Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Should We Resurrect cfopenBB?

As many of you are probably aware, the cfopenbb project never really got off the ground. A few weeks ago it was officially abandoned. While I think it was a great idea, in my opinion the execution plan was flawed from the beginning because it was an attempt to do a file-by-file port of phpbb. As you can imagine this caused numerous issues and combined with the lack of clear decisions about how to handle the PHP -> CF mismatches, it's probably no surprise this didn't take off. I'm not saying any of this to criticize so much as to point out why in my estimation things never took off.

As I said above, however, I think it was a great idea, and while I didn't have the time to take up the former leader of the project on the offer to take things over before it got abandoned, I think at some point it would be great to readdress the project, albeit in a different way. When I see how many deployments there are of phpbb and some of the really, really nice free .NET message board apps out there, I know we as a community can match or better these offerings with ColdFusion.

So what I'd really like to do is get a sense of how many people think A) coming up with a world-class, free message board app is a good idea, and B) how many people would be interested in helping with the development. This isn't a commitment, it's just to gauge interest at this point. And before you answer, consider this a clean slate--it doesn't have to (nor should it, really) be approached in the same way cfopenbb was originally. We could take this in any direction that makes sense.

Post comments here if you're interested or have other thoughts on this potential endeavor.


Comments


I would like to be apart of this project! Please keep me up to date.


I think its a great project and idea, and would really love to see it happen. I would be willing to help out as I could, but couldn't commit to a full time role by any means.


same for me - would like to join. I was in the original cfopenBB list.

I would support to go for a 'modern' cfBB app, build with a cfframework not a file-per-file port of phpBB.



This sounds very interesting. The more free full scale tools that are out there the better for the CF community.


I'm all for more open source CF! Rock On!


Yes... I would really like to participate!!


I definitely have code to contribute. I think it would be a good idea to try to resurrect, and I agree with you that a straight port would not be the best way to go. I've implemented phpbb and looked around inside the code. A cf solution should take it's own direction.


Excellent--thanks for the feedback everyone. What's the next step? Should we get things rolling over at someplace like tigris, or just come up with our own setup? I'm certainly not averse to hosting it myself somewhere.

How about a name? Should I see if we can adopt cfopenbb or do you want to come up with something else?



I would love to be a part of this project in any capacity.


Would definitely like to help out here. Is FuseBoard already taken?

Eric



I would definitely be willing to help out.

As someone who volunteered for cfopenBB my opinion is that trying to port phpBB line for line was a major factor in it not getting off the ground. I don't know php and I think a lot of the other volunteers didn't either so we were looking for some direction from someone who did. That direction never came.

It would be cool to have both html and flex as front end and admin options.




As for names....how about BoardFusion?


Cool--keep the name suggestions coming. FuseBoard and BoardFusion have both been suggested. I'm a bit partial to FuseBoard myself, but let's keep brainstorming! Remember, it's all in the marketing! ;-)


I was one of the team leads on this project (as you know Matt), and I agree with your assessments. I would also vote that whomever takes the lead on the project has time to answer questions and stay involved. I know it's no one's full time job, but it can be frustrating not to get answers to questions.


Actually I take that back--I think boardfusion is a bit better. Plus fuseboard.org is already taken. I actually started (prior to cfopenbb) building a message board that was meant to look and work like phpBB but under the hood was completely different and called it "interfuse" but I'm not sure I like that name anymore.


I went ahead and registered the domain name boardfusion.org just in case that's the name we end up using.


Ya boardfusion sounds cool. At my last job we used FuseTalk, it was ok, didn't take too long to integrate. The forum idea has been around for awhile and all forums have basic functionality; so aside from that integration into existing stuff is a key feature (single signon and all that).


This is just an opinion, but I dont really care what its called, because it really should be able to be rebranded however the user wants. It should have the obligitory footer, but I hope its not going to be branded very much.

Also, I hope we start out small and make sure we nail the essentials before moving on to the fluff. For instance, I would really like to see something like punbb (http://www.punbb.org) starting out and then add the extra features later in the release cycle.

sorry if this is more input than you are really asking for at this point.



Matt, email me - I work for an ISP so I can get us free hosting and ill pickup the domain name if it still needs to be done.


Dan's been nice enough to offer hosting for the "official" web site for the project, which unless there are any major objections we'll call BoardFusion. I'll get CVS or SVN hosting figured out as well as a dev site set up and we should be able to get rolling!

