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  1. #26
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    Actually the purpose is to have better functionality than what's found in vBulletin. AFAIK there's no way to search PMs for Date: To: From: Title: or Message: content. If there is, please let me know.
    a) If extending vb's functionality is your primary goal, then perhaps a vbulletin plugin would be more appropriate?

    b) vbulletin 4 allows you to search by those parameters. vbulletin 3.7 is going to be the last release of the vb3 series... its practically end of life at this point.

    vb4 pm search.PNG

  2. #27
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    Question: what localhost server should this run on? linux, windows or both?

  3. #28
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    Getting stuff flying, a few questions about the requirements:

    # SAVE any selected results to a new separate file (Text and/or CSV and/or XML).
    1) What format--the SitePoint messaging format or the app's native format?
    2) Define selected--is it "user has checked these messages" or "export search result"?

    be fully functional without javascript being enabled
    1) Define "fully functional"--I can see a few scenarios where you would be able to search/export results but some fancy stuff would require js to make it go.

    WRT "typical localhost"

    Do we mean "typical local use setup" or "typical shared hosting provider". Especially for .NET apps there are some *big* differences as you need to consider non-trusted scenarios which can severely limit what you can do with your app.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixDown View Post
    a) If extending vb's functionality is your primary goal, then perhaps a vbulletin plugin would be more appropriate?

    b) vbulletin 4 allows you to search by those parameters. vbulletin 3.7 is going to be the last release of the vb3 series... its practically end of life at this point.

    vb4 pm search.PNG
    Now that's one fine looking user interface IMHO!

    Hmmmm, 3.7 the last? SitePoint only fairly recently upgraded to version 3.8.5 And I'm not sure when they'll be upgrading to 4.

    It might be true that writing a vBulletin plugin would be more appropriate. If you know of any legal, free open-source API documentation please let me know. I'd love to get my hands on the code.

    I suppose there are many reasons to not write a Private Message utility application that can run on someones computer's localhost server, but that's what this contest is about. Not about writing a desktop application or a plugin of one type or another. But don't go away, those are good ideas for a future contest.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vali View Post
    Question: what localhost server should this run on? linux, windows or both?
    To me, I think of Linux and Windows (and Mac) as Operating Systems not servers like PWS, IIS, Apache, Mongrel, etc. I guess whatever server you have installed on your computer is the logical choice. Just be sure to mention it in your System Requirements if it's actually a requirement.


    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99 View Post
    Getting stuff flying, a few questions about the requirements:

    1) What format--the SitePoint messaging format or the app's native format?
    2) Define selected--is it "user has checked these messages" or "export search result"?

    1) Define "fully functional"--I can see a few scenarios where you would be able to search/export results but some fancy stuff would require js to make it go.

    WRT "typical localhost"

    Do we mean "typical local use setup" or "typical shared hosting provider". Especially for .NET apps there are some *big* differences as you need to consider non-trusted scenarios which can severely limit what you can do with your app.
    @1 The exported filetypes are Text, CSV, and XML so the application would need to be able to work with at least one of those. And it also needs to be able to work with any new files it creates. I suppose it could for example read the original XML files, save selected messages in a myNewFile.XYZ and be able to work with myNewFile.XYZ again later - if that's what you mean. My thinking is that if it's going to read say, CSV, then it would make sense to save them as CSV as well. But if you can think of a better format to save/read new files in, I don't see any problem with that.

    If you mean how they're displayed, no, it doesn't need to look like how they're displayed here at SitePoint. For example, the PHP aoo I wrote (so far) doesn't convert bbCode tags to HTML tags. So it doesn't have to, but if you want it to that's a Bonus Point.

    @2 What I had in mind was my being able to do something like open privatemessages-SampleMember-Jul 11, 2010.txt and look for all PMs I sent to OtherMember. In the app I wrote, matching messages are displayed in a table and I can select multiple individual messages or all of them. Then I can create and save a new file, say to-OtherMember-Aug 4, 2010.txt that will have those messages. But I suppose if you wanted to have a "direct-save" that skipped the viewing you could do that instead/too. Heaven knows not every application does things the way I would think they could be done and they're perfectly fine.

