Rickard wrote:

I've considered this before but chose not to do it like that to allow people maximum flexibility when designing styles.

Okay, whatever -- but you know you can override CSS, right?

Check out my new Mountains theme for an example of this, compare it to my version of Lithium:

While we're talking about profile changes, how about we re-do the time zone selection?

1. People from Newfoundland can't select their time zone, currently.

2. It doesn't take into account the differences between Daylight Savings Time and Standard Time ...

I realised this as I tried to modify it myself, to add cities to the list:

<select name="form[timezone]">
<option value="-12"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -12) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -12</option>
<option value="-11"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -11) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -11</option>
<option value="-10"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -10) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -10 Hawaii (Honolulu)</option>
<option value="-9"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -9) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -09 Alaska (Anchorage)</option>
<option value="-8"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -8) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -08 Pacific (Los Angeles, Vancouver)</option>
<option value="-7"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -7) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -07 Mountain (Denver, Calgary)</option>
<option value="-6"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -6) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -06 Central (Chicago, Regina)</option>
<option value="-5"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -5) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -05 Eastern (New York, Toronto)</option>
<option value="-4"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -4) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -04 Atlantic (Halifax)</option>
<option value="-3.5"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -3) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -03.5 ??? Newfoundland</option>
<option value="-2"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -2) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -02</option>
<option value="-1"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == -1) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC -01</option>
<option value="0"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == 0) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC/GMT (London)</option>
<option value="1"<?php if ($user['timezone'] == 1) echo ' selected' ?>>UTC +01 CET (Paris)</option>

How about something like the following?

E-mail Options -----------------------------

( ) Display your e-mail address.
( ) Hide your e-mail address.
. . . [ ] Allow form e-mail

[ ] Include post in subscription e-mails.

Browser Options ---------------------------

[ ] Save username and password between visits.
[ ] Open links in new windows.

Post Options -------------------------------

. [ ] Smilies (as icons)
. [ ] Avatars
. [ ] Signatures
. [ ] Images: (from [img] tags)
. . . [ ] In Posts
. . . [ ] In Signatures

##        Mod title:  Compact Styles
##      Mod version:  0.2.1
##   Works on PunBB:  1.1.4 (and possibly others)
##     Release date:  2004-05-27
##           Author:  Louis St-Amour (CSpotkill@CSpotkill.com)
##      Description:  New, compact versions of existing PunBB styles. 
##                    Mercury (and other dark themes) are reduced to two 
##                    lines of CSS, thanks to the "cascade" in Cascading 
##                    Style Sheets. Common framework CSS and light/dark 
##                    background rules are stored in separate files. This 
##                    speeds up loading time for new styles by caching 
##                    common repetitive rules, and makes it easier to 
##                    create new styles, by simplifying the CSS code and 
##                    reducing the number of edits required to make basic 
##                    colour changes.
##   Affected files:  profile.php
##                    style\Cobalt.css
##                    style\Lithium.css
##                    style\Mercury.css
##                    style\Oxygen.css
##                    style\Radium.css
##                    style\Sulfur.css
##       Affects DB:  No
##            Notes:  v2.0 - Now works with the default PunBB code.
##        Generator:  ModGenerator (http://punres.cactuz.nu/modgen/)
##                    on: 2004-05-27 22:04:58
##       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://punbb.org/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=14642#14642


27-05-2004 / v0.2.1 released - Fixed a small bug with hover styles on lighter themes. (I had to re-order the A:hover rule so it was the last rule applied.)

27-05-2004 / v0.2 released - Now works with the default PunBB code.

I've taken off the "Beta" status, since I've tested it further now and it seems to work fine with the default code, after a few modications. I've even managed to reduce the code for the individual dark styles to only the bare essential two-line differentiations, with only 7 lines for the lighter themes. 8)

26-05-2004 / v0.1.1 Beta released - Updated Dark styles: Fixed link rules to use the color property instead of the background-color property. Whoops.

