General

General Articles and Information about Forum Softwares and Bulletin Boards World.

Forum and Message Board Definition

fo·rum (fôr'em, for'-)

From TheFreeDictionary Forum Definition
n. pl. fo·rums also fo·ra (fôr'e, for'e)
    1. The public square or marketplace of an ancient Roman city that was the assembly place for judicial activity and public business.
    2. A public meeting place for open discussion.
    3. A medium for open discussion or voicing of ideas, such as a newspaper, a radio or television program, or a website.
  1. A public meeting or presentation involving a discussion usually among experts and often including audience participation.
  2. A court of law; a tribunal.
According to The Free Dictionary Definition of Forum, that we quote here, a forum is a public meeting place for open discussion. At the Internet era, this definition could still be considered as valid, even if many additional usages have been found.

Internet forum:

From Wikipedia Internet Forum Article

An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. [...]

The Wikipedia Article on Internet Forum is much similar to the forum definition: a public (online) place where people discuss and meet.

Bulletin board system:

From Wikipedia Bulletin board system Article

A Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is a computer system running software that allows users to connect and log in to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, a user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users, either through electronic mail or in public message boards.
[...]

This definition of a Bulletin Board System, that can be considered as the first name given to Internet Forums, is much more global than a simple way to discuss with other people. Bulletin Boards are also a way to read news, play games, as you can do with what we call a "board" in reality.

Theming Drupal Forum to look like phpBB 3

The aim of this article is to describe what we did to vastly improve the default and basic Drupal forum module, only by following the rules of this CMS, meaning that we never modified any existing core files of the Drupal installation. The following tips are just made using the multiple extensibility abilities that Drupal provides by default, because it is never recommended to modify the default files (more particularly when you need to upgrade your current version of Drupal, and generally lose at this time most of the hacks you put in the core system). Our basic goal was to theme Drupal to make it look like phpBB 3.

List of Tips

We hope that the following tips could be interesting for other people that try to use the Drupal Forum module as an official replacement for their existing forum software, and this way, by centralizing all their website data inside of the same application.

Here are the modifications you can expect after some improvements of the basic forum module.

Forum Homepage Before: Forum Homepage After:
Old Community Forum Screenshot New Community Forum Screenshot
Forum Topic Before: Forum Topic After:
Old Forum Topic Screenshot New Forum Topic Screenshot

The default theme has been inspired by the default PhpBB theme, that looks very simple and clear, and could demonstrate that a Drupal forum could easily compete with one the most used forum software. Please also note the first plan was not to use Advanced Forum module, that entirely modifies the basic forum module of Drupal, and more over, not particularly in the way we think a forum should look like.

You want to know more about an improvement we did in our Discussion Forum and that we haven't covered here? Comments below are here for that, so do not hesitate to post your questions and comments there.

Summer Front Page updates

Summer is already well advanced, and most of you are in holidays, but for those who are not, we are proud to show you the new improvements we made on our front page. The timeline and the forum of the year are now on the left column at the top, and up to 15 forum softwares are now displayed in the forum carousel.

Really aware users should also have noticed a small update on the page header 2 days ago. It is now a little bit thin, in order to improve usability for small screens (particularly for laptops, notebooks, iPad and so on).

Note that the Focus on... feature came back from the bottom to the top.

As usual, please report any problem you encounter, and do not forget to take a screenshot and tell us which browser you are using.

How to choose the right forum?

The FSR team is really proud to announce the release of the Guide for choosing the best forum software. This guide is based on a 10-question quiz, that tries to identify and understand your needs to filter the huge existing list of products reviewed here. Some advices and potential matching products are provided at each step, to be sure that you go to the right direction and if your initial plans are really well defined.

Even if a forum could be installed in less than 30 seconds, it is indeed very important to make the right choice since the beginning, because it will definitely define the future success (or not) of your community, and you have to take care right now about some important details, even if they don't look essential for the moment. This guide has been developed in this aim.

How to Choose the Best Forum Software?

Hard to find the perfect forum software in this jungle?
Take out this 10 Question Quiz to discover what forum software can perfectly suit your needs.
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