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#1 2009-10-28 22:28:04

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
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The all-new modification repository

It has been requested dozens of times. It has been announced a couple of times. And the best: it really is coming now. It will be released along with our all-new homepage (read more about it and see a preview on Jamie's blog) and the hopefully last pre-final version of FluxBB v1.4.

After all, this will be the first time that we will officially host "resources" (that's what they'll be called). Why the new name? Well, FluxBB forums can not only be extended and personalized by applying modifications. You can install styles, different language packs and plugins. Yes, I did leave out v1.3 extensions, as they will not be hosted here.

I will not be able to finish the whole system until the launch of the new site (hmmm... or we could move the relaunch back... just joking). That means, when it goes live, the new homepage will only feature modification hosting. As the sections are not too different, the rest will follow shortly later - most likely and hopefully before christmas. First up will be styles hosting. This will, along with other things, hopefully contain either a style preview or auto-generated screenshots. The plugins section will be almost exactly the same as the modification repository, while the language area will be built on Connor's unfinished translation center.

Now to a detailed overview of the modification repository. First, two screenshots:

The modification list

The modification list

Submit a new modification

Submit a new modification

As you can see, we will have a nice list of all extensions, which can be filtered by keywords, author and supported FluxBB version. Clicking on a modification allows you to view the details of the modification, which consist of a detailed description, possibly a (support) website link and a detailed version history including changelogs and installation instructions.

After creating modifications, you will have to create your first release. If you don't, the modification will not be created. Releases will not be displayed until they have been approved by the FluxBB team. This should usually just be a test for meaningful release notes and installations instructions. Additionally, we will take a quick look at the code searching for obvious security and performance issues (e.g. queries in loops etc.). After that, the release will either be made public or not. If it is not approved, you will be notified about the reason via e-mail and will be able to resubmit it for approval once the modifications have been made.

Releases will consist of a changelog (required) and installation instructions (required, but can be extracted from the file readme.txt automatically). Obviously you will have to supply a version number. The file package can be uploaded in the following formats: zip, tar.gz, tar.bz2, rar. They are automatically repackaged into three output formats.

The resources home page will display the five most downloaded and last updated modifications.

I am looking forward to questions, ideas and discussions from your side, because for some reason not everything is clear in my head...

Last edited by Franz (2010-04-26 10:36:28)


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"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#2 2009-10-28 23:24:22

Smartys
Former Developer
Registered: 2008-04-27
Posts: 3,139
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Re: The all-new modification repository

I'm just anticipating a question here, which this post raises:

Are there going to be some documents on, say:
- Security
- Performance
- Coding style
to help aspiring mod authors? How will mod authors be notified of rejections?

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#3 2009-10-28 23:27:12

Reines
Administrator
From: Scotland
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 3,197
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

Smartys wrote:

Are there going to be some documents on, say:
- Security
- Performance
- Coding style

Yes, though to be honest they haven't been written yet, and saying it will be done is the easy part big_smile

Smartys wrote:

How will mod authors be notified of rejections?

I'd assume e-mail, but I'm not sure what lie2815's plans for that are. It should also be easy enough to make a note under the "My submissions" part.

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#4 2009-10-28 23:34:58

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

Yes, both. The notification will be happening by e-mail (meant to include that, edited the post now). And since those people are supposed to edit their modifications, they will be notified on their "My submissions" page, too.

Last edited by Franz (2009-10-29 00:27:07)


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#5 2009-10-29 01:05:46

Darren
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Registered: 2009-06-08
Posts: 103

Re: The all-new modification repository

Crackin work guys.

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#6 2009-10-29 01:05:52

Plazzmex
Member
Registered: 2008-07-24
Posts: 85

Re: The all-new modification repository

Wow.. That's great!!

Some questions:
1) Is the website, resources and forum accounts are the same one, or should we create another account in each website section ?

2) I wanted to make for my FluxBB Hebrew support website my own repository for translated mods and styles, cause as i said previously its not only translated in language but also in styling because hebrew is RTL language. but as i can see you have built your own repository downloads system. I don't have the skills to create one good system like this.
What i can do ?
Maybe some one will create a Downloads system Mod for FluxBB in the future, or you guys will make it possible to submit not only languages to mods but also fully translated ones, untill then I will have to use forums for posting mod releases.

Last edited by Plazzmex (2009-10-29 01:07:21)

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#7 2009-10-29 01:21:12

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
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Re: The all-new modification repository

1) Good point. Every user authentication functionality on the site will be fully integrated with the forum. This also includes the new user guide.
2) Yes. It is planned to allow for community members to add translations to modifications. I will probably not get this done before we "open the gates" to the new site, but it might be possible to connect it with the language pack section. This would also encourage mod creators to use language files, which is a good thing.


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#8 2009-10-29 14:10:15

Mpok
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 389

Re: The all-new modification repository

Looks great...

As Plazzmex stated above, the missing point (in your presentation and in the screens) is localization.

lie2815 wrote:

but it might be possible to connect it with the language pack section. This would also encourage mod creators to use language files, which is a good thing.

EXCELLENT idea !

