Global post queue functionality

Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback. Don't post bug reports, feature requests, support questions or suggestions here.
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Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback. Don't post bug reports, feature requests, support questions or suggestions here. Feature requests are closed.
bolverk
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Global post queue functionality

Post by bolverk » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:49 pm

Forum rules
Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback.
Since this is the forum for providing feedback on new features I think this is the appropriate place to share my reaction to the removal of the global 'Enable post queue' feature and it's subsequent reincarnation in the new 'Newly registered users' group.

Authors forward: This account is not an exaggeration, if anything it's toned down quite a bit since they peeled me off the ceiling 2 hours ago. Hate would not be too strong a word. Frustration the likes of which I have not experienced as an end user in years, I cannot even remember the last time I was so frustrated with a piece of software I wanted to throw it out my window, literally. They could actually hear me swearing through my office door. :shock: Ok, that was the reaction. Now on to the questions.

1. Is there any way to disable the entire 'Newly registered users' group without setting the 'New member post limit:' to zero? I'm still struggling with why a post count limit field should have any control over what groups you get placed in but perhaps that can be explained as well. :?

2. Is there any way under this current design to get back the global post queue enable/disable functionality without it being dependent on any group memberships but simply on post count as before?

3. What exactly was the intended benefit of this *feature* ?

**edit**
Just to be fair I will allow 24 hours for a reply here but if this board is as dead and deserted as it appears from a development discussion perspective, I will repost this topic on the main site community board.

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Kellanved
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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by Kellanved » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:19 am

bolverk wrote: 1. Is there any way to disable the entire 'Newly registered users' group without setting the 'New member post limit:' to zero? I'm still struggling with why a post count limit field should have any control over what groups you get placed in but perhaps that can be explained as well. :?
Groups are the general means by which the rights of members on a board are defined. New Members are a distinct group on a board and having a group yields the ability to assign them permissions and to identify them easily.
bolverk wrote: 2. Is there any way under this current design to get back the global post queue enable/disable functionality without it being dependent on any group memberships but simply on post count as before?
Why? The permission can do the very same thing much more cleanly.
bolverk wrote: 3. What exactly was the intended benefit of this *feature* ?
Permissions, assigned by group memberships, are the mechanism designed to govern the board features a user can use. Permission checks are present at all appropriate places in the code.
We noticed that spammers started abusing other board functions than posting, notably PMs and signatures.
We could have added yet another post based setting to control all these functions individually, but phpBB already has a perfectly fine mechanism for such things: permissions. From a design standpoint, it was more desirable to use that existing mechanism. Otherwise, we would have had to add more exceptions to the permission handling (allowed, unless post count like that etc), which would have further reduced code maintainability and made matters harder for MOD authors. Moreover, there was the problem of users with a low post count, but known to be real community members. Using a group means that admins can lift the restrictions for individuals.

Using a group is an all-around clean solution that provides superior power while also simplifying the code.
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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by bolverk » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:58 pm

Kellanved wrote:New Members are a distinct group on a board and having a group yields the ability to assign them permissions and to identify them easily.
Aha. This I think is where our viewpoints digress. You consider new members distinct and feel they should have their own group. Others may also wish to classify users in this way, but it's also valid that others do not. Myself being one of the latter. To assume all boards have a need to segregate new users from the *regular* users is not correct. I have no need to assign *new users* any different permissions than *regular users* in my existing structure. The PM system is disabled globally. Avatars are disabled globally. The only difference in how I treat my user base is to enable the global post queue for users with < X number of posts. The whole beauty of that feature which was implemented in 3.0.3 is in the fact that I did not need to create redundant group structure to manage it. I use the feature as a third line of defense against spammers should my frontline defenses ever fail. It is a global function that serves a board-wide purpose not specific to one user group. Simple and elegant.

