Why is there no forum currently?
See also this topic in the old forum: http://op.godotengine.org/topics/14294
Basically the idea is that Juan and the rest of the core team can't/don't want to set up an official forum with all the maintenance work that would represent. The old forum back in the first half of 2015 was on phpBB and was a pain to maintain, as it's one of the favourite targets for spammers. Then its contents were migrated to OpenProject's own forum solution, which was not the fanciest and had performance issues like the rest of OP.
For the new website we chose to go PHP-only as the Ruby on Rails experience was not so great so we wanted a well known technology (and our current hosting does not support fancy stuff like node.js, etc.). We did not really find a modern PHP forum software that would not be a security vulnerability in itself like phpBB (and flarum is not production ready), so we decided to go without forum.
Other than that, there is no real opposition to having a Godot forum, and whether it's official, semi-official or unofficial is not the main point - the question is more whether Godot's core devs have to set it up and maintain it, moderate it and answer questions there, or if other community members could be in charge.
Affiliation to Godot upstream
So basically, you guys should get together and work on a forum that would be hosted separately from Godot's main website, as right now there is no plan for an official godotengine.org forum.
On the other hand, Godot is a fully community-driven project, so making a strong distinction between what is "official" and what is "unofficial/community" is not so meaningful IMO. So once you have something setup, if it's looking good ;-) and helps increase the user-friendliness and popularity of our community, then I see no reason not to consider it an "official" or "semi-official" forum (if the distinction between "official" and "semi-official" is whether core Godot devs work on it too, or if it's only handled by contributors). It would be linked in the Community page like the Q&A, reddit or Facebook group.
Regarding the name, that's up to you guys. godotdevelopers.org sounds interesting, godotdevs.org could work too, it's shorter to write :)
Importing the OP database
It should be possible (and wished for!) to import the database of the OpenProject forum. It would however be quite some work, and the database dump we could have would likely contain password hashes and stuff like that - it's probably something that we could strip off before handing it to whoever will set up the new forum, but at any rate it would be best if the persons motivated to set it up could get in touch with either reduz, punto, alket or myself on #godotengine-devel.
Here's what I would propose for the persons interested in setting up a new forum:
- For starters, find a free hosting solution to experiment on; you won't want to give up money for hosting until you're happy with the test instance and want to go live officially. (Regarding potential hosting costs that would be something to discuss with reduz and punto - I guess Godot's donation fund could be used to host such a community forum if a good price is found)
- Setup a forum instance to play with, try to find the theme you'd like to use, the relevant plugins if any. If you can do some research to set it up in a way that will protect you as much as possible from spams and hacking, that would be best.
- Get in touch with us so that we can see how to import the contents of the old forum; that probably won't be as simple as clicking "Export" in OP and "Import" in the new forum, so be prepared for some hacking :)
// my two cents