www.geek.org - forum

forum is a bulletin board system which originated in the 1980s at the unversity of california, santa cruz. though it traditionally has always been run on unix operating systems, there is now development of web and java clients to make it more convenient to use in the modern age. the current forum system is now maintained by falcon@geek.org. yam is a version of forum running with permissions such that anyone can create new nodes.

getting forum
you can download the forum source at ftp://ftp.geek.org/pub/forum/.

the latest forum_servers file is available here

there also is a web interface to the yam administration system here

forum/yam email forwarding
both forum and yam have automatic email forwarding built into them for registered users. mail to [user]@yam.geek.org and [user]@forum.geek.org will forward to the email address specific in [user]'s config
reporting bugs
report bugs here through the chime bugzilla system.
who uses forum?
alumnis (and some current students) of university of california, santa cruz are still the majority in the forum community, though through the years they have brought many new friends into the fold. interestingly enough, santa cruz was quite a hot bed of internet activity in the '80s and '90s and as a result, members of the community can be found at most of the current hip and successful internet-related companies.
(brief) history
in the 1980s, the university of california, santa cruz hosted a small, but active online community. at the time, users logged in remotely to a single unix server and ran different programs to communicate with each other. along with the usual real-time chat programs and games, bulletin boards were popular for more long-lasting and thoughtful conversations and they were known by the name "forum" instead of the dos and mac based world which were mostly called by the acronym for bulletin board systems, "bbs".

although there were many single-topic forums written and maintained by a number of individuals, eventually chuck peterson (then a maintainer of the games software on the open access computer) wrote what he originally coined "tree-forum", as it had multiple areas for different topics, or "nodes". once the ucsc computer system expanded to having multiple computers available to students, chuck made a server for tree-forum (or t-forum) so that remote computers could access the same messages. this is where i became involved in tforum by writing a remote client (rforum). as time passed (early 1990s), i had become a games manager and a public manager and slowly abandoned my own other forum codebases and focused forum-based advances on chuck's tforum sources.

tforum has been a controlled environment in terms of what nodes are available, but when i abandoned work on my own multi-node open-access forum, "gromp", i put up an open node creation version of tforum and called it "yam". towards the end of the 1990s, both tforum and yam moved off of university computers and onto my own servers. bug-fixing and feature enhancement continued and now in 2000, the 2.1 version is a complete restructuring of the codebase and easy portability to common operating systems (freebsd, linux, solaris2, etc). all of the "tforum" and "rforum" names are gone and it's simply known as "forum", though it occurs to me that it might be time for a more unique name for the system.

a more insightful history of santa cruz forum software was compiled by bill karwin and can be seen here. it's outdated by a number of years but helps a little.

if you have any additions, suggestions, comments, questions, or corrections, please let me know.

©2000 jon r. luini - last updated 8/18/2000