Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Do not post support requests, bug reports or feature requests. Discuss phpBB here. Non-phpBB related discussion goes in General Discussion!
Ideas Centre
stevefree
Registered User
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 8:21 pm
Location: http://www.petpost.org
Contact:

Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by stevefree »

Just to lay out some context, I'm a VERY loyal user of phpBB. 5 of my sites use phpBB for the Forum with an average daily post count of ~2000 posts. Love it.

Over the years however I've always been disappointed with the Module system. Granted EasyMod made the process a lot simpler however it still didn't fix the fundamental issue of having to make code changes to the core of phpBB anytime you wanted to add a new MOD to your forum.

That takes us to phpBB 3. My hope was that this fundamental flaw or challenge would be corrected with the new release of phpBB..... annnnndd..... no... bummer. After I installed phpBB 3 RC6 (I wanted to wait a long time until close to gold code came out) I quickly went out and grabbed a MOD to try out the new system. I found the "1st" approved mod: Clickable Forum and Topic Rows downloaded it then spent the next 10 minutes trying to figure out how to install it only to find out that ONCE AGAIN, I need to manually modify my forum's code in order to add the MOD.

VERY DISSAPOINTED.

I’m thinking phpBB needs to begin taking some lessons from the WordPress Plugin system. Step 1: Copy Plugin to Plugin folder, Step 2: Click Activate……. Don’t like it? Click DeActivate.

So, can someone clue me in? Am I just “missing it”?
Last edited by stevefree on Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Marshalrusty
Project Manager
Project Manager
Posts: 29294
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: New York City
Name: Yuriy Rusko
Contact:

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by Marshalrusty »

You really cannot compare phpBB3 to Wordpress when counting lines of code and complexity in general. If you understand the Wordpress system, you will also understand that there are many negatives about it. These range from simple code redundancy to the fact that Wordpress simply does not scale well.

phpBB3 is specifically built to be powerful, while not consuming an enormous amount of server resources. In fact, the server load caused by this board decreased with the conversion to phpBB3.

Modular code is great when done properly, but not everything can be modular and also "lean". What happens, for example, if the existing code does not account for a change you wish to make? You would have to change the way the entire system is handled, which would of course require code diving. The bottom line is that the only way to change code is to... change code. Certain parts of phpBB3 (ACP, MCP, UCP, etc.) are already modular, and there is now a hooks system for integration. There are also plans for a number of improvements in phpBB 3.2.

Believe me when I say that it is sometimes better just to make the code changes.
Have comments/praise/complaints/suggestions? Please feel free to PM me.

Need private help? Hire me for all your phpBB and web development needs
ToonArmy
Former Team Member
Posts: 4608
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:29 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Name: Chris Smith
Contact:

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by ToonArmy »

phpBB doesn't have a module system, its mods are not modules but modifications ie. modifications to the code. ;)
Chris SmithGitHub
allanhardy
Registered User
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2002 4:20 am

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by allanhardy »

I am surprised at the answers, comparing phpBB3 to wordpress is not the issue, try vBulletin. My understanding from people pusing it on me was that mod (as in modificaitons) can be added through a plug-in interface and often/never require changing core code.

I was so assuming this major hassle and competitrve downside to phpBB would have been addressed?
User avatar
Phil
Former Team Member
Posts: 10403
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:11 am
Name: Phil Crumm
Contact:

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by Phil »

Again, the complexity of a system like phpBB makes a plug-and-play MOD system nearly impossible. As has been said before, the competitive argument really holds no bearing around here. phpBB has its own set of goals, and isn't looking to match the goals or feature-set of every competitor around.
Moving on, with the wind. | My Corner of the Web
User avatar
lurttinen
Translator
Posts: 4670
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:05 pm

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by lurttinen »

If you want plug-and-play MODs, then phpBB is not for you. :)
You need to use some other forum software.

