[DEV] Syndication Suite ( RSS 2.0 )

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alphamonkey
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[DEV] Syndication Suite ( RSS 2.0 )

Post by alphamonkey »

I am in the process of developing a syndication suite for phpBB. The existing RSS Mod runs nicely on my smaller boards, but lacked the scalability I need for my larger boards and it has a different goal than what I am trying to accomplish with this MOD. This suite is designed with the specific intent of eventually acting as a replacement for phpBB's mailed topic notification's as well as providing syndication to phpBB, and eventually acting as a complete XUL driven interface. This project will be compatible with all databases, but, some querys will be written to take advantage of optimizations in MySQL (especially version 4). While I am currently writing this solo, I invite anyone to contribute anything at any level.

Alpha
  • Simple RSS 2.0 Syndication
    Forced guest access
    Several stage SQL calls ( Variation on Lanzer's viewtopic hack )
    Configuration values defined in PHP
    Subscription to topic
    • Show X posts as defined by posts \ page config variable
      Current XML Output : (Subject to a lot of change)

      Code: Select all

      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="{CONTENT_ENCODING}" ?>
      <rss version="2.0">
      <channel>
      	<docs>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss</docs>
      	<title>{THREAD_TITLE}</title>
      	<link>{THREAD_URL}</link>
      	<managingEditor>{MANAGING_EDITOR}</managingEditor>
      	<webMaster>{WEBMASTER}</webMaster>
      	<pubDate>{THREAD_DATE_CREATION}</pubDate>
      	<lastBuildDate>{THREAD_DATE_UPDATE}</lastBuildDate>
      	<generator>phpBB Syndication Suite v{VERSION}</generator>
      <!-- BEGIN post_item -->
      	<item>
      		<title>{post_item.POST_TITLE}</title>
      		<link>{post_item.POST_URL}</link>
      		<category domain="{BOARD_URL}">{post_item.FORUM_TITLE}</category>
      		<guid isPermaLink="true">{post_item.POST_URL}</guid>
      		<pubDate>{post_item.POST_DATE}</pubDate>
      		<description>
      			<img src="{post_item.AUTHOR_AVATAR}" align="left">
      			{L_AUTHOR}: {post_item.AUTHOR}<br />
      			{L_SUBJET}: {post_item.POST_SUBJECT}
      			{L_POSTED}: {post_item.POST_TIME}
      			<hr noshade>
      			<span class="postbody">
      				{post_item.POST_TEXT}
      				{post_item.USER_SIG}
      			</span><br />
      		</description>
      	</item>
      <!-- END post_item -->
      </channel>
      </rss>
    Subscription to forum (by topics)
    • Show X topics as defined by posts \ page config variable

      Code: Select all

      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="{S_CONTENT_ENCODING}" ?>
      <rss version="2.0">
      <channel>
      	<docs>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss</docs>
      	<title>{FORUM_TITLE}</title>
      	<link>{FORUM_URL}</link>
      	<description>{FORUM_DESCRIPTION}</description>
      	<managingEditor>{MANAGING_EDITOR}</managingEditor>
      	<webMaster>{WEBMASTER}</webMaster>
      	<lastBuildDate>{BUILD_DATE}</lastBuildDate>
      	<generator>phpBB Syndication Suite v{VERSION}</generator>
      <!-- BEGIN thread_item -->
      	<item>
      		<title>{thread_item.THREAD_TITLE}</title>
      		<link>{thread_item.POST_URL}</link>
      		<guid isPermaLink="true">{thread_item.THREAD_URL}</guid>
      		<pubDate>{thread_item.POST_DATE}</pubDate>
      		<description>
      				<img src="{post_item.AUTHOR_AVATAR}" align="left">
      				{L_AUTHOR}: {post_item.AUTHOR}<br />
      				{L_SUBJET}: {post_item.POST_SUBJECT}<br />
      				{L_POSTED}: {post_item.POST_TIME}<br />
      				{L_TOPIC_REPLIES}: {thread_item.TOPIC_REPLIES}<br />
      				<hr noshade>
      				<span class="postbody">
      					{post_item.POST_TEXT}
      					{post_item.USER_SIG}
      				</span><br />
      		</description>
      	</item>
      <!-- END thread_item -->
      </channel>
      </rss>
Beta
  • User authentication through GET
    User permissions support
    More advanced RSS functionality (Custom fields added appropriately)
    "Lite" Mode - Allows removal of images \ sigs \ avatars
    RSS "Clouds" - Explained pretty well here and here
    Thread Export Mode ( Temporary solution until 2.x branch - more on this later )
    Subscription to forum ( by posts )
    Subscription to all forums ( by both topics \ posts )
Inital Release (1.0)
  • Proven stability
    Config values edited in ACP -> Configuration
    All RSS feeds validate
    Thread archiving feature that allows for downloading entire XML file to computer ( or HTML file for XML clueless users )
1.x Roadmap
  • RSS Private Messages?
    User Panel add in
    Plus more...
2.x Features
  • XUL Interface to forums to be released along side with Mozilla.
    Thread archiving feature that allows for downloading entire XUL file to computer (removes need for separate XML and HTML archives)

Selven
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Post by Selven »

this is interesting any news about?
No-more supporting phpBB

alphamonkey
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Post by alphamonkey »

Selven wrote: this is interesting any news about?
Since it is fairly involved, I am deciding if I want to code for 2.2.x or 2.0.x.

