[Haskell-cafe] Writing forum software in Haskell

Sebastian Sylvan sylvan at student.chalmers.se
Sun Sep 24 08:20:54 EDT 2006

On 9/24/06, David House <dmhouse at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all.
> The recent thread on email vs. forums inspired a bit of interest to
> get some forum software on haskell.org. Were we to go ahead with this,
> I think it'd be great to have this software written in Haskell itself.
> I'd also love to be involved in a collaboration should one be drummed
> up to write this kind of thing.

I might be able to contribute some on my spare time.

> Therefore, my questions:
> * What kind of forum are we aiming at? In my eyes, it'd be less like
> the bloated phpBBs out there full of oversized signatures and avatars,
> and more like the minimalistic bbPress on show at, for example, the
> WordPress support forums [1].

I'd like a very lightweight forum when it comes to the "community"
aspects. I.e. no signatures, no avatars, or anything like that. Just
usernames and posts. Probably allow non-registered messages with the
option for anyone registered to remove it (say, by having two
registered people clicking "remove" - thus reducing spam/troll
problems that you get without registration). Perhaps private messages,
but it's probably better to have an "email proxy" system where private
messages get sent via email through the forum+username.

For the forum itself I'd like it to be more easily accessible than
phpBB etc. So a threaded interface where you can see the first post in
each thread (or perhaps just the first couple of lines of the first
post). If you click a post you would see the titles for all of the
child posts appear in a tree structure underneath (without reloading
the forum!). Now, clicking any of these should show the full post,
without reloading. Similar to gmail, in other words, but with better
support for threading (e.g. allow branches). Much quicker and easier
to navigate than forums based on reloading the webpage. The key is
that you shouldn't have to wait for a full page reload everytime you
want to do something.
This system (or similar) is used on some web sites (e.g shacknews.com
in the comments section) and leads to a very lightweight discussion
forum. A mixture between real-time chat and mailing lists.

Also there would be different categories, "newbies", "general", etc.

> * What would be a list of things to avoid like the plague?

Too many formatting options (italic and bold should do it), avatars, sigs etc.

> * Which web platform (HAppS, Hope, ...) would make the most appropriate target?

Not sure. I guess that depends on what type of forum you end up
building. Hope looks promising.

Sebastian Sylvan
UIN: 44640862

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