Unclassified NewsBoard Review

(November 14, 2008 15:14)
Last Version 1.6.4 (September 9, 2007). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website Unclassified NewsBoard Website Download Download...
Price Free.
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What is Unclassified NewsBoard?

The Unclassified NewsBoard (short UNB) is an open-source, PHP-based forum software, that tries to be revolutionary in the way you are using it. As a good example, administration and the forum itself are merged, and you will discover really intuitive and ergonomical actions where they should be.

To be honest, the project is really complete, and even if we are still waiting for UNB 2 (no release date for the time being), this is a real pleasure to review this kind of project.

Review Updates:

ul>
  • April 6th, 2010: Review Update with Unclassified Newsboard, development version (2010.03.24).
  • Unclassified NewsBoard is recommended for Medium Community.

    (and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

    Server & Client Requirements

    Server Requirements
    Programming Language
    Required Architecture and Versions.
    • PHP 4
    • PHP 5
    Web Servers
    How the forum is delivered to users.
    • Apache 1.3
    • Apache 2.0/2.2
    • Microsoft IIS
    • Lighttpd
    • Nginx
    Databases
    How Forum Data are Stored.
    • MySQL
    Operating Systems
    Systems Supporting this Software.
    • BSD UnixBSD Unix
    • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
    • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
    • Apple Mac OSApple Mac OS
    Browser & Client Requirements
    Compatible Browsers
    List of Compatible Browsers.
    Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
    Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
    Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
    Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
    Required Plugins/Technologies
    Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
    Javascript, AJAX.
    Localization
    Languages supported by Unclassified NewsBoard.
    Yes.
    Supported Languages:
    Portuguese (Brazilian) Chinese (Simplified)
    Czech German
    Danish Spanish
    French Italian
    Magyar Dutch
    Norwegian Polish
    Portuguese Romanian
    Serbian Russian
    Swedish Thai
    Turkish English (British)
    English (American)

    As a LAMP-based forum software, Unclassified Newsboard will run fine anywhere you could install a PHP runtime and a MySQL server.

    Compatibility with Smartphones
    Compatible SmartPhones
    Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
    No.
    Application Distribution / Type
    How it is distributed / App Store Availability
    No.

    Forum Threads & Posts

    Forum Threads / Topics
    Forum Style Flat Forum Organization
    • Forum Categories
    • URL Redirection Forum
    • Sub Sections
    Thread Icons No Topic Tags -
    Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
    Hidden Topics Yes Sticky Threads Yes
    Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads No
    Announcements -
    Posting Messages / Answers
    Message Editing Form
    How to Post Messages.
    • Formatting Buttons
    • Preview Button
    Post Editing Format
    Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
    • Plain
    • BBCode
    Spell Checker
    Checks typos on posts and topics.
    No
    Image Attachment
    How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
    No.
    Embedded Videos
    Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
    No.
    Posting Features
    Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
    Attachments Yes Syntax Highlighting Yes
    Message Rating
    No Message Quoting Yes

    The syntax highlighting uses the GeSHi system, that supports a long list of languages (Python, C++, Java, PHP, HTML, CSS,...). New languages can be installed directly into Unclassified Newsboard by putting the GeSHi template files into the unb_lib/geshi folder of your local installation.

    Additional & Technical Features

    Additional Forum Features
    Poll Creation Yes
    Private Messages
    Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
    No
    Instant Messaging
    Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
    No
    Calendar
    Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
    No
    Online Users List
    Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
    Yes
    Members List
    Search and Consult the List of Members.
    Yes
    Technical Features
    Bundled Software
    Additional Software Available with the Forum.
    No.
    RSS/Atom Syndication
    Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
    R
    Friendly URLs
    URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
    Yes
    Post by Email
    Post Directly From your Email Box.
    No
    Remote Control
    Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
    No.
    Cache System
    Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
    No
    Template Engine
    It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).
    • Custom Template Engine

    To activate the friendly URLs, simply sets up the named_urls in the configuration file of UNB (board.conf.php).

    User Profiles & Options

    Some details about Unclassified NewsBoard features regarding members.
    Member Options & Features
    Bookmark Threads
    User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
    Yes
    Email Notifications
    Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
    Yes
    Export private messages
    Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
    No
    Payment Subscriptions
    Paying Membership Subscription.
    No
    User Profiles
    User Profile
    User Information and Settings.
    Yes
    Avatars
    Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
    Yes
    Signature
    Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
    Yes
    Ranks
    Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)
    No

    Note that Unclassified Newsboard integrates Jabber notifications when a new message is posted. This is really powerful compared to the classic email notifications we see everywhere.

    Moderation & Users Management

    Moderation & Threads Management
    Moderation No.
    Moderator per section No
    Global Moderator No
    Move Threads
    Move Threads from Topics
    Yes
    Shadow Topics
    When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
    Yes
    Close/Lock Threads
    Close/Lock Problematic Threads
    Yes
    Users Management
    User Groups
    Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
    Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
    No
    User Registration No.
    Limit Features For New Users
    Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
    -
    Guest Posting Yes
    Multiple Administrators Yes
    Send Warnings to Users
    Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
    No
    Forum/Section Restricted Access
    ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
    Yes
    User Banishment Yes

    Administration & Support

    Most optional administration features could be added with additional plugins, following the primary purpose of Unclassified Newsboard.

