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Some Post-Conference information

Posted by Thomas Seifert 
Some Post-Conference information
May 01, 2007 09:42AM
So finally we are all back at home and at least I got the cold with all that flying around ;).

I guess its time now to tell a little bit more about how it went.

The exhibition hall itself, where we've shown and talked about Phorum, was open for just 2 days, tuesday and wednesday. We had a lot of people coming to our booth asking about phorum, what it could do, what it should do and what we are doing with dogs ;).
The most requested "feature" was easy user-integration for own systems.
Seems like we, or at least I, really underestimated that need.
I'd say around 50% of all people asking about Phorum were also asking for that feature.
Therefore I guess there wil be really some work put into it and I think Brian already does some work on it.
Isn't it Brian? ;-)

On the other hand we mostly used the time to stick together and get some stuff done on phorum.
Its really much easier to implement changes which might need discussions if you can just talk to each other about it instead of writing on irc or emails.
As you can see from the timeline ( [] ) and closed tickets ( [] ) there was quite some work done on 5.2, much more than I expected.

Just some (not complete at all) things that were done:
- large changes in search allowing searching for threads only and author and message text together (!)
- rewritten building of the threaded-list from a recursive function to an optimized non-recursive function which is more than 10 times faster(!)
- printable version of pages was finally put into emerald too
- banlist caching was implemented
- forum path is now built in the admin for easier functionality of the breadcrumbs navigation(s)
- modules can require a minimum phorum version now
- bugs in rss-feed script were fixed
- diff-like edit tracking was added(!)
- setting for requiring cookies was added
- pm-view doesn't break anymore with lots of recipients
- first steps for adding api-tests and code coverage analysis were done (3.5% code coverage now ;))
- ... lots of other fixes to the code.

I guess Brian and Maurice can add quite some more entries to that list.

Thanks to all users for making this possible and I think we will try to repeat that meeting in a shorter timeframe from now on ;).

Thomas Seifert
Re: Some Post-Conference information
May 01, 2007 03:51PM
The trip to America was fantastic and it was great to meet my fellow developers face to face. The fun we had together and being able to quickly discuss ideas and problems really boosted productivity. We even had a little ticket-closing contest going on. I think Brian was the big winner for that contest. We got a lot closer to Phorum 5.2 than we had imagined on beforehand.

Here some topics that come to mind:

User Integration

Indeed, user integration was much requested. We were happy with the embedding module, since that handles the integration already. The Joomla! people were in the booth next to ours and we managed to show them an embedded slave Phorum within about 20 minutes (including installing Joomla! and Phorum). They really liked it, because Phorum does not need to run as the master system. Unfortunately they pretty much decided for SMF as the default forum system for Joomla! a while ago already. Let's see if we can change their choice in the future ;-)

We decided that we are going to look at better and easier ways to do user integration. One thing would be to see if it is possible to fully separate the user data at the database query level, so synchronization of user data to the Phorum system would not be needed anymore to make things work (we don't yet know if it is possible, but we will aim for it). The people that handle the MySQL support forums would really like this too.

New module: Event Logging

One new module that I wrote during my trip, is an event logging system. I wrote it with the 5.2 tree in mind, but it might work on 5.1 too. The logging system can log all kinds of Phorum events (e.g. database errors, users logging in/out, posting messages, moderation actions, PHP warnings/notices/errors). Other modules can also use the event log for logging purposes (I want to add logging to Spam Hurdles for example, to be able to see blocked messages in the log).

OpenID integration

We decided to integrate OpenID support in Phorum. This is an authentication mechanism which makes use of an open third party user sign on service. One result of this project, might be that the Real Name module is no longer needed to display real names for users. Next to that, we expect enhancements to Phorum's user system which make integration with other authentication systems easier.

Secret Sauce

I really would love to tell you all about this magnificent item (it's my number one conference result), but unfortunately, it is secret =)

Maurice Makaay
Phorum Development Team
my blog linkedin profile secret sauce
Re: Some Post-Conference information
May 02, 2007 02:08PM
Thanks for the nice update!

Chanh Ong
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