In this new implementation I have lost that ability unless I am willing to allow the creation of more group overhead which is nothing more than duplication of my existing registered users group. Since this question
bolverk wrote:1. Is there any way to disable the entire 'Newly registered users' group without setting the 'New member post limit:' to zero?
was not addressed I will assume the answer is no. :(
Kellanved wrote: Why? The permission can do the very same thing much more cleanly.
I guess our definition of "cleanly" is very different. I do not agree that forcing redundant groups on an admin simply to allow the application of one global permission is clean.
Kellanved wrote:We could have added yet another post based setting to control all these functions individually, but phpBB already has a perfectly fine mechanism for such things: permissions.
Exactly. The tools already exist today for individual board admins to address the issues you mention. They have the flexibility to enable or disable these permissions through groups and roles, what I don't understand is why you felt it necessary to deliver a pre-packaged implementation that is all or nothing, rather than delivering a tool that can be used, or not, depending on if it is necessary. To me, it almost appears as if you are designing not just features but actual admin implementations of those features geared towards new users who may not know how to use the tools to create the implementation themselves. For my boards specifically, this change boils down to the fact that I am now penalized for having no need or desire to separate my members into duplicate groups based on nothing more than post count. And yet I cannot disable this "new group" if I want to retain the existing spam net I have in place. You have to forgive me but from my POV this is not progress. What it means is I stay frozen at version 3.0.4 having to keep applying manual bug patches indefinitely.

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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by Roberdin » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:36 pm

bolverk wrote:Is there any way to disable the entire 'Newly registered users' group without setting the 'New member post limit:' to zero? I'm still struggling with why a post count limit field should have any control over what groups you get placed in but perhaps that can be explained as well. :?
Is there any way under this current design to get back the global post queue enable/disable functionality without it being dependent on any group memberships but simply on post count as before?
Perhaps I'm misapprehending you and, indeed, this feature (which I have yet to study), but can't you configure them to work exactly the same?

You don't see why a group of users should be treated differently to any others because of post count, yet that's exactly what you're doing in the previous implementation; any user who has fewer than x posts is subject to moderation. It's just that until now, phpBB did not automatically place them in what it calls a "Group". Effectively, however, they were a group of what you thought of as "new users", who had different permissions to others (i.e., they had no permission to post without someone checking it).

So you have a group containing new members; an automatic group whose membership is based solely on post count, by your configuration.
Change the permissions applied to this group so that group members have their posts moderated across the board.

You don't have to do anything else with this group, right? There's no maintenance for you, since users will be removed when they exceed the post count that you set and the permissions will no longer apply. They are still in the "Registered Users" group, too, yes, so there is nothing to adjust there. The only thing I can see is the aesthetics of them being labelled as "New users", but they were subject to post-queue moderation before, so they must have noticed that anyway.

At a later time, however, you may decide that perhaps new users should not be permitted to post at all in certain places. Well now you can implement that in a more logically concise way: in the same place as the post queue restriction.

It seems, if you'll forgive me, a much cleaner (in terms of code and concept) and more flexible way of dealing with new users. You asked for the benefits: for example, when I ran a board, I did not consider post count to be a useful metric of how valuable a user's posts were. Some new users were obviously adept at using a forum without leaving a litany of spam in their wake; I suspect that this new feature would give me the flexibility to differentiate these users from other new users by some other means, or perhaps manually.
Rob

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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by bolverk » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:25 pm

