sfSimpleForumPlugin - 0.6.7

Lightweight embedded forum plugin.

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sfSimpleForumplugin - Bulletin Board / Forum for symfony


This plugin allows you to embed a forum within your symfony application with the following features:

  • Topics are grouped into forums, forums are grouped into categories
  • Topics are flat (= not threaded)
  • Breadcrumb navigation
  • Pagination
  • Lists of latest messages are available for all forums, one forum, one user
  • RSS feeds (requires sfFeed2Plugin)
  • Identified users can participate in any topic and submit new messages
  • User management is controlled through sfGuardPlugin
  • Basic moderation (delete, stick or lok a topic)
  • View count for topics and forums
  • New messages since last visit shown as such
  • Uses output escaping to prevent XSS attacks
  • i18n ready

It is not aimed at replacing full-featured forum packages, but offers a lightweight alternative for when you build a website that has to contain a forum section. It is voluntarily simple, and contains many optimizations so that is remains fast even with a lot of messages and concurrent users. It is very easy to configure and adapt, so it should fulfill most basic forum requirements.

Please note that this plugin is in active development. If you want to help and improve it, please contact François Zaninotto.




The prerequisites for using the sfSimpleForum plugin are:

  • As the plugin doesn't contain a user management module, the project where you install it must have a table managing authors, or users (whatever the name), and the related Propel class must have a __toString() method. Both these conditions are satisfied by the sfGuardPlugin, so installing this plugin is a good choice.

  • If you want to use RSS feeds, you must install the sfFeed2Plugin.


To install the plugin for a symfony project, the usual process is to use the symfony command line:

$ php symfony plugin-install http://plugins.symfony-project.com/sfSimpleForumPlugin

Alternatively, if you don't have PEAR installed, you can download the latest package attached to this plugin's wiki page and extract it under your project's plugins/ directory. You will also have to copy the contents of the myproject/plugins/sfSimpleForumPlugin/web/ directory into a myproject/web/sfSimpleForumPlugin/ directory.

Rebuild the model, generate the SQL code for the new tables and insert it into your database:

$ php symfony propel-build-all

Clear the cache to enable the autoloading to find the new classes:

$ php symfony cc

You can load the included fixtures to start using the forum with test data.

$ php symfony propel-load-data frontend plugins\sfSimpleForumPlugin\data\fixtures

Enable the new sfSimpleForum module in your application, via the settings.yml file.

// in myproject/apps/frontend/config/settings.yml
    enabled_modules:        [sfSimpleForum, default]

Start using the plugin by browsing to the frontend module's default page:


If you want to enable the plugin administration interface, you have to enable two more modules. You can do so in your main application or in a backend application. the following example is for a 'backend' application:

// in myproject/apps/backend/config/settings.yml
    enabled_modules:        [sfSimpleForumCategoryAdmin, sfSimpleForumForumAdmin, default]

Configure the plugin categories and forums by browsing to the administration modules default page:



The templates of the sfSimpleForum module define some slots that you can use inside your layout:

  • auto_discovery_link_tag: For the auto discovery links, to be placed in the <head> section
  • forum_navigation: For the forum breadcrumb and actions

An example layout for a standard display is given below.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<?php include_http_metas() ?>
<?php include_metas() ?>
<?php include_title() ?>
<?php include_slot('auto_discovery_link_tag') ?>
<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico" />
<div class="sfSimpleForum">
  <?php include_slot('forum_navigation') ?>
<?php echo $sf_data->getRaw('sf_content') ?>


Schema customization

If you install the sfPropelAlternativeSchemaPlugin, you can customize this plugin's schema by creating a sfSimpleForumPlugin_schema.custom.yml file under your project's config/ directory. This allows you to customize the connection name, table names, and even foreign class associations. Refer to the README file for more information.

You can choose to use another user management system than sfGuard. In that case, you need to change the foreign key associations for every user_id column with a custom schema. You also need to change the user_class parameter in your app.yml (see below).


Some of the features of the plugin can be altered by configuration. To do so, add some of the following lines to your application's app.yml:

    forum_name:              My symfony forum
    display_categories:      true
    use_feeds:               true  # requires sfFeed2Plugin
    count_views:             true  # count each time a topic is viewed. Turn off to increase performance
    max_per_block:           10    # maximum number of links displayed in a block
    include_breadcrumb:      true  # include breadcrumb slot content. Turn off if you don't use the breadcrumb.
    breadcrumb_separator:    ' » ' # separator for breadcrumb trail
    max_per_page:            10    # maximum threads or messages per page
    pages_displayed:         5     # maximum pages displayed by the pager navigation
    feed_max:                10    # maximum messages served by feed
    show_author_details:     false # display number of messages of post authors
    allow_new_topic_outside_forum: true
    user_class:              sfGuardUser         # name of the class used to manage users
    retrieve_by_name_method: retrieveByUsername  # name of the static method used to retrieve a user by its username

Routing rules

The plugin doesn't come with any routing rule. However, you can add some of your own to make the URLs look nicer. An example of set of rules could be as follows:

  url:   /forum
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: forumList }
  url:   /forum/latest/:page
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: latestPosts, page: 1 }
  requirements: { page: \d+ }
  url:   /forum/latest/feed
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: latestPostsFeed }
  url:   /forum/:forum_name/:page
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: forum, page: 1 }
  requirements: { page: \d+ }
  url:   /forum/:forum_name/latest/:page
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: latestForumPosts, page: 1 }
  requirements: { page: \d+ }
  url:   /forum/:forum_name/latest/feed
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: latestForumPostsFeed }
  url:   /forum/topic/:id/:stripped_title/:page
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: topic, page: 1 }
  requirements: { page: \d+ }
  url:   /forum/topic/:id/:stripped_title/feed
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: topicFeed }
  url:   /forum/new_topic/:forum_name
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: createTopic }
  url:   /forum/user/:username/:page
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: latestUserPosts, page: 1 }
  requirements: { page: \d+ }
  url:   /forum/user/:username/rss
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: latestUserPostsFeed }
  url:   /forum_message/:id
  param: { module: sfSimpleForum, action: post }

Look and Feel

The sfSimpleForum module comes with a default stylesheet. You can choose to use your own stylesheet instead of the default one. To do so, you must create an empty sfSimpleForum module inside your application with just one config/view.yml file in it, with the following content:

  stylesheets: [-/sfSimpleForumPlugin/css/default.css, myCustomStylesheet]


  • Authors can edit a message during its first minutes
  • Moderators can edit a message
  • Moderators can move a topic to another forum and a message to another topic
  • Add images to make the default style less ugly
  • Subscribe to a topic by email