[WF-General] The Forums: a failed experiment

Gabriel gabriel at darknightpoetry.com
Sun Apr 29 11:21:20 PDT 2007


as for the problem with the irc-chat - how about integrating a java applet 
for irc on worldforge.org?
even those who dont know or dont use irc would be able to get in touch with 
the community then.
however, having forums is very important when it comes to projects like 
worldforge. you should consider different forum software.
take a look at this one:
http://www.simplemachines.org/

for configuration: put account activation by email authentication online if 
you haven't done so already.
should simplemachines not be what you are looking for (take a look at the 
features page), you will find a list of free and commercial discussion board 
software here:
http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Scripts_and_Programs/Discussion_Boards/index.html

i hope this was of any help.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Havenner" <waythingsare at gmail.com>
To: <general at worldforge.org>
Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: [WF-General] The Forums: a failed experiment


>I had the same exact problem with PHPBB in the past two years. Even if you
> lock the forums, spammers will still register accounts by the hundreds. I
> had a site just for three people to use and it was still a major problem.
> I've used PHPBB for about 5 or so years and I've only seen this activity 
> in
> the past 6 months. I think something is terribly wrong with the software 
> or
> these spammers have learned the code too well.
>
> In any case, can I recommend a social networking community as an 
> alternative
> to PHPBB? Three years in eBusiness school and I can tell you without
> hesitation that this is the future of web communication in both the 
> business
> world and otherwise.
>
> I've used elgg for a community and found it to be rich in features, stable
> and free of spam. The "MySpace" approach is already familiar and with a
> cause like Worldforge could make sense.
>
> http://elgg.org/
>
>
> On 4/29/07 5:06 AM, "Alistair Riddoch" <alriddoch at googlemail.com> 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.
>>
>> Spam postings started to appear on the forums relatively quickly, and
>> I made a few changes to the configuration of the forum software to try
>> and mitigate the problem. I have consistently upgraded to the latest
>> versions, and made all possible changes to the settings.
>>
>> While a thriving community seems to have built up around hacking and
>> modding phpbb to prevent spammers having free reign, I can see no
>> evidence that the authors of the software have any interest in
>> adopting these features and changes into the software, so it remains
>> by default so vulnerable to spammers that it is essentially useless.
>>
>> As a last ditch attempt at stopping this abuse, I have now made all
>> account creation moderated. I don't really expect this to work, as I
>> am unlikely to have time to be responsive enough.
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> 3) Abandon the forums to the spammers, and allow them to roam free.
>>
>> Not really an option, as the storage and bandwidth cost me money.
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> Al
>
>
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