Terms and Features
The forum is the whole installation, and usually contains multiple boards. You should always enter the forum through a link that ends in forum.pl (not forum_show.pl) to let the forum know when you start a new session. Otherwise the forum won't know when to mark posts as new or old.
A user is anyone who registers an account in the forum. Registration is usually not required for reading, but only registered users will see statistics about new/read posts. Users can be granted membership status to selected boards, enabling them to see private boards and post in read-only boards.
A board contains topics, which in turn contain the posts. Boards can be set to be visible to registered users or to administrators, moderators and board members only. Boards can be anonymous, meaning the user's ID won't be stored with the post (this doesn't guarantee full anonymity from administrators, though), and can optionally allow posts by unregistered guests. Announcement boards can be read-only, so that they only allow posts by administrators, moderators and members, or reply-only, which means that only administrators, moderators and members can start new topics, but everybody can reply. Another option for boards is moderation. If this option is activated, new posts will be invisible to normal users until an administrator or moderator approves them. Users can subscribe to a board, which means that they will get all new posts in that board by email regularly (frequency depends on forum setup).
A topic, otherwise known as thread, contains all the posts on a specific subtopic, that should be named in the topic's subject. Boards have expiration values that determine after how many days their topics will expire or get locked after their last post has been made. Administrators and moderators can also manually lock topics, so that no new messages can be added to them. Users can subscribe to a topic, which means that they will get all new posts in that topic by email regularly (frequency depends on forum setup).
A post is a single public message by a user. It can be either a base post, which starts a new topic, or a reply to an existing topic. Posts can be edited and deleted, which might be limited to a certain time frame. Posts can be added to personal todo lists and can be reported to the administrators and moderators in case of rule violations.
In addition to the public posts, private messages may be enabled in a forum. Registered users can send each other these messages without knowing the email addresses of the recipients.
An administrator can control and edit everything in the forum. A forum can have multiple administrators.
A moderator's powers are limited to the boards he is moderator in. A moderator can edit, delete and approve posts by normal users, lock and delete topics, add and remove board members and check the list of reported posts. A board can have multiple moderators.
The creator of a topic can add a poll to this topic, if this feature is enabled. Each poll can contain up to 20 options. Registered users can cast one vote for one option per poll. Polls can't be edited, and can only be deleted as long as there haven't been any votes.
For security reasons, mwForum only supports its own set of markup tags, no HTML tags. Available markup tags:
The following emoticons are displayed as images (if the feature is enabled): :-) ;-) :-( :-o
Frequently Asked Questions
I lost my password, can you send it to me?
No, the original password isn't stored anywhere for security reasons. But on the login page you can request an email with a special login URL that is valid for a limited time. After using that URL to login, you can change your password.
Why this complicated registration via password email?
This forum has several features that can send you email, e.g. reply notifications and board subscriptions. The forum requires you to specify a valid email address and only send the required password to that address to verify its validity. This is necessary since otherwise a lot of people would type in bogus or broken addresses and try to use the email features anyway, which would result in hundreds of bounced email/error messages for the administrators. This registration process also serves as a double opt-in scheme, which prevents the forum from being abused for email-spamming other people.
Do I have to use the logout feature?
You only need to logout if you are using a computer that is also used by other non-trusted persons. mwForum stores your user ID and password via cookies on your computer, and these are removed on logout. You can also use the "Limit login duration to browser session duration" feature in your user options to automatically logout when your browser's session ends.
How do I attach images and other files to posts?
If attachments are enabled in the forum and the specific board you want to post in, first submit your post without the attachment, after that you can click the post's Attach button to go to the upload page. Posting and uploading is separated this way because uploads can fail for various reasons, and you probably don't want to lose your post text when that happens.