Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

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Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby CommentBot » Wed Jan 7, 09 3:18am

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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby .Joel » Wed Jan 7, 09 8:10am

I have installed and some initial bugs...
Each time I load the front page of the website it recreates the news articles in the discussion forum.

Right now I have 4 articles, if I reload the front page 5 times it will create 20 articles in the discussion forum.
This *may* be attributed to that I use joomla_ instead of jos_ as my default table. When creating the SQL table I used jos_ for the prefix as per the instructions.

Initial thoughts (Just trying to act thoughtful :D )...
Would be nice to have the Reply Count on the front page (you can see this here @ http://www.extremekites.com.au/ ).
Not all users use JOS_ as their Joomla table, some people change this.
Ability to choose which categories (not sections) that it works with.

Once this little bug is worked out i'll do some further testing.
If you want a login to our dev site so you can have a look at our configuration and what we are running let me know. You can compare our specs and setup to yours.
Otherwise i'll just keep reporting here as we go :D Not fussed either way, whichever helps you solve the bugs quicker.

We are running Joomla 1.5.8 and phpBB 3.0.3 in our Dev environment.

Regards,

.Joel
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby .Joel » Wed Jan 7, 09 8:39am

I just noticed, it does count the comments as soon as there is more than 0 :D

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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby Chris » Wed Jan 7, 09 5:06pm

.Joel -

The plugin doesn't have any hardcoded table prefixes, so yes, the problem was with the SQL query. I put a line in the instructions to change it to whatever is needed, but in the 1255 some-odd words of the article a lot of stuff gets lost. I'll probably break it into two posts so there's less noise. I also bolded the line about table prefixes to make it jump out more.

I'm not sure, but SQL queries may be limited to components only (at least in the installation process). This sounds a bit weird, so I'm not sure if it's true yet. Once I can figure out how to get the table created as part of the install, this error will go away. I thought about just putting the SQL code in the plugin code itself, but it seems like such a waste to try to create a table on every onPrepareContent. The good news is that now I'm familiar with it, so if someone else reports it I know the likely cause - much thanks for that. (side note: I just tried Googling about SQL in a plugin xml file, and actually got my question on the same topic on the Joomla forum from yesterday as a result. Google is fast)

As for the post count thing, yes it works - I thought that "You have 0 comments" was a little standoffish, so I changed it to "Post a comment" if the number of replies is 0. Otherwise, it displays the reply count, or post count of the thread - 1.

And for the sections, categories and articles selection, that's the next feature on the priority list, after the mysql error and any other bugs (and creating the table on installation).

Thanks for the reports, and keep them coming if you notice anything. I probably don't need to login and check anything out - I was most worried about DB prefixes (check), differing versions of phpBB or Joomla (check) and different UTF implementations (I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping there). Good to see it works on 3.0.3 as well.

Thanks again,

Chris
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby .Joel » Wed Jan 7, 09 8:15pm

So far with changing the prefix everything is working well ;)
Really impressed with this.

So far a couple of things I have tried, all are working happily:

Posting & Moving
Post a comment in an article, move the thread out of the default forum to another forum leaving a shadow topic.
Front page still records how many posts.

Posting & Moving, No Shadow Topic
Post a comment in an article, move the thread out of the default forum to another forum leaving no shadow topic.
Front page still records how many posts.

Disabling, uninstalling and reinstalling plugin.
Removing plugin, then reactivating plugin, front page shows correct comment count from previously activated plugin.


Another idea that "popped" in to my head, which could be useful or thrown on the roadmap. Have the default forum as you do now where comments are posted, however when you add the ability to turn it on or off for particular categories next to the category the ability to specify which forum comments for that category should be linked to. Some people (like us :D ) actually move the news articles out of the default forum to their corresponding discussion forum. Just another 5c thought. This would have to be done through the use of a component.

The current problem with the BBPixel script is that if you move a topic out of the forum the category is assigned to it recreates the topic again in the assigned forum. The workaround is to move the topic leaving a redirect or shadow as phpBB calls it in the original assigned forum to that category. Here's a screenshot of the BBPIXEL component back end so you can see how they tie the categories and the forums together.

