I have recently completed my PhPBB migration to the Wordpress TwentyTen theme, and I am so incredibly pleased with the results. PhPBB is simply an incredible piece of software, and when I see it running in the twentyten theme, it gets me even more excited. A great thanks to all the PhPBB contributors for such a wonderful piece of software. If you want to see it, go to http://www.cloudforest.com/cafe/
Now it's worth looking at, because it really provokes some thinking around what is a blog and what is a forum. In my opinion, they are identical, but with distinct navigation tools and a slightly modified presentation. My site actually runs both PhPBB and WordPress side by side, but when I see PhPBB running in the TwentyTen theme, I just begin to wonder why I need WordPress to begin with. After all, a blog entry is nothing other than an original post, where the replies/discussion are the comments. So why would one even need another platform to do what really is a forum, but just with a different skin and navigation.
So I thought about how I would code it up in my own installation.
1) I'd add a new forum type called a blog. So you would have a "forum", "category", "link" and "blog" as an option in the ACP to define a blog. Part of the definition of a "blog" type forum is that it would get its own distinct URL, and in my TwentyTen theme, I'd link it to a page. (Here, you really need permalink support.)
2) When opening a forum that is actually a "blog" type, you would see topics that are presented as blog entries, and each blog entry has a "Comments" section. So I would create a new template to present a "blog" type of forum. So far this doesn't seem that hard to code up. In the TwentyTen theme, all the additional blog navigation would be added to the right hand column.
3) Forum "category" types could be added to the "blog" type forum, and they would show up not as separate forums, but as category assignments to new blog entries. The category attribute is a must have in a blog.
4) Then, all that is left to do is to add the ability to create word tags, really this is optional if you're into tag clouds, I don't care for it that much, but some blogger purists would insist you need that as well.
This is such a low hanging fruit for PhPBB that I just can't imagine why this wouldn't show up in a future release. Once you jump to a blog style of look and feel like the TwentyTen theme from WordPress, it's very intuitive to figure out how to implement.
So that would be my request to the PhPBB team. PhPBB is a superior, more mature platform than most of the other systems out there. It really doesn't take much to bring it to the new world of Web 2.0 blogging.