Forum upgrade recommendations

  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    I guess in some way this kind of counts as homework, but...

    My work place (an ISP) currently has a SMF 1.1.18 installation that we use for strictly internal recording of goings on -- when disconnects were run, when changes are planned (or unplanned) to our POPs, when we have to change channels on one of our access points in order to make the clients work again, etc.

    The general structure is that we have several top level forums (including the "critical" outages forum, which business rules state MUST send an e-mail notification to everyone in the company when a new thread is created), and then one of the top level forums has a bunch of sub-forums for each POP.

    We're kind of sort of investigating upgrading/replacing the forum, and I was hoping to draw on y'alls expertise extensive experience sarcastic comments to help me winnow the candidates.

    An ideal forum for us would include the following features:

    • Support for LDAP/Active Directory integration (SSO using our current Windows AD accounts)
    • Runs on Linux (as much as we have an AD, the other admins are much more comfortable with Linux/Apache than IIS)
    • Administrators can specify that all users must receive e-mail notifications for certain forums
    • Not Discourse 😉


  • SockDev

    must.... resist.... urge... to ....recommend....discourse....

    (sorry, i';ve got no ideas. joomla can integrate LDAP but its usea as a forum is lacking at best)

  • SockDev

    Well... LDAP hasn't been done lately in SMF, I really should get on that sometime but not having an LDAP server myself for testing, that ain't gonna work too well.

    SMF runs on Linux, that's no problem.

    Forcing an email for a board in SMF is a no go per se however there's no reason you couldn't use the 'announce this topic' function when making such topics.

    2.0 series is still well supported (technically even 1.1.x is still supported and you're a patch behind but honestly... 1.1.19 wasn't a huge deal if I remember rightly. I know I didn't give it the love it really deserved since 1.1.x will be EOL'd come 2.1 release which is "soon")

    In fact, I'd argue that you'd get the best possible SMF support here, but I would say that.

  • IPB? (ignore the monthly pricing, that's the cloud host option, there's a self host package)

    It has an LDAP module, and multiple other auth methods.
    It'll run on any OS capable of running PHP properly.
    You get the full source code when you get a license.
    The notification system is there and can send emails,and alerts on the board. Not sure if you can force it for specific forums.

    You'll get support with your license from paid people made to care about your needs. You can also pay a little extra and they'll do modifications for you.

  • SockDev

    IPB is actually kinda sluggish. It's a toss-up between IPB and vB as to which of them is slower, honestly.

    But yes, LDAP out of the box. Probably easier to justify $125 up front and some fee every 6 months than it is an OSS provider, too. I'd have to check on the forcing-for-forums bit, though.

    On the other hand... there are few people who know SMF better than I do 😛

  • Turn on opcache which is now built-in with PHP 5.6 and you'll never have "sluggish" problems. Fuck love opcache, took a PHP server that was at 50% cpu and 1k requests/second down to 8% cpu and now handling 8k requests/second.

  • SockDev

    @delfinom said:

    Turn on opcache which is now built-in with PHP 5.6 and you'll never have "sluggish" problems.

    OpCache is built in to PHP 5.5, and trust me... it doesn't quite fix IPB's issues.

  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    Well, and as much as "forcing notifications for the outage forum" is a big business rule, the way we do it right now in SMF is to manually edit the back-end database whenever we sign up a new user so that we "subscribe" them to that forum. I suppose I could smurf as the user after I create them and it would be easier (and give me a way to test the sign-in, too), but I figured out how to do it via SQL query first and that's just kinda what we've kept doing. Ain't broke and all.

    The LDAP is the biggest feature I want, and seems to be the sticking point for PHPBB/SMF, from what research I've done. I think I'm down to like 5 systems that don't support SSO, and the more I can shoot in the head, the better.

  • What issues are those? I've consulted and worked on two very large IPB based forums(>50k per day posts) and never witnessed any sluggishness or other issues(besides broken search in 3.0 to 3.2). In fact I just went to one of them right now and the forums are as snappy as ever. Shit the biggest scalability issue I had to deal with was the database clustering just to store the couple million topics.

  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @delfinom said:

    Shit the biggest scalability issue I had to deal with was the database clustering just to store the couple million topics.

    Do you mind if I ask what the size of the database was? We are evaluating a project that while it is not a forum, should have rough equivalency on data usage. I do not need anything too exact, just an approximation.

  • If non-free software is okay take a look at XenForo. No idea if it has LDAP integration but there are a butt-ton of plugins available, and it's probably the best paid forum available right now.

  • The database sat around ~7gigs and had to be clustered between two mysql servers to handle demand/usage. But it held ~4 million topics at its peak with ~25 million posts. That's not including private messages which were also numerous.
    Needless to say migrations on updates were fun

  • Well some brief Google-Fu suggests XenForo doesn't have LDAP login, but that they would gladly integrate it if someone else wrote it.

    Sounds like someone else we all know.

  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @delfinom said:

    7gigs and had to be clustered between two mysql servers to handle demand/usage

    That must have been some significant traffic as you could hold the entire database in memory. Thank you for the info.

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