Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

WordPress as a Forum?

I know there are some efforts to integrate forums with WordPress. Of course there’s bbPress, which can share user logins. And there is the Simple:Press plugin, which seems pretty full-featured. And I have heard references to other efforts for plugins, or integrations for external forum systems. The main problem with external forum systems (as opposed to solutions purely based on plugins and themes) is that if you want a consistent look-and-feel between your blog and your forums, you have to do a lot of work.

Making WordPress look like a forum is mostly a matter of theming. Categories can group forum topics. WordPress posts map to forum posts. Comments map to replies. Administratively, the main differences are in how you manage user accounts, plus maybe some spam control features.

I’m just curious about what other approaches people are taking. Is anybody looking at custom taxonomies and post types for implementing forums in WordPress? I am mainly thinking this would make it easier to present both a blog and forums in a single site install, and easily keep them separate from each other. It seems like this would eliminate (mostly) the need for additional database tables. It’s not a project I’m looking to do myself, but I see the topic come up so often, I’m just surprised that there aren’t several more plugins available in this space.

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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73 Responses to WordPress as a Forum?

  1. BB Press is limited because it doesn’t appear to send notification emails when people respond to posts. Maybe it does and I just missed it though.

    • bbPress has a great number of issues, and to define one as its limitation is a bit daft, especially if you choose one thats not an advertised feature (because bbPress struggles with the things it claims to do, as well as those it doesn’t).

      That said, notification emails have been availible as a plugin for bbPress0.9 for a good 18 months, and has now been integrated into the core.

      If we’re going to pillar bbPress, and is an easy target, lets stick to it failing to do what it says it does.

  2. Patrick Daly says:

    Its really not that hard to use custom post types and taxonomies to create a forum. Justin Tadlock has already created one (screenshot).

    I think there’s a lot more flexibility building the forum right into WP, as most WP plugins will work whereas bbPress plugins are few and far between and broken.

    • It’s not so much that bbPress plugins are few and broken, its that they are few and broken for the latest release (i realise that may appear to be a semantic difference to most people).

      Other than an admin panle that looks and works like the new wordpress one (which is ace), there are no positives to upgrading or using bbPress 1.0 over 0.9; so development has become stagnant while we await the ever changing whim of automattic about the project.

      Having access to WP plugins would ofcourse make life easier, but even with custom taxonomies and custom themes, the real difference between a forum and a blog is that the parent/child relationship isn’t there to a complete level.

      Building a forum in WP with one or two levels is grand, and infact if you’re aiming in any way to build a forum that looks/works like the support forum then it’s quite easy and cool; its as soon as you start to build the features that appear to be “standard” in other mature forums, that you see the limitations.

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  4. I think BuddyPress does the best job of really integrating BBPress into a site without doing all of the extra work you mention.

    • Dougal says:

      I almost mentioned BuddyPress, but I haven’t played with it enough myself. But yes, that’s another option I should have pointed out. It uses bbPress as the forum component, and handles the site integration for you, from what I understand.

      • Rohan Kapoor says:

        Personally, I too would see BuddyPress as the solution between linking WordPress and bbPress to together make a working forum platform. However though, it does add a lot of features that most people that are starting a forum don’t need. If you want those features, AND a forum, than it’s the way to go.

        In my experience however (mainly bleeding-edge development versions) it’s a little too unstable and unreliable. However, I’m willing to bet that that has to do more with the bleeding-edge than the program itself.

        It’s certainly an option however.

        • Using the bbPress integration within BuddyPress is icky. It’s entirely convoluted and redundant. bbPress shares a lot of the same code as WP does (in theory) and housing both on a site side-by-side isn’t something I’d suggest for a long term solution.

          • The main issue is that bbPress does not share much (any?) of the same code as WordPress. bbPress1.0 was moved to backPress in the theory that WP, WPMU and BuddyPress would be moved to it as well (sort of a multi-stage integration). This didn’t happen, so bbPress has been given alot of extra bloat with no real solutions to the problems.

            The BuddyPress version of the bbPress forums actually have removed all of the backPress functions and replaced/rewritten/edited them to work with their WP equivalent. To that end, BuddyPress’s forum is based on bbPress rather than being bbPress if that makes sense.