NativeMind
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Post by NativeMind »

hey alphamonkey, I'm interested in this project..... and I'm actually working on my own XUL interface to phpBB, but it won't be via RSS, it will be a SOAP server that a XUL client can talk to
Developer MX-System: modular portal for phpBB

alphamonkey
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Post by alphamonkey »

NativeMind wrote: hey alphamonkey, I'm interested in this project..... and I'm actually working on my own XUL interface to phpBB, but it won't be via RSS, it will be a SOAP server that a XUL client can talk to
That is actually what I was thinking about. By the time I reached version two, I figured I would have had a name change into just Syndication Suite. Im interested in your project as well. I must admit, part of my hesitation on XUL is that I have yet to fully learn it.

NativeMind
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Post by NativeMind »

Yeah, there's a ton of little things with XUL... I picked up the Rapid Application Development with Mozilla and Essential XUL Programming.... gonna be a nice learning experience
Developer MX-System: modular portal for phpBB

Zypher
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Post by Zypher »

hemm... so what exactly is this? I am still a little hazy about it?
- Zypher

~Beware of the Darkness Within!~

Fully Loaded

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webmedic
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Post by webmedic »

I'm very interested in this mod. Is there a download or no.

alphamonkey
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Post by alphamonkey »

It's not even stable enough for alpha yet :P
The pseudo code I have mocked up is written in a way that could work with 2.0.x or 2.2.x Right now Im not sure if I want to wait for 2.2.x or not. Also, I recently have been working on a few security things for my forum and that takes priority. If there is intrest in those I guess I could release them too. The thing is, I really dislike the MOD syntax. I far prefer .patch's but I seem to be in the minority.

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webmedic
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Post by webmedic »

no problem I'm also working an allot of security things for my forums. Well I have then finished and am refining them. They do quite allot already. I also Have a bunch of seo stuff I'm working on.

At any rate I had already pulled the rss code from the other thread and started working on it myself. I have added to it and was planning on making it 2.0 compatable but had not gotten that far yet. I you feel like sharing your code at all let me know as I can work through it just fine.

If you'd like to see my other mods for security let me know there also.

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Trinity
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Post by Trinity »

Hi there.

Thanks for your work in this regard - it sounds like a complicated project. At any rate, I really look forward to checking this MOD out. However, I have to ask if it's even possible to have something that's not 'forced guest'. In other words, is it difficult to add an option so that the output feed can only be ready by board members, and not everyone on the internet? One of the problems I've had with RSS is that it's totally unsecure. If your site gets spidered, then 'bam', your site is on search engines. if you run a private site and enjoy your privacy with friends/family, RSS is just a waste. It sounds like you are making heavy modifications to really work well with phPBB, and so Im just curious as to whether you have played around with this idea at all.... :)

alphamonkey
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Post by alphamonkey »

Trinity wrote: Hi there.

Thanks for your work in this regard - it sounds like a complicated project. At any rate, I really look forward to checking this MOD out. However, I have to ask if it's even possible to have something that's not 'forced guest'. In other words, is it difficult to add an option so that the output feed can only be ready by board members, and not everyone on the internet? One of the problems I've had with RSS is that it's totally unsecure. If your site gets spidered, then 'bam', your site is on search engines. if you run a private site and enjoy your privacy with friends/family, RSS is just a waste. It sounds like you are making heavy modifications to really work well with phPBB, and so Im just curious as to whether you have played around with this idea at all.... :)
I thought I addressed that, but now that I look at my post again, I dont think I did that great of a job. Forced guest is a temporary solution and it will respect the rights associated with being a guest. Meaning you wont be able to syndicate the mod forum in the alpha.

The beta allows user authentication through get, I am still thinking of a way I want to do this. I could either toss the user id & MD5\SHA1 hash of the password and some constant (this ties into one of my security mods) into the GET request ( ie /rss.php/u/21/h/5d41402abc4b2a76b9719d911017c592/f/3 = user = 21, the confirmation hash (password + server constant) can be verified, and the forum id = 3) Regardless of how authentication works, authorization will come into play, and if you are not-authenticated you will use guest authorization. If you didnt understand that, dont worry, it means I will be doing everything in my power to make this secure.
Last edited by alphamonkey on Fri Jul 23, 2004 6:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Trinity
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Post by Trinity »

Thanks a great deal. I was fiddling around with RSS, and found that it was incredibly insecure, which is why I completely disabled it. My site was spidered and ended up through search engines, and such, with posts from my phpBB board ending up as actual search results/links! It was horrible. I realized then that this technology, even thoughe excellent, is still in infancy stages of development. However, if you have a way to secure it, that is definitely going to be the first step into making this really, really awesome. I will make sure to keep up with this thread! Thanks!!

Frold
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Post by Frold »

alphamonkey wrote: Right now Im not sure if I want to wait for 2.2.x or not.


Why wait with the goodies?

Come one - share this cool mod with us and the users of our boards :D

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Trinity
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Post by Trinity »

Well, I'm not upgrading to 2.2 b/c I think it stinks. So a release for this version would be absolutely wonderful! :)

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