It is really as simple as that. Think what you want and then choose a program.
Or is this because phpBB doesnt have a price tag?
Signature is here
User avatar
RMcGirr83
Former Team Member
Posts: 21595
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:33 pm
Location: Your display
Name: Rich McGirr

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by RMcGirr83 »

lurttinen wrote:Or is this because phpBB doesnt have a price tag?
Most things in life cost something to get...open source code does not. You aren't stuck with what you are given as you are free to modify it to suit your needs. For example, you don't have to have the "powered by phbb" in your footer, cuz phpbb resides under the GNU license, pretty sure the same can not be said for v-bulletin or word press.

That was just an example though.
Appreciate the extensions/mods/support then buy me a beerImage
Former Modifications/Extensions Team Member | My extensions | github | All requests for support via PM will be ignored
User avatar
dellsystem
Former Team Member
Posts: 3879
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Montreal
Name: Wendy
Contact:

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by dellsystem »

Well, WordPress is open source as well, but I have to say that I prefer phpbb's system mostly because installing MODs taught me a lot - it was a very useful experience. Adding a module system like WordPress has wouldn't be worth it in my opinion, because there are just so many possible modifications out there for every forum aspect conceivable and a complete module system would either be impossible or completely bloat the software and make it difficult to make custom modifications if you aren't using the module system. I think phpBB has done well, even if its choice to include no module system receives negative reviews, because it's a better choice in the end.
Former moderator and website team member | My MODs, and more (GitHub)
allanhardy
Registered User
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2002 4:20 am

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by allanhardy »

iWisdom wrote:Again, the complexity of a system like phpBB makes a plug-and-play MOD system nearly impossible. As has been said before, the competitive argument really holds no bearing around here. phpBB has its own set of goals, and isn't looking to match the goals or feature-set of every competitor around.
That seems like a fairly defensive if not technically inaccurate statement in the face of the product realities.
As example, vBulletin is 'just as complex' and has a plug-in architecture, not so nearly impossible now is it?

Saying we dont care about competitors is somewhat of a cop out. Thats not the issue.
The competitve reference is only useful to show that such techncial approachs are completely doable and feasible, the real issue is the value added that having such a capability would add and the development capabilities / resources of doing it.
User avatar
Highway of Life
Former Team Member
Posts: 6048
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Name: David Lewis
Contact:

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by Highway of Life »

phpBB3 Makes modules very easy to install, and it is plug-and-play. If you have a MOD that is adding a module and is difficult to install, perhaps it was not designed correctly. -- People are still learning how to properly MOD for phpBB3, and it will take some time. The Code base has gone through a lot of transition in the last several months and v3 is new enough people are still trying to get a grasp of how it works and how best to MOD for it.

I won’t say that phpBB3 doesn’t have room for improvement, it does, but it really does depend on how far you go.
There are many wordpress MODs, if you realized it or not, that you have to Modify core code to install. It does have an advanced enough plugin system that makes some MODs easy to install, but phpBB3 does as well in it’s module system, true not in other portions of the system, and as I said, there is always room for improvement. But the ability to use hooks for MODs was not an intention in 3.0 when developing it. Fear not though, we are always in the process of developing ways to install MODs easier and I think that once v3 goes Gold, there will be some nice tools out there that make things easier.
But with phpBB3, most of the focus and resources have been put in building a stable and secure code base, and I would venture to say is probably more so than most other open source projects.
And to be honest, the code of WordPress is a mess. phpBB3's module system is also a lot more stable.
The phpBB Weekly Podcast - Discussing the developments of phpBB4 and beyond.

New to phpBB3? Want to learn about programing?
Visit phpBB Academy at StarTrekGuide to learn how.
utomo
Registered User
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 4:43 am

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by utomo »

When I read first the title, I guess there will be somebody hate it.
but when I read the content, it look like he want to suggest improvements to make the phpbb easier for more people.
it is actually a good ideas, so user can easier to add mod, and have a powerfull phpbb, as they wants it. without need to change many code.

but if it is already think and will be better in phpbb3, I hope it is true. and more people will use phpbb and also the mod, and it is easier to use.

good luck
User avatar
EXreaction
Former Team Member
Posts: 5666
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 9:31 pm
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.
Name: Nathan

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by EXreaction »

The module system sounds great until you understand what it was designed to do.

I do agree that a plugins system would be very nice for phpBB3, but, the problem then is with server load.

