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Features / Usability

Features / Usability


Why not integrate phpBB?

posts: 6 United States

What is the reasoning behind creating a new forum system inside of tikiwiki rather than integrating a forum app that's already established with lots of work already done on it?

I ask because I like many of the features in phpBB, and I'm wondering if there's a compelling reason for me to stick with the built-in Tiki Forums rather than just writing a connector for the user info. Obviously, there would be more to it than just that, especiallly if phpBB were to run in a frame or were otherwise included in the page, but the concept is the same: is it not less work to incorporate a mature package than to write one from scratch?

dreamwolf

posts: 12 France
From what I read (I don't remember if it was here on TwikiWiki or not), phpBB is quite resource-hungry. i like the look of phpBB forums too, but if that means loss of performance I prefer something lighter. It depends what your site is for.

posts: 224 Ireland

I think the discussion of enhancing Tiki forums vs using a 3rd party package is always ongoing. Personally I am in favour of the first because there are only so many 3rd party features you can integrate without taking the risk of breaking the application where integration is concerned. However, if you plan to write a connector phpBB->Tiki then I think this would be very much welcomed by both communities. So good luck with that! Some things to consider I think are:

  • user authentication
  • private messaging
  • search/indexing


Regards,

Pat.


posts: 38

> kumquat:
> From what I read (I don't remember if it was here on TwikiWiki or not), phpBB is quite resource-hungry. i like the look of phpBB forums too, but if that means loss of performance I prefer something lighter. It depends what your site is for.


What about Invision Power board (very fast)?


posts: 8

> rickdier:
> > kumquat:
> > From what I read (I don't remember if it was here on TwikiWiki or not), phpBB is quite resource-hungry. i like the look of phpBB forums too, but if that means loss of performance I prefer something lighter. It depends what your site is for.
>
>
> What about Invision Power board (very fast)?
>

slower than phpBB2 in my experience, ugly, oh, and completely Proprietry, not a road i'd like to see taken.



posts: 2881 United Kingdom

Hi people!

Personally I think the Tiki Forums in the upcoming release 1.8 will be great. Ok, so maybe not as flashy as a phpBB one, but hey, you can always make yourself a nice theme mrgreen


posts: 1

While I wouldn't mind seeing this done simply from the standpoint that it would be easier to deal with an existing phpbb system I also can see why a system based upon phpbb that is a lighter version would make an incredible difference in the performance of the bb system.

However I would like to present a query as to the possibility of importing data from an existing phpbb system into the forums on a tiki site.

Currently I have a third party type site setup for Support Q&A forums for BitchX.Org running @ http://cyberpunkz.org. I have been looking for a system for a while that has the flexibility that I have recently discovered with Tikiwiki but would also allow me to import the forum data of the existing phpbb site into a new forum.

One of the things I see lacking in a lot of sites is the ability to do conversion of an existing site. When I noticed that tikiwiki was doing forums based upon phpbb I wanted badly to figure out a way to at least import the forums and post data into Tikiwiki but there is no clear, clean, easy way to do this that I have found thus far.

It would be very nice and a great incentive I think for people that have current phpBB systems to have the ability to convert to a Tikiwiki system from their existing phpBB site.

If anyone knows of a way to do this I'd appreciate being pointed in the right direction so I can get to work on doing this because I don't want to convert the site and lose the data simply because I have no way to import the data into the new board.

Thanks for any help you guys might be able to offer.

sin

sin@EFnet #BitchX
rob at cyberpunkz.org

posts: 6 United States

sin:
While I wouldn't mind seeing this done simply from the standpoint that it would be easier to deal with an existing phpbb system I also can see why a system based upon phpbb that is a lighter version would make an incredible difference in the performance of the bb system.



Hm...so basically, just do the features we want to see, and leave out the rest. Personally, I would be happy if Tiki Forums just used phpBB markup.


However I would like to present a query as to the possibility of importing data from an existing phpbb system into the forums on a tiki site.



This sounds like a great idea, but realize that some things will not come over. If fact, some things (like phpBB markup) will just look like strangely punctuated text.

However, I do think that creating a {non-Tiki-app}-to-Tiki data conversion toolset for some popular packages might by a nifty thing to do. The problem is that a) those packages are popular for a reason, so I would think people less like to switch away from a well-developed system to a less mature, less specialized one; and b) if it's not a "popular" package, there won't be enough people needing the conversion tool to warrant the time spent doing it. (Feel free to prove me wrong! I do data conversions - in part - for a living.)

