UseBB Review

(December 8, 2008 13:22)
Last Version 1.0.10 (October 25, 2009). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website UseBB Website Download Download...
Price Free.
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What is UseBB?

UseBB is another PHP/MySQL forum software, with some really good qualities: open source (GPL license), light, developed keeping simplicity and usability in mind, this forum software has good abilities to support small communities. However, UseBB is, for the time being, only compatible with PHP 4, and requires a specific patch to make it compatible with the latest PHP 5.3.

Review Updates:

  • February 1st, 2010: Review updated with 1.0.10 version of UseBB.

UseBB 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
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache 1.3
  • Apache 2.0/2.2
  • Microsoft IIS
Databases
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
  • BSD UnixBSD Unix
  • 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.
Localization
Languages supported by UseBB.
Yes.
Supported Languages:
Chinese (Simplified) French
Dutch Swedish
English (British)

Additional Translations are available in the UseBB Community Forum.

UseBB has been developed for PHP 4 language. However UseBB developers provide a patch and a modified file to fully support recent versions of PHP, like PHP 5.3

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
Thread Icons No Topic Tags -
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics No Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements -
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Plain Text
  • Formatting Buttons
  • Preview Button
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • HTML
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
-
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 No Syntax Highlighting No
Message Rating
No Message Quoting Yes

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation No
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).
-
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.
-
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

Some features will only be available for the next version of UseBB 2.0. Examples are attachments, polls, private messages, subforums and user groups. This is a pity for some of them that are really mandatory for modern forum softwares.

Friendly URL are actually ending by the .html extension, that is a good start, but not really helpful for Search Engine Optimizations (SEO).

User Profiles & Options

Some details about UseBB 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

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.
No
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

The database could be pruned easily in the Administration Panel. Old forum, topics and comments could be removed depending on their age.

Members could also be removed if they are not connected since a specified date. This is really good to keep an updated system.

Banning Management and IP blacklist could be easily setup, and is really useful in the everyday tasks.

By regularly checking the Administration Dashboard, you will be able to see if new updates have been released.

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
No
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
No
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.
No
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Yes
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 UseBB.
-.

Security & Spam Protection

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

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting UseBB.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting UseBB.

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 Plugin
Custom
Thread Icons
No Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
-
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.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
HTML / XHTML Markup
XHTML 1.1 Strict.
XHTML 1.1 Strict
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 UseBB correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?
Yes.

Final Words


Good.

UseBB is a simple and useful forum software, which could be compared in terms of features to PunBB or FluxBB.

This forum software, which respects W3C norms, could easily be installed to support and manage a little community. It provides many important features, like antispam and a really powerful administration interface, but however lacks of classic features like polls, user groups or else. This should however no longer the case with UseBB 2.0, that we wait for impatiently!

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Comments (1)

We've waited so long and...

We've waited so long and... UseBB 2.0 cancelled...
http://www.usebb.net/community/topic-2784.html

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