SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Lancaster, Ca. USA
    Posts
    12,305
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Your Review: phpBB

    5. PHPBB (http://www.phpbb.com) - This has to be the most talked about free PHP based bulletin board system available. However, I found it to be very rough around the edges and missing some key features (i.e. secure email addresses) needed in today's environment. It also has the least appealing default style of all the systems listed here. PHPBB could be a winner with its opensource nature, however it still has a long way to go before being a leader. My Personal Rank is 2 out of 5 stars.


    What is your view of phpBB?
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  2. #2
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,126
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I view phpBB as the best free message board available. At least - for now, and for me. (XMB and PHPBulletin are also be favorites of mine )

    Making a good phpBB requires a bit of work because it looks ugly out of the box and is missing many simple features that most other free forum software has. So, if you know what you are doing, I think it can be a great thing. But, like I said, in its current version, it is not much.

    For instance, mmj (SP forums), who knows what he is doing, has taken phpBB and built an awesome forum for his website at http://www.mostlyamphigory.com/forums and a friend of mine, Jared, has made an excellent looking phpBB at http://www.windowslaunchpad.com.

    You can view my phpBB's at:

    http://www.karateforums.com
    http://www.sportsforums.net
    http://www.phpbbhacks.com

    Future versions of phpBB should *hopefully* be very impressive. But, they are giving no indication of when 2.0 (or 2.2) will come out, which is kinda annoying, but still when it does come out, it looks pretty good from what I have seen.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, I guess everyone saw my reply to this review in the lastest issue (typo's and all...LOL).

    iFroggy is 100% correct. With some creative thinking and a few modifications you can create very professional looking sites. I run a small forum using phpBB at http://forsaken.artiefishill.com/phpbb. It's a speciality board for the clan I belong to in an online game, but it gives you an idea of what can be done with phpBB. There are a ton of other hacks and addon's I could put in, but the big question is why? Are they necessary? Version 2.0 looks promising an I look forward to it's release. You need to remember, not everyone needs a 'vette when a Dodge will do.

  4. #4
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6,282
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi everyone. I've given comments about phpBB before, but I've had a bit more experience since.

    I respect Wayne's opinion of phpBB. It is rough around the edges. The currently available versions of phpBB leave a lot to be desired in terms of security, correct HTML code and even bugs.

    phpBB needs a lot of ironing out. Fortunately enough, I've got enough experience with php to be able to iron out many of those bugs, HTML errors and security holes myself.

    However, it's a hackers board, and certainly not an out-of-the-box solution. If you have a phpBB you'd better know how to program php.

    The benefits of phpBB are:

    - the price is right!
    - easily customisable (because it's so simple).
    - very fast (php/mysql).

    The disadvantages are:

    - sloppy code
    - security holes
    - no support for email validation
    - no support for COPPA
    - less features than other boards

    My own board uses phpBB. I've modified it very heavily and many of the annoyances of the original are gone. It is looking extremely respectable, and is beginning to run quite professionally indeed.

    However, it's a labour of love. I love phpBB, but if you are not prepared to give it a little love, give it a miss and instead buy a vB.

    For free boards, I would rate it the best PHP based free board. I know of better non-PHP boards.

    When reviewed against paid boards, it does not compare very well at all, however with open source, many people find that the benefit of open source outweighs these shortcomings.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bit Depth Blog Twitter Contact me
    Neon Javascript Framework Jokes Android stuff

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The benefits of phpBB are:

    - the price is right!
    - easily customisable (because it's so simple).
    - very fast (php/mysql).
    Can't argue with any of these...lol

    [QUOTE]
    The disadvantages are:

    - sloppy code
    [/QUOTE[

    True, but most open source projects are. phpBB is coming around though and the code is getting tighter. Version 2.0 is an almost total rewrite...

    - security holes
    What security holes...please elaborate. I see this term thrown around but never backed up.

    - no support for email validation
    True, but was easy enough to hack to add it...even for a beginner. My site requires a valid email addy to send your password to.

    - no support for COPPA
    True, but is it really needed? I added COPPA to mine in 5 minutes...

    - less features than other boards
    Again true, but I find most "retail" forum software are suffering from what I term "Microsoft" syndrome...too many features....

    I know it's cool to have pretty icons under your name smilies..and now calenders that show ppls birthdays...and all this other fluff..but still...if you are ONLY interested in communicating ideas..without mortgaging your house, then this is for you.

    I do agree, you do need to have a little programming skills to fully take advantage of the software and modify it to you needs, but that's half the fun. If ppl want just a message board you don't need to do squat to, go get one of the premade ones that can be found on the net....lol

  6. #6
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6,282
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I hope I haven't given you the idea that phpBB is bad - it isn't! I chose it above all others!

