Which forum package do you like?

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phpbb2 or simple machines (SMF)?



Re: Which forum package do you like?

On 4 Feb 2007 07:11:09 -0800, rjames.clarke@gmail.com put finger to
keyboard and typed:

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phpBB2 is easier for beginners - it has a vast library of themes and
plugins that are simple enough to install. But it's more of a target
for hackers and spammers, so it needs a lot of active moderation. SMF
is more secure, but less mature - it doesn't have the range of plugins
and themes that phpBB2 does. However, if you're a competant PHP
programmer then SMF is easier to integrate into an existing website as
you can include your own code in the SMF templates. phpBB2 uses static
templates (unless you install a mod), so it's harder to integrate
other dynamic content into it. SMF has a built-in package manager for
installing updates, mods and themes, which, when it works, can make
administration and upgrading an absolute doddle. When it doesn't work,
though (and it can be temperamental on some servers) it's a real pain
in the neck.

Of the two, I generally prefer SMF, but I'm not convinced that either
of them is the best forum software available. I'm currently developing
a site where I'm using Phorum for the first time, and I have to say
that I like the look of it so far. The templates are static, like
phpBB2, so dynamic integration is a tad more complex than it is with
SMF but the overall code is so clean that this hasn't proved to be a
major problem. Phorum appears to be aimed more at the "professional"
end of the market, so installing it requires a few manual config
stages rather than just running an installer, and the default
installation is a lot more plain and simple (by default, it doesn't
even come with avatars and icons) than either SMF or phpBB2 so it's
less suitable for someone who wants something fully-featured and
eye-catching out of the box. But, on the other hand, if you want a
tighter integration with an existing site then that's a benefit rather
than a disadvantage.

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