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Re: bbpress vs phpbb


I am using phpbb3 for now, but I’m not really good at database stuff and admin stuff. I love all open source projects, especially phpbb3, bbpress, wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc… even though I’m not very “Geeky” yet and am only just beginning to learn the basics of CSS (let alone php etc).

So… I am speaking from the perspective of a non-technical forum administrator frustrated by various interactions of various software. I don’t mind doing the grunt work of setting things up IN the software, but don’t know the code to work ON software. EG: Once phpbb3 is installed, I can easily set up forums, permissions, etc. It’s just easy point and click stuff. But messing around in mysql and database stuff still terrifies me, I’m afraid of breaking something. It’s all too big. I just want to install it and have it work.

I appreciate that there are various philosophies behind each style of software, but here goes…


1. Nothing to do with you guys, but number 1 on my list is to have Fantastico (or something equivalent) that can make installation of WordPress / Joomla / Whatever EASY! (My client is a volunteer campaigning group that just happened to choose Brinkster which don’t use Cpanel, let alone have Fantastico).

2. After EASY fantastico installation, I install WordPress.

3. Then within WordPress I browse across to the various add-ons pages in the WordPress Control Panel (A VERY cool new feature of WordPress that Drupal and Joomla should add to their systems!) and then click “INSTALL FORUM?” and WordPress suddenly installs a completely compatible forum, just like that, with all the power of phpbb3 built-in.

4. I then choose 1 of say 20 or 30 “looks” (templates, themes, whatever) that are already pre-configured to allow sign-in of users on all pages, especially the forum page. If I want to change the colour of a background element or use a new image in the header, I just point and click to template editing and do it ala Blogger. (No CSS required).

This sort of software is on the way. Joomla now has “Agora” which is already fairly advanced. Once Joomla is installed through the 50 second Fantastico installation, Agora only takes about 50 seconds to install as well. EVEN I CAN DO IT! But the Joomla / Agora combination does not yet have Step 4, which is killing me… I have to muck around with all sorts of plug-ins and extra bits to get a horizontal log-in menu I can put up just under my header (so it’s in the same place no matter what template I’m in).

I saw the video of how to integrate WP and BBpress, and ran a mile screaming! It just looked very intimidating.

So anyway, the Joomla / Agora combination is hardly perfect, but as you know these things keep on developing and Hazzaa over at Agora is MANIC in the rate he’s developing his product. Version 3 is nearly out, and it’s only been 10 months.

Just thought I should give you guys the heads up. The competition is great, because it forces us all to evolve.

EG: I LOVE the sound of WordPress’s new one click upgrade function, and hope Joomla gets that soon! (It’s just me and database stuff again… eeerrgh!) Combine that with easy forum upgrades, backups, etc, and software that’s Mac-like in that it “just works”, and I’m a happy camper.

PS: I forgot to check this thread in case there were replies, because I automatically get an email from every other forum I belong to. Old habits die hard. Agora has an automatic emailing function built in, it’s not a plug in. ;-)

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