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Migrating *customized*2.5 to 3.x

Author raf
Registered
#1 | Posted: 24 Oct 2013 18:06 | Edited by: Moderator 
Hi guys.

I'm maintainer of minibb forum at forum <some...>er com minibb helped me in the past anyway as I converted all the forum from some amateur properitary solution which was never fully developed (fortunately very similar to minibb in means of database)

I'd like to migrate to newest minibb mostly due to these f#$%#$% spambots but there are problems, namely:
- custom template
- custom modifications in code (some are fast/hardcoded and some are VERY specific unfortunately)
- plugins
- IDs in tables are not consistent as the forum contains content from 3 different forums and identifiers were not renumbered to be connected with dates (well... this applies to custom code as well because I sort things not by ID but by DATE)

is there a way to keep plugins intact at least?

moreover:

I really adore minibb, it's good piece of software, especially clean and simple database structure but codewise there is pain in the ass sometimes, especially setting many options inside php files instead real administration panel. I also completely don't understand why you strip tabulation from php files, you must be kidding with those performance boost. fortunately tools like phpDesigner can make code readable for a programmer again.

PS. some time ago I sent you complete Polish translation updated to 2.5, I prepared that with friend who helped me with <some...>er at some time, did you guys receive that stuff, you didn't respond neither there is updated package on the site?

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#2 | Posted: 24 Oct 2013 22:49 | Edited by: Paul 
raf:
codewise there is pain in the ass sometimes, especially setting many options inside php files instead real administration panel

Indeed, it's a security approach. Any PHP script could be bugged, but if you modify settings manually, this rather never could be exploited (depends only on how secure is your actual Internet connection). Also, it wouldn't be called "mini" if we would have the Admin panel having in size the similar Kbytes as the whole software. Most of settings need to be modified once in a lifetime, then what this bush of spare code would be for?.. We have only plans releasing this as an add-on, but who knows if that would ever happen - so far I am happy with this approach, as most of the customers. Sorry for that.

raf:
I also completely don't understand why you strip tabulation from php files

We don't strip anything intentionally. This is just how I code, I don't need tabs in my practice. Additionally, scripts then become smaller in size and so they take a bit more in speed to be loaded up on the physical disk, it's native logics. Tabulation doesn't give something spectacular to the end customers, who in most even don't touch the core files, like I always recommend.

And now you see - you have modified the core files, and you can't upgrade to new versions easily anymore. Who's guilty? Not miniBB, definitely. Almost everything could be customized on the add-ons level without destructing the core. Even if there are custom changes in the core, there is a way to keep the list of these changes and then get back to them, restoring them after upgrading the main version. I have maintained a few of forums which had exactly lots of core modifications, but they all are still possible to upgrade because I have planned it in advance. If you don't keep the list of such modifications... what could I say :) de-tabulated code and settings in a plain file seems to be not that crucial butthurt at all comparing to this "method".

So far I could say that from what I understood, your forums are not possible to upgrade at all. The new plugins we have now, are mostly compatible with 3.x release. The time goes on, you should have a new core to plug them in.

raf:
some time ago I sent you complete Polish translation updated to 2.5, I prepared that with friend who helped me with <some...>er at some time, did you guys receive that stuff, you didn't respond neither there is updated package on the site?

Hmm, if you didn't receive even a thank you message on this, then rather this update has been lost. Which way did you send it actually? to my email address personally or...? Please make a request via the Contact Form at first, so I could reply. You may prepare the package for 3.x release, as it also contains few of the new stuff, 2.5 is not actual anymore and whatever I see we have in Downloads regarding Polish translation, ends with 2.4.1.

Author raf
Registered
#3 | Posted: 25 Oct 2013 15:31 | Edited by: Moderator 
Paul:
Indeed, it's a security approach. Any PHP script could be bugged, but if you modify settings manually, this rather never could be exploited (depends only on how secure is your actual Internet connection). Also, it wouldn't be called "mini" if we would have the Admin panel having in size the similar Kbytes as the whole software. Most of settings need to be modified once in a lifetime, then what this bush of spare code would be for?.. We have only plans releasing this as an add-on, but who knows if that would ever happen - so far I am happy with this approach, as most of the customers. Sorry for that.

well... you're right for administration panel I must admit... but for sake of pure core configuration, configuring plugins might be needed more often. as for security it surely makes exploits non-exist, but there are other risk involved anyway, though there is no point in discussing them right now (say average forum system can be "hacked" by accessing admin panel, minibb can be "Hacked" by access to ftp).

Paul:
We don't strip anything intentionally. This is just how I code, I don't need tabs in my practice. Additionally, scripts then become smaller in size and so they take a bit more in speed to be loaded up on the physical disk, it's native logics. Tabulation doesn't give something spectacular to the end customers, who in most even don't touch the core files, like I always recommend.

well with all the regard for your good job... I'd like to ask you if you maybe read "clean code" book? It's not only matter of tabs in the code, many other aspects too (you know, db access, variable naming and so on).