Roberdin wrote:Perhaps I'm misapprehending you and, indeed, this feature (which I have yet to study), but can't you configure them to work exactly the same?
I think perhaps you are not understanding. Unless there was a way I could assign 'New member post limit' to a custom group or a pre-defined group of my choosing then no. If I could, then I could simply assign that permission to my 'Registered users' group and have the same effective behavior that I have today without duplicate group overheard. The way it works now is that the global post queue applies to all members, not just a specific defined group. That works beautifully as is. The new implementation takes that away and forces me to use a new pre-defined group of their choosing. In my case, a group that is completely useless except to segregate users based on post count for the sole purpose of being able to apply this permission, which I have no desire to do and to me seems very inefficient.
Roberdin wrote:You don't see why a group of users should be treated differently to any others because of post count, yet that's exactly what you're doing in the previous implementation; any user who has fewer than x posts is subject to moderation. It's just that until now, phpBB did not automatically place them in what it calls a "Group".
Yes, and that was the beauty of it's simplicity.
bolverk wrote:The whole beauty of that feature which was implemented in 3.0.3 is in the fact that I did not need to create redundant group structure to manage it.
;)
Roberdin wrote:So you have a group containing new members; an automatic group whose membership is based solely on post count, by your configuration.
Change the permissions applied to this group so that group members have their posts moderated across the board.
You've lost me here. I do not understand what you mean. :?
Roberdin wrote: It seems, if you'll forgive me, a much cleaner (in terms of code and concept) and more flexible way of dealing with new users.
Here is where the disconnect is I believe, regarding *new users*, permissions wise in my existing structure there is no difference between registered users regardless of their registration date. The current global post queue catches all new posts for users with <1 post in my case. I want it to apply to everybody without having to create a group to make it do that. This is how it behaves today. Perfectly. Think about it for a minute, this new group "Newly registered users" is not optional if you want to keep the existing functionality in it's new implementation. What happens for boards like mine where I can have a 50% lurker rate where registered members come to obtain posted information but have no need to discuss anything. One of the boards I maintain is as much a resource site as it is a discussion site, so in this new implementation I could end up with users indefinitely being classified as "Newly registered users" even though they might have been registered for months or years simply because they do not post. :?

I understand that others who do wish to treat newly registered users differently from their existing users may find this helpful, but it is not helpful to those of us who do not have this need or want it. Rather than design it in such a way as to be optional though, it is all or nothing. :)

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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by Kellanved » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:43 pm

bolverk wrote:I think perhaps you are not understanding. Unless there was a way I could assign 'New member post limit' to a custom group or a pre-defined group of my choosing then no. If I could, then I could simply assign that permission to my 'Registered users' group and have the same effective behavior that I have today without duplicate group overheard. The way it works now is that the global post queue applies to all members, not just a specific defined group. That works beautifully as is. The new implementation takes that away and forces me to use a new pre-defined group of their choosing. In my case, a group that is completely useless except to segregate users based on post count for the sole purpose of being able to apply this permission, which I have no desire to do and to me seems very inefficient.
Why would it be inefficient ?
Yes, and that was the beauty of it's simplicity.
The issue was the lack of flexibility and simplicity.


I understand that others who do wish to treat newly registered users differently from their existing users may find this helpful, but it is not helpful to those of us who do not have this need or want it. Rather than design it in such a way as to be optional though, it is all or nothing. :)
Admins who do not want to use it can turn it off ;) . However, it seems to me that you want to treat your users with a low postcount differently.

cheers,
~H

BTW: the forum at phpbb.com is the right place for any discussion pertaining the current release.
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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by Roberdin » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:23 pm

