I have used Joomla, Wordpress and other CMS tools. All this tools are plugin and theme based. The basic concept for plugins are to extend functionality and if I update the core system than it will not break the plugin's functionality.

I like this same feature in a forum tool and I have tried PhpBB and I like it. But it's plugins are hack based. Means I need to edit some core files to make it work. So I cannot update the core system with new updates.

In Joomla, I install a plugin that will display my latest members in sidebar. If I update Joomla with latest version than it will not break the plugin and will work as it was.

I need a same flexibility with a forum tool. So if I update the core files than it will not break my existing mods/plugins.

There are some forum tools like:
- PhpBB
- Simple Machines Forum
- MyBB

I like to know which will be good for me?


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Depends what you're looking for. Are you looking for a forum to work with your CMS or are you just looking for a forum?

phpBB is probably the most popular free forum software. There may be a very good reason for that. I've used phpBB for a good few years and have installed a number of mods. It's true that you have to make 'hacks' to the main template files for most mods, but these are usually detailed in the explanatory notes.

Here's how I admin my forums:

1) Local site (up to date local copy of remote site) - BACKUP
2) Local DB - new one created everytime I need to add a mod (copied from remote DB via sqldump)
3) Install MOD onto local forum and test, test and test again - as admin, mod, user and guest.
4a) If OK, go ahead with remote install BUT only after remote site and remote DB backup - you can't be too careful!
4b) If not OK - delete new copy of local site with mod and restore backup copy. Undo local DB changes by mod OR just restore the last DB (from SQLdump).

I agree that certain releases of phpBB have killed an old mod or two. Some of my forums seem to be held together with sticky tape and brown paper after all the modding and hacking of about 7 years. It's a shame that mods can't be placed into a simple 'hack file' and the code run / template shown in preference to the defaults. Oh well...

Still, I've tried other forum software and couldn't get to grips with them.

Thanks for the very good information

Depends what you're looking for. Are you looking for a forum to work with your CMS or are you just looking for a forum?

- I just want standalone forum tool (not linked to any CMS).

as you described for phpBB I am also facing the same issue. That's why I am searching for a fully plugin based forum tool.

Joomla and Wordpress are just example for the plugin flexibility that I need in a forum tool. Like in Wordpress, I just need to copy the plugin folder in "plugin" folder and start to work. Also if the Wordpress upgrades than it will not break the plugin.

Anyone with other forum tool experience?