[DEV] Merri's Forum Features (Subforums, Favorites, Posters)

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Merri
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[DEV] Merri's Forum Features (Subforums, Favorites, Posters)

Post by Merri »

So, I've decided to make a one bigger MOD and then company it with some smaller MODs with installation files that can be run for both vanilla phpBB and the one that has my bigger MOD installed. I'm also re-releasing some MODs by other authors made compatible with this bigger MOD.

The current project name is Merri's Forum Features. I didn't come up with a better name that'd describe the MOD, so I came up with something general. If you have a better name suggestion, throw it at me and I'll try to catch it ;)

On the topic. The feature list:

- Subforums: originally being based on improved pseudo subforums (and still being database compatible), it is possible to set one level deep subforums
- Favorites: user can add topics and forums as his/her favorites. The Favorites are shown at the top of the index page as an additional forum, so it is easy to see if there are new posts.
- Avatars: avatars are placed everywhere one can place them. Avatars are limited to certain size so they look much better along topics, forums etc. User can turn them off via profile.
- Signatures: signatures are hidden from guests and they can be turned on/off by user.
- Posters: it is possible to see who have posted how much and where by forum and by topic basis - a heavily edited version of Manipe's Topic Posters.
- Changes in templating: there are additional replacing variables to use in templates to make your templates much easier to customize (instead of {LASTPOST} you get {LASTPOST_AUTHOR}, {LASTPOST_IMG} etc.).

Effect of the above can be seen at http://konnun.vihrealohikaarme.com/ which I currently use as the development area. Later on I'll open up a support and release announcements forum of my own. I might release XHTML + CSS templates which support this MOD natively.


Customized MOD scripts to work with above
- Simply Merge Threads: update script for Favorites compatibility
- Small Profile Panel: some general (bug) fixes + Forum Features additions
- View/Disable Avatars/Signatures: removal script so that you can install Forum Features if you have this MOD already installed (database compatible)


How it will come

Once I have an initial version ready, I'll release a BETA. While in BETA, it is possible to suggest new features.

After BETA, I release the first Release Canditates. At that point no more features will be added unless some really really good ones come up. I continue releasing Release Canditates until no further obvious bugs or security issues are found within a week (or so) of the release of the latest Release Canditate. After that I release version 1.0.0

Since the first RC I will provide updates scripts, so you can update the MOD easily with EasyMOD to the newest version. I will not provide an update script from BETA to RC1 as I expect there to be many obvious bugs and/or missing features.


Hope this gains some interest so I get more inspiration and will to complete this :)


---
The Original First Message

For moderators: I don't know if this fits this forum well enough, but since this isn't a request and not directly related to MOD writing itself and I think this forum has the best fitting audience... I post this here.

For a good while, I've been working on a phpBB core to use at several boards I run. Along the way I've installed and customized many MODs, including a creation of a bunch of my own. But: this far I haven't been able to decide in what way you lot will gain from this. I've had a couple of thoughts:

- just release a premodded phpBB core with an installed and give support to it
- make smaller MODs one by one out of the customized code
- forget it completely and just make the core for my own use (likely if this doesn't gain much interest)

These customizations could be separated to following MODs:

Avatars Everywhere
- adds avatars to many pages where usernames are visible
- possible to turn avatars on/off
- forced size avatars of only one size (to make it look better)

Favorites
- allows setting topics and forums as favorites
- displayed in forum index so you can quickly see if your favorite topics or forums have something new

Flexible templating
- converts many "HTML in PHP" codes so that HTML is decided by the template instead
- makes customizing the board design easier as less or no PHP editing is required

Posters
- shows who have posted in to a topic or a forum
- based on Topic Posters by Manipe, but is a big rewrite and has more features, doesn't use a popup window

Subforums
- only one level deep
- categories are used (not like in Improved Pseudo Sub-forums which doesn't use categories in subforums)
- in forum index view subforums are also sorted by category


At the moment ripping these MODs to be separate requires a lot of rewriting, because I've done a lot of integrating. For example, avatars and flexible templating have their effect on favorites, posters and subforums... that being one reason why I have hard time deciding what to do as I would have to "throw away" a lot of code.

So the whole idea here is to get feedback from you who are interested about MODs so that it would be easier for me to see what you are interested of so I didn't have to guess what to do with all this code I've done and/or customized.


To see the whole board and many of the MODs above in action: http://konnun.vihrealohikaarme.com/


The Final Question: to release it all as one big MOD (or just premodded phpBB) or release individual less integrated MODs?
Last edited by Merri on Wed May 11, 2005 10:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lazka
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Post by lazka »

only a little feedback: you should use GET instead of POST for Forums/Subforums because my FF always alerts if i go back in history.

DKing
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Post by DKing »

I think you should release it as one big MOD. It would save everyone time and trouble (you wouldn't have to make them all work by themselves, and we wouldn't have to install tons of MODs!).

You could name it UtraBB or something... whatever you want!

-DKing
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-jm-
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Post by -jm- »

One big MOD with instructions and premodded files available.

And some smaller mods for two or three most requested features, if you have spare time to do them.
-jm- (a.k.a. juanm) - *NO* private support
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Merri
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Post by Merri »

Begins to look like it'll be a one big MOD then. There are so many changes that it all will probably work only on a phpBB with a small amount of MODs or no previous MODs at all.

What I think about it at the moment:
- have several EasyMOD installable MOD scripts in one ZIP file + premodded files
- as a separate and out of phpBB.com, distribute a premodded phpBB (because phpBB Group doesn't like fully premodded phpBB distributions afaik)

What does this sound like?

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MHobbit
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Post by MHobbit »

lazka wrote: only a little feedback: you should use GET instead of POST for Forums/Subforums because my FF always alerts if i go back in history.


So? All it's asking is if you want to resend the information. No harm in that.

Using GET instead of POST would make it easier and quicker for people to exploit security holes...

Anyways, I think you should do something like Ptirhiik does, where there's one main install file, but with add-on bits on separate files. This way, people will only have to pick what they want to install. :wink:

I don't like preMODded phpBB packages... besides, if you end up doing that, you may end up having to provide a lot more support than you'd like. :wink:
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Merri
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Post by Merri »

Might be, don't know for now. The main problem is that the main part of these MODs do a lot of changes to the phpBB code, so it is hard to compile a clean EasyMOD installation script. I'll have to think what other MODs I wish to support and which changes of mine will make up the bigger much-in-one MOD. This is a complex issue: I wish to provide small MODs which are nice and easy to install, but many of them conflict with each other a lot and thus force me to consider making a one bigger MOD.

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Merri
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Post by Merri »

Well, updated the first post to match the current status. Hope you like the ideas!

You can suggest features and tell your own needs already, but at this point I'm mainly concentrating to my own vision. After the initial BETA release it will be much more easy to figure out missing features etc. :)

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