Archive for Before posting please check the "stickies" in the support forums.
Please ask questions in real English and not "txt". You will get a better response.
Please do not ask support questions via PMs.
  Forum Index -> Forum Blogs
myff admin

upgrade to phpbb3 progress

phpbb3 comes with an upgrade system.

The first thing I notice about it, is that is can be expected to return fatal errors. For example if two users have names that conflict under the new rules for user names.

As such it makes sense that we maintain the basic structure of this system. e.g. You don't ask for an upgrade and wait for us to do it.

You go into the upgrade function yourself and if need be have to deal with some issues yourself and try again.

Technically if you start off in your forums phpbb2 admin panel you are totally isolated from the phpbb3 environment.

So phpbb3 will have to be called by bringing up a web page that will have to be passed some token that you have the authority to perform the upgrade.

I was thinking that you would go to a web page like:

and so in effect this web page would be on the same system as the final forum, but I think:;

is going to be more sensible. This will be going to a cut down system that is in many ways more restricted in what it can do, but which crucially will be able to access both old and new versions of the forum.

It will I think work a little differently from our standard client server architecture, as it will know that it is on the same server as source and destination it can be a lot more direct, which might duplicate code, but only code that is practically as short as the code required when working client server.
myff admin

A very small step 1 made, the phpbb3 converter is installed but has no idea what to do as it wants a blank phpbb3 there for it to install to.

Next step I guess is to give it what it wants.
myff admin

A few more microscopic steps forward, removing extraneous options from the installer so you can only see the converter, adding our own intro text and making the name of the forum to be converted get passed around.

This means we are up to the previous stopping point, but cleanly.

Now the real work has to start  
myff admin

database blank now created along with associated paths etc.

This is actually pretty good going, as not least the code is geared to raid on the fly the same information used when creating forums, it would have been easier to just copy stuff, but that would create two sets of code to be maintained.
myff admin

Quite close now to actually calling the conversion process

Of course even if this works it will not yet convert any of the extras.
myff admin

Got past the options verification stage, to the user this will look annoying, but thats tough it only happens once.

Basically it verifies options that the user will not actually get to enter as the values are now prefilled. But there is little point in disrupting the structure of the conversion process to remove this.
myff admin

An upgrade is currently under way, a lot of errors though as it has got some paths wrong. Not exactly surprising as we are running a conversion in one phpbb3 directory structure that is in fact aimed at populating another directory structure  
myff admin

Last conversion of the night still bombed out at the very end, but has produced what looks like a working forum
myff admin

Just been struggling in the office with php creating "barmy" directory permissions, the "barmy" term coming from comments from a user on the php manual pages having similar issues.

I am trying to get avatars to copy across which is the final ordinary part of an upgrade before we get to the myff profile field parsing.

I may leave people to recreate their own portals, there is just to much risk of dragging issues across to phpbb3, as not all portals are on phpbb3 and there is the odd little difference.
myff admin

Looks live avatars are making it across, but fail to show.

Also looks like there is a bug in the avatar display code on our version of phpbb3 anyway.

problem with the upgrade is the database path to the avatars gets set wrong.
myff admin

and finally avatars show

From here on in it should be downhill.

The profile updates will be tricky but perfectly doable.
myff admin

In theory the code is there to populate the phpbb3 profile fields from the xprofile fields.... but the code is not there yet to create the profile fields in the first place.

I am a bit concerned the process will be slower than need be, there is not a direct correspondence between user ids on phpbb2 and phpbb3 and I have chickened out of mechanisms used to deal with this in the rest of the conversion code.

This also someone settles another conversion point with portals, the portals that use the database would be another source of potential problems if converted.

I think we are much better off with a solid upgrade that requires people to add a few things back in, than with trying to drag everything into phpbb3.

There is even a decent case for not converting the xprofile fields. A lot of them will correspond to features like KARMA that are not there in phpbb3, and some will duplicate other features now available in the user profiles in phpbb3.

Any thoughts?
myff admin

I think I am coming round to the idea of not converting.

There is a much less than perfect match, and I know I'd want an upgrade to be as solid as possible.

So I think I may quit whilst ahead and get to work on finalizing this.

The "authorization" is yet to be written, currently anyone could start an upgrade for a forum  

Let alone the tricky business of finalizing the upgrades in the DNS.
myff admin

Well I think I'll be more secure in the decision if the code to convert is actually tried and tested, at least then it is not a cop out!
myff admin

A bit more musing on the sequence of things.

Probably the next logical step once the upgrade code is written is not actually making it available, but a full phpbb3 deployment. This would actually (hopefully) be an invisible process.
In essence we have a client server system, each domain like is considered a server, each server can deal with either phpbb2 or phpbb3, but currently only one server has the up to date code, the same goes for the clients, each client represents one of our servers and can again deal with either forum type, but only Zaphod is running the up to date code.
Bringing things into line is important to getting us ready for the deployment of the upgrade option.
It is one of those big rollouts that are scary from this end, but should just happen invisibly at the forum level.
myff admin

custom profile field creation from xprofile fields is now live, but not populating due to what looks like a few trivial issues.
myff admin

Actually whilst I still have concerns this does seem to have worked fairly okay.

