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Submission + - Unified Backend for Web Forums (slashdot.org) 4

plazman30 writes: I've been an Internet user since the late 80s, long before those geniuses at CERN came up with http. Though I think that there has been great progress made to make the Internet more interactive and easier to use, I also see things regress back and become less connected.

One of the shining gems of the 90s internet in my opinion was usenet. It allowed to connect a server, subscribe to public message boards on any topic under the sun, and read, post and reply to messages. And you could go there and subscribe to newsgroups on a number of topics.

Due to heavy levels of spam, and the rise of the web, usenet has fallen into disuse, though it is still out there. A lot of people left usenet and have moved onto public forums on web sites.

Though these forums are useful, you need to visit multiple web sites all with different login credentials to even see your list of unread content. This cumbersome, difficult and far harder than what usenet is.

So I was thinking about a universal backend for web based forums. This backend would allow for single authentication and give access to multiple forums, where a user, from one client, can read, post and reply to messages. In a way, it would take all these web based forums and kind of unite them into a usenet style backend, but with better authentication and a good set of APIs, so developers could write clients to access these forums. Ideally, the backend would be accessible through port 80 or an web proxy for people behind corporate firewalls.

Does something like this exist? Does it even sound like a good idea? I just feel like with the open web, these forums are building silos.

Submission + - Open Source Software for tracking a Cub Scout Pack

plazman30 writes: This year I found myself volunteering to be a Tiger Cub Scout Leader. Though I have found a number of useful spreadsheets to track the progress of the scouts, I would prefer a web based solution that allows both leaders AND parents see how their scout is progressing. I was wondering if anyone knew of a solution, or rolled their own solution they would we willing to share as open source software.

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