    However, the security holes in phpBB are easy to fix. And, granted, other boards aren't without their own security holes.

    The phpBB code disables magic-quotes, instead using its own addslashes routine when placing text into the database.

    However, there are locations where addslashes() is left out, where text can be placed into the database. Without the slashes, a quote character ' and certain commands after it can cause other unwanted mysql commands to be run. Hackers can exploit this by adding mysql queries that change them into administrators.

    I heard of this, and sure enough it worked on my own phpBB, so I fixed it up. Now my phpBB is a bit more secure

    This problem exists in prefs.php. It's simple to fix, just run addslashes() on all the variables before they are inserted into the database.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bit Depth Blog Twitter Contact me
    Neon Javascript Framework Jokes Android stuff

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for he tip...I'll review my board and make the appropriate changes...

    I find it hard to believe that this was overlooked. I'm sure it will be corrected in 2.0.

  8. #8
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Lancaster, Ca. USA
    Posts
    12,305
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You need to keep in mind that while it may be easy for you to add... 5 minutes there, 5 minutes here.

    Many people don't want to add features, don't know how to program and don't want to install hacks. On average this is 90% of all customers or users.

    So for the people that want email confirmation, email notification, secure email (email through a form), private messages, event calandars or a more comprehensive community script, they will go elsewhere.

    Offering a feature packed product offers the best options to the widest audience. Someone should not have to know PERL or PHP to run a forum system on their website.

    With the version of PHPBB that I looked at, this simply isn't possible if you want to run a modern full featured site. Maybe 2.0 will be better.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  9. #9
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6,282
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by W. Luke

    With the version of PHPBB that I looked at, this simply isn't possible if you want to run a modern full featured site. Maybe 2.0 will be better.
    Yes that's right. As I said, unless you are prepared to put a lot of work into it, don't get a phpBB.

    I await 2.0 as well.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bit Depth Blog Twitter Contact me
    Neon Javascript Framework Jokes Android stuff

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    But the main point I was attempting to make, Mr. Luke is that you were comparing apples to oranges....the comparisons you were making were not fair given the types of products you were compairing (commercial vs open source).

    I agree if you are not into actually having to work at your board, getting to know how it works, etc, the out of box solutions of vB is your best but. I am impressed at the latest version of vB, but am more impressed by phpBB's price.

  11. #11
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Lancaster, Ca. USA
    Posts
    12,305
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hmmm all the fans of Open Source have always said the software was better, more featured and more stable.

    I am not comparing Apples to Oranges here. Both are Discussion Board Systems and both are designed on the same flat threaded model made popular by UBB. Both use the same technologies for the engine and data storage and both are targetted at the same market.

    phpBB has the potential to be the best, just as any other product out there but if people who don't like the product don't speak up the creators will never know. I do wish the owners see this and make a valid effort to make phpBB a more robust system. Think of this as nothing more than constructive criticism. I see real needs for improvement in phpBB before I can recommend it to anyone especially when compared to Ikonboard. Ikonboard gets my recommendation for free systems until phpBB catches up with the current market demands.

    I once tried to make my points valid on their webpage but was never allowed to post and my userid seems to have been deleted.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  12. #12
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,126
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [rant]

    Well, I can't say I am suprised Wayne. Sorry that that happened.

    The phpBB Admin staff is not the best bunch. They have done a lot of shady things and one of their lead members, John Abela has done many derogatory things to many people.

    My site, phpBBHacks.com, while being the first real hacks site, the one with the most hacks and the best one, was taken with great discust. They refuse to link to it or acknowledge it and when someone mentions in on the hacks.phpBB forums, they recieve ridicule. They are losing a bit of the "open source" attitude as they are trying to monopolize the hacks community, very sad, but true.

    One of the biggest members at phpBB Wert (both at phpBB and at SitePoint) got banned from their hacks.phpBB for sending people to my site when it was useful to them (when Hacks.phpBB didn't have a hack that I do) and he got BANNED. He has been a phpBB user since it started up basically - a long time and they disrespect him in this way.

    They do not take criticizm well, do not appreciate their users or the popularity their software has and constantly disrespect their userbase.

    [/rant]

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't follow the politics too well, but I personally have never witnessed any of the above...but then again, I don't follow that type of crap. I have gotten many hacks from your site and I found the link to it on phpBB.com in a message there...so if what you were saying were true, why didn't the mods there kill that message? I would think if they were so anti-phpbbhacks.com they would not even allow it's mention....

    I don't mean to say what you stated as being true, but I take it with a grain of salt.

