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  • 5 questions/issues...

    None of these are "How Do I" questions, but I couldn't find a more appropriate board to post them in. Maybe there should be a Pre-Purchase board

    Ok, I came close to buying a vB back in May 2000, but the version available then didn't really meet my needs. I'm literally amazed to see how far the product has come since then, and I'm considering it again. I have a few questions/issues that I'm curious about though. (Forgive me for being a bit long winded, but I find it saves time in the long run...)

    Viewable Member Count - I'm one of those webmasters that believes my member count is my own business, and I keep it relatively private. But I noticed that many user features on vB rely on a 'userid,' which seems to be the order in which the member registered. I can see how this would be efficient for the MySQL tables, but it'd also make it pretty easy to see/guess how many members a forum has. "hmmm, this person just registered and his id is 10356..." I noticed that a member's profile can be displayed by replacing "userid" with "username" in the URL, as well as the "search for more posts" function. But there are other functions such as the "buddy list" and "private messages" which rely on the userid only. My question is: would it be easy to add a mod that will allow "add to buddy list," "remove from buddy list," "send private message," and other functions to work with 'username' instead of 'userid'? And also, does this add more strain to the server or present any problems I might not be aware of?

    Extra Profile Fields - I noticed vB stepped their game up with the added fields. I was just wondering if it's possible to assign extra fields during set-up (so I can import extra fields from my UBB), or would I have to import the members with the standard fields and then add extras afterwards? This isn't that big a deal, but I'm wondering if I will have to require my members to update half of their profiles once I make the switch.

    Mailing List - My site has a mailing list, and vB has it's own, based on the users in the database. Is it possible to have visitors of my site sign up to the vB mailing list (enter their e-mail in the database) without registering for the forum? I'm trying to avoid having two mailing lists, and I know some of my site visitors don't want to register for the forum just to sign up for the a mailing list.

    Version Updates - I do a lot of modifications to any software I get. Adding hacks to UBB was a big pain because they'd update versions after I spent all my time hacking the previous. I fully intend to do the same with vB, and I'm wondering if 2.0.3 is going to be the standard for a while, or is a big update right around the corner? I heard some people mentioning mars and venus (or some other planet), and I'm reluctant to spend a lot of time tinkering with 2.0.3.

    Hosting/Server Info - I've been doing a lot of research here and on some webmaster boards about the best hosts and servers to use vB on. My current host doesn't want me to use gzip because he's afraid of the server strain it will cause, and frankly, my bandwidth charges are too expensive anyway. If you run a popular message board (1 million or more impressions a month), could you give me some tips & suggestions on which hosts, servers, and specs would maximize my board, and what problems I should look out for. I'm looking for something inexpensive, but customer support and reliability are the keys. Raqshack, for example, has incredible prices, but I've heard their service is horrible. Does anyone have experience running a large board with them?

    To everyone who took the time to read through all this, thank you. If you can answer one or all of these, any response would be appreciated.

    -Justice
    Justice
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Justice; Sat 8 Sep '01, 11:56am.
    "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
    - Mark Twain

  • #2
    question is: would it be easy to add a mod that will allow "add to buddy list," "remove from buddy list," "send private message," and other functions to work with 'username' instead of 'userid'? And also, does this add more strain to the server or present any problems I might not be aware of
    It'd be a significant pain; you'd have to rewrite almost every user related function to get the userid based on the username supplied.

    Doing so would probably add a query per page to do the conversion.

    would I have to import the members with the standard fields and then add extras afterwards
    The import doesn't import custom fields, so you'd have to do that (or manipulate the import script).

    Is it possible to have visitors of my site sign up to the vB mailing list (enter their e-mail in the database) without registering for the forum?
    No.

    is a big update right around the corner?
    Depending on your definition of around the corner. The next big release is still several months from even seeing beta.

    Can't answer your hosting question.

    Comment


    • #3
      Viewable Member Count: Really the userid has very little to do with how many members there are. If you delete members, or do an import multiple times, etc., the userids will be very skewed. For example, Wayne at SitePoint Forums did the import from UBB three times to get it right, and so his userids start at 5000 something, even though there are only about 6000 members total. Yes what you're asking is possible however it take hacking. I personally really wouldn't worry about it, as if people are that interested they will count through the memberlist.

      Extra Profile Fields: I'm not sure. I don't think the UBB import will import any more than the standard 4 fields in UBB. You could edit the default 4 fields from vB to match the data you will be importing.

      Mailing List: Yes but it would take some hacking.

      Version Updates: 2.0.4 will be released sometime in the next month (probably) but will not be a major release. Transferring hacks from 2.0.3 to 2.0.4 would not be difficult. Once 2.1 (or beyond) rolls around, yes it will take a significant amount of time to upgrade. This won't happen for probably at least 6 months however.

