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Old 09-04-2006, 09:59 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Simple Machines Forum software

This appears to be a better choice than phpBB. It seems easier to set up and it comes with an attachments feature. On the front page is a link that says "Show new replies to your posts," which leads me to believe it might have a read waiting feature. Unfortunately, no threading. But phpBB doesn't have threading either. Does anyone have experience hosting one of these boards. http://www.simplemachines.org/
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:50 AM   #2
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This appears to be a better choice than phpBB. It seems easier to set up and it comes with an attachments feature. On the front page is a link that says "Show new replies to your posts," which leads me to believe it might have a read waiting feature. Unfortunately, no threading. But phpBB doesn't have threading either. Does anyone have experience hosting one of these boards.
Not hosting, but since you posted this I have had a chance to visit and play around with an SMF setup and it is very interesting.

It took a little while to get used to its look and feel, which is not only quite different from phpBB but from vBulletin. It isn’t bad, right out of the box. Kind of recessive, in color and style. But I assume much of that can be altered via CSS.

Then it tends to hide its virtues in innocuous little text “buttons” — so it took quite a while to discover that it had the equivalent of our Get Posts / New Posts built in (labeled Show unread posts since last visit). (In fact, I think it behaves even better, as it has never timed out on me as ours does here).

And it has a second function (Show new replies to your posts), so it at least recognizes posters and relates them to the threads.

I had moderator powers, but have scarcely played with them. But the controls to split a thread on right there in the edit window, which is convenient. I have not seen how well they work.

This is free software, like phpBB. Unlike the latter, though, SMF has a decent online manual (which seems to be steadily under construction). There is also a user forum, which I have not explored.

If you pay the developers $50/year, you can have early access to new versions (dubious benefit!), help with installations and upgrades (so long as you haven’t applied any modifications), and faster/better tech support. You also support the ongoing work, of course.

I have not done enough on this to say whether it is elegant and stable when it has hundreds of members and thousands of messages, but nor have I seen any particularly painful things (well, except for an unreadable CAPTCHA image, accompanied by a non- or dis-unctional audio backup).

Oh, and the ability to make smilies or text (or who knows what else!) scroll across the message screen. We here of course would be too dignified to mess around with such things, but it is very easy to do in the SMF software. (I bet the admin can turn it off.)

I have no idea how easy it is to edit the templates and/or CSS. Nor what sort of difficulties changes raise when it comes time to upgrade. But on a fast look, I would say it leaves phpBB in the dust in every aspect except size of the user base.

   
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:46 AM   #3
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I would say it leaves phpBB in the dust in every aspect except size of the user base.
Possibly, but the (very) long awaited phpBB3 is now in Beta2 and looks really very good. SMF is easy to integrate with Joomla! which accounts for a lot of its popularity. My main problem with SMF is that the search does not seem as good as with other boards, frustratingly so at times, because SMF drives the user/developer forum for a Joomla component which I am helping to develop. There is nothing worse than knowing that a topic has been covered but being unable to locate the relevant message/thread.

   
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:22 PM   #4
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Possibly, but the (very) long awaited phpBB3 is now in Beta2 and looks really very good. SMF is easy to integrate with Joomla! which accounts for a lot of its popularity. My main problem with SMF is that the search does not seem as good as with other boards, frustratingly so at times, because SMF drives the user/developer forum for a Joomla component which I am helping to develop. There is nothing worse than knowing that a topic has been covered but being unable to locate the relevant message/thread.
True. And I think it happens here too. Or maybe I just miss using the right terms.

Can one see the phpBB3 beta? That must be interesting.

   
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:56 PM   #5
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True. And I think it happens here too. Or maybe I just miss using the right terms.
I also find searching here to be not very good. Haven't tried it in SMF yet. I'll add that to my list.

   
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:32 PM   #6
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This is free software, like phpBB. Unlike the latter, though, SMF has a decent online manual (which seems to be steadily under construction).
You might be surprised to know that the manual is actually a Simple Machines Forum using the WikiStyle theme. It unrecognizable as forum software with this theme on it.

Here is the theme: http://themes.simplemachines.org/index.php?lemma=46

Here is the manual: http://docs.simplemachines.org/
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:43 PM   #7
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SMF is easy to integrate with Joomla! which accounts for a lot of its popularity.
I also noticed Tiny Portal, which is made for SMF. I don't know how well it works, but I am impressed by how it looks. They managed to avoid that harsh blocky look that so many portals have.

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My main problem with SMF is that the search does not seem as good as with other boards, frustratingly so at times…
Come to think of it, I had trouble searching too. I guess the problem had not sunk in on me. I also noticed controls to adjust searches in the control panel. But if it were possible to dial it in with those controls, why has this setting not become the default. Not encouraging.
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:34 PM   #8
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Default Searching here not very good.

I also find that searching here is not very good.

There is a solution. I just mention something I can't find, but need to refer to, and somebody on the staff usually finds it for me.
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:55 PM   #9
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I also find searching here to be not very good. Haven't tried it in SMF yet.
I don't remember which browser you use. But with Opera, I have a "Search site" button on the tool bar. It pops open a search window, I enter my search phrase, and Google does searches here for me. And, of course, this only works if the place gets Googled.
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:06 AM   #10
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Default But how

How do i set up a Simple machines Forum?
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