Having worked on similar projects, one of the big questions to ponder before coding is how to store the data. As a neophyte coder who has been working with DBI and mySQL for about a month, I would heartly recommend using mySQL this would open up lots of doors ie easily searching messages for a word or phrase. And moreover, DBI used to intimidate me but I find it is really not that hard!
I have written a lot of widgets that store delimited information and the problem always seems to be the myriad ways a user can break it when reading their input back in. Also, many messageboards try to save on processing time by writing and appending static HTML pages. I would definitely avoid this and no matter what store each message seperately. If you enmesh seperate entities I garauntee some honcho will ask for seperate delivery one day. One approach many boards take is producing 2 flatfiles like post12503.content and post12503.dat with the dat carrying any info relevant to processing but not needed in content. I realize this is somewhat rambling but these are all issues I encountered in writing messageboard type apps. _____________________________________________________
Think a race on a horse on a ball with a fish! TG