That kind of brings me back around to my original question: why not pick a forum app and integrate it? Preferably one that allows for easily integrating "look-and-feel" (its using smarty would help). I'm all for taking advantage of pre-existing development and the corresponding increase in developer cycles without expending any energy on avocacy.

dreamwolf


posts: 6 United States

sin:
While I wouldn't mind seeing this done simply from the standpoint that it would be easier to deal with an existing phpbb system I also can see why a system based upon phpbb that is a lighter version would make an incredible difference in the performance of the bb system.



Hm...so basically, just do the features we want to see, and leave out the rest. Personally, I would be happy if Tiki Forums just used phpBB markup.


However I would like to present a query as to the possibility of importing data from an existing phpbb system into the forums on a tiki site.



This sounds like a great idea, but realize that some things will not come over. If fact, some things (like phpBB markup) will just look like strangely punctuated text.

However, I do think that creating a {non-Tiki-app}-to-Tiki data conversion toolset for some popular packages might by a nifty thing to do. The problem is that a) those packages are popular for a reason, so I would think people less like to switch away from a well-developed system to a less mature, less specialized one; and b) if it's not a "popular" package, there won't be enough people needing the conversion tool to warrant the time spent doing it. (Feel free to prove me wrong! I do data conversions - in part - for a living.)

That kind of brings me back around to my original question: why not pick a forum app and integrate it? Preferably one that allows for easily integrating "look-and-feel" (its using smarty would help). I'm all for taking advantage of pre-existing development and the corresponding increase in developer cycles without expending any energy on avocacy.

dreamwolf


posts: 57
phpbb doesn't support WikiWords. End of story.

posts: 26

I can't believe there's been no dialogue on this since January 2004.

I wonder:

Did Dreamwolf or anyone ever develop a connector phpBB->Tiki?

Did "sin" or anyone ever find a way to import phpBB into TikiWiki?

other keywords: integrate, frankensite.

posts: 6 United States
I can't believe there's been no dialogue on this since January 2004.


And I can't believe I still had a watch on this thread! :-)

Did Dreamwolf or anyone ever develop a connector phpBB->Tiki?


I didn't do anything with phpBB --> TikiWiki, whether a connector (hard) or a conversion (easier).

'Wolf

posts: 1573 Canada

Hi!

There was a debate about this a few years ago. I had no strong opinion at the time. But, with hindsight, I now support 100% Luis Argerich's decision. I think it's more work & risk to integrate an external forum app (not to mention licenses, community aspects, etc) that to develop our own.

It takes a bit longer but the integration with the rest of the application is so much tighter (user system, wiki syntax, look & feel, database abstraction, unified search, etc) and so much more future-proof. In some cases, it makes sense to reuse external code (java or javascript mostly), but not for the forums.

The only advantage would have been to leverage exisiting communities and get more users. We could achieve these goals with less effort, via a data migration script and a phpBB look alike theme like this one:
http://themes.tikiwiki.org/Tikipedia

Even Bitweaver is now offering BoardsPackage to replace phpBB.
http://www.bitweaver.org/wiki/PhpBBPackage

While phpBB is nice & popular, there are some features, like file attachments to a post which have been in Tiki for years and are not yet in the stable version of phpBB (will be in 3.0)
http://www.phpbb.com/about/features/

OTOH, The user interface of Tiki forums was not so great. It has been improved in soon to be released 1.9.8 and even more in 1.10 (in dev)

AFAIK, phpbb import is still on wishlist:
http://dev.tikiwiki.org/tiki-view_tracker_item.php?itemId=1018

Best regards,

M ;-)


posts: 6 United States
I can't believe there's been no dialogue on this since January 2004.


And I can't believe I still had a watch on this thread! :-)

Did Dreamwolf or anyone ever develop a connector phpBB->Tiki?


I didn't do anything with phpBB --> TikiWiki, whether a connector (hard) or a conversion (easier).

'Wolf

posts: 1573 Canada

Hi!

There was a debate about this a few years ago. I had no strong opinion at the time. But, with hindsight, I now support 100% Luis Argerich's decision. I think it's more work & risk to integrate an external forum app (not to mention licenses, community aspects, etc) that to develop our own.

It takes a bit longer but the integration with the rest of the application is so much tighter (user system, wiki syntax, look & feel, database abstraction, unified search, etc) and so much more future-proof. In some cases, it makes sense to reuse external code (java or javascript mostly), but not for the forums.

