Well I'm glad that I could atleast help point us in the correct direction as far as the "points sytem" goes. (Yay for Karma).
As for the premium/subscription versus free service:
Perhaps it would benefit flash-db to separate the two boards. Have the regular www.flash-db.com
and then from there users can view tutorials, help files, and the regular stuff. Then you have two (2) sub-domains. The first would be for premium members (http://premium.flash-db.com
). The other would be the free forum (http://community.flash-db.com
). This would provide us with the necessary autonomy to allow both free-users and premium users. We could also keep our basic structure of everything (with the exception of upgrading to phpBB or SMF (<-- my choice)).
Potential draw-backs of the system are this:Integration
Integrating the two forums so that premium users can view the free forum, but the free users can't view the premium is tough. It can be done. If you remove the sub-domain idea I know for a FACT
that SMF has "hidden" boards for members or groups. This way you could have an area for premium members, and restrict the access.Maintenance
Using two forms of the same board would be tough because whatever upgrades or additions you do to one, will most likely have to be done to the other. It would be tough, but it can be done. It would just be time consuming.
I know that I would be willing to work with other PHP coders to come up with a custom Flash-DB BB. And hey, if marketed correctly, we could eventually distribute it like phpBB and give the users the options of viewing the forum in flash-form, or html/xhtml/css form.
To give you guys reasons why to port to SMF here they are:
- Easily upgrade from YaBBSE to Simple Machines Forum (SMF)
- Lots of neat skins/templates to choose from
- Normally a fast-loading system
- Easy to manipulate code to do as you wish
- Already structured Karma system
- Great support forums for help with SMF installation, upgrade, or general issues
- Integrated "hidden" threads/forums
Some reasons to go to phpBB:
- Easily upgrade from yaBBSE to phpBB
- Plenty of skins/templates to choose from (some pay-per-use)
- Normally fast-loading system
- Easy to manipulate code
- Karma Module available
- Huge community base that grows by the minute
- Hidden form/thread feature modules/hacks
Yes they seem the same. But really, YaBBSE has found a home here, and I think that SMF has tried to keep teh same feel as YaBBSE and just changed the name and added a lot more features.
Another BB system that hasn't been mentioned is vBulletin Yes it costs a few lives to pay for an unlimited license (like $85 /year annually, or $160 forever + $30/year for upgrades after first year). I think that vBulletin may even better suit our needs because yes you have to pay for it, but there are features you find in there that you can't find anywhere else. Things like adding your own [BB] Code tags (like ActionScript or PHP or what not). You can even do things to members, members areas.
I know that if the admins asked me if I would help purchase an owned license for $160 (or 2 for $320 (1 for each sub-domain)), I would help and pay maybe 80 or so bucks for it. Another thing to keep in mind, is that if we decide to set it up so that there are two autonomous boards, I think vBulletin would be willing to work with us to help automatically get premium users onto the free board. Of course, someone could always work on a script that checks two different databases for usernames and passwords and email addresses.... ( I may do this tomorrow or today... seems easy enough).
Just some thoughts for you all to sit on....