Phorum Interview

Date Submitted: February 7 2006 10:15 am

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style="font-weight: normal;">Brian Moon is
the founder and leader of Phorum

Q: Who are you and tell us a little
about yourself(s)?

I live near Birmingham, AL.  Unlike most web developers these
days, I am not a teenager.  I am 32, married and have five
children ages 5mos. thru 9yrs.  No, I am not Catholic or
(not that there is anything wrong with those, just get asked that a
lot).  I was born in Huntsville, AL and raised my entire life
Alabama.  I love it here.  Don't believe all the

I am a programmer and system administrator for onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)"
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 I was employee number three in 1998.  You can get
the full
skinny on them at onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)"
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Why did you want to create Phorum
in the first place?

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( onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)"
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site) needed a message board. I tried installing and customizing
WWWBoard, but it did not do what we wanted. So, in April of 1999, I
hacked together three scripts (index.php, read.php and post.php) that
would let you do all we wanted to do.  I put an email on the
mailing list about it.  I told anyone that would help me debug
and make it better could have the code.  Within 30 days we had
Phorum 1.0.

What do you consider are some of
the strongest features of Phorum?

Performance is the main focus of our code.  Features are added
at a time to ensure that they do not harm the performance.
module system was born out of this need for speed.  It allows
great deal of flexibilty for coders to create modules to offer features
in Phorum that are not in the core code base.

Our template system is quite nice as well.  Skilled HTML
can present the data however they want.

What are some of the features you
want to incorporate into future Phorum releases?

Our loose ideas for 5.2 include an abstracted caching system.
would likely build a file based backend and a memcached version.
 We are keeping a close eye on PHP6 work.  We are
that PHP6 would be a good chance to rewrite Phorum from scratch again.

You can see the list of tickets we have created for 5.2 in our Trac

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What do you find to be the most
challenging aspect of creating an open source CMS?

Making a robust, feature rich application and making it fast is not
easy.  I see some people dive into making a project and never
with more than 1000 rows of data.  When you start hitting 2
million, things change.

There is a plethora of open source
CMS's available out "there" for people to choose.  Why should
people consider Phorum?

I believe that people need to use what best suits their needs.
you want a fast system that is easy to expand, Phorum is a good solution

for you.  Critic like to point out all the features that
does not have out of the box.  We like that.  We did
that on
purpose.  Most features they point to can be added via modules
(avatars, user ranks, etc.)

Another key for Phorum is that it does not want to dominate your site.
Your site should have your identity, not Phorum's.  You don't
have to link back to us.  I don't link to Phorum on the
forum except for a link on a help page.

Chanh Ong

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