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Comments September 27, 2009

Optimizing Random Users Via Last Visit Time

Filed under: MOD Writing, Performance Tuning, phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 11:33 am CommentsComments (1) 

While I have not started in-depth MODding on phpBB3 yet, I do read the phpBB3 MODders forum from time to time just to start to get the flavor of how things have changed. The other day a database (query) question came up and I suggested an answer that I originally thought was only slightly different from what had already been proposed. However, after being asked which of the two solutions would be the least CPU intensive I did a bit more investigating.

I discovered that one solution was clearly better than the other, but only if the proper index was created.

Disclaimer: I tested on phpBB2. The index that I created does not exist in a standard phpBB2, nor does it exist in a standard phpBB3 install, so I suspect this post applies to both. More…

Comments October 1, 2008

Smackdown Round VII – Final Requirements

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 7:19 am CommentsComments (1) 

I had a series of six posts where I compared phpBB3 with what I called “phpBB-Dave” which is my custom implementation of phpBB2. I have stated more than once that I don’t plan to upgrade, at least not right away. My timetable for upgrading was probably a year out at the earliest. The general idea behind the posts was to step back and take a more generic look at the features provided by phpBB3. By going through a feature list line-by-line I hoped to be a bit more objective about the potential urgency of my upgrade.

The net result was that after reviewing the feature list provided by phpbb.com I felt like there were more reasons to stay with what I am using today (four) than there were compelling reasons to upgrade (one). To be very clear: this comparison was a feature comparison only. I recognize that there are clear advantages that the phpBB3 codebase provides as far as efficiency and coding style and standards. That didn’t come into play. Why not? Because my board users don’t see coding standards, they only see features. :) As far as efficiency goes… I have spent several years tweaking the code for phpBB-Dave and it’s certainly as efficient as I need it to be right now. I am able to support a full load of users without my server breaking a sweat.

Is that the end of the story?

More…

Comments September 27, 2008

Smackdown Round VI – phpBB3 versus phpBB-Dave

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 2:25 pm Comments Off 

In the first five posts of this series I went through the feature list comparing phpBB2 with phpBB3 from the list posted at phpbb.com. I then included notes discussing which new features for phpBB3 I had covered already by adding MODs. At this point the score is 4-1 in my favor, based primarily on my needs and use of the code. This is the sixth and final post in the series and I will cover the Administration Control Panel, Styles, Permissions, Notifications, and Localization.

As a disclaimer: this post is not intended to be a criticism of phpBB3 in any way. It is simply a way for me to formally review the features provided by the latest version as compared to what I am currently using, and help evaluate whether I should prioritize an upgrade or remain happy with what I have.

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Comments September 22, 2008

Smackdown Round V – phpBB3 versus phpBB-Dave

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 7:19 am Comments Off 

In the first four posts of this series I went through the feature list comparing phpBB2 with phpBB3 from the list posted at phpbb.com. I then included notes discussing which new features for phpBB3 I had covered already by adding MODs. At this point the score is 4-1 in my favor, based primarily on my needs and use of the code. This is the fifth post in that series and I will cover the User Control Panel, Usergroups, and the Moderator Control Panel categories.

As a disclaimer: this post is not intended to be a criticism of phpBB3 in any way. It is simply a way for me to formally review the features provided by the latest version as compared to what I am currently using, and help evaluate whether I should prioritize an upgrade or remain happy with what I have.

More…

Comments August 25, 2008

Smackdown Round IV – phpBB3 versus phpBB-Dave

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 2:21 pm CommentsComments (2) 

In the first three posts of this series I went through the feature list comparing phpBB2 with phpBB3 from the list posted at phpbb.com. I then included notes discussing which new features for phpBB3 I had covered already by adding MODs. At this point the score is 2-1 in my favor, based primarily on my needs and use of the code. This is the fourth post in that series and I will cover the Profiles/Memberlist, Search, and Forums categories.

As a disclaimer: this post is not intended to be a criticism of phpBB3 in any way. It is simply a way for me to formally review the features provided by the latest version as compared to what I am currently using, and help evaluate whether I should prioritize an upgrade or remain happy with what I have.

