Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to install?

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battye
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Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to install?

Post by battye » Wed May 23, 2012 1:20 pm

I have a question for all of the board owners and MOD installers out there :!:

How important to you is the number of file edits a MOD requires when choosing which MODs to install? Are you more likely to install MODs with fewer required file changes or does it make no difference? Why is this the case? Do things like using AutoMOD, learning PHP from observing edits in MODs, future upgrade implications, etc, factor into the decision process?

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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by Kamahl19 » Wed May 23, 2012 1:38 pm

I am not only MODs author but I install MODs almost every day, so I think I can share my opinion too :)

The number of edits is one of the most important factor in choosing the right MOD. More important is only the MOD author and phaze of development. I like MODs which have their own function files, ucp, mcp and acp files, own template files and css files... It is easy to check the MOD, improve it, find bugs, edit so it works with newest phpBB if it is using its own files.

I like MODs which looks more like plugins / addons and thats why I am looking forward to 3.1

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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Wed May 23, 2012 1:44 pm

I personally don't care about the amount of file edits. The functionality and whether the MOD is written decently is IMO way more important. For one of my boards I've rewritten every single MOD we've installed to make them as un intrusive as possible which only resulted in way worse performance and quite often hard to trace bugs as the stack trace gets cluttered with "magic" calls.
It is certainly to have a MOD with as few as possible file edits, but that by far isn't the first thing I look for when searching/installing MODs.
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by imkingdavid » Wed May 23, 2012 2:03 pm

The number of edits is definitely one thing I like to keep in mind, but it isn't the sole aspect I base my selection on. I think more important details are:
1) is the MOD functional,
2) does the MOD do exactly what I am looking for (or can I easily implement anything else I need using the MOD as a base)
3) does the code run efficiently (aka does my board slow down significantly following installation)
4) does the MOD introduce any new bugs or security holes? Obviously MODs in the Customisations Database are highly unlikely to do so, but it is a good thing to check on your own if you know how.

When there's only one choice and I am finding it difficult to make do without the functionality provided by the MOD, the number of edits is not even a consideration. If I can make do without the MOD and I see that it has a lot of edits to core locations that are highly likely to be altered in any upcoming maintenance or feature updates, I will usually abstain from installing it.

If there are two competing MODs that provide almost identical functionality, both work, are both secure, and are both efficient, then I might look at them to see which is the least intrusive as far as how many code edits are required for installation, and usually the one with the least edits will be my pick.
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by Brf » Wed May 23, 2012 3:03 pm

I would be unlikely to install a mod with extensive edits, regardless of its functionality. If a mod makes many edits, there is much more chance of editing incorrectly, or accidently skipping an individual edit.

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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by marian0810 » Wed May 23, 2012 3:36 pm

I love modding, it makes me feel all creative :D And I love learning from it. The one thing I'll never touch is Automod.
I install a mod if I like the functionality for our board or if the users ask for it, I don't care about the number of edits but I'll be more likely to install a mod from a well known mod author that I know gives good support. Future upgrades don't bother me at all, we've had over 60 mods since 3.0.1 and I've never had so much as a hiccup with updating.
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by Ger » Wed May 23, 2012 3:41 pm

Number of edits is definitely something I look at, simply because of future upgrade implications. I for myself can sort many things out, but I'd like a board to keep functioning even when I get out of the picture (for whatever reason: lose of interest, or getting under a bus...). Since most of the boards I'm involved in depend on me for updates and modding, I tend to keep the MODs as simple as possible.
Kamahl19 wrote:I like MODs which looks more like plugins / addons and thats why I am looking forward to 3.1
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by yuritenshi » Wed May 23, 2012 6:28 pm

The number of edits is very important, above functionality in some cases. There are a number of modifications with features that would be very nice to have, but require significant editing in order to get the features seamless with phpBB. The huge number of edits means that any changes in the core from an update can break compatibility (also making updating impossible with the automatic updater).

After a few updates of phpBB I realized this and decided not to install a number of mods to make updating easier in the future (although later on I just decided to stop updating phpBB because with even a small number of modifications it can become a huge pain and is not worth the hassle).

