Smartfeed 3.0.8 ready for testing, supports 3.2 only

Version 3.0.8 of Smartfeed is now ready for download and testing. It addresses issues found in the latest review by the extensions review team. This version works on phpBB 3.2 only.

You can download it from GitHub or get the archive off my website.

A phpbb.com support topic is here.

Major changes:

  • Now uses AES-128-CBC encryption, a higher and much more secure encryption standard, for generating a hash of the user’s password. This means you must rerun the Smartfeed user interface to generate a new URL if you want to use the logged in features of Smartfeed. If you don’t you will get a Smartfeed error that will direct you to do this.
  • Supports phpBB 3.2 only

Bugs fixed:

  • phpBB’s generate_text_for_display() function can leave </ at the end of strings. This appears to be a bug and can cause feeds not to validate. If present I remove these characters.
  • When you specify the number of items in the feed, it includes private messages and external feed items (if any) in the count.
  • Attachment sizes shown in kilobytes use the language string
  • When a user is logged in, if the administrator has turned on the feature to require IP authentication, the user interface no longer shows a control allowing you to not use it
  • When a user sets the maximum number of items in a feed, it is not ignored.

Other changes:

  • <br /> tags replaced with <br> tags in templates. HTML 5 is not as picky as XHTML.
  • Removed the constant SMARTFEED_IV since the AEC-128-CBC algorithm needs a randomly generated IV
  • Removed redundant template variables
  • Changed criteria for identifying new posts and new topics. If either the post date or the topic date falls within the range of time wanted (such as 24 hours) it is identified as new. There is also a new language string that specifically identified new topics
  • The default language for the feed is based on the default board language, so it is not always en-gb anymore.
  • Migration program uses config.update() rather than a combination of config.remove() and config.add()
  • SimplePie library was upgraded to the current production release: 1.5
  • Smartfeed homepage URL now includes the www. prefix
  • User interface notes that styling in feed does not apply to items that are in external feeds.

May 2017 work summary

Compared to April, May was kind of slow here at phpBB services. This was not a bad thing. I had a Javascript class to wrap up, grades to assign and between it and the work that poured in during April I needed some downtime. So thanks clients for not taxing me too much last month. Anyhow, here’s a summary of my work during May. As usual all information about my clients has been anonymized:

  • I provided an estimate for upgrading phpBB and Tapatalk, and general rehosting advice. More in June when my client’s client decides how he wants to move ahead with the rehosting, then I’ll likely move the forum.
  • I did an analysis of the work to import a phpBB2 Smartor gallery into phpBB 3.2, importing pictures and meta information about the pictures in the gallery into the phpBB Gallery extension. This continues work for a client I did in April. This will move forward when the phpBB Gallery extension is approved for phpBB 3.2.
  • I upgraded a forum from phpBB 3.0.12 to 3.2.0 using the default prosilver style. To upgrade it, I had to move it to my machine. However, database backups kept timing out. I had to partition it into 3 backups to get it all. FTP would not work so I used cPanel’s file manager to upload phpBB, expand the archive then move the /files, /images and /store folders into the upgraded folder. The upgrade worked but was very slow. In addition there were CloudFlare CDN issues such as causing the ACP stylesheets not to show. Some forum icons wouldn’t appear either. I asked him to refresh his files in CloudFlare and hope that solves the issue. Curiously, could not see PHP information in the Administration Control Panel. The web host disallowed it. After these issues were resolved I installed the Cleantalk and mChat extensions.
  • Welcome to the forum emails were not going out for new forum members. GoDaddy said to upgrade phpBB which meant upgrading PHP to 5.4 first. Client tried this approach but the upgrade did not work. “File not found” error message appeared when clicking on the upgrade tab during install. I tried doing my own upgrade but with the same result. I could not connect with SSH to use the CLI way of upgrading phpBB as an alternative. It looked like SSH was being blocked somewhere between me and GoDaddy. Working with GoDaddy I eventually figured out the email issue was due to the forum name not being in the intro email, and that was because sitename is blank in the Administration Control Panel, Board settings. This causes it to get trapped as probable spam by GoDaddy’s email servers so they weren’t actually sent out. Adding it and recovering the phpBB software to 3.1.5 brought up the forum again. Adding the sitename (and commenting it out in the overall_header.html template where it is used if wanted) allowed emails to go out. Later I deleted the phpBB 3.2.0 program files and uploaded 3.1.5 files. I had to change config.php to use the IP of the database server, because using the logical name did not work. I also had to upload the American English language pack. I put the site name back in so new member emails would go out. Later, I tested registration and reminder emails (worked) and answered some questions. Later, there was some rework. The Euro symbol would not translate. Problem was somewhere in bigdump.php which I used as a staggered importer after converting the database on my machine. I was able to upload via phpMyAdmin after several attempts due to the large size of file but it meant a few recent posts were lost.
  • Client upgraded his forum to phpBB 3.2.0. New topics were getting appended to existing topics. I reuploaded phpBB 3.2.0 source files, reapplied the logo and the issue no longer occurred.
  • Moved a forum from prophpBB (a phpBB free hosting site) to a new VPS. Forum was running phpBB 3.0.11 on prophpBB, with some custom changes made by prophpBB. VPS hosting on the new host supported only PHP 7 so I had to install phpBB 3.2.0. The upgrade was somewhat time consuming as prophpBB had the styles table set in a nonstandard fashion (prosilver was not style_id = 1). Mucking with the database using phpMyAdmin, I eventually got it to work. Setup question on registration spambot countermeasure. Changed some configuration variables for server name and cookie domain to reflect the new hosting. Changed nameservers to point to the new hosting. Curiously, the forum won’t be on phpBB for long. Client wants to move it to the IMS forum solution and this was an interim step.
  • My client was having an issue with session hijacking. Upgraded from phpBB 3.1.5 to 3.1.10 to see if it fixed the problem. Awaiting feedback but I think I understand the cause of session hijacking now.
  • Created a new forum on Bluehost hosting which for some reason did not work using their scripting center. Installed Flat style and integrated logo after cropping it and reducing it in size by 50%. Provided links to some of my blog posts on setting up a new forum. Later: centered logo and provided guidance on useful extensions.
  • Work upgrading a forum from phpBB 3.0.11 to 3.2.0. Client wants to keep close look to existing style with hand icons and a centered logo. This involves making another style match reasonably closely. Client eventually decided he didn’t need his sidebar, as adding it detracts from the responsive design of the modern styles. It was pretty tedious work and is not completed yet due to the client going out of country for awhile. I am doing the styling in a phpBB3 test forum until the styling meets all of client’s requirements, then I will do the actual upgrade.
  • I upgraded the Tapatalk extension to version 2.0.3 for a client.
  • I changed forum tables to use InnoDB storage engine with the exception of the sessions tables which were changed to use the MEMORY storage engine. The forum was brought down when the sessions table needed repair. This makes it less likely it will happen in the future.
  • Posts required moderation that shouldn’t have. Investigated. It turns out the problem was limited to global moderators. For all forums, when they post their own posts are placed in the moderation queue which they then have to approve! Changed it so they have full access to all forums. The forum moderators group had no role assigned to all forums. Changed this to full access too. Approved three posts in the moderation queue.
  • Starting a new project for a previous client. She wants to reclaim some domains that expired and get all domains under one registrar and all hosting under one host. It’s all pretty scattered. This will be an ongoing project for a while which I will finish in June.