Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

General discussion of development ideas and the approaches taken in the 3.x branch of phpBB. The current feature release of phpBB 3 is 3.3/Proteus.
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/a3
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by /a3 »

still giving wrote:A blog front end, to a discussion forum, should be as simple and default as a option to click. Who does not want half a dozen pages telling folks what their site is all about?
Me, for one...

phpBB is a discussion board, not a blogging platform. In fact, in most situations WordPress doesn't even need to be "integrated" with phpBB - take a look at the blog at phpBB.com!
$ git commit -m "YOLO"
worldsight
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by worldsight »

I finally dropped my WordPress installation because I don't need it anymore. To transform my PhPBB forum into something even better than WordPress, all I did was:

1) Create twentyten theme for PhPBB
2) Add the PhPBB SEO mods
3) Create a WordPress like front page that included the top five new posts in the wide column, and the last 15 posts/replies list in the narrow right hand column.

Et voila, all the functionality I needed is there.

So really, all PhPBB needs is better layouts, SEO mods and front page functionality that gives a newspage like overview. Categories and tags would be nice, they are still missing. i.e. be able to add posts to specific categories and have posts be displayed as a function of categories. But that's not too hard of a mod to do.
still giving
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by still giving »

/a3 wrote:phpBB is a discussion board, not a blogging platform. In fact, in most situations WordPress doesn't even need to be "integrated" with phpBB - take a look at the blog at phpBB.com!
What!?!

No one is saying it is or should be a "blogging platform", so please don't belittle the conversation ... and think a little. Wordpress is a CMS, not merely a "blogging platform". I think you might be surprised how widely is used these days as a site builder for all sorts of uses.

All we are saying is that almost all sites that use phpBB well, to build a community, use a handful of pages to act as a front end, introduction, perhaps an 'editorial' section.

One could just do that in straight HTML but Wordpress handles the job very well especially if you want to use a few plugins. This suggestion, proposal, example raises a very good point. That functionality ought to be built in.

There is a MOD that allows to make pages, and it would be possible using something like FAQ Manager to build such a feature. All it requires, as excellent shown here, is a bit of css styling really.

The big advantage of integration is searchability. Integrating that other element includes it in sitewide searches.

phpBB as a stand alone discussion forum is a dead duck against the rising standard of social networking platforms. It is uninteresting. It will draw a crowd nor build community. It is too hard for newcomers to modify. It needs to become something more. It has become too constraint by the fixed image of itself.

Personally, I extend this vision to include a wiki-like element.

One of the problem with BB is that good information gets lost under a whole heap of stupidity and inane conversation. Where you have a site designed to support individuals, or a cause, it is useful to be able to transplant those valuable elements into another section.
John Q. Public
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by John Q. Public »

I like this a lot! And I'm impressed that Cloudforest has a Google rank of 4. Very impressive for a phpBB board. Mine is pushing 300,000 posts and I've barely been able to eek out a "1". Not that our quality is anywhere near comparable.

But let me get this straight: These are all CSS changes and not an integration with WP, right? I guess not, since you said you'd dropped it but it at least looks seamless enough that I might just give it a try. Not that I really have the time to completely rewrite everything. <groan>

And I agree 100% with the ideas of making phpBB more Web 2.0-friendly. But not the parts about turning it into a blog. I love the software but it would really be nice if it were easier to integrate into a modern website.
Last edited by Oleg on Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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still giving
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by still giving »

Yes, it is all phpBB3 and the changes just to the style sheet, then that theme used for one forum to turn it into the pages section of a website that hosts a BB.

Standalone BBs are a dead end, and drying up. People expect more from the internet these days. There are other folks offering them more.
/a3
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by /a3 »

still giving wrote:Standalone BBs are a dead end, and drying up. People expect more from the internet these days. There are other folks offering them more.
That's certainly not true. I don't see phpBB drying up at all. Having everything in a single package doesn't really make sense, as it leads to bloat.
$ git commit -m "YOLO"
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Erik Frèrejean
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by Erik Frèrejean »

still giving wrote:Standalone BBs are a dead end, and drying up. People expect more from the internet these days. There are other folks offering them more.
End users maybe, but they don't care how a website works in the first place it just have to do what its supposed to do. An administrator that takes his task seriously will always chose packages that are tailored specifically to do "x", as these "crossover" packages will always lack things when compared to a dedicated package. For example, the phpBB devs *could* integrate a blogging solution into the package, but this will never be as good as a dedicated solution like wordpress which is developed to be a blog, not a bulletin board solution with a blog. At the other hand, phpBB itself will suffer from this as the attention of the devs will be diverted from the main product.