Paul:
And now you see - you have modified the core files, and you can't upgrade to new versions easily anymore. Who's guilty? Not miniBB

sure, that is my problem and my guilty/fault ;) just asking you if there is a way to solve that. I'll stick to older minibb then, at least for some time.

Paul:
Hmm, if you didn't receive even a thank you message on this, then rather this update has been lost. Which way did you send it actually? to my email address personally or...? Please make a request via the Contact Form at first, so I could reply. You may prepare the package for 3.x release, as it also contains few of the new stuff, 2.5 is not actual anymore and whatever I see we have in Downloads regarding Polish translation, ends with 2.4.1.

I think it was attachment for one your emails, directly. I'll contact with you soon again. I there is not many changes in the new minibb I may make 3.x translation soon, however running <some...>er on minibb 3.x would be better motivation to move on with translation ;)

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#4 | Posted: 25 Oct 2013 23:08 | Edited by: Paul 
raf:
but for sake of pure core configuration, configuring plugins might be needed more often.

Not sure what for? Could you give more example on your proposal?

If we even include the administration of plugins, I can't even imagine how much space and security issues it may take. Could you please give more of your personal proposals on this?

So far I know, configuring plugins takes the same time as the core of miniBB. Done once, forgotten until the next upgrade in a few years (optionally - some plugins run for years without no even need to re-config them).

Anyway, if they need to be changed in a time, I can't imagine a better way for the admin than:
entering FTP with couple of clicks, pressing a button, changing some bytes of text, pressing a combinations of buttons, clicking a confirmation button - done.

Do you know a better way?

Even a "visual" approach is about: clicking some link, entering login details, entering login details again if you were wrong (you are not a fool to keep your admin details in a regular browser, don't you?..); clicking an option to enter a certain section, clicking an option to enter another sub-section; FINALLY, finding the option you need to change (scrolling down almost the half or the whole screen of options with no easy possibility to find it); changing it; scrolling down to click the Confirmation button - OMG you are FINALLY at the end of all this shit changes!..

And you see IT DIDN'T WORK, ok. So you start from scratch. At least a hour of your life is gone for nothing.

I think, it's too big time for nothing spent. You just need to learn once how to do things properly, then they will save your lifetime for more pleasant things. It's my approach, it's miniBB approach. I know it's disliked by almost 95% of the "regular end users" - but who cares. I am not the one to take care of them, this software is just about another things, there it has the Benefit comparing to others.

raf:
minibb can be "Hacked" by access to ftp

If your FTP is weak, then not just miniBB could be hacked - the whole of your server; so it's not the point of miniBB security at all.

raf:
though there is no point in discussing them right now

If you had started this point, then why do you go away from it? I could discuss it right now.
It seems you've started it but can't continue it - so it's not my problem, don't you agree?

raf:
I'd like to ask you if you maybe read "clean code" book?

If you mean the book called Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship, by "Uncle Bob" Robert C. Martin, then it's just a very limited way of how we could consider the programming things.

First of all, mr. Martin is just an American consultant, but I am running the International project of all kinds. Despite it was registered as a trademark in US at first, I must say this was just my very first attempt of how to register a Trademark elsewhere, and it doesn't bring so much profit, so it just an official point.

Now I know I could consult any company the same way Robert does. Consulting is not a miracle business. But the coding is.

If you have more proofs or supplements on why I should read this book, then I would like to read exactly your opinion, not a reference to someone else. This world is full of books, theories, conspiracies, practices and if we just refer to one of them, there is nothing objective. But my proof that my software is objective, is just that it works. Not just for me - for other hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. It's obvious.

Now, regarding books in general, I am reading now the "Bicycle Diaries" of David Byrne and I must say it's much more exciting and knowledge-full to read, than any book of a regular US consultant; I think, David Byrne made more to this world than Robert Martin, even Pedowikia size of articles shows that clearly.

raf:
many other aspects too (you know, db access, variable naming and so on)

Sorry, I have no ideas how DB access, variable naming and so on is related to my code.

raf:
just asking you if there is a way to solve that

There would be definitely a way to solve that, if you would have ideas about all the changes to the code you've made.
If you have not documented them, there is no way.

raf:
I think it was attachment for one your emails, directly. I'll contact with you soon again.

Sorry, I physically can't remember about all email recipients I am getting, they are hundreds in a month. Sure, please contact me again with the translation, hopefully this time it won't be recognized as a spam message by my client (possibly). Also, I hope you will take care about the quality of the translation.

Thanks in advance for attention to this small piece of software.

Author raf
Registered
#5 | Posted: 4 Nov 2013 23:20 | Edited by: Moderator 
I ended up moving to <other forum engine> after just only sorting posts by date and getting new IDs. These guys have automatic converter, pretty wise.