bolverk wrote:The way it works now is that the global post queue applies to all members, not just a specific defined group.
Wait, I thought you said the global post queue only applied to users with fewer than x posts. You approve every post every user makes?
bolverk wrote:In my case, a group that is completely useless except to segregate users based on post count for the sole purpose of being able to apply this permission, which I have no desire to do and to me seems very inefficient.
Why does it seem inefficient? They are a group of members that you treat differently on your forum to other members.
bolverk wrote:The whole beauty of that feature which was implemented in 3.0.3 is in the fact that I did not need to create redundant group structure to manage it.
Instead, there was a hard coded feature which has now been made redundant by the more flexible, powerful and logical system. Indeed, leaving it in could interfere with the newer system. There was nothing beautiful about it at all, in retrospect it seems rather a botched and inflexible inclusion sitting next to the new permissions system (no offence dev. team).
bolverk wrote:Here is where the disconnect is I believe, regarding *new users*, permissions wise in my existing structure there is no difference between registered users regardless of their registration date.
I thought the new users group membership could be configured by post count, and not join date?
bolverk wrote:The current global post queue catches all new posts for users with <1 post in my case. I want it to apply to everybody without having to create a group to make it do that.
But that doesn't apply to everybody, it applies to everyone with fewer than one post, and those people comprise a group. A group, in fact, of new users. Why not officially reflect that?
bolverk wrote:One of the boards I maintain is as much a resource site as it is a discussion site, so in this new implementation I could end up with users indefinitely being classified as "Newly registered users" even though they might have been registered for months or years simply because they do not post.
But in effect, that's what they are, so far as you need this system: they are people whose posts need to be moderated. That makes them new. I don't know if the system is flexible enough to weed them out after a few months even if they do not post. (Of course, you could always change the group name to better reflect its purpose in the language file, or modify the group flags so that it is a secret group and members do not know that they are in it.)
bolverk wrote:I understand that others who do wish to treat newly registered users differently from their existing users may find this helpful, but it is not helpful to those of us who do not have this need or want it.
But that is exactly what you want to do. Define "New users" as everyone with fewer than one post. Everyone in the New users group must have his posts approved before they can be viewed. That's different to everyone else on the board, right?
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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by bolverk » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:47 pm

Kellanved wrote:Why would it be inefficient ?
Let me see if I can make this any simpler, not promising anything but here goes:

Today: With 3.0.4 the way I utilize the software I can define all regular users permissions utilizing just one group, 'Registered users' < - 1 group
I do not have any groups or forums specifically defined to moderate posts, all users in the group have the same board permissions.

Next release: 3.0.? would force me to use two groups to maintain the exact same functionality that I have today with just the one. Two groups that would have all but one identical permissions. Anything that requires more structure than exists today to do the same thing tomorrow is not what I consider efficient. :)
Kellanved wrote:Admins who do not want to use it can turn it off
Sure I can, but you penalize me for it. If I disable it I no longer have the existing spam catchall that applies to all members regardless of their group membership.
Kellanved wrote:However, it seems to me that you want to treat your users with a low postcount differently.
Quite the opposite exactly. :shock: I want all my members to be 'Registered users' and nothing more no matter their post count. If I had ever wanted to use a group to implement a mod queue I would have, there is nothing stopping me or anyone else from doing that today. But there was no need, the ever elegant 'enable post queue' was there to eliminate the need for duplication and segregation. Now that function still exists actually, and its still global actually (yes it really is global because if you look at it, it's a general board setting that is either on or off), now you just restrict its use to your new pre-defined group, no flexibility there at all, is there? If it was really a permission I should be able to apply it to any group if I want, or not. The way it is structured now, you have created and basically leg shackled that global function to a specific group. Unless of course I am missing something and I can apply the post queue to my existing Registered users group and disable the whole autogroup nonsense I never needed or asked for.

If you notice, I have never begrudged anyone who may find this *feature* useful, they are free to use it as they wish, I just wish the same consideration had been given to those of us who have no need or desire for it.
Roberdin wrote:I thought the new users group membership could be configured by post count, and not join date?
Exactly. So why is it called 'Newly registered users'? <- rhetorical ;) Seems rather an odd name for something that is defined exclusively by post count and not register date. Yet another reason for not having a pre-defined group and allowing us to specify or create our own if we choose to. :)
Roberdin wrote:But that doesn't apply to everybody, it applies to everyone with fewer than one post, and those people comprise a group. A group, in fact, of new users. Why not officially reflect that?
Ermm not really. It applies to everybody, the fact that the criteria used is post count does not create a defacto group within a group, it is merely a subset of the group and can exist as a subset within the larger group without having to literally separate them into their own member group. ;)
Roberdin wrote:But that is exactly what you want to do. Define "New users" as everyone with fewer than one post
Nope. Exactly the opposite of what I want. I will say it again as plain as I can, I do not want to be forced to use an additional group to maintain the functionality I have today with just the one. :D

Don't worry about it though, all this really means is that I never upgrade the boards I still maintain. :)

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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by Kellanved » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:07 pm

bolverk wrote:
Let me see if I can make this any simpler, not promising anything but here goes:

Today: With 3.0.4 the way I utilize the software I can define all regular users permissions utilizing just one group, 'Registered users' < - 1 group
I do not have any groups or forums specifically defined to moderate posts, all users in the group have the same board permissions.

