On behalf of the phpBB Team, I am proud to announce the formation of the Extensions Development Team!
With the release of 3.1, phpBB will leap into the new era of drop-in plugins that we have desired for so long. In an effort to maximize the benefits of this change, we are further looking to bridge the gap between the users of phpBB and the developer community.
Due to the great diversity of customisations requested by our userbase and the relatively limited resources available, we have always heavily relied on independent MOD authors, one of the most valued portions of our community, to populate and support our extensive MOD database. The Extensions Development Team will lower the learning curve for developers to get involved with the phpBB project by supporting their efforts and guiding them toward the successful release of extensions. The team will likewise produce and maintain officially-supported extensions.
The team was formed several months ago and began the process of initial setup and planning. The team is likewise working on “Board Rules”, the first official extension which will provide administrators with the ability to setup and configure a page of rules for the overall board or website.
You may have seen that a [3.1.x] Extensions in Development forum has been created on phpBB.com. In this forum you will find further information about the current status and plans of this Board Rules extension.
We will look at popular MODs and MOD requests for phpBB 3.0 as well as the phpBB Ideas list to identify which extension ideas should be prioritized. We are looking forward to producing some fantastic extensions in the future and helping our community members build some fantastic extensions of their own!
In an effort to increase our connections with the community at large, the phpBB Teams are glad to announce the creation of our newest community effort – a series of question and answer sessions entitled “Meet The Team”. This series is focused on helping you, the end user, learn a bit more about us, the programmers, supporters, moderators, and designers that help keep phpBB.com running smoothly and phpBB the most popular free bulletin board on the internet.
This series, with regular updates (depending on team member and question availability), will focus on asking team members the questions you want to know about them. These questions should not be directly phpBB-related (when does the next version of phpBB come out, etc.), but should instead be on a more personal note (what is your favourite ice cream flavour, favourite movie, most recent thing you purchases, etc.). We will try to answer every question you ask us, provided they have some genuine reasoning behind them, are not overly invasive of privacy, and that they are not directly phpBB-related (as above).
If you wish to contribute to the questions for the first portion of this series, please visit this phpBB Discussion topic. While you’re there, feel free to look over previously-asked questions and second them if you too would like to see them answered. Upon the completion of each portion of the series, a new topic will be posted to gather further questions for the next portion.
Thank you for your interest in getting to know the phpBB Teams — we hope to let you know a bit more about ourselves soon!
Thank you to everyone that submitted a question to the MOD Team! Here are our favourite questions, with the answers attached below:
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Whether you have just opened your forum or whether you have an established community, the thought has probably crossed your mind at one point or another of opening the board to guest posters.
Obviously there can be no definitive right or wrong answer for everyone, but for most people the simple answer is “don’t do it”.
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When I was more active in the support forums, it seemed like phpBB users were primarily made up of teenagers looking to set up their first dynamic website on Lycos or other free hosts — there were even knowledge base articles on how to make phpBB2 work on those hosts.
I had thought of OSS projects as the domain of teenagers and college students. A hobby people give up for full-time jobs later in life. So I was a bit surprised when I asked NeoThermic, keeper all statistics and Support Team Leader, the average age of a phpBB Team member. It is about 28.4 years (with a very large standard deviation of eleven and three quarters). This could be due to a relatively low churn rate. Many team members have been with us for many years.
But, it seems to me that phpBB’s audience is aging as well. It is less common to see someone trying to set phpBB up on a free web host.
I’m not saying this is a good or a bad phenomenon. I do think a board is better off when it is operated by a dedicated administrator with resources at his or her disposal. Resources pay for high quality hosting, for instance.
However, I’m not sure this is unique to phpBB. Many of the contributors to other large OSS projects like phpMyAdmin have been doing so for many years. But I’m curious whether anyone else has noticed the maturing of the people who contribute to open source projects.
I believe that Joomla! has noticed, because they are recruiting students. Google has done the same, with their Summer of Code the past several years.