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  1. #1
    gaffg's Avatar
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    Default New forum software: NodeBB

    We interview Julian Lam from NodeBB (nodebb.org) and they develop forum software. In addition to having a clean forum layout without the excessive customization of the forum software leaders, they are new and get to take advantage of the latest in programming languages and databases. NodeBB is programmed in Node.js which is javascript and you can connect it to MongoDB or Redis for your choice of database. The end result is a forum software with minimal code that loads extremely fast.



    Their hosted solution costs more than than service providers like vBulletin but if you want the software for free, just download it and install it yourself at no cost as it is open source and available on Github.

    You can read the full article and interview here:
    http://gaffg.com/blog/the-future-of-...tware-is-here/

  2. #2
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    Does anyone have any experience with this new software? Of course the creators will say it is the best.

    The thing is that the "old" forums have so much available plugins that it is hard to get a new software like this started.

  3. #3
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    i know the irony of saying it on a forum (but you can see even here only the same people post), forums have had their day in my opinion

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  5. #4
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    My first thought is...let's see, they decided NOT to support the THREE most popular databases in the world.
    Mysql, Sql Oracle

    And does it work for those folks who turn javascript off?

    Taking a quick look at their site...well the design is ok graphics and layout wise....but every single link in main navigation opens in a new window...

    You need special image handlers on the server

    And I did a quick search in their docs for the word SPAM and got zero results so I question if there is much in the way of spam control....this is where VBulletin far outshines almost every piece of forum software out there, not to mention all the mods and plugin available...

    It is quite appealing visually so it may gain the following and support necessary to see growth, but I do not see the average developer giving this a go as there are a number of other applications and environments they would have to learn just to install let alone manage it.

    The fact that the license is free very well may also help with this being implemented more widely.

    Rick
    Universal4

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  7. #5
    jagan is offline Public Member
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    Sorry do not like this software mainly when you have FREE versions of phpBB, BBpress etc
    Jagan
    ON Page SEO, Content Creation, Blogger Outreach and Brand Building Services
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    Very good questions. A good reason for not choosing the 3 most popular databases in the world, also the oldest.

    php, sql and oracle are at least 20 years old with sql and oracle being close to 40 years old.

    MongoDB and Redis are about 5-6 years old and are called nosql type of databases, also referred to as non relational where sql databases are relational.

    Many new websites and apps are choosing the nosql route because of the speed and scalability advantages of these databases.
    The differences between the two?

    http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2014/01/sql-vs-nosql-db/

    Who uses MongoDB?

    Facebook, Craigslist, Google, EA, Adobe, Foursquare

    Who uses Redis?

    Twitter, Github, Pinterest, Craigslist, Flickr

    Popularity of these 2 databases is growing and it won't be long before they represent a significant marketshare away from oracle and sql.

    http://db-engines.com/en/ranking_trend

    Muut forums is also a few years old and they chose to develop their forum software around Redis.

    https://muut.com/blog/technology/red...store-wtf.html

    Regarding javascript it's not easy doing anything online if you disable javascript and seems about 1% of the internet has javascript disabled. If you disable javascript and try gpwa forum or nodebb, nodebb has a small message saying functionality of the site might be compromised with javascript disabled. On gpwa the banners don't work and the menu drop downs don't work. If you view source code of either forum, javascript is everywhere on gpwa and not as much on nodebb as the forums are lighter in code. Wordcount has 47 times on gpwa vs 2 on nodebb and searching for .js files there are 18 on gpwa and 6 on nodebb.

    If these companies didn't use these newer technologies then they wouldn't really have any decent USP and they would be just another forum software.

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  10. #7
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    Sorry but the fact the those databases were CREATED that many years ago and have MILLIONS more installs and support systems in place is a positive, NOT a negative and you would infer.

    And if php is soooo bad....why does anyone use wordpress?

    You may be correct that the popularity of the databases is growing, but even if so the installed base as well as support behind the others, is far and away from decreasing, and it would take many years of explosive growth for redis and mongo to have as much free support information available as mysql does.

    It is nice to see alternatives since the more choices a developer has the better, however I would never recommend a developer make a database environment choice just because Facebook, Google or any other company with such huge wallets have uses, but would encourage them to go with what they know or are comfortable with concerning support.

    Rick
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    Is there a relationship between NodeBB and GaffG that we shuold know about?
    You seem very informed as to the technology choice and keen to talk it up?

    From the 10,000 foot level the new software seems fine - and looks OK ....
    But I agree with Universal that the real test is the under-the-cover tools that help fight forum nasties, spammers and trolls.

    Always good to see new software - but difficult to make a living out of it when there are such solid options available for free.

    Not that it really matters to me - I can't be bothered with forum management these days - prefer to find a couple of good ones like GPWA.

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  13. #9
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    If this forum software is really that good, and if the installed base grows enough, maybe some of the wanted tools will come about.

    But like Gooner states, the management aspect just with spam alone can be frightening.

    Rick
    Universal4

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    I have learned to be wary of vendors, evangelists or developers selling their software based on the technology or language used, as opposed to the features or problems solved by the software. I read the article and basically couldn't see anything new or different apart from vague claims of more speed and supposedly better technology. If you're running a site with a NodeJS backend then it might be a good choice, but I can't see any reason why you would switch from a tried and tested forum stored on a relational db backend.

