Firefox PHP

Phorum the Future?

Posted by Brian Moon 
Phorum the Future?
June 07, 2007 04:08AM
So, as we said after MySQL conference, we received a lot of feedback about making Phorum work with other applications. After looking around, it looks to me like we have to just live with the fact that everyone else wants to be in control. That means the forum folks (not just Phorum) are stuck having to make their code work with others.

When thinking about this and working on a Picture hosting application I started to think about the future of Phorum. I have been wondering what would happen to make me want to start over again. Phorum 5 was a huge task. It took us over two years to just get an alpha out. So, unless I had a good reason, I did not want to just start rewriting for the sake of rewriting.

Then the idea of an embeddable suite of applications hit me. I will not into more detail here. Rather read my wiki page on it. I welcome feedback from the Phorum community.

Brian - Cowboy Ninja Coder - Personal Blog - Twitter



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2008 05:39AM by Brian Moon.
pat
Re: Phorum the Future?
June 08, 2007 10:23PM
Those are great ideas and clearly the way to go. A "standalone" usermanagement is the number one priority in my opinion.
Re: Phorum the Future?
June 12, 2007 03:36PM
Brian,

Let me first say I am very very happy with Phorum. I've been using it since version 3 came out and I just became a happier camper with 5. I read the wiki page on it and I must say I like what I see. I think it will make Phorum even more famous. I have been using the blog system already as a gaming news thing and the wiki page looks really great. The way you described it makes it a winner, it will help me scale down on applications and like you yourself said on the Dealnews review it will help me do things I would usually only be able to do with a ton of applications.

I like it and look forward for more news on it.

Sergej

------------------------------------------
^AU^ Assassins United
[www.assassinsunited.com]
------------------------------------------
Re: Phorum the Future?
July 18, 2007 12:12AM
ok this idea is huge, its what I've been dreaming of for several years now .. so I'm ok to be part of the development team if I can bring some help

Phil.

PS:I'm french



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2007 12:56AM by mphilop.
Re: Phorum the Future?
July 20, 2007 12:20PM
Just one request: please factor into the design that our old Phorum links will still work after the upgrade - this was a significant issue with the Phorum 3->5 upgrade.

Thanks,

/\dam

--
My notable Phorum sites:
Movie Deaths Database - "review comments" system mostly powered by Phorum
Learn Chinese! - integrated forum quiz
Re: Phorum the Future?
July 20, 2007 10:16PM
I don't see a reason that, at the minimum, the forum id or message id should change. The URL format may be a bit different, you can never tell what I will come up with. The big problem in 3->5 was that the message ids changed due to the tables being merged into one table.

Brian - Cowboy Ninja Coder - Personal Blog - Twitter
Re: Phorum the Future?
July 23, 2007 07:18AM
this is a teriffic idea.. what I like most about it is that it'd make it quite easy to have a bit more competition between particular modules.

if someone makes a different style user management module, then one can use it, or use a default one or one from a different system altogether...

and the same goes for nearly every functional unit one might think of.

Teriffic
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 01, 2008 10:23PM
Quote
brian
The future of successful applications is going to hinge on that applications ability to be embedded in ANY other app that will support it and interoperability with other applications.

I agree 100%.

The problem that exists is that Open Source projects are a moving target. Today a project may be actively developed and then the next day, the developer loses interest or the project changes hands and goes a different direction. So webmasters are left scratching their heads when an integral part of their infrastructure needs to be yanked out and replaced with something else down the line.

Over the last 8 years, I've followed the PHP web app field. I've tried just about everything out there, settled on the lean and mean side of things, less is more kind of apps. When you see your server straining under the load of a huge monolithic app, you tend to feel sorry for it. But it's the monolithic apps that are taking over, like Joomla!, because they are a one-stop shop for webmasters.

So I agree with you on interoperability, but in order to sell it, you have to sell the longevity of your project first.

Why should I hinge my site's commenting system to Phorum?

--
Bert Garcia - When all you have is a keyboard



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2008 10:29PM by hcgtv.
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 01, 2008 10:53PM
Quote
hcgtv
So I agree with you on interoperability, but in order to sell it, you have to sell the longevity of your project first.

You are questioning the longevity of the PHP message board that has been around longest of all? =)

The main argument for longevity would be that all the developers are actively using Phorum for their own sites too. It is a system that we use and which is open sourced. It's not just a toy that we could drop any moment. For me, that would really mean losing 90% of my site's features. I really wouldn't want to switch to one of the other message boards out there, not only because I'm a Phorum developer, but also because I have been using Phorum for years before entering the team. And don't think that I didn't try the others during the years. They just did not match my needs for integration with my web site.

