I’ve talked about Forum Engines in the past. My conclusion was that “we have to live with them”:
In the end, I am not sure what a proper replacement for a forum engine might be and so far it appears to be the prime method of supporting a community. Established social websites do help, but exchanging the whole of your on-site community for a Facebook one might be a mistake (depending on your site’s context).
It’s only good news then that Jeff Atwood announced his new company which specialises in releasing a forum engine that tries to do away with the bloat of the past: Civilized Discourse Construction Kit.
This is great news. The engine has minimalistic looks (which is good), does away with the signature bloat and the rest of the bling (which is great) and embraces new web technologies that make navigation so damn awesome (which is… awesome).
There are some well thought out features too (of which some obviously draw inspiration from Stack Exchange) such as “best of thread” and unobtrusive links but the most important part is the discussion which simply flows without distraction. It’s a very well done job, one that can only get better from the looks of it. I like it a lot and I can already think of places where I could use, both for personal and professional use.
I can only wish good luck to Jeff and his teammates and hope other companies will take notice and upgrade their aging and bloated engines.