January 3, 2005

SMF 1.0 released

by brian_turner

The Simple Machines group finally released its eagerly awaited community software package SMF 1.0 just before the New Year.

The successor to the highly popular YaBB SE forum software, SMF 1.0 continues to be freely available to the webmastering community.

The original YaBB SE project was an extremely simple piece of forum software to install, use, and administrate. Even with only the smallest of understanding of HTML, webmasters could completely redesign the look of their forum, and seamlessly integrate it into their site – a task that could require specialist coding experience and knowledge for other free forum packages of the time, such as phpbb and Invision Power Board.

SMF 1.0 maintains that ease of use, but adds extensively to YaBB SE’s original functionality, to match and surpass many default features of free forums. One key extra is a spellchecker – Invision Power Board, which is no longer free, are the only other generic forum software package to offer this.

I personally really enjoyed my time using YaBB SE, and only converted my major forums over to vBulletin two years ago because of problems with the thread URLs in YaBB SE being difficult to index by search engine at the time.

However, the SMF developers have addressed that issue with simplified URLs, and have also included a default mod_rewrite option for those using Apache servers, to produce static URLs for added search engine friendliness.

Not suffering the same problems of extensive duplication of content as vBulletin does, abominable security as with phpbb, or being over-priced as IPB is, I can really see myself moving a lot of new material over to SMF. :)

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