I don't have spare time to discuss/argue with you about rest of the stuff, sorry. I'll only say that "Uncle Bob" was programming for some 30+ years, starting with assembler in 70s, ending with java in new millenium thus he was no a porn actor or gardener who went onto writing a book about tidy coding, he shares his experience about stuff that grew up with him I think.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#6 | Posted: 4 Nov 2013 23:54 | Edited by: Paul 
I'm glad you have made your choice, but then not sure what this all discussion about "custom VERY specific modifications" was about. Then it appears they were not so VERY at all. It seems like you just appealed to make them VERY to show your importance, which was not that at all.

You wanted to keep them badly at first; now your decision is about just to start everything from scratch.

Surely, now you will have no time to spare things anymore. And with no doubt, we have nothing to discuss anymore. "Uncle Bob" is not the only coder and programmer on Earth. If you are a fan of one person, it doesn't mean all other should give him a kiss. Further of your message shows it clearly with no other comments to add.

Good luck!

Author raf
Registered
#7 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 01:05 
Well at first I wanted to strip my mods from the code (that ID sorting, increased amount of data to be takien into account for statistics, added latest poster in templates with a link to latest post - a thing that came up in newer mini bb but in a different fashion - these are things I remember that I modified, there could be more. if I did it again I'd surely use version control to keep track of changes and would keep in mind to make modifications less core-hacking, my fault... maybe they were not so specific like portal engine with minibb plugged in deeply but... still many quick hacks) to go back to vanilla 2.5a, then upgrade to 3.0.3 but after all I calculated that it will cost similar amount of time to switch to another engine, with features that are paid in minibb - sorry, no offence, just my point of view.

As I promised here we go with translation....

this is translation for what was added after 2.5:
/* v3.0 */
$l_previousPage='« Poprzedni';
$l_nextPage='Następny »';
$l_stats_pop_forums='Najpopularniejsze fora';
$l_makeSupersticky='Super-przyklejony';

/* v3.0.1 */
$l_deleteAll='Usuń wszystko';
$l_justLockProfile='Pozostaw profil zablokowany';
$l_userDeactivated='Użytkownik został zdeaktywowany.';

and here is link to full transaltion for v2.5 we use at c64power com, it contains translations for plugins too (everything is UTF-8):

as I don't have 10 posts yet, this is mocked URL:

http***c64power*com slash lang.zip

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#8 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 13:48 | Edited by: Paul 
Sorry, I can't connect to your site, getting the "The connection has timed out" error... will try to get onto my ISP neck 'cause it seems they again blocked some of the networks, not sure why; yours included. Please keep this file for couple of days.

raf:
sorry, no offence, just my point of view

Like I wrote earlier, it's your choice. Each software has its purpose. I'm mostly sure miniBB bets every software on quick access to the content, quick moderation and quick posting. That's what I am passing though on the other forums, and that's why my customers are saying: after miniBB, they would go to switch to the "free featured" monsters, because in final, you have to pay much more time & money than you'd pay for the simple things. MiniBB is just a quick & simple forum, that's all; if you don't like the approach, you have hundreds of other ways to go.

Hah, this still impressed me from the morning:

raf:
"Uncle Bob" was programming for some 30+ years, starting with assembler in 70s, ending with java in new millenium thus he was no a porn actor or gardener who went onto writing a book about tidy coding, he shares his experience about stuff that grew up with him I think.

Assembler? Java?.. How this all could be related to PHP?

When I was visiting a PHP Conference in Moscow in 2006, with Rasmus Lerdorf involved, he talked about security at first, CSRF/XSS issues, what's new coming up in the security area... as I remember, rather no discussion was even related to the "clean code" - btw I'm considering miniBB's code as absolutely clean, it's manual code, built by hands, each string verified. If it's not tabulated, it doesn't mean it's dirty.

You know, I have 15+ years experience in PHP, and if I would ever write a book, the first sentence would be: forget about university-based "guides to coding". That's all standing faaaaar from the practice.

Have a nice day.

Author tom322
Registered
#9 | Posted: 5 Nov 2013 18:25 
It's the fact that most forum software and web browser vulnerabilities come from addons. That's why it's in best interest to keep them separate.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#10 | Posted: 7 Nov 2013 20:15 
raf
Sorry, I can't neither download or even connect to your server. It seems my IP is blocked on your ISP end, for some reason, not sure, why. The wheel of fortune probably, we're just on another planets of perception.

We have File Bank add-on enabled on these forums, so you could just upload your package there.

Click the button above the form which looks like:
File Bank Upload Button

and proceed to the rest - hopefully it will pass through.

Thanks, and sorry.

Author raf
Registered
#11 | Posted: 10 Nov 2013 13:02 
I sent you an email to gmx dot net mail account. Please confirm.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#12 | Posted: 10 Nov 2013 19:34 | Edited by: Paul 
Thank you, I've got it with some delay, your email was in spam folder for some reason.
I'll update these files in the end of the next week, now it's impossible since I'm out of the office.
Cheers.

Author Paul
Lead Developer
#13 | Posted: 17 Nov 2013 19:41 
Thanks again for your translations. I've sent you an email explaining what is missing and what is updated, hopefully you could check it out and reply in the meantime.

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