Frequently Asked Questions

These are a few of the questions people ask me about the project. Feel free to ping me with other questions at jeff@popw.com . If you're thinking it, you're probably not the only one!

Another forum app? For real?
Yeah, I know. I'd like to think that this one is a little different, because it doesn't exist to fit some generalized needs, it exists to fit my needs. The design goal of the app, from its early days in 1999, has always been to design for users, and not as a science project. This app lives because it has been required for sites like CoasterBuzz for more than ten years, and it will continue to evolve because those sites will evolve. It just makes sense to share it with others.

Sounds like you've been doing this a long time.
Yes, I sometimes feel cursed to rewrite it for all eternity. The Webforms versions were really kind of a mess, and no version was a true rewrite. Once MVC came along, it gave me great incentive to start fresh. Putting it out there in the open I suspect will only help the quality.

What languages are supported?
The list is always changing. Currently we have English, Spanish (es), Dutch (nl) and German (de). If you'd like to translate, the .resx file has between 350 and 400 entries. Contact me to learn more. 

You (used to) work on the forums for MSDN and TechNet. Is this that forum?
Not at all. That app serves a great many different functions and is integrated with LiveID, a centralized profiling system, etc. It's huge. This app has its roots in the Web sites I've been running for fun and profit for years, to the extent that you can find old posts on those sites from the turn of the century with all kinds of formatting failures. Those were the ASP.old days.

I noticed you're not using <some ORM framework>. Why not?
One of the requirements for this version was to simply work with the existing data structures of v8.x, a Webforms app. In that sense, the data plumbing was already pretty well established and known to work.

What external frameworks are you using, and why?
I wanted to keep external binaries to a minimum, but I'm using Ninject for dependency injection (Apache and Ms-PL licenses), Moq for test mocking, and NUnit for unit testing (variant of zlib/libpng license). The decision to use these was kind of arbitrary. I had experience with these and they met my needs. Plus, Ninject is written by a guy from Akron, so you know it's good.

Since you (used to) work at Microsoft and all, is this supposed to be some kind of best practice example?
Not a chance. There are people far smarter than me that do that kind of thing, and they work on the framework teams. Because this app is first and foremost a production app, there is little desire to ever "perfect" it or make it an example of The Right Thing® to do in terms of coding technique. As far as releasing frequently and iterating quickly, yes, I hope it does serve as an example of that in the long run. That, too, will largely depend on my free time.

Will there be a Webforms version?
No.

What's the release roadmap?
Bug fixing will prompt updates as needed, though the app is getting solid production use, and hopefully those will be infrequent. Beyond that, I hope to get feedback from the community on what they would like to see added, and that will drive future development. You can check the issue tracker for stuff currently in flight.

Can I contribute?
That's a harder question to answer. If someone really digs into the source code and understands it in a non-trivial way, then yes, I'll consider bringing in contributors.

Last edited Jan 27, 2012 at 4:13 AM by jeffyjones, version 7