[RFC|Replaced] MOD Installer in 3.1

These RFCs were either rejected or have been replaced by an alternative proposal. They will not be included in phpBB.
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naderman
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[RFC|Replaced] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by naderman » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:48 pm

We are currently planning to add hooks and build UMIL into phpBB. There is a proposal for simplifying MODs to be self-contained in a single directory. So far our plan was to include AutoMOD as well to install MODs.

I would like to propose that we instead include a lightweight MOD installer which can only add new files and run UMIL (un)installation code for datbase changes. This would mean that MODs with file changes would not be supported out of the box. Potentially UMIL could be extended to present MODs with file editing capabilities, but we should be careful about these. I think it would be great to finally move away from MODs that edit files. Not providing a default mechanism to edit files would encourage all MOD authors to transition to hooks. AutoMOD is bound to fail in complex conflict situations and it will be hard to impossible to make it work flawlessly. AutoMOD can of course continue to exist separately for 3.1, has it has existed for 3.0.

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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by igorw » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:52 pm

+1

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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by nickvergessen » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:54 pm

+1
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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by tumba25 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:03 pm

You can never cover everything with hooks without either getting plugins that overwrite each others functionality or making the core product incredibly heavy on the web servers and slow. So file edits will still be needed whether you like it or not.

I do not have any opinion on adding that functionality to the core product or not. But you need to realise that most forums will still install and use AutoMOD as long as it is available. And there will be many MODs that requires file edits, be it for the author don't understand your hooks or that the functionality can't be modified with hooks or not. They will still be there.
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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by naderman » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:25 pm

Just a quick note wrt "new RFC after freeze". This would actually replace [RFC] MOD Installation to reduce the amount of required work.

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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by DavidIQ » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:27 pm

naderman wrote:This would mean that MODs with file changes would not be supported out of the box.
There goes about +98% of all MODs. Adding a feature that will only be supported by a small amount of MODs might be a waste.
naderman wrote:Potentially UMIL could be extended to present MODs with file editing capabilities, but we should be careful about these. I think it would be great to finally move away from MODs that edit files.
Unfortunately I have to mirror tumba25's sentiments on this. It's not going to be realistic to think there will not be any MODs that edit files. There is no way you'll be able to provide hooks for all locations that MOD authors will want to either add functionallity or much less change functionallity, which is what a lot of MODs do as well.

What has happened is that we've created this environment and community where all users are invited to add to and modify phpBB's code and that is exactly what they have done. Unless we also plan on changing this mentallity I think we're going to have to live with code edits in MODs, although you would hope there would be less of them with the addition of hooks.
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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by Kellanved » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:45 pm

The point is not to deny that some MODs need to alter the base code to function, it is the impossibility to support the installation of such MODs. File alterations mean that other MODs might not be installable at all; any automatic installer will fail. A core installer puts the burden of correctness on the core team.
Using an external library to perform file changes in an install hook would send a clearer message that there is no guarantee regarding the results of file alterations.

Again: There are hooks for installation and de-installation. Using these hooks, MODs should be able to trigger automatic changes to files, hopefully using the whole power of automod (depending on how quickly the development of UMIL proceeds).

The whole point is to have a supportable core system, not to limit the power of MODs.
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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by Oleg » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:00 am

Neither of the extreme views expressed here by people are very hepful.

"All mods will be done without file edits" - clearly not until we have a lot of hooks, which won't happen overnight.

"All mods will require file edits" - I sincerely hope a working and usable hook system would make the set of mods that require edits comprise a minority, and shrink with time. I believe some other forums have hook implementations that result in a significant percentage of mods not needing file edits.

I think debating this topic is a little premature. Once the hook system is more defined (and mods are ported to it) it should be clear whether or not editless mods will be possible, and to what extent. If they are possible I think we can all agree that it would be beneficial to have an easy way of installing them in phpbb itself.

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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by tumba25 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:05 am

nn- wrote:"All mods will require file edits"
Where did you find that in this topic?
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Re: [RFC] MOD Installer in 3.1

Post by DavidIQ » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:50 am

nn- wrote: Once the hook system is more defined (and mods are ported to it) it should be clear whether or not editless mods will be possible, and to what extent. If they are possible I think we can all agree that it would be beneficial to have an easy way of installing them in phpbb itself.
The whole idea behind this topic that there will be no need for file edits is possible, yes, but I think it is very unrealistic to expect a sudden adoption of a change like this in 3.1. I would be more believing and supportive of such a move if it was slated for say 4.0 but I'm not sure force-feeding our users and authors this in a much smaller release like 3.1 (compared to 4.0) is a good idea.

Easing MOD authors and, by extension, the end users into this system while allowing them their previous freedoms and allowing us to guide MOD authors towards the hooks in 3.1 en route to 4.0 would be a better option IMO than flat out telling them "you can't install such and such MOD using the automated installer because it makes file modifications so you're stuck installing it on your own".
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