phpBB2Refugees.com Logo
Not affiliated with or endorsed by the phpBB Group

Register •  Login 

Continue the legacy...

Welcome to all phpBB2 Refugees!Wave Smilie

This site is intended to continue support for the legacy 2.x line of the phpBB2 bulletin board package. If you are a fan of phpBB2, please, by all means register, post, and help us out by offering your suggestions. We are primarily a community and support network. Our secondary goal is to provide a phpBB2 MOD Author and Styles area.

phpBB2 fork

Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Search this topic... | Search phpBB2 Discussion... | Search Box
Register or Login to Post    Index » phpBB2 Discussion  Previous TopicPrint TopicNext Topic
Author Message
SamG
Board Member



Joined: 12 Dec 2008

Posts: 48
Location: Beautiful Northwest Lower Michigan


flag
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:47 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Sweet!! icon_biggrin.gif

Drop me a line at .com some day when you have nothing better to do, with an update on how things are going over the pond there. I think of everybody often.
Back to top
Murmur
Board Member



Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


flag
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:35 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Daz!

It's great to have such a venerable name in the community drop in on our discussion. I won't burden the thread here with yet another technical diatribe, but suffice to say the templating subsystem is in need of attention. When we bounce it against some of the other proposals - like a modular system and an abstraction layer over the core posting system - the possibilities are exciting.

On other matters:

We've started looking around for a suitable project name with available domain names - just in case. A project needs a name after all. Any suggestions? Personally, I kinda like "Samhälle." Swedish for "community." But that's just one possibility of carrying phpBB's "building communities" into the future.
Back to top
Holger
Board Member



Joined: 19 Jan 2009

Posts: 509
Location: Hanover


flag
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:47 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Murmur, what connection do you have to Sweden? icon_eek.gif
Back to top
Murmur
Board Member



Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


flag
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:59 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

None whatsoever. icon_smile.gif I was using a translator in various languages for "community." It's hard to find a meaningful name which is also available in domain name space.

We went with Merri's suggestion. It can referred to in two ways.

1) phpCB or just CB. "Community Board" to set it apart from forum-only software. Emphasis on "community" is deliberate as we expect eventually additional and modern features by way of modules will be added. Blog module, social networking, etc

or...

2) COMmunity BOArd. Comboa or ComBoa. Perhaps a snake mascot. icon_wink.gif

The domains have been secured.

This first action appears - and is indeed - unilateral on our part. But then we are the only two functioning members of the nascent project at this point. And we believe that doing something - even if we make mistakes - is better than doing nothing.

The door remains wide open. A voting body larger than just two guys would be nice. We will get there eventually.

One possible initial goal - and this is by no means decided - would be to pre-mod the base with the very best mods available to arrive at new base. From that point, more extensive core changes could be researched, written and launched.
Back to top
Merri
Board Member



Joined: 02 Feb 2009

Posts: 63
Location: Kanta-Häme


flag
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:53 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

The problem is that some things require massive changes. For example, there would be no point installing the somewhat popular keep_unread_mod: on larger boards it is simply too slow of a solution and thus that has made me think looking at how phpBB3 does tracking the read posts.

I also think at first it would make more sense to strip down features instead of adding new. As I see it the project is likely to be largely incompatible codewise with phpBB2: intelligent modularity (plugin system) would be a solution over MODding.

The problem with these kinds of dramatic changes is that there will be no possibility for gradual development from phpBB2 to Comboa. Even if the new code will mimic or replicate the behavior of original code, it'll still be new code and it won't be in a familiar file anymore. However, I think all the great things plugins and modularization allows are just too good to be left out. I guess a lot of time will be spent thinking over and over what works and what won't, finding the issues in how things work in practical level will be a challenge. If nothing else, I'm good at finding issues (and solving them).


I'm looking into this project from a multitude of different views. Design & usability, administration & moderation, internationalization, customization, site development & requirements of running a site long term, community & social networking... it is quite a lovely mixture, and I know a lot of many of these aspects and fitting all these ideas in just one post is plain impossible. The point is that the core idea behind Comboa is great, fresh and unique so I truly hope we can lift off into the air and make this happen.

Hopefully we get our site up and running soon enough so that we can finally get into further details and agree on what exactly Comboa will be. My own visions are, at this point and for the most part, just mine.

