RealTime IT News

Ultimate BB Helping Sites to Build Web Communities

Prime-Web's Ted O'Neill yesterday released a new version of his Ultimate BB, or UBB system.

UBB 3.0 is being used on sites to allow interactivity and to create a sense of community among visitors. The bulletin board system is full-featured, customizable, and, best yet, it's free.

Ted O'Neill (ted@prime-web.com), Director of Digital Media at Prospect Associates, a communications firm in Rockville, MD, first created the UBB in early 1996. O'Neill continued the tradition started by Matt Wright (WWWBoard), Selena Sol, and Gunther Berznieks (Bulletin Board), and developed the system to be as full featured as he could make it.

Features of the Ultimate Bulletin Board Version 3 include:

  • Up to 9 customizable forum names and descriptions per UBB
  • Support for users who have strict CGI-BIN policies
  • Forums that can be individually switched off or on
  • Support for HTML within messages as well as UBB Code (a proprietary HTML-like code)
  • A moderator that can be set up for each forum
  • Built-in registration system
  • User permissions that are set by administrators
  • User profiles, which may be updated by users themselves
  • Extensive administrative features accessible through the browser
  • A classic, clean design
  • An FAQ generated online

Many top-notch Web sites are using UBB for their forums instead of the expensive commercial BB systems available. Mecklermedia's BrowserWatch has been using the UBB for the last couple of weeks with successful results. The system enables BrowserWatch to feature several different moderated topics in which users can discuss the latest Web browser ins and outs.

Version 3.0 enables administrators to be able to edit, delete, and prune messages from the forums. Messages my be mass-removed based on the number of days they have been on the system. The BB may be customized to match the look of the site, including graphics and logos. Users may set preferences so that when they come to the board only a certain number of days worth of messages are displayed.

The source code is included, and developers are free to modify it as they see fit. The only catch is that the very small copyright notices must remain in place. There is no support available, but Prime-Web has set up a forum specifically about the UBB so that users may report problems and answer each other's questions if Ted is not available.

For more information, or to download the UBB for your own site, visit Prime-Web's UBB Web site.