But unfortunately, not all the mod creators will do that (at least initially, as the first proposed mods will mainly be updates for the old 1.2 mods). So we need a simple way to provide a translation without the language files (inline translation).
U can say that i.e if i want to translate the "first mod" by lie2815, i can propose a new mod which will name "first mod (french)".
Ok. But it would be better structured if my french mod was only a "sub-mod" of the one by lie2815 (visually AND in ur database).
Note : an important point is to have a separate 'url' link for the sub-mods. lie2815 will support his mod on a topic here, but the french support of the sub-mod will be on a topic on fluxbb.fr

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#9 2009-10-29 15:35:02

FSX
Former Developer
From: NL
Registered: 2008-05-09
Posts: 818
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Re: The all-new modification repository

We can also make some rules that say that the mod author must include support for different languages and provide the english language files. Then other people could send more translations to the mod author and he can include them in his mod.

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#10 2009-10-29 17:03:54

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

FSX wrote:

We can also make some rules that say that the mod author must include support for different languages and provide the english language files. Then other people could send more translations to the mod author and he can include them in his mod.

I actually like that idea very much. If we're going to look through the code, we can easily enforce this, too. And if mods have to be updated for v1.4 anyway, why not create language files? It might sound a little harsh, but that would definitely mean good quality.

Now, regarding good ideas like Mpok's (I do like it): That sounds wonderful and everything. But: if these things cannot easily be merged with what is there, we'll have to postpone them. And that will mean for a while. You gotta understand that we do not have huge man-power behind this project wink
However, I definitely want to come back to these ideas, so please remind me later or bring them up again. (Actually, it's funny it's me saying that, because I'm like that myself quite often tongue)

That's why I'd like to hear primarily whether I have forgotten anything or if anything really important is missing / left open.


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#11 2009-10-30 01:34:12

Mpok
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 389

Re: The all-new modification repository

@lie2815 : well, if u REALLY do what FSX suggested (i  also love that..), meaning that ALL mods IS NEEDED to have language files, THEN my suggest about "sub-mod" is not necessary anymore. You can forget it... wink
(it was just a proposal for mods which don't have language files).

So, the solution would be the one u suggested in post #4 (or sort of) : links to 'language packs for mods'.
Ok. Great.
The remaining pbm is : what about the link to 'localized support' (about that mod) ?
It's up to u to decide where to put it.
I don't know ur 'database for ressources' organization, but within that solution, it seems logical to put that field in the 'language packs' table : for general language packs, it will be the general url of the localized support, and for 'language packs for mods', it will be the url of the topic for localized support of that particular mod.
Visually, it would be more convenient if these 'localized support links' appear directly on the 'mod description screen'.

lie2815 wrote:

But: if these things cannot easily be merged with what is there, we'll have to postpone them. And that will mean for a while. You gotta understand that we do not have huge man-power behind this project wink

Yep, i understand... And i'm not urging u to do things, in any way.
(and even if i could propose my help on that part, i doubt it will really help u, as the project is too far coded).

My posts in this topics are close to those of Plazzmex and FSX, and can be resumed in one sentence : think about localization from the start. (which is also one of the goal U announced urself in one previous topic)
'From the start' means : in ur database structure (and in ur 'rules' for FSX's solution, which is the better one, comparing to my 'sub-mods').
Then, if the associated code (for localization) is not available at first, that's not a pbm. At least, we WILL KNOW that it will come.
Note (personal) : we do have on fluxbb.fr a (very) similar 'mods/styles/plugins' part... It's an old dev which is... hmm... well-coded but hard to maintain. I would like to "transfer" this part to fluxbb.org, so ur new project is good news for me. But, as u can understand, localization is fundamental (cos we're french wink). And as i've already announced the "transfer" to my community, i hope we will not having to wait MONTHS before it comes...

Last edited by Mpok (2009-10-30 01:38:42)

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#12 2009-10-30 09:28:21

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

Thanks for your understanding wink

Agreed. Localized support links is a good idea and not hard to implement. I'll prepare it, but it will not be there from the start, sorry.

As I said, together with the new site I will only release the modification repository. The translation part of that will be released once the language pack repository goes live (because it will be integrated somehow). And you're right, I'll keep this idea in mind when finishing the repository structure. Importing the French mods sounds great (assuming code comments are in English tongue), especially since the mod repository itself can be translated to French (along with the rest of the site).


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#13 2009-10-30 15:18:22

ridgerunner
Member
Registered: 2008-06-24
Posts: 183
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Re: The all-new modification repository

A simple example mod which includes an english language pack would serve as a very good first step towards documentation.

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#14 2009-11-08 02:01:36

Mpok
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 389

Re: The all-new modification repository

@devs : I would like to make an announcement for french modifications's authors, in order to ask them to begin to think about using language files for their modifications (anticipating 1.4 and your new modification repository, and in accordance with the discussion above, about localization).
We have to 'prepare' mods's authors about this new 'style' of programming.. (and you should make the same announcement on your side, imo).

So fundamental question :
- could u CONFIRM me that the mods MUST now have language files to be validated (and then hosted on your new repository) ?
Means, NO mod will be validated/hosted BEFORE having been "migrated" to the new system, with language files.
(obviously, translation is not needed, just : the php code have to use language files, one language is provided, the translated versions is up to contributors).

