Yes, but the facts are that you can only go in-depth with the things you choose to. Do you know in-depth how does a computer, a television, a stereo system, a mobile phone, a refridgerator, a car, an air-conditioner, a remote control, a microwave oven works? I mean, be able to fix them? If not, then why learn how to fix a forum software?
You can't force people to learn php, just like you can't force them to know much about all the things above. Those who want to, will do.
Either I know how those things work and due to their mass produced factory extra sealedupness they require a professional to fix it, or have to be thrown out and replaced.
The point it that I might not be able to fix them, but I know to not try and fix them myself. But I also take the time to read the manual to read how to maintain/operate it, and when it breaks, pick up the phone and call the manufacturer.
The difference with software is the cost to fix is mute, and the skill set rather easy to pick up with no specialist equipment required.
Kail: That wasn't my point. I'm all for making repetitive tasks easier, but at some point there must be a level of understanding for when things go wrong. This level of understanding could be understand how to fix the problem yourself, or understanding that you need to ask someone for help. EasyMOD could be guaranteed to work for updating phpBB if people didn't modify phpBB, but they do, and is exactly what this topic is about.
For example, if I have my modified phpBB and an update MOD file conflicts, I know to take a look at the source and see if it's a formatting problem and resolve the conflict myself. If I am unable to do that I then have several choices including being proactive and learning how to solve the problem myself. Throwing out all the files and starting again from a clean slate with the existing database, or contracting someone who will know how to solve my problem. (You could also ask support in the phpBB support forum, but support isn't guaranteed)
The same applies to a car lets say. If I need to change my tyres, I have to make sure I get the correct tyre for the car. If I don't know how to change the tyre or select the correct one I have several courses of action I can take. I can find out which type of tyre I require and learn how to change it. I could throw out the car and buy a new one with new tyres and all. Or I could go to my local mechanics and they will know which tyre to use and change it for me (for a small fee). Here I also have one other choice, the manufacturer who will charge me a large fee to change the tyre.
As you can see it would be a huge waste of resources if the car were to be able to change the tyre itself. A waste of fuel carrying around the mechanical system required to change the tyre on the small offset of a chance that I will need it to change the tyre. The same applies here to phpBB w.r.t a hooks system. Implementing a hooks system is a waste of CPU clock cycles carrying around the software system required to hook into the code on the off chance that a plugin would even want to plugin to that section of the code, let alone the change I would use a plugin.
By using core system modification I maintain performance, as well as enjoy the flexibility it provides me with. Back to the car analogy, if I modify my car with magnesium wheels, this won't affect my ability to refuel the car. The engine still performs the same by not having to accomodate other changes I may want to make to it. The reason why it fits into the core system modification analogy is because I don't carry both sets of wheels around with me, I either have the stock (presumably steel) wheels, or the magnesium. With some effort I could go back to the steel wheels if I really wanted to, but it requires some effort still. Same could be said about painting the car a different colour.
Of course there will always be a compromise within all these systems, it is just where the system architect wishes to place these compromises.
What are the factors:
Ease of use
Easy to modify
How important are each factor, of course this will be different in everyones opinion. 8)