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SymfonyBB

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SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:39 am

Hello, all.

Following the (assumed) collapse of the other forum project due to inactivity, I decided to re-attempt the making of a forum software based on symfony. I registered a project on Sourceforge and began work. Unfortunately, I have no place to showcase what I've accomplished yet, since SF only has PHP4. If you'd like to see it, you can look at the screenshots I've posted, or download the source through SVN and check it out yourself. If you import the testdata as-is, the test account is admin-admin.

Thus far, I have most of the basic forum needs taken care of, with the exception of an admin control panel and mod abilities. So now, I'm looking for two things:

1. Suggestions as to what to implement next. Anything you feel is important in a forum software. The more, the better, so I can focus on implementing them, rather than attempting to think of them.
2. Anyone who's interested in contributing. On any part, and you could focus on only one part. I don't think I absolutely need someone, and I'll continue to work without anyone else, but I like to have other people working too, if possible. If you want to, just hit me up with an email at [url=mailto:swaungcenter@gmail.com]swaungcenter@gmail.com[/url] with your SF account username, and I'll add you and reply right back with a basic explanation of things.

Thanks for any help you can give (either way), and I hope you like it.

EDIT: Sorry, I forgot the SF url:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/symfonybb/
"Doh!" - Homer Simpson
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Re: SymfonyBB

by snk00sj » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:14 pm

I am willing to help you with the following things (if needed) :

* Webhosting / Testing Environment
* (https) Trac
* Subversion repository over https

I might even have some time after July to help you on the project itself but i cannot guarentee that.

Let me know if you need any of the above, i would be happy to assist you.

EDIT : I noticed in this thread http://www.symfony-project.com/forum/index.php/t/1668/ the svn repository is fully commitable, maybe you could base yourself on this one or go on with the already completed work ?
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Re: SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:41 pm

Thanks for your offer, but I don't think I need any of those.

The SVN repo is provided by SF, as is a system similar to trac. As for webhosting/testing environment, I am currently in the process of re-setting up my hosting, so I"ll have that in a couple of days.

Also, the svn repo mentioned in the other thread is no longer freely commitable, although I do have commit access to it, that system is using a significantly different approach and I would prefer to stay clear of it. And the amount of work completed on that system is much less than what has been completed on SymfonyBB.

However, thank you for the offer.
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Re: SymfonyBB

by roel » Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:07 pm

Hi,

What I find most important about forum software are:
- Choice between threaded / phpbb style views (responses in a chronologic order)
- Easy to embed: I want to be able to add a 'comments' section to my page with just one function call. Or multiple, in case I want to spread the different parts over my page, of course (a login box in the sidebar and comments in the middle, for example)
- Easy to embed the admin pages into my own admin system.

As you can see, I'm more interested in the flexibility as in the specific features - maybe that's not what you're looking for, but I just thought I'd give you some feedback as I think this is an excellent project. I'd love to be able to put forums / feedback / comments into my websites as easily as putting in pagination with Symfony is.

cheers,

roel
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Re: SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:19 am

Thank you for your reply and suggestions. Here are my thoughts on them:

Currently, I am internally debating whether I want to add support for threaded views. In my mind, they provide no advantage over a flat view, other than the ability to see the direct parent of a message. However, this can usually be inferred from the content of the message, so it doesn't not provide a significant improvement. In addition, threaded views are often difficult to navigate, and not user-friendly. One of the main focus points of this forum is user-friendliness. So if someone can convince me of a significant advantage of a threaded view, I will implement it. However, right now I am leaning towards no for the time being.

For your second suggestion, I plan on offering two embedding solutions. For websites which do not use Symfony, every forum, subforum, and thread will be able to be syndicated via atom/rss feeds. For websites with Symfony (hurrah!), I will provide a set of integration controls (i haven't decided the method i will use for this, but it will be easy). Perhaps they will be helpers, an external library, a plugin, etc.

And as long as you're using symfony, it should be fairly easy to integrate the admin system. It's pretty much a CRUD with some better controls. If you're not using symfony, I'm not even going to try to provide controls for that.

Also, in regards to integratino of the entire forum system. Once I work out a few kinks, within the next couple of days, the entire forum, with the exception of certain select files (model classes, schema, and frontend controller come to mind right now), the entire system will be contained in one app. Therefore, it will be extremely easy to add the forum to your Symfony site.

And once chtito releases his User system, I will be replacing my current version with that, so that it will be very easy to integrate to an existing user system, too.