Note :
Please, answer "yes"... wink
That idea (with ur "validation processus") is the best one in several years for FluxBB... Don't screw it.
I know it will contraingnant, both for you and me (i have dozens of mods hosted, and i don't know how the users will react about that change). But it's the good way...
We could have a great soft, localized EVEN IN THE MODS (these mods being further more "validated"). Heaven !

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#15 2009-11-08 13:47:14

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

I am not sure about confirming this yet (especially since I haven't talked to the other developers about this yet). As always, this should first be brought into the community as a suggestion open for discussion. If most people disagree with this idea, it might not be wise to do so.

I still think it would be a great idea, though wink


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#16 2009-11-09 23:35:05

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

Ok, here's how we're going to do it:

We will not force developers to add language file support. Instead, we will only enable translation support for those who use language files. Although we would obviously prefer having language files for every modification, we think that it might frustrate mod developers if we enforce this - thus resulting in an emptier repository, which is obviously not what we want.

However, we will make use of a highly innovative, deeply psychological trick to encourage developers to add mod translation support wink


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#17 2009-11-13 09:22:33

Mpok
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 389

Re: The all-new modification repository

lie2815 wrote:

a highly innovative, deeply psychological trick to encourage developers...

LOL !!!
Ok lie2815, that's an understandable compromise...

But as a result, will french devs (i.e.) be able to propose "french only" (old-style) mods on ur repository ?

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#18 2009-11-13 10:27:08

Franz
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From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
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Re: The all-new modification repository

Hmmm... that's a difficult question. I would personally say no, we only accept mods that are English in the first place...

But I'd also like to see Reines chime in here...


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#19 2009-11-13 11:28:07

Reines
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From: Scotland
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 3,197
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Re: The all-new modification repository

I have an idea that would make having (for example) french only hardcoded mods possible, but I'm not sure how much extra work it would be to implement so let me have a think about it before tying us in to even more work tongue

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#20 2009-11-14 14:17:14

MattF
Member
From: South Yorkshire, England
Registered: 2008-05-06
Posts: 1,233
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Re: The all-new modification repository

lie2815 wrote:

We will not force developers to add language file support. Instead, we will only enable translation support for those who use language files. Although we would obviously prefer having language files for every modification, we think that it might frustrate mod developers if we enforce this - thus resulting in an emptier repository, which is obviously not what we want.

It'll only be a frustration when porting large mods which are already coded. It seems a backwards step. Lang file support should be a necessity, (in my personal opinion), not just a choice.

You could use the argument that enforcing strict coding practices, (especially where security is concerned), will lead to an emptier repository. Making security optional would not be an option though. Translatability should be almost as high on that list in my opinion, for what it's worth.


Screw the chavs and God save the Queen!

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#21 2009-11-14 14:52:17

FSX
Former Developer
From: NL
Registered: 2008-05-09
Posts: 818
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Re: The all-new modification repository

I also think it's good to force Developers to add language file support to their mods. This will lead to higher quality mods and more users can use them (and translate them). And this isn't really hard just a bit more work.

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#22 2009-12-07 14:02:46

Mpok
Member
From: France
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 389

Re: The all-new modification repository

lie2815 wrote:

Hmmm... that's a difficult question. I would personally say no, we only accept mods that are English in the first place...

That's not fair.. sad
In other terms, u ask us to make efforts (add language in our mods) that u don't want to apply yourselves... sad

I love ur idea of "VALIDATED modification repository"..
But if the 'localization' part is not FULLY IMPLEMENTED in it, the tool will be unworkable for us (international communities), and so unusable (for us)...

Enforcing the language file in the mods is a good way. Point.

U said "thus resulting in an emptier repository".
But what do u expect from ur 'validation' process ?
90% of the actuals mods (for 1.2) are 'bad programmed' (mere of times it is 'minor' pbms, sometimes it's 'big pbms').
So, EVEN WITHOUT the localization pbm, if u REALLY want to 'validate' mods, this WOULD result in an (rather) empty repository...

Conclusion :
- u want to make up a valid repository for mods : u HAVE to make it international and stand strickly rules... (like languages files)
- or u want to have a simple repository for mods (without validation) : go on, and take every mod in the world...

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#23 2009-12-07 14:53:25

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

Okay, you've got valid points here. Let me think this through, please.


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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#24 2009-12-07 14:56:52

Reines
Administrator
From: Scotland
Registered: 2008-05-11
Posts: 3,197
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

Well my suggestion was to have each mod marked with a list of supported languages (so translatable mods can be marked with multiple). This would allow for people to filter only translatable mods, or only mods in a certain language.

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#25 2009-12-07 14:59:55

Franz
Lead developer
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-05-13
Posts: 6,742
Website

Re: The all-new modification repository

Makes sense. What about mod descriptions in that case, though? Should we enforce them to be in English? Could they be in other languages, too? Or should they be in the language of the original language pack?


fluxbb.de | develoPHP

"As code is more often read than written it's really important to write clean code."

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