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phpBB2 fork

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Murmur
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Joined: 20 Aug 2009

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:46 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

I agree with Merri and SamG. icon_smile.gif

I think SamG is right in that drathbun deserves first shot at this. I also believe the marriage of phpBB2 Refugees and a fork would be mutually beneficial. Taking cue from some of Dave's previous statements where he said he'd like to be involved but perhaps not heavily involved, I've tried to offer a proposal that allows him to host the discussion and choose his own level of involvement beyond that.

I also agree with Merri. Talk is cheap. It's abundant, redundant and generally useless in a forum board environment. Forums are notoriously egalitarian and infamous for their consistent ability to accomplish nothing except idle chatter.

So I hope Merri doesn't view my notion of creating a decision structure as more useless words. In my opinion, a formal structure capable of authoritative decision is ESSENTIAL to any collective project and therefore a necessary precursor.

There are some evolved projects with highly formal arrangements - like the Apache Foundation. It goes without saying that we don't need a thousand pages of bylaws and rules of order. Indeed, my preference would be to start from semi-chaos and add structure as needed and as deemed appropriate by the deciding body.

BUT, we can't start from absolute chaos, from idyllic egalitarian bliss, or expect magically merged code branches from every coder doing only his own thing. Impossible.

We need a basic decision structure - and that's what I was hoping to offer with a 3-4 week grace. Nothing fancy. Just the basics so that decisions can be made. We'll take the bumps and smooth things out from there. And there will be bumps-a-plenty.

With regards to time scales I think any one involved should brace themselves for a very slow start up. This flies in the face of people like me and Merri who would rather go-go-go. But I suspect the beginning is going to be a crawl. But momentum will build if persistence is applied.
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Merri
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Joined: 02 Feb 2009

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Location: Kanta-Häme


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:55 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

If I'm not completely out of track:

  • We have a fork project!
  • Murmur works on a decision structure and will have it ready around mid-December.
  • In the meanwhile I will continue, as my time allows, modernizing those parts of phpBB2's code that can be counted as "core" phpBB2 forum functionality. Which parts of this code is useful and used in the fork will be decided later; personally I think it will make critique and decision easier when there is something to have a look at.
  • We wait for what Dave has to say in terms of fork project under Refugees or not.
  • I guess we are open for interested developers from now on.
  • Later a SVN or a similar system will be opened for the project to make collaborative work possible.


For the most part we now wait for a forum to be able to extend the talk to details. A single person is not enough for a truly successful forum project. It is not yet known if we are making just a forum software or something more... maybe it even turns out to be something entirely new that has never really been done before. Whatever the case, phpBB2 and it's codebase will be the main inspiration. Despite it's shortcomings phpBB2 is an awesome base for further customization and this is the thing we want to reproduce on a fresh, modern and all-round friendly style, ready for the challenges of the next decade.


Whoa, and I've only slept two hours last night...

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SamG
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008

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Location: Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:07 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Dave's decision prerogative includes input into the "decision structure," from my POV. So if there is a fork project already and a project leader, then we have gone beyond what I understood to be Dave's overall interests, whether actual or potential.

So I suggest taking the next logical step and move the conversation elsewhere, since this is less and less 'Refugees business, and judging from Dave's silence, may not be 'Refugees business at all. Give the fork a proper name, and a proper home, if you want the community to consider it a proper project in its own right. icon_smile.gif
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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

Posts: 621
Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:22 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Why fork?

Why not keep it simple and dedicate energy to improving the existing phpBB2 code base without further ado?

Why start a whole new project, aren´t there plenty of projects out there yet?

Speaking for myself, in my situation, I decided to stick with phpBB2 because I spent too much work and time on my board to simply drop it for some other project like phpBB3 or whatever.

The moment a fork is put together my interest in that fork will be not much more than my interest in f.i. Phorum or whatever.

Because I won´t be able to switch to a new project's code without loosing what I have right now.

My interest in this site, phpBB2Refugees is finding help from and helping out others regarding phpBB2.

