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What is AtomBB?

AtomBB is an new forum software which has been in development since early 2012 in the hopes of breaking the current stagnation in the forum market due to many of the forum software stalling or not innovating rapidly enough with some new approaches towards hierarchical staff structures, permissions and other big innovations.

AtomBB is a project which is under my ownership as of.. this summer after my skills for developing and managing the project were recognised by the original founder who is known around this site as SuperSajuuk as more suitable for the role than himself thus, the ownership was tranferred in a process which resulted in all of the existing assets being tranferred over.

The first approach which we took was building the permissions system from the ground up to serve as a resilient important solution rather than baking it in as a lesser feature and as such, the permission logic is located within it’s own object where it can weigh the permissions checked and respond accordingly with a true or a false response to such permission checking requests as some forum software like MyBB take this much less seriously by just sticking a number of columns on the usergroups table for each permission which they may want to check.

Additionally, local permissions like local moderator status are loaded via the permissions object with a single method call where after being loaded, they can simply have those permissions checked in the same way as any other permission which results in a fairly standardised permissions model across both local and global scopes.

One aspect which AtomBB covers is a feature known as contribution levels which are based on numerous statistics like the number of posts which someone has, the number of topics which they have created and so forth with certain metrics being given greater weights than others in order to generate an overall idea about someone’s contribution to a forum as opposed to more traditional methods on older forums like post counts which tend to be artificially inflated by a large number of low quality posts as all posts are treated equally on such systems.

Theoretically, the contribution level system uses an exponential algorithm so, it can in theory go on forever rather than hitting a solid cap as someone rises up the levels however, it’s unlikely that anyone will ever get past level 10 on an unmodded setup with the default settings (it’s possible to modify a multiplier in order to raise or lower contribution level requirements to an extent although, very detailed alterations are only possible via a plugin due to the complexity of the algorithm) due to how high the requirements are to achieve such higher levels.

One important aspect for managing staff is a feature known as staff levels (not to be confused with contribution levels which are automatically calculated by the system) which allows super administrators (normally, the owner) to assign levels to staff which prevent them from performing moderative or administrative actions on staff who are equal or higher level than them (admins can still edit supermods as the rank difference overrides the level difference) with an exception for super admins who aren’t bound by the level system.

This system can be useful in creating much larger hierarchical structures than would typically be possible or to simply get an extra degree of flexibility over what actions that staff can perform to each other which also helps to solidify more conceptual structures which may have been harder to implement without the staff level system and it protects higher level staff from the lower level staff who may not and should not have the ability to edit the higher level staff.

The next point may seem less important and is being developed in several other software however, it introduces an extra level of accountability which is edit history where all the edits made to a post are logged and these entries can be navigated via the edit history interface with options to restore a revision, hide a revision and other options for managing the revisions which makes it much harder for staff to hide moderative actions or for users to edit a post to change their opinion when things go downhill for them in an argument.

There are a number of other features which are planned and being implemented for AtomBB however, those will have to be left to a later blog post as we don’t want to dump all of the features on a blog post.. Quite yet..

If you liked this article then, feel free to link back to this page, to share it with your friends or to discuss it on my forums.

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