matt murtaugh.
about. skills. work. uses. blog.

I am writing a forum software!

Lately I've had an itch to build something, but my existing projects didn't seem to scratch that itch. I spent a lot of time trying to decide what I should code or what I could turn into an actual side hustle. Having simplified my life (gotten rid of my businesses), I realized that I wasn't looking for something to replace that. I was looking for something fun.

Why a forum?

The honest truth is that I love the idea of a forum. In fact, my entire web development career is a direct result of my fascination with forums.

My interest began back in the days of phpBB 2.0.22. At the time, I was only a teenager, so paid software was out of the question. I remember the first couple of days, spending dozens of hours learning to setup a database, upload the files, and fix all the issues I didn't quite understand. But I was thoroughly in love.

Fast forward a few years, I'd made my way around many different forum software. I'd accumulated 100s (maybe 1000s) of posts across the forum world. I've been an active member (not much over the last few years) of Xenforo since before it was released.

But that doesn't really answer my question

The reason, outside of my love for forums, is that I want something I can keep building. Many of my projects are at a point where I don't know where to go next. The beautiful thing about building a forum, is that I can find something to work on whether I have 10 minutes or 5 hours.

With all the features associated with forums, I will get my hands dirty on nearly every inch of Laravel. It will also allow me to learn many packages I have never used. With a forum software there is so many jobs to run, tests to write, and so many features to implement that I will never be bored.

Will I release it?

Probably not. I don't know that I will ever finish it. But also, I'm not sure that I want to. Building a forum is a project for me. I am looking for omething to learn from, something to scratch an itch, and something to remind myself why I fell in love with web development.

Many good forum software already exist, many for free. You should try one of those instead.

The screenshot is an early render from the forum.

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