            Then again with no Project Manager, no scope setting or planning, and no developer for 9 months… who can be surprised about where bbPress is?

  5. Tschai says:

    As a vBulletin forum owner I’d like to see a real WP-forum solution, but WP has a very very long way to go to come close to a full featured forum…even with the out-of-box features of phpBB/vB/IB forum-software.

    I’ve considered moving from the getting-stupider-with-every-release-vBulletin to a modern ‘web 2.0’-ish alternatives like bbPress or Vanilla…but they no real alternatives…yet.

    Yes, you can make WP forum-ish like the screenshot above and the P2-theme would be good starting point also…but you still will not get all the basic, let alone the extra, features a ‘web 1.0’ forum has and what the modern ‘web 2.0’ forums like bbPress/vanilla etc seem to be missing.

    Note that a lot of this stuff I’m talking about is “je ne se qua”…even my forum user can’t explain.

    • I think that the issue we have is that basic and standard are being muddled up a little bit. A large number of the features that the more established forums have are not “basic” simply because the majority of them have them after 5+ years of development.

      It’s something we’ve come across alot in working with bbPress. Many people want us to focus on “basic” features which are far from basic; diverting time away from what is a fundamental need for forum software.

      I also think that this is where the community on the whole is starting to forget it’s roots a little. Yes WP is very fully feautred these days (too much imo), for the large part rolling ‘plugins’ that became “standard” into the core. It’s resulted in the blurring of the lines between basic and standard, and people’s perception of it.

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  8. If you use PixoPoint theme integrator plugin its not that hard to get a consistent look and feel between your main wp installation and whatever forum you choose to use.

    • Ryan says:

      Thanks for plug Andreas 🙂

      The advantage of my integrator plugin is it allows you to integrate pretty much anything you want with your WordPress theme. But it would be nice to see a proper forum plugin built which “just worked” straight out of the box and was as extensible as WordPress itself. Simple:Press generally works straight out of the box, but it’s missing fundamental features like themes. It has skin’s, but AFAIK they don’t allow you to do anything beyond adding images and CSS which massively limits what you can do with the plugin.

      I am also surprised that no one has released a full-blown forum solution making use of the 3.0 Custom post types/taxonomies. Doing it with posts and categories would be fairly easy, so I’d have guessed that extending that to make use of the new capabilities of 3.0 would be trivial for someone with lots of knowledge of how those new features work (I haven’t even touched them yet).

      • forum says:

        I have just looked at this and thought it may be a solution to what I am looking for, but adding a code to I don’t know where seems confusing for me as I am not a coder.

        Also it does not allow login with one username to all softwares?

        For this, wp-united is the solution but I am afraid to use that too in case I get the code wrong.

  9. Nikos says:

    There is a nice package for Pods CMS plugin that according to its author “… is based on the functionality and code from bbPress”. Pods is a fantastic plugin, created mainly for developers as it requires some PHP & WP knowledge and some learning before using it.

    • Yeah, I built the package (you can import it into any Pods + WP install) specifically to clone the functionality of bbPress. Info about it can be found here:

      As for using WP as a Forum, it can get pretty complex. I think it should remain plugin territory. If I’m understanding what you’re proposing to be true, this would be a theme specifically for a forum and nothing else? It would use Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies? If so, that’d be interesting to see built out, but it’s a pretty big project. My work on cloning bbPress took me about 3-4 full days (minus 5-7 hours for sleep each night) to develop to the point where it’s at now. But that was using the Pods CMS Framework, so I was able to shave off a whole lot of development time that would have otherwise been necessary.

      • Dougal says:

        I wasn’t really proposing anything specific. I’m just wondering if anybody out there has attempted to utilize custom taxonomies and post types to create a forum-like environment within WordPress. And my speculation is that a lot of it can be accomplished with creative use of custom theme templates for these taxonomies and/or types. And my thought is not to turn the entire WP site into a forum, but to add a forum section (separate from the normal blog and pages) via these features.

        I’m sure others have thought about it, I’m just curious if there’s something already released, or somebody who might want to talk about how they are approaching the problem.

