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Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?

Posted by Robert Angle 
Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 21, 2012 07:36PM
I make it no secret that I am all antsy over the impending release of 5.3, and I am curious as to what new features we can expect. I remember seeing a post with the new avatar mod that makes the process for users to add an avatar much easier on them. I also think I remember hearing that Private Messages would be displayed in linear format, much like the linear view of topics in the forum.

What other goods are in store for us?


Robert Angle
Phorum lover, nothing more.
Ruminations
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 22, 2012 11:37AM
I don't remember any change about the private messages if so then its a separate module, not built into core.
Most changes are "under the hood", usable from modules to make they better integrated and stuff like that.
Maybe Maurice has more information about the visible changes.
For my users a lot was visible as I jumped from 5.1 to 5.3.


Thomas Seifert
Phorum Development Team / Mysnip-Solutions.de
Custom Phorum and general software development
worry-free Phorum Hosting
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 22, 2012 02:01PM
As Thomas said, there was a lot of work done under the hood (logical since we set the goal to not change the templates going from 5.2 to 5.3). Code-wise, this means that there are a lot of new API's, which encapsulate functionality that was in the main scripts before. This makes it easier to use the functionality from module code and to expose functionality through for example Ajax, without having to duplicate code.

I added some new features for moderators. The flow for deleting messages has been improved, by taking the moderator back to the thread when possible, making it easier to delete multiple messages in a row. When moving messages to other forums, the moderator can now choose to set a time for the move notification. After this time, the move notification will be automatically deleted.
All these changes are not extremely drastic, but they are fully backward compatible template-wise. When using an old template, the moderation process won't break.

A fully new Phorum javascript library was added, bringing more structure than the 5.2 javascript code. It adds javascript functions that are useful when creating templates. For example flagging forums and threads as read is now part of the core code and the javascript required for it is part of the new library.

The integration code for OpenID was removed from 5.3. Hooks were added to the core code to make it possible to handle OpenID and more from modules. I am working on a module (Social Authentication) that integrates Phorum with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedin, OpenID, etc. using the new core functionality.'
I'm currently in the process of making the module compatible with all authentication providers. It was mostly functional a while back, but providers and protocols have moved on, requiring updates to the code.

The new Avatar module that you are talking about uses new APIs that were added for 5.3. Probably the most important one is the Image API, which implements scaling and cropping.

These are the things that pop up in my mind when thinking about it. There are more, but for that it's best to dig through the change logs, which we'll probably have to do when releasing 5.3.


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 23, 2012 02:42PM
Thanks, that was very helpful. Will the new Phorum also include a tag system and "Reaction" features like Vanilla (i.e. Top Rated)?
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 23, 2012 09:32PM
No


Thomas Seifert
Phorum Development Team / Mysnip-Solutions.de
Custom Phorum and general software development
worry-free Phorum Hosting
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 23, 2012 10:07PM
I remember that it was discussed a while ago. Personally, I find these features very useful to better engage communities. I already hear "Phorum is different" and - to some degree - I am grateful for this attitude, but particularly these features have become standard for many modern web applications/forums. I use them all the time and now my eyes are watering up being confronted with the outlook that we will not see them on Phorum in the foreseeable future. Don't get me wrong, I am a loyal and grateful Phorum user but I think the inclusion of these features would represent a another milestone.
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 23, 2012 10:11PM
sure, as a lot of other features would. we just don't have the time to implement them all.


Thomas Seifert
Phorum Development Team / Mysnip-Solutions.de
Custom Phorum and general software development
worry-free Phorum Hosting
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 23, 2012 10:29PM
Then let me ask the following question: What would it take to expand the Phorum developmet team and get the necessary resources?

PS: I forgot to ask, will it become easier to implement Phorum on sites with different class systems? Thanks!
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 24, 2012 12:33AM
What do you mean with "what would it take"? Are you offering a huge amount of money to hire some coder to do all the coding that you require and to contribute the result to the Phorum project?

I have no idea what you mean with different class systems. What's a class system? What's not easy currently? What is it that you are exactly looking for? New hooks likely do make integration tasks easier, but they will never make it simple.

For any other features that are going to popup in your head: if we didn't mention them in this thread before, they most likely are not implemented.


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 24, 2012 01:51AM
Quote
Maurice Makaay
What do you mean with "what would it take"? Are you offering a huge amount of money to hire some coder to do all the coding that you require and to contribute the result to the Phorum project?

Maybe I need to rephrase my question: How would you define success for Phorum?

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Maurice Makaay
I have no idea what you mean with different class systems. What's a class system? What's not easy currently? What is it that you are exactly looking for? New hooks likely do make integration tasks easier, but they will never make it simple.

Quote

Re: Can Phorum be dynamically integrated into an existing class-based site?
I'm actually surprised that there doesn't seem to be any "backend" solution out there on the internet to allow you to easily incorporate a forum to any site with full flexibility on how to integrate and display it. I know for a fact that such a solution would be very popular as it would resolve all the integration limitations the "full package" forum softwares have, thus making it the obvious choice for anyone want to add a forum to a pre-existing site."

