Why submit your MODs to the MOD Database?

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Josh Yelon
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Post by Josh Yelon » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:57 am

TerraFrost wrote: Say the MOD was accepted immediatly and that two months down the line, someone has a problem with it. Are you going to tell them "Sorry - I'm not interested in trying to pick up the project again", too?


I see your point, but I'm also quite frustrated. I wrote my photo-recognition captcha to solve a major deficiency in the core phpbb2 codebase. Bots are a problem that plagues everyone, and this modification solves the problem once and for all. I carefully designed it so that it could be integrated into the core distribution without disrupting anything, and so that it would be extremely difficult for an AI to break. Frankly, it's a no-brainer for inclusion in the core code. Now I learn that phpbb2 development is closed, and that the phpbb3 developers are explicitly rejecting alternate kinds of turing tests --- they want all their captchas to be based on optical character recognition.

So now my only choice is to distribute it as a mod. It's far less useful as a mod than as part of the distribution. After all, there are already plenty of anti-spam mods. The only reason mine is better is that most of those mods, if included with the distribution, would instantly be hacked. Mine would not, it's a real turing test that exceeds the capabilities of modern AI. If mine is distributed as a mod, it loses its primary selling point - that it can be distributed universally and still be strong.

But still, I can hope that maybe someday somebody of importance will see this and think "hey, that was a no-brainer... I wonder why we didn't integrate it months ago." So I submitted it to the mod database, figuring that they're more likely to notice something in the database.

So now you're telling me that if I want to do that, I have to become the permanent maintainer of a separate piece of software - just for the hope that maybe someday some developer will see it and use it as it was intended.

PS. My captcha demonstrated here, just click "register":

http://www2.panda3d.org/phpbb2

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webmacster87
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Post by webmacster87 » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:33 am

Brf: I'll let a real member answer that; I left 2 and a half months ago so I don't know what goes on anymore.
Josh Yelon wrote:
TerraFrost wrote: Say the MOD was accepted immediatly and that two months down the line, someone has a problem with it. Are you going to tell them "Sorry - I'm not interested in trying to pick up the project again", too?


I see your point, but I'm also quite frustrated. I wrote my photo-recognition captcha to solve a major deficiency in the core phpbb2 codebase. Bots are a problem that plagues everyone, and this modification solves the problem once and for all. I carefully designed it so that it could be integrated into the core distribution without disrupting anything, and so that it would be extremely difficult for an AI to break. Frankly, it's a no-brainer for inclusion in the core code. Now I learn that phpbb2 development is closed, and that the phpbb3 developers are explicitly rejecting alternate kinds of turing tests --- they want all their captchas to be based on optical character recognition.

So now my only choice is to distribute it as a mod. It's far less useful as a mod than as part of the distribution. After all, there are already plenty of anti-spam mods. The only reason mine is better is that most of those mods, if included with the distribution, would instantly be hacked. Mine would not, it's a real turing test that exceeds the capabilities of modern AI. If mine is distributed as a mod, it loses its primary selling point - that it can be distributed universally and still be strong.

But still, I can hope that maybe someday somebody of importance will see this and think "hey, that was a no-brainer... I wonder why we didn't integrate it months ago." So I submitted it to the mod database, figuring that they're more likely to notice something in the database.

So now you're telling me that if I want to do that, I have to become the permanent maintainer of a separate piece of software - just for the hope that maybe someday some developer will see it and use it as it was intended.

PS. My captcha demonstrated here, just click "register":

http://www2.panda3d.org/phpbb2

You don't HAVE to distribute it as a MOD if you don't want to. However, if you want it on phpBB.com, you have to follow the same policies as any other MOD on this site. If your MOD is too good to follow them, submit it to another less-strict site, although knowing that your MOD might not get used that much.

As for including it in the core distribution, that's up to the developers whether they want to or not. ;)

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Post by smithy_dll » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:05 am

This is not MOD Team policy, this is phpBB Group policy, if you have a problem with phpBB Group policy, James if your man.

But here goes anyway,
1. NO MODS ARE EVER INCLUDED IN THE CORE PHPBB PACKAGE*.
2. PHPBB2 IS FEATURE FROZEN, that means, only maintenance builds are released, such as bug and security vulnerability fixes.

As for the captcha itself, I personally don't see it as that great (Could break it in less than a day), however I will not discuss it with you in this thread.

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TerraFrost
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Post by TerraFrost » Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:21 am

Josh Yelon wrote: Now I learn that phpbb2 development is closed,

What happens if a critical vulnerability is found in phpBB 2? People are going to need to update as soon as possible. So what, then, happens if a change that's been incorporated into the update conflicts with some MOD? People are either not going to upgrade or it's going to take them longer to upgrade, neither of which are good options.
...and that the phpbb3 developers are explicitly rejecting alternate kinds of turing tests

phpBB 3 is feature frozen and has also been in development for years. So what happens if an exception were made for this feature? Then other people would come along and request that exceptions be made for the features they want and then phpBB 3 would take even longer. Again, not a very attractive option.
Mine would not, it's a real turing test that exceeds the capabilities of modern AI. If mine is distributed as a mod, it loses its primary selling point - that it can be distributed universally and still be strong.

The only problem is... you don't need an AI to break your catpcha.

