Tetra WebBBS Documentation
For detailed instructions on setup of Tetra WebBBS from scratch or on upgrading older implementations of Darryl Burgdorf's WebBBS please read the appropriate sections of the setup guide.
New Features since version 5.33
Navigation bars reorganized
Navigation bars now consist of two parts. The first row holding all links which are of more general purpose on the forum. The second row building a subnavbar with links to features/pages which are of use in the context of the page viewed.
For convenience an input field for searching the forum is added to the main navigation bar.
The subnavigation on message index and message pages of public view now allows for an optional dropdown box to quickly select preferences. See %QuickPrefs for more information.
A set of new variables will help admins to trim the navbar according to their needs:
Email based features
A couple of new features have been added which allow users to send email notification for various purpose. More details to be found on variables board:
Web 2.0 (Ajax) features
A modern technology, new to these forums, is first used in version 6.00. It is what is commonly introduced as "Web 2.0" or "AJAX". Nothing mysterious, only some sort of communcation between the browser and the server which happens behind the curtain and doesn't require the entire page to be rebuild but only add/changes certain information on the page viewed.
As a starting point this technology is used to allow a one-click approve/delete on the moderated list without leaving the list or reloading the page.
Another new feature is optional display of teasers on demand. For more information on this optional teaser please see
Appearance of forms
ID attributes have been added to TR tags on post message form and profileedit form. Thus more detailed formatting by CSS is available, which may be used for various purpose.
A new variable is available to determine if the email notices checkbox on post message form is checked or unchecked as the default for those not having set in their cookie. Please read $EmailNoticesCheckbox for more information.
Version 6.00 is ready to run a spellchecker on post message form and profile form. You must have installed WBOSS spellchecker in a working condition on your server. For details please read about $SpellCheckURL.
In the long run tetrabb.com may run a hosted spellcheck for those boardadmins which don't have the spellcheck libraries available on their server. However, this is only a vague plan at the time of this writing.
Session management starting with true login/logout to admin scripts
For a long time already there is a plan to introduce a session management which allows to overcome limitations of cookies, esp. on large sites with multiple forums.
Access to admin scripts has been changed. Now admin scripts require a login.
On successfull login a server-side session is started which is tracked by a session cookie sent to the browser.
In version 6.00 this new server-side session handling replaces all further internal password checks. Thus all input boxes for passwords on admin pages could be removed.
Login to admin scripts is possible for anybody having a profile AND knowing the admin password. However, if the correct password is submitted but no profile exists for the loginname provide, then the scripts will offer to create a profile. Thus the admin password remains the key to login.
On successfull admin login full access and rights are granted on all boards sharing the same $data_basedir. In other words all boards share the admin password. Of course it's still possible to go with individual setup using server-side password protection such as .htaccess and bypass the session management ($BypassSession).
Duration of sessions of course is configurable: $SessionTime.
More details on admin sessions to be provided later.
Admin scripts now display a portal page which serves as an entry to the forum and displays some information about the forum and allows access to administrative functions and data which are shared by all forums.
An important benefit of the portal is it's accessability even if a forums database cannot be opened and the message index "hangs". Databases can always be rebuilt or released from the portal.
All relevant administrative tasks in the context of the page viewed are accessible by the new navigation bars.
Revised moderated lists including one-click approval/delete, dynamic teaser and mass approval/delete/move.
Configurable parking folders for various purpose (%parking_folders).
A list of "All Profiles" is now available to administrators which makes it more convenient to find a specific user profile.
New managing dropdown boxes for profiles, messages and threads are used on message display pages allowing for various administrative tasks.
Profiles can be managed directly from message display pages. A moderated alert displays next to the profile managing dropdown box if the posters profile is set to moderated. Profiles can be set to (un-)moderated directly from message display as well.
Define capabilities for registered users
Version 6.00 allows for overwriting the default settings for registered users. This is a way to provide two sets of "defaults", one set for anonymous users the other set for registered users (those having created a profile). This feature is a first step into a more detailed usermanagement which will be built on top of this first attemp in future versions.
How it works:
At the end of webbbs_settings.pl there is a new subroutine "sub registered_users".
To overwrite one or more of the default settings used for anonymous users in order to grant more privileges to registered users simply copy the appropriate variables into this subroutine and set them accordingly.
Overwriting the default settings is based on cookies. If a profile dataset exists for the username found in the cookie then the defaults specified in "sub registered_users" will take effect.
New/updated profiles are listed on the admin portal page.
Profiles list on admin scripts displays all profiles
Admins may access the profile editform directly from the profile and from each message posted by a registered user.
On admin scripts the new profiles managing dropdown box available on message display pages allows for quickly setting profiles to moderated or unmoderated.
An alert message is displayed on individual message pages of admin scripts whenever the posters profile is set top moderated.
A new variable is available to determine the default moderated status of newly created profiles: $NewProfilesModerated
Filtering and access control
A set of new features for filtering messages and access control is available. Details to be found on variables board:
Rebuilding database is limited to the admin scripts. It's no longer possible to use the public entry scripts for rebuilding to prevent misuse of the feature.
Under the hood
Locking routines have been revised and improved.
A new variable is available for boards running on servers which don't fully support the "flock()" command will benefit ($use_semaphore_lock).
Changes And Fixes
Efficiency and usage of resources
Some changes have been made to improve efficiency on display of the most important pages: message index and message display.
The forums perform additional optimization on the fly for calls made by searchengines.
These changes should result in less server load on multi-forum sites getting under rapid-fire by searchengines.
Some 5.3x plugins integrated into the core scripts
Functionality provided by 5.3xplugins "Bulkdelete moderated Posts" and "Viewcount Backup/Restore" is now integrated into the core scripts.
Blind E-Mail for registered only
It's now possible to restrict the usage of Blind E-Mail to registered users. In fact it's recommended to do whenever somebody enables blind emails. Details on variables board: $BlindEmail
New options for date formatting
Dates may now use 2-digit numeric display of month resp. day of month. For more information read about $DateConfig
Version 6 uses a new syntax for URLs. However, old URLs relevant for searchengines keep working. Searchengines are redirected to the new URLs and will pick them up on next indexing. All old URLs which may be used in external links to messages or profiles will keep working of course.
Usage of @SubjectPrefixes fixed
A very old bug regarding the usage of @SubjectPrefixes on admin scripts has been fixed.
Internal framed setup dropped
With version 6.00 the forums internal framed setup is no longer available.
Of course loading the forum inside your sites frameset is not effected.
Get your own forum going:
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