I agree that having "pretty urls" or "clean urls" or whatever the heck you want to call them would be widely appreciated; I can't tell you how many times I've seen requests for it. But as someone who has tried to use them before, it is a nightmare because of the relative links used on the front-end/GUI parts (i.e. style, template, etc.). Of course igorw created a clean URL building class as well as a hook to fix the relative urls and make it all play nicely together, so that could be a way to fix it. But even with that, some servers are very restrictive and some things have to be hardcoded to make it work in some places (even using igorw's fixes, I tried making a MOD with clean urls once that worked nicely on my server but threw up errors on my client's server).
Also, why do we need the "f#" and "t#" stuff? Having the IDs in the URL destroys the point of having a "user friendly" URL. On the new version of my website I have a knowledge base with pretty urls that are in the format of ./kb/category/article and they don't require category or article ids. Each article and each category has its own descriptive title shown on the page and a separate short name (unique among other articles or categories) used in the URL, which acts like an ID with letters instead of numbers. What could be done is simple strip all special characters, spaces, etc. from the topic or forum title and use that as the URL, and if there are conflicts, just add a number at the end and increment for each conflict.
Although, thinking again, what about when a topic is moved? If it is linked anywhere where the link is not dynamically generated (i.e. a post), it will refer to the wrong forum title and ID.
So instead of doing what I just described above, how about having urls like
By specifying "forum" and "topic" before the name of the item, we still don't need to use the ID and if the topic gets moved to a different forum, we don't have to worry about the old forum ID being in the url.
As for memberlist, someone earlier asked about m# or u#... how about just
./phpBB/profile/username (of course the username would have to be stripped of any odd characters, which could result in issues with duplicate names, like user@ and user% would both be "user" in the url, but in that case you could instead supply the user id like
./phpBB/profile/3 or something.
So in summary, it's a nice idea, but might be a nightmare to implement globally since some servers are whiny about such things, and so it should be optional. Also, there needs to be some discussion about implementation as far as how the links should look, etc.
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