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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard subnet_rx's Avatar
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    Convince me not to switch boards.

    I've been looking at Ikonboard tonight because I just screwed phpBB up with a hack I installed, so I'm going to have to reinstall it anyway. Then I got to thinking, why am I waiting for the features in phpBB2, when I can get them in another free board now? So, to confirm my thoughts, I thought I would post here.

    Anyone had a bad experience with Ikonboard? The only thing I see bad is the fact it's CGI.

  2. #2
    We are vigilant icehousedesigns's Avatar
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    I used Ikonboard 2.9 beta for a while, now I'm using Beta 3 5.4a. I love it. Now normally I am a PHP kinda person, but in this case, the scripts are well written and performance is wonderful. Not to mention the few bugs I did catch in this BETA, was fixed in no time flat from the excellent dev team.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard subnet_rx's Avatar
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    should I just get version 3.0 beta? Or just go with 2.1.9 for now?

  4. #4
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    <pet-peeve>Ikonboard is not CGI, it's Perl. Perl can be run as aCGI but most places run it as an Apache module (PHP is generally run as an Apache module, although it can be run as CGI as well)</pet-peeve>

    The biggest thing to remember about Ikonboard is it uses flat text files to store data rather than using a proper database. This becomes an issue once you have hundreds of people accessing your forums at once - chances are you'll end up with files going corrupt and your board will break. If you are running a small to medium site which will never have that much traffic (very few forums ever get that big) then the fact that Ikonboard uses text files won't be a problem.

    One reason to stick with phpBB is that you'll be able to keep all the current posts on your forum, I wouldn't imagine there's a way to convert them over to Ikonboard. Also in my experience PHP scripts that use a database are a lot easier to customise (at the code level) than Perl scripts with flat text files - you can just write a completely seperate script that SELECTs straight from the database whereas modifications for Ikonboard will need to figure out the text file structure and so on.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    it's ok skunk, we all think CGI = Perl at some point in our lives
    like skunk said.
    if your going to use ikonboard, wait for a version with mysql support (did i read that one's due out with mysql support soon?), or it's gonna get mighty slow.
    thats my main disgust of UBB, as until very recently, they've used flat files, and had very few features.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard subnet_rx's Avatar
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    yeah, i'm not worried about traffic right now, and by the time I build my community, ikon will include mysql support. thx for the replies though.

  7. #7
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Defender1
    it's ok skunk, we all think CGI = Perl at some point in our lives
    Yah good point, bit hypocritical of me going off on one like that when I thought CGI and Perl were the same thing for over a year - doh! Apologies all round

    Next time I'll go with a friendly explanation rather than getting all worked up

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    even with low traffic flat files are still slower.
    php can create it on the fly much faster than reading/writing those files.
    If i were you, i'd just reupload my installation of phpBB and use that.
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  9. #9
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    I disagree, although flat files are technically slower most web servers are fast enough that for a low traffic site no one will be able to spot the difference anyway (what user cares if a page takes 0.5 seconds longer to load because the underlying software uses flat text files?).

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    well, i'll say that back when i was on my 56k modem, i noticed the difference.
    I posted on 2 bb's at this time:
    One was (still is) www.descentbb.net - a UBB (v 5.6)
    The other was (no longer exists - www.extremeforums.com/www.glidetech.com)
    the latter was vB run. That site tended to load and display the pages a bit faster.
    And, i won't put this off as one server was faster than the other as they were both on dedicated server with relativly the same speed.
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard subnet_rx's Avatar
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    reload phpBB, haha.

  12. #12
    We are vigilant icehousedesigns's Avatar
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    Once again, according to http://www.ikonboard.com , once IB3 goes gold it will have support for mySQL, and several other DB's. All DB mod's are currently in their final stages of dev. now.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    Originally posted by subnet_rx
    reload phpBB, haha.
    whats so funny?
    Defender's Designs
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  14. #14
    Hi there! Owen's Avatar
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    Just nitpicking :)

    Actually if you want to get technical, flat files are the most efficient was to possibly store data:

    Flat file: Read file and print it.
    Database: Open connection, check password, read config, parse SQL command, transation locking, figure out a section of a file to read, print data from file.

    It's when you have to take a random part of a flat file that preformance starts to suffer. So if you only had 20 items on your BB then it could read the whole file into memory and print the correct portion very quickly. But once the site gets large, reading the file over and over and picking the appropriate secion becomes very time consuming hence inefficient.

    I don't think a flat file would become less efficient than a database until you have a few hundred (maybe a thousand) entries (from experience). At about 10-100 thousand it becomes unbearable. However, SQL scales nicely and you won't have a problem until you have millions of entries.

    Owen

    Originally posted by Skunk
    I disagree, although flat files are technically slower most web servers are fast enough that for a low traffic site no one will be able to spot the difference anyway (what user cares if a page takes 0.5 seconds longer to load because the underlying software uses flat text files?).

  15. #15
    No. Phil.Roberts's Avatar
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    iB3 doesnt use ascii flatfiles, it uses DBM which stores data files as binary NOT flat files.

    A dbm files stores data using a key/value. (like perl's hash) By using a mathmatical formua that is beyond me, it creates a unique location within the file to store data. This allows true random access to data, unlike sequential access with flatfiles.

    In a flatfile, you have to keep reading the file in until you find the specified value.



    In any case it isnt the increased processor load involved with using ASCII files for storage that hurts the server, but rather the greatly increased disk I/O requirements.
    Last edited by Phil.Roberts; Sep 13, 2001 at 09:35.
    THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW ARE OLD AND MAY BE INACCURATE.
    THIS INSTALL METHOD IS NOT RECOMMENDED, IT MAY RUN
    OVER YOUR DOG. <-- MediaWiki installation guide


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