I did a stealth upgrade of the roleplay.org.il forums early Saturday morning, from a creaky old patched and hacked phorum 3 install, that had been modified by various hands, including Bo, Fogi and Hershko, and which still used visual Hebrew, to a nearly-new Phorum 5 version, with bells, whistles, RSS feeds and search that works.
Phorum 5 is a pleasantly solid PHP/MySQL project, clean and sensible code, decent docs, an import script that imports 300 thousand messages without complaint (and which is clear enough to hack – in fact the whole Phorum code is remarkably easy to hack – which is probably what got us into this mess in the first place, although the version 3 code gives me shudders), and a neat system of templates and modules seperated nicely from the core functionality (although of course it’s always missing this one hook you really-really need…)
So now I’m messing about, adding functionality, fixing mistranslations, dickering with colors and CSS and what-not, and giddy with the power of controlling every detail of this forum people are actually using. Although the glory days (several ages therof) of our forums are long gone, perhaps this will breath some life into them. The Society for the promotion of Roleplaying in Israel (that’s our official name!) has had a site for ages, and so far it has never quite lived up to it’s potential – it has giving us some remarkable applications, such as a community-wide phone book and (sigh) a once-lively-if-haughty forum (you call it elitism, we call it standards), but failed to become a major roleplaying destination. It’s probably too late now, but one can hope for better times.
I wonder how much time I should wait before I give the site a wiki…