About Beehive Forum
Beehive is an open-source project for creating a high-configurable frame-based discussion forum.
To find out why you should use it, read below. Alternatively, skip down to the huge feature list.
The core features...
First and foremost, there is one outstandingly brilliant reason to use Beehive: it's absolutely free. We don't ask for a pound, dollar, euro, yen or rouble of your cash in return for this, our labour of love (that's not to say we'll tell you to put your glittering, bejewelled cheque-book away as gold coins spill out of your over-burdened pockets, however...). Futhermore, BeehiveForum is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License; that means you can read the code, change it however you want, or even burn it to CDs and throw them out of crop dusters onto heavily populated areas (as long as nobody gets hurt). And if you do change anything, then get in touch with us, and it might well become part of an official release.
So, with your precious money safely stuffed under the floorboards, you know you're not wasting that, but will you be wasting your time? We think not. In fact, with our frame-based layout, we think we might even save you some. If you're not familiar with a layout like that, the idea is that rather than having discussions accessible from an 'index page' of threads, within and 'index page' of folders, discussions are grouped by folder, and displayed in a narrow navigation frame of the left, leaving the rest of the browser to show the posts of the thread you're currently reading. If you are familiar with this kind of layout, you're no doubt letting out a relieved sigh; no more flicking between pages!
Hand in hand with that particular natty feature (one of many, we hasten to add) goes a second: replying to a particular post, not just the thread in general. No more quoting entire posts just so people know what you're talking about - it's all made clear in the header of your own post. On top of this, as posts are actually addressed to other users, Beehive lets you highlight any posts directed to you quickly and easily - or even e-mail you to tell you.
Finally, with Beehive you won't be spending a good portion of your life trawling through posts you've already seen to find one you missed; Beehive only marks a post (that's a post, not a thread) as read if it's actually been displayed to you. Even if you're interupted when reading a screenful of messages, the post you're reading and all that follow can be marked as unread at the click of a button. Even if you log into a different computer, Beehive still knows exactly what you've read.
Iron fist or velvet glove...
Whether you, as a moderator, prefer to blend in to the crowd like a caring and benevolent ruler, or crush all before you in a tyranical rage (after all, forumites are just potential trolls, right?), Beehive's powerful administrative features have got you covered.
With a troublesome member, for example, several options are open to you. First up, you could just leave the troll alone, and let your other users put the troublemaker on ignore if they want; or you could 'worm' the user in question - the user thinks they're posting as normal, but to everyone else their posts appear to be deleted; if that's not enough, you could stop the member from posting in whichever folders you chose; finally, you could just ban the troublemaker, or even ban their IP to stop them coming back. If the user's posts have been destructive in some way, and need deleting, you can do that on a per-post basis, a per-thread basis or nuke them all in one fell swoop.
There's plenty of options for the everyday running of the forum, too - edit, create and delete folders and user groups and quickly set the permissions for each. Want a folder that only mods can see? No problem. Want a folder that anyone can see but only mods can post to? Fine. Want a folder where anyone can post, but nobody can reply to? Easy. Beehive's new permission system is, quite frankly, one of the most powerful available.
We've thougth of people with a penchant for infringing those pesky freedom of speech rights, too, with Beehive's Admin word filter. Unlike the personal word filter, you can force this upon all your minions whether they like it or not, and with the choice of PREG functionality (alongside more traditional, simpler filtering methods) extremely powerful rules can be created.
And, of course, there's all the familiar options such as editting or deleting posts, moving threads
Whether you live and die for technobabble or think that geeks should be neither seen nor heard, you'll appreciate this stuff regardless.
Aside from Beehive itself being free, it's coded in PHP. Which is free. And it uses MySQL. Which, uh, is free. Obviously free is nice, but doesn't count for much if your webspace ends up going 10GB over its bandwidth limit, which is why Beehive has been written with overhead costs in mind; Beehive is very efficient, so running a forum shouldn't cost too much in terms of processing power, disk space or bandwidth - and with gzip compression enabled, your forum will consume even less bandwidth. This is good news for users, too; Beehive is swift and nimble even on older systems and/or over 56K dial-up connections.
Those wanting to set up multiple Beehive forums but only have one MySQL database are catered for, too; forums are easily added, deleted and otherwise managed through the Admin controls, and any forums hosted in the same database enjoy 'My Forums' interconnectivity.
Almost every aspect of Beehive is customisable to some degree, from the forum's name right down to how many posts per page each user wants to see, and with everything inbetween, including guest accounts, user profile catagories, your start page, your top frame, user's signatures, language packs, forum styles and emoticon sets - and if you don't like those that come as standard, it's easy to create add your own!
Plus a load of other spangley bits...
And if all of that wasn't enough there's an Olympic-sized-swimming-pool-full of extra features for you to play with such as: HTML posting - no restrictive forum-code, but potentially harmful HTML is removed automatically by Beehive; HTML toolbar to help even novices format their posts quickly and easily - even in non-IE browsers; private messaging - send a message to a specific user that only they can read; attachments - upload files such as images to your allocated space as attachments to posts or private messages; a wide array of poll options; sticky threads; locked threads; interest levels; powerful search tool; relationship levels between members; thread list filtering and so much more.
You tell us...
So, after all that, why use Beehive? Why on Earth not? We like it so much, we use it ourselves. However, if you think you've got a good reason not to use it, then you could always tell us, and you never know, we might be able to do something about it...
The following is a list of the features Beehive has.
- All the regular features of forums:
- Reply-to-user or reply-to-thread posting.
- Subscribe to topics, or just mark High Interest
- E-mail notification of post replies to you.
- Complete PM (Private Message) system.
- File Attachments.
- Flexible searching system.
- Optional guest access.
- Optional stats to show active users, total posts, etc.
- Ignore folders and topics you don't wish to read.
- Multiple forum system, with a single userbase and per-forum options.
- Accessibility support:
- Easy-to-use frame-based layout.
- Multiple style options, including dyslexia support.
- I18N multiple language support, allowing a variety of languages to be used.
- Various features unique to Beehive:
- Powerful HTML posting, without security risks.
- Advanced word-filtering facility.
- Polls, including upto 20 options, anonymous voting or public ballots, and more.
- Word Filter with Perl-compatible Regular Expression parsing.
- Lite Version, for use with PDAs and some mobile phones.
- Links section, for a forum-wide favourites list.
- Extendable user profiles:
- Allows any number of configurable fields.
- Users can opt-in to a 'Forthcoming Birthdays' list.
- Flexible relationships system:
- Ability to ignore users posts, or signatures.
- Ability to define 'friends', and easily see their threads.
- Complete Ignore feature, for blocking a user out entirely.
- Full, easy to use admin tools:
- List possible aliases for each user.
- Ban by user or IP address.
- Delete all posts by a user.
- Create sticky threads.
- Style-creator, to create new styles.
- Comprehensive user permissions.
- Folders can be made no-polls or polls only.
- Logs of all admin activities.
- Optional gzip encoding of output, to save bandwidth.
- And a lot of other little handy features.