26-05-2004 / v0.1 Beta released - May not be fully optimized.

Because I haven't checked this on a default install yet, it may not work as advertised. Seems fine on my modified PunBB installation at http://www.CSpotkill.com/ -- I've changed the main page layout and added a gradient and a menu, none of which are included in this modification, though may be released in the future.

Let me know what you think of it. Thanks.


(6 replies, posted in Programming)

MarcB wrote:

Rickard, that is an unfortunate not well implemented feature of CSS, it should work with position: fixed, but I still have to see that work somewhere.

Try viewing this in Firefox.

Or you can use this tag soup with IE ;)

Rickard wrote:

It's nice to hear I'm not alone in the battle agains bloat and feature frenzy :D

I understand feeping creaturism and the second-system syndrome, but this isn't bloatware, but something that could strengthen PunBB's extensibility and make it more versitile. (It's not bells and whistles either, since PunBB was designed to be elegant, yet also to have modifications to improve it's functionality.)

Perhaps I'll try forking 1.1.2 and attempt to integrate both CSS/XHTML and some kind of mod system to see what the result could be. ;)


(19 replies, posted in General discussion)

Rickard wrote:

Louis: Stop posting links to that topic. I'm sure people will notice it anyway.

lol fine. Should I have mentioned the Firefox connection without mentioning the link? It wasn't spam, intentionally ;)

Jansson wrote:

A mod installer would work for a couple of mods, but when the mods are starting to change each others lines there will be problem.

Well, the same excuse could have been said for Windows, after all, if an application overwrites a file or registry entry, or replaces a DLL with a newer version then there would be problems. But Windows has guidelines for creating programs, including using a separate folder for program files and naming conventions for software registry entries, plus improved DLL handling in Windows XP, so it gives freedom to use "installation" programs, instead of manual x-copy.

So we could create module guidelines that explain where and when to modify PunBB and include standardized conventions for naming and location. Then we can create installation PHP scripts for every modification and perhaps use another utility to automatically check for interoperatibility between modifications, with the modifications listed in another section.

Or we could go the Firefox/Mozilla route and support "Extensions" in PunBB, with an integrated method for installing PunBB extensions and more programmable access to PunBB, like being able to add your own code to various parts of PunBB without needed to edit the PunBB files themselves. Like calling the following to add a "Signatures" link to the admin page.


Either way, it would be nice to extend PunBB with more support for Extensions. The difference between the two is that with the first, most of it is dependant on the mod's installation script and in the second, it's more dependant on the PunBB software. But the good parts with both is that suddenly, Firefox-like, PunBB can be fast and extensible for any user. Combined with a full CSS-based layout and I would say we've easily the best forum software out there, perfect for a version 2.0 ;)

Chacmool wrote:

... Including files instead of changing alot of code.

Yes, that makes sense. In some ways what I mentioned about creating PunBB extension support would allow PunBB to include the modification's files, then let the modification change PunBB dynamically.

Please don't ignore the questions in my original post ... I am quite interested in how people create their modifications ? do they start from a newly extracted PunBB and open the files they need in Dreamweaver (or notepad, ultraedit)? Do they work on the HTML first, creating the look they want, then adding the functionality afterward? Do they write out the requirements, create planning documents? That's just part of the first question, please continue with the rest of the questions, if you feel like it.

Answering these questions may help us build the prefect PunBB modding solution that will benefit everyone, plus help encourage PHP newbies delve into the source code and perhaps make the entire mod creation process easier and faster for everyone.

