The Firehose Project – WEEK 11 / Building a Forum with Ruby on Rails – Forem Gem

Ruby on Rails has many useful gems for almost any purpose. You name it, and there is probably a gem for it.

One thing that I had trouble finding was a discussion board gem. I needed a discussion board/forum with reply, quote, edit, etc. for the website I’m currently developing .

I figured I could develop it with rails but it would probably take me some time. Moreover, there was probably a gem for that, I thought.

However to my surprise, all of the discussion board gems were either outdated or currently under development.

I was reluctant to try any of them out, but figured it would take me more time to build it out on my own than to configure the existing gems.

I decided to use the Forem Gem because it looked pretty easy to implement and was the most active.

I went through the installation process and went to the discussion board page to see if it was any good.

At first glace, it was terrible. Everything was unaligned, forms were broken, and I knew it was going to be a pain to fix.

On the other hand, I found the basic functionality worked fined, so luckily I only had to deal with the front end.

I customized the views for Forem by first generating the views with rails g forem:views.

I then went into the corresponding erb pages and fixed up the buttons, forms, etc.

In the end, it actually didn’t take much time to configure everything to make it look nice. All I had to do was make the front-end cleaner and I was set.

All in all, the forem gem wasn’t too much of a pain to deal with at all. It works very nicely, but you would need to tweak the front end to make it presentable. It’s much easier and efficient than trying to build something similar by your self, so using this gem would be a practical solution.

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