I've been thinking a lot about how I want to do community-building apps in Clay. I want to begin building a message board system, but I don't want it to be exactly like phpBB or anything out there right now. I had been thinking of doing an integration, but it would probably just end up as a fork as it's hard to keep up with another development team like that (I've never seen an integration strategy work unless there were developers dedicated just to that project). I've also considered a bridge application that just hooks the sessions together, but then you have to worry about the user databases being synced. So, I'm going to do my own message board system. I think my primary goals for it will be simplicity in platform, but powerful on the addon side. I'm not all that concerned about the way it looks, because Clay's template system is entirely customizable. I also want to focus on real-time updates and building it into as much a chat room as it is an archiving forum.
I'm going to start with a comments system for the Blog app and work from there. I have some code from a while back that I never finished that should be a decent starting point. It uses ClayDo-style objects that I think will need a few tweaks to be a full forum, but will lead to something easier to maintain than many of the comments systems I've worked with (read: cried about) in the past. I do not want to use placeholders and things like that in my implementation. Sure, they may make sorting and things like that easier, but I think it's just a mess to work with.
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