phpBB2 was the predecessor of the present-day phpBB3. Developed during 2001-2002, the source code was written primarily to run on PHP 3.0 and 4.0 (version 2.0.13 upped the minimum requirement to PHP 4.0.3 due to a necessary security fix), and by the time that phpBB3 was released in late 2007, the developers and other team members felt that it no longer met their quality coding standards, and announced plans for the retirement/end of support of 2.0.x within a few months of 3.0.0's release. phpBB2 was never officially supported under PHP 5. Although many users had no problems running it after making a few changes to PHP 5's default configuration settings, the teams chose not to offer support for this configuration.
Official support for phpBB2 ended on January 1, 2009, and the 2.0.x support forums have been locked. Furthermore all development for phpBB2, including security patches, has ceased as of February 1, 2009. However, a number of unofficial support sites for phpBB2 have formed to fill the void.
Many administrators still prefer to run phpBB2 because it provides a much simpler administration interface and has a thriving ecosystem of MODs (modifications) and styles that allow admins many options for customising the software to their liking. Others still run phpBB2 because they have installed many MODs, none of which are compatible with phpBB3.
The default theme in phpBB2 is named subSilver, and was designed by Tom "subBlue" Beddard. At the time that it premiered in 2001, it was a revolutionary new design for bulletin boards, and many bulletin board themes since have borrowed many cues and design elements from subSilver.
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