        • There’s also a reason something like bbPress is a better option than using WP and Custom Post Types. Sure, it can be done, but if you check out the DB behind bbPress you’ll notice how it’s very lightweight in terms of handling the data and the various ‘counts’ and such. Very simple / optimized table structures is where a lot of speed can come from. From there, it’s got a pretty similar structure to WP (using components from BackPress) and it’s all mainly geared towards one thing – being a forum. It’s got theming, plugins, and the db structure to make it extensible and as customized as necessary.

          I created the bbPress clone using Pods because I needed four things: bbPress + WP, No additional bloat on WP that existing bbPress integrations offer, Using existing WP Users and User Meta, and a light-weight forums system with a sensible permalink structure.

          Yes, bbPress will eventually be developed into a plugin for WP — but it will likely use Custom Post Types + Custom Taxonomies since that will save a lot of work and integrate better with WP core. That’s not a huge problem, but if that happens it will lose out on all the DB optimization / speed it previously had.

          And yes, there exists specific themes that offer up Forums functionality. Yes, you can build your own Forums using a plugin or whatever you’d like. I’d suggest keeping it modular at all times. Whatever you choose, the #1 thing to never lose sight of when taking on this task is this: REDUCE BLOAT.

  10. Jeeno says:

    The best integration I have seen so fat is with phpbb ,but the process in very confusing. Wish there was just a pluging\ that you upload and insert the correct directories the walla !!!!!!

  11. John Lynn says:

    I’m on the BuddyPress bandwagon as well. A really simple way to add forums to your blog. Easier and more integrated than anything you can find. Plus, you can build all sorts of plugins on top of it just like WP.

  12. Yes, it is very possible to use WordPress as a forum platform without plugin. I’ve used a theme that converts my wordpress to a full pledge forum. You can check the link on my name.

  13. Jaypee says:

    Making WordPress look like a forum is mostly a matter of theming.

    I recently did a review on the gForums WordPress theme which turns any WordPress-powered blog into a forum.

    I’m not really familiar with its coding but you might want to check it out.

  14. Jenny says:

    i tried bbpress but it was pretty much ignored so i kinda ditched that. i’ve given up since.

  15. Hikari says:

    Well, implement a forum isn’t easy.

    ATM comments are not as versatible as posts (I’ve developed a few plugins to make comments be more post-like, and I have a few more to release in this matter), so they don’t fit.

    Also, guest visitors can’t make posts, post edit page is not good for that.

    What I think would be nice, is a plugin that replaces the whole comment area into a link to a forum. When the first comment is made, a new thread on the forum is created, and then everybody wanting to comment would be thrown to that topic.

    With threaded comments, the pratically unique advantage of a forum over comments, in a site where posts are very important, is that visitors can create their own whole topic and each topic be listed, while in comments all threads are mixed. In a forum, when you post on an old thread it’s sent to top, while in comments if you reply an old thread your comment keeps hidden.

    All major CMS have their forum module. Soon WordPress will need a more complete and easy solution for that too. WordPress weakness is the lack of community features.

  16. sonkt says:

    how to make a worpress become a forum, i want to do it. Please more detail.

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  18. As Patrick mentioned above, I pretty much coded an entire forum plugin/theme combo in a couple of days using post types and taxonomies. Here’s the forum topic for reference.

    WP 3.0 fully supports something like this. There’s only a couple of major issues that need to be taken care of:

    * Custom taxonomy terms for custom post types need to be cached. I’ve opened a Trac ticket for this.
    * Paginated comments (i.e., individual forum topic posts) need to work for custom post types. They return a 404 the last time I checked.

    As far as I can tell, these are the only two issues that need to be addressed. If they’re taken care of by the time WP 3.0 rolls around, I’ll put together a plugin/theme/tutorial combo or something to that effect to show how it’s done.

    • Dougal says:

      Cool, Justin! I’d very much like to read about how you approach it. Like I said, I was sure others had thought of it, but I just hadn’t seen any references to work being done. I think this approach will make for a more seamless integration and user experience (as opposed to creating separate tables and having to write a bunch of from-scratch code to manage them).