With web apps becoming more and more modularised, its getting more and more easy to integrate various applications with each other with almost no effort. And this is the way we should go, various companies providing dedicated packages for a specific use (blog/CMS/bb/mailing/etc/etc) which than easily can be bridged with each other to make them feel (for the end user) as one package.
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Sierron
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by Sierron »

Oh god, the web 2.0 social dudes are coming :lol:

Honestly, I never would need phpbb seo, blogs or any other stuff. I tried blogs on my board, no one was interested. they just wanted to discuss things. SEO mods are crap from the beginning. All this seo crap isn't really working out. Check phpBB.com. They don't have a seo mod, but topics can be found on google in less than 30 minutes. Why? Because it's popular. And seo doesn't help to you make you more popular. Blogs are a feature which will be used by 10% of all the phpBB3 forums and I'm pretty sure that isn't underestimated.

I like phpBB3 the way it is. Some minor additions are nice, but everything bigger than what is really needed should be up to the Admin of the board. I, for me, installed a Arcade Mod on my forum. Not everyone needs something like this, but do I suggest phpBB.com to add that because EVERYONE needs it? No. I want that certain feature, I'll install a mod for it. phpBB gives you the platform and you can add things you like to it to extend it. That's how it works. And it worked for quite some time.

:|
dandv
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by dandv »

worldsight wrote:There is an incredible resistance in the PhPBB community to move forward, simply because many PhPBB community members don't understand how end user behavior has changed as a result of Web 2.0. For example, there is no default E-mail notifications in PhPBB. You have to hack it yourself. THis was my end users number 1 complaint. Yes, they WANT to be notified by default when someone replies to any of their contributions. This is new behavior - thanks to Facebook, Twitter and the likes. Users need this, otherwise, they will never come back to your site, because thousands of pieces of content on the web are calling them for their attention. WP has this by default, but the PhPBB old timers resist this simply because they "don't want to be spammed". It's just a very different culture from the Modern Web 2.0 world of blogging and social networking.

PhPBB could use some solid Web 2.0 product management to bring it into the 21st Century.
I just wanted to say "Amen" to that. It was amazing to me how virulently some have opposed even clean, user-friendly URLs, let alone threaded views, even though these features are used by most modern social knowledge sharing sites (reddit, Disqus, Instant Debate, Wikipedia etc.), and even by older ones (Slashdot).

Oh, and e-mail notifications of discussion replies - duh! Of course you want them enabled by default for new users! Alas, that can only be done with a mod, which has been abandoned for 3 years and is currently broken. Assuming humans will 1) remember to check back periodically to see if they actually got a reply to a question, and 2) actually do so, betrays a complete lack of knowledge about basic human psychology.

Couple these painfully obviously neglected aspects with the (almost?) complete lack of AJAX usage, the fact that MODs need to hack core (Dupal's #1 rule, printed on t-shirts, is "Don't hack core") and phpBB looks (structurally) like a pre-Y2K forum. This despite it having 6+ years of development prior to newer contenders such as Vanilla Forums, which do get a lot of things right, out of the core, without 3rd party MODs.

I'm not saying these to criticize phpBB; rather, I'd like to gently advance the idea that the better way to discard the weight of the legacy might be to have a code rewrite. MyBB is doing it, replacing their spaghetti code and antiquated concepts with modern code written for a PHP framework. Arguments for why a complete rewrite done by the same developers is actually a great idea (contrary to what's commonly touted), can be found in this excellent essay.
/a3
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Re: Can I throw away my WordPress installation?

Post by /a3 »

dandv wrote:Oh, and e-mail notifications of discussion replies - duh! Of course you want them enabled by default for new users! Alas, that can only be done with a mod, which has been abandoned for 3 years and is currently broken. Assuming humans will 1) remember to check back periodically to see if they actually got a reply to a question, and 2) actually do so, betrays a complete lack of knowledge about basic human psychology.
Yes, perhaps it should be reconsidered if topic subscriptions are enabled by default for users or not. Just for reference, there is an option in the UCP which allows auto-subscription to topics which the user posts to (Notify me upon replies by default), although it is not enabled by default.

I don't see why that's so painfully obvious that you have to scream out "duh!" though. To many users such notifications might be annoying.
dandv wrote:Couple these painfully obviously neglected aspects with the (almost?) complete lack of AJAX usage
There has already been discussion on this for such pages (eg. Your message has been posted.).
dandv wrote:the fact that MODs need to hack core (Dupal's #1 rule, printed on t-shirts, is "Don't hack core")
There is already work underway on hooks to minimise core edits. For phpBB4, perhaps this will disappear.
dandv wrote:It was amazing to me how virulently some have opposed even clean, user-friendly URLs
Did you even read the proposition? It was that title text would be used as well as the topic ID. That means that the number is still there. The URL is no shorter than what it previously was. Perhaps it will make people happier because the funny looking question mark thingy isn't there.
$ git commit -m "YOLO"
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