I certainly didn't go the pretty URL route for search engine reasons, but somewhere in the transition from phpBB and ugly URLs to punBB and pretty URLs, Google started loving our forums. I'll even find our forums in the search results for random personal searches I do, and that never used to happen. I suppose you could also attribute it to the better XHTML markup of the pages, but something tells me page validity can't be weighted that much. Maybe search engines do like the pretty URLs. <shrug>

No real proof, but we've definitely noticed an increase in spammers since moving to the pretty URLs.

Err, nope. There's still only one moderator group. This mod merely allows members of that group to moderate any forum. They can still be assigned to a specific forum, but that means little more than a name tag.

Hooray. Nearly identical to my setup. It has to be good. wink

As for the CSS issues, the base tag is what you need. In my case, I just put the full URL in there, and that makes things work nicely, but it adds far more dependance on the URL of the site being correct than you may want. But doing something with that tag should alleviate your problems.

The only other thing you might want to do is make all of those [NC, L] rather than just [L]. So everything is case insensitive and whatnot, but that's not a huge deal.

I'm also not quite sure RewriteBase is necessary, but I've never been able to figure out it's use.

/feed/atom vs /atom. I like /atom. Structurally it make sense, so feed seems a tad superfluous.

Ditto. While its no more secure over the network, it is more secure to prying eyes. I have to do a quick look over my shoulders to make sure nobody's stalking me. Plus, if I were pimping PunBB and wanted to show somebody just how easy it was to install, that would involve them seeing my database password. Okay, so that hasn't happened yet, but maybe if it were password protected, more pimping would occur. wink

It's not a huge deal one way or the other, it just took me slightly off guard the first time, to see my password out in the open like that.

Yes, you can still assign specific moderators to specific forums for looks and ownership (in our case each moderator still has their own assigned forums, we just want other moderators to be able to nab any naughtiness if the assigned mod isn't around at the time). This just adds a toggle switch to the moderator group's permissions to allow anyone belonging to the group to have moderation privileges anywhere in the forums.

##        Mod title:  Global Moderation
##      Mod version:  1.0
##   Works on PunBB:  1.2, 1.2.1
##     Release date:  2005-02-08
##           Author:  Nick Muerdter (spam@nickm.org)
##      Description:  This mod gives moderators permission to moderate in any
##                    forum, not just the specific forums that they belong to.
##   Affected files:  admin_groups.php
##                    delete.php
##                    edit.php
##                    moderate.php
##                    post.php
##                    viewforum.php
##                    viewtopic.php
##       Affects DB:  Yes
##       DISCLAIMER:  Please note that "mods" are not officially supported by
##                    PunBB. Installation of this modification is done at your
##                    own risk. Backup your forum database and any and all
##                    applicable files before proceeding.

Download: http://www.punres.org/desc.php?pid=51

This mod may be useful in forums where you want your (large) group of moderators to have moderation privileges in every forum without having to assign them to each forum.

Yeah, I'm not entirely convinced that these URLs are really more friendly to search engines, but they sure look pretty. I think retro is in and every just loves the old straight up HTML feel. Or something like that.

My main complaint with pretty URLs is that a long list of parameters either become messy or make no sense. Take the searching in punBB for example. Things become more clean since everything is handled through a search id, but if it weren't for that, you're presented with a URL like this:

http://www.macaddict.com/forums/search. … rch=Submit

How in the world do you make that clean? You either do things like "search/action/search/keywords/GUI", but that doesn't really make sense, since these aren't in any way "subdirectories." The other solution is something like this "search/search/GUI", but that requires each parameter always be passed in in the same order, and it still doesn't really make semantic sense. And then what if you want a new parameter thrown somewhere in there? You end up ruining the order of everything else, and killing these supposedly "permanent" URLs.

I think permanency is the main draw draw of these URLs. Well, that and sexiness. wink If you happen to switch systems down the road, the transition is far more transparent, if you already have a good URL system setup. Then you just make your new system behave as your old one did, and no messy redirects between something stupid like viewtopic.php and topic.php. You set your original URLs up in such a generic manner that it should be extensible to any system down the road.

