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  • features questions

    I currently run phpbb with a few modifications. I have some questions about vbulletin:

    - will it import everything from phpbb seemlessly? I read something about it not importing user accounts?

    - does it allow "guests" to post without registering?

    - does it have any built in antispam? like no posting urls if you are a rather new user, or something to prevent bots from registering?

    - the phpbb captcha system doesn;t work because there is no "secure key". does the vbulletin captcha system work?

    - can I modify the source code? is it written in perl?

    - does it cache full html pages or does it get the data from the database everytime a page is viewed?

    - how do you handle a high traffic site that gets tens of thousands of page views in minutes?

    - can I make my own templates, or embed posts / topics in another part of my site

    - does it have an API I can use to write my own support scripts?

    - any protection from DOS attacks or random posting?

  • #2
    Originally posted by cheapbooks View Post
    I currently run phpbb with a few modifications. I have some questions about vbulletin:

    - will it import everything from phpbb seemlessly? I read something about it not importing user accounts?
    Yes it can import from phpBB. However note, it can only import a stock phpBB installation.

    For phpBB2, http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/main/impex_phpbb2 or for phpBB3 http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/main/impex_phpbb3 . The above should provide you with more information about what it can or can not import

    - does it allow "guests" to post without registering?

    - does it have any built in antispam? like no posting urls if you are a rather new user, or something to prevent bots from registering?

    - the phpbb captcha system doesn;t work because there is no "secure key". does the vbulletin captcha system work?
    The vBulletin 3.6.5 captcha system is a pretty secure at the moment. You'll still get the occasional spammer, but that's because they are manually registering.


    - can I modify the source code? is it written in perl?
    Yes you can modify it. vBulletin is written in PHP.


    - does it cache full html pages or does it get the data from the database everytime a page is viewed?
    Not sure..


    - how do you handle a high traffic site that gets tens of thousands of page views in minutes?
    It handles high traffic very well, however you still must take hardware into consideration .


    - can I make my own templates, or embed posts / topics in another part of my site
    Yes you can make your own templates and styles. You can use RSS or Javascript feeds to manipulate data and have it appear on another part of your site.


    - does it have an API I can use to write my own support scripts?
    see http://members.vbulletin.com/api/

    - any protection from DOS attacks or random posting?
    For guests to post, and assuming you enable CAPTCHA, guests must go through the CAPTCHA to make a single Random Posting.

    DDoS should be protected at a hardware network level, not at the software level.
    ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
    Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

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    • #3
      To develop vBulletin add-ons, I recommend this index:
      vBulletin 3.5 & 3.6 Programming Tutorial Index

      vBulletin has some blocks against DDoS such as restricting posts, searches, etc. to once per 30 seconds by default.

      - does it cache full html pages or does it get the data from the database everytime a page is viewed?
      vBulletin uses a postparsed cache/table which saves a lot of processing time. It also uses a datastore which stores the most recently used data in memory at all times so it does not need to be fetched quite so frequently. Using various PHP caching scripts you can further optimize vBulletin.

      Unlike phpBB which requires you to edit PHP files any time you want to add something, vBulletin makes extensive use of "Hooks" which are ~700 places in the code where you can execute code without modifying the original PHP files. It also makes use of XML which allows you to add settings to the control panels without hacking up files.

      Realize that instead of external PHP files for templates, vBulletin templates are stored in the database. This means you can modify how vBulletin looks from within the control panel. You can edit 99% of the HTML from within the control panel. You can also take advantage of hierarchical styles where you can make a style and then make a copy or "child" of that style and change a font and a color and if you change the parent, the child will be updated accordingly. With phpBB, each style you added increased the amount of time/effort involved in updating the forum.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am concerned about the lack of html caching and DOS prevention.

        DOS attack prevention should not be done at the "server" level. All I have to do is write a script to access a cgi script 100 times a second and the forum will probably fail. I expect any robust application to prevent against excess web spider crawling or other DOS attacks.

        Second, I am concerned about the apparant lack of HTML caching. I have had some of my articles posted on major services where 10,000 people visit the post in a period of 10 minutes. There is no reason to be accessing the database other than to update the view count. This is where an html cached file should be used. I had to modify phpbb to support this, as I intend to get high traffic in short bursts. without this, I could not support the traffic coming to the site.

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