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the_toolman

open source forum software

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Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone could recommend any good open source/free forum software, preferably that uses PHP?

Thanks!

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There's not a single one out there I can recommend. Believe me, a while back I looked for something to replace what we use and there was nothing that was both free and good. IMO, of course.

Your best bets for traditional forums are probably the two oldest: phpBB and vBulletin. There are avant-garde styles out there if you think those are more appropriate for you, like Flarum and... damn, what was it called... there's another one that tries to be all revolutionary and crap... whatever.

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Most of the best known open source forum packages are written in PHP, so you have a lot of choices on that front.

There are a few that are commercial, which many companies actually want.   Open source does not necessarily mean free.  Another recent business model involves hosted services, and this has proven to be big business AND something customers often want.  Keeping on top of patches and security issues and configuration and backups has been the downfall of many a community.  It nearly killed this one as a matter of fact.  

Assuming you want php FREE and open source, then it pretty much comes down to phpBB (current versions based on Symfony) or Flarum (based on Laravel) .  There are a number of other projects (like MyBB) that all have lots of uncertainty and sometimes years of technical debt (Phorum, .Simple Machines, FLuxbb, Fudforum)

Some of those projects are certainly proven and stable, so you might want to look into them, but you will likely find antiquated php code and moribund communities.  

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