Now of course, if you really want to get with the cool crowd, the urls aren't supposed to have numerical ids in them, but rather textual handles. But it can't just be based on the subject title, since that can be edited, it has to be a non-editable field. But at some point, it just becomes insane. It's manageable on personal web sites or largely static sites, but this whole business gets infinitely more messy when thrown into the dynamic world.

Despite all my bashing, I do like them, and wouldn't mind seeing a filter function in future releases. Maybe not all URLs would be rewritten, but the basics like topics, posts, forums, etc. It sure beats what I did at MacAddict. It involves a PHP shell script that performs a search and replace on all the files based on some crazy parameters. It's not pretty, but it works... for the most part.

As for which method, I haven't looked at either in great detail, but they both seem to do pretty much the same thing. Rickard's via arrays, Shawn's via strings. To me arrays are always cleaner and therefor preferable, but that's just me and my fetish for arrays.

That sounds like a fine plan. It's not like this compromises the server and I'm doubting most instance of PunBB have private forums discussing matters of national security. We just tend to be overly protective of the mystery that surrounds the Mod Squad at MacAddict. Apple's love for mystery must have rubbed off on us. wink

Oh, and you should setup some sort of protocol for reporting potential security issues. wink Does Trac have any features like that?

It might also be good to make an announcement for the fix, since this is a fairly glaring security bug. Or maybe we're just too protective over the privacy of our mod hideout at MacAddict. Now we will always wonder just how much Miles knows. tongue

It appears that when you're searching by posts and a specific forum is not selected, the group permissions never get checked.

Line 300 needs to be changed from:

else if ($forum_sql != '')

To simply:


I'm pretty sure this is the intended behavior, that forum_sql stuff just snuck in there.


(26 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 bug reports)

Yeah, well that's what you get for using a crappy browser. wink

And don't mind their criticism too much. They're just in a bad mood because things have changed. I like our work, so that's all that matters. tongue


(26 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 bug reports)

It may be a tad heavier, but it seems very extensible to me. Granted, I haven't really messed with any HTML yet, but what roo and company have been able to do is pretty impressive with the same source. How I'm glad I don't have to maintain three different HTML sources now. smile But I'll let you designers bicker over the semantics.

Rickard: Regarding polls/PMs/whatever else. I trust your judgment, but I don't want to see punBB bloatified, simply at a slower rate. Polls seem completely superfluous to me. Who needs them? Yeah, we might end up adding them to MacAddict, but only because we have such demanding users opposed to change. I'm all about change. I think more people will agree that polls are unnecessary, but when it comes to PMs, things get more divided (at least among us before we converted). E-mail is everything PMs should be, but better. And I love PunBB's contact form. I always thought PMs were a nice way to keep your e-mail address hidden from spam bots, but allow communication, and the contact form solves that nicely. However, the biggest argument I heard for PMs were the fact that some people check their e-mail less often then the forums. So if you see a buddy online, you can shoot a PM to them and catch them. But if they're not checking their e-mail, under PunBB that contact is lost. I check my e-mail every minute (yeah, don't laugh), so that's not really an issue for me. And in my eyes if you want instant communication, hop on AIM. I can't tell you how refreshing it was to get an e-mail with content in my box, and then carry out the rest of my conversation via e-mail rather than a cumbersome forum interface.

So hold strong, I say! I know your under pressure for those features in particular, but I'm still trying to convince everyone they're unneeded. If you want them, a mod would be nice, maybe even pimp that mod on the download/features page to bring more people in that might be turned off by the no PMs/polls. But I think a lot of your users enjoy the lack of these features (I just converted a much smaller phpBB forum to punBB, and the administrator couldn't be happier), but are far less vocal about it.

I have a feeling I'm making little sense, but that's my take on it. So, fight the man! wink


(26 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 bug reports)

Yarg. Roo be to quick for me.


(26 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 bug reports)

Yeah, I'm trying to sort out the DB error stuff. Something with my ad rotator stuff. Stupid ads. However, not being able to register isn't good. Hopefully I'll be able to fix that quickly.

