Hi Shane et al, excuse the long response.

>"Basically, they wanted the Slash backend, but wanted a ubb-ish forum area"

Exactly!  I've looked at UBB and phpBB, but with all the security issues with PHP lately I'd rather stay away from those.  I prefer the compiled apps like Backtalk or Caucus as they run better on my older hardware, but Slash with Mod-perl is pretty well optimized so should work OK for me.

The problem with all the boards I mentioned is the lack of a community moderation system (Slash is the only software I've seen that has anything like this).  Most of my posters are from the old CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) forums, which used (insanely expensive license) WebX.  Without getting into the boring details, that forum's demise was basically caused by biased and unfair moderation, so I want to have as fair a moderation system as possible.  I'd prefer to avoid censorship entirely, but that represents the primary moderating functionality on most software.  The rating system fits my need much better.

If I was a programmer, I'd probably look at adding a post rating system to one of those other open source products myself, but since IANAP, I figure I'll just play around and see if I can make Slash fit my needs.  Obviously there are going to be compromises.  If I can't make it work to my liking, I'll try something else.  This is just a sort of hobby for me.

>"I'm not sure why you wouldn't want people changing the subject. The comments would be linked by parent cid, so displaying them in flat, threaded, nested, would still group them, no matter what the subject."

Basically this stems from one feature that would be pretty tough to add to Slash but is present in a typical linear forum - the ability to remember what posts users have seen, and present them only with new posts when they visit.  With a linear board, without that feature at least all the posts are in a simple chronological order and its fairly easy to come back and pick up where you left off.  Its much more difficult to have to go through every thread on every discussion to see new posts since your last visit.

>"Is what you did online somewhere so we can check it out?"

I've got Slash running at http://www.freecbc.ca , but nobodys using it yet as I am really just experimenting at this time (It certainly gets an A for customizability.  I've barely scratched the surface so far)

For an idea of the sort of format I normally use, the current functioning board is at

http://www.steenerson.com/cgi-bin/backtalk/backtalk.cgi/abalone/confhome?conf=general

>"When you say 'low volume' - how are you defining volume?"

Roughly a few hundred posts per day.  I have about 75 active topics right now, but I plan to consolidate that into about 10-12 more general ones.

>"one of the main concerns was that it could cause mysql to do a full-table- scan for entirely ancient posts."

I'm sure there will be some other issues I come up against as I go along, as happens whenever one tries to use software in a non-standard configuration. Thanks much for the technical ideas and advice.

Its much appreciated

BTW, one more quick question if y'all don't mind – Ive added IMG (and IMG SRC) to approvedtags but people still cannot post images, which Id like to allow.  Any idea what the problem might be?

Cheers

Blair