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Forum Software Release v1.0

The Forum Software Release v1.0 is available for download at - - and can be viewed at - -


A server setup similar to:

- Windows 2k Server
- CDO 1.2
- IIS 5.0 w/ ASP
- SQL Server 2k

New in this version:

- Posters' Name and Email are persisted across sessions via cookies.

- Clicking the picture in the upper left corner sends you back to the topic list page

- Added a link to all pages to go the websites 'home page' ( or whatever page you define it to be )

- Other minor fixes

This Forum Software is a clone of Joel's forum.  It's not an exact copy though and as such does not behave like Joel's forum in all aspects.

The overall goal of the project was to create a clone of Joel's forum that could be easily customized and/or integrated into a website.  I think this version meets that goal.

How much work is required to customize the forum?  Well you have to customize the style sheet, set the parameters at the top of the two asp files and create a couple of pictures to use ( if you want to keep the default header and menu style )

How much work is required to integrate the forum with say a blog?  It depends on what you want to do.  The source code is included and can be modified to suit your needs.

Several questions I keep being asked:

Question: How long did it take to write the forum?

Answer: I've been working on it for one month.  I don't know how many hours I put into it, but it was more than a couple. 

Question:  What do you think your code looks like compared to Joels?

Answer:  I really don't know.

I ask that if you find the forum useful and use it on your site, that you email me a link with your site or post it here ( if Joel will allow it ).


Dave B.

Dave B.
Monday, April 28, 2003

If you're looking for an analogous version in PHP / MySQL, check out John Conners's forum software:

Alex Chernavsky
Monday, April 28, 2003

That's more of a comment system, isn't it? Like... users can't start threads right?

I happen to like the discussion software from . Also PHP/MySQL. Easy to setup, easy to admin. It doesn't totally mimic the JOS forum, but has a number of similarities.

... but I already mentioned that in an earlier thread.
Monday, April 28, 2003

I can never get to download any of the forum files you posted. I get the following error:

Remote Host: [<my ip address>]

You do not have permission to access
Data files must be stored on the same site they are linked from.

Thank you for using 50megs
Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Yaniv, I had no problems with the download. Maybe you need to turn on referrers, especially if you're using a browser like Opera where you can turn them off.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I am using IE with default security settings. I even tried Netscape 7.0. Still no luck.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Mark, the PHP/mySQL forum from my site is almost identical to the JOS forum, you can start threads and everything... I also have a comments system for a weblog template, but that's a separate download.

John C
Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Several people have told me that they had problems downloading the forum.  My suggestion is to make sure you can download via http and then follow the links in their hierarchical order.

I am working on relocating the source code to the main site.  Downloading should not be a problem there.

Dave B.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Thanks Dave.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Dave - have you put any security on the maintenance page? I was a bit startled to find that /maint.asp went straight in.

My suggestion - in the .zip file put it in a separate, parallel directory, then in the readme point it out and recommend appropriate security.


Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Philo -  Thanks for pointing this out.  I believe in the INSTALL.txt file on step 14 I recommend changing the maint.asp name to a password type name.  You could also place it in a seperate directory.  I'll review the install.txt file and make sure it's in there.  I will also put it in a seperate directory in the zip file.

The reason /maint.asp works when you first install it is that I thought it was more 'natural' and maybe easier to use when playing around with it.  It is up to the user to change the name of the file ( and/or move it to a seperate directory ) and set the appropriate variable in the maint.asp file to the new name.

Dave B.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Look at it this way - "default install creates a security hole" has been getting MS flambeed for ages. ;-)


Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Point taken...

Dave B.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Where did you take the Point?  Are you stealing points!

On a more serious note!  Nice forum Dave.  Thanks for all the hard work.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

John, I was not aware of that. I'll take a closer look at it.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

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