For example the tool I mentioned in my first post. With these answers, I could try to design the tool's "workflows", the way I intend it to be used, with the way people actually create mods. There's no point in making something that people don't like using. Same with PunBB. Why standardize the readme.txt if people don't like using it? Or can we make it easier to produce them? In which case, how? This is a larger topic than you'd think at first glance ;)


(19 replies, posted in General discussion)

Ben Goodger (from The Mozilla Organization) wrote:

We've put a lot of thought into making using Firefox easy and obvious. Browsers like Mozilla and Opera seem to be focused more on esoteric features, at the expense of all-round usability. That's why we have created a browser that works in the simplest and most straight-forward way out of the box. Defaults have been carefully chosen so you don't need to spend time setting up the browser. Menus and dialog boxes are kept clean and free of options that only a marginal number of people use. If there's a feature that Mozilla or Opera has that Firefox lacks, it's probably for good reason. But if you really do need a particular enhancement, a large number of quality extensions are available for free.

Very PunBBish. But not quite. See, Firefox has an extension system. PunBB doesn't. Should it? Post your ideas here.


(71 replies, posted in Feature requests)

Rickard wrote:

Mods are good! We like mods :)

Then lets focus on the mods. Let's make it easier to create mods. Let's make it easier to install mods. Let's make it easier to update mods for newer versions of PunBB. Let's make it easier to find mods. Please post your ideas here.


(20 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 discussion)

Chacmool wrote:

There should be an easier way to patch punbb, maybe using CVS or something...

I'm considering that one myself. I'm working out the idea for a general PunBB mod tool. It might have that feature, but everything's still preliminary. Please post your ideas here.

Rickard wrote:

Mods are good! We like mods :)

Then lets focus on the mods. Let's make it easier to create mods. Let's make it easier to install mods. Let's make it easier to update mods for newer versions of PunBB. Let's make it easier to find mods. Please post your ideas here.

My idea? Well, this is quite undefined and preliminary, but having worked on a few PunBB mods of my own and seeing the difficulty involved in updating modifications for new version of PunBB,  I feel that some kind of tool would make life easier for PunBB modification makers.

As a starting point for this discussion, please think about or answer the following questions.

* How do you start (creating, installing or udpating) a mod for PunBB? What tools do you use?

* What do you like about the way you (create, install or udpate) mods for PunBB right now?

* If you could change anything in the mod-building or mod-installing processes, what would it be? Why would you change it?

* What criteria would you use to judge the value of any improvements?

* What, if anything, makes you feel optimistic about the potential for improvement of the current mod-making or mod-installing processes?

* What are some examples of situations when you did not want to work on your PunBB mod? (Or when did you not want to install a mod?) Why do you suppose that is?

* Where do you think this course of action will eventually lead? How do you think the proposed tool or PunBB changes will make a difference to creating, updating or installing mods?

* What is your wish list for installing mods to PunBB? For easier integration of mods with PunBB? For a PunBB mod building tool?

We're just exploring the possibilities here. Write anything, be creative, explore crazy ideas and thoughts to their fullest. Every idea is good. Just don't stop typing ;)

Thanks everyone,


PS. This isn't just for mod builders. If you use PunBB on your website and have tried installing a mod, just ignore the "mod building" and focus on "mod installing". Thanks.

Jansson wrote:

Why not make a tool to convert that file into the original readme style?

I'm considering that one myself. I'm working out the idea for a general PunBB mod tool. It might have that feature, or perhaps we should scrap mod readmes all together. Please post your ideas here.


(16 replies, posted in Feature requests)

MarcB wrote:

... modify EFAM to work instead of with users, with groups. It's much easier, cause I rely completely on the work of others ;) . I lose the capability of adding individual users, but I can always create a group with 1 user... then I add/remove groups to forums.

Rickard and I were talking about that, instead of having both users and groups in this "ACL"-type interface, he suggested just groups ... I agreed because as you said, "[you] can always create a group with 1 user". Interesting if we could incorporate both the EFAM permissions, modified to groups, with a new UI for both ;)


(17 replies, posted in Feature requests)

Mike from CS wrote:

it was nice to have when we did need it.

My point exactly ;)

Plus it would help usability by providing a consistant interface to moderate both forums and topics. ;)


(20 replies, posted in PunBB 1.2 discussion)

Rickard wrote:

I will most likely release PunBB 1.1.2 tomorrow.