Thanks for the comments again, and please continue giving them ;)~ ;-)~ :wink:

P.S. I expect to have a live demo uploaded within 24 hours, so you all will be able to see it then. Right now, the design isn't great, but I've got a friend who'll be improving that soon. I expect to have a preliminary release within 2 weeks, with more to follow after that.

Thanks!
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Re: SymfonyBB

by yoyo » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:26 pm

If I could have wish on that - thats my main poins:

*VIEW*
- compatibile with xhtml 1.1 strict
- comlete separation of logic and presentation (seperate css files)
- unobtrusive javascript

*LOGIC*
- extending (plugins | mods | extensions | add-ons) - it is very important
- easy integration with symfony user/credential system.
- markdown for formatting (maybe as a plugin/mod/extension)
- flexible search system (phpBB is worst in that matter - if you are running forum with language other than english it is real pain in ass to find something. Invision Power Board is much much better in searching)

I also encourage you to check Vanilla. Take a look at main page description of vanilla at least. You can find some good screencasts there also.

Vanilla answers most of modern web needs in fresh style, without old, heavy, not-so-wel-carefully-thought-out design decisions.

If Symfony framework is up-to-date with modern concepts and needs (web 2.0, logic and presentation separation, design patterns) I think that we also need forum with that :)~ :-)~ :smile:
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Re: SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Sun Jul 30, 2006 9:28 am

Thank you for your replies as well.

View:
-Currently XHTML 1.0 compat. ;)~ ;-)~ :wink:
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sentineld iety.com%2Fweb%2Findex.php%2F
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sentineld iety.com%2Fweb%2Findex.php%2Fviewforum%2F3.html
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sentineld iety.com%2Fweb%2Findex.php%2Fviewthread%2F1.html
I'll look into 1.1. I'm not very familiar with the differences, so I'll check them out in the morning.

-As far as symfony allows it, I am doing my best. There is very little inline CSS (only display:none where required for prototype), and no CSS in the head tag.

-I'm afraid I don't understand what exactly you mean by 'unobtrusive javascript'.

Logic:
-I completely agree. However, I am not yet at the stage where I am developing a system for them. ;)~ ;-)~ :wink:
-This is a must for me. As soon as I can get my hands on chtito's user system, i will be sticking it in the forum, possibly improving it, and releasing it (hopefully) as a plugin/something similar for symfony, which can be used completely separate from the forum. Hopefully, this will entice users to use this system, which will ensure compatibility between the systems.
-Hmmm... Good idea. I have BBCode implemented currently, but I will look into the difficulty of adding in markdown.
-Right now, I'm using the fairly simple search engine described in the askeet tutorial. I'm not sure how the stemming algorithm handles other languages.

I haven't had time to check out Vanilla, however I will certainly do that soon.


And, as promised, I have the demo ready. I believe it is fairly secure, but if you find any vulnerabilities, please tell me. ;)~ ;-)~ :wink: If you instead hack it and do something bad, I will personally see to it that you are hung by your smallest toenails from the ceiling in a room full of very painful objects and/or creatures. :P
"Doh!" - Homer Simpson
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Re: SymfonyBB

by roel » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:22 am

About the threaded / flat view:

I think there is a place for both treaded and non-threaded message boards. In flat views, I find it very easy to miss points in a discussion because it's hard to remember what was said in previous messages, discussion start to get blurry, ... This exact discussion here is a good example: I have to start my message with 'about the threaded/flat view' in order to be able to focus the discussion on that issue, if there are people who aren't interested they stil lneed to read this if they want to stay up to speed, if this was a threaded view, they could just ignore all followup discussion.

Take the following usecases/examples for boards/forums/message boards:

- Threaded, real discussion: slashdot, codeproject.com forums (they have a nice dhtml folding thing, although it makes the page jump in ff - that is really a nice way to read discussions / conversations imo.
- Flat with conversations: more for 'casual' conversation, one board I frequent is sherdog.net (using phpbb), the advantage of the 'thread with latest post goes to top' is that it's fairly easy to keep up to date, but it's hard to get to the bottom of any interesting ideas / points.
- Flat, 'feedback-style': short notes that are attached to eg blog posts, posts are not related, time is most important.

IMO most 'flat conversation boards' come from systems that started off as 'feed-back style' comments sections, which grew too big and never adapted.

