Installing Extensions/Styles through ACP

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Author:
MarkTheDaemon
Posted:
Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:31 pm
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Status:
In Progress
RFC:
https://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=108&t=43427
Ticket:
PHPBB3-11150
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Installing Extensions/Styles through ACP

Post by Ideas Bot » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:31 pm

Big idea that takes a fair amount of implementation...

The ability to install styles and/or Extensions through the ACP would be a super addition. MODs are a bit of an issue with the code changes that are required at current but a lot of the groundwork could be completed with allowing styles to be installable and then ported over to work with MODs when we have hooks and something that more resembles a plugin system rather than our current workings.

If you aren't sure what I mean, take a look at WordPress - you are able to select a style from WordPress.org, install and configure it without ever leaving the admin panel or downloading/uploading anything onto your own computer.

WordPress even offers a live customiser where you can change bits and edit CSS before activating a theme. Just having the ability to download and activate styles downloaded from the phpBB.com database would be a start for us!

Have attached some screenshots1 just in case anybody hasn't seen or doesn't use WordPress but I'm sure you'll agree it's a great concept done very well by them and something we can learn from.

Cheers,

Mark

1 https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/158 ... yles_1.jpg, https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/158 ... yles_2.jpg, https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/158 ... yles_3.jpg

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Gioweb
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Gioweb » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:20 am

+20 :) Like!!!!
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by brunoais » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:31 am

What's wrong with automod (phpBB 3.0) and with the extensions system (phpBB 3.1)?
Also: styles are already installable with just copy&paste and then activating them in the ACP.
I don't really get this idea.

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Gioweb
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Gioweb » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:20 am

you ever tried wordpress? Search, preview and installation of styles and mod via ACP. nothing downloading and FTP.
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Master_Cylinder » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:34 pm

I have to agree, WP is superior when it comes to MODs and Styles (which they call themes and plugins) and installing a style or mod shouldn't require manual editing of any core files. The new system in 3.1 will be a step in the right direction but a lot could be learned by studying how WP does it.

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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:32 pm

One thing to take into consideration here is to allow for our CDB to communicate back to a phpBB installation what MODs are available. Some discussion on this very topic of installing MODs (extensions?) through the ACP have been brought up over Area 51. Might be worthwhile to go over them as part of this idea:
http://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic ... 08&t=42483
http://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic ... 81&t=32868
http://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic ... 08&t=43427
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Master_Cylinder » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:42 pm

Those threads are like 6-12+ moths old and they all talk about different ways.

As a non-programmer I don't see why this is so complicated, look at how WP does it and adjust for phpBB. The updates tab of the WP equivalent of the ACP is only one page, it should be pretty easy to figure out how they do it.

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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:52 pm

It isn't as simple as just "doing it". We have to modify our repository of MODs and Styles here on phpBB.com to allow for something like this and provide a way for phpBB to download these packages into an installation, unzip them, and place the files in the proper locations. It's not impossible but it's not as simple as looking at how WP does it and just plop that into phpBB 3.1. The idea might be the same but their implementation on extensions and ours are vastly different.
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Master_Cylinder » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:02 pm

Of course it's not that easy, you'd have to download WP, find teh code and figure out how they do it.

3.1 Extensions are *so* different that they all have to be redone anyway, right? Sure there will probably be tweaks to the backend too but if WP can do then I see no reason why phpBB can't figure out how WP did it and then do something similar.

Is it as easy as snapping your fingers? No, but shouldn't be as complicated as trying to build it from scratch without examples to look at.

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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by AmigoJack » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:20 am

Master_Cylinder wrote:3.1 Extensions are *so* different that they all have to be redone anyway, right?
"Extensions" are a different approach and creating MODs will be discouraged, although still possible and still applicable to 3.1.

Simplified Wordpress uses hooking, which is what comes with 3.1 aswell. Advantages of hooks: multiple extensions/plugins don't collide. Disadvantages of hooks: extensions/plugins are bound to what the host system provides as targets.

For you it is simple to click on the UI - for me it is simple to download files into appropriate locations. Even for MODs someone could basically write a MOD which greps this website to display a list to choose from and directly provide the download links - in the end it's just another representation of what already exists.
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Master_Cylinder » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:20 pm

I thought the basic reason for switching to Extensions was so that they don't "collide" with each other AND so they don't change core code? Perhaps it's the hooks that allow that, perhaps there's a bit more to it.

I'm not sure most MODs will be allowed, after 3.1 but maybe I misunderstood:
http://area51.phpbb.com/phpBB/viewtopic ... 59#p257459
DavidIQ wrote:
asinshesq wrote:Will we still allow modx style mods with validation?? Or will those be history (other than on hack sites)?
We are not planning on accepting MODs that require edits at this time. The hope is that if a MOD requires an event somewhere that doesn't have an event that the event request is made and that there are more frequent releases of phpBB to address the lack of events.
What this thread is about, however, is allowing MODs (extensions) and styles to be installed via the ACP, similar to how WP works and WP does work well. I don't know if the WP plugin/theme/update equivalent of the ACP uses hooks or some other SDK/API that their plugin/theme writers use but such a change to the ACP would have to go in 3.1 or later so it seems that this idea will be about Extensions not MODs although I guess it could include some MODs that don't edit core files. WP does allow manual uploading of plugins if the admin prefers, you can download a plugin to your HDD and search your drive for it in the WP ACP or you can search WP.com for the plugins that were accepted into their database right from the WP ACP. There's no reason a new phpBB ACP couldn't do the same.

So, like the OP, I think we *should* add a system (like the WP system or anything else that works as well) to add MOD and Style management, search, install, activation, deletion and manual uploading of Extenstions/MODs. Assuming I understood the OP correctly. ;)

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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by DavidIQ » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:56 pm

Right...and (most) everyone agrees with the OP. All I'm pointing out is that this is not really a new idea and has been discussed, at length, over on Area 51. It is not likely that 3.1 will see such a "search and install" system for extensions/styles unless someone in the community puts in the time to both update the CDB and create the area in the ACP for this in the next month or two. My comment on Area 51 regarding MODs pertains to editing files, which is the current status quo, and that comment still stands.
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Master_Cylinder » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:31 pm

Yeah, I assume that it won't be ready for 3.1 but I still don't see why it would be so hard to adapt the way phpBB does Extensions and Styles to the way WP handles their plugins and themes. They both use php/mysql so a lot of the code should be similar or at least portable. Right?

I think the value here is worth the cost...but I have no idea what the "right way" to do it would be. I just know that WP does it right and not just for installing plugins and themes but for upgrades (even core upgrades) when there's a newer version too...

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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by AmigoJack » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:34 am

Master_Cylinder wrote:They both use php/mysql so a lot of the code should be similar or at least portable
You and programmers both breathe and think, so a lot of the work should be of similar achievability or at least comprehensible. If you compare it like that you could almost do it yourself.
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Re: Installing MODs/Styles through ACP

Post by Master_Cylinder » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:12 am

Actually, that is true, I *could* learn to program since *I* can breath and think just like phpBB devs could learn how WP does it by looking at the code they learned to write.

Thanks for making my point... :lol:

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