Building a discussion forum like PF

  • Thread starter Monsterboy
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Summary:
How to build a discussion forum
I want to work on a personal project, a web application similar to PhysicsForums just to understand how everything works. I have some basic questions.

1. What kind of database is ideal for a discussion forum like this ? SQL or NoSQL ?
2. Which frontend and backend technologies are used to build this forum ?
3. How many people are required to build and maintain a forum like this ?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
pbuk
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PF uses the forum software XenForo. This is built on some pretty old technologies so may not be the best example to learn from. Also, XenForo is a commercial product that has many users with different requirements and is therefore much more complex than it would be if it only had to run PF.

If you are interested in learning about developing web applications there are lots of resources out there that are more relevant to the way applications are built now e.g. https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/how-to-become-a-full-stack-web-developer-in-2020/

1. What kind of database is ideal for a discussion forum like this ? SQL or NoSQL ?
Most forum software uses a relational database (often MySQL/MariaDB or PostgreSql). There would be a number of difficulties with a NoSQL solution and not many advantages.

2. Which frontend and backend technologies are used to build this forum ?
XenForo is written in PHP and has a MySQL back-end. I believe the front-end JavaScript is proprietory.

3. How many people are required to build and maintain a forum like this ?
There are quite a few people working on XenForo, but that is because they are supporting many different requirements. An experienced full stack developer working alone could put together the basics of a web forum in a couple of hours - I think this is an example used in one of the tutorial books (PHP and MySQL for Web Development? Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript?).

I believe @Greg Bernhardt manages PF's instance of XenForo (and WordPress for PF Insights) alone.
 
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