  19. Jérémie says:

    WordPress does lack several very basic things. I wonder how you would manage that? From the top of my head:

    – Split & Merge threads
    – Create, Edit & Display user’s profile
    – Search, Browse/Filter threads and post by user (author)
    – Group & user based permission for private forum access
    – Restricted usergroup delegated moderation

    I know that personally all of these are deal breaker for me. And I’m sure I’m forgetting some…

    • Dougal says:

      Most of the things you mentioned can already be handled by WordPress with only a tiny amount of plugin/theme code: user profiles, search by user, private access, and moderation roles. Splitting/merging threads probably wouldn’t be too hard to implement. It should mostly be a matter of re-parenting comments.

  20. Joe Barton says:

    I found fluxbb to be nice and light weight and that includes and user sync plugin. When making a site for one of my clients I created a modification to fluxbb so that it has access to all of WordPress’s functions then just included the header and footer in fluxbb template. Matched the look of the site perfect and wordpress handles nearly all member stuff.

    Here is the result i came up with:

  21. Jérémie says:

    FluxBB is an excellent fast lightweight forum software. Too bad it’s developing team is in way over its head (and has been since before the PunBB fork) with absolutely no stable release for several years 🙁

  22. Alex Sysoef says:

    Forum is a great idea – I do think that if people are looking to ADD forum to WordPress – they are also looking not only for functionality but also simplicity! Simplicity and flow of administrative tasks must be one of the keys in my opinion and if someone manage to simply provide a “widget” for WP Dashboard that allows simple and full administration of the attached forum – it will gain momentum.

    As mentioned before – avoid bloat, create simple administration while giving at least basic forum functionality to users and plugin will be popular.

  23. Jérémie says:

    Frankly, if I could have what I have in FluxBB 1.2 in WordPress, I would french kiss whoever put that together 🙂 Without any hack of course, or very exotic plugin that won’t be updated as the core move forward.

    I can create the visual side of things (html, css in the templates, etc.) but it seems to me there’s some non negligible PHP to write alongside widespread plugins and WP core to make it work. And my PHP is wayyy too ugly and unsecure to do this.

    As per the forgotten feature, the read/not read status of threads (with new posts in them) is already a headache on most dedicated forum software, I wonder how WP will handle that…

    I also worry about speed and consumed server resources. It’s one thing to emulate another software in WP, it’s another to have it fast, agile, and scalable.

    But I keep an open mind, as long as it’s not anything like the quite unusable bbPress.

  24. Personally, I like simple:press. It was very easy to integrate in my website. Simple:press has its own users/groups for your forums, you can add a post from your blog into a forum, and replies from your forum will also show under your blog post. Simple:press also has great support.

    I wish that it had more banning features like those found in PHPBB, such as ban via e-mail, ban via IP address… However, I do like the fact that you create forums under ‘forum groups,’ and you assign user rights to the groups.

  25. Eric Hamby says:

    Would be great to have a built in forum option in wordpress, much like wordpressMU is now a built in function.

    • I use SimplePress ( and it really integrates smoothly with WordPress. Topping that up, are Andy and Steve from SimplePress whom are providing excellent support via the forums.

      To integrate SimplePress in my [Brian Gardner Revolution Tech 3.0] theme I had to craft a custom page using the whole pagewidth (i.e. no sidebars) to host the forum. After that it really was a walk in the park to set-up the forum, which integrates nicely with WP.

      So, I think, that rather than to try and design a “one size fits all” install-package, Theme designers should consider forums when they design themes, thus integrating one (full width) page layout for the forum. …these web 2.0 days, aren’t forums a must for almost everyone?

      BR Peter

  26. James says:

    Also a Directory and sitemap standard would be an impressive package.

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  28. ozkan erden says:

    Hey Dougal,

    I’ve been using WordPress as a forum for 9 months now. you can see it at:

    There has been some difficulties to overcome (like inserting last comment date to post meta and querying them without high system load). I’d like to write a post about it if I find some time.

    With WordPress 3.0, I’m going to implement it as a post type to current system. This will make it more integrated to the content.

    The link I posted is in Turkish but it’s easy to understand the content. I’ve implemented lots of extra things but will talk about it later on my blog and send the link to you :).

  29. Jay S says:

    I have been beating my head against this wall for a bit. BBpress seems to have stalled, Buddypress has become so complex to implement and use. I have been playing with which is pretty cool but they are revamping the entire code, stalling implementation of that for my website. There is the plugin that was just released or updated.

