It should be standard.

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drathbun
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Post by drathbun »

Another advice offering... keep the MOD install files, even after you're done. How many times have I seen someone say... "I used to have this MOD and can't find it anymore..."

I also record the bookmark for each topic, whether it's "beta" or "released" I keep the topic link as part of the MOD install file. That way I can go back and find it.
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Post by alvo »

The script currently has options that some people don't want. Personally I hate avatars, but they're included so I turned them off. Some people want guest posting, some don't. They're all choices that can be made with the script as is.

However there are some things that many people might want that wouldn't be bad to include as options from the start. That they're available as mods means that many people won't have them because they don't know the mod exists or they're not comfortable trying to edit the code or they tried to install something and it didn't work.

The policy of never adding a feature into the script that was first offered as a mod is one of the stupidest things I can think of. This means if one wants to stop spammers that the mod that actually does that has to be installed by every user that wants to fix the problem because it won't ever be included for them. And it means that long URLs will always push the text off screen and you'll never be able to upload a photo in your post and so on.

The last I'd like to do, but every time I'm tries installing it it breaks my board (has to be something about the theme I'm using as every other mod works fine, this one always fails). The main idea of the original post is right, there are certain features that many people would like, and they should be options out of the box. The more esoteric things should remain as optional mods, but keeping every idea that starts as a mod from that point on as only a mod and never possibly an included feature is pretty stupid.
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Post by SamG »

alvo wrote: The policy of never adding a feature into the script that was first offered as a mod is one of the stupidest things I can think of.

If that was the actual phpBB policy, I would have to agree. But that plainly isn't the policy.

It seems to me people are conflating the "feature-frozen" policy for any given major release with the "seldom if ever drop MOD code into the core product directly" policy. They're really two separate things.
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Post by gonzoo »

In my opinion mods like attachments, fast reply, shoutbox and others should be definitely integrated into standard installation (i would ever say - long time ago) and possible to be turned on/off like avatars, signatures and other shit in administration panel. It would be MUCH easier to maintain forum... Much more user friendly.
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Post by drathbun »

gonzoo wrote: In my opinion mods like attachments, fast reply, shoutbox and others should be definitely integrated into standard installation

No, no, no. :-P

There are plenty of people out there that do NOT want those MODs. And you left out calendar and birthdays and extended bbcodes and admin customizable profile fields that many other folks do want. You just can't please everyone. By keeping it simple it makes it possible for people to add the features that they think are important, not what you (no disrespect intended) think are important. FWIW, the one item that you listed that I've ever used on any board is the attachment MOD, and I don't use it all the time.

Keep it simple. phpBB is really fantastically easy to MOD once you understand the structure. The more things you add ... the more things you choose to add ... the harder it is to get everything to work together.

Some things like avatars and signatures can be turned on / off in the admin panel. But consider how the PM system works... it can be turned on / off via the admin panel, but it's never really gone. There is overhead left behind even though the feature it turned off. Frankly, on many of my boards I remove the PM system because I don't even want that. ;-)

This is one of the reasons why I plan to stay with phpBB2 even after phpBB3 comes out. I like it, it's simple, and it's easy to extend.

@SamG... a minor clarification. Yes, phpBB2 is "feature frozen" and that's a distinction that can be made, but it has been stated on more than one occasion that phpBB will never include MOD code into the core product. They may include MOD features, but they will never include the code. I could probably search and find where one of the developer team has written that on more than one occasion.

Even the attachment "MOD" was rewritten for phpBB3, the existing code was not used.
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Post by SamG »

drathbun wrote: @SamG... a minor clarification. Yes, phpBB2 is "feature frozen" and that's a distinction that can be made, but it has been stated on more than one occasion that phpBB will never include MOD code into the core product. They may include MOD features, but they will never include the code. I could probably search and find where one of the developer team has written that on more than one occasion.

Even the attachment "MOD" was rewritten for phpBB3, the existing code was not used.

My point was that just because the developers refuse to add an attachment feature (for example) into feature-frozen phpBB 2.0.x, and just because they refuse to add the attachment MOD into any version of phpBB, doesn't mean phpBB will never have an attachment feature out of the box. We know, for a fact, that indeed it will.

So I think people are conflating the policies, adding them together and ending up with a policy that doesn't exist.
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Post by LarryMiller »

guspasho wrote: I have to come out and say I agree with the original poster. It is VERY disappointing that phpBB is refusing to incorporate so many features that lead many of us to duplicate the work of modding it in, many features that very definitely should be standard.