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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by noth » Wed May 23, 2012 9:23 pm

I came from installing mods in the phpBB2 era

there was no automod AFAIK back then, I certainly didn't use it anyway :lol:

so "as I was brought up with manual install" that's the way I am happy doing it

seeing a support section full of replies from the mod author, is a very good sign ;)

an example of this is the early days of Supernova when Christian.2 used to come back every hour or so and solve problems continually, that sort of support really matters :P

support that could go in a "mods for dummies" book is hugely respected, rather than mod authors who make it plain that they don't suffer fools gladly :oops:

I also think it is a real shame when you see "NOTE the author no longer supports this mod" but then we all have busy lives

to the mod authors who give their time and then afterwards give even more time bending over backwards to help their users I say "THANK YOU!" :mrgreen:

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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by drathbun » Thu May 24, 2012 4:31 pm

Erik Frèrejean wrote:For one of my boards I've rewritten every single MOD we've installed to make them as un intrusive as possible which only resulted in way worse performance and quite often hard to trace bugs as the stack trace gets cluttered with "magic" calls.
Emphasis to the above quote added by me, was not part of the original statement by Erik. It does, however, highlight one of the possible issues with a plug-in system. I think that the possibility exists that plug-ins are going to trade one problem (editing core code) with another (too many MODs performing similar functions in separate coding streams), but that's another topic. :) In my opinion, nothing is as efficient as a MOD that is fully integrated into the core, and that may mean more core edits.

But I digress.

The number of edits was the last thing I looked at when selecting MODs to install. The number of edits is probably a fairly good indication of how complex the MOD is, but thinking back to the phpBB2 days to add a new field to a profile required edits to way too many files. That's one of the reasons that custom profile fields was such a welcome addition in phpBB3.
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by MichaelC » Thu May 24, 2012 5:05 pm

drathbun wrote:
Erik Frèrejean wrote:For one of my boards I've rewritten every single MOD we've installed to make them as un intrusive as possible which only resulted in way worse performance and quite often hard to trace bugs as the stack trace gets cluttered with "magic" calls.
Emphasis to the above quote added by me, was not part of the original statement by Erik. It does, however, highlight one of the possible issues with a plug-in system. I think that the possibility exists that plug-ins are going to trade one problem (editing core code) with another (too many MODs performing similar functions in separate coding streams), but that's another topic. :) In my opinion, nothing is as efficient as a MOD that is fully integrated into the core, and that may mean more core edits.

But I digress.

The number of edits was the last thing I looked at when selecting MODs to install. The number of edits is probably a fairly good indication of how complex the MOD is, but thinking back to the phpBB2 days to add a new field to a profile required edits to way too many files. That's one of the reasons that custom profile fields was such a welcome addition in phpBB3.
The difference between editing the code and events in 3.1 is almost completely un-noticable. Erik was referring to the way the current olympus hooks system is which, because of small amount of hooks makes a small dent upon performance.
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by Christian 2.0 » Thu May 24, 2012 5:29 pm

For me, it's more about firstly whether the MOD has been validated or not, and whether the MOD author will sustain it for the forseeable future. I don't want to install a third-party add-on that my users use regularly, only to have to remove it after 12 months because the MOD author has abandoned it.

As for the amount of edits, time is too precious to be wasting time with copy / pasting lines of code. If it installs with AutoMOD then great, if it doesn't then I won't bother with the MOD, even if it means missing out on a feature.

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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Thu May 24, 2012 5:50 pm

Unknown Bliss wrote:
drathbun wrote:
Erik Frèrejean wrote:For one of my boards I've rewritten every single MOD we've installed to make them as un intrusive as possible which only resulted in way worse performance and quite often hard to trace bugs as the stack trace gets cluttered with "magic" calls.
Emphasis to the above quote added by me, was not part of the original statement by Erik. It does, however, highlight one of the possible issues with a plug-in system. I think that the possibility exists that plug-ins are going to trade one problem (editing core code) with another (too many MODs performing similar functions in separate coding streams), but that's another topic. :) In my opinion, nothing is as efficient as a MOD that is fully integrated into the core, and that may mean more core edits.

But I digress.

The number of edits was the last thing I looked at when selecting MODs to install. The number of edits is probably a fairly good indication of how complex the MOD is, but thinking back to the phpBB2 days to add a new field to a profile required edits to way too many files. That's one of the reasons that custom profile fields was such a welcome addition in phpBB3.
The difference between editing the code and events in 3.1 is almost completely un-noticable. Erik was referring to the way the current olympus hooks system is which, because of small amount of hooks makes a small dent upon performance.
Yes I was talking about the 3.0 hook system, however the 3.1 event system will suffer from the exact same thing. IMO people are to easily disregarding the potential downsides of a plugin system over core edits, however as the community wants plugins it is only sensible to introduce a decent plugin system. I personally however will always look twice whether a given event wouldn't be better off as a core edit.
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by MichaelC » Thu May 24, 2012 6:00 pm

There is a slight minimal performance impact, but unless you have 50+ events on one page it won't be noticeable. Essentially what it does is load up the extension manager to look for subscribers (although this is cached so it would get it from there), then it runs the listener the subscriber describes should be run when that event is triggered. The class is the subscriber (and therefore file as 1 class per file) and the function that is run is the listener.
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Re: Is this a consideration when deciding which MODs to inst

Post by CaNNon_ » Fri May 25, 2012 12:09 am

I go for functionality if the mod offers what I'm looking for I'll do the edits. My only other thing is as Christian 2.0 says good author with good support.

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