June 2017 work summary

I took a week off in June during which time I was not working. Otherwise it was a pretty average month. Here’s a summary of work performed in June. Client identification has of course been left off:

  • Continued work for an existing client, not so much phpBB related as just helping her reclaim her various domains and get them better managed and hosted. It’s been quite an adventure because some domains and their hosting have expired. One was effectively hijacked by a developer who didn’t want to give it back and one has a .ca domain, and the .ca register has strict rules about how frequently you can change registrars. So that one cannot be moved to a new registrar until August. Attempting to move all of her domains under GoDaddy management but it is hard because in some cases the email addresses associated with the domain cannot be accessed, and GoDaddy won’t allow domains to be changed unless you reply to an email sent to this address, even with a registrar’s EPP code. She did eventually decide on new hosting and two of her domains are now served from the new host. I’m hoping I can wrap this work up soon, but it’s challenging and tedious work to reclaim domains gone dormant from people with dubious intentions.
  • Continuing work for a client that I started doing work for in May. Client wants to move from phpBB 3.0 to phpBB 3.2 and wanted the new style to look as close as possible to the old style, which was heavily customized but not available for phpBB 3.2. Client wanted a different logo image to appear on the index vs. other pages. He also wanted finger icons to appear on the index only to show forums read and unread. I later spent about two hours¬†tinkering mostly with templates and stylesheets to replicate the look of the current forum to the extent practical, including adding more “hand” icons, changing placement of items on the navigation bar and quick links, etc.¬†Finally the design was approved and I did the conversion. I ran the upgrade with no issues. I reenabled the extensions and disabled Viglink. I reenabled styles and made custom the default, then installed the ABBC3 extension. Later, I spent some time making more minor style fixes. Eventually, installed a different icon set that was acceptable.
  • Moved a phpBB 2.0.15 database extract from 2010 to a new domain, converting it to phpBB 3.2.0. This was much more challenging than expected due to inability to get FTP to work, so I had to use cPanel’s file manager instead for both uploading and editing files. German characters were hard to load into database and hard to transfer during conversion (had to run SQL to fix many columns so they would show up). I discovered that bigdump.php, a staggered importer, does not work reliably with non-Latin character sets, so the database was imported via phpMyAdmin instead, in a very tedious fashion as it would time out, so I had to resume the import many times. It finally did finish correctly. I installed German and French language packs, added small logo on default prosilver style.
  • 1 hour of tutoring.
  • Installed phpBB 3.2. Installed X-Creamy style, shrank logo 50% and placed it. Installed German and French language packs, made German the default language.
  • Received a $100 donation for my digests extension!
  • Upgraded a forum from phpBB 3.0.5 to 3.2.0. I first had to upgrade it to 3.0.14. I changed the style to AllenStyle-SUBSILVER and reapplied logo. I added a default spambot countermeasure and suggested it be strengthened or the measure changed.
  • Client with a customized version of phpBB wanted to roll out my digests extension with it, so a test environment was created. I tried to install Digests 3.0.7 (last version that supports phpBB 3.1) on phpBB 3.1.8, on a customized integration of phpBB with a CMS, in a test area. But it would not install. An analysis determined it was because the migration files asserted that at least phpBB 3.1.9 was needed. I edited the migration files to assert it works with phpBB 3.1.8 and it installed. However, digest’s user control panel interface did not come up. Clicking on tab in style caused logout. Later I determined that the style did not inherit from prosilver so it wasn’t finding the UCP template. I tried turning on style inheritance but it didn’t work. I tried copying templates into extensions all folder but it didn’t work. However, copying the templates directly into his style folder worked. Test email worked. Client will create a phpBB 3.2 environment for deployment they so won’t get a buggy version of the digests extension. I expect to finish this project in July.
  • Completed an analysis for a long established client for upgrading his customized phpBB forum. Waiting for feedback.
  • Upgraded forum from phpBB 3.0.14 to 3.2.0. Calendar mod modules were deleted. Installed the Softblue style. There were gateway timeouts backing up the database and recreating the search index, otherwise no issues. Later: wanted SE Square Left style installed instead. Reapplied logo and at request I centered the logo, site name and site description. Later: decided to drop the search index as it put them over their Siteground database quota and they didn’t want to upgrade their hosting to have a search index.
  • Upgraded forum from phpBB 3.0.12 to 3.2.0. Changed style from prosilver to a custom style I created that inherited from the Flat Style. Custom style changes logo image and moves avatars to the right side of the frame on the view topics screen. No issues during upgrade but I couldn’t get FTP to work so I did all file editing in Hostgator’s file manager.
  • Upgraded a forum from 3.0.12 to 3.2.0. There were a number of mods too. First attempt on host failed, so I moved it all to my machine and converted it there. Conversion was done slowly to 3.0.14, to 3.1.7-PL1, to 3.1.9 then to 3.2.0, cleaning up the database after conversion to 3.0.14 with the STK (although some functions would not work due to DB issues). Upgrade failed during upgrade to 3.2.0. Sought support on phpbb.com. Issue turned out to be a BBCode that had the word “object” in its HTML, which tripped up the update program. Once removed the upgrade finished. Uploaded database again and used bigdump.php to load the database. Customer will install and configure his Milk style along with any extensions.
  • Upgraded forum from 3.0.1 to 3.2.0. Had to do it on my laptop because I could not use PHP 7 for this upgrade. Client is a phpBB developer and he had me do a multi-step upgrade and had me use the STK at various points to clean up the database. Images in the /files folder provided by his client turned out to be corrupt. Eventually I uploaded the files and database and brought the forum up using a default prosilver style per client’s requirement, although usable images are still missing.