phpBB Weekly #076: Live from the MOD Authors Convention

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Episode Duration: 1:27:33
On This Episode: Douglas Bell (Fountain of Apples), David Lewis (Highway of Life), and Paul Sohier (Paul)

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The news media is busy traveling from one convention in Denver to another in St. Paul, and that means that they’re all ignoring the most important convention of all: the 2008 phpBB MOD Authors Convention! Well, we didn’t, and our panel of experts (Douglas, David, and Paul) report live from the MOD Authors Convention, providing their analysis of the events and presentations of the convention, as well as wondering why the MOD team didn’t nominate someone to run for president.

Anyway, we did discuss the various sessions at the MOD Authors Convention and talk about some of the highlights that were discussed. For example, in the “future of MODding” session, there was a certain amount of discussion about the possibility of introducing “Junior Validators” into the validation process. If this went forward, this would be like allowing certain users to be able to participate in the “testing” phase of validation, but not the line-by-line/security/etc. phases, and could also serve as a way for the MOD team to evaluate possible new additions to the team.

We also recapped the announcement that Paul hinted about last week, which was that the MOD team’s MOD pre-validator (MPV) tool is now publicly available. We discuss MPV in detail, including how it works and how it compares to the previous mEAL tool that was chiefly written by David Smith (smithy_dll).

There was also discussion at the convention about the phpBB Wiki (which was formally announced towards the end of the day), which will serve as the primary source of development, MODding, and (possibly) styling documentation for phpBB, and like all wikis will be user-contributable. We talked a bit more about the Wiki and how the MOD team’s goal of streamlining its documentation (we’ve talked about this a few times recently) ties into this new announcement.

And of course, this episode took place during the second “phpBB3 MODding & Best Practices” session, which was supposed to be David’s session, except he kinda played hooky from that so he could join in on this episode. However, he does summarize the main points from his session for us, answers a few questions from us, and fields requests from our chat room and from the #phpbb-mod channel to publish his session as a book.

Additional links mentioned in this episode:
Wiki article: Creating Modules for phpBB3
Wiki article: Adding Modules to phpBB3

And finally, we ran out of time to mention it on this episode, but you should really check out the recent blog post on CAPTCHAs in phpBB, which gives a very interesting look at the evolution of phpBB’s CAPTCHA (aka “visual confirmation image”) and some of the inherent problems with CAPTCHAs and other anti-spambot security techniques.

The MOD of the Week is Tabulated Survey at Topic Head by asinshesq, and the Style of the Week is prosilver Special Edition by Styles Robot (or, more accurately, the Styles Team).

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phpBB Weekly #038 Will Come to You Via Skypecasting

Per my last post on Sunday, David and I have decided to test out an episode on a new service from Skype called Skypecasts in the hopes that it will be a more viable and reliable service than TalkShoe. Again, this will primarily be a test, and we will decide after the fact whether we want to permanently move our show to Skype’s new network.

So, if you want to be here on Saturday, what do you need to do? Well, on Saturday, the phpBB Weekly Skypecasts page will have a “Join this Skypecast” link. You will need to have a Skype account and have downloaded the latest version of Skype for this to work.

Skypecasts does not include a chat room, so we will be congregating on in the #phpbb-weekly channel. I will also try to keep my eyes on the Star Trek Guide chatbox as well.

We will not be participating in the TalkShoe Live! chat room, however as a courtesy to our regular TalkShoe streamers, I will try to hook the Skypecasts call in with TalkShoe so that you can listen to the call through TalkShoe’s live stream. Of course, this assumes that TalkShoe cooperates, I’m able to get Skypecasts to connect to the TalkShoe phone number, and I’m only guaranteeing that we will do this for this particular episode.

