April 2019 Project Update

The majority of the administration system has been written.  The project is currently halted while I redesign the file areas and file downloads system.  The original idea was to integrate a zmodem/xmodem protocol to support legacy terminals.  I am considering another approach that is more modern and perhaps creates a one-time use URL that will stream the files over http.  Until a final design is determined, most of the work will be on refactoring and testing.

December Project Update

Tons of commits have been made to the code providing new features, enhancements, and many bug fixes:

  • Initial work started on an Administration Menu, for managing settings and configuring the system features.
  • Terminal handling, and manipulation via JLine3 is being integrated.
  • IonEditor : a full screen text editor for composing messages has been integrated, replacing the need to callout to external editors such as ‘nano’ or ‘vim’. IonEditor uses JLine3 for terminal handling.
  • Updates to the runtime, including JRuby 9.25 and OpenJDK 11.
  • Fixes to IonTemplate to provide template authors the ability to clear the screen.  Also fixed a long-standing bug for non-paginated renders where an extra line was appended.

Here are screen shots of the Administration menu, including the BBS Configuration, and Signup Form customization screens:




IonFalls Theme Editor v1

I am pleased to announce that the IonFalls Theme Editor (ionthemer) is completed and will be available as part of the final release. Features include:

  • Graphical mode application (currently tested on KDE-qt5 and MacOS-cocoa toolkits)
  • Loading and Saving template files from disc
  • Syntax Highlighter within the editor to distinguish colors and known variables
  • XML based highlighter rules to provide customization and easy future expansion
  • Colors &  Text effect selectors via radio buttons to quickly insert the correct variable
  • Insert Variable feature to inject a properly formatted placeholder variable.
  • Compiled and tested on MacOS and Linux desktops.

While it does not provide syntax checking, nor advanced freemarker tags/logic, I have already found it very useful working with the output templates. Here is a screenshot on KDE (NetRunner), this time using a lighter windowing theme. It shows editing of he BBS Directory Listing template. The documentation is available in the Wiki.


If you have comments or suggestions, please email the project mailing list.

OpenTG is now IonFalls

Goodbye: OpenTG (Telegard/2)

In 2008, I set out to create a BBS software project with the hopes of both learning more about programming and building a system that mimicked the look, feel, and functionality of the original Telegard software. I put about 2 years of solid work into the software and ended up with something that was incomplete, but well on the way to being functional.  As life often does, work and family distracted me and placed the project on hold.   Recently, as I resurrected the code in 2018, I began to refactor and update many of the components.  I decided to explore some other software from that era to explore ideas and focus on improving the existing functionality. What I learned is there were many amazing pieces of software developed, lots of heated discussions about which BBS software was best, and demonstrations of pride from those folks who either operated a BBS or participated in the development of some of these software systems.

The original name of OpenTG was shortened from the project’s first iteration as OpenTelegard. As I have explored systems such as Tag, Maximus, VBBS, WWIV to name a few, I have found that while functionally similar, they each offer an interface and workflow that made each system unique.  My goal for this project has always been to release a functional piece of software that can be used in production and live on for many years to come.  The idea of cloning one system is incompatible with innovation and improvements on the old ideas.  I have therefore decided to disassociate the Telegard name from this project.


Ion: any atom or group of atoms that bears one or more positive or negative electrical charges.

Falls: a place where something flows over a vertical drop or a series of steep drops in the course of a stream or river.

IonFalls – In science fiction, a phenomenon of ionic particles flowing over a cliff.