UBB, vB, and the like

about how much does the proprietary code to run a bulletin board such as this run? Are there any free services? Are they good? What’s up with all this?
should be trawlin for porn

vBulletin is the cheaper of the two, since it’s the new kid on the block. Only $160 (more details).

UBB is quite a bit more expensive. $250 for a non-profit/educational. $500-$4000 for business, per year.(more details) Both of them can run on a cheapo Linux box with all the other software required being free.

Here’s a interesting comparison discussion: http://geekvillage.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/001459.html

::cracks knuckles:: Ah, a subject near and dear to my heart, as I’m currently in the configuration stage of my own message boards (not to mention the web site that goes along with it). In another thread, somebody mentioned EZBoard, or something to that effect, which is free. Another free one, which AudreyK might have gotten around to mentioning, is Ikonboard (found, predictably enough, at Ikonboard.com). It runs off of CGI scripts and therefore requires Perl support (I believe the others require SQL, though I could be wrong here).

Like I said, I’m still configuring it, and haven’t actually gotten to use it yet, outside of a couple test posts, but I really like it so far. It looks and feels much like VB and UBB (though things like the post count and registration date are under the body of the post instead of under the username where they’re supposed to be. :wink:

On the other hand, it’s free and apparently open source, and buggy, and easily fixed. To elaborate, it’s in a state of constant revision. The version I have is buggy, but if you visit their support forums, you’ll see a bunch of bug fixes (“hacks,” in the purer sense of the term) put together by talented programmers and supposedly fairly easy to implement. (Then again, I tried editing a file and screwing up my profiles.cgi, so what do I know?) All the colors and stuff are set up in an admin tool (well, hell, everything’s controlled from there), and though it’s not as easy as setting my own stylesheets would be, everything is integrated, so it’s probably easier in the long run.

Ooh, it also has this neat instant messenger thing that even the SDMB doesn’t have. (And considering some of the posters we have, it’d probably crash all the servers, which is probably why it isn’t here.) :wink:

I’d send you to my fledgling effort, but it’s a mess right now. :slight_smile:

Of course reading the thread Smack linked to, now I feel like getting vB… Though with my luck, my host won’t support PHP anyway. :rolleyes:

I use tForum.

Like the others, it looks and feels very much like UBB or vBulletin. It’s free, but requires PHP and MySQL (which are both also free). It supports emoticons, post icons, vB/UBB codes, HTML in posts, signatures, user levels based on post count, word filtering, and IP banning. The forum listing, thread listing, and thread view can all be changed easily by editing an HTML template.

UBB codes, HTML, and word filtering are only configurable system-wide (not per-forum), and users are always allowed to edit/delete their own posts. This isn’t a problem for me but it might be for someone.

YaBB (yet another bulletin board) comes highly recommended by some other boards I post to. It’s free, open source, and by all reports as good as if not better than UBB.



If you are using a web hosting company, they may already have a bulletin board script for you to use.

One issue that’s come up with Ikonboard is the ability for users to duplicate other usernames as long as the capitalization is different. For instance, this would allow there to be a ‘Bob’ and a ‘bob’. The hack I read for IB would automatically lowercase all usernames and this change, as far as I can tell, would change it both on the front end and the back. How do these other (free) BBs take care of this potential troll tool?


Also, how hard would it be to integrate SSI into these progs? I’d probably just use it to work a banner rotator (probably CGI, if I can’t find a DHTML workaround) above the forums.

(Sorry, jb, I’m finding this all out for you, honest. :))

you guys are like an ice cream cone. soooo good, and I want to lick you all.

the best!