Topic: Lacks features

I decided to give punbb a try this morning. The installation went surprisingly well! But that was the easy part...

Then I tried to install an antispam extension. It took me half an hour to figure it out because I was copying the files to the plugins directory instead of the extensions directory. The docs I googled were apparently outdated. Unfortunately, the captcha looks childish and I another extension I tried didn't work with the V1.4.

I figured I could live with that and tried decided to try opening the forum on my Android smartphone. It's going to be an help forum for an Android application so this is a must. There is no special formatting for mobile devices so the interface is quite cramped. I started looking for an extension to fix this, but the only one I found was on a 2 years old thread from users asking the very same thing. The extension requested 50$/year for commercial software which my Android application arguably is.

I give up. There are plenty of forum engines to choose from and until punbb fixes its documentation and actually addresses the needs of its users, it's just too much trouble just to say I'm using "open source".

Re: Lacks features

Work in progress.

Re: Lacks features

There's a mobile theme being worked on. As for documentation, you're right there isn't a lot.

That being said, PunBB is actually pretty exceptionally easy to use.

Re: Lacks features

@stonkie; thanks for your input.
Couple of points:

1. Captchas are not state of the art anymore, and you're advised against using them [by the largest opensource forum: phpbb3 (using captchas is wasting users time and ineffective) see also: Recent updates to common spamming software have led to severe shortcomings in the stock, image-based CAPTCHAs.]

2. There's a style for mobile devices since mid-2011 that also worked well with mobile devices recogonition extension (mobileswitch): (for 1.3 - pls test it on 1.4 and your device if you can?)

3. All extensions I've ever seen here are GNU GPL.

Re: Lacks features

From mobileswitch's website (

This extension uses a php function from "url"

Terms and Conditions for Detect Mobile Browsers:
Free for non-commercial, charitable and educational use otherwise an upgrade is required. An upgrade costs $50.00 per year by PayPal subscription

I didn't know about captchas though. Thanks! I guess the important part is to have something custom that bots can't parse.

Re: Lacks features

@stonkie; Okay thanks; keep in mind

Parpalak wrote:

If this is a single installation on your server, you can do everything you want.

But if you want to distribute a software that includes PunBB code, you have to release it under GPL license. If you want, I can ask about a commercial license.

EDIT: Please, describe what exactly you want to do with the PunBB code.

So unless Informer Technologies, Inc. gives you permission, you're going to be breaking GPL license terms for PunBB if you use it for a commercial android application...

Re: Lacks features

The forum will just serve as an external support forum in an integrated web browser (WebView). It's not bundled the way GPL requires to become viral, otherwise proprietary browsers wouldn't be permitted to display this very forum! I'm not a lawyer though... I just finished setting up phpBB which is also GPL so I very much hope I got that right.

Re: Lacks features

I only mention it because whatever rationale makes you think you would have needed to pay for the mobileswitch extension (indirectly, not actually to the extension author) i.e. commercial distribution would also apply to the PunBB code and the phpBB code, imho.
I guess you can always check with phpBB support though.