November 11, 2003

Wanted: Web Discussion Board Software That Doesn't Suck (and groks RSS)

I'm looking for high quality web discussion board software. A lot of what I've seen so far sucks in one way or another. Here's my wish list:

  • Open Source
  • Written in Perl or PHP (not an absolute requirement, but it'd be nice)
  • Look and feel controlled via CSS, not a horrid mess of tables and font tags
  • Avatar support
  • A built-in simple registration system
  • Good RSS support. This is a deal breaker if it's not there. I'm sick and tired of discussion software that doesn't output RSS. I have no time to visit every forum I care about on a daily basis. Computers should make my life easier, dammit! I want a feed per-thread, a feed of new posts, and a feed per-board. Bonus points for full posts in RSS rather than just summaries.
  • Uses MySQL as the back-end database
  • Avatars
  • Does anyone have this one? Integration with PayPal. I'd like the ability to have forums that are not free. Given PayPal's cool API, this shouldn't be hard to do but I don't know if anyone has done it yet. Processing payments by hand is so lame.
  • E-mail integration. A user should be able to say "notify me via e-mail if someone responds to my post."

There's probably other stuff I'd like to have too, but those are probably the major points.

If you know of anything that qualifies (or comes close), I'd love to hear about it. Bonus points if you can point me at an on-line community that's already using it.

I'll update this post if I've realized I've forgotten something significant or said something dumb.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:26 PM