Welcome to phpBB Weekly!
phpBB Weekly is a weekly podcast that covers phpBB, the world’s most popular free and open-source bulletin board software. The show features in-depth analysis of the latest phpBB news, tutorials on how to use phpBB as a user or administrator and how to use it to build a successful community, highlights of the best MODs and Styles available for phpBB, and exclusive interviews with phpBB team members and other prominent members of the phpBB community.
phpBB Weekly is recorded live on uStream Saturdays at 1:00 PM EDT (1700 UTC). Listeners are invited to listen and chat live when the show airs.
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Click on the Play button in the player below to listen to our live broadcast of phpBB Weekly, happening right now! Also participate in our live chat room below the live player (you must be logged into uStream in order to chat).
phpBB Weekly #162: Best of phpBB Weekly To-Date
Broadcast started on December 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM EDT (0 UTC)
About the Show
phpBB Weekly is a weekly podcast, recorded live every Saturday, that covers phpBB, the world’s most popular free and open-source bulletin board software. The show features in-depth analysis of the latest phpBB news, tutorials on how to use phpBB as a user or administrator and how to use it to build a successful community, highlights of the best MODs and Styles available for phpBB, and exclusive interviews with phpBB team members and other prominent members of the phpBB community. The show is recorded live most Saturdays at 1 PM EDT (1700 UTC), and is released in full-quality podcast form on this website a day or two later.
Although the show is not affiliated or endorsed by the phpBB Group, the show does receive a lot of support from individual phpBB team members, many of whom have made numerous personal appearances on the show. phpBB Weekly has featured exclusive live coverage of a number of phpBB events such as Londonvasion 2008 and OSCONvasion 2009 and has often been one of the first sources for details of breaking phpBB news. For example, phpBB Weekly was the first source where early details of phpBB 3.1 (then-3.2) Ascraeus was announced back in January 2008, and played a major role in providing details of a significant phpBB.com outage in February 2009.
phpBB Weekly seeks to be a podcast that represents the phpBB community. Therefore, we encourage our listeners to become active, by asking questions in our live chat room while we’re broadcasting for us to respond to, by suggesting content that we should cover on the show, and by helping to spread the word about our podcast to other members of the phpBB community. Suggestions for how you can get involved in the phpBB Weekly community are listed in the right-hand sidebar.
About the Hosts
Douglas Bell is a student from San Francisco, CA (USA), currently attending American University in Washington, DC, majoring in Public Communication. He is known on phpBB.com and most other websites as webmacster87. Douglas has actively participated on many forums in the past, has been an administrator/moderator on many forums, and has also written many MODs for phpBB2. His past MODs include such titles as Advanced Version Check and ACP User Registration which have been used and applauded by many phpBB administrators. Douglas was a member of the phpBB MODifications Team during November 2005-August 2006 as a MOD validator. He has lots of experience with phpBB2 and is slowly but surely getting familiar with phpBB3. Douglas is also a semi-active blogger, primarily writing for his personal blog, The Smorgasbord of Douglas Bell.
David Lewis is a Software Engineer from Spokane, WA (USA). He is known on phpBB.com and other phpBB related websites as Highway of Life. David is a full time lead programmer/developer for a Human Resources Enhancement company out of Nashville (Tennessee) that builds web-based software for corporate clients before moving to Spokane in late 2007. Since early 2005, David started working with the new version of phpBB3 (Olympus) and in mid-April of 2006 David co-founded Star Trek Guide along with his brother Francis (known as Handyman on most websites). The site focus quickly turned from Star Trek to strictly programming-oriented and soon became what is now phpBB Academy with the primary focus of assisting and mentoring current and future phpBB MOD Authors to build better, more secure, scalable MODs that strictly adhere to the phpBB3 Coding Guidelines and practices. While David works primarily with the phpBB3 MOD community assisting other Authors, he also has his own collection of almost two dozen phpBB3 MODs that he works on in his spare time. David is a former member of the phpBB MODifications team, serving in July 2007-May 2009. He is now a member of the phpBB QA Team.