And that's, in short, it. icon_smile.gif

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Merri
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:58 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

SamG: yet I hope we can have some minor discussion here at this point, because otherwise it would kind of be like pulling a carpet below our feet. There has been too much talk on whether Refugees is the right place or not, the truth is that at this point it is the only place and it is only natural a fork emerges via Refugees.

dogs and things: despite any input being good, it is now too late for why fork? – it simply serves no purpose in this thread. I think atleast I and Murmur are now starting with the assumption that there is a fork and it makes no sense to pull it down even before it has really started to live. If you want to throw critique on any forks, there is a proper fork discussion thread.


We need time and a chance to succeed. Also please note I haven't been able to contact Murmur because there is no PM system here, until he posts something I don't know what he really thinks at this point.

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SamG
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:34 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Merri wrote:
... it is now too late for why fork? ...

Not addressed to me, I know, but agreed. The reasons for the fork have been given at length.

As been made clear more than once, a fork of phpBB 2 is putting energy to improving the existing phpBB2 code base without further ado. Nothing more, and nothing less. It isn't trying to be another Phorum, and I really can't understand why anyone would say such a thing. Neither is it an attempt to support existing, highly customized phpBB 2 installs, for what does that even have to do with phpBB 2 itself? It is an attempt at maintaining the phpBB 2 tradition and experience into the future.

Merri wrote:
I hope we can have some minor discussion here at this point, because otherwise it would kind of be like pulling a carpet below our feet. There has been too much talk on whether Refugees is the right place or not, the truth is that at this point it is the only place and it is only natural a fork emerges via Refugees.

There is a difference, in my mind, between minor discussion here and setting up shop here. It may be natural to involve the 'Refugees community in the conversation, but I don't see why "Refugees is the only place, let alone the best place, for real work on a fork--even if just to begin and to test the interest such a project might generate.

Even if Dave isn't interested in hosting the project himself, I think it safe to say that he probably would not object to someone posting a link here to the project's home.
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Murmur
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Joined: 20 Aug 2009

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Location: California


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:31 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Alot has been said. Not sure where to start.

Dogs and Things: A fork may be of little interest to those running modded boards except for a couple of things - one certain, one possible. What is certain is that Refugees will hemorrhage people familiar with the code base - the very people who can deliver on the promise of continuing support. Coders want to code and many will be interested in a fork.

How do you - and here's the possibility - keep them around? Let them do their thing. The benefit to you is that they're here and available in varying degrees to help. Indeed it's possible, even likely, that they may adopt the code base in it's classic form, maintain it, patch security bugs, update for PHP 6, maybe update the DBAL, etc.

Why would they take on additional responsibility? Out of the goodness in their hearts? Nope. To create a demonstrable link between phpBB 2 and their own - let's call it - BB Classic and finally to the grand project. "BB Classic" - or whatever it ends up being called - is more likely to draw new adherents if it is maintained. Meanwhile, the 'grand project' is more likely to be taken seriously if it has a renowned lineage rather than being absolutely new and "just another CMS."

This all rather neatly, in my view, points to Refugees as the birthplace for such a project. To be quite frank, Refugees needs a forward look or it will go the way of an abandoned and unmaintained phpBB 2. Long before it closes down, it will have reached a point where it was unable to fulfill its mission of support. The bulk of coders familiar with the base will have moved on to other projects.

Whether we do or do not have a project at this point is a matter of interpretation, I suppose. We have two people ready to collaborate. That's a start. The next number is three.

By 'decision structure' I'm talking about the means to internal governance, of course. A mechanism through which things get done is necessary to set policy, approve a branch add, task out R&D, etc.

There's nothing arcane or hidden here. I volunteered assuming someone had to be the first. But, the matter is certainly open. I had envisioned a rather standard democratic body with rather standard rules of order ported to forum environ. Small body democracies composed of like-minded people function very efficiently compared to their big brothers - massive national democracies. (Did I say "Big Brother?" Must've been a slip... icon_smile.gif ) Any one is welcomed to help me out on this.

