Outer Court

Tech - PHP/XML Forum

You can download the source to this free, thread-oriented PHP/XML based news forum.
Please link to one of my sites if you use it, and send me an email where you put it online.

I don't give any guarantees to this code in case of data loss or misuse by forum visitors. Please use it at your own risk.

Online demo

The online demonstration is not a forum to post empty messages, it's actually in use. To simply test the forum features please download the code and run it on your own server.

For a working demonstration, please check out questml.com/forum.


This forum runs on Windows and Apache Server, when PHP4 is installed. By design it doesn't require any user authorization. It is not intended for large, heavy-traffic needs. Instead, it's an easy to use, fast to implement option (no MySQL database needed) when you don't want to miss out on threads.

Data format

The forum data is XML-based.
You can find the data files in the "forum" subfolder of the unzipped files. You can add your own files to this folder and the application will automatically list them (you should not put any other files in that folder). There are three sample files already, and they should be more or less self-explanatory. Note that the nested structure is not expressed in the XML, but is created recursively using the replyTo-attributes.

Here's a sample XML-file:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

    <description>For your questions, bug reports, and everything else.</description>

<post id="1" replyTo="0">
    <title>New discussion board</title>
    <author>Philipp Lenssen</author>
    <text>This is the actual message content.</text>

<post id="2" replyTo="1">
    <title>Re: New discussion board</title>
    <author>John Doe</author>
    <text>This is a reply to the first message.<br />This is the second line.</text>


If you want to implement your own design and navigation, simply open up the index.php file, and add the necessary XHTML1 Strict (the forum's output format), plus links to your CSS.


This forum makes use of Php.XPath written by Nigel Swinson, Sam Blum, Daniel Allen, Michael P. Mehl.


If you put up a forum I'd like to see it. You can send me an email or post in the tech comments section. Also if you have any questions, or found bugs, you can post them there.



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