Even the BIRTHDAY field if set up is being translated into the phpbb3 birthday field rather than creating a custom field.

All the same it is 500 lines of code added to the conversion program, it is unlikely to be fault free.

One thing I have not attempted to do is to convert dropdown/option fields.
myff admin

Authorization now in place. So admins will be able to see an upgrade link in their admin panels. The link will do the upgrade without any need to enter a password again.

So basically we are now in a slow rollout phase, which involves quite a bit of work and some sensible waiting for more phpbb3 test results before this will become available.
myff admin

the upgrade process now gives the link to the upgraded forum. A needed step as it will not in fact be phpbb3 inserted in the link as earlier stated  

It will be one of:


depending on server.

Should have realised this earlier.
myff admin

Continuing to make a few more tweaks textarea type xprofile fields were not having their dimensions converted, which is now fixed. Some of the text and the logos in the converter are now more correct for myff.

Some work is going on sorting ip addresses for the upcoming events, several hundred forums were on an ip address scheme that seemed like a good idea a year ago, but which conflicts with clearing the decks for phpbb3, and that is now hopefully sorted.
myff admin

The upgrade link and phpbb2/phpbb3 status now shows in the office control panel.

I just need to write suitable code and blurb for the finalize upgrade DNS bit. This is more a matter of clear instructions than anything.

The next step then is the boring one, we need to bring all the code on the servers into line. But initially with the phpbb3 options all turned off except on the current phpbb3 forums system.

That should be done this Saturday with upgrades being available the following Saturday.

It is still  notable just how much of this framework was in place over a year ago.
myff admin

touch wood all code complete.

You can flip back between phpbb2 and phpbb3 links, and access the upgrade facilities from the control panel, but only if the master forums system says you are allowed to.

This should be off by default allowing me to roll out the code safely on Saturday.
myff admin

Is this clear? The screen changes a bit according to what you have done so far.

myff admin

Just thinking actually, as the control panel is getting a make over in what it contains, it is probably about time the long in the tooth and cosmetically iffy tabs are reworked. There is much better tab code available now.
myff admin

Yep, the new look if definitely more functional.
myff admin

Been tweaking a bit more, putting on more explanatory text and removing witter.
myff admin

I think when the upgrade facility rollout begins this week, we will have a rolling programme whereby on the first day 1% of forums will be able to see the upgrade link, with additional %'s being added each day.

Apart from anything else upgrading a forum is going to add a lot of server load and we don't want scores of people doing it at once. I can envisage it will take a month for everyone to be able to get to the button, but only time will tell just what a hit on the servers this proves to be.

It may be that not many people are that fussed about going phpBB3 at all.
myff admin

I have actually pressed ahead to the point where things seem live.

is an example.

The conversion was not totally smooth, there were a couple of dodgy usernames that needed dealing with, and a little custom profile field problem along with a few not unexpected issues with any new installation.

But with those problems resolved it is looking good.

I will still wait till tomorrow at least before letting anyone else try. Not least I spotted one DNS address on the slarti server that had not been set up  
myff admin

I have changed the text about the upgrade to:


If set to yes any existing phpbb3 upgrade will be overwritten.

If set to No the upgrade will keep changes made to templates, web pages, profile fields and other phpbb3 specific configuraton details.

Note - forums and their names,descriptions and other properties will always be overwritten.

You can use this option to make your forum ready for a final later conversion, but we recommend that if you choose this route you test as you go (by repeated use of this option) so that you are sure that things both continue to work with the edits you are making, and that the edits do not get overwritten.

As phpbb3 bars html in forum descriptions and I bet loads of people will "fix" this in their upgrade only to lose the fix.
myff admin

Seems there is an issue with xprofile fields being converted.

So we may not manage this for Sunday after all.

On the scale of things though we are well ahead of schedule.

I wasn't really aiming to give people a phpbb3 upgrade option until weeks after this point.
myff admin

Seem to have got it sorted and fixed an issue with resetting the database if you want a complete reset.
myff admin

To try and make this as flexible as possible I have added options to force forum links, overriding the phpbb2 or phpbb3 forum address with a redirect to the forum of choice.

e.g. If I was to change forum type of this forum to phpbb3 and add a "force", then until the change had propagated, attempts to access this forum would go to the phpbb2 version of the forum but get sent on to:

This allow you to simply and instantly force people onto your phpbb3 site. It is completely flexible you can unforce the link, or force from phpbb3 to phpbb2 should for any odd reason that be desired.
myff admin

I spotted another missing DNS address, each domain needs phpbb3 addresses set for each server where their forums might reside. I think I have them all now, and as soon as the missing one resolves I am going to try and fully complete an upgrade of an existing forum of mine.

