This will include evaluating the existence of some settings, the introduction of some features and proposing to move some pages around.
For this I just went manually through (hopefully) all pages of the ACP and made some notes.
Besides the following points it should be clear that the design is not very up-to-date. Marc once did a mockup of a possible style for the ACP which I very like. But also in general I believe that we should allow users to modify the ACP style as easy as it is to modify the board style.
Removing this seperation would also be nice so that we can design the new style for phpBB for both - the board and the ACP at once - so that both things will look similar again.
I will sort the following list by colours. The options which should be removed IMHO are red, the options which removal should be discussed are blue and the other modifications I propose are green. Let's go:
- Reset board's start date - (I don't see any use case that makes sense)
- Add a search options for settings to the ACP
- Attachment settings
- Upload directory - (Why do you need to change this?)
- Board settings
- Guest style - (This should be handled by Default style; also, this setting should influence the style option of the Anonymous user)
- Default language - (Should influence the language setting of the Anonymous user too)
- Board features
- Allow subscribing to topics/forums - (I can't see a reason why you should disallow this)
- Allow bookmarking topics - (Either remove the option, because why would you want to disable it, or remove the function. It's 2017 - modern browsers can handle this too)
- Allow birthdays - (Remark: The option for the birthday listing at the bottom of the index should not be removed, just the option to allow/disallow users to enter their birthdays since I don't see a reason why you should want to disallow this..)
- Display subject of last added post on forum list - (They are automatically hidden if the user has no permission to read topics)
- Load settings - (This area should go to the page Load settings)
- Allow styles to display custom profile fields in memberlist - (Why do style authors even have this option and does anybody ever use this?)
- Display custom profile fields in private messages/user profiles/topic pages - (Admins can this enable/disable per field in another option)
- Avatar settings
- Avatar gallery path - (Why do you need to change this?)
- Avatar storage path - (Or this?)
- Private message settings
- Limit editing time - (Only for PMs, though)
- Allow BBCodes/smilies/signature in private messages - (There should only be one setting for posts&PMs)
- Allow print view in private messages
- Allow forwarding of private messages - (Nasty users can just copy the PM...)
- Allow use of
BBCodetag - (Again, only one setting for posts and PMs, please)
- Maximum private message folders - (Is it really necessary to limit this?)
- Maximum private messages per box - (What should it be called? Box or Folder? Also, why do we still need a PM limit?)
- Post settings
- Maximum characters per post/message - (Why do we need a limit?)
- Maximum nesting depth for quotes - (Please explain)
- Allow links in posts/private messages - (This is in the wrong place. This should be in Board features or also appear in Private message settings)
- Feed settings
- Item statistics - (First of all, the title is misleading. Second, why would you want to hide information about the author and the post time?)
- User registration settings
- Password length max - (passwords should not have a maximum except for the internal hardcoded maximum to prevent a denial of service attack)
- COPPA - (This should go into an extension)
- Spambot countermeasures
- Client Communication
- Integrate the whole category into Server configuration.
- This whole category should go into the expert mode (see below) since changing the Authentication mode can make it impossible for the user to login again.
- Also, this category needs more documentation. There is nothing on the page!
- Make OAuth more prominent (you can't really break login with this)
- Email settings
- Users send email via board - (It should be visible in the UCP for example that this setting is enabled/disabled)
- Hide email addresses - (The explanation isn't very explaining)
- SMTP settings/Email function name - (Maybe move to the expert mode? - See below)
- Jabber settings
- Maybe move this module as well to the expert mode (see below)
- Cookie settings
- Cookie path - (it even says that that setting should always be a slash, so why have it then?)
- Cookie name - (The explanation should say "unique" instead of "original" to emphasise that the name must be unique, IMHO)
- Cookie notice -
(On installation as well as here there should be a map or something similar that shows users where this is mandatory and where it's only optional.)Probably put this into an extension as well, just like COPPA
- Server settings
- Smilies/Post icons/Extensions group icons/Rank image storage path - (Why do you need to change this?)
- Move to expert mode (see below)
- Run periodic tasks from system cron - (It should be made clearer that with this option the phpBB cron will be disabled and the system cron won't be setup by phpBB itself but has to be setup by the server administrator)
- Security settings
- Allow php in templates
- Tie forms to guest sessions
- Allow "Remember me" logins - (Why disallow them?)
- Allow password reset ("Forgot Password") - (Why disallow this?)
- Many options should be moved to the expert mode (see below)
- Validate browser - (Not very good explained)
- Load settings
- Display notifications - (Why even disable this?)
- Enable display of user online/offline information
- Limit system load - (This definitely is an expert setting and thus should be moved to the expert mode - see below)
- Enable dotted topics - (Is not very well explained, what does it do?)
- Enable online user listings - (Title is misleading)
- Recompile stale style components - (This is actually a developer setting, maybe have this moved to another.. uh.. developer mode? )
- Allow usage of third party content delivery networks - (As stated in the explanation, this might be security critical; so this also might belong to the Secruity settings page)
- Help support phpBB
- This definitely doesn't belong to the Server configuration category...
- Manage forums
- Enable post review
- Make it easier to move forums around
- Change forum type - (Make it clearer that posts will be deleted/moved when a forum is going to be a category or a link.. make it red for example)
- Forum password - (Make it visible, this is not a user password, there is no reason to hide it)
- Forum permissions/moderators - (Text is too small, make settings also more user friendly)
- Copy forum permissions
- This looks like Web 1.0
- Manage forums
- Topic icons
- Install icons package - (Not explained well where the user has to put it, if he wants to install one - maybe also allow the user to upload one on that page)
- Install smilies package - (Same as for icons)
- On the click on every gear icon, it should toggle into an edit mode instead of displaying an entirely new page. Also, sorting them should be made easier - maybe by dragging and dropping.
- Maybe throw away
FLASHcompletely...? (https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2 ... pdate.html)
- Maybe throw away
- Manage attachments
- "Mark" should be named "Delete" or "Delete?" as that is the only thing you can do with marked items.
- Topic icons
- Don't annoy people with table names. Instead show them checkboxes like "Save users/posts/PMs?" and then let phpBB decide which tables are affected by this. Also, this should be done asynchronously with refreshes after timeouts so that big boards can also make backups in the ACP.
- Re-evaluate the list of crawlers and allow bulk-edit.
- Module Management -
(No, seriously, just remove it altogether. Why would you want to hide modules or even move them around?)Move to expert mode.
Notes to Other modifications to the ACP
For some things I want to introduce an "expert mode". In normal use, some settings never have to be changed but should be available. If administrators want to change these they should enable an "expert mode" (or with a similar name) which should come at the warning that changing some settings available in this mode comes with the risk of locking the admin out of the board. Or something similar.
Some routers have this kind of thing, for example FRITZ!Box routers by AVM have something like a checkbox called "Expert settings" which allows users to further configure the router.
All of this is my own opinion, so please discuss these points with me. Oh, and thanks for reading to this point.
After writing this post, I realised that phpBB really needs a WYSIWYG editor... This was madness.