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Open source forum - done *different*
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fora (yes, it's all lowercase letters) is forum / discussion board software, done differently. If you'd like to discuss fora, make suggestions, or ask questions, you can do so in our campfire room.

Note: this project is currently non-operational, and is still in early development. Feel free to watch it here on GitHub, fork it and contribute yourself, or jump in the room and chat with us... but you can't download and install fora in it's current state.


  • No categories, completely dynamic via tags and tag sets instead of topics
  • No registration - every visitor is automatically assigned an account, and they are automatically logged in to the correct account when visiting again
  • No community authentication - every user is assumed to be trustworthy (no passwords to log in, can edit anybody elses' posts, like a wiki - although versions are kept)
  • Member trust built on self-sufficient ratings, not mere membership

With fora, we hope to counter some of the basic anthropological problems associated with the limitations of normal 'discussion-board', or forum software. Such limitations and the said problems are discussed in more depth here.


The authoratative source for this project is available at You can clone your own copy with the following command:

git clone git://

If you want to make changes to the codebase, you need to fork your own github repository for said changes. Send a pullrequest to elliottcable when you've got something ready for the master that you think should be integrated into the root source.

Bugs or feature requests can be submitted to our ticketing system.


To run fora, you need the following gems:

  • merb-core
  • merb-more (may not be necessary)
  • datamapper (and associated do_postgres, do_mysql, etc)
  • merb_datamapper (from merb-plugins)

To develop and contribute to fora, you also need:

  • merb_rspec (from merb-plugins)
  • rspec
  • rake

merb edge

To easily install the current edge merbs, first install the merb-dev rakefile with sake as follows:

sudo gem install sake
mkdir -p ~/.ruby; cd ~/.ruby
sake -i
sake merb:clone
cd ~/.ruby/merb
sudo sake merb:gems:wipe
sudo sake merb:install merb:install:plugins
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