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  1. #1
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    Embeddable forum software

    Drupal comes with a forum plugin. In that sense the Drupal Forum exists as the contents of a division (in their case a node) or <div> element on the page.

    Most forum packages, like phpBB, myBB, Phorum, Vanilla, SMF etc want to exist as an independent page that generates its own html, head and body tags.
    If you want to embed those forums inside your own CMS it isn't easy.

    You might think you could simply erase html, head and body generation from what ever templating system that forum uses. But then cookies are lost which keep track of too many system critical things. That's not to say hacking an open source forum so it can be embedded inside a CMS is impossible. It has been done. But it does get ugly. The real culprit (from what I've found so far) is the use of conditional

    if(condition)
    header("location: xxxxx");

    .... page branching. If the forum codes in question do not do conditional output branching it's generally not so hard to meld the forum's cookie generation stuff into your own CMS.

    I need an embeddable forum. I'm willing to invest some hacking time. But I'd like to start out on a well-chosen package where the code strikes a good balance between rich functionality and small code base. I don't want to try writing a forum from scratch and I do want built in support for banning spammers, deleting their posts, etc.

    Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
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    i frame?
    HTML Code:
    <iframe src="http://myEmbededForum.com"></iframe>
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  3. #3
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    I should have said I didn't want to go the IFRAME route. One of the problems with maintaining an IFRAME forum is separate styling. It's a giant pain in the butt to have to re-hack the CSS on your forum every time you change skins on your CMS. It's a lot of work to make the two look similar. And they never look the same. You can always tell the forum is a hack. Having glanced at the help and "new feature" request discussions for several well known packages, I see an embedable forum is something a lot of people want (how do I get X-forum to work inside my Joomla or Plone or whatever website, etc). Lots of people want it and it isn't happening yet. There are proprietary javascript-heavy cloud based forums that allow you do this, for a stiff price. I haven't found any open source ones yet....that are embeddable. Maybe it does exist and I'm just missing it so far.

    It also occurred to me I could make this simpler. I don't care if admin pages are their own entity. And I don't really care about login pages and lost password pages either. If display message list, read post, reply and new post were embedded, so they produce no HTML,HEAD or BODY elements, then I'd have what I wanted. And I don't even want private messaging or user avatars and other such frills. I want a bare bones but solid forum that does provide good spam utilities.

  4. #4
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    OK. miniBB looks like it's gonna work just fine.

  5. #5
    From space with love silver trophy
    SpacePhoenix's Avatar
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    Different CMSs often have the ability to use plugins, some of the plugins will allow them to "bridge" to another with varying degrees of functionality. What is the CMS software that you're going to use? Have you chosen a forum yet, if so which one?

    Even if a "bridge" is used just so that logging into one logs you into the other, with some work you could skin them both so the look and feel of them is as close as possible to being the same
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  6. #6
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    RE> What CMS, What Forum?

    I downloaded close to a dozen forums last two days. Looked briefly at most of them. I've been using Phorum for close to a decade now and have an existing board with closing in on 20,000 posts. But embedding phorum is a biiiig lift. It's been done by a few others but it isn't easy. Right now I'm liking miniBB. Hacking miniBB so it becomes a plugin to a wrapping CMS looks pretty straightforward, where doing the same with Phorum is more like crocodile dentistry.

    For my CMS I'm using Robopages. It's the smallest CMS capable of any possible layout. In Robopages all content is a plugin. Nobody has ever heard of Robopages except me....because I wrote it. It's on Sourceforge. Gets about one download every three years. But that's OK. Still a good deal for me. Sourceforge is convenient version control that's always there.


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