What is PunBB?
PunBB is a fast and lightweight PHP-powered discussion board. It is released under the GNU General Public License. Its primary goals are to be faster, smaller and less graphically intensive as compared to other discussion boards. PunBB has fewer features than many other discussion boards, but is generally faster and outputs smaller, semantically correct XHTML-compliant pages.
The idea of PunBB was first born when I needed a discussion board for a website I was working on. After an exhaustive search, all the boards I found were either over-featured or too graphic for my needs. I wanted a package that
- was fast.
- had a simple layout and design.
- was easy to administrate and moderate.
- didn't output huge, non-valid, (X)HTML pages.
- had source code you could read and understand.
To my dismay, such a forum was nowhere to be found. Thus, I started working on PunBB, or just Pun as it was called back then.
Developing software to "please the masses" isn't difficult. Just cram in every possible feature you can think of and most people will love it. Some people, however, will hate it and look for alternatives. The problem with developing for that other group of people is having to make decisions on whether to implement a feature or not. What is a "must-have" and what is not?
Some features that I have so far chosen not to implement are: private messaging, file attachments, polls, linking to off-site avatars, advanced text formatting controls, subforums etc etc. The jury is still out on some of these features, but don't expect them to pop up anytime soon. It should however be noted that most, if not all of these features have been realised in the form of third-party mods.
PunBB development team
The professional team working on PunBB core and official extensions:
Visit the PunBB team page for more details.
PunBB history (brief)
See the PunBB history page for a detailed version.
PunBB was founded by Rickard Andersson, who conceived it as an alternative to over-featured or too graphic discussion boards. The first stable release was reached on the 7th of August, 2003.
A further remarkable step forward was the release of PunBB 1.2 in January of 2005. After that, there weren’t any considerable changes to the project for a long time. The PunBB 1.3 was started in 2005.
In the summer of 2007, the rights to PunBB were sold to Informer Technologies, who were interested in supporting the project financially. This didn’t really influence anything but for the fact that donations were no longer accepted.
Towards the end of 2007, Informer Technologies developers began to take a more active part in PunBB by aiding in extensions development and discussing issues with the PunBB team, thus participating in the release of PunBB 1.3 Beta at the beginning of 2008.
At the end of April of 2008, Informer Technologies took a hard decision to move punbb.org to a new domain, punbb.informer.com. Just a couple of days before this, and independently of this, Rickard Andersson decided that he couldn’t pay much attention to PunBB any more due to personal reasons.
Having taken the responsibility for developing PunBB and seeking to make the work of extensions developers easier, Informer Technologies released PunBB 1.3 RC, in which they provided maximum compatibility of PunBB and FluxBB at the level of extensions. From that moment on, they completely separated from FluxBB, thanking former developers for their cooperation and starting to support users on the PunBB Forums independently.
We are going to develop PunBB further by making the core even faster and more lightweight, while providing PunBB with all the modern features with the help of the unique extensions system. We also think that the combination of commercial management with active feedback from the open-source community represents a unique synergy, which will let us achieve our aim in PunBB: creating a forum which is best in all respects.