So in my opinion, longevity for Phorum is simply based on the developers' interest in keeping Phorum going for themselves too and not only for others.

Quote

Why should I hinge my site's commenting system to Phorum?

It's hard to convince you on this one, since I wouldn't know what you consider a "commenting system". Likewise, I can't guess whether your ideas would be technically possible when using Phorum.

I can tell you that the Phorum project is currently heading towards a documented API for interfacing with the core features and that makes Phorum even more open to connect to other systems and to building custom applications on top of it than it was before. Also, if your system uses its own user database already, then Phorum might be a good choice because of its open minded approach to user management. In 5.0 and 5.1, user integration was already possible, but in 5.2 we really opened up the possibilities by implementing the user API. If you need user integration, then Phorum is on your side and in no way insisting on being the master data source for the users.

If you require more specific info on whether Phorum is fit for your needs, then please start a topic with your questions and requirements. Then we can probably find out whether our software can help you.


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 03:10PM
Quote
mmakaay
You are questioning the longevity of the PHP message board that has been around longest of all? =)

Ooh snap, you got me there :)

Quote
mmakaay
If you require more specific info on whether Phorum is fit for your needs, then please start a topic with your questions and requirements.

I sure will, let me play around with Phorum 5.2.4 locally for a few days.

--
Bert Garcia - When all you have is a keyboard
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 03:17PM
Maybe take a snapshot release instead. We will be going stable with that code really soon.
Of course, upgrading from 5.2.4 to the stable 5.2.5 won't be problematic either.


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 03:58PM
Quote
mmakaay
Maybe take a snapshot release instead.

Sure, I'll grab a snapshot. I assume you mean the phorum5-dev-svn-2008010208.tar.gz one?

--
Bert Garcia - When all you have is a keyboard
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 04:07PM
More something like phorum52-dev-svn-2008010208.tar.gz


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 04:12PM
I think that if there is a language pack for admin panel, there will be more international users for Phorum and I'm looking forward for it.
Thanks
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 04:32PM
There is no language pack for the current admin interface and there probably won't be one ever, because all the strings are put straight into the code and internationalizing them would be a *lot* of work. There are some remote plans for overhauling the admin interface. I think that this would be a nice occasion to make the admin interface language aware.

But bewarned in advance: the number of strings to translate is huge and while the front end language file does not really change during a stable release's lifetime, the admin interface often does change because of extra help info, new options and other changes. There would also need to be support for modules to internationalize their admin settings interface. So there will be even more strings to translate in that field and it will be hard to manage to keep all these up-to-date.


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 05:48PM
Bert,

Good to see you here!

I hope you will find phorum is very good package to integrate into your cms of choice especially with the embed template module.

It is very flexible and nice!

[opensourceCMS.com]
[ongetc.com]
Chanh Ong
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 07:55PM
Quote
chanh
Good to see you here!

Hey Chanh, just noticed that it's Phorum that you use on OSCMS.

I'm evaluating Phorum, new year, new direction. See you around.

--
Bert Garcia - When all you have is a keyboard
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 07:57PM
Quote
mmakaay
More something like phorum52-dev-svn-2008010208.tar.gz

Thanks grabbed that one, what are the differences between phorum5 and phorum52?

Also, did you ever get someone to help you out with the docs?

--
Bert Garcia - When all you have is a keyboard
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 08:48PM
the phorum5-snapshot is trunk - aka stuff under full development and probably broken ;).
the phorum52 snapshot is from the phorum_5_2 branch, the one going stable shortly.


Thomas Seifert
Phorum Development Team / Mysnip-Solutions.de
Custom Phorum and general software development
worry-free Phorum Hosting
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 02, 2008 09:48PM
Quote
ts77
the phorum5-snapshot is trunk - aka stuff under full development and probably broken ;).
the phorum52 snapshot is from the phorum_5_2 branch, the one going stable shortly.

This scares you a bit: This code could be broken. No guarantees.

phorum52 is working good on a local XAMPP Lite install, mucho fast :)

Thanks for the clarification.

--
Bert Garcia - When all you have is a keyboard
Re: Phorum the Future?
March 11, 2008 08:26AM
If you guys are gonna start from scratch again, will you also consider writing it OO?
Re: Phorum the Future?
March 11, 2008 09:19AM
Only if it performs as fast or outperforms procedural code. And in that case it still would more likely be a mixture of procedural and OO code.


