Plain Vanilla

Vanilla is a simple and rather basic forum script that runs on a Web server and needs a MySQL database and PHP (MySQL 3.23+ and PHP 4.1+). I had an instance working in about 5 minutes. The very basic functionality can be extended using plug-ins. In particular the rather ace autolinks plug in will automatically link to any Web addresses copied into posts. The plug in can display images inline, and will embed YouTube videos if you copy the URL (not the ‘embed’ code) to a post. I’ll try the Web address of an MP3 file in a bit.

A colleague of mine wanted a forum for his students to ask questions and to ‘talk back’ and Vanilla has the right level of functionality. The big forums like phpBB are just overkill for about 30 people, and I was not looking forward to explaining the administration of a large forum to my colleague. Vanilla has simple administration, and provides ‘linear’ discussions (‘turns taking’), there is no discussion threading. It is a flat model, you have categories which contain discussions. There are no subcategories. You can make the whole forum readable by members only, so my colleagues’ students won’t be overshadowed by worries that all and sundry can read their questions or answers.

Vanilla was coded by Mark O’Sullivan who is hard at work on Vanilla 2.

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.