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TerraFrost
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Post by TerraFrost » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:37 am

Didn't see Brf's latest comment...
Brf wrote: No. I am talking about little add-ons, not security Mods. Simple little pretty-tweaks.

What determines what order the mods are validated? Are they all posted on some mod-board somewhere where your validaters pick and choose as they wish? It is your site and your software, so I dont presume to judge your practices... but it is pretty discouraging to sit and wait like this.

I have a life, so I could go somewhere else.... but programming like this is what I love, and what I have devoted almost 30 years of my life. That is why I spend so much time here.

We try to validate modifications in as fair an order as possible.

If MOD A was submitted before MOD B, we'll try to validate MOD A, since it would be unfair for MOD B to "cut ahead in line". Conversly, if MOD A is liable to take 2-3 days to validate, whereas MOD B is liable to take 1 hour to validate, we'll try to validate MOD B. MOD B's being validated 1 hour later isn't going to significantly delay things, whereas MOD A's being validated 2-3 days later will significantly delay things.

Unfortunately, deciding just what is fair and what isn't is not always easy. What if the oldest MOD in the queue is one that'd take 1 week to validate and the next 50 mods are ones that'd take 1 hour (which might end up taking a week since we only do validation in our free time)? I don't know. I guess we do pick and choose. We try to be fair, though, and if that's not good enough for you, I don't know what is.

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cbrain
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Re: Time.....

Post by cbrain » Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:28 am

cbrain wrote: How long does it take for a MOD to be released?

Thanks,

cbrain


Is anyone going to answer my question?

I recently uploaded an extremely small mod to database.

Analog2112
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Re: Time.....

Post by Analog2112 » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:08 am

In my experience it seems to take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to get through the validation process.
cbrain wrote:
cbrain wrote:How long does it take for a MOD to be released?

Thanks,

cbrain


Is anyone going to answer my question?

I recently uploaded an extremely small mod to database.

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Brf
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Post by Brf » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:06 pm

TerraFrost wrote: I guess we do pick and choose. We try to be fair, though, and if that's not good enough for you, I don't know what is.


That is good enough. Thanks.

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cbrain
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Re: Time.....

Post by cbrain » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:46 pm

Analog2112 wrote: In my experience it seems to take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month to get through the validation process.
[/quote]

Woh....thats a long time for a MOD which consits of just copying a small file with about 5 lines of code..... :D

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Post by Ptirhiik » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:07 pm

Only one line of code is enough to make the board opened to hacker, so the size is really not a criteria.

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cbrain
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Post by cbrain » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:45 pm

Will I be contacted when my MOD gets uploaded?

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Wo1f
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Post by Wo1f » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:56 pm

Yes. You'll receive a PM confirming this and linking you to the new thread in the "MOD's Release and support" forum. It's also a good idea that when you do, especially if you do not have the time, is to reserved the third spot (post) so to speek, to allow you to present your MOD and any important information related to it. That way, an interested user will see this on the first page, which is good especially when you end up with 20 pages of support after a few months. :lol:


Regards,
Wolf

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Re: Contact

Post by drathbun » Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:40 pm

cbrain wrote: Will I be contacted when my MOD gets uploaded?

Here's a sample of what the PM might look like, when you receive it:
Thank you for submitting your {insert MOD name here} MOD to the phpBB.com MOD Database. After careful inspection by the MOD Team, your MOD has been approved and released into our MOD database. Your MOD can now be found here:
http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=XXXXXX

It is our hope that you will provide a basic level of support for this MOD and keep it updated with future releases of phpBB. We appreciate your work and contribution to the community. Authors like yourself make phpbb.com a better place for everyone.

Sincerely,
The MOD Team

Validator's Review:
Additional comments might appear here.

The link takes you to the new topic in the release forum, so you can go there and - as suggested - reserve a post on the first page for a future FAQ or whatever you like.

I was a lucky recipient of a "two day approval" a few days ago, actually. The MOD consisted of opening one file, performing one find, and one replace. All it did was change the default sort order for the "top ten" option on the memberlist. It was about two days from the initial submission to the approval.

At the same time I had other MODs in the queue that were submitted earlier that had not yet been approved. I had thought that MODs were processed strictly on a FIFO basis, so I appreciate the explanation provided by TerraFrost earlier in this topic. Thanks for that.

I could also post a sample rejection notice, but they're a lot longer and wouldn't do you any good. ;-) I've received a few of those too.
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cbrain
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Rejection.....

Post by cbrain » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:45 pm

I hope my mod dosent get rejected...... :cry:

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smithy_dll
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Re: Time.....

Post by smithy_dll » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:30 pm

cbrain wrote: Woh....thats a long time for a MOD which consits of just copying a small file with about 5 lines of code..... :D


But it's in a long queue with MODs that do much more than that, hence where the wait comes from.

We are understaffed and are currently looking for more validators.


Also, if MOD A is in the process of being validated by someone else, and another validator wants to validate a MOD and MOD B is only a small one, then it will likely get through the system much faster than MOD A because it's much smaller. It also largely depends on what we find along the way.

If you want your MOD to get through faster, try and get it right the first time, it's much faster to validate a MOD that is perfect in the first place (and you can be even more proud of it) 8)

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