    At this point I am hoping WordPress 3 comes out and I am going to create a second blog running something like the P2 Prolouge theme as a forum. As much as I love wordpress, a simple conversation, with out the bells and whistles (except extended profiles, which would be nice) has been hard to create.

  30. Nicole says:

    As a forum integration to wordpress i use Forum Server by VastHTML. It is a fully functional forum installation for wordpress. You can get it here:

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  32. Matt says:

    I’ve actually developed a custom theme (to a certain extent) that mirrored the functionality of a forum. You have to look at it from the perspective of what a forum has to offer:

    If visitor -> view only
    If logged in -> post, edit own posts, etc.

    There are plugins out there that are able to: give WordPress private messaging functionality, restrict posters to a certain category, etc. etc.

    There are also plugins that can further define what a user of a certain level can do while logged in, as well as function calls to control what visitors can see as opposed to those who are logged in.

    You can also style template codes to show not only category links, but miniature loops that shows posts by last post created (as well as plugins that allow for recently commented posts to float to the top).

    It’s all about ingenuity and how you use the code.

  33. money says:

    If WP’s pforum plugin makes your forum integrate well with your theme, that’s worth trying. Does sound comlicated to manage by myself though

    • Jérémie says:

      Integrating with a visual theme is easy. Well, not everyone can do it, but with minimal skills or budget it’s quite doable.

      The trick is to have a bridge between the two softwares: unified authentication, pull content to one another (like have the forum handling comments).

      Using WP as a forum software solve this, but on the other hand you’ll have to add a truckload of features to WP to be able to act like a decent forum software.

      In the end, I think using a decent forum software like PunBB and have a custom bridge with the WP software is probably simpler. But I’ll keep an eye open for WPasForum.

  34. gamer says:

    Seeing how a lot of forums need dumps of code in them, WordPress isnt the best at allowing code submitted by users, without messing up the quotes or other characters. I think I would just use forum software.

  35. Chris says:

    Work is already under way to make bbPress a canonical plugin for WordPress

    This is something I have been waiting for a long time and it’s pretty exciting

  36. Jimmy Sou says:

    Interesting idea. Probably a little too tech challanging for me though.

    • Matt says:

      Buddypress is also an option – very easy to set up, and can self integrate with your current theme. Just set it up on my site and it took maybe less than 3 minutes.

  37. Dougal says:

    I see lots of people saying that WordPress and/or bbPress lack key functionality to consider them “real” forum platforms. What features are those? I think part of the problem is that different people can have very different ideas about just which features are important.

    For someone hosting discussions about programming or web design, being able to easily post code samples is important. For others, fine/easy control over things like banning users or IP numbers is a key feature. Other folks might need things like user-to-user private messaging, “watched” topics with email notifications, user post signatures, avatar uploads, etc.

    When talking about using WordPress as a platform for forums, there are also differing ideas about whether comments should be used, or whether every posting should be a WordPress post (comments have the advantage of giving the option for non-registered users reply to topics).

    I’d probably break these down into backend (administrative) features, and front-end (user-facing) features. You can already deal with some of them through existing plugins (email notifications via Subscribe2Comments, for example, or various plugins for handling code formatting).

    So, what features do you think make a forum platform different from a blog platform?

    • Hi Dougal,

      You’ve raised a very interesting point, something that we’ve been battling over at bbPress for almost 2 years. I’ve long tried to use the terms “basic” and “standard” (basic being features needed to make the software work, and standard being based on perception of the norm in comparison to the market).

      As an example, Smilies or Avatars are not needed to make either a blog or forum work (therefore not ‘basic’), but are definately so engrained as “standard” in the market that to not have them works against the software as many people would consider them ‘basic’.

      Its a line in the sand, that without scoping and some form of project management, is entirely down to personal perception.

      Attempts at defining these on the bbPress project has been handled so badly its unreal; which is a real shame. This last year I’ve spent at least half of my charity work on forums, and bbPress without a doubt has the most potential to provide a very good solution; but sadly has been so mismanaged and abused that we’re left with the current bloat-ware release that all the developers (and all bar 1 moderator) including Matt have abandoned.

