I LOVE feedback, it makes my day to read comments and suggestions, so if you try it out please let me know what you think.
Throw it away and start over :/
For example forums_section_threads.function and index.pl show everything that is wrong with your code :)
You forgot the ballad of bobby-tables.com: A guide to preventing SQL injection
You're rolling your own CGI.pm, use CGI or die;
You don't have enough functions ## load parent settings if avail should be a function, ## load pre plugins should be a function ... everything you repeat should be a function, ... skimmable code is the idea
Also no strict "refs"; and .function? see Simple Module Tutorial, Module::Pluggable, AutoLoader/AutoSplit...
Speaking of red flags, see
Mark Jason Dominus - Perl Program Repair Shop and Red Flags - YouTube,
Program Repair Shop and Red Flags - Perl.com,
Return of Program Repair Shop and Red Flags - Perl.com
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