Hosting forums on Drupal too, have some questions

They have: 6 posts

Joined: Aug 2008

For the administrators,

I've just registered here because I really love how you have made the forums here. I'm trying to make forums on my site as well, and after reading your article on the benefits of Drupal over vBulletin (I was considering phpBB3) I've decided to use Drupal wholly instead of integrating phpBB3 with Drupal.

So I have some questions and you would be able to answer them, that'll be great!

1. What modules do you use? I found the link to this site from the http://drupal.org/project/signature_forum module project page, but I'm wondering if you use anything other than this module.

2. If you do just use the core Forum module, is it heavily customized? (Would it be hard to get a similar configuration)

3. What version of Drupal are you using?

4. Is there anything else that I should know before hosting forums on Drupal?

And any other suggestions from experienced Drupal users would be great if possible.

Cheers,

Watbe Smiling

decibel.places's picture

He has: 1,494 posts

Joined: Jun 2008

Hi watbe,

Welcome to TWF (I'm not an admin, just a member like you Smiling )

There is a thread about modules used on TWF you might find helpful.

Meanwhile, why don't you post an Introduction (kind of a rite of passage here) and let us know more about yourself. (It's not the same as the getting to know your fellow members thread)

And don't be a stranger! Wink

JeevesBond's picture

He has: 3,955 posts

Joined: Jun 2002

Welcome to the Forums! Thanks for linking to that other post decibel.places. Smiling Just to answer the other questions:

2. If you do just use the core Forum module, is it heavily customized? (Would it be hard to get a similar configuration)

Except for the theme, we haven't changed the core forums at all. But the theme is very different, that's the one thing you're going to need to get a good grip of. Here's the documentation you'll be needing. Tip before you start: don't worry about any theming engine other than PHPTemplate, it's the one everyone uses. The documentation has a lot of stuff about the other theme engines available, but just skip past that stuff. Smiling

If you get stuck on how to do something, post a new topic here, we'll try to help you out. One thing you'll certainly be asking is: how can I theme a forum node differently to any other type of node? The answer is to theme your forum nodes in a file named: node-forum.tpl.php

You'll also need to know how to override theme functions. We override forum_display and forum_list to theme the forum front page and topic lists. The originals of these can be found in /modules/forum/forum.module (just do a search for forum_display or forum_list in that file to see what I mean).

Sorry if most of this makes no sense at the moment. It should become clearer as you go along. Smiling

3. What version of Drupal are you using?

Five. When all the modules are ready, we should move to six.

4. Is there anything else that I should know before hosting forums on Drupal?

There is a bug/feature which makes Drupal forums, particularly if you have hidden forums, very resource intensive. If you have a medium-large size forum, you'll need a decent server to run it on. We get along alright using a VPS.

Hope this helps. Smiling

a Padded Cell our articles site!

They have: 6 posts

Joined: Aug 2008

Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it.

I will try and do something similar, but I have no experience with themeing at all... Where is a good place to start?

Also, is it necessary to theme the forums separately?

By medium-large how many users are you looking at? For my forums at the start,I'm looking at around 20 on at any one time and around 100 active users.

Thanks for your offer of help, I'll definitely need it Sticking out tongue

decibel.places's picture

He has: 1,494 posts

Joined: Jun 2008

Hi watbe,

Have a look here http://drupal.org/theme-guide

Mostly theming requires a basic understanding of PHP and good knowledge of CSS

I would recommend installing the devel module (with krumo), and use Firefox with the Firebug, Web Developer, Colorzilla, and MeasureIt addons!

And this might seem obvious, but have a look under the hood of themes you like.

When I am adapting a PSD for Drupal, I generally start with the Framework theme and build it up with PHP and CSS

Others like starting with one of the Zen themes, I think there might be a couple more "starter" themes.

They have: 1 posts

Joined: Feb 2009

It's very interesting to follow the developments of drupal lately and to see how the drupal themes are scaring up against the WordPress themes. Like what you've done with this college campus webpage and all the modules you developed for the theme. Thanks for the links.

They have: 6 posts

Joined: Aug 2008

Is it possible to make a similar configuration like this site without modifying too many theme files? I'm seriously inexperienced when it comes to PHP and CSS... I have installed a custom theme that can be modified to suit needs, but I don't really know much at all. Sad

Thanks for the help!

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