_________________
Comboa Twitter
Back to top
Daz
Board Member



Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 32
Location: Yorkshire, England


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:24 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Hi,

Sam icon_smile.gif

I don't really care what is done to the back end code, but the templates themselves need to remain as HTML files with processing code that is logical and easy to understand. The people making the styles aren't usually programmers; I still see the same basic questions (and answers) posted at .com 8 years on. People are fond of their existing look and you don't want to throw away the opportunity of using a tremendous amount of existing files.

The original idea was to preserve and extend the life of phpBB2, but you seem to be talking about a completely new forum software, with the only link being the community angle, which every forum software can claim. Learning a new templating system, rewriting all my templates and make new images whilst waiting for something to be developed and become secure isn't going to happen -- I will take the easy route and move to phpBB3.

Daz
Back to top
Merri
Board Member



Joined: 02 Feb 2009

Posts: 63
Location: Kanta-Häme


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:13 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Actually the project is not just a forum; it is more of a new way of getting all the community tools together (forum, blog, wiki...). Database compatibility is probably the highest level of compatibility we target for so converting a phpBB2 board would be nearly instant. Or that would be important in my opinion. Templating system, other methods of preserving compatibility etc. is still all open at this point.

There is no point making just another forum. There is also no point to just take phpBB2 and do minimal upgrades to keep it working: that is already done over here at Refugees, if it doesn't work under some platform there are posts covering how to get it running (PHP6). Thus it is natural to look into the other aspect of what phpBB2 stands for: ease of use, easy to modify, hassle free administration, the bare minimum to get your forum started with. You add more as you need.

This project is unlikely to be mature in one year; maybe two years until it is viable. It is hard to tell this early. The road how we get into there is still wide open, I don't know yet if it will in the end be small steps or huge steps.

_________________
Comboa Twitter
Back to top
Murmur
Board Member



Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:08 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

We're jumping ahead. But since the topic came up, I'll throw in my two cents worth. I had some notes about areas to research re:templates that I'll spill now.

I like the templating system as well. I'm a big fan of the eXtreme Styles mod which has excellent backwards compatibility while introducing the sorely missing conditional control structure (IF). It also allows for PHP though that should probably be discouraged. It's only failing is that I haven't be able to find thorough documentation.

It would be a shame to lose such a large library of beautiful and classic templates. So, while a complete replacement of the templating system is a possibility, I will probably be on the side voting against it. I believe the BB2 templating system is far easier to salvage than to replace.

In my notes, I thought these matters should be researched:

1) a greater role for CSS by requiring a minimal set of elements. This would allow us to reasonably style a page even when forced to use the default (aka subSilver). This is already accomplished to some extent but should, IMO, become standard practice.

2) eliminate admin templates to reduce the burden on template designers. If 1) is carefully implemented, the admin screens can be built from the CSS elements of the current style/theme without recourse to templates at all. This should work for all but heavily graphical templates.

3) create a relatively simple means to accommodate template variants. Simple color variants can usually be swapped with a CSS/gif set substitution. The program should allow for this and possibly other types of variants.

4) personal templates. It seems likely that the current profile "module" - that is profile.php - will be broken into more distinct pieces and will take on the character of a "personal page(s)". If the program were to allow users to select a style for displaying their personal page(s), then it would also be possible have smaller template releases. This would allow designers to "try out" a style with far fewer pages and later decide if they want to write a full style release.

And finally, RE templates, this is all speculation on my part. I didn't expect to be talking nuts and bolts for a while. But my general take on it is this: templating is an end-user system and should be end-user driven. It would be far better for template designers to define what they'd like to see in a system than for programmers to proclaim what WILL irrevocably BE.

"completely new forum software..." Yes and no. Some significant "under the hood" changes have been discussed. If the BB2 templating system is retained (and I would argue in favor of that), then from a template designer's perspective not alot will change.

This is not to say there would be no changes. For example, a modern software should have some means of displaying side blocks. Rather than explain in detail, let me show you what the tail-end of an overall_header.tpl might look like:

Code:

<!-- IF SHOW_LEFT_BLOCKS -->
<td width="220" valign="top" bgcolor="#2e2e2e">

<!-- BEGIN blocks_left -->
  <!-- IF blocks_left.ENCLOSE == 1 -->
    <table border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="1" width="100%" class="forumline">
      <!-- IF blocks_left.ENTITLE == 1 -->
      <tr>
      <th align="left" height="25"><b>&nbsp;{blocks_left.TITLE}</b></th>
      </tr>
      <!-- ENDIF -->
    <tr><td class="row2">
    <span class="name">{blocks_left.CONTENT}</span>
    </td></tr>
    </table>
    <br>
  <!-- ELSE -->
    {blocks_left.CONTENT}
  <!-- ENDIF -->

<!-- END blocks_left -->
<!-- ENDIF -->

<td>


This is using eXtreme Styles to use the IF-ELSE-ENDIF. The snippet above was from a modified fiblack3d template BTW. icon_smile.gif But it could just as easily be from nearly any template. The side blocks are CSS styled in this case as you can see. Naturally, a template designer can handle the data (for example, blocks_left.CONTENT) however he chooses.

