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any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:57 pm
by asinshesq
Now that people have been experimenting with extensions for a while, I was wondering whether there are any plans to allow mod authors to submit phpbb3.1 mods (as opposed to extensions) for validation (and to support automod for phpbb3.1). I admit that I have not yet spent a lot of time studying the extension system (and thus my concerns may be off base), but the following may make it appropriate to consider opening the door to mods once again:

- the learning curve for a mod author to learn and become expert on extensions seems relatively steep and this may discourage a lot of authors from trying (with the result that phpbb3.1 will not have a great a set of add-ons);

- the difficulty from the author's point of view of making some changes via extensions rather than mods (for example, adding a parameter to a function - which is incredibly simple in a mod - seems difficult in the world of extensions);

- replacing code (especially in templates) is perhaps not be possible (is it? I saw someone's clever idea of using an event to insert an if statement above some code with a close bracket later on but I also read that this won't work in templates and is in any event awkward); and

- extensions create much more difficult to resolve conflict problems than mods do (this may be the biggest problem of all).

Thoughts?

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:26 pm
by Wolfsblvt
Mods will not be allowed for 3.1, nor will they be supported in any case.
For private use it is okay, but even the official updater for php has stopped looking for custom code in core files, it just replaces.

There is a reason for that, and it is explained in many threads. There are much advantages in the new extension system.
Of course there are many problems too. Many pointed out already. But I think that is normal for such a big change like the extension system in the first version. It will be improved in 3.2, and in later versions even better. There is much planned for improving extension stuff.

And for learning curve: I found mods very difficult to create, especially UMIL and all the modx stuff and updates etc... extensions make this REALLY easy. You just have to get how it works, but that was the same for mods.

For special situations and things extensions can't achieve:
I've seen some problems where it was really something extension can't handle at the moment. Yeah, that's a problem, but we have to live with that.
For most other things there are workarounds (like your decribed IF-statement, or css-hidden or something like that), and new events are requested very often.

I would say the developers really should focus on improving the extensions stuff, and we should try to master everything that has to do with extensions. Many things can be done I haven't even seen, I would say.
So focus on one, not open the stuff again for old things, that are abandoned for reason.

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:40 am
by Lumpy Burgertushie
the whole point of 3.1 upgrade was really the extension system. other than that, there are only minor cosmetic changes as far as the normal user knows.

drobert

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:37 am
by Paul
asinshesq wrote:Now that people have been experimenting with extensions for a while, I was wondering whether there are any plans to allow mod authors to submit phpbb3.1 mods (as opposed to extensions) for validation (and to support automod for phpbb3.1). I admit that I have not yet spent a lot of time studying the extension system (and thus my concerns may be off base), but the following may make it appropriate to consider opening the door to mods once again:
No, we won't allow MODs.
- the learning curve for a mod author to learn and become expert on extensions seems relatively steep and this may discourage a lot of authors from trying (with the result that phpbb3.1 will not have a great a set of add-ons);
well, the same was said when phpBB 3.0 came out, with MODX and all kind of new stuff. However, that worked out pretty well. Even more, I think we are seeing a lot more extension already available in DEV as we saw MODs when 3.0 came out.
- the difficulty from the author's point of view of making some changes via extensions rather than mods (for example, adding a parameter to a function - which is incredibly simple in a mod - seems difficult in the world of extensions);
It is not difficult, just a different way of working. While some authors might not be able to understand it, the way the extension system works is very other language and in other php projects.
- replacing code (especially in templates) is perhaps not be possible (is it? I saw someone's clever idea of using an event to insert an if statement above some code with a close bracket later on but I also read that this won't work in templates and is in any event awkward); and
I think you are right here, but there are also solution for it. I am sure this will improve in the feature as well when there are more events available.
- extensions create much more difficult to resolve conflict problems than mods do (this may be the biggest problem of all).
How do extensions conflict? Only if extensions remove table columns and stuff this might happen, but in general there should be no conflicts at all.

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:35 am
by david63
asinshesq wrote:- extensions create much more difficult to resolve conflict problems than mods do (this may be the biggest problem of all).
That is probably not true - although we are still in the early days of extensions and not all of the issues will have appeared yet. However the advantage with extensions is that if there is a problem then it is a simple one click operation to disable the extension rather than having to uninstall a mod.

Another advantage of extensions is that you do not have the potential problem of not being able to install it if there has been a [mod] code change that affects the find instruction for adding code - plus there is no possibility of making edit errors.
asinshesq wrote:- the difficulty from the author's point of view of making some changes via extensions rather than mods (for example, adding a parameter to a function - which is incredibly simple in a mod - seems difficult in the world of extensions);
This was a point I made several months ago in that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to convert some mods into extensions without core file changes. Whether we need those mods is another debate.

I don't think that anyone is suggesting that the current state of extensions is the finished product and I would like to believe that over the coming months we will start to see some improvements with the way that they work.

For me the biggest advantage of extensions is when there is an update to phpBB as that all that will be needed is to upload a new set of files and run database update - far easier than the tortuous route that previously was employed - although I am waiting for the hiatus that will inevitably ensue from those who have made core changes and overwritten them.

Anyway going back to the original question - I suppose the answer is "never say never" - but I would not bet my pension on it happening anytime before hell freezes over!

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:13 pm
by Volksdevil
Wolfsblvt wrote:Mods...SNIP
For private use it is okay, but even the official updater for php has stopped looking for custom code in core files, it just replaces.
Is this correct? If so I'm worried! :shock: I think it's inevitable that lots of Admins will be tweaking core files here and there.

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:21 pm
by Wolfsblvt
Volksdevil wrote:Is this correct? If so I'm worried! :shock: I think it's inevitable that lots of Admins will be tweaking core files here and there.
Yes, I am quite sure.
If you want the old way and with mods, you have to make the changes for the next version by yourself, or you have to add your changes to the files again.

You think it is inevitable? For what cases?
I haven't done any modifying on my board, except for adding events I have already requested. And I think I will keep this way.

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:21 pm
by Paul
Volksdevil wrote:
Wolfsblvt wrote:Mods...SNIP
For private use it is okay, but even the official updater for php has stopped looking for custom code in core files, it just replaces.
Is this correct? If so I'm worried! :shock: I think it's inevitable that lots of Admins will be tweaking core files here and there.
No, the automatic update still exists, and can be used to update. This will merge change with updates. It is however not suggested to make changes

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:28 pm
by Volksdevil
Thank God for that! I hope it stays for a long time!
Wolfsblvt wrote: You think it is inevitable? For what cases?
I haven't done any modifying on my board, except for adding events I have already requested. And I think I will keep this way.
I assume that a large percentage of Admin coming from 3.0.x will have a long history of MODDING, and I don't think we can expect them to stop MODDING just like that, the 'Interest' in making tweaks here and there will still be prevalent in many, including myself.

I've made quite a few changes to the core files, simply because extensions don't exist for what I want to do. It's all done very methodically though and any change is surrounded by simple comments like so: <!-- MODDED --> so I can find and edit/remove/revert them as easily as possible if I need to.

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:06 pm
by John P
Thank god the old update is still there as it would be a big problem for a lot of sites because not all requested events are validated.

Re: any plans to allow mods in 3.1?

Posted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:07 pm
by Lumpy Burgertushie
if most of your file changes are to the style then you can simply create your own style and then not have to worry about an update overwriting your changes.


robert