(3 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 discussion)

Pardon my ignorance smile but what does the minmax.js in /style/imports do?

Is it necessary to keep it in a [secure] punBB install?

Thanks for any info.


(68 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 discussion)

The only reason I'd consider removing the copyright and/or 'Powered by punBB' is for 'security by obscurity' reasons.

I used to run a Mambo CMS site and had the usual 'Powered by Mambo' etc attribution down the bottom for quite a while. Unfortunately, I had to deal with quite a few pests running Mambo-specific hack attempts against the site. Some of them almost killed the site. It was a pain.

I got rid of the Mambo attribution, never used any Mambo default themes, set up SEF URLs, etc. By implementing these disguises (and a range of other protections) life got a lot easier. Potential attackers now couldn't easily identify which tools/vectors to use against the site.

I know 'security by obscurity' is not a good defence against a determined attacker, but for casual attackers it can be effective, at least as one of your defence layers.

I am still evaluating punBB for use in a new site I am developing, but so far punBB seems to have a smaller 'surface area' for attack than a bloated nightmare like Mambo, so this may not be a useful step to take with punBB, I concede. But I am inclined to always keep this approach as a security option.

Add my vote for a 'Subscribe to this forum' option, so that users may get an email once new topics or posts are added to a forum, to be part of punBB's core code.

Subscribing to a specific topic alone is useful, but subscribing to a forum is extra useful.

For example, my current web host has a support forum (using vBulletin) that has an 'Announcements' forum, where all sysadmin/ downtime/ maintenance tasks etc posts are made. All hosting customers are encouraged to subscribe to this forum to stay up to date, via email, with what is happening with the hosts servers. Very handy.

punBB can't do this, alas, in the absence of a 'subscribe to this forum' type feature. I know there are mods under development, and other ways to do this via RSS or other services, but it would be simplest and best if this was just a built-in feature in v1.3 smile

Email subscription is more useful than RSS options too, at least for me.

The ability to sort the presentation of topics within a forum alphabetically certainly could be useful.

I could think of a dozen ways to use that, where you want the focus to be essentially the title or subject of the topics, not when the topic was added.

It would also be good if this option then applied to sticky topics too.

Within a topic you'd keep last-to-first or first-to-last chronological sorting though. That would make sense.

Hi - a tiny 'bug' in 1.2.11.

When a user logs in, then goes to:

>Profile > Display

and then uses the drop-down selection box to select a new template to apply against the forum, the template entries are not sorted in proper English alphabetical order. At least on my system.

The problem is that the sort order is sensitive to the initial capitalisation of the template name.

Which means that, for example, templates are listed as:

phpbb blue

with the templates with lower-case names listed last.

The correct way to sort them (I think) would be to ignore the case of the initial letter, and just sort alphabetically, viz:

phpbb blue

I think that makes more sense.


Paul wrote:

Since custom templates can now be used the end user can change the doctype for a particular style to whatever they wish. Since the markup is valid xhtml 1.0 strict an html 4.01 Strict doctype should also work without difficulty.

Aha. If there is nothing in the PHP guts of Pun that gets in the way of that, that's cool then. Thanks for the info.

Just something to think about:

Ian Hickson, a member of the Mozilla.org Browser Standards Compliance QA team and an invited expert in the W3C CSS Working Group, explains why XHTML should not be sent as text/html: http://hixie.ch/advocacy/xhtml


A number of problems resulting from the use of the text/html MIME type
in conjunction with XHTML content are discussed. It is suggested that
XHTML delivered as text/html is broken and XHTML delivered as text/xml
is risky, so authors intending their work for public consumption
should stick to HTML 4.01, and authors who wish to use XHTML should
deliver their markup as application/xhtml+xml.

Another simple feature request.

It would be good to hard code into main.tpl (and/or index.php etc and the pun CSS)

<a name="top"></a>

just below the top <body> tag, and something like

<p align="center"><a title="Return to top of page" href="#top">Top</a></p>

inserted into main.tpl just after the <pun_footer> tag.

Or you might want to hard-code it into the code for the 'block' class elements of the main page tables, linked into a small upwards arrow .GIF, or something, along the right hand side of the table header.

It's something you'll see on many a vBulletin board - for example as illustrated over at http://forum.mamboserver.com, where you have the top code as a text link right at the bottom of the page and also at the top right of every category table.

When you have a long page, it is a nice usability feature. It can sometimes save a bit of mouse scrolling or several 'Page Ups'...

I'm putting in text links in main.tpl for my own use, but it would be nice as a standard feature.

You'd be hard pushed to find someone who doesn't know what 'User List' means.

I don't think there is a single link that needs a title explaining it, and titles everywhere needlessly bumps up the page size.

True about 'user list' being understandable, but in general I think the "title" tag adds a level of utility to links that is desirable, with barely any impact on page payload. Every A HREF on site wouldn't need it, just those that are important (like navigation links), or which would benefit from some additional information cue being given to the user.

People appreciate small usability enhancements like that. I've been using the "title" tag for years and it's sad to see it drop off that part of the site that may use Pun.

Oh, and while I came across many ways to implement "title" purely in CSS, to produce the equivalent 'tooltip' functionality, I couldn't get it to happen by modifying the style sheet alone to tell it to display specific text against a specific Pun CSS ID or Class element, alas.

Most of the CSS-based approaches I found required the target HTML to have <span> or other elements surrounding the page link, and the content of the tooltip needed to reside in the HTML between those elements. Which of course I can only implement by directly modifying Pun's PHP, which I want to avoid.

Oh well, it's only a minor wishlist item.  I can live without it.

This is a simple request to enhance the accessibility and usability of PunBB, at least in one small way.

At the moment no links in the standard PunBB forum menu, or any links anywhere else in punBB for that matter, support the 'title' variable in their href code.

The 'title' variable in HTML is very handy for enabling information about the link to be displayed when, for example, you hover the mouse over a specific link.

So for example in the main menu of punBB at the moment you get a link with HTML like this:

<a href="userlist.php">User list</a>

whereas if you had a link that used the 'title' variable like this:

<a title="Search or browse a list of forum users" href="userlist.php">User list</a>

you would have a much more informative link which displayed 'Search or browse a list of forum users' when the mouse hovered over it, or when a text only screen-reader encountered that link. It is the same concept as using 'alt' tags for images, and is very standard HTML.

I can only add the 'title' element to those links I manually add via HTML inserted into the menu via the Administration > Options page.

But it would be better if we had some way of modifying the code behind the main menu links to include this 'title' information.  Short of hacking the PHP pages directly, there seems no way of getting that 'title' tag into the main menu items.

Or am I just betraying my ignorance of CSS here?

Can I get the same result by playing with the CSS defined for each menu item ID, like the id="navindex", id="navuserlist" etc CSS IDs used in the menu, and somehow do something with punBB style sheets to achieve the same thing? :

On a related note, punBB also doesn't seem to set any alt text for any images anywhere, for eg here, for the avatar displayed in a post:

<img src="img/avatars/2.gif" width="64" height="80" alt="" />

You should at least populate that alt tag with something like 'avatar image', I think. Improves accessibility and usability a bit.