WEB design help needed

The provincial government (Alberta) has just called a provincial election. A local candidate (NDP) has requested my assistance in doing up a quick and dirty web page for the election (I have already done this for my own constituency). My problem is that he would like to have sort of an “interactive message board” – not quite a chat room, but a place where people visiting the page can post questions or observations and he can reply to them. Ideally, the question or observation would post immediately, and then he would be able to (essentially as a moderator) post replies.

I think I have seen something like this on other home pages, but only a limited idea how this is done. I believe it may be a matter of linking to another site that allows you run a message board… but am stumped as to how to search for such a site…

Anyone got any suggestions? I would like to be able to have this up and running by this coming weekend.

Thanks in advance, and if you are an Albertan reading this sight, remember to support Raj and the New Democrats…

You might want to try EZ board http://www.ezboard.com ,or inside the web http://www.insidetheweb.com I have no experience with either, but I have visited webpages that use those.

This one used to be the easiest and most customisable BB out there, perhaps still is. I recall it was the preferred choice of Pro’s. You don’t need to do the full board, apparently it really is very adaptable – and free.


If you want to keep looking the category would be something like: Computers > Bulletin Board Systems > Software

Yes, Free UBB is great. You do need to have a CGI bin, if you don’t you can’t use it.

What Handy probably meant to say is that if you plan on using self-coded user forms or search boxes you’ll need to check that the provider supports CGI or ASP – “CGI bin” isn’t a thing in itself.

A Common Gateway Interface (CGI) script is an executable that provides a dynamic communication link between the web server and client browser. An HTML document in itself provides no way to capture information and return it to the server, so CGI programs run as subtasks on the server to capture information (from user forms, for example) or return the results of a user search.

/cgi-bin is the conventional name used for the UNIX subdirectory that the CGI script(s) reside in on the web server.

For your needs, it sounds like you don’t need to worry about any of this. Message boards by definition must be able to capture user input and record it to the server. There are numerous free boards out there; the thread below should sort you out:

How could I set up my own message board on the web?

If you’re looking to have the source code for a message board, rather than using third party software, you should check out a book called “The ASP Bible”. (I forget the name of the publisher, but they make a lot of computer language “bibles”…they usually have red and yellow covers)

Anyway, one of the chapters focuses on creating a message board using ASP, HTML and COM objects. The code is all there in the book, and its pretty easy to customize. Anyway, to actually have the code run on your server, you either need to be running IIS or be using Personal Web Server.

Ideally, this code would use a SQL Server database to store all the messages, but it wouldn’t be that difficult to store it in Access, or even in a text file.