I discovered something interesting while evaluating VanillaForums. Apparently it doesn't have user selectable themes, only admin selectable themes for everyone. (I believe phpBB has this feature.) I see that on VanillaForums own support forum there are requests for this feature but it doesn't seem to be forthcoming.
I wonder if this is because Vanilla is an embeddable forum and it would make sense to "lock down" user theme switching in an embedded context. However I don't see why it can't be an option in the admin panel that can't be turned on or off.
Also, been looking at Vanilla's SSO (single sign on) plugin which allows vanilla to authenticate via 3rd party systems (for instance Wordpress). However they also have SSO for Google and Facebook accounts as well. Might be useful to have. There are some pitfalls of course, for instance if you make your forum authenticate to wordpress and then delete your wordpress site then you've effectively DoS yourself. So I will keep thinking about that one.
Do you think you will be able to avoid ruling out these options with your forum? Just a thought.
I will be having selectable themes for both admins and users and there will also be an option for the admin theme to override any user selected themes.
I've also looked at SSO and have implemented it in other projects. I am thinking that A Simple Forum will allow admins to add any service they want such as twitter, facebook, github login etc. Not sure how I am going to go about this yet but it is on the road map.
Did some work on the layout today. Mobile devices and other small/medium size devices should not display properly.
This hasn't been deployed yet as I have reworked some of the database and haven't gotten around to changing the production database yet. Will let you know when that happens.
I also added notifications so when you like someones post or mention them in a post they will be notified.
I have been thinking recently (today :P). I originally built A Simple Forum to be an innovator and bring forums into the modern age. Unfortunately I don't think that is going to happen with the current state of the forum.
So I have decided to recode it and use NodeJS. This, coupled with tech such as Socket.io, would update the current forum trend and offer a real time experience.
What do you think?
What are the perceived benefits of using NodeJS for server side as opposed to Symphony/PHP? What problems does it solve? I don't know much about NodeJS nor Socket.IO but what does Socket.IO offer that ajax does not?
Originally Posted by doddsey_65
I had some reservations about PHP myself but I know its ubiquitous and puts fairly low demand on server side resources. What is the availability of libraries and plugins for NodeJS?
Going the NodeJS route may limit market penetration as I don't think that many of the basic shared hosts don't offer it. How much would a NodeJS enabled server cost on, say, Hostgator or GoDaddy?
In terms of solving things it probably doesn't. I chose Node and Socket.io so I could build a forum with real time aspects such as notification popups as they happen, realtime chat modules etc. Sure I could achieve this with PHP and Ajax but I would have to resort to server polling which would be a bigger strain on the server.
In terms of shared hosting I'm not too concerned about it. I want A Simple Forum to use alot of modern tech (You will even need IE10 just to view the forum :P). Besides, you can pick up a good VPS for $5 a month these days.
Hello again. I know I have been gone for a while but I would like to show you all the new version of the forum. I have kept the old website (and repository) online as a backup and the new site can be found at http://18.104.22.168/ (No proper URL yet).
It uses NodeJS and Socket.IO to provide a real time experience. As you navigate around (some pages are still missing compared to the PHP version) you will notice there are no page refreshes. This was an important thing for me especially when creating a real time application.
When you visit the site you are automatically subscribed to certain events (only 2 so far). These are new topics, and user logins. When a user logs in their name will appear in the online user list automatically. If you happen to be viewing a forum and someone makes a new topic, the topic will also pop in automatically.
A new feature I have introduced is the way that new topics and posts are created. When you click the "new topic" button you don't get the usual modal popup. Instead you are taken to a page that resembles the topic. Simply click on the default name and default post body to change it and then click save. I feel this little feature will help with the flow of the site so let me know your thoughts.
It is still quite basic and you can't do a lot besides create topics and posts (and login/register) but the core framework is shaping up nicely.
I have a lot of new ideas which implement the real time aspect. For example when I implement a friend/follower system. When you login your friends will receive a popup to say that you have logged in, or when you create a new post they will get an instant popup. Or when you mention someone in a post (yup they will get a popup!). These options will of course be configurable for the specific user.
Just out of curiousity, have you had a look at NodeBB?