Assuming that works, I may make the upgrade button available a little more widely.
myff admin

does seem to have gone through all the process of upgrading and final link setting, the link is currently "forced" whilst the DNS propagates. But the right address does appear to be set for propagation.

It is hard now to think of any excuse not to hit the switch?

admin (no pm's please) wrote:

It is hard now to think of any excuse not to hit the switch?

Are we sure all the little bugs are ironed out ? before we do a possible mass leap over.
myff admin

It will have to be turning the tap on slowly. I know there are more bugs, but we need people to find them.

People are not obliged to make the switch official until they are happy things run, and we have seen no fatal bugs since we allowed phpbb3 forums to be created. e.g. there have been glitches, but no forum contents have been lost.

All the same I hear what you are saying and it does concern me.

But the more the upgrade process is delayed the more it delays actually doing other things. e.g. whilst the upgrade is being juggled, nothing beyond the really trivial can be started on phpbb2 or phpbb3.
myff admin

Spotted a small but not insignificant typo   and I'm still waiting for my own DNS cache to catch up with the fact that a server address has propagated, but then I think I will have to kick off this live.

Another question is forum creation in general, we have:

it makes little sense for only myfabforum to be on phpbb3.

The system can allow a choice when people create, but I don't like the idea of choice at this stage, I think choice makes people pause and so can stop the "sale" and one choice is always going to create an address that to start with would redirect to one of the "zaphod3" type addresses that would confuse the heck out of people.
myff admin

Tomorrow should see some tweaks to the nameserver completed in readiness for the state of domains to be changed.

It is going to be a tricky business anyway and currently the nameserver code is simply geared for the updating of the odd record. The sort of mass update needed here clobbers things badly
myff admin

touch wood this is now sorted.

Nameserver records are now refresh hourly if changes have occurred. This prevents the files being churned out continually or of them needing a locking mechanism to deal with the potential of simultaneous requests.

The only downside is that it may add an hour on to propagation times.
myff admin

Testing seems to have worked out.

This area always makes me nervous as if peoples DNS record go up the swanny they may have problems for days

I think I will try and make a phpbb3 system by default.

I think the procedure is:

1) Turn off default address wildcarding at the dns server for the domain. The wildcarding ensures that any forum on the default address never ends up with its own DNS record. Useful for tidyness as a rule. As part of this change I have made this flag work a bit differently. the default address will always be written as a wildcard address and the flag will only enable filtering.

2) Rig the nightly run on to update all forums DNS records, this should populate the DNS with records pointing them to the default address set for phpbb2.

3) Disable forum creation.

4) change the default address to phpBB3.

5) Wait 48 hours.

6) Set forum creation to phpBB3 and reenable.
myff admin

Stage 2 now completed in this process.
myff admin

I have just improved the converter to help it deal with people doing silly things like changing forum type or adding forced redirects before they have actually settled on phpbb3.

So if I understand all of this...your basically going to slowly fix known bugs and then slowly ease more and more people onto Phpbb3 type forums, so you can:

1. Keep servers running effiecently

2. Find bugs and errors not already Know

However, I have already tried the Phpbb3 forum type and have been trying my best to get my forum back to a Phpbb2, because some of the topics and forums were not transferred and, some of the basic features are not working. It hasn't been 48 hours yet, but, are you sure that WITHIN 48 hours my forumk will be back to normal? We admins cannot acces the admin panel during this puts a strain on everything.

The website:

So, over time, all forums will be on Phpbb3 once most bugs are fixed, and it is a fact, that your forum will be transferred within 48 hours, because, it does say 48 hours, I just want to make sure, IT WILL be fixed back to normal WITHIN this 48 hour time frame?!?!?

However, I do like this, and I will gladly accept Phpbb3 type forums once it is absolutely needed for any reason. I would have stayed with Phpbb3, if it wasn't for the fact that some of my posts and topics were not transferred.

My Opinion: It seems as if this will go smoothly and will be great thing once we all see what the outcome is.

Did I miss anything??

(I program software and websites, that is why I am interested in this topic)

well, never mind about changing it back to Phpbb2! I finally fixed it!! I love Phpbb2, but Phpbb3 will work for now, and I think I will keep it, so I can help with your bugs. Also, I would like to see what it has to offer anyways...

myff admin

well when you first transfer, the link for your forum will goes to phpbb2, so if there were issues with something not being copied over you should have simply reported exactly what was missing here, so we could take a look. That is the way bugs can be dealt with.

I did get it fixed. However, there is a Smillie problem. They just don't show up. Sometimes the BBcode will be there, and no smillie, and sometimes, you will get a Picture that cannot be displayed. Is this know already?? and is there a way to fiz this??
myff admin

smiles are not transferred. But this is not a thread for specific support issues.

ok thank-you.

However, I would like to knowif there will be a specific date or something like that when Phpbb3 will become the only forum type option there is.
myff admin

Probably never or nearly so.

ok Forum Index -> Forum Blogs
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum