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Welcome to WebmasterWorld v3

6:10 pm on Jun 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 21, 1999
votes: 62

Phase 1 of the upgrade was a rewrite of the entire WebmasterWorld core set of programs. This involved reformatting all data files used by the system to a new format. The results are a set of programs that scale to an unheard of size for a perl based forum. While we run just fine in a share hosting environment, other forums of similar size are running on 8 load shared servers.

The second phase later this year, will be more interface changes based strictly upon user feedback. Thank you to all the members who have helped make this possible.

WebmasterWorld V3 BestBBS Change Log 05-30-2001
Updates additions and corrections since v2.0

- BestBBS : After 18 years of BBS programming, I've finally settled on a name for the software :-)

- Most sensitive actions on the part of the user, require being logged in via cookies. This includes, posting, responding, editing, and stickymail.

- Rewrote entire registration process.
- Registration now emails a user a confirmation number instead of password.
- Updated to use new theme/skin templates.
- Registration now works much-more-better-different ;-)

- New skins. Allows member customization of all main system variables and display parameters. The main reason for the switch was to get font size and font face control into the hands of the members for ease of use purposes.
- Users may clone each others skins.
- Users may expand or collapse category listings on main forum index page and on homepage via control panel pref.
- Auto post splitting with pref on profile for split level.
- All new preview routines.
- Preview now reshows input form window for those with caching disabled.
- New status line for messages just above location bar when needed. Warnings, confirmations, and user messages go here.
- Preview shows post exactly like it is displayed in thread.
- All mods now show "moderatore forumX" with a link to their forum under their profile anywhere on the system.
- Added post and keyword highlighting (v2.8).
- added "location" field to on screen profile display.
- "roll your own" active list to control which cols are included or not included. The default set is now rolled back with a few removed.
- The ENTIRE forum (including all threads) now validates via the w3c validator (hope to keep it that way)
- Created "side bars" for Netscape and Opera of Activelist and homepage highlighted threads.
- New user pref for post form input height (rows).
- Redid time zone display to make much easier (all proper times zones now displayed in simple drop down on profile).
- Zapped all cookie routines and went with new code.
- Forum/discussion last read pointers now comes out of user file instead of cookie if user is logged in.
- Open links in new windows prefs option.
- Added max threads in forum view option.
- Added optional ICQ field to profile.
- Added library system of highlighted threads.
- New category view option on prefs/profile.
- Added reverse display of threads to user prefs.
- Reset Cookies. Redid that system.
- Added 3rd level subforums.

- Converted from SSI to Apache Mode_Rewrite (v2.8). This Reduced file usage. Increased page generation speed 500%. Reduced overall system resources.
- Removed "template" page generation in favor of inline on-the-fly generation. This reduced amount of memory used per page view by up to 2 megabytes. Not all that important at 10k views a day, but at 100k views, it's critical.
- Converted User Files to new ini format instead of flat files. This is more flexible. Very easy to add new user prefs.
- Globalized many routines: Title, Nav bars now generated globaly for sake of skins.
- Adjusted thread msg flat files to new format. This gives us more options on a per-thread and per-message level. It paves the way for future enhancements.
- Moved to new Email system. Email now sent in delayed fashion for system resources and flexibility reasons.
- Moved an enourmouse amount of routines to stand alone scripts. This reduced the overhead hit for each routine.
- Inserted (but not enabled) post collasping that shows only unread messages.
- All new post, reply, and edit routines. Trimmed 30k from both ipost.cgi and misc.cgi. Should speed things up. Much more streamlined and easy to update.
- After post, reply, or edit, you are automagically taken back to the post at that spot via autorefresh to a named anchor on the page.
- Added named anchors to page for "exact spot" highlighting.
- New Edit routine blocks the "view" of an edit if not post owner (security precautions).

[StickyMail/Control Panel]
- V2.0. Major portions are a ground up rewrite and changes therefore are not fully documented.
- StickyMail link from each post to user.
- added msg icons.
- calendar setup for future online PIM.
- reworked folder display.
- new menu system
- preview must reshow message.
- added message quoting.
- flags now part of stickymail.
- enable or disable stickymail from profile/prefs.
- on create, now asks for user before proceeding to creation screen to check if user exists.

- rewrote member file edit routines to work with new file formats.
- new member file search on all fields.
- rearranged file names to something akin to logical.
- updated setforumorder.cgi to new templates.
- updated forumsetup.
- added note field to user prefs.
- added donation field to user prefs.
- added auto post "forwarding" to new post location if post moved.
- added new member log.
- added admin action log.
- added ip <-> member collation and tracking.
- final analysis: rewrote most of admin section (eg: dumped much lame code).

Not a single line of code hasn't been looked at, with most being changed.
Basically, what we are looking at here, is 80-90% rewrite of all code. The final vestiages of what the orginal software are gone.

Bug fixes
- forum sort corrupted on split move join
- active list corruption on split post.
- stickymail not honoring auto-notify
- preview post _must_ present post in form window for those with caching disabled.
- cookies. nuff said.
- reset last read pointers on category level was resetting all pointers.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 6:28 pm (utc) on June 2, 2002]

7:53 pm on June 3, 2002 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 2, 2000
votes: 1

Seems like a waste of bandwidth to repeat what other have said, but I'll do it anyway: NICE JOB, BRETT!! I've implemented a few forums and this one definitely compares favorably in both features and performance.

Let us know when the beta version is available for download...

10:45 pm on June 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 12, 2000
votes: 0

Amazing as always Brett! Looks great all around. Love the calendar in StickyMail and other special touches in the upgrade.
4:06 pm on June 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 29, 2001
votes: 0

Seems... Different.
4:13 pm on June 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 26, 2002
votes: 0

Looks good and do notice the difference in speed - faster. Great job Brett!
8:07 pm on June 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Moderator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator ianturner is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 19, 2001
votes: 45

Okay - so just how did you manage to take one of the fastest forums on the net and make it noticeably faster.

Great job Brett.

9:32 pm on June 4, 2002 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 4, 2002
votes: 0

I have been away a few days so this new look/feel is a pleasent suprise.

A couple of things;

Much quicker.

More categorised.

Easier to use and navigate.

A big thumbs up.

One minus, is the edit post function disabled or something? I can't seem to see it.

Anyway much better, keep up the good work all.


9:14 am on June 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 21, 1999
votes: 62

Thanks everyone.

>make it noticeably faster

You lift up the body, and put a new drive train (bigger motor, transmission, rear end) in it and put the body back on. It looks the same to everyone, but it sure don't drive the same. That's basically what I did here. All new formats, files, and system.

Biggest thanks goes to Littleman, SugarKane, and Air. Littles evangelizing about mod rewrite prompted me to switch everything to that. SugarKane and Air dropped a couple of code tips that got me to speed testing some routines where I found a major slowdown in page generation that I never would have otherwise.

If you code forums, the biggest bottleneck is always at disk access. Eliminate every last access you can. Some other popular forums can go to disk 12-15 times just as overhead for every post - that's a speed killer. (this one goes 4 times)

> One minus, is the edit post function
> disabled or something? I can't seem to see it

It is off if you are not logged in. It is off after two hours after a post.

The whole idea is to give people a chance to edit typos, but not to change the context/content of a post after other people have replied. I got rid of the edit link altogether in all other circumstances to get rid of bots running to them.

I think this way it is fair to everyone - readers and writers alike.

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