      There are countless threads on this on the bbPress forums, and for the most part it was one of the large factors in BuddyPress using a heavily hacked version of bbPress instead of an integrated solution.

      Hopefully a great topic like this will spark some interest, and maybe someone from Automattic can poke their head round one of these days and say ‘helllo’ or “Matt was joking when he said he wanted to quit the project” or something along those lines…

  38. Jérémie says:

    – The ability to easily see what’s new, what’s unread. As you’ll see on most forum, each thread has a (per registered user, of course) visual indicator to signal the user something new has been posted. On top of that, some forum have a “New Post” (“Find topics containing posts made since your last visit”) tools.
    – Of course, the ability to “Mark as read” a thread, a forum, and the whole forums.
    – The ability to jump to the first unread item in a thread.
    – Split & Merge threads.
    – Create, Edit & Display user’s profile.
    – Search, Browse/Filter threads and post by user (author).
    – Group & user based permission for private forum access.
    – Restricted usergroup delegated moderation (edit, delete, move posts).
    – Organize forums per categories, and display as such (not the informal magma à la bbPress, but something like vB, PunBB, phpBB and all the others). That’s pretty much only a visual design item, but I include it as well.
    – Fast, lightweight, and even more: scalable. Forums are the most demanding widespread web application there is, and caching is pretty useless for something 99% dynamic.
    – In sync with the main core platform. Meaning, no exotic old unmaintained plugin. Also meaning everything needs to be i18n compliant, not all of us publish things in English. In other words, to play with I can install 21 different plugins, edit php code to translate it to French (for my case), and so on. most people wont. It needs to be simple, lean, straightforward yet powerful.

    I might forget some, but I think these are the basics of basics. Again, check for example the current FluxBB 1.4 RC. It’s one of the lightest, featureless forum there is… so everything in it is probably a requirement for 99% of the user base.

    On top of that, as you mentioned, several plugins are useful for some people (I don’t include code posting, because the basic version without highlights should be included in all posting software… this should be in core WP, it has nothing to do with wiki vs forum vs blog vs cms vs whatever):

    – Private Messaging (I don’t like it, that’s what email is for, but most people disagree with me).
    – Polling.
    – Soft delete.
    – Infinite sub forums
    and much much more, but this is all plugin area… and that’s a strength of WP as a core/base/API/whatever, it handle plugins well.

    • Jérémie says:

      After that, there’s a bunch of little things, too natural to be listed. To take your blog and comments as an example, the Comment Edit doesn’t work for me half the time (that’s more a bug area probably); and when I post a comment I’m returned to the first comment of the post and mine isn’t here. I need to refresh the page by hand, and scroll down all the way to mine.

      Another example: paging. The ability to have, I don’t know 20 or 30 posts per page, and not the full several hundreds or thousands you can easily encounter in a forum thread.

      • Jérémie says:

        Another one I forgot: bbCode. I don’t like it (it’s one of the most ill design thing… well, it’s not designed at all in fact; something like Textile is much more elegant, simple and powerful) but 99% of the userbase expect it.

  39. Greetings all,

    from my point of view, development teams have to cooperate and make integration of the two different types of scripts. Maybe good solution could be to mention Tiny Portal and their work on the making an web site from SMF forum. Main point is- is the goal to develop basic form of the forum/ blog into the advanced featured product or you find better to merge two systems into one.

    In a various reason I more prefer to have two different database so all I have done is to adopt CSS and make look more or less similar.

    Cheers 🙂

    • Jérémie says:

      SMF isn’t free (as in speech, I don’t care if it cost a right amount of money). For me that’s a deal breaker, as it should for everyone… Movable Type, anyone?

      • Respectfully Jeremie,

        Thats total nonsense.

        SMF (while definately not my favourite forum solution) is both free and open source. You can download and modify the code any way you see fit, and you can import and export data out of it any time you like.

        Its great that so many people are a fan of the OSI and GPLv3 licence that AutoMattic use; but that doesn’t mean its right for everyone or every software solution. There are Hundreds upon Hundreds of different “free open source” licences out there, and just because you may have a favourite doesn’t mean we should discount or be derogatory to solutions on a different licence.

        • Jérémie says:

          SMF maybe be open source, it’s not free.

          However you may not:
          1. Modify the copyright notice displayed.
          2. Redistribute the forum/software itself, without written permission.

