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2,076 bytes added, 09:13, 27 April 2011
merge from to "Desired features" section; content substantially by Jason Smithson & myself. (converted markup with Wikedbox).
Including stealth mode.
* Social features: profile, link to other sites, feed activity to Facebook or elsewhere* RSS feeds for each forum and the entire site* Open source* Widely used* Easy formatting, preferably WYSIWYG (or at least, a fairly standard method, not a unique and obscure method)* Focused* Gives context to comments* Allow users to flag spam ===Possibly desired features===
;Replace talk pages with forum pages
;Email notification of replies. (phpBB does this - e.g.
This may actually be a disadvantage, according to one writer about online community, as it means people don't have to revisit the site to check for answers. (My feeling is that people can still forget to come back, and it ''is'' a useful feature. --[[User:Chriswaterguy|Chriswaterguy]] 22:21, 7 April 2011 (PDT))
* Reply by email
* Compatible with WordPress and/or MediaWiki
=== Avoid ===
* Fragmented interfaces that expose content and comments without context
==Proposed solutions==
Standalone options  * [ Vanilla] open-source, standards-compliant, customizable discussion forums.** Standalone but has a clean look and good documentation, integration possible*phpBB{{w|phpBB}} proven and highly supported.** One downside: doesn't do blogs itself, so it's yet another platform on top of our MediaWiki + WordPress.
*BBPress[] - should integrate nicely with WordPress, but a standalone install.
** only feasible if we have a committed Drupal person pretty much on call. Drupal is much trickier than WordPress.
** can be embedded in WordPress
** not clear that we'd be able to export easily (they seem to be working on an export tool, and even then it depends on the format). However, being open source makes it likely that there'll be an export solution.
=== WordPress options ===
* [ BBPress] forum software with a twist from the creators of WordPress
** Can share login with WordPress or be entirely embedded within it
* [ Simple:Press] the feature rich, completely integrated and fully scalable forum plugin for WordPress
** Clean and plenty of functionality
* [ WP Symposium] is a suite of WordPress plugins to provide social networking features
** Still in beta - looks promising, but not yet proven. Doesn't describe itself as a forum, but as a kind of online meeting space...
* [ Mingle Forum] a Forum Plugin for WordPress that just works
** Optionally integrates with [ Mingle]
=== Unsuitable ===
* [ vBulletin]
** Neither gratis nor libre, trying to become a CMS
* [ WagN]
** Requires wagneering to be a forum
* [ BuddyPress] Social networking in a box.
** Unfocused, gives sense of activity rather than a sense of purpose.
* [ Extension:AWC's Forum] (MediaWiki extension)
** The only reasonably mature option for MediaWiki
** Appears to be no longer actively developed
== Next steps (April 2011) ==

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