So adding new capabilities to the software need not be daunting to template designers or relegate their previous work to obsolescence.

As far as "modules" go, my question would be "Why would we NOT WANT a modular system when we CAN HAVE a modular system?"

Because phpBB2's entry files (the ones that are URL targets) are mostly 'blackbox' in function, imposing a simple file-level modules system is quite easy and unobtrusive. It adds one table the database and one or two lines to entrant files.

$userdata = session_pagestart($user_ip, PAGE_PROFILE);
init_userprefs($userdata);
check_module(); <---- new line

The function checks a couple of things:

What module does this script belong to?
Is the entire module disabled or have group limitations?
Is the module file (current script) disabled or have group limitations?

phpBB2 is already well-disposed to this kind of modules system. I hear programmers complaining already. It's just toooooo simple, too confining. All true. But a simple approach has redeeming factors.

A) straightforward and easy for admins to grasp
B) does not require a parameterized module launcher with the associated security problems

As for the impact of new modules on templates, see 1) above. Obviously a module writer will provide the default templates for the new screens. Hopefully, through a careful reliance on CSS, the default template will correctly render these screens for most other templates.
Back to top
Murmur
Board Member



Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:38 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

I agree that code-wise the project will quickly become incompatible with existing mods. That was my reasoning for pre-modding it to a new base.

I'm not sure what can be stripped out of BB2. It's pretty basic now and some mods are probably necessary. For example, the captcha is broken. Another example that everyone changes is the "Last Post" column. The default distribution links the author but not the last post.

I see your point on intelligent modding, but I have no idea how to accomplish such a thing. Large-scale modules are easy. Admin/user selectable options are not too tough. But how do you accommodate something that needs to tweak core code and which probably wants to alter page presentation? To a small degree you can implement a hooks system like phpBB3, but that has severe limitations. Hooks would work only in a small number of cases. I just don't know how to do it.

It seems to me the best way to minimize others compulsion to mod the code would be to include the most popular and reasonable mods. Make them admin options if it's a matter of taste. At any rate, a mods strategy is a complex problem for which I have no good answer.
Back to top
Holger
Board Member



Joined: 19 Jan 2009

Posts: 509
Location: Hanover


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:57 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Murmur wrote:
1) a greater role for CSS by requiring a minimal set of elements. This would allow us to reasonably style a page even when forced to use the default (aka subSilver). This is already accomplished to some extent but should, IMO, become standard practice.

...

As for the impact of new modules on templates, see 1) above. Obviously a module writer will provide the default templates for the new screens. Hopefully, through a careful reliance on CSS, the default template will correctly render these screens for most other templates.

I dont like the idea of using more CSS. In my opinion phpBB3 got VERY hard to modify to own ideas, due to all the DIVs.

phpBB2 is/was VERY easy to modify!

I hope I am not showing too much of my n00biness now! icon_redface.gif
Back to top
Daz
Board Member



Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 32
Location: Yorkshire, England


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:43 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Hi,

I used the eXtreme Styles mod primarily due to the default not allowing inline switches, but it became bloated. As I aren't one for 'reinventing the wheel' I would take the phpBB3 template parser and use that as, although I haven't used it extensively, I didn't find it limiting in any way. I haven't tried marrying it to phpBB2 but did use it standalone for something I was playing with.

Adding imageset support isn't hard to do without breaking backward compatibility. Adding the ability to use different smiley/rank image sets for different themes has it's end-user problems, but they are just that, it's the end-user who has to make sure that different sets share the same names.

By all means separate the admin templates, but don't take away the possibility of styling the admin area to at least change the colours - switching from one extreme of colours to another isn't good - think walking out of a cinema into broad daylight. Whatever colour scheme you decide to use in the admin area some people will always dislike it - I felt the need to tweak the phpBB3 admin colours.

I don't think you would meet any resistance to updating the CAPTCHA and whilst I would have reCAPTCHA as the default adding alternatives isn't going to be rocket science.

