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How many hours would it take to make similar product to phpb

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:07 am
by black_jack
Sorry if this is out of the ordinary, but I am having someone do some modifications for me on this forum to turn it into a project management kind of product.

Out of interest. Does any technical minded persons know approximately how many hours this level of software would take to make? Eg. manhours?

Just a rough guess or a rough estimate from any programmer would be welcome?

Thanks

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:13 am
by Anon
If you're thinking about creating a similar product to phpBB from the ground up, remember this. It's been 4 years since phpBB 1.0, and they're still developing it. Bear that in mind :wink:

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:37 am
by black_jack
Hi,
Well firstly I myself am not a programmer so that would be kind of impossible :) but I am interested in how long it would take to make something of this complexity in terms of general manhours, like 10 thousand or 1 thousand etc.etc.

My interest and angle in asking this question is that I have a small (very small) expanding business that is developing (trying to) develop a basic online system that is a simple project management tool, in its simplest and purest form, eg. the ability to post messages and to weed out all the unecessary things that forums use, we've looked at the other open source programs that are around but they lack good simple user interface, and whilst they have plenty of features, no individual feature seems to be simlpe and robust, and so as strange as it may seem a simple dedicated forum with the ability to be adjusted and the ability to have files uploaded to it seems to be the best option for us.

We essentially only need an "online place to store files and post text in an organized fashion". So many products try to be all things to all men, so as my programmer is adjusting PHPBB and I myself am learning how to use the admin panel I was just marvelling and admiring the work that must have gone into this product.

P.S. This will still contain all the PHPBB atributes and copywrites, I'm assumign we are allowed to adjust and modify the code to suit our own private requirements. If anybody reading this is interested in what we are doing then let me know further. I'm open to sharing whatever work we are doing for the greater good or sharing ideas on this "branch product" of PHPBB

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:13 am
by Mr. Sharkey
I can tell you that I spent many, many hours, basically all of last September, using phpBB as a base to create an expanded member list that supplies biographical information for a group of professionals (yes, I kept the copyright notices). It would be no exaggeration to say that I spent 200 hours doing it. Knowing PHP and the basics of how phpBB is written would have speeded up the process a lot, but how else ya gonna learn? It made a lot more sense to take a functioning piece of software and modify it as a one-off than to try and learn the ins, outs and bugs/security issues of creating such a program from scratch. ~And~ I can still use the updates to keep the software fresh. How much more could you ask?

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:23 am
by nuckfan15
I am sure the thefinn mentions something here

Edit: Maybe not...But Still interesting

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 5:31 am
by black_jack
Mr. Sharkey wrote: I can tell you that I spent many, many hours, basically all of last September, using phpBB as a base to create an expanded member list that supplies biographical information for a group of professionals (yes, I kept the copyright notices). It would be no exaggeration to say that I spent 200 hours doing it. Knowing PHP and the basics of how phpBB is written would have speeded up the process a lot, but how else ya gonna learn? It made a lot more sense to take a functioning piece of software and modify it as a one-off than to try and learn the ins, outs and bugs/security issues of creating such a program from scratch. ~And~ I can still use the updates to keep the software fresh. How much more could you ask?


Excellent!! So you worked on it and ended up with something that you wanted. Yeah I see the logic in that, I am not actually able to read or program but I understand the concept and logic involved. If something is good then you can adjust it/modify it to create what you need.

Glad it helped you out.

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:19 am
by BoardHost
One of the best feaures of this package is that it is so flexible; you can add or strip out almost anything.

It could very easily be stripped of many of it's bells and whistles [smilies, avatars, etc] and still have the guts left.

Tha categories/forums could easily be job numbers or names. Projects could be assigned to groups and access controlled if necesary. Foremen could PM project managers. Foremen and/or staff could be granted permissions to view certain areas only or all areas.

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:35 am
by black_jack
Hi

Thats exactly my thoughts!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it could make a first class project management tool. One of the nice things we want is to allow people who are remote workers not to be able to contact other people, eg. control who has access to peoples contact details so people can communicate but not necessary discuss things outside of the forum. This has got implications for example if I have a remote designer working from Scotland for example but allowing him to communicate with one of my clients, but not wanting him to be able to have clients details, these kind of features would be useful to build into it.

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:00 am
by BoardHost
designer working from Scotland for example but allowing him to communicate with one of my clients, but not wanting him to be able to have clients details,


My thinking is that you could use the PM function for any 'behind the scenes' messaging without divulging personal contact info.

