If you dont like rants, you can stop reading now.
Sadly, I hate forums. They truly are a thing of the past. Like basic html, it can do everything... everything in a really crude way. Choose whatever specialized system you want and it will probably do a better job. "The right tool for the right job", remember?
The PHP based voting system is the best thing IMO thats happened to this forum. If not the wiki. Im looking at the vote code right now for ways to improve it.
If I would have my way (god forbid), I would use something like GetSatisfaction
for ideas, bug reports and praise (since thats what the systems intended for). Some open source variant of StackOverflow
for questions-and-answers, something that system is intended for. The Wiki
for documentation, because, again, its a system designed specifically for that task and IMO does it way better than any forum will ever hope for.
So what is a forum for then? Maybe the social aspect (something we must not forget). For newcomers that thinks forums is the only way to communicate over the internet. To point out the various special systems in case some content belonging somewhere else ends up here. The information hub of sorts maybe.
The forum has gotten so active that were all suffering from information overload. Its the very reason for this thread and its discussion. No one is allowed to suggest anything, because everything has been said at least once, and no one can find any statement about anything because a brutal majority of the content found through searches ends with the simple conclusion that "its been suggested before".
Yes, I do challenge you all. I dont believe this problem can ever be solved with traditional forums, being the stone age technology that they really are, alone. However, being a great enthusiast of communication (both by design and the psychological aspect) this is a very interesting discussion and I would like to be proven wrong.
Now get to it.