Also, unless there’s some hidden button or setting that I can’t find until David points me to it, Skypecasts is really nothing more than a public Skype conference call, which means that if you call in, you will be live immediately. Therefore, please make my life so much easier by calling in with headphones in order to prevent echo and background noise, otherwise, I’ll have to stop what I’m saying to scroll through the list and find out who’s making the gossip in order to mute them. I don’t know, if we end up using Skypecasts, we may end up having to hire someone to be an ad hoc call screener. :/

Have any questions about this Saturday’s setup? Leave a note in the comments below or go to the phpBB Weekly forum topic. Also, for those of you who do participate in the show live, we will be asking you to post your feedback in the phpBB Weekly forum (with a feedback link to be announced during the show) to help us decide if we want to make the switch.

Again, thank you for working with us as we evaluate this transition. Going through these growing pains now will help us make phpBB Weekly a better show in the future.

Update 11/10: The link above has been updated, and the old link is no longer valid. Please note the new link.

Written by Douglas Bell in: Show Info | Tags: , , , , , , ,

phpBB Weekly #022

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Episode Duration: 53:41
On This Episode: Douglas Bell (Fountain of Apples) and David Lewis (Highway of Life)

A sarcastic thanks to a couple of phpBB team members (who shall be nameless) for correcting my mistake: #phpbb-mod is “hash phpbb-mod”, not “pound phpbb-mod”, even though most people in the US of A call it a “pound” and the rest of the world calls it a “hash”. From now on, I’m just calling it a “number sign”. *rolls eyes*

phpBB3 RC-2 has been released! The changelog for this release includes a whopping 113 fixes and changes. Plus, for the first time, upgrading with the built-in auto-updater is officially supported! Douglas tried out the auto-updater this morning, and sings its praises (as well as explaining how it works).

The GNU General Public License version 3 is final, but according to Meik “AcydBurn” Sievertsen, don’t expect phpBB to be using the new version. Douglas talks a bit about what this means, and also what it means in terms of licensing MODs.

It was announced today that submissions to the MOD Database are now open! First impression of the new forms: lots of bugs! However, paul999 has been moving quickly to fix as many bugs as he can today, so hopefully we can give you a better impression next week.

Finally, we talk a bit about the MOD Authors Convention that has been ongoing today, including critiquing it and offering suggestions for how we think it should be run. The convention continues today in #phpbb-mod until 8 PM Eastern time tonight!

The MOD of the Week is Collapsed Categories by Default by Wicher, and the Style of the Week is JM-Ignited by jmignited (view demo).

Finally, a shout out to phpBBCast, thanking them for promoting and covering phpBB Weekly episodes! :)


IRC Channel Now Available, Episode #022 Pre-Show

Hello everyone,

Due to popular demand, and in the hopes of not distracting the topics in phpBB’s IRC channels, I have now setup a #phpbb-weekly IRC channel on This channel is intended for “after-hours” phpBB Weekly discussion, it does not replace the chatroom in TalkShoe during the show. (Besides, wouldn’t it be cooler for you to call in?)

Today, partly for the MOD Authors Convention, we will be having an hour-long pre-show for phpBB Weekly starting in a few minutes. The actual recording doesn’t begin until the normal time, of course. Feel free to join in if you want!

Thanks for listening!
–Douglas Bell

Written by Douglas Bell in: Show Info | Tags: , , ,

phpBB Weekly #021: Guest David Lewis (Highway of Life)

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Episode Duration: 49:44
On This Episode: Douglas Bell (Fountain of Apples) and David Lewis (Highway of Life)

In this episode, Highway of Life joins us to talk about his experience with phpBB3. He talks about how he built his Star Trek Guide Forums off of phpBB3 CVS (which is not recommended, by the way) 😉 , the differences between MODding for phpBB2 and phpBB3, and much more. We had an excellent interview on this episode which is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning more about what’s new in phpBB3, including MOD authors and people who are interested in building a real online community with phpBB3.

In addition, next week is the 2007 MOD Authors Convention in the #phpbb-mod IRC room on Douglas covers what the event will be like, how to participate, and we even come up with some questions to ask there. We will be covering the MOD Authors Convention next weekend on episode #022.

The MOD of the Week is Delete User MOD by ycl6, and the Style of the Week is ExtremeDark Red by GHS (view demo).

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