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perl and forums

by SilasTheMonk (Chaplain)
on Jan 26, 2009 at 20:44 UTC ( #739026=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

SilasTheMonk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Unforseen circumstances mean that I need to set up a forum on my web-site. I don't expect heavy usage and it will need to run itself pretty much apart from approving users and moderation. My hosting provider is pushing SMF and from what I can see on the internet the case is compelling given where I am.

If I go down this route, should I say "Yippee, I'll get to dabble in PHP which my CV really needs." or are there opportunities for using perl that I cannot think of. I am sure any backend maintenance scripts would still continue to be written in perl. As much as anything I wonder whether anybody here has comparable experiences.

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Re: perl and forums
by Porculus (Hermit) on Jan 27, 2009 at 00:16 UTC

    What's so compelling about SMF, other than that your hosting provider likes it?

    There are plenty of Perl options. I've had good experiences with mwForum, for example, though I haven't examined the code so I don't know how it compares to the various PHP options in technical terms.

Re: perl and forums
by jh- (Scribe) on Jan 27, 2009 at 05:06 UTC

    YaBB is probably the biggest Perl-based forum software available. I haven't used it a lot, but from what I've seen it's pretty nice.

      The issue I have with YaBB is that SMF is a port of YaBB to PHP. So development has apparently stopped on PHP. That is not good from my point of view. So a perl alternative has to be vibrant and still under active development if I am to try and open negotiations with the hosting provider over an alternative. I suppose I am meeting the limits of my perlophilia.

        YaBB is still under active development. I know, because I'm one of the developers on the project ;-)

        We're focusing on the next major version which is a rewrite using much better coding standards.


        SMF used to be called YaBB SE, which was a direct port of YaBB to PHP. Development hasn't stopped on the PHP version of YaBB, because there never was a PHP version of YaBB. YaBB SE turned into SMF, mainly because they felt that people were prejudiced against YaBB, simply because it's Perl.

        If your web host is pushing for a non-Perl forum, ask them for their reasons, because we've (the dev team) seen--and refuted--them all.

      From the user's point of view, YaBB is quite good. However, from the programmer's point of view it's a screaming nightmare, and I wouldn't trust it to be secure. I have posted in another place about YaBB's failings.
        You posted that four years ago. Much has changed since then. I haven't looked at the code for the current line (YaBB 2) lately (I'm working on YaBB 3), but it has been cleaned up quite a bit, according to the other developers.
        I started reading that but it does not seem so much an attack on YaBB as on forums in general.
Re: perl and forums
by Erez (Priest) on Jan 27, 2009 at 13:25 UTC

    I work with mwForum, it's quite suitable for my needs, which are using the front end to manage the content, but calling the backend from my own programs. Its quite a good choice, IMO

    "A core tenant of the greater Perl philosophy is to trust that the developer knows enough to solve the problem" - Jay Shirley, A case for Catalyst.

      Curiously googling for mwForum turned up this. I did search for YaBB on perlmonks but the search was hanging and I was too impatient.

      Okay. The admins say I can install whatever I want so long as I do it manually. I have downloaded it and I am playing with it on a linux notebook. However even just reading through the install instructions I am seeing some security issues. The cron util scripts, the .pm files and the cgi scripts are all lumped together in one directory. The developers are obviously assuming that all users will have their cgi-bin directory nicely outside of the html directory. I think I can get round this by installing these files outside of the html area and setting up a dummy mwf area where scripts I explicitly designate exec the scripts outside the dummy area. Still I better get a login on the mwf site and raise my concerns.

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