Creative Commons License
All episodes and blog posts released on this website are Copyright © 2007-2010 phpBB Weekly, some rights reserved under a Creative Commons License.
phpBB is a trademark of the phpBB Group, used with permission. The phpBB “bod” icon is designed by Tom Beddard, and Copyright phpBB Group used with permission. phpBB Weekly is an independent project and is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the phpBB Group.
All remarks made by any member of the phpBB Group during podcast episodes or in the published chat logs are the opinions of that individual only and do not necessarily represent the views of the phpBB Group unless specifically stated otherwise.
All comments made on this website or in the published chat logs are the property of their respective owner and do not necessarily represent the views of phpBB Weekly or its co-hosts.
Hosting for and management of the phpBB Weekly Podcast forum is graciously provided by StarTrekGuide. All posts and comments made in the phpBB Weekly Podcast forum are governed under the authority and copyright of StarTrekGuide.
The phpBB Weekly website is powered by WordPress, running a modified version of the Aeros/Aerodrome themes by TheBuckmaker. The Mars background used on the website and in the album artwork is by Vlad Gerasimov.
phpBB Weekly #161: So Long, And Thanks For All the (Eric) Fish
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Episode Duration: 1:34:56
On This Episode: Douglas Bell (webmacster87), David Lewis (Highway of Life), and Francis Lewis (Handyman`)
It’s our last live episode of phpBB Weekly, and the last time David and Douglas are on the show as the regular co-hosts before the show goes under new management. However, it was a special episode, not only because almost the entire thing was improvised without planned show notes, but as a great opportunity for recapping Libertyvasion 2010 and offering some parting thoughts to the phpBB project as it continues moving into the future.
We start by looking at how we can help make MODding eaiser by offering suggestions to the teams on where to implement hooks in phpBB 3.1 Ascraeus.
Douglas also recaps some of the presentations from Libertyvasion, noting some of the plans and discussions relating to the future of phpBB development-particularly concerning phpBB4′s integration with Symfony 2–and recapping presentations about the proliferation of the MOD Team Tools, and looking at the improvements coming to the automatic MOD installer to be included with phpBB 3.1.
We also congratulate Yuriy and Patrick on their promotions to Operations Manager and Support Team Leader, respectively, and Douglas notes that Rich McGirr (RMcGirr83) was also given a surprise promotion to full MOD Team Member. Some other promotions that were neglected on the episode include the additions of Igor Wiedler (eviL<3) to the Developer Team and Christian Bullock (Christian 2.0) to the Support Team, along with a number of other new team members throughout the teams.
Then, Douglas and David pull back and reflect on how phpBB Weekly started and grew–against all odds–to the institution that it is today. We reflect back on some of our more memorable episodes — some of the ones mentioned are our BBGourmet April Fools episode, our first interview with Patrick O’Keefe, and the one where the teams taunted Douglas about the phpBB3 Gold release.
Then, David and Francis give us one last little chunk of podcast acting, as they take us all the way to England, where a man tries to get a license for his fish named Eric.
Finally, we close with our MOD and Style of the Week. We congratulate the winners of the Summer of MODs contest by making both of the winning MODs our MODs of the Week: Precise Similar Topics II by VSE, and Thanks for posts (ratings edition) by [WordPress is unable to display his username properly]. And for the Style of the Week, we honor Christian’s victory in the Libertyvasion T-Shirt Contest by making the Style of the Week Absolution by Christian 2.0.