One of the things I wanted to do for the main mod I am working on, the User Blog Mod, was to have a plugins system. I am so glad I build that plugins system and it has made addons, minor modifications, and the like so simple to use.

I have 1 forum I work on that has some extra needs, like a points system, a topic value system (for hot topics/hot blogs), and a bunch of other things, which normally would make upgrading between versions a major pain. But, with the plugins system I don't need to worry about re-editing core files between upgrades, just upload the files and it the old addon still works as it used to.

The problem is, when you start adding a lot of modifications, it starts requiring the server to load a lot of files and consume more memory and take longer to load. One of the included plugins with the mod is an archive list. Just by itself it requires .35MB more memory, and takes .5s longer to load on average (this is on my local server which is on the PC I use now, which is much slower than a dedicated web server, so it probably only would add .15 or so longer to the load time).

IMO, the abilities with a plugin system makes it well worth the server load on an average size board, but that all may change depending on what they pull off with the next version of EasyMod for phpBB3.
fzzzt
Registered User
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2002 5:26 pm

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by fzzzt »

RMcGirr83 wrote:Most things in life cost something to get...open source code does not.
I don't really want ot hijack this topic, but I would strongly disagree with this comment. "Open source" is not "free software". What you really mean, I suspect, is that "[free software] does not". My point, though, is that more often than not F/OSS costs more time to use than commercial software, from installation to maintenance, sometimes even to removal. For example, it could take someone five minutes to change a vBulletin style, but hours to figure out and do the same in phpBB2. Adding or removing a mod could be even worse.

Regarding the topic, the main reason I was excited about Olympus was the redesign of the mod system. If it's still the pain in the ass that it used to be, release day will be a sad day. I haven't done much other than converting my v2 install over thus far, but I'm really really hoping there are enough hooks or other facilities so that most mods can be kept separate from the base system and developers are, in fact, just still learning how to do things the new way.

I'm not trying to bash phpBB here, any progress is good progress and I still value and respect the software and it's developers. It will be unfortunate and disappointing if the mod system doesn't work as well as I hope, but I didn't contribute; C'est la vie.
User avatar
Highway of Life
Former Team Member
Posts: 6048
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Name: David Lewis
Contact:

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by Highway of Life »

fzzzt wrote:I'm not trying to bash phpBB here, any progress is good progress and I still value and respect the software and it's developers. It will be unfortunate and disappointing if the mod system doesn't work as well as I hope, but I didn't contribute; C'est la vie.
One thing you have to understand is that phpBB caters to a different set of people than other Commercial Bulletin Board software, such as vB, which has a really difficult time running decently on anything less than a dedicated server.
phpBB has the ability to run on Shared Hosting, even Free Hosting, it’s not so memory intensive, and there is a reason for that. You start adding included files and hooks all over the place, you’re going to bloat the software.

But give 3.0 a try before you judge it, I think you’ll find that it has almost everything you need before you install any MODs, and MODs are very easy and simple to install.
The phpBB Weekly Podcast - Discussing the developments of phpBB4 and beyond.

New to phpBB3? Want to learn about programing?
Visit phpBB Academy at StarTrekGuide to learn how.
User avatar
Marshalrusty
Project Manager
Project Manager
Posts: 29294
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: New York City
Name: Yuriy Rusko
Contact:

Re: Very Dissapointed in Phpbb3 Module System

Post by Marshalrusty »

fzzzt wrote:My point, though, is that more often than not F/OSS costs more time to use than commercial software, from installation to maintenance, sometimes even to removal. For example, it could take someone five minutes to change a vBulletin style, but hours to figure out and do the same in phpBB2. Adding or removing a mod could be even worse.
And your point is incorrect. There isn't enough in the phpBB2 administration panel to spend 2 hours on. That is to say, it would take the average person less than 2 hours to go through the entire phpBB2 ACP.

Basically, if it took you 2 hours to figure out how to change a style on phpBB2, then phpBB3 is definitely out of your scope of abilities. Along with dressing yourself.
Have comments/praise/complaints/suggestions? Please feel free to PM me.

Need private help? Hire me for all your phpBB and web development needs
Post Reply

Return to “phpBB Discussion”