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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-18-10 03:56 PM
Original message
How much trouble is it to "administer" a message board?
xpost from Computer help and support group.

I'm maintaining a website, have hosting, and make many of the decisions. I am considering an internal message board on the available domain just to keep up with information.

It seems to be the simple things that fall through the cracks, and a message board, that only designated people could read, would eliminate these losses.

I've looked into "yetanotherforum," "vanilla forum," and "dcforum." Seems easy enough to give a try, but would everything be contained in the installation directory (that would be deletable if it fails) or would a message board intrude the whole domain?

I am not sure of the questions to ask really. My main goal is to have a central point on the internet that is semi-private to exchange ideas/tasks (not much financial, personal, etc. I'll tell everyone that uses it "Nothing on the Net is private"). I also want to be able to delete it easily if the idea doesn't work (without messing up existing site).

Any tips are welcome. :)

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Jersey Devil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-19-10 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. The message board I have is very easy to maintain
Edited on Fri Feb-19-10 07:36 AM by Jersey Devil
You might not be able to tell by looking at it, but I use the same software, by DCScripts, that DU uses on this board, though DU has many, many tweaks they put into it themselves. You can vary the look of it to be fully expanded, like I have it, or compacted into strings in which you only see the subject matter of the OP as DU does it. You could have boards that are open to the public, to registered users only, to only certain invited posters, to only those designated in a certain category of users, to mods, admins, etc., including a combination of all of them. For instance, here at DU there is a Moderators' board that is only visible to mods.

Maintenance, at least for me, is easy. All I do is reconcile forum records and optimize the tables (two button clicks in the admin area) and that's it - and I suppose it would be the same unless your board grew so large that it was outstripping either your server or the bandwidth you are paying for with a server. Though my board is rather quiet now and just a place for old friends to gather, at one time I had to keep expanding bandwidth to the point where it just got too expensive and cut it back. So yes, it could "intrude the whole domain" if it becomes very busy and taxes the server.
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Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-19-10 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for the insight
I don't expect high traffic, so I hope bandwidth wouldn't be a big problem.

DCScripts is one of the boards I was looking into. I'm curious. Does it all install into one directory? If so, I could simply do a test run. I'm the only one that messes with the hosting, so I could tweak it before announcing it... right?

If it doesn't seem to serve its purpose I could just delete the directory.
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Jersey Devil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-19-10 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes, it all goes in one folder (edited)
Edited on Fri Feb-19-10 12:31 PM by Jersey Devil
You have to install a mysql database (easy to do at the control page your web provider gives you) and then load it all into the "dc" folder. It's a bit tricky to get it to point to the right place but you should be able to get it to work pretty quickly.

I bought it several years ago and have used it at 2-3 different web providers. The only thing is that the guy who wrote dcscripts no longer seems to support it. He took down his board (which was very helpful) and I don't know if he even supports it all all anymore, but it is still a good program. I have DC Forum+, ver 1.25 (DU uses version 1.1) the mysql version, which is easier to set up in my opinion and works better than the CGI version which is what I started out with.

Edit: The size of the application is very small, less than 1.5 MB
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Jersey Devil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-19-10 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. PS - FYI, the installation instructions for a non-windows server
This is taken directly from the download folder for the application, just so you have an idea of what you would have to do:

DCForum+ Installation guide for Unix/Liunx/FreeBSD servers
DCForum+ Version 1.25
1997-2004, DCScripts
Release Date 1-29-2004

Installing and setting up DCForum+ consists of following steps:

Installation overview
Installing DCForum+
Creating a backup directory
Edit dcsetup.php
Start dcadmin.php
Post-installation steps
1. Installation Overview
In the following installation procedure, we assume that you have already downloaded DCForum+ tar.gz file to a window-based PC and that you will be using an FTP program to install it on your web server.

If you downloaded DCForum+ tar.gz file directly onto your web server, then copy the files to appropriate directories instead of uploading them.


2. Installing DCForum+

There are more than one way to setup DCForum+ system. The following setup what we recommend.

/htdocs directory (Your top HTML directory accessible by your domain URL)
|----/dc (This directory would be accessible via )
|--- index.html
|--- admin.html
|--- dcf.js
|--- dc.css
|---/admin_lib (directory)
|---/include (directory)
|---/lib (directory)
|---/cal (directory)
|---/templates (directory)
|---/temp_files (777 - directory)
|---/user_files (777 - directory)
|---/docs (directory)
|---/lang (directory)
|----language files
|----language files
|----language files
|---/images (directory)
|----index.html (to hide the directory)
|---- gif files
|---/avatars (directory)
|--- gif and jpg files

Installation Steps
Change directory to your root html directory. By root html directory we mean the directory corresponding to your home site URL.