SamG wrote:
...maintaining the phpBB 2 tradition and experience into the future.


It could hardly be better expressed than this. Something very similiar will end up in our mission statement I imagine.

I agree that a forum-only fork is unlikely. The competition is stiff and I doubt there is room for another contender. At any rate, a forum-only software is inherently limited by today's standards. A modular CMS seems the more likely target with look, feel, lineage and simplicity setting it apart. In a modular system it is still possible to run a forum-only site.

If we imagine the project having the bifurcated goal of maintaining a "classic" version of the BBS (as near to the original as necessary change permits(1)), it would also be pertinent to the existing installed base of phpBB2 sites.

Certainly, Dave needs to weigh in when he gets a chance. There's no great hurry and preliminary developments can proceed in parallel.

If drathbun's preference is that it be taken elsewhere, he need only say so. I certainly don't want to do anything on his site counter to his wishes. We all run websites here so finding a home is the least of our technical challenges. But for reasons previously mentioned, it makes strategic sense - IMO - for both Refugees and the unnamed project to team up.

You can contact me at mckeown_79 at comcast_.net. Subtract the _'s.


-------------
(1) therefore preserving as viable as many mods and templates as possible. It might even revive 'old' phpBB 2 in its 'classic' form somewhat.
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dogs and things
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Joined: 18 Nov 2008

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Location: Spain


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:03 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

As I see things it would be great if Refugees where to be the home of what you have in mind, as long as the original phpBB2 support forums will not be locked. icon_lol.gif

I am very limited in my capabilities but in spite of that I'm even willing to see if I could contribute something to the project, if the final project that will be decided on appeals to me.

Why not ask Dave directly if he is willing to open up a forum with special access to thus enable private discussion about it all? The pm system at dot com certainly works. icon_wink.gif

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SamG
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008

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Location: Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:01 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Just to be clear, my original thought was that 'Refugees was a logical, natural place for a phpBB 2 fork project to be born. Why I thought that is all a matter of record here, in the relevant topics.

Community resistance to a fork project was at that point entrenched. For that reason alone I completely changed my mind. For me to change my mind again, it will take a positive act from Dave.

As for approaching Dave @.com, I personally would have no problem doing that, and have done that in the past. But if we are to enjoy his support for a fork project here, we would benefit from if not require his open, active, public support, at least initially.

We have a lot of talk going on again, and I think where the idea is at boils down to this: If the project is not going to rely on 'Refugees and/or Dave's server, then a move is the natural next step. If it is going to rely on 'Refugees and/or Dave's server, then his response is necessary. So the project waits for Dave, for his input and direction since it will be a service of 'Refugees, or it goes elswhere. It's not a complicated decision, though one I had hoped could be made after hearing something from Dave publically.

Again, just my view ...
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dogs and things
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:55 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Your view is quite clear, and to the point, I think, and I understand you now would like to see a hand to grab, so to speak.

It would be very nice if Refugees will serve as the cradle of a step towards a new phpBB2 based project.

Maybe Dave is reluctant to step in because he's afraid he'll get too involved in things time- and effortwise.

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Murmur
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Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:53 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

SamG,

Can we impose on you to drop Dave a line? Aside from the forum space, his level of involvement is entirely up to him. It would be nice if he could take a look and give a thumbs up/down for a Refugees home.

Mike
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SamG
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008

Posts: 48
Location: Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:22 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

No imposition at all. Done.
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SamG
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008

Posts: 48
Location: Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:14 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Dave said he'll join the conversation in the next couple of days, as time permits. icon_biggrin.gif
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Murmur
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Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:26 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Great, thanks SamG
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Daz
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Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 32
Location: Yorkshire, England


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:35 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Hi,

Just letting you know that I am watching icon_smile.gif

I love the templating system, so would welcome the additions made in phpBB3 - no use for inheritance (or it's overhead).

Daz
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