Modding my board because the features I need are not in the core product a huge time-waster for many of us, and on top of that, can predictably cause essential updates to fail. I am on the board right now because I am trying to deal with a failed update. I have been in mod hell. It is the reason I put off updating 2.0.17 to current until this last week. I am in mod hell now, dealing with the consequences of my mods when I finally tried to update.


Thank you guspasho! I am unable to uprade to the next version without making line by line changes. Who has time for that?

BTW. Your list of additional features is excellent! We both missed an important one though ... PRINTABLE VERSIONS of the pages. Why in the world is that one a mod?
Zarath wrote: If you are indeed a programmer you opinion should be much more objective. And you really should be having absolutely no trouble installing the required mods that you need. Realistically, with easy mod, it takes what... 2 minutes to install a mod. I don't see where the issue lies.

Don't force thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of people to have to disable functions and features because a minority want to be lazy.


Try using easy mod to add a mod to a board with about 5 other mods that may or may not support easy mod and custom coding.

The functions and features could be disabled by default.

Not lazy ... just a time is money thing. Do you work for a living or just MOD all day.
alvo wrote: The policy of never adding a feature into the script that was first offered as a mod is one of the stupidest things I can think of. This means if one wants to stop spammers that the mod that actually does that has to be installed by every user that wants to fix the problem because it won't ever be included for them. And it means that long URLs will always push the text off screen and you'll never be able to upload a photo in your post and so on.

The last I'd like to do, but every time I'm tries installing it it breaks my board (has to be something about the theme I'm using as every other mod works fine, this one always fails). The main idea of the original post is right, there are certain features that many people would like, and they should be options out of the box. The more esoteric things should remain as optional mods, but keeping every idea that starts as a mod from that point on as only a mod and never possibly an included feature is pretty stupid.


Thank you alvo. My thoughts exactly. Don't you just love those spammers, huge remote images and long URLs?

If new subscribers were not added to the members list automatically, they would not even join.

I even had to add a mod to control the size of remote avatars because the control panel settings never worked for me either.
SamG wrote:
alvo wrote:The policy of never adding a feature into the script that was first offered as a mod is one of the stupidest things I can think of.

If that was the actual phpBB policy, I would have to agree. But that plainly isn't the policy.

It seems to me people are conflating the "feature-frozen" policy for any given major release with the "seldom if ever drop MOD code into the core product directly" policy. They're really two separate things.


What about ...
drathbun wrote: Your opinion is noted. :-)

You are not the first to raise this issue, nor will you be the last. It is currently the policy, and has been for the four years that I have been using the software. It may change tomorrow, but I doubt it. :-)


guspasho, I feel your pain. It appears that our only option is to install the latest version of phpBB and perform all the mods again. Do you have time for this? I don't.
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Post by SamG »

LarryMiller wrote:
SamG wrote:
alvo wrote:The policy of never adding a feature into the script that was first offered as a mod is one of the stupidest things I can think of.

If that was the actual phpBB policy, I would have to agree. But that plainly isn't the policy.

It seems to me people are conflating the "feature-frozen" policy for any given major release with the "seldom if ever drop MOD code into the core product directly" policy. They're really two separate things.


What about ...
drathbun wrote: Your opinion is noted. :-)

You are not the first to raise this issue, nor will you be the last. It is currently the policy, and has been for the four years that I have been using the software. It may change tomorrow, but I doubt it. :-)

What about it? What Dave is saying is true, and what I am saying is not less true.

There are two problems here, and I think they revolve around miscommunication and misunderstanding. The real beef, as I see it, is with the feature-frozen policy, not with the no-MODs policy. If you're interested, I'll elaborate.
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Post by LarryMiller »

SamG wrote: What about it? What Dave is saying is true, and what I am saying is not less true.

There are two problems here, and I think they revolve around miscommunication and misunderstanding. The real beef, as I see it, is with the feature-frozen policy, not with the no-MODs policy. If you're interested, I'll elaborate.


Please elaborate but keep it simple.
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Post by SamG »

Sure :) .

The usually common sense phpBB feature-frozen policy is being put to an unusual test: the wait for the much delayed phpBB 3.0, currently in beta. If phpBB 3.0 (at one time phpBB 2.2) had been released in anything like the envisioned timeframe, I don't think we would be having this discussion. So the first problem is that people have come to think of phpBB 2.0 as state-of-the-art phpBB, which isn't the case. Because phpBB 2.0 is out of date by phpBB's own standards and yet feature frozen, we get threads like yours, where the complaints are often understandable but not always getting all the facts straight.

Second, as I said earlier, we need to be careful not to combine the feature-frozen and no-MODs policies into some fictional policy that features currently supplied by MODs to phpBB 2.0 will never find their way into the core product. A look at phpBB 3.0 shows that not to be the case.

