Open Source Forum platforms


I have need for a Facebook type application that can be extended to present news and then encourage community members to comment on it.

Could anyone recommend a platform, ideally not PHP based? Is Open Social as bad as Wikipedia makes it appear!) EssentiaESP looks interesting, but information about the tech architecture is well hidden.


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asked Dec 10 '09 at 21:42
81 points

5 Answers


ideally not PHP based

I think we need some clarification on this point. Is it that you don't like PHP? Don't have server that runs it?
answered Dec 10 '09 at 23:08
218 points
  • Personally I don't care - but my dev partner - he don't like. And as he has a track record of building good SEO functioning sites for major brands I'm just doing what I'm told! – Puk 14 years ago
  • I explored the compiled v interpreted issue with a few tech architects. If it is a technical argument then it is a decision between fast to write language like Python, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Java (this can be the benefit of being interpreted) versus fast to run like .Net (the benefit of compiled). For my purposes I want which ever is fastest to market. The fact that my development partner is most comfortable with .Net makes this the fastest route to market. It turns out not to be a simple technical choice. In other circumstances, in my opinion, the Pinax option would have been more attractive. – Puk 14 years ago
  • This is a very fair assessment, and really solidifies your choice. The right tool for the job always trumps any other response. Thanks for the extra information. – Strozykowski 14 years ago


You could create a Ning network. See: If you pay something like $49 monthly, then you'll get it with no ads and you can put it on your own domain.

answered Dec 11 '09 at 11:43
1,471 points


Maybe you want to try Pinax?

answered Dec 10 '09 at 21:46
1,342 points
  • Cheers I'll check it out. Does anyone knwo what this forum is built on? – Puk 14 years ago
  • It is built on Python + Django – Jpartogi 14 years ago
  • Pinax is looking interesting! Does anyone know the implications of extending its functionality? Its licensed under MIT licence. Best raise a new question. – Puk 14 years ago
  • With MIT License, you can do whatever you want with it as long as you keep the original authors name. There is no restrictions. – Jpartogi 14 years ago


I was going to recommend Drupal, but that's PHP based. I'd highly recommend talking about this with your partner. This issue isn't so much what your partner likes, but where you can find talent for a reasonable pay. PHP is a widely used language, that runs on most platforms, that a lot of people know.

answered Dec 11 '09 at 03:47
460 points
  • Apparently the PHP antipathy is down to it being an interpreted language, we didn't discuss the disadvantages of this. When we have had a chance to I'll update this thread. At this point though I'm taking it on faith. – Puk 14 years ago
  • Is your partner looking forward to build a web app with a _compiled_ language? If so, you might want to consider a new partner ;) – Olivier Lalonde 14 years ago
  • PHP is terrible, and you need to learn PHP *and* JavaScript. Look at [Meteor](, and at the [Telescope]( platform - a Reddit clone written entirely in JavaScript. – Dan Dascalescu 11 years ago


Your co-founder is right - PHP is terrible, and to maintain a web app you need to learn PHP and JavaScript.

Look at Meteor, and at the Telescope platform - a Reddit clone written entirely in JavaScript.

answered May 23 '13 at 18:05
Dan Dascalescu
168 points

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