[This is a repost from my tech blog, and super geeky. -J]
For those who have followed my blog for the last six years or so, you know that I've always had a love-hate relationship with the forum app that sits at the core of my own Web sites (CoasterBuzz being the "money maker," so to speak). For more than a decade, I've had POP Forums in my life in one way or another, dating back to the old ASP days. At times I sold it, then I gave it away, then I gave it away hoping you'd give me money for it. Today, I can safely say that the next version is going open source. For good.
POP Forums v9, in early preview form, has been posted to CodePlex. It just feels right. Since joining Microsoft in November, I've had the pleasure of working in the Server & Tools Online group, and that includes CodePlex. When you eat lunch with those guys every other day, and you hear about what they're doing, you get curious and want to get more involved with the open source community that they support. It was time to get this app out into the wild in a meaningful way. The app uses the Ms-PL license, and I hope you'll give it a look.
This is a project that I started last summer when I wasn't working, as an eventual replacement for vNext of CoasterBuzz and some other sites. After the birth of my son in March, I found that I consistently had a couple of hours most nights to devote to it, and I started to ramp up again. It has a long way to go, but I was anxious to get an early preview out. To be clear, this has nothing to do with the forums you use on MSDN, Technet, and a bunch of other places. I can't even begin to explain how different that app is (though in some future blog post, I'm sure I'll talk about some of the things that have gone on there).
So visit the project site, read the FAQ, and feel free to submit feedback about what's there so far. At this stage, because it's so feature incomplete (it doesn't even parse HTML yet), I'm not looking for feature requests. The goal is to get some parity to the old Webforms version and then go from there. This is the first true ground-up rewrite of the app since it was converted to ASP.NET in 2002. There's a lot to do!
While I'm excited to get this app out there, I do realize that it's one of a mess of existing projects that do the same thing. Perhaps you feel the world doesn't need another. That's OK. Just keep in mind that this is an app that I'm building for me first, so if I'm the only one who gets something out of it, that's OK too. However, it's my hope that people can build great communities around it the way I have. It's time for the forum to evolve, and I look forward to being a part of that evolution.