Lunarboard: Next-gen Django Forum Software

AileenLumina

Neophyte
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
2
Let me introduce a new forum software: Lunarboard.

Lunarboard is a forum software inspired by the greatest ideas of social networks, blog platforms and message board software that already exist. It combines the best ideas and finds clever ways to push them to the next level. Lunarboard combines instant messages, blogs, showcases, discussions, collaboration, communities and social interaction in a beautiful, responsive, intuitive and powerful application you and your visitors will love to use.

Configurable: Permissions

Users can be added to one or multiple user group(s). You are able to fine tune the permissions for each user and group. You can define exactly who can do what, and where. We try our best to keep the permission system easy to understand and intuitive to use.

Customisable: Themes

Users can create and submit their own themes. A powerful theme creator helps with creating beautiful themes that are a joy to look at. Themes can also be configurable, meaning that users could, for instance, choose from a list of predefined colour palettes or backgrounds. Advanced themes can also contain JavaScript to, for instance, render WebGL rain in the background of the page.

Personal: Post designs and multiple avatars

Users can create post designs that change how their posts look like. They can create a number of these post designs, and you can specify a maximum. When users submit a post, they can assign one of their post designs and one of their avatars (as they can have multiple) to the post. Every user is able to disable post designs if they prefer a consistent look and feel.

Social: User Blogs

Users can have their own personal space to talk about any topic. This is of course configurable in the permissions system.

Responsive: Bootstrap and ReactJS

Lunarboard uses the most popular web styling framework, Bootstrap. This results in 100% responsiveness and beautiful pages you will love to browse. The usage of ReactJS results in consistently great performance. This combination means standards compliance with the modern web across the major web browsers. In short: Lunarboard will always look beautiful and perform well, no matter which of the major web browsers your visitors may use.

Flexible: Django ORM

Lunarboard is built on top of Django. This means it is compatible with various database management systems such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite and many more. You have the freedom to choose the database management system you prefer.

Extendable: Plugin System

Plugins can extend the functionality of Lunarboard by extending its data structure, executing logic when a certain event happens (e.g. a new user was created, or a post that contains a certain word was posted, etc.), and adding new pages, or extending already existing ones.

Easy Development: RESTful API

Lunarboard’s RESTful API allows developers to interact with Lunarboard easily. There is an extensive, auto-generated API documentation that tells you in a simple way how to use each API endpoint.

Rewarding & Fun: XP System, Economy and Games

(This system is fully optional as it consists of plugins.)
Users earn XP (“Experience Points”) for submitting posts and chatting with others. Basically, they get rewarded for being active. Every time they gather a certain amount of XP, they “level up”. Users can also earn virtual money which they can spend on virtual items. These items can then be used in games. The higher the level of a user, the better the items they can purchase in the shop. Games can be added by plugins, as well as methods of earning XP and virtual money.

Secure: Spam and Flood Prevention

Lunarboard allows for the use of reCaptcha, the current industry standard for preventing automated bots from registering accounts. StopForumSpam prevents known spammers from registering accounts.

Informative: Analytics

Admins can view where visitors are coming from, how they were referred to your site and what parts of your site they visit the most. Plugins can add data that can be displayed on the analytics panel.

Other features include:

- Special pages
- Upvotes/downvotes (both optional)
- Instant messaging
- Notifications
- Custom BBCode
- Polls/Surveys
- User file storage
- Embedded Imgur/Pastebin/etc. uploaders
- Reports, warnings, temporary bans, permanent bans, IP bans

Join the discussions on the Lunarboard Discord server.

The summary above represents the milestone v1.0.0 . It will obviously take a lot of time until the project gets there.

Currently, I do not have a running version and am still in the process of building a first alpha version. In case you're interested in contributing: Great! Please send me a message and tell me what you would like to do!

Please do ask questions, tell me your opinion, suggest changes/features, give advice and point out issues, but most importantly: Ask questions, please! I know that this summary isn't complete, and I need some help to find out what information may be missing.
 

