Note: This entry has been restored from old archives.
I’ve been toying with a community site recently. The logical starting point for the code behind it is discussion functionality. The idea is to take some existing code that does “forums” well and use this as the kernel that the community site is built around. Nothing is ever so easy though, the ‘net and developer communities have grown so huge that we’re not talking a needle in a haystack but finding the right needle in a haystack full of needles. There’s a scattering of good needles, but a lot of blunt of downright broken ones.
I’ve locked myself into Django now, but even having already determined the web framework to use (i.e. choosing a smaller haystack) the task isn’t trivial. I think that a general issue here is this exact experience I’m having, people give up eventually, try to spin their own, get big ideas, publish their half baked code, and make it just a little harder for the next person trying to find pre-existing functionality. It doesn’t help that Django’s relatively young, I don’t make life easy for myself sometimes!
Here’s my small attempt to work against the trend. I’ve gathered a list of the Django forum/discussion software I’ve found and associated each project with any further useful information that might help the decision of which to use. I’ve filtered out anything that was clearly broken, but don’t know the level of completeness of everything listed here.
Also, I’m sure there’s other projects out there I’ve missed! I’ll update this page if I find anything new.
I’m not recommending any of these, maybe that’ll come later once I’ve actually decided which one to work with.
Ross’s Django Forum (the django-forum)
“Simple Django Forum Component”
This seems to be the most linked-to Django forum software out there. It seems basic, but I haven’t tested it or seen a demo. I’ve seen various blog comments commenting on either it’s “lack of features” or “ease of installation and use” — how many “features” do people really need?
- Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/django-forum/
- Owner: Ross Poulton (ross.poulton) http://www.rossp.org/ (This blog/owner link is a guess.)
- Initial checkin: 2007-04-30
- Latest update: 2007-11-18 (> 1 month ago)
Jonathan’s Django Forum
Almost got this one mixed up with django-forum above. At least it has a demo site! The demo looks like it has all the basic expected components working.
- Code: http://www.jonathanbuchanan.plus.com/repos/forum/
- Owner: Jonathan Buchanan http://insin.webfactional.com/ (There’s some info about the forum in the weblog.)
- Demo Forum: http://incremental.homedns.org:81/
“forum written with django”
Very little information about this out there, the code is available though. I’ve seen a comment on a blog post from Nov 29th 2007 that says “missing much functionality”, it’s a young project though and that was a month ago.
- Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/counterpoint/
- Owner: Collin Grady (cgrady) http://collingrady.com/ (no info on counterpoint at time of writing)
- Initial checkin: 2007-03-18
- Latest update: 2007-12-18 (11 days ago)
“Python Forum/Bulletin-Board for Django”
“SNAPboard: S(imple), N(imble), A(ttractive), P(ython) board”
In a way this one seems to do the best job of selling its self. The Google Code frontpage and wiki (documentation) are good. However activity on the project has dropped off and a new maintainer has come on board recently (December 11th according to a forum post).
- Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/snapboard/
- Discussion: http://groups.google.com/group/snapboard-discuss
- Owner: No obvious blog to associate, started by “Bo Shi” and recently changed “maintainers” to a “JW Mayfield”.
- Initial checkin: 2007-01-26
- Latest update: 2007-12-17 (12 days ago, but first checkin in more than four months)
Django Discussion (django-discussion)
“A generic discussion application for Django”
I’m guessing this is the same author as the second item in this list, pretty unlikely coincidence otherwise? Anyway, the code seems to be different, so a different project?
- Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/django-discussion/
- Owner: Jonathan Buchanan (Same author as the second forum in the list I’m guessing, but the code seems very different.)
- Initial checkin: 2007-03-15
- Latest update: 2007-12-08 (only 9 changes since creation, but recently active at least)
“Diamanda Wiki and Forum”
Diamanda isn’t only a “forum”, it’s a site-builder toolkit that contains a complete “forum” subcomponent called “MyghtyBoard”. The forum seems to possess all the expected features. Development started quite some time ago and was regular up until early 2007, reached a degree feature completeness maybe? A recent “bug report” is “rewrite code for better look and use” with the response “I will in time :)” (6 days ago).
- Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/diamanda/
- Owner: Piotr Malinski: http://www.rkblog.rk.edu.pl/
- Initial checkin: 2006-08-30
- Latest update: 2007-02-18 (quite some time ago, but it had a lot of activity up to this point)
- Also, SourceForge: http://sourceforge.net/projects/myghtyboard/
- Demo Forum: Maybe this is the code in action: http://www.rkblog.rk.edu.pl/forum/
Sphene Community Tools
“Django Forum Application and Django Wiki Application”
Like Diamanda, this is a toolkit that happens to include a forum. I’m assuming that the forum on their site represents a demo of SCT in action. This project looks like the most active of the lot and seems to be quite well documented.
- Website: http://sct.sphene.net/
- Code: http://sct.sphene.net/wiki/show/Downloads/
- Owner: Herbert Poul (kahless) http://herbert.poul.at/wiki/show/Start/
- Initial checkin: 2007-02-18
- Latest update: 2007-12-23 (6 days ago — fixing typos on the eve of the eve, dedicated!)
- Demo Forum: http://sct.sphene.net/board/show/0/
- Also, SourceForge (but of little use): http://sourceforge.net/projects/sct/
That’s the lot for the moment.