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miniBB coding concepts: practice rules!

We are sometimes claimed, probably by beginner-level programmers, that miniBB code is difficult to understand because it's not commented, is not comfortable to follow because it's not tabbed or indented, and is impossible to extend by university methods because it's not object-oriented.

Sometimes we are even suspected to have a "correct" version of the indented and described source which is hidden from public because of our greediness.

The only truth about is that we are experienced enough to program and release our forum software code in just the same way as you get it. MiniBB is one of the numerous examples of our real coding style and manner, we can't find a reason to change our habits just for miniBB, because we code everything this way. We are producing that kind of code by the following purposes:

  • Since our programming team consists of a few persons, we understand each other's code without paying attention to its non-academical nature, but just by understanding how it works;
  • Because we have a goal to develop a stable software, we avoid inviting additional programmers to the basic team, and that's why we don't have to explain how the code works (still even a middle-level programmer is able to intuitively get into its self-explanatory structure, because our code is open for viewing and editing);
  • Finally, the most important: a theory must be attached to a practice to become effective, but "the programming science" obviously doesn't always work good in practice. On the other hand, "reduced" by our principles the code becomes more optimized and faster in execution, as we see it on the live projects.

Additionally, we should mention that we do not belong to fans of object-oriented programming (OOP). OOP methods and classes are good for hundreds of programmers working together on something large and heavy. For a mini-software developed by one or two persons, such approach is very wrong. miniBB consists of functions- and modules-based program code only, which is executed much faster by all means than any OOP-ruled code. Still, even this type of code can be easily extended by some extra add-ons and features because of its "architectural basement"; and you have a chance to apply your own coding strategies in your own add-ons with no problems.

So if you would like to modify miniBB just having a pure non-compiled source code, you have everything to start with, but you will need to turn on your analytic skills to understand it. Our coding algorithms are very easy to follow for those who can really understand the whole idea and not just to cram information in their heads. Such approach may look dangerous for students or coding newbies, but that's how it is and we have no reasons to change it.

We care only about our end customers, who are looking for a speedy forum engine. And it's not possible to achieve that by making a huge OOP-code, where only comments or tabs are taking a half of it, not even talking about its slow execution routines... Especially, when it seems like most of our customers don't bother to view the code itself, they care only about how the program works for them. As our practice shows, miniBB is more often used as it is, than tweaked, there may be just one programmer of our level out of a thousand of people, who use the forum, that's why we must say "sorry" in advance to those looking for an educational code.

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Forum owners about miniBB:
This board software is very nice and simple ;) Thanks for your good work!
as written by...Ricardo L., Germany
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