phpBB 3.2 Rhea, second look

With phpBB 3.2.0 Rhea now officially released, I have some additional observations about this minor release of phpBB beyond my last post.

  • All libraries needed are part of the archive, so there is no reason to run Composer before installing. This is good and makes life easier but there are more files to upload and the archive is getting fatter: 7.5MB zipped, 33MB unzipped.
  • The installer’s progress bar is slow to give feedback, leading perhaps to the impression that it has stalled. Wait and your patience will be rewarded.
  • Upon successful installation there are two options/extensions enabled. The first allows you to send your statistics to to improve the product. This was there previously but now it’s a simple checkbox and it can be enabled or disabled later. It has its own item in the Administration Control Panel: ACP > General > Server Configuration > Help support phpBB. More unusual is a new phpBB Group developed extension that integrates with VigLink. If you enable this extension, it adds URL tracking information when you or a forum user shares a URL. It allows the phpBB Group to generate some small revenue when people click on these links and then click on a targeted ad. You can uncheck this but it is enabled by default. It too has an item in the ACP: ACP > General > Board configuration > VigLink settings.
  • When installing a new board, you get a default category, forum and post, but no search index is populated with the post. Instead, you are reminded to create a search index. This allows you to create a different search index type if you want, but it’s an extra and new step to the installation process.
  • If you edit a post, the edit window is smaller, in that it shows fewer lines. You can drag the window to make it bigger but some people will find this change a bit irritating.

I had done a smoke test with my Smartfeed and Digests extensions. I posted about Smartfeed here, and Digests here. Look for new releases of both in the coming weeks and months that will support phpBB 3.2.

With the release the phpBB Group has published a features page with the major new features.

I’ll post more observations as I use it more.


If you administer a phpBB board, you should find my book Mastering phpBB Administration invaluable. Learn lots of tips, tricks and secrets I learned from serving over 400 clients. Paper and Kindle versions available.

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