I’ve been looking into adding some forum functionality into my Baltimore and Annapolis bars website. While I was researching different forum implementations to find out what kind of forum I’d like to have on the site, I came across a couple of rails plugins that will take care of all the heavy lifting.
First is Savage Beast, the second version of a plugin designed specifically to add forums to Rails sites. While Savage Beast is functional, it doesn’t appear to be actively updated. It was forked a few months ago to bring it in compliance with Rails 2.3. Unfortunately, as of this writing, that hasn’t been completed yet. Savage beast is definitely worth watching, but at this time I think it would take too much work to get it production ready.
On the other hand, we have Community Engine, Community Engine uses the Engines plugin, now integrated into rails, to add all kinds of social networking features into your rails project. In addition to forums, the plugin brings user profiles, blogs, photos, and a messaging system. The plugin has a ton of github activity, forks, and followers, and is definitely under active development. Even better, the plugin is already Rails 2.3 compliant. The only apparent problem with Community Engine is how many features it really has. I have a feeling it could be quite difficult to integrate the software into an already-developed website.
I intend to begin integrating it over the next few days, and I’ll keep this up to date with how it’s going.
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