Also, the original way of reading net news, on Usenet, used threads - it was very nice, and easy to keep up with recent happenings. I wished more forum software would emulate the look and feel of great usenet readers like pan. (pan.rebelbase.com)

Lastly, a flat view is just a specialisation of a threaded view (a threaded view with a limited depth of 1). I think a good design should accomodate a parent/child relationship between post objects, and how it's displayed (flat/threaded) should be visualisation issue. I hope other things (like are topics with new posts bumped to the top) will be customizable as well, so the 'maximum thread depth' is imo just another parameter like that.

I hope the above makes any sense, I didn't reread it, it's just a braindump, actually I'm more interested in the code and the documentation than a sample of the code running so if you could setup a subversion repo and/or post the docs, I'm interested at looking at whether it's be something I'd use and if it 'fits' within how I see the 'symfony way'. Thanks.
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Re: SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:44 pm

Okay, I"ll take your points into consideration.

As for the subversion/docs, the subversion is freely available through the sf project. The actual URI to the subversion repo is:
https://svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/symfonybb
Docs are still in the works,but I'll have them complete before I release.
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Re: SymfonyBB

by roel » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:52 pm

I had a quick look at the svn repo - it looks more like a 'forum written using symfony' than a 'component to easily put forums in symfony applications', is that correct? Maybe that was the intention all along and I just misunderstood :)~ :-)~ :smile:
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Re: SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:55 pm

Yeah, that's true. However, I'm hoping to arrange it so that it's a fairly self-contained symfony app, so it would be easy to integrate it within other symfony projects.
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Re: SymfonyBB

by pookey » Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:37 am

I'm curious as to why you've started a new project - the other project was still commitable to.

On top of that, when you talked to me on IRC and showed me some of the data import YAML, you were blatently using my codebase - it seems you've branched off from my work for no reason, and are not giving any credit my way.

Your screenshot looks near identical to my work, and it's apparent that looking at your CSS that you've copied mine, simply making a few changes in places and adding to it.

No attempt was made to contact me with regards to what licence the code was being released under. This isnt' just about giving me credit (the nicest part of my code base was the use of pre0order traversal that you've stripped out from yours - presumably becase you didn't understand it, a post on the OSPF forum asking what let and right values were for implied this[1]), it just about your manners. Not so nice of you IMO - but best of luck with your project

[1] - http://bbs.pookey.co.uk/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=2&s tart=0
http://shurl.net - the only URL shortening service written with symfony!
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Re: SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:52 am

I started a new project for several reasons. One, you were using a threaded view, I did not initially plan on providing a threaded view. That may be changing now, but it's still not certain. Two, I was the only one working on it. I understand that other people, including you, are busy, and did not have time. However, at the rate that things were going, it seemed like I was going to be doing almost all of the work overall, and given this, I figured that it would be better to have my own project. Three, Sourceforge has a lot of weight. I believed that having the project hosted on SF would allow for better marketing.

Next, I took two things.

1. I took the header design. This is temporary, it will not stay.
2. I took the testdata. Again, this is temporary. I am using it only for the deving.

If you'd like, I will immediately drop both of these and make new ones.

I am not blatantly using your codebase. If you don't believe me, look at revision 1 of my code:
http://svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/symfonybb?view=rev&sor tby=rev&revision=1
Unfortunately, I can't get to the trac pages for your software (I get a 404 for the entire cgi-bin server). However, if you compare the latest revision of your software with the first revision (or any revision, for that matter) of my software, you will find them quite different.

About the pre-order tree traversal. After being pointed in the right direction, I went and researched it thoroughly. I have implemented it in my forums, although not in the way you had. Instead, I am using it for forums and subforums. This allows for unlimited subforums. Evidentally you didn't check the code very thoroughly.

I am not giving you credit because I see no place where credit would be given. However, if you'd like credit, I'd be happy to give credit.
"Doh!" - Homer Simpson
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Re: SymfonyBB

by yoyo » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:21 pm

SentinelDietty wrote: -I'm afraid I don't understand what exactly you mean by 'unobtrusive javascript'.


Please take a look at ten good practices for writing JavaScript
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Re: SymfonyBB

by jeho » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:23 pm

So what is the status of SymfonyBB? What is done so far and what needs to be done before its possible to use it?
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Re: SymfonyBB

by SentinelDietty » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:19 am

The status is slowly being worked on and improved. I'm doing a whole bunch of other stuff, but still working on it a little bit.

The biggest thing that needs to be done, which I'm working on right now, is to move the app away from being a standalone app and into being a plugin, based on the new plugin system. Other than that, it needs some of the admin system done, and otherwise it's pretty much ready. I also need to get a new template.
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