[RFC] Use composer.json for styles and track phpBB version

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Arty
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[RFC] Use composer.json for styles and track phpBB version

Post by Arty » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:48 pm

Introduction

Each style has field "version" in style.cfg
Prosilver and subsilver2 use it to display phpBB version, customized styles use it to display style version that is often different from phpBB version.

To make styles more compatible with extensions, they should use the same metadata format: composer.json.

Suggestion

Original suggestion:
I suggest to split it into 2 fields:
  • style_version
  • phpbb_version
New suggestion: Use composer.json's require option to list a particular phpbb version that is required for the style to work. Use a custom composer package type (phpbb3-style since we use phpbb3-extension) for styles.

Advantages

If phpBB version is known, it makes it easier to track compatibility, allowing to warn user that style is outdated when he tries to install it and show list of outdated styles to user.

Patch for change to composer.json
http://tracker.phpbb.com/browse/PHPBB3-10824

(Merged) Patch for simple change to .cfg file
Ticket: http://tracker.phpbb.com/browse/PHPBB3-10762
Patch: https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/pull/706
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MichaelC
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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by MichaelC » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:53 pm

+1 and the phpBB version the style is for should be shown in the ACP?
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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by Senky » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:14 pm

+1
I would maybe also consider connecting this with Customisation Database at phpbb.com - check for newer version of style in the same way as new version of phpBB is checked on index of ACP...

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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by brunoais » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:15 pm

I like that suggestion, also, +1.
A warning should be sent to the admins about the style being outdated, yes.

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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by naderman » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:58 pm

So with style inheritance, you can have a style which only overwrites one small template file and adds an image. It's most likely going to work with a lot of phpBB versions. Does this mean that the style will have to be updated for every phpBB version anyway? Also if you can only specify one phpBB version, the new version of a style is not going to be compatible with old versions of phpBB anymore by definition, even if it is? Or does that not matter cause we want people to upgrade immediately anyway?

Maybe rather than doing this, we should look at replacing style.cfg with the same kind of json file we will be using for extensions. I'd appreciate it if Igor, imkingdavid and whoever else was involved in that could take a look at this.

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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by Arty » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:04 pm

I suggest to check it only for major version changes. For example, new captchas were introduced in phpBB 3.0 a while ago, yet many styles are still not compatible with it, especially styles on third party websites that hoard all possible styles. Forum admins install such style, then wonder why registrations stopped.
naderman wrote:Maybe rather than doing this, we should look at replacing style.cfg with the same kind of json file we will be using for extensions. I'd appreciate it if Igor, imkingdavid and whoever else was involved in that could take a look at this.
I do like this idea!

Extensions will use JSON, Composer uses JSON, AJAX replies use JSON. It does make sense to change everything to JSON, including style.cfg
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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by callumacrae » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:04 pm

+1
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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by igorw » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:11 pm

IMO it makes sense for phpBB styles to specify the target phpBB version. It doesn't have to be a hard requirement, since styles will mostly work after an update, but it should warn the admin that he may want to update his style to one targeting the latest phpBB.

I don't really care what format we use for that, as long as it is consistent. IMO json and the composer.json format make sense, but we can also use the ini-format used by the cfg files currently. The most important thing is that it gets done.

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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by Oleg » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:40 pm

My understanding of the current situation is:

1. Any style or modification can break at the next minor version.
2. Support team only supports the latest version.

Until these policies are changed specifying a single compatible version seems at least sensible to me.

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Re: [RFC] Separate style and phpBB versions in style.cfg

Post by MichaelC » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:18 pm

I'd agree with using JSON.
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