Thank you to everyone that submitted a question to the MOD Team! Here are our favourite questions, with the answers attached below:
Q: Just wondering if phpBB is planning to incorporate a WordPress style auto-installer / updater for MODX files into the admin panel? (dem_z)
Q: Why don’t you make a MOD auto-installer, like in vBulletin, there’s the feature to RUN the install.xml file from ACP? (dugi)
The MOD Team has an automatic MOD installer in development, called Blinky. It will be compatible with the new MODX format.
More information about Blinky can be found at http://www.ericfaerber.com/2008/02/06/mods-manager-aka-blinky-aka-easymod-for-phpbb3/ and at the phpBB codeforge at http://code.phpbb.com/projects/show/6
You can test the current development version of Blinky by checking out the source code from the SVN Trunk
Q: My question is are we allowed to start a topic in MODs in Development when we are not actually the mod author? (manic2)
battye: It is not recommended because as the topic author, people may expect you to provide adequate support for the MOD (which may include making code changes). If you still want to start a topic for someone else’s MOD, it is advisable to contact the original MOD author for their approval.
Q: When a great mod is created for phpBB, whom does the decision lie with as to whether the mod is implemented into the next version of phpBB. And how do you approach MOD authors about possible use of their idea. (MJGB)
Paul: As far I know MODs are normally not included into phpBB itself. In case they are included, it is a descision thats made by the development team.
Highway_of_Life: As a general rule, MODs are not included into the core of phpBB itself. The Development Team may take an idea that currently exists as a MOD and implement it in their own unique way into the next version of phpBB3. The Development Team has a much higher standard and guidelines with which to follow for core development than MODs do, so any “proposed code” that they implement is usually changed quite a bit from the submission to implementation. Certain MODs which could be considered “patches” and can be proposed to the Development Team to improve a core functionality within phpBB3. If the “patch” is large, contains many core changes or edits a numerous lines of code, the “patch” will not be considered for the 3.0.x branch of phpBB. More specific details the Development Team would be better suited to answer these types of questions.
Q: I want to make use of this opportunity that you guys are offering to ask why the SEO mod is still in the MOD database as a validated MOD. It is known that when installing the current version, users will rapidly encounter bugs caused by this mod. The solutions to the mere part of the list of bugs can be found when searching through 56 pages of replies. Although most bugs are solved by users, some still have to be fixed. Maybe it would be advisable to have this mod updated or to remove it out of the MOD database. Can this be considered? If not, then why not? Thanks! (XTof.be)
Paul: When a MOD has been approved to the MODDB we normally dont pull it anymore, unless there are security issues. MOD authors are them self responsible to update the MOD in case there are bugs or any other things that need updates. We, as MOD team, dont look really at the already approved MODs. We will mostly dont read all topics and dont take any action in cases there are bugs in a MOD. Its really the task of the MOD author to provide a update for the MOD, we will not require him to update. When we will need to do this, this will take a lot off our time, because a lot of MODs are in the DB.
What we do in some cases is a MODDB cleanup. This means we will pull all older MODs then a certian phpBB version, unless the MOD author provides a update before that cleanup.
Q: Just wanna know what are the MOD Teams favorite MODs? (idiotnesia)
Highway_of_Life: I don’t have a personal list of “Favourite MODs”, but any MOD that I consider one of the many “Favourites” is based solely upon code quality. How well the MOD is written, I like to see MODs that really consider compatibility and scalability. A MOD is “Good” to me if the does not modify core files, or modifies them as absolutely necessary. And when modifying the core, I like to see MODs never remove code, edit as little as possible and generally only add code whenever possible. I have seen very very few occasions where adding more than a couple of lines of code are needed to achieve a desired operation. The MOD should instead utilise functions and Object Oriented Programming (OOP) methods to perform it’s functionality. When a MOD touches the phpBB core to a minimum degree, it is well optimised for compatibility with other MODs and future updates to phpBB.
Secondly, MODs that consider high traffic or a very busy board are well optimised for large amounts of data are also considered “Good” qualities of a MOD. An example of bad optimisation is adding several extra Database Queries to a high-traffic page such as viewtopic, index, viewforum, having Database Queries in loops, or un-optimised Queries which perform poorly under load. Other reasons that I consider a MOD “Good” is when it’s written in such a way that it’s easy to understand what it’s doing by simply reading the code. Generally, if MOD Authors follow the phpBB3 Coding concepts and guidelines, they will produce a “Good” MOD.
evil<3: I really like the annual stars MOD, originally created by drathbun (for phpBB2). It’s one of those very original ideas that you’d never think of yourself.
battye: I have always liked Xore’s Cash MOD for phpBB2
A_Jelly_Doughnut, Terrafrost, Paul: Do not have a single favourite MOD.
Q: I would like to know what the MOD Teams plans are for the future of MOD-ding? What do they want to see as far as MODs go? (A_O_C)
Highway of Life: One of our goals we would like to see the MOD Community and the MOD Team become more involved with each other, from improving communication between MOD Authors and the MOD Team, gaining more feedback from the MOD Community, helping MOD Authors become better programmers all around, to more collaboration between MOD Authors, Style Authors, Translators and the MOD Team. We hope to provide tools and utilities to help the phpBB Community better utilise the resources that are here. This would include releasing Blinky and other tools that could be used by Board administrators to install and update MODs. Keeping board owners informed of new MOD updates without the need to visit every single MOD Topic manually to see if that MOD has been updated, and providing more functionality and usability of the MOD Database, and finally making the MOD Validation and Validation Process more transparent to all MOD Authors.
Q: Is anything going to be done about the search function ? When searching for a MOD, it is almost completely useless. I am not new at this, but I have a terrible time finding MODs that I know are in the database. I can go to google and find them on this site, but not using the phpBB search. (Lumpy Burgertushie)
Paul: Try this one for approved MODs: http://www.phpbb.com/mods/db/index.php?i=browse&mode=search For non validated MODs Google works pretty well in most cases to find a MOD on the site. The search from phpBB cant be changed really to search better for MODs.
Highway_of_Life: Yes, among many other changes that will soon come to the MOD Database, one of our major points will be a much improved search functionality.
Q: How could MOD authors make MOD validators jobs easier? Hints, tips and tricks (RMcGirr83)
battye: Most importantly, make sure you have read and are familiar with the coding guidelines for phpBB3. http://area51.phpbb.com/docs/coding-guidelines.html
Before submitting your MOD, it is a good idea to post it in the MODs In Development forum. Most authors do this so users can test the MOD and suggest features or point out bugs in the program, which will make life easier for the MOD Team when it comes to validating your MOD.
Once you think your MOD is ready for submission, there is an interactive validation checklist which you can fill out at http://www.phpbb.com/mods/validator/checklist.php – completing this list is an easy way to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Be sure to run your MOD through the MOD Pre Validator (MPV) available on this page, http://www.phpbb.com/mods/mpv/, an online program which will scan your MOD for commonly experienced mistakes.
Q: What does “EoM” mean at the end of modification-files?
battye: End of modification.