      Comment


      • #4
        first, thanks to both of you for your responses...

        Ed, do you think modifying the import script would be easy? I'm no coding expert, but I would consider myself an advanced UBB hacker and I've worked with php a bit also. Is it just a matter of copying some of the current code and duplicating it for extra fields?

        tubedogg, that's a good point about counting the member list.
        "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
        - Mark Twain

        Comment


        • #5
          Ed, do you think modifying the import script would be easy? I'm no coding expert, but I would consider myself an advanced UBB hacker and I've worked with php a bit also. Is it just a matter of copying some of the current code and duplicating it for extra fields?
          Basically -- you'd add a few lines to bbimport_ubb6.php (I assume you're on UBB6; it's bbimport_ubb5.php otherwise) and then you'd have to modify the importuser() function in bbimport.php to insert the additional data into the userfield table.

          Some experience in SQL would be as important as experience in PHP/Perl here, IMO.

          Comment


          • #6
            experience in SQL????

            "D'OH!!" -Homer

            I think once I get the license, I'll just study the code for the location field and try to duplicate that for the new fields.

            I'm guessing that posting large chunks of vBulletin code is a no no. Would it be ok if I PMed some of the new import code to you, and you could tell me if I'm making any huge mistakes?
            "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
            - Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              It'd be easier to email me, and I can't guarantee when I'll get a chance to look at it, but ok.

              It's really only 7 or 8 lines total that you'd have to manipulate -- I just don't know how exactly myself (don't know the UBB file structures anymore).

              Comment


              • #8
                2 more questions

                Custom Avatars - Is there any way for users to have an avatar hosted on another server? Some of the custom avatars are really large files, and I'd rather not have that bandwidth coming from my site, but I don't want to deny my users the choice of using them either.

                Good News Script - I've seen some news scripts for vBulletin, but I haven't really seen any like the one UBB used to have. Are there any scripts that display one complete article on one side, and a list of headlines on the other? You can see an example here on my ubb. I have a news forum, and when you select it, forumdisplay.cgi automatically redirects it to newsdisplay.cgi and displays the forum like that.

                Once again, thanks for any response...
                "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
                - Mark Twain

                Comment


                • #9
                  Custom Avatars:
                  You can disable the option to upload a custom avatar. That way they will have to give the URL to the avatar, so it can't be stored on your server.

                  News Script:
                  If you want I can create this for you.
                  E-Mail me with full details of what you want where, and I'll do it for you.
                  Chen Avinadav
                  Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

                  גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On this board, when you enter an avatar from another website, it says "Note: this will be stored locally on the server." Does it mean it will be stored locally as in HERE (vBulletin) or locally as in THERE (the server from the URL you put in)? I was confused about that.

                    As for the news script, that's very kind of you to offer. I'd hate to ask for a favor that large though. If you could point me to an existing script that might perhaps redirect forumdisplay.php to another type of news script, I could probably modify it. If there aren't any scripts like that, you can take a crack at it. There's not any details to tell you that you can't see by clicking...

                    If you go to my site and click on the Up 2 Date board, the URL is:
                    www.soundcircuit.com/cb/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&number=11
                    Since I have forum #11 set as a "news board" in my control panel, forumdisplay.cgi automatically redirects this board to
                    www.soundcircuit.com/cb/newsdisplay.cgi?action=topics&number=11, which has the altered format.

                    If you need me to go into more detail (pasting Perl code, though I'm not sure if that would help), I'd be happy to.
                    "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
                    - Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry, you are right. The avatar will be stored on the local server.

                      There are many, many news scripts out there.
                      But you can (almost) never find the one you're exactly looking for, since unlike other hacks, news scripts work outside the main system of vB, and they must go along with the rest of the site.
                      But these scripts are basically very easy to write, so you like I said, I'd be happy to do this for you.
                      Chen Avinadav
                      Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

                      גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Woha, that "news script" is basically a little forum. I had no idea... sorry.
                        Chen Avinadav
                        Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

                        גם אני מאוכזב מסיקור תחרות לתור מוטור של NRG הרשת ע"י מעריב

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          it's not really a little forum. It's just a modified version of the regular forumdisplay script.

                          Forumdisplay lists topic titles, the topic starter, number of replies, and the date/time of the last reply, right?

                          Newsdisplay lists everything Forumdisplay lists, and also the actual post of the most recently made topic.

                          Both scripts call information from the same exact forum. The only difference is the most recent topic is displayed on the left side of the table. Would that be hard to write? I had just assumed that there was already a newscript for vBulletin available that called news from a specific forum.
                          "Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did."
                          - Mark Twain

                          Comment

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