    Database Management
    Backup Database
    Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
    Plugin
    Prune Database
    Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
    Plugin
    Restore Database
    Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
    No
    Administration Tools
    Statistics
    Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
    Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
    Forum Logs could be consulted.
    Plugin
    Tasks Scheduler
    Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
    No Mass Mailing
    Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
    No
    Installation & Upgrading
    Installation Method
    How this forum software could be installed.
    Installation Wizard
    Upgrading Method
    How this forum software could be upgraded.
    Upgrade Wizard
    Updates Notifications
    The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
    Yes
    Forum Migration
    Convert an existing forum to Unclassified NewsBoard.
    Yes.
    • Invision Board 1.1.2
    • phpBB 2.0.x
    • Woltlab Burning Board 1.x

    Security & Spam Protection

    Security & Spam Protection
    CAPTCHA
    Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
    e.g., Syndicate
    Yes
    Abnormal Behavior Detection
    Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
    -
    Words Filtering
    Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
    Plugin
    User Blacklist
    Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
    No
    IP Blocking
    Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.
    No

    Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

    Secunia Criticality

    Secunia Advisories severity affecting Unclassified NewsBoard.

    Vulnerabilities Impact

    Secunia Impact

    Secunia Advisories impact affecting Unclassified NewsBoard.

    Customization & Social Networks

    Customization
    Plugins
    Add new features to your forum installation.
    Yes.
    Themes
    Modify the style of your forum easily.
    Yes.
    Custom BBCodes Plugin Smiley Packs Yes
    Custom
    Thread Icons
    No Additional User Profile Fields
    Ask more about your members with custom fields.
    Plugin
    Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
    Social Networks
    Users can share information from their social network account...
    No.
    CMS / Blog Bridges
    Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
    No.
    User Accounts Integration
    Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
    No.
    Content Aggregation
    Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).
    No.

    Words Filtering is supported using the plugin wordfilter that is not enabled by default.

    W3C Norms & Accessibility

    Norms & Accessibility
    HTML / XHTML Markup
    XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
    XHTML 1.0 Transitional
    Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
    CSS Stylesheets
    CSS 2.
    CSS 2
    Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
    Accessibility (WAI)
    Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
    Conformance to AA level.
    AA
    UTF-8 Support
    Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
    Yes
    Conformance to W3C Norms
    Does Unclassified NewsBoard correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?
    Yes.

    Unique Features

    Key points and major differences that make Unclassified NewsBoard unique:

    • Jabber Notification
    • Forum Administration on the main page

    Final Words


    Good.

    Unclassified Newsboard is clearly a really good alternative to the main known forum softwares.

    It combines a simple installation to a user friendly administration, and of course all classical features you could find in a bulletin board.

    The main difference compared to other forum software is that UNB tries to put things at the good place. For example, administrating a forum category will be done... in the forum category page itself. You do not have to open the classic Administration dashboard to update the options you saw just before. It's finally a good way to gain some times and to not forget modifications you was planning to do.

    The last version of UNB was released in 2007, three years ago. It is stable and does not contain any security problem (that proves how much this software is secure). If you are an advanced users of UNB or PHP/MySQL in general, we would however suggest you using the latest code package, that has been released one month ago, in the end of March 2010 to be sharp. We would also advice you not waiting for UNB 2 as a pure successor of UNB 1, because, as the main developer said, Unclassified Newsboard 2 has a different goal. More details, for German speakers, are available in the Unclassified Beta Laboratory.

    And, moreover, UNB 1 is already a really powerful software, so why not using straight away?

    Additional Resources:

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    Comments (4)

    UNB is a great board software

    UNB is a great board software [see a heavily customised version in action on the appletalker forum]. however potential users should be aware that - whilst there are a couple of scripts allowing you to migrate data FROM another board TO UNB, there are none [that i'm aware of] that will allow you to migrate FROM UNB TO any other board software.

    add to this the fact that UNB is no longer in development and that the developer has said that there will be no direct migration path from UNB to the increasingly vapourware-seeming UNB2 and you'd better be prepared for the biggest 'lock-in' of all time!

    for this reason alone, i'd advise against any new users moving to UNB - in spite of its undoubted strengths.

    Top

    Well, not exactly true. The

    Well, not exactly true. The developer said that UNB1 is in maintainence mode and possibly some minor features will be implemented.

    UNB2 is not a board. See here. That is one of the reasons there will be no migration to it.

    So anyone can and should use UNB, since there is support from the developer for a long time to come.

    The migration problem is true though, one can not migrate away from UNB.

    Top
    lastnico's picture

    The spam filter is a bit

    The spam filter is a bit aggressive currently, and refused the following message from Yves Goergen (lead developer of UNB):

    Yves Goergen wrote:

    Look what my new web analytics tool told me, there's people coming in from this site. Smile

    Well, while I must admit that UNB (1 and 2) development has been really slow for some time, I can assure you that I have enough resources to maintain the current version. Should there be a bug that needs fixing (like data loss or security issues - both of which haven't occured in a long time), I can do that in a timely manner. My personal need for UNB2 has much decreased so I'm not putting any time into it right now. I have the impression that individual web forums have passed their best times, with the rise of social networks.

    Would there be a common, accepted and comprehensive standard format for web forum data exchange, I would possibly implement im/export for it. Such efforts had started a few years ago but were never finshed. Also, other forums would need to support it as well or it doesn't make sense. Anything else is always a one-to-one work. UNB's database format is publicly documented and I can assist anybody who wants to implement a converter.

    FSR Admin - Vote for 2012.

    Top

    UNB is very nice looking,

    UNB is very nice looking, But

    it is stopped project and Old software. Not suitable for live forum ! Be carefull !

    But it can perform simple forum jobs very good. I like it.

    Top
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