Tags: Ral Design
Why Write RAL?
Good question! Besides it's not like there are not already several rewrites of the same old BBS software, right?
If you have not checked it out, head over to and play around with the site. It's undergone a lot of changes regarding its design philosophy since it's inception. To date, RAL is the piece of software which I am the most proud to have written.
A little history: I first conceived to write RAL on October 16, 2017 after I finished a mid-term exam for a geometry course at university. I'd sharpened my PHP and DB dschema design skills over the Summer working on hooYa!, a booru-of-sorts. hooYa! was not that great, but the ideas and practice it gave me pushed me in the right direction at least.
RAL started off as a real-time textboard. I was influenced by places like Chakai and it's small community, which runs on the Doushio software suite, which itself is atrociously written in node.js and hardly documented at all. I have experience setting up a Doushio instance on NC State's imageboard at [https://howler.space]. Although I hated the software, the real-time nature of the application enthralled me and so I ventured to write a real-time BBS, RAL.
Originally RAL entertained an air which is familiar to imageboards. That is to say, it had boards, threads, and replies. However (even without releasing it publicy) I grew very tired of it, perhaps becuase of how familiar it was. I recognized that this could draw and retain a sizable community if it was ever released, however I just found every part of it very boring... I set myself against this design and ditched that source tree.
RAL embraces the past. The markup produced by RAL is very simple and valid HTML, almost redolent of hand-written HTML. Additionaly, the color scheme, blocky layout, and text-based nature of RAL make it feel like it was somewhere your dad would have shitposted in the early 90's.
On the opposite side, I use semantic elements where appropriate and practice recomended HTML5 document design. Further, the source-code uses paradigms which are fairly modern. This way, I feel as if RAL has strong roots in the past while still maintaining a forward-looking vision.
As it has been said: [quote] I'm so fuckin' sick and tired of the Photoshop.
Show me somethin' natural like afro on Richard Pryor.
Show me somethin' natural like ass with some stretch marks. [/quote]
Show me beefy content, not all this slapped-together "modern" design.