There are other infrastructure concerns of course, with communication being the main one. How do those of you interested in participating want to communicate? Mailing list? Yahoo group or something similar? Message board hosted on our own server? Let's get that figured out ASAP.



I went ahead and created a project for BoardFusion on tigris. (Sorry, but cfopen.org is just too unreliable for me to put things there.) I'll get everyone more details once the project is approved.


I used to be a PHP developer for the majority of my web development career, but I have found such a love for ColdFusion and what it can accomplish that I left the PHP language and went straight into ColdFusion and haven't really wanted to turn back. I'm open to help with anything that I can. I'm a CSS guru and have been working with ColdFusion for a while now.

I feel the more we push towards an Open Source CF community the more CF will see developers coming to it, especially as now ColdFusion hosting is becoming cheaper by the day!

What about this name: Fusion Forum

- Tony




Cool Tony--we've already started up but you're welcome to join. Just create an account at sourceforge.net if you don't already have one and email your user name to me at mpwoodward@gmail.com and I'll get you added to the project.


Glad to hear its underway! CF needs a forum solution ..


No one has mentioned Galleon, Ray Camden's free open source forums app. Instead of re-inventing the wheel (again!), why not contribute to Ray's app?

It seems to be a common failing in the CF community regarding open source projects that we keep re-inventing the same ol' wheels over and over again. The end result is that there are a bunch of half-assed apps out there that no one wants to use. If cfopenbb failed, despite all the apparent support and offers of help, why will BoardFusion be any different? Why not rally around an existing project that does a lot (most?) of what folks actually want from a forums app?



Sean, we're all aware of Ray's Galleon application, and while it's nice and may fit the bill for a lot of people, it's (no offense to Ray is in any way intended with this) lacking a lot of what more full-featured solutions like phpBB have. Things like easy skinning, just as one simple example, make or break forum apps in the minds of the end users. We're starting from scratch with the mindset of creating something that rivals any other forum app out there regardless of language.

We've had many lengthy discussions thus far among the developers who've signed on for the project and if we reach our goals the end result will be anything but half-assed (but thanks for the vote of confidence!).

Why it will be different than cfopenbb? There was IMO a fundamental flaw with the approach that was being attempted with that project. BoardFusion is not picking up where cfopenbb left off other than in the spirit of creating a world-class open-source forum solution that just happens to be in CF.



sean, that's a "common failing" of all open source communities, there are a zillion half-assed/half-dead SF projects last time i looked. i don't see that sort of stuff as specific to cf.

time will tell but why don't you give matt the benefit of the doubt on this one.




I think that lumped in with all of the half-assed projects that are out there, are definitely some nuggets of gold as well. The success/failure rate of other developers' projects (in my mind at least) shouldn't be a factor when someone has an idea that they are passionate about and want to see it come to life. I would hate to believe that all the good ideas are already used up, and that we as developers should stop trying to be innovative and just live with what we have. I don't think that would be a good philosophy for very many areas of business in general.



Are we running low on CF programmers? Do we need to ration people's efforts now so everyone who wants to participate in an open-source project should be assigned to specific projects? I, for one, like the idea that there might be competing (yes, even half-assed) projects out there. That's what makes this fun. If I wanted to sign onto a formalized development team to do someone's bidding, I'd go to work.

If you can't handle a little beautiful uncertainty, stay out of the open-source movement.



Kammie, I've probably been doing open source longer than you've been writing software so don't be so touchy. I'm sure you'd find most of the successful open source projects to be pretty formal...

Everyone seems to have overreacted to my comment. Matt explained why he does not want to use Galleon as a base for BoardFusion and that's fine - that wasn't clear from the original post. I wish him luck.

I would just like to see a little more teamwork in the ColdFusion open source movement... that's what has made great software in the (non-ColdFusion) open source world (think Apache, OpenOffice, GNU libraries etc etc).

A lot of people lament the lack of good, free, open source ColdFusion applications and the main reason is that many folks just want to build a little toy app on their own "just for fun". A lot of people want to take but not give...



BTW, Matt, your email notifications have a typo in the URL - three 'm's in commmentID=


I'm no programmer but I can tell you that this project, completed, will do much for the CF world. I am pulling for your collective success and appreciate the efforts of each of you.

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