[WF-General] The Forums: a failed experiment

Kai Blin kai.blin at gmail.com
Sun Apr 29 07:54:53 PDT 2007

On Sunday 29 April 2007 14:06, Alistair Riddoch wrote:
> About 18 months ago I set up phpbb forum software on
> http://forums.worldforge.org/ as an experiment to see if we could
> build a community of people interested in WorldForge but not
> accustomed to using the communications tools used by developers. I
> also hoped that it would ease the burden on developers by allowing
> people who download and use the software help each other, rather than
> relying on direct support form the developers.

Looking back, I can't really say we got much of a community on the forums. The 
client forums had some threads where simon and erik spent some time fixing 
user problems, but all in all it's not worth the time it takes every day to 
keep it spam-free.

> Going forward I see three options:
> 1) Start installing third party hack and mods for phpbb to make it
> less vulnerable.
> I am very reluctant to try this as the phpbb software is provided
> pre-installed by my ISP, and mods will break or be broken by their
> automated upgrade procedures. Unless someone else is prepared to take
> on the leg work of finding, preparing, auditing and testing mods, and
> passing them to me to install, then this option is not for me.

I agree. You're one of the coders anyway, so all the time you can spend on 
WorldForge, you should spend hacking on e.g. cyphesis.

> 2) Install a different forums software package.
> This would require lots of manual work, as phpbb is the only option
> provided by my ISPs automated software install system. I don't know
> anything about other forum software packages, so would be entirely
> reliant on other people to track down the right package to use.

I don't really have a good suggestion here either. We should make sure that it 
definetely is better than the old solution, or it would be a waste of time to 
set up.

> 4) Shut the forums down.
> By far the easiest option. Unless there is a strong case to be made
> that the forums are currently providing a useful service to a
> reasonable number of people, this seems like the one we have to go
> for.


I think linking the mailing list to a web frontent at gmane or google groups 
should provide people with the opportunity to read / post in their browser.


Kai Blin, <kai Dot blin At gmail Dot com>
WorldForge developer   http://www.worldforge.org/
Wine developer         http://wiki.winehq.org/KaiBlin/
Samba team member      http://us1.samba.org/samba/team/
Will code for cotton.
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