The only advantage would have been to leverage exisiting communities and get more users. We could achieve these goals with less effort, via a data migration script and a phpBB look alike theme like this one:
http://themes.tikiwiki.org/Tikipedia

Even Bitweaver is now offering BoardsPackage to replace phpBB.
http://www.bitweaver.org/wiki/PhpBBPackage

While phpBB is nice & popular, there are some features, like file attachments to a post which have been in Tiki for years and are not yet in the stable version of phpBB (will be in 3.0)
http://www.phpbb.com/about/features/

OTOH, The user interface of Tiki forums was not so great. It has been improved in soon to be released 1.9.8 and even more in 1.10 (in dev)

AFAIK, phpbb import is still on wishlist:
http://dev.tikiwiki.org/tiki-view_tracker_item.php?itemId=1018

Best regards,

M ;-)


posts: 10

> What is the reasoning behind creating a new forum system inside of tikiwiki rather than integrating a forum app that's already established with lots of work already done on it?
>
> I ask because I like many of the features in phpBB, and I'm wondering if there's a compelling reason for me to stick with the built-in Tiki Forums rather than just writing a connector for the user info. Obviously, there would be more to it than just that, especiallly if phpBB were to run in a frame or were otherwise included in the page, but the concept is the same: is it not less work to incorporate a mature package than to write one from scratch?
>
> dreamwolf
>
I, myself have been trying to do this by messing with the PHP code. It certainly was anything but easy! Don't try this unless you wish to spend hours everyday for several weeks doing so. Of course, there's probably an easier way that I haven't thought of yet.

posts: 28 United States

> > I ask because I like many of the features in phpBB, and I'm wondering if there's a compelling reason for me to stick with the built-in Tiki Forums rather than just writing a connector for the user info. Obviously, there would be more to it than just that, especiallly if phpBB were to run in a frame or were otherwise included in the page, but the concept is the same: is it not less work to incorporate a mature package than to write one from scratch?
> >
> I, myself have been trying to do this by messing with the PHP code. It certainly was anything but easy! Don't try this unless you wish to spend hours everyday for several weeks doing so. Of course, there's probably an easier way that I haven't thought of yet.


For those of you still looking for a phpBB importer into TikiWiki forums, please check my updated comments in http://dev.tikiwiki.org/tiki-view_tracker_item.php?itemId=1018

The general idea for migration from phpBB (or any other forum system) to TikiWiki is because you are using TikiWiki, wish to use its integrated forum system, and wish to retain the content from your old system. This is the same philosophy I use for migrating from one Tiki server's forums to another...while the usernames are retained in the posts, and the actual post, datestamps, and reply info are retained, attachments, actual users, and other such unimportant items are ignored. The main goal is to get the substance of the forum posts from one system to another.

I am nearing completion of the Tiki forum importer to import from one Tiki system to another, and once that is complete, I'll be working on import for phpbb2 forums into Tiki. My goal is to have something for phpbb2 by the end of December. The tool will support import from a specified server, from a specified database on that server, or from an SQL text dump.

If you have any questions about the import tool, or you have any specific things you want to see in the phpBB import part of it, either reply here, add them to the above tracker item, or PM me.

Mike.


posts: 28 United States

> > I ask because I like many of the features in phpBB, and I'm wondering if there's a compelling reason for me to stick with the built-in Tiki Forums rather than just writing a connector for the user info. Obviously, there would be more to it than just that, especiallly if phpBB were to run in a frame or were otherwise included in the page, but the concept is the same: is it not less work to incorporate a mature package than to write one from scratch?
> >
> I, myself have been trying to do this by messing with the PHP code. It certainly was anything but easy! Don't try this unless you wish to spend hours everyday for several weeks doing so. Of course, there's probably an easier way that I haven't thought of yet.


For those of you still looking for a phpBB importer into TikiWiki forums, please check my updated comments in http://dev.tikiwiki.org/tiki-view_tracker_item.php?itemId=1018

The general idea for migration from phpBB (or any other forum system) to TikiWiki is because you are using TikiWiki, wish to use its integrated forum system, and wish to retain the content from your old system. This is the same philosophy I use for migrating from one Tiki server's forums to another...while the usernames are retained in the posts, and the actual post, datestamps, and reply info are retained, attachments, actual users, and other such unimportant items are ignored. The main goal is to get the substance of the forum posts from one system to another.

I am nearing completion of the Tiki forum importer to import from one Tiki system to another, and once that is complete, I'll be working on import for phpbb2 forums into Tiki. My goal is to have something for phpbb2 by the end of December. The tool will support import from a specified server, from a specified database on that server, or from an SQL text dump.

If you have any questions about the import tool, or you have any specific things you want to see in the phpBB import part of it, either reply here, add them to the above tracker item, or PM me.

Mike.