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Ben Bruce
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This is the second iteration of this project, now christened TXPhorum [pronounced “Tex-forum”].

It’s based on the premise that Textpattern itself can be the forum software — and more than that, it doesn’t need to be a separate install (though it could be). The forum is just a section of the site, like your Contact page or your Archive page. And the best part is that you take advantage of the speed, elegance and simplicity of Textpattern that you already know and trust.

There are some serious advantages to this method. A few are listed here:

  • Extremely lightweight—for sites already using TXP, this is a great solution since you are re-using code you trust and you’ve already got on your server, instead of uploading 50MB+ of new code.
  • Because you build it, you can put it together and style it however you like. I expect some templates will get worked out and folks who don’t want to “build” or “style” will be able to plug and play.
  • The fact that it’s really TXP is big — it’s hard to grasp all the possibilities. Some ideas are: Because they are just TXP articles, you could easily place the last five posts in the forum in a sidebar on your front page or elsewhere on your site … Because it’s just a TXP section, you could easily display the last five articles from your site in a sidebar next to your forum … No multiple logins … Articles with an automatic link to the forum thread … Etc.
  • Easily “skinnable” — once templates are worked out [I expect an expert to make table and div versions that validate] — all you’d need to do is upload a new stylesheet, and point your forum section at it.
  • The capability for clean urls is built right into the system.
  • Textile works in the articles and replies.
  • Not sure if this would work but … RSS?
  • You don’t have to be on the forum to post. You can just be in the TXP admin area — if you set an article to the section, it will appear in the forum.

You can see the model txphorum site here.

In it’s current state the project requires the webmaster to install 4 plugins and copy and paste a template (a collection of a PAGE, some FORMS, and a STYLE that have been created for this purpose) into the Textpattern install. Read more thorough instructions here.

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01 Feb 2007

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