Paul: the user "roo" here is the one who mostly created it. He was requesting some changes in the HTML structure anyway, so could contact him to see what he has to say. Who knows, maybe he'd love the new changes. Or hate you forever for making him do more work. wink

Oh, database issues are fixed me thinks, so you should be able to register away.


(26 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 bug reports)

Ah, very interesting. I thought I looked at the default database schema and saw no indexes there either. But I guess I was hardly paying very good attention at 1 AM with the server going kaput like that. Thanks for the info, though, that's what I get for going with a beta converter for a production site. We like to live on the wild side. I'll go through tonight and make sure I indexed all the proper columns.

Oh, and here's the obligitory thank you for such great forum software. But really. It fulfills my ideals of forum software nearly perfectly. What's so strange is that nearly every mod that I had personally developed for phpBB was already apart of punBB. That means your brilliant. tongue

As for PMs, polls and BBCode/smiley buttons, don't let the regulars get to you. Their just resistant to change, and personally I would like to keep our forums sans-those-features. In likelihood, we'll probably cave into a few features, but in my ideal world, punBB remains free of those features with mods available for those that need them. But that's just my take on it. Your free to do whatever you want.

Connor: Already submitted to the big list. Yeah, I like measuring wangs.

Dr.Jeckyl: Yeah, I'm lazy and went for the redirect route. I'll eventually convert all those links, but mainly just wanted to get everything converted this weekend. But thanks for the heads up.

And you guys should also check out the MaxAttack theme developed by a few mods/ex-mods there. It's a shining example of why CSS rocks. Just don't be afraid of Max. wink

But this is hardly a bug report anymore. Ah, well...


(26 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 bug reports)

We've just switched the MacAddict Forums from phpBB to punbb. I've been eyeing PunBB for quite some time now, but first had to wait for 1.2 to be released, and then I had to get my act together. In any case, I hacked my way through the conversion this evening. We weigh in at over 700,000 posts, so I think we win the PunBB wang measuring contest. wink It would have been somewhere around 1.4 million to give you guys a real post count boost, but we lost all of 2003's post in a server crash (same week as you guys went down. Except we didn't have backups. Whoops.).

So anyway, after converting, I unveiled the new forums, and its processor usage instantly spiked to around 180%. And here I thought PunBB was going to be king of efficiency. tongue I could restart the server, and instantly it was crippled within a minute to the point of non-usability. After trying to figure out just what was going on, signs finally pointed to the viewtopic page. Upon closer inspection, I soon discovered, that essentially nothing besides the primary columns are indexed in the tables. It was absolutely killing performance on pretty much any JOIN or WHERE clause. After adding a few indexes here and there, performance is awesome, although I'm still going to do a more detailed lookthrough whenever I get the time.

Anyway, just wondering if there was any reason for this / making you guys aware.


(54 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 discussion)

I've been fairly happy with Lunarpages for el cheapo hosting. And they even have public forums where most people seem happy. tongue It's nothing spectacular, but lots of space for a cheap price. However, TextDrive is looking like a mighty nice alternative. Less space and bandwidth for a greater price, but they make up for it in features. It's not like I use my current space or bandwidth as it is. SSH access on a cheap host? Yay. I might just switch after my current year a lunarpages runs out.


(30 replies, posted in General discussion)

Versioning is the real killer. Especially if you want something free. This past summer, I had to implement something similar using Plone. We eventually found a way to version content with plone, and I can dig around if you'd like, but I can't say I recommend Plone. A summer spent wrangling with Plone and Zope made me a non-fan.

I'm actually working on my own PHP/MySQL CMS right now, and I've implemented a full blown versioning and permissions system, but finishing things out is taking forever. This has been an ongoing personal project, almost reaching year 3. As soon as I get things to an almost usable state, I end up tearing it all down and rebuilding. I'm bad about that. wink I've actually been quite happy with the current direction of the CMS for quite some time now, it's just finding time to finish things out, and build some basic modules for content.

I'd like to say I could finish things up sometime soon, but I just know that won't happen. I think your best bet is a pay-for CMS. Free CMSes generally suck. That's why I'm having my go at it, because, you know, I'll solve everything. wink