          So, no fork, no distribution of any kind. This isn’t free. If tomorrow SMF remove the software from their website (for example, to only offer a new version at $1000 a piece, or saying that French or red haired or Muslims or whatever can’t use the software), we’re all screwed.

          No thanks. It’s not free (again, as in free speech).

          PS: the SMF licence page deserve quite a rant. It’s misleading, sometimes blatantly lying. GPL does protect ownership and copyright quite well, as do CC and others licences. And giving back to the community, and protecting copyright has NOTHING to do with public display

          • Ah, then with respect you’re using the word wrong, what you mean is “without limits”.

            There are plenty of companies and software solutions who are happy for you to download, use and modify their code for your own use; but want to control its distribution and forking. If you don’t like that then thats cool, but don’t suggest so “should for everyone”.

            Lets not forget that there are limits placed on every bit of software released under the GPLv2 and GPLv3 too; WordPress included. Heck the GNU even comes with a lesser-GPL because they realise that not every licence fits every model for every company.

            I’m presuming in that case that you don’t use the Apache server, as it wrote it’s own licence too and scorned on the GPL (its licence isn’t compatible with GPLv1/v2/v3).

            Sometimes we that use and enjoy Open Source Software get a bit too carried away with percieved rights and wrongs. Portraying the folks that give up their time for the free and open source SMF forum as bad people that are ‘blatantly lying’ is just poor, and honestly, you should be kind of ashamed at that.

            I can’t say I’ve ever understood the need to attack other people’s work or values. If you or I or anyone else doesn’t like SMF, or WordPress, or MovableType or any other solution availible to us for whatever reason… don’t use it. But lets leave conjecture and baseless personal attacks in the school playground?

  40. Jérémie says:

    With respect, I do use the right words, in their right definition. And please stop trying to put words in my mouth, or keyboard, I never once talked about the GPL for one.

    From Wikipedia:

    Free software, software libre or libre software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things and that manufacturers of consumer-facing hardware allow user modifications to their hardware. Free software is generally available without charge, but can have a fee.

    From Free Software Foundation & GNU:

    Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:

    * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    * The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
    * The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    And countless other sources.

    SMF license isn’t libre. It impose three restriction:

    1. I can’t modify the program the way I want.
    2. I can’t distribute it.
    3. I can’t distribute the modified program.

    Ergo, SMF is not free/libre.

    Again, stop trying speaking for me. I didn’t say a word about the people giving their time to SMF. I’m talking about Simple Machines, strongly implying the GPL and other libre license don’t protect their rights or that they need to enforce an ad on each page serve by their software for their personal credit (meaning, ego and bank account), and so on.

    It’s certainly their right to do whatever they want with their software, but portraying it as free when it’s not is just wrong.

    Also, I didn’t say SMF is a bad software. I didn’t say it’s a good software either. I pretty much don’t care unless it’s the Fourth Coming by itself. I stop at their license, and even if that would be acceptable on some project because SMF would be absolutely incredible, their attitude on their license page is just plain wrong.

    I can do as much with SMF as I can with vBulletin for example, but at least vB are honest about their product.

    I would strongly advise against using SMF because it’s not free/libre (again, see the Movable Type experience), and because I wouldn’t trust SMF owner. It’s their right to do whatever they want with their code, it’s my right to inform people overlooking fine prints about their personal freedom and project viability (either personal, non profit or commercial one). If someone do, they should do it knowing exactly what they are giving away (since there are plenty of other forum software out there, although non perfect, which are free/libre) and assert quite seriously what they are getting out of it. After that, it’s not my concern.

  41. Napir says:

    So in a nutshell there is no real right solution for this?

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  44. Gravity says:

    I recently wrote an article on integrating forums with WordPress, and review some of the choices, related to my own experiences, including phpbb, simplepress and bbpress and others.I considered using wordpress for forums, but could not invent a way which would make sense within its taxonomy system and layout options, which also had a reasonable time-to-market.I am using phpbb now.With bbpress, by the way, it’s important to note it looks almost abandoned. The release schedule is terrible. Many addon developers have abandoned it.

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  46. Lasse says:

    Since this is an old post, does anyone have an update on the matter?

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