I don’t know about most people, but I rarely use a fraction of the features available in most online forums. Things like private mail, in my opinion, are unnecessary when you can just create custom contact forms that send messages to the users’ regular e-mail addresses.
A Simple Forum
I included a forum in a software package I abandoned a while back. Creating it was a learning experience and comparing it to popular, existing forum applications showed me exactly how bloated those applications are and the reason they’re so bloated.
When you try to include every feature you think people will want as opposed to the features they actually need, you end up building a small monstrosity which becomes a nightmare to keep up with. One minor security flaw can cause hours and hours of redesign work.
No, an extremely simple forum is the way to go and that’s what I’m getting ready to put together.
No Design Goals
Well, first and foremost, it’s going to be the basis for a private forum I’ll be putting together after I’m done with the basic software. Secondly, it’s a good way for me to practice using database routines in conjunction with PHP, without relying on well-known templates.
Finally, it’s really just another way to take my mind off of other things when I don’t want to think about those other things.