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The_Neverending_Loop

[web] Is it possible to make...?


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Hey I just wanted to know peoples opinion, I've never tried it but Ive been thinking about taking one of my weekends and trying to make a very bare bones type forum from scratch using PHP, and see if I can finish it
within that weekend, I wanted to know how many people think it would be possible, and if there are any "cheat sheets" or references on the internet I might be able to refer to save me some time and possible headache, I never tried created one before so Iama just make up everything as I go.

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You must make a very simple forum with almost no complicated features at all. You also need to have good knowledge of PHP because you will have little time to learn. Then you might have chance to finish it in one weekend.

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Is it possible? Yes. Will it be worth a damn? No. I know its possible because I've done it before. But what I built was ugly and had no features.

Why, my I ask, are you doing this? There are several free php forums already available.

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Possible? Depends on your definition of bare-bones. To me, bare-bones means simple user management, forum groupings, and simple threaded topic listing with only the ability to add new topics and responses. I think that could all be done in 16 hours by someone with good SQL knowledge and PHP knowledge.

If you want something more functional for people to actually use, then No. You need to add certain features that makes a forum usable (like searching, tracking, and rich posting features). That takes more time.

I'm assuming you are doing this as a exercise because as Cygnus_X mentioned, there is a boat-load of free PHP forums already available.

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The reason I bring it up because Iam in need of a forum that is flexible and will be able integrates with the features and back end on my site more then I need a forum thats has all the bells and whistles

now call me lazy, but I would MUCH prefer NOT to do everything myself, thats where the second part of the question came from where I asked if there are any good cheat sheets? I should of probably used a better word but what Iam basically asking is if anyone can recommend me a php forum that is easily customizable to suit my needs I will be more then estatic.

But being that the forum I have in mind is going to be pretty basic to begin with I dont necessarily wanna spend 2 weeks+ learning how to modify their forum code before I could even get started coding my own. Which might be quicker If I do it from scratch in that case.

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Um this is very possible. In fact, getting just a bare bones "forum" up and running should take about an hour. All you would need are a couple tables for posts and categories and a page to interact with those tables. Voila, a forum.

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I'd recommend learning how to use some existing system rather than writing your own. An experienced developer should be able to pick up at least the basics of an existing system within a couple of weeks, while unless you're willing to just create something very basic and then leave it as-is (i.e. no bug fixing or updates) you would almost certainly end up spending longer than that working on your own system.

Remember, when rolling your own you not only have to account for time in researching and developing the code, but should also account for bugs, the security holes that will inevitably appear, new features you might need, etc.


That being said, what features do you actually need, and what existing functionality do you need to integrate with? How much traffic do you expect to have to handle? When you say you need your forum to be "flexible", what do you mean by that?

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I understand the concern here. You have a site w/ your own user DB you've worked hard to customize for your site, and just want a forum that can pull from your existing UserName/Password Table. I agree that this should be do-able.

You may want to try something like vanillaforums.org or simpleforumphp.com. I have not tried this myself, but suspect it would be easier to modify the source code of these as compared to something like phpbb.

On an interesting side note, I will probably look into integrating one of these softwares to my site.... so I'd be interested in hearing of your experience.

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I second the 'try not to re-invent the wheel' approach, unless it's for pure excercise, or you have a damn good reason (yours is gonna be state of the art, you plan to make some killer app, etc. or.... 'cause you can, you want to and you will;)').

Did you code 'your stuff' using raw PHP, or some framework? If the latter there's most likely some sort of basic forum plugin / addon or community discussions which would get you started.

As for phpBB, I integrated phpBB 3.0 with a Symfony 1.2 app once - one login / logout (session), profile and some 'for authenticated users' features handled through sfGuard profile, phpBB 'doing the forum bits' only, forum accessed 'sf route style' - so you can, but I bet there is some more nifty package out there, especially if you're looking for something basic. On a side note, I personally hate phpBB;)

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