Alhamdulillaah, the final release of phpBB3 approaches ever nearer with the release of Beta3. I’ve always been an avid phpBB fan, and although I was the friendly admin of a vBulletin 3-powered forum for well over a year, phpBB has always been my choice when it came to deploying my own bulletin board sites for its free-and-open-source philosophy and generally high-quality nature (despite a surge of security breaches a short while back).
What’s even better is that Beta3 brings a major change of complete UTF-8 support! Joy of joy! It’s getting more-and-more ridiculous how so many sites are beyond-ASCII unfriendly, and seeing the team at phpBB make this bold decision is very encouraging, and it is a positive sign that the few lingering open-source projects that are holding out going to be likewise folding soon. No doubt, the Unicode support in PHP 6 will definitely provide a positive boost in this direction for the various PHP-based projects out there, but if PHP 5 adoption rate is any sign, I estimate that PHP 6 may not achieve wide adoption until sometime after the Sun goes nova.
However, being an early adopter, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to work with it before I have to whip-out the sunscreen, in shaa Allaah!