IVAN STANTON

Junior Web Developer

Making a Forum with FlatBoard

So you might have noticed that I have a forum now for website comments. I'm using Flatboard, a rather obscure forum software, for the forum, mainly because my incompetence with SQL prevents me from using things like phpBB or NodeBB. In addition to being forum software, Flatboard can be a community blog as well. If you're in the same situation, here's how to install Flatboard. Because like Pico, the documentation is quite incomplete.

Installation

First, you'll need to download Flatboard. Extract the two files flatboard.zip and index.php somewhere in the folder where your HTTP documents are stored (usually /var/www/html). Make sure you have the following configured on your webserver:

Change the ownership of both files and the folder containing them to www-data:www-data. Then, open the place where you installed Flatboard in a browser and click Unpack. Then enter appropriate content into the username, password, and email fields.

Is Flatboard Good?

Flatboard is a very easy-to-set-up bulletin board, with configurable folders and theming, that can also be used as community blog. It has all the features that are necessary and not many that are unnecessary. It is for those reasons that I use it.

On the other hand, I can imagine it getting slow with time (though I can't be sure). Theming is difficult, as theme files are very splintered and use pure PHP. The community is small and documentation is scattered. CAPTCHAS are used, but they can easily be bypassed by advanced bots. For those reasons, I would not recommend Flatboard if you are able to use SQL or NodeJS.