We all want to thank everyone who has followed phpBB Weekly for all these years; it’s been a fun ride. We’re looking forward to seeing how the podcast continues to grow and evolve when Phil and Sam take over the show, and wish them lots of luck and lots of fun!
phpBB Weekly #160: Live from Libertyvasion 2010
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Episode Duration: 52:58
Panel Moderators: Steve Atkinson (stevemaury / Support Team) and Douglas Bell (webmacster87)
Panel Members: David Colón (DavidIQ / MOD Team), Will Hough (will_hough / Moderator Team), Raimon Meuldijk (Raimon / Styles Team), Yuriy Rusko (Marshalrusty / Management Team & Support Team), and Josh Woody (A_Jelly_Doughnut / Developer Team)
This special episode of phpBB Weekly is the recording of the phpBB Team Discussion Panel session which took place during Libertyvasion 2010 in New York City on Saturday, August 21. Support Team member Steve Atkinson moderated the panel, while Douglas Bell coordinated the questions asked from the audience and from phpBB Weekly’s special Libertyvasion channel (#phpbb-libertyvasion on irc.freenode.net) to make this an incredibly informative session covering a wide range of topics.
All six teams were represented on this panel, and the members weighed their input topics including how quick reply made it into phpBB3, how phpBB “competes” with other bulletin boards and social media, what it’s like to work with such a wide age-range of team members, how plans for phpBB4 will affect phpBB, how each of the members got involved in the first place, and much more.
Enjoy this great discussion panel, and plan to join us for our final live phpBB Weekly episode this Saturday for a complete Libertyvasion 2010 recap!
[Libertyvasion] Building Your Community
Session: Building Your Community by Libertyvasion 2010.
This presentation is more focused on your community, though it’s not a be-all end-all, there’ll be a Q&A discussion at the end.
It’s important to know why you are creating your forum. What services and benefits is it going to provide? What will people get out of your forum? Just saying “I WANT A FORUM!” is the wrong answer. How will your site be different? Who do you want to attract? Why would they come to you? How will people find your site? (Google will not magically drive people to your site.)
Don’t spam your site! People will ignore it and delete it, except for spambots, who will immediately come to your site.
Use signatures and website fields to promote your site. Buy ads (if appropriate) to drive people to your site. However, note that targeted campaigns will go much farther than blanket ones. Bringing new users to your site is the hardest part of getting your new community off the ground.
How will your board be organized? Don’t start with dozens and dozens of forums. Are there any legal issues with your site? How many people do you expect? How do you plan on expanding?
Most importantly: Why are people going to stay? Your site needs to have content and a reason for people to stay, or people will drift away to other sites. Your site will be a failure unless you can answer all of these questions.
Once you’ve established your site, some tips:
* Moderation — There is no one-size fits all approach to moderation. You do need to prepare rules, but be flexible in how you enforce them. Don’t hide what you expect out of users. (On phpBB.com, every page links to the rules page.) Make sure that your users know the rules. Know how to handle various situations; you will encounter all kinds of situations on your board, including: spam, competitor advertisements, profanity, flame wars, forum games, obnoxious avatars/signatures, banned users coming back, criticism of your site, escalating complaints (& chain of command for dealing with appeals), legal threats/action, and plenty of others.
The phpBB.com Moderator Team has an internal 24-page guide for handling situations, and a private forum for communicating on how to handle situations and ensure problems are being handled fairly or consistently.
Open mic offering suggestions of other issues to be aware of. Mentioned were the “holy trinity of flame topics”: politics, religion, and web browsers. Be aware of local laws that apply to your board, i.e. the COPPA in the United States.
Question asked — isn’t it all just common sense? It is, but there are lots of people that don’t do the right thing for what’s best for the community.
When you’re building your site, think about what your community wants, what it needs, and what can help it grow. Don’t install 55 MODs on a site that has only 5 members, where’s the value there?
[Libertyvasion] Titania: The Customization Database
Session: Titania: The Customization Database by Nathan Guse and Tom Catullo
Date/Time: Saturday 8/21 at 4:30-4:55 PM
This post contains my rough crib-notes from this presentation at Libertyvasion 2010. The post has not been proof-read for spelling, grammar, or accuracy.
The Customization Database is an application that has been in use since the retirement of Ariel (the previous MODs/Styles Database), and Titania now handles more than just MODs and Styles and has many more features.