    Quote Originally Posted by gaffg View Post
    A good reason for not choosing the 3 most popular databases in the world, also the oldest.

    php, sql and oracle are at least 20 years old with sql and oracle being close to 40 years old.

    MongoDB and Redis are about 5-6 years old and are called nosql type of databases, also referred to as non relational where sql databases are relational.
    This is very odd reasoning. When you're talking persistent data storage, I want something tried, tested, reliable and proven to work. 20+ years of satisfied customers tells you one thing immediately: these databases work and they work very well.

    As for the use of Redis. Redis is not really a database at all, any more than storing a list of settings like "name=Muppet" in lines in a text file is. It is an in-memory key/value store. If you have ever heard of Memcache it is very similar only it makes more efficient use of memory than Memcache's bucket system, and has a few handy data storage features. You can use Redis with any language or forum or CMS if you want and there is no reason that you can't use it with your current setup, whatever it is, to improve speed.

    We use Redis with our current PHP+RDMS system to store short term cached data that can be fetched from memory quickly, and when it goes out of date you query the database for a fresh copy. So it sits in between an app and the database and reduces load on the database, at the cost of higher memory usage on your server. It should not be your primary data storage engine because by its very nature being in memory only, it is not persistent. Just imagine losing your entire forum any time your server had a power outage or needed a reboot. In fact the developer of this new forum alludes to that in the linked interview:

    We support both databases out-of-the-box, although we’ve seen interest in MongoDB spiking because Redis currently has an upper limit for its stored data (by default, persistence is disabled if your stored data is greater than half of the total system memory).
    So there is nothing particularly novel or amazing about this forum using Redis. Using it as the only data storage for a forum that you presumably want to keep for longer than a server reboot would be foolish.

    A well designed database is normalised so each piece of data is only ever stored once. You can map the precise relationships between everything in that database and can guarantee atomic transactions and results. You can perform complex queries on that data that you just cant do with a flat key/value store. A NoSQL database by its very nature means potential for lots of redundantly stored duplicate data, and no atomicity. Forums, by their nature, have a lot of relational data. You want to know who posted what, who said thanks or clicked like and on which post or to which person, keep track of posts that are unread, private messages between users, perhaps even group of users and/or forums etc. I've no doubt you can do all that with a NoSQL store, but to me it seems like trying to open a lock with a spoon instead of a key. The point is that they serve different and in some cases complementary purposes and you should use the right tool for the right job, not just because it might be new and cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    And if php is soooo bad....why does anyone use wordpress?
    Citing Wordpress as a reason that PHP is good is like saying McDonalds is the best restaurant in the world because its so popular. There are millions of reasons why people use Wordpress. But it is a badly coded system written by non programmers for non programmers, with a plethora of poorly coded plugins written by amateurs. It is a runaway disaster now, particularly in terms of security. Barely a month goes by without a major Wordpress security problem, and you have all seen the end result of it in this industry with the botnets of hacked sites being run by criminals who are being paid by complicit affiliate programs. Whether it or anything else runs on PHP or not is irrelevant. You can write good or bad code with any language.

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  16. #11
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    Wow thanks Muppet, that was a great breakdown of Redis. I now know a little more about the underlying use of redis. I understand that Redis can be quite fast and since they are more or less flat files I see why, but I wonder if there would be size drawbacks pretty quick for large uses. (for redis itself)

    As for my wordpress comment,you are correct, I could have chosen better examples, but the point is that php is an extremely widely used environment,with a lot of support and a HUGE following.

    Rick
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    @universal: I see your points but my points are not to say the tried and tested should be ditched, the heart of the article is all about new technologies and at one point php and mysql were the new kids on the block and 15 years ago webmasters and developers were wary when the tried and tested before them existed. Wordpress is 12 years old and there are many that want wordpress to work with mongoDB and it is happening. There are other companies creating new CMS and nobody knows if Wordpress will be #1 in a few years from now. The article is about a new forum software and I felt the new languages and databases behind it would be interesting for webmasters to read about.

    @goonersguide: no relationship with NodeBB other than I like what they are doing and haven't tested their software from an admin point of view.

    @muppet: thank you for the comments and insight.

    @everyone: I'm not telling everyone not to use the old languages and databases. My own research tells me that in 5 years the new ones will be just as popular as the old ones as when you compare sql vs nosql every website and program will have a different need. I do personally think that those 3 new forum softwares of NodeBB, Muut and Discourse are making their own statements on languages and setups with their choices of technology.

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    Muppet is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by universal4 View Post
    Wow thanks Muppet, that was a great breakdown of Redis. I now know a little more about the underlying use of redis. I understand that Redis can be quite fast and since they are more or less flat files I see why, but I wonder if there would be size drawbacks pretty quick for large uses. (for redis itself)
    Really your only limit is memory and the thing can be scaled pretty easily so that you can for instance add more servers if you need more storage. That is very useful for massive apps that need huge scalability like Twitter or Facebook, but almost irrelevant for the typical affiliate website.

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