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Q&A with the MOD Team

Posted by battye in Uncategorized on November 29th, 2008

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.

16 Responses to “Q&A with the MOD Team”

Posted by Khamosh-saya on November 30th, 2008 at 1:11 pm:

I Want to Know that why phpbb will take some serious action on Mod Request?

Bcz i have seen that all mod author and develpment team support team will work on what he want they never much interest on Mod Request…
sorry to say but its mine personal Experiance…

Posted by damsprivate on December 2nd, 2008 at 11:12 am:

hmm i wish Blinky will be soon out for public. not in the SVN :)

Posted by Andreas on December 2nd, 2008 at 4:25 pm:

Heh, i like the last one! :)

Posted by Dog Cow on December 2nd, 2008 at 9:57 pm:

I’ll be honest: this Q&A didn’t yield much interesting/exciting information. Probably due to bad questions, most of which are quite static: have been repeated many times before, or are part of the “phpBB Rules”.

(Well, then, Dog Cow, you should have asked a question!)

Posted by Damien on December 3rd, 2008 at 10:17 pm:

I really liked the questions and answers. I’ve seen phpbb grow sooooooo much in only the last year or two, and its amazing to me. I’m very new to php and even administrating a board, but i’ve had alot of fun learning from mod authors, and phpbb development, just reading what you guys and gals write is exciting for me, you all do a great job and i’m very happy to be part of phpbb and the growing open source project. one day i vision a mod download, that you can upload to your server as a rar or zip and simply goto acp click the add mod tab, and select it from the list, and watch it install without error as long as the phpbb version is up to date and the mod is up to date with the version used, wouldnt that be cool?! one day….one day! ;)

Posted by A_O_C on December 7th, 2008 at 6:47 am:

one day i vision a mod download, that you can upload to your server as a rar or zip and simply goto acp click the add mod tab, and select it from the list, and watch it install without error as long as the phpbb version is up to date and the mod is up to date with the version used.

what do you think AutoMOD (a.k.a. Blinky) is aiming to be? the only difference is you upload a folder, not a rar / zip file. :lol:

Posted by Ger on December 8th, 2008 at 9:27 am:

@Khamosh-saya: MOD requests aren’t meant as official requests for the MOD team, as stated in the forum discription:
[i](note: phpBB does not have official MOD-Authors, as such, phpBB is not responsible for developing your requested MOD)[/i]

Posted by Highway of Life on December 9th, 2008 at 7:13 am:

Khamosh-saya wrote:
I Want to Know that why phpbb will take some serious action on Mod Request?

Ger answered this question already, so I am only giving an extended reply from the MOD Team.

The phpBB Teams do not do anything with MOD Requests, they are there solely for the benefit of users and MOD Authors, for MOD Authors trying to decide what MOD to create, they can go through the MOD Requests and see if there is a consistent requested MOD. Sometimes users find their answers with existing MODs when they post in the MOD Requests. But the MOD Team does not do anything with MOD Requests and has no plans to do so.

@Dog Cow, so… where are your questions? :P

Posted by Egypt Write Team on December 9th, 2008 at 11:55 pm:

well, great work guys :) but we manage writing contest monthly with financial prizes, and we rely on polls system, but for the first use, its really disappointed, contest admins can’t see who voted or make rules on who vote based on rank or posts, I think you should take another look at the polls system in general cause sure its needed for any contests forums.
thanks.

Posted by Esmond Poynton on December 11th, 2008 at 2:37 pm:

HoL -> http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=1278405&p=7683955#p7683955 contained some interesting questions or so I thought.

One of A_O_C questions covered one question a bit, but the rest would be great to hear.

Posted by poyntesm on December 12th, 2008 at 9:32 pm:

I thought I asked some good questions @ http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopic.php?p=7683955#p7683955 , one part was sort or answered by A_O_C question but the rest I think were valid

Posted by IPlasma on December 19th, 2008 at 7:01 pm:

According the ‘EoM’ is only for text install files in phpBB2, after 12/31 it would be better to erase that last comment for not confusing users =)

Posted by Eric Martindale on December 30th, 2008 at 2:39 pm:

Hey, it’s been a while since we’ve seen any posts on this blog! Any idea when the next post is coming?

Posted by Linas Van on January 5th, 2009 at 8:41 pm:

I hope soon, cause I also want to read new blog post :) Thank yo for this Q&A

Posted by Bob Zell on January 26th, 2009 at 10:53 pm:

Our web page administrator has informed me that I cannot access our Home Owners Association Web pare because I have an AOL email address. The Web Page design uses php software and he claims that AOL blocks me from registering with my email address which is : ‘email address removed : by ChrisRLG’. I can’t imaging that this is true. I have tried registering with both my PC and Laptop with no success. Please advise.

Thank you, Bob Zell

Posted by ChrisRLG on January 28th, 2009 at 11:17 am:

Bob Zell : The control of what is blocked on any phpBB3 forum is down to the admins, the software does not block anything by itself.

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