Eagerly awaits tomorrow! *grin*

Frank H wrote:

... writing a readme is pretty hard even now, and it takes quite a long time to do aswell, when the lines start to increase, and extra work for the modders, is probably not welcomed ;)

Considers re-inventing the wheel with my newly installed Visual Studio .NET 2003.

Anyone feel like some kind of "PunBB Mod Builder" with an automatic packager and integration with the PunBB Resource website? Since my main programming language is C# with some PHP, I can't quite conceive of this as cross-platform or native code, but even as a Microsoft .NET app, it should be useful ...

MarcB wrote:

Has anybody [else] noticed that in order to correctly apply all [the] changes easily, it would be better to state the mod lines in reverse order? [That] way you make sure that when people reach the first lines (after editing [the previous lines]), the target code will still be [on line number specified].

Of course, everyone can do as it pleases him/her, but assuming it's all the same for developers, and if and only if nobody opposes, I [would] propose changing the order [of the instructions] in future releases.

If there's a reason why it's done like it's done, I'd like to hear it, since I am curious ...

Hello Marc.

I would say the reason is obvious: No one thought much about it ;)

The most logical way for humans who are used to reading up-to-down is to start from the top and work down though your source code, noting changes as you go. Perhaps a more adventurous developer would use a diff program and then reformat it by hand or with a script. The order is not standardized in any fashion, so it's up to the individual mod developer to decide.

I would, however, agree with your "reverse order" idea. Another idea would be to adjust the line numbers to where they would be when the person installing it gets to the line, so for example, with 10 new lines inserted above, the next change should have its line number offset by 10 lines. Of course, for each, it would simply place extra burden on a mod developer to change their script.

Perhaps it would be easier to tell people to start from the bottom and work their way up? ;)


(19 replies, posted in General discussion)

hehe, just caught my Mozilla Mini-Mod at http://www.cactuz.nu/

Looks good ;)

I really think the quotes add something that the button alone lacks ? a personal recommendation, as it were. Firefox kicks ass! =D

Oh? Sure, then.

Edit: Never mind. Seems ... it works now. Before it gave an error about not being able to update the ... something. Database, possibly. I loaded modgen.cactuz.nu and logged in with that. I guess the problem was the URL, since using www.cactuz.nu seems to work.

Rickard wrote:

Edit: modgen.cactuz.nu doesn't work though.

I was just about to mention that.

I can't post on my "blog" either, though I managed to edit my profile.

Hmm cool. Yeah, that makes sense. I'll try experimenting with it and get back to you on that one.

Do you want an effect like this? http://www.virtuelvis.com/gallery/opaci … ydemo.html (Look at it in Mozilla/Firefox/Opera 7)
Compare the page with the screenshot without transparency.

View the source to see how he did it, then experiment with the DirectX filters above if you want it to look transparent in IE 5.5+.

Or read this page for another JavaScript-based technique that should validate:

You're welcome. (again!) Glad to see we solved both problems quickly ;)

No, that is not correct, unfortunately. This is the CSS example they give, further down:

<!--[if gte IE 5.5]>
<style type="text/css">
#alImg1 img, #alImg2 img { filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(opacity=0); }
#alImg1 { filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='varyAlpha.png'); }
#alImg2 { filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.AlphaImageLoader(src='alphaTwo.png'); }


<span id="alImg1" style="width:400px;height:32px;">
<img src="varyAlpha.png" width="400" height="32" border="0" alt=""></span>
<span id="alImg2" style="width:30px;height:50px;">
<img src="alphaTwo.png" width="30" height="50" border="0" alt=""></span>

The way it's done in the first example is to group the statements together in one huge [if gte IE 5.5] conditional comment (which means only IE 5.5 will render that part of the CSS).

I would experiment further with the technique to see if I can directly apply it to background-images, but otherwise, try to achieve the effect with IMG tags and position them above everything with z-index and in the bottom corner with a variation of this technique: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/footers/