Last Modified 2014-11-27 by Jan Schneider


Agora is Horde's forum module, providing comments on user submitted content in e.g. Ansel or Jonah.


List any tickets on http://bugs.horde.org/ that cover this issue or are relevant to it.


  • Stephan (webmaster <ät> dasourcerer <döt> net)
  • Almost certainly others


  • Structure
Introduce categories for boards as an additional means organization. For larger installations, boards alone might be insufficient.
  + Boards
     + Threads
        + Thread pages
        + Posts
           + Attached files
  • Pretty URLs
Apart from being just "pretty", URLs should express is-a, has-a or subset relations. Examples:
  Category titled "Main"     --´     |         |          |   |  |
  Board titled "Testboard"   -------´          |          |   |  |
  Thread titled "Testthread" -----------------´           |   |  |
  Show page 3 of the thread  ----------------------------´---´   |
  Jump directly to post #9365 ----------------------------------´

  Category titled "Main"     --´     |         |          |    |
  Board titled "Testboard"   -------´          |          |    |
  Thread titled "Testthread" -----------------´           |    |
  Post with the id 9365      ----------------------------´     |
  (there is little sense in naming individual posts)           |
  Action: Edit post #9365    ---------------------------------´

  List threads that got     ----´      |   |
  recent replies                       |   |
  Show page three           ----------´---´
In order to create a named URL part, the following operations should be performed:
  • Strip trailing or leading whitespaces
  • Transform all letters into lower case
  • Translate all letters not within a-z into their phonetic equivalents. Examples:
||~ Original Letter || ä || ß || ø || ð ||
Equivalent ae ss oe th
* Turn everything except a-z and 0-9 into a dash ("-")
  • Merge multiple dashes into one
  • In case of a collision: Append a dash followed by the number of colliding strings + 1 (should result into "foobar", "foobar-2", "foobar-3", etc.)
  • Statistics
People *love* statistics. Providing them also seems to encourage user participation. In particular, provide a publicly available stats page featuring:
  • Top n most active users (by post count)
  • Top n most popular boards (by post count or by views)
  • Top n most popular threads (by post count or by views)
  • Last n threads (possibly drop this in favour of /recent)
  • Generic stats like:
>>* Total number of threads
>>* Total number of posts
>>* Average number of posts per thread (bonus: Use this to determine "hot threads" instead of a fixed value)
>>* Average number of posts per day and per hour (seems to be bogus, but people like it. And it is cheap to generate: Take the first and devide by 24)
* Overview over the number of posts on each of the last n days
Possibly provide all of these via blocks as well.
  • Syndication
Provide RSS and Atom feeds (c.f. Project/FeedEverything). In particular:
  • Feed solely for threads (e.g. newly created threads will be announced in here, showing the content of the very first post in the feed entry.)
  • Full content feed (All new posts go in here)
  • Both again for specific boards (this is excellent for larger installations with high traffic)
  • Moderation
Currently, there can be only one moderator per board. Add an extra table to allow for an n:n boards-to-moderators relation.
Also: Allow moderators to perform reversive actions in boards not assigned to them, tying them closer to their assigned boards.
  • Linkback
Enable threads to accept ping- and trackbacks. In addition, catch refbacks.
  • Plugin Infrastructure
Forums are often subjects to heavy modifications in an effort to appease users. A powerful plugin infrastructure might help to keep the installed software maintainable while allowing the desired modifications. The Habari Project has got a system that might be a good start for this.


An advanced BBCode parser has been proposed a long time ago. Since then, a better one has been in the making. Features include:

  • Inspect links regarding availability. Examples:


would be rendered as
<a href="http://www.example.com" title="Example Site" type="text/html" target="_blank">http://www.example.com</a>

Unreachable links would be marked with rel="nofollow", so there won't be an impact on search engine rating:
<a href="http://www.example.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.example.com</a>

Additionally, CSS selectors could be used to give users an immediate feedback on broken links.
  • Inspect embedded images
Check if:
  • an [img] tag is pointing to a reachable destination
  • if the destination is actually an image (the rise of one-click-image-hosters seems to entice users to c&p the URLs of result pages rather than the URLs of the actual images)
  • Eventually, retrieve the image dimensions.
As an example

would be rendered as
<img src="http://www.example.com/example.png" alt="http://www.example.com/example.png" title="example.png (65536 bytes)" width="640" height="480" />
  • Enhanced quotes
The [quote] tag has got an optional parameter that can hold three different kinds of values: A quoted string, the id of a post or an URL. The last two will be using the cite-rel microformat in the rendered output. Example:
Welcome to the home of the Horde Project.

Will be rendered as:
<div class="quote">
Quote <cite class="via" id="cite-ef58e3aa-af7f-45ba-a17d-5192ffe883b7"><a href="http://www.horde.org" type="text/html" target="_blank">The Horde Project</a></cite>:
  <blockquote cite="#cite-ef58e3aa-af7f-45ba-a17d-5192ffe883b7">
    Welcome to the home of the Horde Project.

Using a post id will in addition show the username of the original poster

Features touching other modules

  • Ansel could be utilized to provide (more or less) one-click-hosting out of Agora, offering a convenient method to publish images within posts.
  • Scry. Create polls via API calls and tie them into Agora in an 1:1 relation (meaning there will be at most one poll per thread)
  • Trean. Keeping track of larger forums is hard. Allow users to bookmark threads via Trean. Preserve Agora's logical structure (categories, boards) when displaying them. Bonus: Provide an Atom/RSS feed for bookmarked threads only.
  • Folks. Link usernames to profiles in Folks accordingly.
  • Possibly provide comments functionality for Whups and Wicked



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