This post is intended to provide answers to some of the questions that I have already been asked related to the launch of the phpBB2 Refugees community. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask them via the comment form and I will answer them. The answers to these questions are based on my own input only at this point. Some of the answers might change as the community evolves over the coming months.
Do you plan to create a “fork” of phpbb2?
At this time, no. That is something that the community will decide. A “fork” - for those that might not be aware of what that means - would be created if we take the most current release for phpBB2 (at this time 2.0.23) and release our own version. It would have to be something different that 2.0.24 at that point because it would not be an official phpBB Group release.
Aren’t you concerned about security in phpbb2?
Yes. More on that in another post.
Are you running on the phpbb.com server?
Nope. I have leased a dedicated server with a quad core CPU plus 4GB RAM and 250GB of disk space. The contract allows me to use up to 2TB of bandwidth each month. The site is completely separate and independent from phpbb.com.
Will there be ads on the new site?
Nope. The plan is to remain ad-free until we determine if the community needs more funds, at which point I will consider advertising. I don’t expect to have to even consider this until we reach somewhere in the neighborhood of several thousand members or 40-50GB of monthly bandwidth.
Without ads, how will you pay for the site?
I have another board that generates enough income to support this board as well. The other board also runs phpBB2.
Why do the site without advertisements? Are you concerned that it won’t be profitable?
That’s not the reason at all. I want to be sure that people realize that this community is being founded for the benefits of the members, not the benefits of me. I don’t have any problem with people having advertisements on their site. My largest board has banner advertisements, and that’s partially how I can fund the server for the Refugees board. While I don’t rule out the potential of having ads at some point in the future, until we need them we won’t have them.
What about donations?
I don’t have any plans to set up a donations page for the same reasons mentioned above.
Will you host the downloads for phpbb?
At this time, no. We will have a link to the sourceforge area where phpbb2 code is maintained. If at some point the phpbb2 code is removed by the phpBB Group, I have an archive of versions dating back several years that I can post. I don’t see any need to do that unless it’s required (see the notes on the “fork” question above).
Are you running phpBB2 on the new board?
Of course. It would be hypocritical not to do as much, wouldn’t you think?
Are you running a “vanilla” or unmodified board?
Nope. As stated above, I am combining what I believe are the best features from BOB - a phpBB2 board that has been in action for over six years - and this site into a modified board that has phpbb2 at the core. The point of the site run by phpbb.com was to show exactly what people would get if they download the phpbb2 software. The point of our site is to show what can be accomplished with some imagination and effort… to show there is life left in the phpBB2 core.
Will you provide the source for your board as a download?
No, the source for the Refugees site will not be available for download. There are reasons for that which I may go through in more detail in another post, but the main reason is that the Refugees site does not run on php alone. There are a number of perl scripts and cron jobs that help make the board more efficient or provide new features. I don’t intend to provide a download for the Refugees site because I don’t believe it can be supported in the same way that a pure php solution can be. If the source code was released, it would have to be as a “fork” (again, see above).
Will there be Berties?
I actually had someone ask this the other day. Jon has a supply of Berties and I don’t see any reason to try to start something else along those lines. So the answer is no Berties from me. If you want one (or more!) simply use the existing order page.
I am an enthusiast, what can I do to help?
This is my favorite question. Join the board (once it’s open) and help people. Help build the community. That is the best thing that anyone can do to help.
Many of these questions have been incorporated into the FAQ at the phpBB2 Refugees site, but I thought it would be worthwhile to post them here in advance of the site opening date. As stated at the beginning of the post, if you have other questions please feel free to post them in the comment form.