Library forums need an upgrade

Feb 5, 2008

Background

A few weeks ago I posted a note to LibNews-L about a problem with email subscriptions in the forums.  This is a status update and preliminary plan regarding the service.

Problem Status

There has been no simple solution for us to address the broken software, and it is still broken. We also don't plan at this point to invest any additional time toward fixing the problem on the current system.

The Good News

In the meantime, the phpBB group has released version 3.0, which we've been awaiting for a long time.  This should be good news for forum users and for my group supporting the system, and it should obviate the need to fix "Mail2Forum".

We began using and supporting phpBB in July 2004.  At that time it was already a very popular, established discussion forum software, but it had several missing features that some Library employees considered important.  To try to address those missing features, we had to install two klunky third-party add-on modules (which don't work simultanously) and also run a nightly email notification process of our own creation.

I'm delighted to see that virtually all those features we cobbled together are now added to the core product in version 3.  There are also several other usability improvements that should make folks happier with it.

So, we will have to work into our schedule of projects the installation, testing, and (minor) customization of version 3, and the migration of the content in the existing system.