MERC 4: Support forum

Author:Michael Price

Table of Contents


This MERC proposes the move of the official community meeting place from Google Group to a self hosted forum platform.


Google Groups is not a proper forum platform and as such is lacking many features that would increase participation. Google Groups has not had any significant update in years and the age of the platform is visible. There are no official mobile apps for Google Groups, no responsible template is not provided. There are not integration options. These factors contribute to the problems of knowledge dilution and one time participation being experienced in the Mayan EDMS community.

Other concerns for moving the community to a self hosted forum solution are that Google Groups presents a single point of failure by relying on a free product hosted by a commercial company with no continuation plan for the product. Google Groups doesn’t provide archiving features and the current archive solution relies on other third party services, one of which (GMANE) has stopped working. Recent user privacy and censorship issues regarding Google, reinforce the need for a self hosted solution.


Platform chosen was phpBB. Factors were: written in PHP, ease of installation, compatible with several database managers, mature, extensive development history.