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Comments August 21, 2008

phpBB3 Caching Strategies for 3.0

Filed under: Performance Tuning, phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 6:20 am CommentsComments (2) 

Through some sort of technical glitch most of this post was missing. I’ve updated it with the rest of the content. My apologies.

A few days ago I posted Part III in my ongoing series where I am comparing phpBB3 to phpBB-Dave (my customized phpBB2-based board) from a feature perspective. I hopefully have made it clear that I am not claiming that my board is technically superior, as I am quite sure that it is not. The experimentation I did with the template engines several months back proved that, at the very least.

Part III included a review of the caching process for each board. A vanilla phpBB2 board does not offer any caching (outside of an early form of template caching). My version is caching quite a bit of information, as does phpBB3. I’ve reproduced that specific table here, as it will help clarify the points made later in this post.

One interesting result of Londonvasion for me was that I found out that there are team members that stop by and read my blog (at least occasionally) that don’t leave comments. DavidMJ, one of the current members of the phpBB3 development team, is apparently one of those folks. He caught me on IRC a few nights ago and offered to help explain the caching routines from phpBB3 and I was quick to take him up on his offer. Here is an excerpt from our conversation; I found it extremely enlightening.

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Comments August 18, 2008

Smackdown Round III – phpBB3 versus phpBB-Dave

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 12:40 pm CommentsComments (7) 

In the first two posts of this series I went through the feature list comparing phpBB2 with phpBB3 from the list posted at phpbb.com. I then included notes discussing which new features for phpBB3 I had covered already by adding MODs. At this point the score is 1-1, based only on my needs and use of the code. This is the third post in that series and I will cover the Posting, Attachments, and Caching feature categories.

As a disclaimer: this post is not intended to be a criticism of phpBB3 in any way. It is simply a way for me to formally review the features provided by the latest version as compared to what I am currently using, and help evaluate whether I should prioritize an upgrade or remain happy with what I have.

More…

Comments August 11, 2008

Smackdown Round II – phpBB3 versus phpBB-Dave

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 7:07 am CommentsComments (3) 

In the previous post of this series I went through the first three categories of the feature list comparing phpBB2 with phpBB3. I added my own notes comparing that comparison (if you follow what I mean ;-) ) with the features I have in my own highly-customized implementation of phpBB2. This is the next post in that series and I will cover the Anti-Spam, Data Management, and Registration feature categories.

As a disclaimer: this post is not intended to be a criticism of phpBB3 in any way. It is simply a way for me to formally review the features provided by the latest version as compared to what I am currently using, and help evaluate whether I should prioritize an upgrade or remain happy with what I have.

More…

Comments August 4, 2008

Smackdown Round I – phpBB3 versus phpBB-Dave

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 9:53 am CommentsComments (13) 

As a brief recap from the introduction post for this series… the goal for this series of posts will be to sit back and try to take an objective look at the feature comparison list posted at phpbb.com and determine the following:

  • Do I have that feature already as a MOD?
  • If so, does it meet or exceed what is provided by phpBB3?
  • If not, do I have a compelling need for this feature, enough that I would either consider writing it as a MOD or upgrading?

I plan to go through the feature chart section by section, and at the end of each section I will assign a point value of +1, 0, or -1 based on where I think I am. By the end of the analysis I expect to have a much better idea of where I stand with my own code, or just how important the things are that I am missing.

As a disclaimer: this post is not intended to be a criticism of phpBB3 in any way. It is simply a way for me to formally review the features provided by the latest version as compared to what I am currently using, and help evaluate whether I should prioritize an upgrade or remain happy with what I have.

More…

Comments August 1, 2008

Featured Smackdown: phpBB3 versus phpBB-Dave

Filed under: phpBB, phpBB3 — Dave Rathbun @ 1:15 am CommentsComments (7) 

I sometimes take a lot of grief for still using phpBB2. To be honest, most of my boards are quite far from a “vanilla” board, so it can hardly be said that I use phpBB2. I’ve been saying for a while that I didn’t see a need to upgrade since I had all of the features that I thought that I needed.

Then the other day something occurred to me… what if I didn’t? What if I really did need to upgrade to phpBB3 because the number (or usefullness) of features that I am missing is more than the number of features that I have? How closely had I recreated phpBB3 on my phpBB2 core using my own MODs? I thought it was an interesting concept, so I decided I should see how I could compare the two.

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