phpBB 3.1 Ascraeus - Opinions?


I recently noticed the phpBB team released 3.1, which I gather it’s release was a long time coming. I am mostly familiar with the platform as an end user. I was wondering if anyone familiar with it had thoughts on the new feature set they are advertising.

Things that stood out to me are a responsive layout, notification system, ajax calls, and a new extension system. The new layout however, (unfortunately) looks pretty much the same, and I haven’t seen any more minimalist themes since it is so new. Is this a platform worth checking out?

I like the responsive layout and notification system of Discourse, but I have no experience with the language/framework under the hood which makes me reluctant to use it, along with the more exotic server requirements.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

You’re not asking the most neutral party :stuck_out_tongue:

My two cents: I won’t give phpBB a second look until they’ve completely reinvented themselves. phpBB is responsible for many of the awful forum design trends that plague the internet to this day – signatures, cluttered profiles, ugly default themes etc. etc.

(Gerhard Schlager) #3

That’s kinda harsh… Let’s wait and see what people will say about Discourse after 15 years. :wink:

@19eighties I didn’t test it yet since I’m currently trying to replace a phpBB 3 with Discourse. The thing is, it still looks “old” (mainly because of that awful default theme) even though they spent a lot of time eliminating technical debt.
For me it’s too little too late. But, I’d say, give phpBB a try and see for yourself.


No comment.

Uhh, a 1GB VPS is not exotic.

(山) #5

I think they meant the Ruby and Rails as requirements. Most forum software is based on PHP and mySQL since VPS wasn’t a thing back then (or at least not widely available since it wasn’t cheap). True to that, software such as phpBB, SMF, Vanilla, myBB, ect all can be hosted safely on shared hosting, which is much easier for the end user, especially if they aren’t technically-inclined (or know how to use the command line or a terminal).

(Jeff Atwood) #6

Yes, but just like people are no longer limited to 640kb DOS machines, we believe the hosting story is changing such that a 1 GB Docker container can eventually run almost anywhere for around $5 a month. (Right now that is $10 per month on Digital Ocean, but over time will get cheaper and cheaper).

If your budget is such that you can only afford $1 per month, we are fine ceding the low end of the market there to things like phpBB and its ilk.

(山) #7

I don’t think it’s so much the cost, but having to set it up. Most PHP-based forums allow someone to FTP everything up and click a button after going to an ‘install’ URL and everything sets up, even the database. The extra terminal part is what trips some up, I suspect, and maintaining the VPS which includes more command line things. Which to me isn’t horrible. Discourse is the reason I got off my duff and took the time to learn about Linux and the command line. And after doing that, I finally got the punch line to this xkcd comic and laughed for the first time. So I get to install and maintain Discourse like an ace, AND understand xkcd comics! What’s not to like about this. I see no downside.


I agree the default theme isn’t the greatest, but it can be changed out. Since the phpBB user base is large, there are some groups/businesses built around themes to make a lot of choices available, but with such an extensive code change, they should have refreshed the default base since many users will build on that one.

One other thing that’s improved is attachment handling in the core, you can now drag and drop images, but no direct paste.

I don’t think it’s a question about affordability, but flexibility. With my host I can support several domains and install different platforms by just uploading to a folder and visiting the install script. With discourse I had to install a VM and Ubuntu just to try it out locally. I am trying to fire it up now and don’t remember how to get it up. My other stuff I’m testing I’ll go to localhost /wherever and it’s ready to go.

(Jeff Atwood) #9

We will certainly continue to improve our install story over time, but our current “30 minute” install is pretty easy in the big scheme of things.

(山) #10

It is! I am not knocking on that. I think it’s great and I am thankful for that.

(JBert) #11

Docker currently only supports Linux binaries, although a Windows engine might be in the making. That might simplify Windows installations…


Runabove already sells 2GB VPS for 2.5$ per month and the performance doesn’t seem bad to me (but well, my site has almost no traffic so I don’t have a way to notice)

(Jeff Atwood) #13

Runabove supports Docker and a modern Linux kernel?

(Khoa Nguyen) #14

Yes. I tested my discourse here before run it in production at DO. Installation is extractly the same with DO

(Jeff Atwood) #15

This place?

(Kane York) #16

Just tried it, looks like the kernel supports Docker and everything. It should be fine to use. (Except for the part where the “Lab” product is subject to no SLA and lower data redundancy.)

(Dean Taylor) #17

It should be noted that the $2.50 offer is on a beta product

And includes the following disclaimer

Please note that these products/services are not subject to SLA and the specifications and service can evolve or be deactivated at any moment. These services are subject to the OVH Group Beta contract (PDF).


I’m aware of that, but someone who is just starting out with discourse may really appreciate this. You can even get 10$ free credit by referring people. But yeah, no SLA and your vps/account gets killed if you don’t use correct names.

Yep. 3.13.0-37-generic. Only thing bad (well, in respect to discourse) is that they don’t provide a root account, only an “admin” account but that should work too I guess?

(Khoa Nguyen) #19

Yes. That place

they don’t provide a root account, only an “admin” account but that should work too I guess?

Really? Just run sudo passwd and set password for your root account. Run su to use root account