Thanks for the quick reply you two, that makes more sense. But I am still a bit unclear about the plugin vs theme distinction.
Plugins don't necessarily supercede Themes, nor vice versa. In actuality, themes can be treated as plugins, so a theme can modify behaviour as well.
So if I understand correctly both plugins and themes technically have the same privileges when it comes to customizing your site, correct? Is the destination really in the scope of how much modifications they should do? For example if I am going to create a site based on nodebb but make a lot of big changes in look and behaviour I should develop a theme, but if I am going to add a special rating button to each post then I would use a plugin?
we are using Bootswatch to power it. Their themes are all open source so it's actually possible if you know some LESS/CSS to build your own and submit it to them
That is really awesome, there are lots of really good options there. I think I will focus on developing my own theme or plugin to add custom behaviour and use one of the skins to style it.
Is it safe to assume only one theme will be used at a time, but multiple plugins can and should happily coexist? So if what I am going to do is modifying a lot of things and there is a high chance of collision with other plugins, then I should turn my project into a theme, right?
I am somewhat familiar with the wordpress theme/plugin system when both can modify the behaviours, but I think in wordpress the plugin API is a bit more limited compared to the theme API. How does nodebb plugin/theme concept compare to wordpress?
Finally as someone who is going to start hacking nodebb, do you recommend theme or plugin as a starting point?
Sorry for many questions, but I like to understand this properly before diving in. I made that mistake with wordpress a couple of years ago when decided to develop a plugin where I really should have made a theme. So I want to get things right this time