Rosey Lumina

Aspirant
Joined
Apr 17, 2017
Messages
11
Well, I had to make a post here after seeing this. i've been tracking the project for a while now because I'm a close friend of Aileen and it looks really nice with some interesting features that make this worthwhile using. ^^

(I also aided a little bit with the writing of this thread so yeah)
 

cheat_master30

Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
3,873
Well, this seems interesting. I'll keep an eye on how the project develops, and check out your demo forum when it goes online.

Wish you the best of luck with the project!
 

AileenLumina

Neophyte
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
2
There are some major differences in terms of how we think a forum software should be built / look like / work. Not 100% sure about that, but how Misago looks like right now goes in a vastly different direction than how Lunarboard is going to look like. This means I would have to fork Misago, but I don't want to because it would mean using a copyleft license while I would really prefer a BSD license.
 

Digital Doctor

Tazmanian
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
4,693
An open source Reddit would have no competition. Have an option:
- regular thread
- threaded thread
But allow up votes on both.
 

rafalp

Desu Ex
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
1,184
An open source Reddit would have no competition. Have an option:

What you are doing these last weeks going on and on and on about how Reddit is the thing is called cargo-culting - the push to do things the way somebody successful in the field does them, but not seeing the greater picture as to why they got successful in the first place.

Reddit's breakthrough didn't happen because it discovered new model for how discussion in internets should be ran - it happened because it appeared at the peak of Web 2.0 era, obtaining funding by Y Combinator (thus making it known and popular in the valley hackers circle) and then being bought out by Fortune 500's media conglomerate that funded and promoted it heavily in non-technical cohorts. Today reddit is popular because its popular and has "superstar" people frequent thematic subreddits (eg. breakthrough cancer researchers on r/science and their AMA's from time to time, SpaceX employees on r/space and r/engineering).

There are some major differences in terms of how we think a forum software should be built / look like / work. Not 100% sure about that, but how Misago looks like right now goes in a vastly different direction than how Lunarboard is going to look like.

Absolutely. Could you then drop piece of feedback for me at Misago's thread or in priv? I really value it a lot as it helps me to decide directions when working on new features or improving current ones.

This means I would have to fork Misago, but I don't want to because it would mean using a copyleft license while I would really prefer a BSD license.

Fair enough!
 
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rafalp

Desu Ex
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
1,184
Threaded threads with upvotes creates better content.
By design.

Web discussions are flat by design. You know what's threaded? Comments. Do you know what people on reddit do? They comment content from 3rd party sites.


Ofcourse they are dead. Which is why this forum is dead. Or Neogaf forums are dead. Or Blizzard's battle.net is dead. Or (insert name of big and thriving internet forum) is dead.

You know what needs to die? Bold statements and declarations of things being dead.
 

rafalp

Desu Ex
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
1,184
There is lots of content created on reddit (it isn't just comments).

And there's lot of activism that starts in FB groups. Does this mean that FB's groups are superior to forums? Or is it simply effect of scale?

Discussion on Reddit heavily biases towards who's first to comment.

And it is easier to read than a forum thread where the information is scattered everywhere.

Except its not. Threaded discussions aren't new idea, and have been tried plenty of times over last two decades. And yet they didn't gain much traction.

There's good reason for that: Threaded discussions are here to solve peculiar problem - allowing north of 1500 messages with roughly shared subject to be somehow structured while active discussion takes place. But this is problem specific for popular and established social sites and few internet forums like Neogaf.

99% of internet forums discussions are threads that may be read in few minutes tops. They gain nothing from threaded discussions, and those threaded discussions would actually make it harder to read thread. Tree traversal is costlier than list traversal for humans even more than it is to machines. If you'll go and read any of Steve's Krug's books, you'll learn that people don't explore the web in search of the best - they appease themselves with "good enough". Majority of redditors comments are unread by everybody but themselves and little few reddit savvy to ignore topmost discussions for this reason. How is this different from current pattern of people skipping pages on linear threads? Linear thread is better here than tree due to lower list traversal costs. More content is discovered that way.

The added bonus is lower impact of possible moderation actions like thread splitting, as well as greater easiness for using those by site's staff.

In light of this all, I'm still standing on position that pushing for threaded discussions in internet forum software is example of cargo cult that in practice would
turn hurtful premature optimization for issue that's not there.
 
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