? Is it not as good because it's one seamless unit that "just works"?

The phpbb code might not be as good fine. I don't know one way or the other. All I'm saying is, that's backend stuff. For me the business is in the front end. Can I just install it with a few clicks and it works? That's the litmus test for me.

As for Vb, my WYSYWIG and smilies are not working here today, and that's never happened to me on phpbb. (I'd wink here... if I could).
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 06:08 PM   #22
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phpbb 3 is very secure. It went through a paid security audit to find any loopholes. I think comparing phpbb to windows is stupid. If anything vbulletin is more like windows.
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 06:22 PM   #23
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It went through a paid security audit to find any loopholes.
Wow... I had to type the quote code myself then. VB isn't selling itself today. Is everyone's buttons off or just me?

OK, I'm interested... who ran this paid security audit?
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Old Oct 21, 2008, 11:06 PM   #24
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http://www.sektioneins.de/

This is the company that did the audit.
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