So, as I see it, the real problem is the fact that a feature-frozen phpBB 2.0 is getting tested well beyond the lifetime anybody envisioned for it in terms of being phpBB's flagship product.

I hope that elaboration sticks close enough to the essentials not to be confusing.
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Post by lurttinen »

Except that the features of the Olympus are not 2.0 MODs.
They are completely rewritten by the developers and has very little or nothing to do with the MOD for 2.0 at the MODs database.

The policy still holds. Dont get the two, phpBB 2 MOD and phpBB 3 feature mixed up. They are two different things.
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Post by Zarath »

I don't believe saying 2.0.x is "feature-frozen". It's never been that way. Over the years they have added key additions that were required, for security. Specifically, relogging in to get into the ACP and the anti-registration code on the sign up page. These were not in phpBB for a long time, but added because of their importance.

But like we've said numerous times, these things are critical in phpBB. Most of the suggested additions are what -you- want and not what everyone -needs-.

I definitely don't use quick reply, shoutbox or file attachments on any of my forums. Quick reply is one mod I do see used a fair bit, but again, it's such an easy to install mod... why do you -need- it installed in the default phpBB?

To the easymod comment, I'm aware that some mods can cause conflicts with other mods. But you're a programmer, as you said, even doing it manually it shouldn't be too hard. Use easymod to install the big mods, attachments, hierarchy, etc. Install the easy smaller mods by hand. Should be easy enough.
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Post by SamG »

lurttinen wrote: Except that the features of the Olympus are not 2.0 MODs.
They are completely rewritten by the developers and has very little or nothing to do with the MOD for 2.0 at the MODs database.

The policy still holds. Dont get the two, phpBB 2 MOD and phpBB 3 feature mixed up. They are two different things.

I'm not saying otherwise. I can say (and have been saying) that phpBB 3.0 has features that are currently available only as MODs to phpBB, and that is saying a very different thing than that phpBB 3.0 has phpBB 2.0 MODs. The point is that people who say phpBB will never have the features out of the box that are currently supplied by MODs are likely confusing and conflating all the bits and pieces of talk in threads like these. I'm pretty sure of my ground here, since you seem to have confused my talk of features and MODs in the way I'm suggesting. The idea would be to help sort it all out so people can have realistic expectations (in part to avoid unrealistic criticism).

As for phpBB 2.0 being feature frozen or not, it most certainly is in the sense we've talked about it in this thread. The developers have always left the door open to fixing bugs and adding security, but they've never, in the past, left the door open to adding something like an attachment feature to phpBB 2.0.x. Since an attachment feature exists in phpBB 3.0, we can't say it's a feature not considered important by the developers, so the reason it won't show up in 2.0.x is because it's feature frozen (see Graham's use of the term for a developer's view).
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Post by drathbun »

MODs are not added to phpBB2. Period.

You can split hairs and call out "visual confirmation" or "admin reauthentication" if you want, and I won't argue that. Those were billed as security features. Are there features lacking? Sure, it's 4+ years old. To SamG's point, the delay in getting 2.2/3.0 out the door has highlighted that fact.

But MODs are not added to phpBB2.

Features have been added to phpBB3, but not from published MOD code. The codebase for 3 is so totally different that none of the MOD code published for 2 would work anyway.

Is phpBB2 open source? Yes. Does that mean you can do whatever you want with it? Absolutely, other than removing the copyright.

Does that mean you can ask... cajole... request... demand that certain things be done by the phpBB Group. No, it does not.

On a personal note: there are MODs out there (both on other sites and here in the MOD-DB at phpbb.com) that have (in my opinion) very inefficient code. The MOD Team does a great job of validating for syntax and possible security holes. But they do not - and should not be required to - try to optimize the code. If it works as advertised and follows the coding guidelines then it gets in the DB.

The phpBB3 developer team does have to carefully consider how things are secured, and how they function, but also how they integrate and perform. They're not creating a collection of MODs, they're creating an entire system. Imagine how impossible phpBB would be to support if it operated in an "open development" environment, where anyone and everyone could check in code for whatever purpose they wanted. What a mess that would be! Would phpBB be where it is today in that sort of environment? No, clearly it would not. I absolutely believe that it is where it is today because phpBB2 has a nice solid "protected" base of code, and because there is an enthusiastic and active MODder community that has worked to provide customized features that can be added on as desired.
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Post by guspasho »

Zarath wrote: But like we've said numerous times, these things are critical in phpBB. Most of the suggested additions are what -you- want and not what everyone -needs-.