Titania improved searching contributions greatly over Ariel, makes category listings more prominent, easier to access and navigate. Now offers screenshots and demo links more prominently, and for non-styles as well. Titania also makes previous revisions available to the public for download. Much more prominent Download button.
For authors, contributions can now contain more information (screenshots, co-authors, demo URL, etc.) and allows for updating/editing this information for the contributions. Each contribution now has its own Support and FAQ sections, and support topics are propagated to a single location for authors. No longer necessary to cram all support into a single topic within the MODs or Styles Releases forum.
Titania also brings automation to the MOD revision process, including automatic checks by the MPV (MOD pre-validator) and AutoMOD. Author can immediately see the result and make fixes immediately without waiting for validation.
Titania is very maintainable. The code is object-oriented and generally contained in classes, and is built to integrate seamlessly with a phpBB installation. Titania makes use of a similar hooks system that phpBB has. Requires no edits in phpBB to install it, despite its size.
Unlike Ariel, Titania’s code is not directly integrated with phpBB.com but is its own application. It has been released on Code Forge so that International Support Teams can use it on their own websites rather than having to build their own.
Titania uses its own system to provide the individual support forums for contributions, and is completely standalone, although it does take advantage of phpBB APIs where necessary.
[Libertyvasion] Automatic MOD Installation: Then and Now
Session: Automatic MOD Installation: Then and Now by Josh Woody
Date/Time: Saturday 8/21 at 2:20-2:50 PM
This post contains my rough crib-notes from this presentation at Libertyvasion 2010. The post has not been proof-read for spelling, grammar, or accuracy.
Josh will be talking about the history of automatic MOD installation (not just pertaining to phpBB), up to what’s coming in 3.1.
GNU diff/patch is “older than a wild Yuriy (1970s)” and powers the automatic updater. Diff/patch is well-supported in the *nix world, but not-so-well supported in the Win32 world.
In phpBB, GNU diff/patch is completely functional, but misses several items that MODs use, such as metadata, new file copies are more difficult, and “do it yourself” non-file change instructions. It’s not easy to process by hand.
EasyMOD was 2002-03, the granddaddy of this for phpBB3. Originally written by Nuttzy99, later picked up by Jim (TerraFrost). Performed MOD file changes well, but that’s about it. Couldn’t handle custom styles or translations. Josh steps us through a sample MOD install of Nils’ April Fools MOD for phpBB2 using EasyMOD 0.4.0 beta.
No options to speak of in EasyMOD, most support questions revolved around initial setup, especially permissions.
The MODX transition began because the Text Template limited what EasyMOD could do. It was a verbose patch with some metadata, didn’t work well with translations and multiple styles, etc. MODX allowed the new AutoMOD features to exist (just not always in an obvious or friendly fashion, or equitably). Now Josh steps through a sample MOD installation with AutoMOD 1.0.0 — noxwizard’s EasyPortal for phpBB3. Still has some issues that are not intuitive.
The Ascraeus MOD installer has the following priorities: Fix the user interface, address the inequities (things you can’t do with AutoMOD though supported by MODX), and make the code more flexible. No screenshots yet because the UI isn’t available yet, so far only backend work has been done.
The new MOD installer will move closer to a wizard interface, and give the user all relevant prompts before installing the MOD. Demonstrates the process of installing “RMcGirr83′s Beer MOD”. First get to tell AutoMOD how to process styles, how to process languages, if this is an upgrade to an existing MOD or not, and then start the install.
Question: Will phpBB 3.1 will be supporting a language fallback? For example, if new English strings are added that don’t exist in German, will phpBB fall back to showing the English strings by itself? Answer is no, not feasible at this time because of how the language files are implemented. Not feasible to calculate whether or not to fallback on a string-by-string basis.
Will phpBB interface with phpBB.com and the customization database? Answer is maybe, but only if the feature can be completed in time for the Ascraeus release.