    But to revisit the apples to oranges issue..ok, point taken, you are comparing apples to apples...just Golden Delicious to McIntosh....LOL
    Last edited by sullise; Aug 5, 2001 at 20:02.

  14. #14
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6,282
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iFroggy
    [rant]


    They do not take criticizm well, do not appreciate their users or the popularity their software has and constantly disrespect their userbase.

    [/rant]
    Hi Patrick. That post evoked a strong emotion. I wholeheartedly agree with you. The organisation of the phpBB staff, in the short time that I've seen them, seems to be lacking of any professional policy or hierachy. In short, their forums are not well-run. Unlike the vBulletin or Snitz community forums (just for instance), the phpBB forums do NOT set a good example as one of their forums.

    While I regret bringing negativity to this topic, I just wanted to let Patrick know that he is not alone in feeling some of those things.

    Last edited by mmj; Aug 6, 2001 at 00:51.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bit Depth Blog Twitter Contact me
    Neon Javascript Framework Jokes Android stuff

  15. #15
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,126
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks mmj. I didn't want to bring anything negative either, but... I have taken a lot of garbage from them and seen a lot of not so good things, so I just wanted to tell it like it is for a minute there.

    Sullise,

    <another rant> (You have been warned. )

    If they went ALL OUT censorship they would probably alienate themselves. The reason you found it in a message is most likely because someone other than me mentioned it, but I also mention it. Basically, I meant that they fail to acknowledge us or support us. I read an interview that was done with James (phpBB creator). One of the questions was about the hacking community. His answer was not a very positive one and it only mentioned hacks.phpBB, which has less hacks, worse support and came after us. Basically, they refuse to do anything to acknowledge us because they are trying to monopolize the hacks system.

    </another rant>

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'll have to take your word on this since like I said, I don't follow the threads at phpbb.com that closely, I usually just search for topics that I need info on (hacks usually ).

    I have garnered many great hacks from your site and they are incorporated in my site.

    I can understand James lack of enthusiasim on the hack community. People (like myself) hack the hell out of the code and then when a new release comes out, all you see is "aaaahh..my hacks don't work anymore..HELP!". This is usually from those the have NO understanding of what they are doing when they hack the code and are just following the instructions in the readme files. This can be a nightmare for James. Part of this problem is the way it is written. Look at phpNuke (v5) that uses templates and is easier to hack because of it's modular design. It too is far from perfect, but then again..it too is FREE.

    The problem with the poor management structure of the phpBB developers and support really stems from the fact that this is NOT there bread and butter, but a labor of love (I use the phrase loosely). vBulletin is a BUSINESS and this necessates it's need to act like one.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses for any "unprofessional" or nasty behavior on the part of the writers of phpbb. Just playing devils advocate.

  17. #17
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,126
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well ok, but the Interviews were a series. One with the vB creator, one with the iKB creator, one with the WWWThreads creator, one with the UBB creator and one with James.

    There were two things in that series of interviews that stood out to me:

    1. The UBB guy saying that they he sees "no" real "competition."

    2. James was the only guy that I felt was negative on the hacking community. I am not talking about the new release stuff either. Anyway, thats really all I have to say.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    3,910
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To me, phpBB simply lacks polish. The layout looks akward upon the initial installation, and because of the lack of a templating system, it's difficult to correct this. I'm looking forward to 2.0, but I am a bit surprised that the people working on phpBB couldn't have gotten someone to spend a couple hours cleaning up the layout -- it would go a long way, despite involving a relatively small amount of work.

    Anyway, other than that, I think the code is a bit sloppy (when compared to vB, and again basic coding practices) -- at least, it was when I saw it last. Once again, let's hope 2.0 moves forward. The potential of 2.0 is really the only significant reason for me to keep up with it's development.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,483
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have seen the code for phpBB 2 and it is much cleaner than 1.x ever was.

    I'm still not thoroughly keen on their template system, I would have preferred something more like vB's, but I guess anything is better than nothing

    It has the potential to go a long way, and phpBB 2 will realise some of that potential, however it still needs to make up a lot of lost ground if it wants a real chance of succeeding.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Addict coolbuzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    223
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have seen the new phpbb v2 beta 1 at http://phpbb.sourceforge.net/phpBB2
    Think that it will improve a lot from its previous version and am considering it instead of IB
    What do u wanna say bout that

  21. #21
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    8,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When will it be officially released?

  22. #22
    Ex-SitePointer silver trophy
    Patrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Harbinger, NC, U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,126
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They don't really set dates, but I'd guess within a month.

  23. #23
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    6,282
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm crossing my fingers

    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Bit Depth Blog Twitter Contact me
    Neon Javascript Framework Jokes Android stuff


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •