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Interview with Jamie Furness, FluxBB Lead Developer

Discussion in 'Interviews' started by D, Jan 12, 2012.

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    D

    D Who else?

    620px-FluxBB_1.4.png
    FluxBB is a fast, light and user friendly forum platform that was created in 2008 to continue in the footsteps of PunBB after it was aquired by another company. Today, FluxBB offers an array of features that make it a great choice for any type of forum owner.​
    Jamie Furness, the current lead developer of FluxBB shares a few words with us about its development and what the future holds for FluxBB.​
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    Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your role with the development of FluxBB?

    Hey. My name's Jamie Furness, I'm 24 and currently working towards a PhD, at University of Stirling, Scotland. I am the Lead Developer and System Administrator of FluxBB.


    What do you like to do when you are not working on FluxBB, Do you have any hobbies?

    What you like doing and what you end up doing aren't always the same! I've been spending a lot of time working recently so haven't had too much free time unfortunately. My main hobby at the moment is climbing.


    How did it all begin, When was FluxBB born and why was it primarily created? What was the reason behind naming it FluxBB?


    FluxBB was born in April 2008. It is a fork of PunBB (http://punbb.informer.com), which occured after PunBB was taken over by commercial company, with the aim of bringing back control to the community. It was forked by the PunBB developers, who moved from PunBB to FluxBB.
    I took over as lead developer in October 2009. The name FluxBB was intended to stand for "Fast, Lightweight, User-friendly, and eXtensible [Bulletin Board]".


    Developing a forum software must be a tiresome job, How many hours per day do you spend developing and looking after FluxBB?


    FluxBB is a community ran project - all our development comes from the community and everyone just chips in when they have free time. How much time contributed
    varies depending on how much free time people have. Recently I have been working a lot and not had much time to contribute, however Franz has stepped up and done
    a lot of work during this time.


    What are we going to see in 2012? What is the biggest feature/update that the team are pushing to get released this year and can we get a cheeky screenshot?


    We are currently working on FluxBB v2.0, which will have many improvements and new features - however the first iteration is primarily behind the scenes improvements to the underlying architecture, so I'm afraid no screenshots available!
    A few of the improvements/features we are currently working on for the first iteration include:

    We have updated the database abstraction layer to use PDO and prepared statements, and include lightweight SQL syntax abstraction. This will make it more secure and allow us to support more database types, should we feel the need.
    We have introduced a cache abstraction layer to add support for APC/XCache/Memcached etc.
    Authentication has been improved, and switched to a session based system, allowing more fine grained control of user logins.
    Introduced a new translation system based on gettext to allow translations using a more standardised set of tools.
    Split a lot of our code out into seperate modules, designed in such a way they can easily be using by third parties, independant of FluxBB core.

    Lots lots more - see https://fluxbb.org/development/core/roadmap/


    With social interaction on the internet evolving and progressing quite rapidly where do you see forums as a whole in 2 years time?


    I think with the rise of social platforms such as Facebook etc. forums maybe aren't quite as prominent as they could be - however they still have their place. While social networks are great for interacting with your friends, they don't really tackle (at leat not successfully, in my opinion) the interacting with a community space. I can see forums maybe becoming more integrated with social networking (such as using Facebook connect as a start I guess), however I cannot see their core design or features changing a huge deal.


    FluxBB looks like a good base to develop a community on, What are the best examples of FluxBB forums you have seen so far?


    Probably my favourite usage of FluxBB is the Arch Linux forums (https://bbs.archlinux.org) - they have a large and busy forum, with a design very close to Air, but which fits perfectly into their website.
    There are also quite a number of French linux support forums running FluxBB - for example, ubuntu-fr (http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org), and fedora-fr (http://forums.fedora-fr.org).
    The uTorrent community forums (http://forum.utorrent.com) also run FluxBB, with a nicely integrated custom theme.


    Apart from FluxBB do you have any other projects you are working on?


    A while ago I started working on a Java-based MORPG (http://www.jamierf.co.uk/2011/05/08/a-java-based-morpg-the-beginning/), however haven't had time to work on it recently :( I am currently tinkering with Android development, though I'd rather keep my plans quiet until we have a product to announce! Any open-source projects I work on can be found on GitHub (https://github.com/reines).


    Any Final comments:


    As I said earlier, FluxBB is very much a community ran project. All our code is available on GitHub, and we aim to keep it fairly simple and readable. We are always looking for contributors so if anyone is interested please check out our development section (https://fluxbb.org/development/)!
     
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    drogba921

    drogba921 Diamond Level Contributor

    Sounds like a cool website. I wish him luck in his PhD, and hope to see Version 2.0 released soon!
     

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