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum the Future?
March 11, 2008 09:27AM
I agree.

this big push to OO code is all lovely and it makes for some pretty programs, but there's often a huge sacrifice in performance. and not all things need to be OO.. often people make objects where they're just not necessary.

you have my vote for performance first, but it'd be nice to have some things inheritable to facilitate module development and such
Re: Phorum the Future?
March 11, 2008 12:32PM
Note: this became quite a big post, so for the lazy readers, I bolded the highlights =)

How does that facilitate module development? I find the hook system far more usable than most OO overloading based module systems that I've worked with in some other applications. I was always a big fan of Apache's module system and seeing something slightly alike (hook based) in Phorum really made me happy when I found out about it.

Additionally, there are so many hooks to work with in Phorum that I don't immediately see in what way an OO based solution could be implemented in a way that performs well. All these hooks would have to be implemented as some sort of OO method which are all called. With the current hooks system, we can check whether a hook is set before calling it at all. Due to this, hooks that are not implemented by any active module have no performance hit at all.

One more nice thing about the existing module system, is that you can create new non-core hooks really easily by doing a phorum_hook() call from your code. I sometimes use this to make modules call their own hooks, so yet another module can hook into the functionality of the first module. That makes for a really fine grained and flexable module system, whereas most OO based solutions that I have come around are more restricted.

One last thing that I like about Phorum module hooks is that they are pipeline based. This means that it's easy to have many modules that implement the same hook and that all do something with the data that is being handled by the hook. In inheritance systems, I remember implementations where pipelining was not an option because the module system targeted at a single overloaded method and not at multiple modules that all can work together on a single "hook". For OO implementations that did pipelining, the idea was normally that there is some base class in which you can override the methods for which you want to hook into the application. But if that is what you are targeting at, I do not see the functional difference with the existing system where OO would only add - like Brian calls it - syntactical sugar. The main difference would be the massive amount of overhead that the OO method takes here.

BTW: It is perfectly possible to write a module that hooks into all the Phorum hooks which:

* implements some sort of registry for OO based modules (so in fact an alternative module system)
* provides a base class which contains methods for all these hooks and which can be used to inherit from for module writing
* which dispatches all the procedural hook calls to the registered OO based modules.

Only writing this down already makes my "THIS WILL BE TOO DAMN SLOW!!!!" alarm bells ring like mad =)


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum the Future?
November 30, 2008 01:41PM
Quote
freedman
but there's often a huge sacrifice in performance. and not all things need to be OO.. often people make objects where they're just not necessary.

I'm an OOP programmer and noticed there is no real speed difference between many classes or a multi-level array.
Sometimes my OOP was even faster (what the hack?!?).
It all depends on:
  1. How many files
  2. How many different classes
  3. How is the code written

The benefits of OOP is that you can make certain parts of a program very dynamic.
For example in case of cooperation with other PHP applications it would be nice to have a member class that specifies things like:
class phorum_user_default
{
    const TABLE = 'phorum_users';
    const HASH  = 'md5';

    $table_fields = array(
        'id' => 'user_id',
        'username' => 'username',
        'password' => 'password',
    );
}

class phorum_user_joomla
{
    const TABLE = 'jos_users';
    const HASH  = 'sha1';

    $table_fields = array(
        'id' => 'id',
        'username' => 'username',
        'password' => 'password',
    );
}

It would even allow you to copy/synchronize between 'user' tables since the classes won't byte eachother due to their name convention and APC won't choke when you switch between them.
Re: Phorum the Future?
December 01, 2008 06:13PM
How is that more useful than this or some other array structure? You are just making fake namespaces there. There is nothing OOP about that code.

$PHORUM["user_tables"] = array(

    "default" => array(
        "table"  => 'phorum_users',
        "hash"   => 'md5',
        "fields" => array(
            'id' => 'user_id',
            'username' => 'username',
            'password' => 'password',
        ),
        
    "joomla" => array(
        "table"  => 'jos_users',
        "hash"   => 'sha1',
        "fields" => array(
            'id' => 'id',
            'username' => 'username',
            'password' => 'password',
        )
);

Brian - Cowboy Ninja Coder - Personal Blog - Twitter
Re: Phorum the Future?
December 29, 2008 04:10AM
I'm looking forward to the day when I can add Phorum to sites I build based on Joomla 1.5 and Wordpress.

It's not a TV show, it's an obession: [chat.bbchatter.com]
Re: Phorum the Future?
January 03, 2009 03:24PM
I'm so glad for finding this phorum.I thank the Admin ,Brian Moon.
Anonymous User
Re: Phorum the Future?
August 01, 2009 04:04PM
The phorum future...

For the moment, for what i see now, is that the admin panel is very rustic and would need a serious CSS relooking.
Re: Phorum the Future?
August 01, 2009 04:13PM
Go ahead, create a brilliant CSS for the admin.
Admin Skins module


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
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