And now for something totally different... This project is neither about layout nor about fancy eye catchers. Its about a game from last century which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and still has a some more or less active community. The idea behind the funky layout is to reutilize the original game graphics and fonts to obtain some corporate feeling, so it intentionally pixelates. On the other hand the bootstrap-based layout is modern enough to be responsive. The forum was originally founded in 2003 on ezBoard which morphed into YuKu around 2007 and ended in acquisition by Tapatalk in 2017.
Most of its original flair had gone due to those provider changes and Tapatalk's ideas about collecting data didn't seem to be very compatible with the upcoming GDPR. Some action was required. My obvious first thought was, which forum system to choose. Second thought was, why not build a forum on ProcessWire? First hurdle to take was grabbing the existing forum content from Tapatalk, since they simply do not provide any kind of backup or export mechanism (at least not for free boards). Luckily nowadays we have jQuery and JavaScript which easily loads any website into a DOM tree which can be parsed and analyzed with little efford. Quickly we had one big structured JSON file with all forum content. It took another day to write a test importer and restore that content into a hierarchy of about 5000 ProcessWire pages to get an idea about the resulting performance and that looks pretty promising. In fact the final forum is still located on a shared host without much optimization and performs pretty well (response times around 100mSec except on root). Another goal, probably not possible at all with "standard" forum software, was the ability to play some background game music during the forum visit, so content update is entirely driven by AJAX which, in turn, nicely reduces data payload as well. From a technical standpoint the implementation uses the page fields created and modified to maintain its author and realize the typical "new posts"
functionality, which needs some tweaking to keep everything in sync. PW Form Builder is used to simplify handling of input forms and configuration management of the frontend CKEditor (which is equipped with a dozen of plugins to provide emoticons, a per-user image repository and other fun stuff). Have fun