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try_catch_this

What are your recommendations for a PHP - MYSQL based forum.

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What are your recommendations for a PHP - MYSQL based forum running on Apache and Linux. My requirements are : 1) PHP based 2) MYSQL back end. 3) Works on Linux with Apache. 4) Easy integration with existing user registration system. i.e. no need for users of an existing system to register on the forum. 5) Scales from a few hundred (900+) to 10,000 even 100,000+ seamlessly. 6) Easy migration from one LAMP server to another should the need arise. 7) The forum itself should not utilize the tree structure like slashdot.org and others. I detest the tree layout. 8) Easily upgrade able from one version of the forum software to another. i.e. Upgrades don't break existing functionality. 9) The forum itself has an excellent reputation for fixing security holes in a timely manner or at least notifying users that there is a 'zero day exploit'. 10) While I prefer FOSS for this project, I am not going to limit myself to that option. I will evaluate commercial packages. 11) The forum comes with features we have come to expect such as a variety of template icons, active topics, sticky threads, lists msn-icq-aim etc..., and generally feature rich. 12) Finally easily customization of the preexisting forum template would be a plus. It would be even better if upgrading the forum did not affect the modified templates. Wikipedia has a nice article on PHP forums but I don't have the time to evaluate them all. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Internet_forum_software_(PHP) So far my obvious pick is PHPBB but I have heard bad things about its security. (I don't need any 2 am calls about the forum being hacked and defaced.) So what are your picks?

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A quick web search on Google turned these up. That at least says they're popular enough that people are searching for them:

[url="http://www.simplemachines.org"]SMF[/url]
[url="http://getvanilla.com"]Vanilla[/url]

I don't have experience with any forum other than phpBB, and in my experience it was awful and lost information a lot of the time. In fairness, that was over 5 years ago, and it was pre-installed on a free host I was using, and I have frequented a forum running it on better managed servers without experiencing much trouble at all.

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I've always had the best results from vBulletin, which I used from 1.1.3 to the early versions of 3. Haven't done much recently, but I strongly suggest looking into it.

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Quote:
Original post by try_catch_this
5) Scales from a few hundred (900+) to 10,000 even 100,000+ seamlessly.
Don't know about scaling to 100,000+ but we're using the forementioned SMF with N = 10,000+ which doesn't run noticeably different from N = 1.
Runs under Linux/Apache on cheap commodity hardware, no problems ever.

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Thanks for the responses so far.

Scaling may potentially be an issue as the site I am adding this too was able to attract 800+ paying customers in just a short period of time.

I am really trying to avoid the 2 am the "site is down!" type scenario so I just want a bit of breathing space.

I am hoping for a bit more responses so I can use the wisdom of crowds to make a decision.

Regards

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MyBB is the software I use on my forums. It's pretty nice, secure, and best of all, free! If it doesn't include what you want out of the box, chances are good that there's a plugin for it. I don't know about integration with existing user registrations, though.

There's a built in template and CSS editor, and there are plenty of nice template sets and themes to base yours on. 99% of the time an upgrade doesn't affect templates.

It's extremely easy to add post/thread icons, smilies, and BBcode tags.

The only thing I don't like about it is that the default smilies aren't all that good (not that that matters if you're just going to replace them) and they call BBcode "MyCode" for some reason.

</sales pitch>

Edit: Also, the KDE forums recently converted to it, so it has to be somewhat reliable...

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Quote:
Original post by MajorShredd
I don't have experience with any forum other than phpBB, and in my experience it was awful and lost information a lot of the time. In fairness, that was over 5 years ago, and it was pre-installed on a free host I was using, and I have frequented a forum running it on better managed servers without experiencing much trouble at all.
I've been using phpBB for about 5 or 6 years with ~30 users now without any problems at all. The only issues I had was that I had to make a few patches to stop bots signing up, even with the CATCHPA enabled.

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phpBB has good support and is rather robust and should be able to handle some strain. My advice to you would be to use one of the previously mentioned forum engines, as they are documented, have a strong support base, are stable, and have been successfully used by a large number of groups.

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