    @1 What I mean by fully functional is that it will still work - i.e. select, read, search, display, sort, save - without requiring javascript being enabled to do so. If it works a whole lot better with javascript enabled (less clicks, fancier display etc.) that's fine i.e. Progressive Enhancement.

    @WRT What I mean by "localhost" is a server installed on a user's computer, like PWS, - Apache as it comes with XAMPP, WAMP - Mongrel as it comes with the "one-click", etc. not a live shared host. By "typical", the intent is that the application not require any further installation process. Ideally the application should be able to be downloaded and run as is. Although as mentioned earlier, if special already-installed components need to be enabled having instructions in a README should be fine.

    As far as trust levels, I guess it's fairly safe to assume the one using the app will be the one that downloaded it. But Secure Access is a Bonus Point, so no harm adding that if you think it's prudent to do so.

  5. #30
    Non-Member buzzerchat's Avatar
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    why not use jquery and ajax with php, think about it.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzerchat View Post
    why not use jquery and ajax with php, think about it.
    If you want to write one in PHP with jquery and ajax go for it.
    As long as it will still work with javascript not enabled you're in.

  7. #32
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    If you want to write one in PHP with jquery and ajax go for it.
    As long as it will still work with javascript not enabled you're in.
    Counts me out. I live in the future now and we have javascript. Let me know when you want to catch up
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    Counts me out. I live in the future now and we have javascript. Let me know when you want to catch up
    Well, I'm disappointed. I was hoping to see it.

    Actually javascript isn't the future, I've been messing with it for over a decade now. (since way back in my "stupid javascript tricks" days ) What the requirement is meant to test is a developer's skill at Progressive Enhancement. Not exactly the future either I guess, but IMHO it should be more commonplace now.

  9. #34
    SitePoint Guru Chroniclemaster1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Well, I'm disappointed. I was hoping to see it.

    Actually javascript isn't the future, I've been messing with it for over a decade now. (since way back in my "stupid javascript tricks" days ) What the requirement is meant to test is a developer's skill at Progressive Enhancement. Not exactly the future either I guess, but IMHO it should be more commonplace now.
    Ditto. Some people's lack of pride and professionalism simply stuns me (sadly it no longer amazes me).
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  10. #35
    @php.net Salathe's Avatar
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    I was considering entering, until I paid close attention to the Must: section of the contest details. Unfortunately, I will not be able to compete effectively with those requirements (or, restrictions) in place. There goes my desktop-based application idea!

    Shame really, we should have more (!!) little coder challenges around here.

    P.S. How has this thing been running for 5 days already and not a hint of an announcement in the PHP forum (I stumbled here from Mittineague's signature, who seems to be the only one mentioning this)?
    Salathe
    Software Developer and PHP Manual Author.

  11. #36
    SitePoint Member sbarrat's Avatar
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    My Project Purpose is:
    An HTML & PHP5 web app, and no javascript
    Use XMLReader Class to read and write xml
    I used to store de data in SQLite version 2.1
    You upload a file(xml,csv,txt) to the app and a function detects de format
    To export you have a button for each format

    Is aceptable?

  12. #37
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Well, I'm disappointed. I was hoping to see it.

    Actually javascript isn't the future, I've been messing with it for over a decade now. (since way back in my "stupid javascript tricks" days ) What the requirement is meant to test is a developer's skill at Progressive Enhancement. Not exactly the future either I guess, but IMHO it should be more commonplace now.
    If I created a really nice app using a Flex UI but shocking basic standard HTML alternative, would I lose points? Are you going to grade each and every level of support? If so, what's the ideal support level? (support including accessibility issues not just technical requirements).
    a new day, a new beginning
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbarrat View Post
    My Project Purpose is:
    An HTML & PHP5 web app, and no javascript
    Use XMLReader Class to read and write xml
    I used to store de data in SQLite version 2.1
    You upload a file(xml,csv,txt) to the app and a function detects de format
    To export you have a button for each format

    Is aceptable?
    Unlike XSLTProcessor, XMLReader is included in PHP 5+, and enabled by default for PHP 5.1
    So as long as your "Requires:" state something like "PHP 5+ with XMLReader enabled" that's fine, although instructions on how to enable it in a README would be best.

    The database is an extra Bonus Point and great as long as your application doesn't depend on it. That is, the app can work with files and a database, and save to files and a database.

