We wrote the Thredded forums engine focusing on these things:
- Clean but discoverable UI. The focus is content.
- Extensible, but critical features are built-in to provide a foundation for plugins. Features such as notifications, moderation, permissions system, and full text search.
- Pleasant on mobile for both browsing and content creation. This means a textarea instead of a rich text editor (by default).
- The relational database for everything, including full text search. Data integrity is easy, no out-of-sync elasticsearch databases here. Runs on Postgres, MySQL, and SQLite.
Boring technology => easy to deploy and run in production.
The codebase is written in Ruby, has slowly developed over the years, and has extensive test coverage.
I am very curious to hear what you think, and whether you’ve ever felt a need for a forum like that.