Or ... the designer, customer, architect, project manager, forman, budget analyst and anyone else assigned to the job [no matter who they work for or where they live] could be assigned to a group and that group could be allowed access to the project discussion. Only members of that group could see that discussion, and they could not see any other discussions they were not attached to.

These are all functions currently built in, they just need to be set up. There is no 'writing' or hacking/modding of the code necessary to do these things.

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:01 am
by TerraFrost
I am interested in how long it would take to make something of this complexity in terms of general manhours, like 10 thousand or 1 thousand etc.etc.

i think it'd just take as much time as it takes. i mean, even if you know phpbb and php backward and foward, what's to say you won't run into some bug or several bugs that'll take you several days to figure out?

further, what happens if you decide, later on down the road, that you want to add a feature or do something different? to say that a modification will take x hours to finish is to say that it will be finished - that it won't have any bugs, that you won't have any new ideas, and that no one else will be able to provide you with new ideas.

and in any case, the time required to develop the modification you're proposing will ultimately depend on what you want to do - which is something that i'm not very clear on (nor do i really wish to be all that clear on, heh). it'll also depend on phpbb's current implementation of the particular thing you're trying to modify, etc.

regardless, it may benifit you to look at existing modifications before you start trying to make your own. several may get you that much closer to what you want.

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:09 am
by BoardHost
black jack, do you have a website now?


If so, does the webhost include a MySQL database?


If you have that much I may be able to help set it up and show you what I mean, then you can decide if it will work for you or if you need more extensive mods.

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:55 am
by Vic D'Elfant
Moved to phpBB Discussion

Vic

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:54 am
by Pezzoni
It depends on complexity.
I built (single handedly) a message board system from scratch, which took about 6 months, although I don't know how many hours coding wen't into it.
It would be a lot quicker now though - When I started it I didn't know any PHP / MySQL at all. That said, it was nowhere near the complexity of phpBB2 - Otherwise I would be using it now :P
It was insecure, inefficiant and slow, but it did teach me PHP :D

Dan

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:02 pm
by drathbun
I took phpBB and added a resource management / calendar function for the company I work for. It took over a hundred hours. One key thing to remember is that you can't just make the "final product". In many cases, especially if you're adding new features (and that's sort of the point, eh? :-)) you need to add supporting code as well. For example, in my calendar addition I needed about a dozen new admin screens. I needed screens to add / edit / delete resources, resource types, billing rates, clients, client locations... and so on. If you're willing to take shortcuts, you can skip a lot of the data validation for screens that "only you" (i.e. admins) will be using, making the assumption that an admin knows what they are doing. But anything that is presented to the final user needs to include error checking, data validation, and all that good (but tedious and sometimes boring) stuff. :-)

That being said, phpBB makes (in my opinion) an excellent base for this sort of thing. The database is well designed, the code is well structured, and it's nice to not have to redevelop the registration / login / profile sort of screens. Even if you don't use a bit of the actual forum code (I did but my company is not actually using the forum portion, just the calendar / scheduling modules) it's not a bad thing to have. After all, just about any type of project needs a way to discuss things, right? :-)

Without a more specific list of features, it would be difficult to give a true estimate of hours required for your project. I finally made an admin "template" php file where I removed a lot of the hard-coded stuff, leaving me to only edit the SQL code in order to create a new admin file. That saved a lot of time and debugging. Each admin file needed it's own templates (one to list and one to add / edit data) but that's quick too. I got to where I can develop a new admin screen in about an hour with these changes.

Other screens, depending on their complexity, may take up to a week to design, develop, test, and release. It's a good idea to know where your project is going before you get there, in order to make sure that all of the features you require are designed into the database, and that you have a good workflow (story board) established before you start coding.

But you probably know a lot of that already. :-)

Re: How many hours would it take to make similar product to

Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 10:49 pm
by Einstein
black_jack wrote: Out of interest. Does any technical minded persons know approximately how many hours this level of software would take to make? Eg. manhours?


Making phpBB from scratch thinking of the coming phpBB Olympus. I think we are talking about 200-300 mandays. That's my estimations if company asked me to make being a project/developer manager for a similair product.

Without having a phpBB as reference for specifications we could add one hundred mandays.

Remember that phpBB has put much more time on the work because they have also to planning and improving of their ideas.