Next release: 3.0.? would force me to use two groups to maintain the exact same functionality that I have today with just the one. Two groups that would have all but one identical permissions. Anything that requires more structure than exists today to do the same thing tomorrow is not what I consider efficient. :)
Not at all. Users are automatically placed in both groups, the software will compute the effective permissions for you. In effect, your newly registered group would only have the single permission for the post queue set to never.
Sure I can, but you penalize me for it. If I disable it I no longer have the existing spam catchall that applies to all members regardless of their group membership.
You can set up the exact same behavior, without any duplication of permissions.
Quite the opposite exactly. :shock: I want all my members to be 'Registered users' and nothing more no matter their post count. If I had ever wanted to use a group to implement a mod queue I would have, there is nothing stopping me or anyone else from doing that today. But there was no need, the ever elegant 'enable post queue' was there to eliminate the need for duplication and segregation.
There is no duplication, all members are also in registered users and have the appropriate permissions.
Now that function still exists actually, and its still global actually (yes it really is global because if you look at it, it's a general board setting that is either on or off), now you just restrict its use to your new pre-defined group, no flexibility there at all, is there? If it was really a permission I should be able to apply it to any group if I want, or not. The way it is structured now, you have created and basically leg shackled that global function to a specific group. Unless of course I am missing something and I can apply the post queue to my existing Registered users group and disable the whole autogroup nonsense I never needed or asked for.
The software uses groups for permissions; the system groups are a system to use the system without code duplication and can be renamed by changing the language files.
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Re: Global post queue functionality

Post by bolverk » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:14 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: Good grief charlie brown. *sigh* I have evidently failed to communicate the most simple of concepts, that I never want to have to use a pre-defined group called 'Newly registered users' to have my board continue to function as it does today. I am absolutely floored that you cannot seem to understand that.
Kellanved wrote:Not at all. Users are automatically placed in both groups, the software will compute the effective permissions for you. In effect, your newly registered group would only have the single permission for the post queue set to never.
Well that's a whole 'nother problem I have. I do not use 'Never' permissions, anywhere ever. In fact, I practically preach against using them on a regular basis in support, as does most of your support team. What you are implementing is actually the opposite of what I advocate and believe to be the simplest way to utilize permissions in phpBB. :lol: For the record this post epitomizes my personal administration philosophy when it comes to groups and permissions, one that has served me very well and caused no issues from my ikonboard days through Invisionboard and finally to phpBB. You can have whatever opinion of it you want, but bear in mind it's just that, an opinion. Every admin has the right to create whatever group/role/permission structure that works for them. Just because you would do it differently does not mean that it is better or even the correct way, it's just different. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that part of the problem here is that for whatever reason you cannot wrap your head around the fact that as a board admin I don't want to do something the way you think it should be done. As developers you tend to code features the way you think they should or will be used, but in reality that expectation often does not match up with the end users.
Kellanved wrote:The software uses groups for permissions; the system groups are a system to use the system without code duplication and can be renamed by changing the language files.
Editing the language files is a hack that does nothing to address the fact that I don't want the group to exist at all let alone have to use it. :)

At this point there is nothing more I can do to communicate why this new feature breaks my current design, for whatever reason you think everyone needs to change to suit this implementation rather than provide those of us who do not want to use it with a way to disable it and still keep the post queue count setting functionality that we already have. As I said before, the solution for me is very simple, I won't be upgrading which I am perfectly fine with.

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