List of free (as in "free beer") non-PHP board software

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    • List of free (as in "free beer") non-PHP board software

      As - regardless of PHP 7.0 coming with phenomenal performance and stability improvements - some people refrain from running their own board because older PHP versions had a long history of security quirks, I thought I'd compile a list of actively developed (as in: the latest visible code change should not be older than one year) non-PHP board software with working online demo links for you. Some of them are really neat. :)

      Board SoftwareLanguageDemo boardNotes
      AsmBBAssemblerDemoWritten in Assembler (!). Does not require any libraries on the server. Assembler! What the actual fuck?
      AtlasC# (Blazor/WASM)Demo(One of?) The first known forum software that runs C# directly in the web browser by making use of WebAssembly.
      cforumRubyDemoA simple threaded forum, seemingly written for the SELFHTML website (but open source).
      DiscourseRubyDemoHeavily relies on Javascript. Only installation through a Linux Docker container is officially supported.
      DjangoBBPython (Django framework)DemoWhile the support ("demo") board seems to be dead and full of spammers, the developer is still active.
      FlaskBBPython (Flask framework)DemoThe author was inspired by the dropped FluxBB 2.0 preview, FlaskBB's current default theme is basically a copy of FluxBB 2.0's. Quite a simple software yet, e.g. no file attachments (yet?) AFAICS.
      MisagoPython (Django framework)DemoOne of the most unique boards in this list. The founder tries not to develop "just another forum", a couple of neat interface ideas have already been introduced, more will come. The project website is already "old" - the next version will be much of a rewrite which is obviously a long-term process for one single person. The developer keeps posting development updates though.
      NodeBBNode.jsDemoHeavily relies on Javascript. Their website doesn't seem to work well on mobile devices as of now.
      SpiritPython (Django framework)DemoOh look, another Python-based forum. (SCNR.) Looks like a cleaner Vanilla or NodeBB. The website has an "empty link" named "Pricing", I guess there will be a hosted option available or something.
      ThreddedRuby (Ruby on Rails)DemoA surprisingly fast and simple forum software.
      YaBBPerl 5DemoOne of the oldest non-PHP forum softwares out there. The SMF software had its origins here: "YaBB SE" was a PHP port of YaBB, it was renamed Simple Machines Forum in 2003. They regularly post new beta versions of their software, version 2.7 has been under development for a while.
      YetAnotherForum.NETC# (ASP.NET)DemoObviously works best on Windows IIS servers. Mono might or might not work (I should test that some day). Can, optionally, look nice.

      Potentially interesting software without a demo version (try at your own risk):

      Is any interesting software missing? :)
      Send in the clowns.
    • I can't think of any that are missing right off the top of my head. There are a couple listed above that I haven't heard of until now. Of all the forum software listed, I would say Misago looks most interesting. The problem with forums that require SSH access to install them is very few people know how to do it, and most people on shared hosting couldn't do it anyway. The difficulty of installing these forums would have me concerned with how long they will be around (besides YaBB and Discourse).
    • I'm not sure how long Discourse will be around (hypes like that usually begin to starve rather soon), but YaBB seems to be unstoppable indeed. They seem to do something very right. - Misago should have a mobile UI to have a chance on "the market", I don't know if one is planned either.

      Today's Linux administrators are the perfect audience for, sorry, bullshit like "mandatory Docker installations" like Discourse tries to enforce: you copy and paste two commands and that's it. You don't have to know what's going on. I'm sure that makes life rather harder than easier for the support team. We had that in a different topic: Non-tech-savvy administrators should probably stop running an online community.

      You probably can't "completely" install a typical PHP board without essential server knowledge and full access either (chmod requirements, SEO URLs in your domain configuration, ...). :thinking: Admittedly, it's been a couple of years since I left my last hoster who didn't let me have SSH access. I might be a special case here.
      Send in the clowns.

      The post was edited 4 times, last by BB8 ().

    • BB8 wrote:

      Also, I found Sugar which looks like a potentially interesting Ruby-based forum software, but there is no demo.
      I would love to see a live site that uses "Sugar". The installation looks like it is too difficult for most people and can't be done with shared hosting. I'm always weary of software that can't become popular due to it's design, it makes me wonder how long it will be supported.