[Actionchix] Website wishlist

jennyw jennyw at dangerousideas.com
Sat May 20 01:39:17 EST 2006

Hi, Leslie!

Leslie Vincent wrote:
> Hi, I'm totally new to this site and list, and not really qualified to
> help work on it, but are you considering transitioning from e-lists to
> a message board? 

One of the things about LinuChix is that it's a great place to learn new
things. So don't feel underqualified -- you have an opportunity to
volunteer on things that you haven't done before and be able to learn
from the process!

I think it'd be great to have a discussion forum interface in addition
to the mailing lists. RForum[1] has a mailing list gateway and has been
doing a pretty good job providing an alternative interface to the Ruby
mailing lists[2]. Of course, the grrls-only mailing list could not be
made available on a Web forum since the policy is to keep no archives.

> And while I'm no expert on setting up a messageboard, if it's phpBB
> based (i.e. no learning curve for me) I would definitely volunteer to
> help with its maintenance.

I did a quick Google search for mailing list gateways and phpBB, but
didn't come up with anything solid. Of course, maybe if someone looked
harder, they could find something.  That said, if we decided to use
phpBB, we should probably have a discussion about security issues. For
whatever reason (maybe because its popularity makes it an attractive
target), I keep hearing people complain about phpBB security. Another
factor might be because they have a lot of features that other forum
software packages don't -- additional complexity means more potential
security issues.

These issues might not affect a less popular Web site, but LinuxChix has
been targeted by jerks before, so it's definitely something we should
watch out for.  The phpBB dev. team leader wrote a message last year
about doing a complete security audit and an effort to incorporate
current security practices[3] -- I don't know if by this time security
is a lot tighter, or whether this is still an ongoing problem.

My inclination would be to go for one of the forum packages with fewer
features (i.e., less code), like RForum or PunBB. The only one I know
for sure that has a two-way mailing list gateway is RForum. RForum also
supports full text search engines like Ferret[4] (the Ruby port of
Lucene[5]), although the search form could use some improvement (pretty
easy to change, though).


[1]: http://rforum.andreas-s.net/trac
[2]: http://www.ruby-forum.com/
[3]: http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=308490
[4]: http://ferret.davebalmain.com/trac/
[5]: http://lucene.apache.org/java/docs/

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