Topic: PunBB - server edition
Not a feature request as such -- more an idea for consideration and hopefully discussion.
I use punBB on my own website, it's great, wouldn't dream of changing. I check by here now and then, and when I see a new release I get my site updated within a day or two.
I'm also a webserver administrator. Security vulnerabilities of dynamic web applications pose a serious concern for me and every web server admin. Software authors usually respond quickly to recognized security flaws and release new versions. But too often, existing installations of insecure versions are not updated. Inexperienced webmasters are sometimes simply not aware of the potential for security vulnerabilities, or they forget, or they install something to 'try it out' and later abandon it (without removing it). The onus for keeping web applications up-to-date is on the webmaster, but frequently the consequences of outdated, insecure web applications fall on the server admin (such as when the server is turned into a spam-machine by an insecure mail script). Often the only recourse is to search out insecure scripts across the server, and disable or update them -- a tedious and ongoing task.
My idea is to move away from account- or domain-based installations of web applications to server-based installations. Meaning, there is just a single installation of the application on the server and every hosted domain can access it -- one installation of scripts to be maintained and updated by the server admin. Each individual account/domain would store its own data and be able to make unique customizations via templates and CSS.
That's the punBB : Server Edition, the server administrator's dream No other forum has taken this kind of approach (or other web app, to my knowledge, with the exception of webmail apps). It could make punBB truly unique. It's all quite do-able, I'm sure, just needs a little re-thinking. (Actually I currently use this approach with a small CMS I've written. I have about 25 sites on one server -- all chugging away from a single set of core scripts, using domain-specific stylesheets & images, and reading/writing data to domain databases.)
Just a thought... love to hear your comments.