Obviously there needs to be balance in what the developers and end-users want/need - I am guilty of removing at least one desirable (to many others) feature from the code from my templates! However, at this point in time and for some time to come the need is for a secure and compatible* version of the phpBB2 we all know and love - it's either phpBB2 or it isn't IMO.

Further to my notes about throwing away the existing styles/templates, I had images for some of my templates available in 39 languages. As many of these needed native language speakers it would take quite a while to make any additions/changes.

@Holger: Whilst the CSS in prosilver is ridiculously overly-complicated it is optional and as long as the HTML code stays in the templates I don't see how it won't ever be. I don't see it as a sign of 'n00biness' I don't want to tackle prosilver.

* By which I mean with previous versions of itself, MODs get broken with updates.

Daz
Back to top
Murmur
Board Member



Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:44 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Not at all, Holger!

The idea of an expanded role for CSS does not require DIVs. I was aiming at cross-template compatibility - especially in those cases where the template-of-last-resort is the default (subSilver).

Basically, the idea is to require that templates provide a standardized set of CSS elements. This would most definitely include TABLE, TH, TD etc...
Back to top
Daz
Board Member



Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 32
Location: Yorkshire, England


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:27 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Hi,

Cross-template compatibility is doomed to failure and if you can force a template you can also force a stylesheet.

Daz
Back to top
Murmur
Board Member



Joined: 20 Aug 2009

Posts: 57
Location: California


flag
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:22 pm 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Daz, you're an optimist! icon_smile.gif

I hope to prove you (partially) wrong in that prediction.

Here's a reduced snap of fiblack3d running a news_main_body.tpl.

Image link

But then there is no such fiblack3d template. As you know, phpBB's default behavior is to resort to subSilver in the absence of the requested template.

So the picture actually shows:

fiblack3d header & CSS
subSilver news_main_body.tpl
fiblack3d footer

Shown is a prototype news module, so don't laugh too hard. The red headlines are an experiment in color-coded, site-wide categories (the same categories that appear in the forum). Also on display is that side block code from above. Additional blocks would stack neatly based on admin weighting. If there were no blocks, the two-column news would expand to fill the space. This is tested and works using good ol' tables.

The bridge here is CSS and a generic template-of-last-resort. The result is a display that matches the current template. Of course, in the case of a fancy template with bells and whistles, much would lost but even here general appearance could be made to "fit" the running template in terms of color, font, etc.

This begs the ultimate question. And template designers might well and justifiably become defensive. Afterall isn't the logical conclusion to this line of reasoning that template designers are potentially redundant? Write one template per page and let CSS do the rest.

I say "no." CSS is wonderfully powerful; it's also an esoteric monster. It can't itself be 'creative.' It can't make layout decisions. And it can't bridge all circumstances. It's good in limited roles, but limited in the role of design.

My argument would be to use CSS where CSS shines and leave design to designers. In this scheme a designer - for most non-heavy templates - could be selective in the system, forum and module-supplied pages he chooses to style.

Admittedly, I am no expert in this area. So if I'm completely wrong in my surmise, some technical reasons why so would be appreciated. There is always the hope that those technical shortcomings might still be addressed.

---
For comparison here's another snap of the forum for which there is a fiblack3d template (modified to accommodate blocks). The display is in a collapsed categories view. The blocks are a Category selector, recent topics (in the current category) and a menu. Once again, if the blocks were disabled by admin the forum would expand and look pretty much like any phpBB2 forum.

Image link
Back to top
Daz
Board Member



Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 32
Location: Yorkshire, England


flag
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:04 am 
Post subject: Re: phpBB2 fork

Hi,

OK, but the real magic comes in you enforcing people to use a predefined naming structure icon_lol.gif

Wouldn't a smarter installer for such MODs query the DB and emit a warning that template(s) aren't present for X, Y and Z? You may have to do that for images...

Daz
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Register or Login to Post    Index » phpBB2 Discussion  Previous TopicPrint TopicNext Topic
Page 3 of 4 All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Jump to:  

Index • About • FAQ • Rules • Privacy • Search •  Register •  Login 
Not affiliated with or endorsed by the phpBB Group
Powered by phpBB2 © phpBB Group
Generated in 0.0146 seconds using 15 queries. (SQL 0.0023 Parse 0.0004 Other 0.0120)
phpBB Customizations by the phpBBDoctor.com
Template Design by DeLFlo and MomentsOfLight.com Moments of Light Logo