Topic: rorBB - Importing from PunBB to Rails
I've been building a forum in Rails as a learning-by-doing exercise for the last couple of months. The catalyst was basically that I can't deal with how inflexible PunBB is. Don't get me wrong, I think PunBB is the best forum ever made, but it's very difficult to build a real "community site" using it as a base.
I run a little forum for my friends over at http://www.newathens.org/, and I've been trying to whittle it down into something manageable to port over into my Rails app. Right now, it's a terrible hodgepodge of Wordpress and PunBB which is somewhat manageable. In the past, I had a photo gallery (Coppermine) and a wiki (PmWiki) etc etc etc installed. I even had a little psudeo-Twitter running with Wordpress cron jobs before there was a Twitter to copy. After letting the thing grow like that for a while, though, I realized that it really wasn't maintainable. So, I thought trying to build a replacement while learning Ruby/Rails might be a good idea. I've removed a lot of the functionality on the site since then.
So, I've got a fledgling app running (hopefully running, that is) over here: http://massmsg.com/ that I'm using as a live test version. There are a couple of things that aren't working due to problems I'm having with Media Temple (http://railsforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=4505) but it's starting to take shape. In particular, uploading headers and avatars is busted right now, but I'm hoping that'll get fixed in the next couple of days.
I'm working really hard to stick to the PunBB way of doing things, but I'm trying to simplify things wherever I can. I'm also taking a lot of inspiration from the fabulous Beast. The way I see it, the less code I write the better. I've been thinking of open-sourcing this app, too, but it's definitely not ready for that just yet. My long term plan is to re-build the features that I've removed from the site I'm running now. That might include a wiki, a shared blog, a mini-twitter, etc. The general idea being to build a sort-of-full-stack community site, but the forum has to come first, because that's what my friends are using on the site.
I see that there's some discussion about rorBB over here: http://railsforum.com/viewtopic.php?id=39. This is really interesting to me. I don't think that my project (codename: El Dorado) is quite what you guys sound like you're working on, but I bet there's a lot of overlap. In particular, I'm wondering if you guys have done any work with importing PunBB content into your app. I'm going to be starting work on that shortly - perhaps we're in a position to collaborate on certain things like importing stuff from PunBB?
If anybody is working on similar stuff, or is interested in what I'm doing, please drop me a line!