MiniBB is a discussion board application that was developed in the last few years, in spite of the fact that phpBB has already been established as the more comprehensive open source application in this category. This means that the web community is still looking for simpler alternatives or systems that provide specific functionality that is yet to be covered.
In my choice of MiniBB, I was exploring what can be offered more knowing how extensive phpBB is. The answer came in the form of simpler structure, a characteristic that is vital for open source programs if they are to allow other developers to work on the code. The added functionality in terms of template-based design further strengthen the position of MiniBB; with millions of web forums providing minor changes on the default template phpBB provides. In addition, the application provides all the main elements required of a discussion board with extensive support, ease of use, multiple language support, and minor added functionality like anonymous posting .
For small companies seeking a quick and fast solution, or for webmasters who do not wish to spend time with a lot of customization, MiniBB comes as the perfect solution; an easy interface, user friendly templates, and an application size that makes installation quick and painless. On the down side, the application is purely LAMP compatibly, which limits usage by Windows servers. Furthermore, the implementation of purely mysql queries is known to slow down applications as the size of transactions grow and multiple connections requiring more enhanced cashing or storing functionality.
For developers, and especially those interested in building plug-ins for MiniBB, the application does not provide enough support in the form of developer’s manual and inline comments. The committee at minibb.com should consider rewriting the code in the newer versions to make it richer in documentation and thus attract more developers.
Finally, as a developer and a webmaster, I would recommend checking MiniBB through the test drive demo provided through the community site minibb.com. All aspects of the application are on display including the search facilities, user statistics, and the ease of posting messages and browsing available posts. For a minimalistic application, MiniBB does provide more than what most website owners might need.
- Cargnelutti,Federico. 2008. Open-source PHP applications that changed the world. PHP::Impact http://phpimpact.wordpress.com/2008/05/22/open-source-php-applications-that-changed-the-world/ accessed May 19, 2008)
- Editor. 2008. PHP-Discussion Boards. GetFreeSofts, Scripts http://www.getfreesofts.com/script/429/6522/miniBB.html (accessed May 22, 2008)
- MiniBB. 2008. Complete User and Administration Guide http://www.minibb.com/forums/index.php?action=manual#config1 (accessed May 23, 2008)
- MiniBB .2008. Features http://www.minibb.com/features.html (accessed May 24, 2008)