I have another site that doesn’t yet have an active phpBB board attached to it, but it does have a blog. So I added my Checkbox Challenge for Blog Comments and all is well. A few weeks ago I started getting all sorts of emails from my comment form, of all places, all plugging various blogspot blogs. $%@# spammers, don’t they realize that the only one that’s going to see the comment form content is me? as in one person?
I have since added my Checkbox Challenge to the contact form, and the spam has been 100% eliminated. I read more about it here as well.
But I don’t get it. Forum posts? public content. Blog comments? also public content. Comment forms? Nobody gets them but me. What a waste of time.
I have been doing a lot of thinking about how to best prepare for the phpBB2.x retirement. The first conclusion that I have come to is that I won’t start any new MOD development topics. It took me well over a year to complete development and release for the Page Permissions MOD, and I don’t anticipate that I would be able to (or interested in) releasing my other 2.x MODs on an accelerated schedule to avoid the pending shutdown for MOD submissions. As a result, I have tabled the MOD development topics at phpbb.com.
However, some of these MODs might still prove to be useful. So what to do?
Well, I think everyone knew this was coming:
Today we are announcing our retirement plans for phpBB 2.0.x. This is advanced notification so that everyone can stay informed.
Commencing Wednesday 1st October 2008, phpBB 2.0.x download links will be removed from the download page at phpBB.com. Anyone wishing to obtain phpBB 2.0.x can continue to obtain the 2.0.x package at sourceforge.net.
Commencing Thursday 1st January 2009, phpBB 2.0.x will be formally retired, and support will no longer be actively provided for 2.0.x. Converting from 2.0.x to 3.0.x will continue to be supported.
Security patches, if required, will be provided until Sunday 1st February 2009.
The reason for the early retirement is the PHP Group’s decision to retire PHP 4. phpBB 2.0 mainly runs on the PHP 4 codebase and it would be unwise to require people to have an unsupported version of PHP installed in order to use phpBB.
Teams will announce how they will handle the retirement in the coming days.
I have some thoughts on this. I always have thoughts. I’ll be posting them in the coming days, after I have time to digest what this means for me personally, for the phpBBDoctor site, and what I think it means for phpBB overall.
I got mixed responses to this post a bit ago when I asked about future phpBB2 MOD releases. I realize that based on site statistics there are more than three people that read my blog, even if there are not that many that leave comments. After thinking about it I decided to go ahead and solicit feedback from the much broader audience at phpbb.com.
As a result I currently have two [DEV] topics open. A topic marked [DEV] does not have any code attached; it’s supposed to be a way to get feedback and ideas from the community. So far the response has been … underwhelming. I don’t mean that the responses I got were bad (they were quite good) but that the number of responses has been low. This is probably understandable given that I posted in the phpBB2 MOD Development forum.
[DEV] Mark Topic Unsearchable
[DEV] Post Notes
I don’t think this is a surprise that the general community is moving towards phpBB3. Many folks that are planning to stay on phpBB2 are probably more interested in seeing existing MODs upgraded to version 3 so they can also upgrade… rather than adding still more “new” features to their phpBB2 boards. We’ll have to see how things go.
This is the last post in a series that started with a few observations about the concept of “Auto Group” MODs and why I think they are bad, followed by some posts about the design for the “Forum Auth by Post Count” MOD that I have released for phpBB2. All of the related posts are linked at the end of the post in case you want to go back and read the full story. In this post I will talk about a basic strategy in programming that should be followed: putting reusable code into a function or procedure.
In the last post in this series I explained how private forum permissions work in phpBB2, and then how an Auto Group MOD might make use of these permissions to dynamically grant permissions for a board member to view a private forum. In other words, the forums are managed by the normal phpBB2 security process and are hidden until I am added to the proper group. Then I mentioned how the Forum Auth by Post Count MOD works in an opposite direct. Forums are not private, they are public instead. The MOD hides these forums until they should be visible.
It does not override or replace the standard permissions system. It provides a new layer on top.
Our Story So Far…
Not too long ago I published that post in which I described an “auto group” MOD. I went on to explain that I don’t really think they’re a good idea, and I posted a couple of reasons why. The main reason was that this type of MOD adds too much overhead since it spends a lot of time checking things but doing nothing. That’s why I wrote the Forum Auth by Post Count MOD. This post talks more about the design of that MOD, and why I think it’s more appropriate for a busy board… or even a not-so-busy board for that matter.
I learned something today. A few days ago I posted about why I think that “auto group” MODs are bad for your board. Before I go any further, let me please make one thing perfectly clear: I am not saying that the coding is bad, in my opinion it’s just a bad idea to begin with. So neither post (the first one or this one) is intended to be a criticism of the coding techniques used by any MOD author who has written this type of MOD.
So what did I learn?
Don’t look now, but Google has added extra advertisements to your board (or blog or other web site) if you use Adsense. More…
If you don’t stay up to date, you get hacked. That’s what we say every day at phpbb.com, right?
Tonight I got the pleasure of upgrading every single one of my WordPress installations because one of them got hacked. <sigh> Doesn’t it make you happy that there are people in this world with nothing better to do than mess with something that someone else has created?
In any case, this blog was not the one that got hacked, and it doesn’t seem to have been impacted in any way despite being the one running the second-oldest version that I have. As of now it’s on the latest and greatest version, and the upgrade seems to have been fairly painless. Other than the fact that it’s 2:30. AM.
Oh, there are a few css glitches that I’ll have to fix. But not until after I sleep.