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Maurice Makaay
Embed Phorum formed such a backend solution and it was built with exactly the reasons that you sum up in mind. Fact is that I already put effort in creating a Phorum 5.2 version of the code, but that code got lost in a hard disk accident. I haven't found the spirit to go over that all again, but I surely will by the time that we get 5.3 stable and out. That's the first goal for now.



Quote
Maurice Makaay
For any other features that are going to popup in your head: if we didn't mention them in this thread before, they most likely are not implemented.

I dared to asked since you mentioned earlier that you haven't listed all the new features. I am glad that at least one of my suggestions apparently also popped up in Brian's head.

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Brian Moon
Reddit's algorithm is more of a sorting algorithm. Not so much a quality algorithm. Still interesting. I actually went hunting and found a couple of more interesting ones out there.
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 29, 2012 03:46PM
Quote

I'm currently in the process of making the module compatible with all authentication providers. It was mostly functional a while back, but providers and protocols have moved on, requiring updates to the code.

Super cool. Thanks much!

Just sayin :)
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 30, 2012 04:52PM
I understand that current resources are applied to the successful launch of the upcoming 5.3 release. I was wondering whether anybody would be able to let me better understand the future plans for Phorum after release date. At some point I was under the impression that tag and popularity features (like to be found on Vanilla) had been considered. If the lack of these popular features is merely caused by a lack of resources why not charging people for PP (Phorum Premium)?
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 30, 2012 09:17PM
Because people would be irritated by the fact that we'd keep some new features only for a paying group of people and we believe in a software either being free or not - not both at the same time.


Thomas Seifert
Phorum Development Team / Mysnip-Solutions.de
Custom Phorum and general software development
worry-free Phorum Hosting
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
April 30, 2012 09:43PM
Thomas, an iron rule says that nothing in life comes for free, not even the cookies from your grandmother's cookie jar. I feel that Phorum will loose in significance when it should continue neglecting rather basic features. I believe in hard work, good software, a fair market price and honest user feedback. The concept of providing free and premium software is not my invention but a broadly accepted model, serving software companies which intend to stay in business.
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
May 01, 2012 01:45AM
Quote
korsakov
If the lack of these popular features is merely caused by a lack of resources why not charging people for PP (Phorum Premium)?

Quote
korsakov
Thomas, an iron rule says that nothing in life comes for free, not even the cookies from your grandmother's cookie jar. I feel that Phorum will loose in significance when it should continue neglecting rather basic features. I believe in hard work, good software, a fair market price and honest user feedback. The concept of providing free and premium software is not my invention but a broadly accepted model, serving software companies which intend to stay in business.

My boss has been thinking about asking me to come up with a module to provide Topic Tags to our internal phorum. If he decides to do it, I can say it is not a trivial module to build, and it will take me a while to get to it (if at all). I submit whatever I make that is stable to the Phorum modules thread. So who knows... maybe you'll get your feature, and for free. Yes, free to you. I help "pay" for Phorum in my own way, sharing my modules. You can help pay in your own way: hire a developer to write your module, and release it here when it is done. Hmmm just thinking out loud.... Topic Tags would get done a lot faster if someone hired me to write it.... hmmmm... again, just thinking out loud. It would be bad form to troll these boards soliciting paying projects.
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
May 01, 2012 02:03AM
Hi Phil! Unfortunately, these particular features require changes within the DB in order to work properly. A module won't help.
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
May 01, 2012 02:14AM
Making it impossible to develop and contribute to the project? If core changes are required and the contributed code is good, then I see no reason why not to incorporate it into the core.

In the spirit of Phorum's module system, it would be best if the changes to the core are kept to a minimum of course, making the feature a combination of the minimum number of well designed core changes, combined with a module that leverages those changes.


Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
September 03, 2012 08:11PM
Maurice,

Just browsing the thread and after reading.. I was wondering how far along you were on the social auth plugin? If the providers keep changing their *stuff*, perhaps google identity toolkit would be a good way to go? I believe it covers most providers (minus facebook atm). Just tossing that out there. I'm not in need of anything like that but for what I've read, offering major social providers improves turnover rates for user registration and usage.

Cheers!

~ Be Kind, Please Rewind! ~
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
November 02, 2012 09:20PM
[removed ad for other forum software]

I am convinced that a minimum of message qualifiers is absolutely necessary if Phorum intends to keep up with the best. Who cares about the slight decrease in speed?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2012 10:04PM by Thomas Seifert.
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
November 02, 2012 10:04PM
I don't know what kind of "message qualifiers" we are talking about but we care about speed.


Thomas Seifert
Phorum Development Team / Mysnip-Solutions.de
Custom Phorum and general software development
worry-free Phorum Hosting
Re: Phorum 5.3 - What do we have to look forward to?
November 02, 2012 10:53PM
Hera a couple of examples: A message could be rated for relevance, it could be differentiated between a student or instructor/expert response, it could be characterized as resolved/unresolved. Maybe an expert group could collaborate on the same response like you do with Google documents. Imagine if a supervisor group might rate the answers of students! Why not differentiating between question, notes or a polls when you post a message? (also look at piazza.com, reddit.com, stackflow.com ) I promise the majority will not care about speed nuances when technology continues to progress at the current speed. I don't expect Phorum to implement all of these suggestions but I am afraid that Phorum might become irrelevant if it refuses to take note of general trends while getting stuck with its current core.
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