winmine.exe is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.

Most forums still follow the category model for sorting topics, but that tends to isolate possibility related topics. They rarely fall into one specific subject

Cross-posting is possible, but that has duplication issues

The tag models get abused quickly with unrelated labels if too many are allowed (especially hashtags, which make some posts almost unreadable). I found the Goldilocks zone for tags is around 3

Any more, and they get messy and irrelevant. Any fewer, and topics get too isolated

@cypnk I was considering starting a forum for a while, and I had written a summary on why all forum software sucked; which is why I didn't do it. I still have the notebook files for it, if you want to read that.

(Vanilla comes somewhat close at times...)

@calvin I looked at Vanilla too, but it was too complicated for my purposes. Also, it’s plugin oriented so there are more moving parts in it than strictly needed

You should write a treatise. If you have research on it and have your own experiences, it would help someone who’s just starting to think of discussion software and avoid some mistakes early on

@calvin Wow! This is superb. Some really great ideas to consider here

I was thinking along the same lines and I’ll add that the least amount of friction to registration, the more people will register. I’ll add that while topic tagging can be left to users, inter-post tagging should probably fall to moderation. And edit limits (maybe up to 1 hour) is probably a good idea and topics should routinely get archived as HTML after 7 days, which will keep things fresh and fast

@cypnk @calvin I run a vintage computing web site, and some of the things about it ended up in calvin's notes. We have tagging now, but they end up either overused and underused.

Archiving is an interesting idea, but the rules may need to be refined a bit, like "a thread that hasn't been touched in 7 days" to avoid the possibility that a thread is alive, just slow moving.

@calvin @cypnk

Of course, search ability once you move things to static HTML is of concern. People complain about the site's search, but a lot of that is just that (in my case) the site has been running for ~15 years and our current installation has ~12 years of stuff on it, so finding "my posts" is hard when you've been on there the whole time and you have over 11000 posts. I'm not 100% convinced a commercial search engine will be better or that moving the data will be helpful, but.

@cypnk @calvin

Discourse is probably worth looking into again, especially because the resource usage of something like IPB with a site the size/age of mine is pretty significant. I don't run the servers directly, but I'm told that the site is a fair amount of what ulterior's infrastructure setup is. Compare with an old small phpBB forum which you can run in a 256-meg VPS or virtual machine.

@calvin @cypnk

Sorry for essay time, but one other thing I looked at years ago, as sort of an aside from the main community, and something I was going to share with close friends, was image board software in the style of "2ch" - for a small, fast paced community (local meme group? idk) it may work well and would probably be close to what you want, but I don't know what the state of the art for those is.

@cypnk @calvin

OK whoops, but: Just idly, one of the things I wanted to mention about Microsoft SharePoint is that it actually doesn't need as much as I thought. If you start with SP2013SP2, it will install and run fine in 8GB of RAM, which is about how much my IPS site is using, in total. (Although: I don't know what the total footprint of SP would be w/ a separate SQL server).

Windows VPS hosting with 8 gigs of RAM is *very* costly. On OVH (random sample) Linux is $33/mo and Win is $53/mo

@coryw @calvin In the mid 2000s a “shoutbox” trend was popular. If it was idle chatter, it was usually relegated to the shoutbox and not the more permanent forum. We thought of it as an overflow and because it’s easier to use, it got used more

@cypnk @calvin oh no sorry I haven't been checking notifications.

Our site has a statuses section, but we haven't promoted it to an actual spot on the forum.

One of the things I've wanted to do is implement user blogs, which I think is better now than it used to be, because a lot of what's junking up some of our subforums is specific people's epic long-term projects. There are a few multi-page threads that basically consist of people replying to themselves with ideas about how to do something.

@coryw @calvin This is why I wish IPB wasn’t IPB. It’s got user blogging now, but the software itself is a hairy rats’ nest of legacy code

@cypnk @calvin

Unfortunately, I suspect anything that does as much as IPB will have a large footprint.

Reading the whole thread, it seems like something custom may be the most desired solution, because like while IPB has a lot of "legacy" it's probably got a similar load to tools that do similar tasks using more modern frameworks (discourse/ruby, sharepoint/.net).

I don't know what each of the older tools (phpBB etc) requires these days.