    Don't be afraid to use javascript if you want to, just as long as it's in an external file and the application doesn't depend on it being enabled you can improve the user experience to your heart's content.

    As for "buttons", feel free to design the "look" as you see fit. I imagine what's considered a "proper" look varies almost as much as there are designers.

  14. #39
    SitePoint Guru Jason__C's Avatar
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    I'm game. I would like to go with the ASP.NET WebForm/MSSQL stack, however...is Silverlight an legal option? Might be overkill, but would defiantly be fun for the UI.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Evangelist smftre's Avatar
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    Damn, it's already the 10th and I just saw this now......
    I hate joining half way through the "August" competition.

    Will there be one in September? :P
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  16. #41
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I agree that it's a shame about the requirements, you could make a pretty awesome Tweetdeck style desktop application that would simply structure and organise the messages based on the filters or structural layout required. Heck, you could even give it push notifications if you really wanted to be posh.

  17. #42
    @php.net Salathe's Avatar
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    I have an idea, but no questions thanks to the previous discussion covering anything I would have asked. The deadline is tomorrow, which gives me this evening and a bit of tomorrow... hopefully that won't be cutting it too short!
    Salathe
    Software Developer and PHP Manual Author.

  18. #43
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    ^^^Yeah, would be awesome to push the deadline to Monday AM, would give us US types with a day job sunday to get things rite.

  19. #44
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    This might be slight off-topic, and although I welcome this competition - it's not really something complex which just screams to me that this small app is rather useless in the end. I'm imagining the whole process of exporting PM's to some other app and it just feels like something I would never do since it's not as usable as just opening a link (PM folder) and doing what I need there.

    In this day and age when we have cloud computing available at a whim - I sincerely doubt that limits at PM's at forums are useful anymore. With terabytes of storage space available and huge processing power - is a limit on PM really needed? Especially if you're a special ranked member?

    On the other hand, Sitepoint is one of destinations I visit for years on weekly basis and it surprises me that such a huge web resource uses vBulletin.
    Don't get me wrong, VB is a great piece of software which just has way too many features. From all the forum software I used - I was always turned down from VB or Invision because they had so many damn features that it took some time before I got a basic forum running, not to mention that people who are not familiar with IT world as I am - had problems grasping some concepts when it comes to simple moderation.

    This whole wall of text has a point - since this is one of known web resources (Sitepoint) which connects various skilled people - why not start a project that revolves around building a powerful forum software?
    It might be an overkill in terms of execution and yet another forum software, but I'm seeing more and more good forum posts about various techniques in programming. Also, web lacks good "tutorials" that show how an actual mid-sized application is planned and built.
    If nothing, it's just something to think about - a huge web dev resource using (in my opinion) bloated software. I'm not trying to insult VB developers or anyone using it with this post, this is purely subjective thinking on the matter of VB and its usefulness.

  20. #45
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    Well, time is almost up



    For those that were up to the challenge, please send me a PM indicating where I can download the file(s) from. Or if you don't have someplace to host them let me know and I can send you a temp email address where you can send them as an attachment.

    I don't expect anything well polished (but surprises are welcome!) - Beta after all - but I'm curious to see how others solved some of the various problems I encountered while writing my version. eg. long strings, entities and unusual characters, id-ing the priivate messages, .....

  21. #46
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizaa01 View Post
    I think JSON output would be a benefit, especially considering the JavaScript community around Sitepoint.

    Any UI requirements (besides table of messages)? i.e. should it look like Sitepoint Forums?
    I'm afraid the contest has already closed.

  22. #47
    @php.net Salathe's Avatar
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    I registered interest above, but didn't submit an entry. This is just to let whomever needs to know, know that my entry was finished way before the deadline but broke a lot (most) of the "MUST" bullet points (deliberately); enough to prevent me feeling it suitable for the contest.

    Good luck to those who submitted, and I'll probably post my approach somewhere off-contest anyway.
    Salathe
    Software Developer and PHP Manual Author.

  23. #48
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    Well, it wasn't easy, but 2 days late and a $1.50 short

    A winner has been decided!

    I'll be sending the notification PM to the winner soon and as soon as it's ready I'll post the details in another announcement thread.


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