[attachment=0]Categories 2.png[/attachment]

I'll continue to test it later tonight then post again. So far working smoothly.
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby Chris » Wed Jan 7, 09 8:38pm

The good news about this plugin is that the comments are linked to the topic id, which stays the same, no matter what the forum ID. In fact, phpBB ignores the forum id in the url when displaying the topic - for instance, this link works for this thread:

http://chrisboylan.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24466878744&t=456

So once the topic is created, the forumID doesn't matter (except the relationship it has to the topic in the phpBB database). However, the forumID is very important for topic creation - and as you point out in your screen shot, it would be a good feature to be able to assign forumIDs for comment threads based on what section or category the article comes from.

That feature will be in the same release as limiting comments by section or category (The next release if there are no showstopping bugs). It will probably require an administrator component to handle the features in an easy way - but that will be a good reason to create one, which will allow for the comment table to created in the DB on installation. The only factor that may inhibit this follow-up from coming out by the end of this week is that a client (I am a freelance web developer in .NET) has a big project on deadline that I just got introduced to. I should find some time to bang it out though.

Keep up the good work,

Chris
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby .Joel » Wed Jan 7, 09 11:05pm

Hi Chris,

Found another error ;)

We use JReviews as a Reviews management system, it's a component for Joomla 1.5.
Now when loading reviews we get the following error:
Fatal error: Class 'JDate' not found in /home/public_html/dev/website/modules/mod_phpbb3_last_topics/tmpl/default.php on line 23

After further tinkering I have also found this to be the case with SOBI2 component for Joomla 1.5 as well.
The Comments plugin conflicts with these components. It may be as simple remedy as throwing an IF statement in there.

After uninstalling the plugin the problem still persists, I have rectified this by leaving the plugin installed and disabled, then commenting out these two lines:
$date = new JDate ($item->post_time);
$post_time = $date->toFormat($formatdate);

I wasn't kidding when I said I would test it for you :D

Regards,

.Joel
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby Chris » Wed Jan 7, 09 11:56pm

Thanks again, please bring it on.

As for this error, I can't see how the plugin is involved from here. If the error persists after the plugin is uninstalled, then the problem isn't with the plugin. When uninstalled, that should remove any trace of it's code. In fact, there is no difference between uninstalling it and unpublishing it as it doesn't modify any core files or either the phpBB or Joomla database. There could be conflicts between phpbb3 last topics and the plugin, but as soon as you unpublish this plugin they would go away.

I never ran into the JDate class while working on this - it sounds like its accessing the Joomla date functions. If you want, I can take a look at your site if you want to give me access. You can email me the login details. Do you have exTplorer or whatever installed that lets you look at source code, because that would help a lot, or you could give me FTP access - whatever you want.

But, whatever the case is, I think its unrelated to the plugin if unpublishing it doesn't fix it.

Also, where are those two lines you commented out? There's no JDate anywhere in the plugin files.

Thanks and keep it coming,

Chris
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby .Joel » Thu Jan 8, 09 11:55pm

Hi Chris,

Ignore me I had my wires crossed :D

I should have looked twice, it is related to a module that pulls the latest topics from phpBB3 and displays them in Joomla.

Regards,

.Joel
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby .Joel » Fri Jan 16, 09 8:00am

Hi Chris,

Just an update, we have been playing with this on the Dev website and no issues so far!

Regards,

.Joel
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby Chris » Fri Jan 16, 09 9:31am

That's great to hear - I'm going to work on the component part of it to limit comments by section and add the SQL table today and tomorrow, so I may have that to test in the near future.
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby floppy » Sun Jan 18, 09 6:49am

hello

I try your plugin, but when I publish it I have a white page on my website.

I have install the plugin, create the database table and a new forum: Discuss Article. I have create a new user: Comment Bot
I have configured the plugin, but it don't work.

I have joomla 1.5.9, phpBB 3.0.4 with seo plugin and in joomla I have 1300 articles

thanks
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby .Joel » Sun Jan 18, 09 7:18am

Hi Floppy,

Check the directory settings in the plugin, make sure you are using the correct path.

Secondly, is your default Joomla table jos_ or when you installed did you install it as something else.

Regards,

.Joel
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby floppy » Sun Jan 18, 09 7:22am

hello

yes I have joomla in root and forum in subdirectory /forum

my tables are jos_ for joomla and phpbb_ for forum

thanks
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Re: Using phpBB as your Joomla Comments Engine

Postby Chris » Sun Jan 18, 09 11:03am

Floppy -

Do you have a URL for your website, so I can see what's going on?

Also, try "./forum/" for your root path. You need to have the trailing slash at the end for it to work. I'll add some code in the next version to make sure that is the case, but for now you have to have that yourself.
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