Version 12 (modified by hannes, 4 years ago) (diff)

Sourceforge download link


General Questions

  • I don't like spam!
  • Why yet another bulletin board?
    • Why not? Furthermore, Spam Board has been around since 2001, so it's hardly new.
  • Why do you start with version 5?
  • Why the crappy logo?
    • While I consider myself a halfway competent programmer, I stink at image creation / processing. Feel free to send in something better :)

User Issues

  • How do I report bugs?
    • Open a ticket using 'defect' as ticket type. Describe your problem as accurately as possible, providing all the information necessary to reproduce the error.
  • Can you let me know when 'my' bug has been fixed?
    • If you're the reporter of the ticket, and you'll automatically be notified of any change to it. Same if you've made a change. Last, but not least, you can enter your mail address in the CC field to get notified.
  • I don't want to enter my e-mail address because of the spambots!
    • Just register an account and use your username instead of the address.

Administration Issues

  • How do I set up my board?
    • Download the latest stable release, put the extracted files on your webspace, run the installer script and then delete the installer script from the location. After that, log in with the freshly created admin account, log in to the Administration Panel, create at least one forum and give some group permissions on that forum. Finally, disable maintainance mode.
  • I've added a new forum, but nobody seems to be able to see it!
    • In the creation process of a forum, only the 'Admin' group is granted all the permissions on the new forum. You have to grant at least read rights to the other groups which should be able to see the forum as well.
  • I've created numerous forums. Do I really have to tick all the 1000 checkboxes for each user group to give them access?
    • No, unless you want to set special permissions to certain groups, it's enough to set positive permissions (i.e. what the users should be able to do) for the groups 'Guest' and 'Member', because everybody is always in one of those.
  • How do I disabled a language / a board style so that the user's can't choose it?
    • Just remove it from the respective directory (includes/lang/ or includes/styles/). Make sure nobody has currently selected them, though, because it'll lead to problems otherwise.


  • Where can I post patches?
    • Just attach them to a ticket and explain what they're for.
  • Can I get direct SVN access?
    • If you plan to become a regular developer of this project, sure.
  • Connecting to SVN, I get an SSL warning. Has someone hacked this server?
    • We only have one IP address, so we can only have one SSL certificate. Since way more people are using this website than who have SVN access, that certificate has been made for It's also used for all the subdomains.
  • Should I use a special code style?
    • The basics are listed on their own page


Note that the following are only an attempt to explain the (admittedly) complicated and long licence text in normal language. Only the licence text itself describes the legally binding terms.

  • Can I use Spam Board free of charge?
    • Yes
  • Can I change the code to adapt it to my requirements?
    • Yes, but as soon as you deploy your changed version, you have to make the source code available.
  • I don't plan to distribute my modified version, it'll just be me using it. Do I still have to provide the source code?
    • As soon as someone interacts with your version, you have to make it available. The only exception is purely private deployment, but seeing that this is a forum software, it's kind of unlikely this is the case.
  • If I change the board settings through the admin panel, a file of the distribution is changed by the script. Is that already a derivative work, and do I have to post my configuration file now?
    • Er... I don't think so :)
  • Is it ok only to supply diffs of my changes?
    • Basically, no, because the version these diffs refer to might become unavailable (due to upgrades), and then, your diffs won't be of any use to anyone anymore. If your modifications are useful for the main branch, you might just feed them back there, of course, making your version consistent with the 'official' branch again. However, if your changes don't make it into the official distribution (e.g. if they're too specialized), you have created a 'derivative work' which you have to offer.
  • Can I put my modified version under a different licence?
    • No
  • Can I put my changes under a different licence?
    • Of course you can, provided that other licence allows for integration into the overall project. A common permissive licence, like for example BSD, is fine. To clarify this again: Your additions to the code (as long as they're seperable at all) may be under a different licence, but the overall product resulting from these additions will still be under the APGLv3.
  • Why use the AGPL instead of the regular GPL?
    • Short answer: Because the regular GPL (still) has the so-called 'ASP loophole', enabling evil people / companies to use changed code without giving back.
    • Long answer: GPL version 2 was written in a time before the Internet was everything. 'Clever' lawyers found a hole in it to use GPL code without ever giving back: The clause which forces authors of derivative works to publish their changed version in the GPL 2 only comes into effect when that version is distributed. If you just deploy your version on an Internet server and don't give it to anyone, you can keep your changes secret, even if the whole world is able to use your version. The first draft of the GPL version 3 included a provision to avoid this problem, using deployment of the modified version as a trigger to publish the sources instead of distribution. After extraordinalily heavy lobbying from Google discussions, this was reverted to the a GPL 2 - like effect. Making the GPL 3 pretty much unusable for any web-bases scripting language. The AGPL 3 is just a minor modification of the GPL 3, and it's an 'official' FSF licence as well. It closes this hole and it's thus infinitely superior, because it actually does what it's supposed to do (keep the code open). However, being treated pretty much as an unwanted stepson by the FSF (just look how much time passed between finishing the GPL 3 and the AGPL 3), how many people will use it? Probably not many. So evil corporations will continue to be able to exploit the free work of countless volunteers.
  • Can I take other GPL code and combine it with code of the Spam Board?
    • Yes, provided the code is under GPL version 3 or GPL version 2 or later. You can't do that if it's GPL version 2 only code.
  • Can I remove / replace the 'Powered by' line on the bottom of the board pages?
    • Short answer: Legally, you're allowed to, but you shouldn't.
    • Long answer: Do we remove the aequivalent notice here on this portal (we would be allowed to)? No, because we believe in credit where credit is due. You get ready-to-use software which took countless (unpaid) hours to produce, and removing the little credit would be extremely disrespectul. There are other licences which force users to display certain attribution notices (often called 'Exhibit B'). The idea behind such an Exhibit B isn't even all wrong. However, there are cases when removing the attribution is logical and valid. Imagine you create a new project for which you write 95% of the code yourself, and for the remaining 5%, you take code from Spam Board. Obviously, it'll be a whole different project now, and expecting it to be 'Powered by Spam Board' and 'copyright The Spam Board Team' would be pretentious. Nicholas Goodman laid out a horror scenario to where a forced attribution could lead (if you don't feel like reading it all, at least have a look at the mock screenshot there to get the general idea). That, and that alone is the reason why Spam Board isn't under such a licence. So please take into account that if your derivative work is still basically a forum software, you really shouldn't consider removing the original credits. If it's just an issue of design, why not just move them somewhere else or make them look different? And no, this doesn't mean using a font size of 1px or white text on white background!