Guild Forums, First Look at phpBB3

The guild website I’m hosting hasn’t had a proper template refresh for over a year now, and revamping that one is next on my todo list. I am running it under the quite complete phpBB Plus package (made by the German phpBB community),  based on phpBB2.

In the meantime, though, phpBB3 has been released, and it has a couple of very interesting features making it worth sandboxing for a while.

First and foremost, it’s a lot simpler and easier to read the code, gone are all the good tables for layout old-style, and here comes modern fluid code based on <div> and CSS2. The Admin control panel is a lot better in my opinion, and the board is easier to manage.

For Portal functionality, mods (or hacks) are still under heavy development, but it looks like there should be two or three solid choices available within a few months.

That being said, there’s one feature included in the stock distribution which alone makes it definitely a very interesting proposition for a wow guild forum: the possibility to add new BB code tags on the fly, in a very nice, clean and simple editor.

phpBB3 Code Editor

The screenshot above show it all. And why is this handy for a WoW site? Item Popups.

So far, to have full item popus including proper rarity colouring, you had to spend quite some time to install ItemStats and get it to work. You could of course add a simple syndication script like those offered by wowdb or wowhead, and ask your forum users to manually colour the link, but that’s putting additional burden on the users. ItemStats, last time I played around with it, required even more tweaking when you wanted to make sure your item popups weren’t coming from Affinity Media sites (which I am boycotting).

Here it gets much simpler. Provided you have the item syndication script in the header of your active template, all you need to do to create a new tag for your item links is enter the following into the editor:

[item={TEXT1}]{TEXT2}[/item]

in the top field, and in the lower one:

<a class=”wowdb-item-full-small” href=”{TEXT1}”>{TEXT2}</a>

And there you go, you now have a functional [item] tag for your phpBB3 board. Of course, the above example is based on wowdb and if you opt for another source, specifics may vary, but I found the simplicity of it all pretty nifty.

For your guildies, all they have to do is look up the item in wowdb, then do [item="your link here"]itemname [/item] and it will get the proper popup, the proper colouring and in the above example the proper item icon as well.

Cool stuff.

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3 Responses to Guild Forums, First Look at phpBB3

  1. Severkill (2 comments) says:

    Thanks for the tip about WoWDB. :) Didn’t know it existed till now :)

  2. cong06 (1 comments) says:

    I found it sweet…but frustrating

    Is there no way to link to wowwiki instead? and the item number? that’s kindof annoying..

    I was looking on wowwiki to mimic their box, but couldn’t find the information. If they can take an item name and make a pop-box, why can’t anyone else? It’s do-able in anycase.

    really, I would rather just have [item]item name[/item] instead of the whole wowdb.com website. though to make it link to wowwiki would be even cooler.

  3. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    You will find happiness with wowdigger tooltip syndication, then.