Well, it took a while (mainly due to a very busy work schedule), but the forums are fully working now. Or, to be more precise, I have a totally new, and this time working, set of forums.

The full geeky details, for those who want them:

I’d initially installed MercuryBoard, but it get hacked before I’d even put the forums live as part of the new design. Looking into this, I discovered that MercuryBoard hadn’t been well maintained since its release, but there was an offshoot called Quicksilver Forums which was being actively maintained and had more of a focus on security.

So I switched over to that, but it was a major pain to try and customize. It allowed the import of custom skins from MB, but it didn’t do it well and everything pretty much went to hell when I tried to do import the skin I’d made for MB to make it more-or-less match the look of my site. So eventually I tried to just completely recreate the skin using the default skin from Quicksilver as a base, but then I found that the way they’d constructed made it impossible to put the board in a fixed-width table, because it use the same table class for the main table containing the whole board and for the smaller tables inside it, so if you set it to a fixed width the inner tables would blow the outer table out to freakish proportions.

At that point the little rubber band in my brain went snap and I deleted the whole thing and downloaded phpBB, which may I say was a hell of a lot more pleasant to work with. phpBB is a much more popular program, and while initially that had put me off because in general the more popular a script is, the more people are out there finding and exploiting security holes in it, but obviously MB didn’t do too well on the security front either, and Quicksilver might have been secure, but was hell on wheels to customize.

I was able to find a decent-looking template for phpBB fairly quickly and easily, and I’ve made a few tweaks to it already to bring it closer to the look of the site, but will probably be making more in the days to come. But since I have all the forums set up and everything appears to be working nicely, I thought I should at least post that it was now available and ready to use. It will get prettier in the near future, but for now, at least it works!

So, go register, and start posting!

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