I definitely don't use quick reply, shoutbox or file attachments on any of my forums. Quick reply is one mod I do see used a fair bit, but again, it's such an easy to install mod... why do you -need- it installed in the default phpBB?


Ok, so I'm reading a lot of disagreement even among the defenders of the developers, but I'm going to assume this is part of developer policy anyway.

Wants and needs. What is defined as needs? Security updates and bug fixes, I assume. What about usability? Anti-spammer measures? Administration and moderation abilities?

I would think that anything that makes the core forum more useable (or, in the case of anti-spammer measures, at least prevents it from becoming less useable) should be counted among "needs". I think when there are complaints from hundreds and possibly even thousands of users (and that's just those who do bother to register here to complain) about daily spambot registrations, there is a problem with the whole system.

I can see a reason for keeping out cash mods and attachment mods and I think it's disappointing that this topic was started by someone who asked for an attachment mod built-in because it opened up the possibility of this whole strawman argument about features that allows one side to lump "everything" in with new functionality like that. There is a world of difference between adding totally new functionality and adding functionality that makes the existing feature set easier to use. I'm talking about functionality like many of the things I mentioned in my first post in this topic. Why is something like "report this post" not considered a security feature when, depending on the size of the user's board, a blatantly offensive post could be left to stand for days? Why is this sort of problem not treated as seriously?
To the easymod comment, I'm aware that some mods can cause conflicts with other mods. But you're a programmer, as you said, even doing it manually it shouldn't be too hard. Use easymod to install the big mods, attachments, hierarchy, etc. Install the easy smaller mods by hand. Should be easy enough.


This is what frustrates me the most. I am NOT a programmer. But I administer a phpBB board because no one else will do it and I believe that my board is essential to the greater community I serve. Yet all the responses I get are of this type - that I should be expected to be a programmer to effectively manage and update my board. Even to update the core system this is expected, and it is ridiculous. I never dreamed that I would be expected to fish though source code independantly and on my own, track down changes made by mods to reconcile that with changes the update needs to make (because you can't design software that can handle that!) and perform updates to this board manually. Again, it is why I am switching to a board that has the features I need built-in and doesn't force me to modify code (and know how to modify code) just to update to the latest version.
drathbun wrote: MODs are not added to phpBB2. Period.

Features have been added to phpBB3, but not from published MOD code. The codebase for 3 is so totally different that none of the MOD code published for 2 would work anyway.


The former statement misses the concern it is meant to address. That concern is not that someone else's MOD gets added to the codebase, but that the functionality it adds might get added. I think everyone expects that for a feature to be added that it be in the development team's own code so they can ensure that it is integrated with the existing code.

It would be more useful for the debate to simply stop saying the former and explain the latter. It clears up a lot of confusion :D
Is phpBB2 open source? Yes. Does that mean you can do whatever you want with it? Absolutely, other than removing the copyright.

Does that mean you can ask... cajole... request... demand that certain things be done by the phpBB Group. No, it does not.


This is a rather disturbing statement. You don't really mean this, do you? Of course we can make demands and requests. That is what is occurring in this thread, which so far you, as a moderator, have permitted.

Now, if the development team's policy is simply to ignore any feedback from their userbase, this would be good to know, because I would rather avoid a product that shows as little change as phpBB because the developers show no interest in responding to their customers.
On a personal note: there are MODs out there (both on other sites and here in the MOD-DB at phpbb.com) that have (in my opinion) very inefficient code. The MOD Team does a great job of validating for syntax and possible security holes. But they do not - and should not be required to - try to optimize the code. If it works as advertised and follows the coding guidelines then it gets in the DB.

The phpBB3 developer team does have to carefully consider how things are secured, and how they function, but also how they integrate and perform. They're not creating a collection of MODs, they're creating an entire system. Imagine how impossible phpBB would be to support if it operated in an "open development" environment, where anyone and everyone could check in code for whatever purpose they wanted. What a mess that would be! Would phpBB be where it is today in that sort of environment? No, clearly it would not. I absolutely believe that it is where it is today because phpBB2 has a nice solid "protected" base of code, and because there is an enthusiastic and active MODder community that has worked to provide customized features that can be added on as desired.


This I think misunderstands our arguments again. We don't want the development team to simply slap a bunch of MODs into phpBB2 and call it phpBB 2.0.22. We want the development team to give us more features in the core product, features that have been implemented only by means of sloppy MODs in the past. We want the development team to say "Oh, this feature is really important to making our product something our customers can use without getting frustrated with it. Why don't we write it into our code?" Again, I haven't seen anyone ask for the development team to slap a user-created MOD or someone else's code into the core product.
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