The WebForum project

WebForum is a servlet which can be used to build professionnal web boards with Web forms for administration. It is multilingual and require only a small configuration files to setup (just upload it to your server). Of course, you need Java servlet compatibility (tested with Java Servlet Kit 2.0 and above) and Java 1.1 (tested with both Linux and Windows). It is entirely Open Source (GPL), of course. Of course, it runs even faster with modern JVMs!

The servlet caches all disk access for optimal performance and is fully threaded. Unlike a database-based forum, it is optimized from the ground up while keeping a fully object-oriented structure. It uses session tracking throughout and will open a session will all registrered visitors dynamically generating pages according to the identity of the visitor (in particular, it will remember names and email adresses). Through CSS, the look and feel of the HTML pages can be tailored easily to meet your needs.

While other solutions assume you are going to use JSP, webforum is built as a servlet from the ground up. It is meant to rely of the most basic Java technology (servlet 2.0 should do except for a few calls to getContext) and doesn't assume you've got anything close to a full J2EE server. So no fancy architure here! Just something that scales! A forum needs to be fast and responsive!

The installation is as simple as drop classes and configuration files in your servlet container, edit one configuration file with the proper settings, and voilà! You don't even need to setup a database as it uses text files to save its data. You are ready to go! WebForum is also actively (as of 2003) supported and developed.

There is also a very cute Java 2 applet (sources included) which is fully compatible with the forum (so you can browser either through the Java applet or through HTML).

Key Distinguishing features

  • Free software (GPL): compare with Jive (free for non commercial use)
  • No messing with relational datatabases: point to a directory and it will save messages to files!
  • i18n support (English/French/Italian for now)
  • Java-based
  • Mature (Administrative features, error-handling,...)

© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Daniel Lemire