Create a subdirectory called "dc".
Set your FTP program to transfer files in BINARY model.
Create a subdirectory called "images" in the "dc" directory.
Change directory to "images". Create a directory named "avatars"
Upload /images/*.gif files to /images directory.
Change directory to "/images/avatars".
Upload /images/avatars/*.gif files to /images/avatars directory
Change directory to "dc" directory
Set your FTP program to transfer files in ASCII mode
Create a subdirectory called "admin_lib" in the "dc" directory
Change directory to "admin_lib" directory
Upload files in your local /admin_lib directory to this directory
Repeat steps 10 - 13 for "cal", "include", "lib", "docs", and "templates" directory
Change directory to "dc" directory
Create a directory named "lang". Upload all /lang files to this directory, preserving its directory structure
Change directory to "dc" directory
Create a subdirectory called "user_files" and "temp_files" in the "dc" directory. Chmod this directory to 777.
Upload following files to "dc" directory: dcboard.php, dcadmin.php, dcf.js, dc.css and index.html.
NOTE - Please note that you may also drag-and-drop "dc" directory from your local PC to the server's root directory so long as you setup your FTP program to automatically recognize .php, .inc, .html file extension as ASCII text files and .gif and .jpg as image files.

3. Creating a backup directory
DCForum+ allows you to make a backup of your entire database using mysqldmp function. In order to perform this action, however, there are two thing things that you must consider.

NOTE: Creating a backup directory can wait until you finish your installation. You may elect to get the forum running before you revisit this issue.

1. In order for the browser to create a backup and save it to a location on your server, we need to create a backup directory so that the browser has the permission to write a flie in that directory. In a nutshell, this means that the backup directory must be set to 777 permission

2. A more important requirement for this backup directory is that the contents of this directory must not be accessible via the browser. Therefore, you must create this backup directory above your root HTML directory that your hosting company has setup for you. For example, they may have a directory named "data" or "cgi-out" where it is not accessible using the browser.

You may also place this backup directory below your cgi-bin directory if this directory is set to execute scripts only. If you are not sure, do a simple test. Place a simple html file in your cgi-bin directory and try to view this file. If setup correctly, you should get an internal server error. On the other hand, if you can view this html file, then you cannot create a backup directory in your cgi-bin directory.

Once you determine where where to create this backup directory, create the directory and set this directory to 777.

4. Edit dcsetup.php
This file contains parameters that DCForum+ requires to run. You won't need to edit most of them. Just to get it started, you'll only need to define the following variables in dcsetup.php

Database paramters - Ask your ISP what these values are
DB_HOST - Typically "localhost" since most MySQL servers are on the same server as web server
DB_NAME - database name
DB_USERNAME - database username
DB_PASSWORD - database password

Forum parameters
ROOT_URL - This is the URL to /dc directory...for example,
COOKIE_DOMAIN - This should be
BACKUP_DIR - Location where backup file will be saved. This can wait until your forum is installed.

Open dcsetup.php file in your text editor and define these variables. Once you're done, upload dcsetup.php to your /dc directory.

5. Start dcadmin.php.
Start dcadmin.php by opening this page using your browser. The URL should be something like,

The firsttime you run this program, it will ask you to read the DCForum+ End-User Licensing Agreement. Click ok to continue with installation.

NOTE: If you get "Warning: Failed opening '/include/dclib.php' for inclusion" error, you will need to edit following line in dcsetup.php:


Replace $root_dir with absolute directory path to /dc directory.

Follow the instruction as provided until you have registered and login page appears. Proceed with login and this will bring you to the main page of the forum. Look for the "admin" menu icon. Clicking on this icon will bring up the administrator's program.

If you get any other errors during above steps, please go back and check to make sure that all path variables and permissions are set correctly. Also, check and make sure that you didn't use BINARY mode when you transfer the files. If you're still stuck, use our support forum at
Or email us at .

6. Post-installation steps
If you did not receive any errors thus far, then you are all set with DCForum+ installation. Now, go ahead and login as the administrator. You should not have access to the forum administration utilities. Please refer to the administrator user's guide for post-installation setup and configuration.


1997-2003 - All rights reserved
DCScripts is a DC Business Solutions company

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