a forum software
- to search, quest, run (it)
- near, close, around, nearby, nigh (es)
- approximately, roughly (en; from circa)
screenshot of cerca, as deployed for the merveilles community forum
This piece of software was created after a long time of pining for a new wave of forums hangs. The reason it exists are many. To harbor longer form discussions, and for crawling through threads and topics. For habitually visiting the site to see if anything new happened, as opposed to being obtrusively notified when in the middle of something else. For that sweet tinge of nostalgia that comes with the terrain, from having grown up in pace with the sprawling phpBB forum communities of the mid noughties.
It was initially written for the purpose of powering the nascent Merveilles community forums.
- No likes or popularity symbols
- Markdown input
- Make threads independent of category => enable trivial moving of posts
- As little design as possible
- As little bespoke HTML as possible, minimize use of custom classes
- Move slow
- Minimize maintenance requirements through minimizing external infra and dependencies; eschew email
The contributing guidelines further crystallizes other development decisions:
At the end of the day, a maintainer must live with decisions made for the project—both good and bad! That weight of responsibility is taken into account when looking at new contributions.
Cerca supports community customization:
- Write a custom about text describing the community inhabiting the forum
- Define your own registration rules, how to verify one’s account, and link to an existing code of conduct
- Set your own custom logo (whether svg, png or emoji)
- Create your own theme by writing plain, frameworkless css
To enable these customizations, there’s a config file. To choose a config file, run cerca with
--config option; the default config file is set to
cerca --config ./configs/cerca.toml
The configuration format is TOML and the config is populated with the following defaults:
[general] name = "" # whatever you want to name your forum; primarily used as display in tab titles conduct_url = "" # optional + recommended: if omitted, the CoC checkboxes in /register will be hidden language = "English" # Swedish, English. contributions for more translations welcome! [rss] feed_name = "" # defaults to [general]'s name if unset feed_description = "" forum_url = "" # should be forum index route https://example.com. used to generate post routes for feed, must be set to generate a feed [documents] logo = "content/logo.html" # can contain emoji, <img>, <svg> etc. see defaults/sample-logo.html in repo for instructions about = "content/about.md" rules = "content/rules.md" verification_explanation = "content/verification-instructions.md"
Content documents that are not found will be prepopulated using Cerca’s sample content
files. The easiest thing to do is to run Cerca once and let it populate content
files using the samples, and then edit the files in
content/* after the fact, before running
Cerca again to see your changes.
Either write your own configuration following the above format, or run cerca once to populate it and then edit the created config.
Cerca supports use with different natural languages. To translate Cerca into your language, please have a look at the existing translations (i18n.go) and submit yours as a pull request.
To launch a local instance of the forum, run those commands (linux):
go run run.go --authkey 0 --allowlist temp.txt --dev
It should respond
Serving forum on :8277. Just go on http://localhost:8277.
For some reason, Cerca struck a chord. This little section lists some projects that have been inspired by it.
azlen elza’s forum-shaped notebook runs a personal fork of cerca
- Cerca was used by a post-doc friend as an example in constructing a minimal project (melting my heart on hearing)
- Azlen Elza’s “forum-shaped notebook”