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New Service for SMF Forums Launched by SMF Charter Member

Started by Joseph, April 18, 2005, 09:19:11 AM

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bjones9942

April 19, 2005, 05:07:57 PM #20 Last Edit: April 19, 2005, 09:52:45 PM by bjones9942
Richard -

Gave your system a try ... setup was a little painful (I had to upgrade my version of Zend).  The 'echo ping' feed comes through great - and I just received posts from the newsgroup I selected too.

FYI, some of us don't have a command line version of php, so adding the script to my cron daemon was a little convoluted (I used 'wget http://www.mywebsite.com/forums/smf_laci.php' to get it to work).  You might want to add that little tip to your knowlege base - it took me a while to track down this solution.

Now the questions!

The new forum is created when the first message destined for that forum is downloaded, yes?

Is there a way for you to create the forums without user access?  If the forums are going to pop in with the first message received I may not be available to moderate it before it confuses the beejeezus out of my members!

What is the normal turnaround from setup time until the first newsgroup posts arrive?  I guess I'm asking how often your nntp server is receiving it's feed, and the turn around time before the new messages are available for d/l.

And ... one more!  Can you create a the new user without creating thier birthday (current month+day+1984 is entered now)?  My calendar is getting full with people turning 21!

Thanks!

Brett
'No one can be exactly like me.  Even I have trouble doing it!'
  -- T. Bankhead

HoTmetal

Cool, I found this out through google, but didn't see anything on it (until now) .....

I noticed they have banners on the site here too.... I may sign up soon. thanks for the info......

Rickc

Richard Rhoden

Yes, thats why we leave it in the docs that you can setup a crontask, as there are so many ways to do it, some easy through a control panel such as cpanel or plesk, or you could use wget, we even have a few of our member who swear by using a command line like 'curl -s -o /dev/null http://www.website.com/smf_laci.php'; And other users just dive in and edit the cron files manually. There just are so many different ways to automate it, we are working on documenting some of the more popular ones and adding them to our FAQ and setup guides.  Now to your questions.

The new forum is created when the first message destined for that forum is downloaded, yes?

    Yes, a new forum is created when the 1st message in downloaded into that forum and added.

Is there a way for you to create the forums without user access?  If the forums are going to pop in with the first message received I may not be available to moderate it before it confuses the beejeezus out of my members!

    Yes, you can pre-create all the forums you plan on adding in advance, if you are usng the basic interface to our control panel it will  name all the feeds you have choosen by their name in our library ie: alt.games. But you can use more advanced functions of the control panel and change that name to anything you want for that forum name ie: Fun Games and then create that forum in advance on your SMF and the LACI will drop the messages into it when some come in, that way you can have it all created, a nice description, etc.

What is the normal turnaround from setup time until the first newsgroup posts arrive?  I guess I'm asking how often your nntp server is receiving it's feed, and the turn around time before the new messages are available for d/l.

    It depends on each newsgroup how much and how often traffic will come in, but as far as our system is concerned, i'm glad you asked as we are in the process of installing a new server now (the current Content Hub is filling up) and that will move our polls to about every 15 minutes may be a few minutes more or less depending on load at the moment. From the LACI side you can poll for traffic as often as every 5 minutes, but most run every 10 or 30 minutes so far.

And ... one more!  Can you create a the new user without creating thier birthday (current month+day+1984 is entered now)?  My calendar is getting full with people turning 21!

    Ahhh... I knew someone would ask about this sometime, yes as we create each new user the day they are created on your system is considered their birthday and they just turned 21.  For most of the forum systems a valid birthday is required for the account to be manageable from the backend admin side, this was the best compromise we have been able to come up with, as everyones birthday has to be somewhere in the 365 day year.

Thanks for the comments and feedback, and we are working on some better FAQ info for the crontask setup under various control panels and methods, have a great day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

greystone

SMF allows 0000-00-00 as a birthday. it uses that when you preregister a member.. anyway you could change it for smf and try using 0000-00-00 as the birthday for the users it creates?

Richard Rhoden

Alright, i'll d some tests with SMF and using a 0's birthday to stop the output of birthdays and see whats involved.  If it does work, it would probably become a configuration option in the efsettings.php, as we have has several member love the fact that birthday's show up making the users feel more real and local, since they are just remote users, but real users none the less. I'll keep you up to date on how this goes here and on our support site, have a good day. If you have any other questions or feature ideas just let us know as we love to hear from users their ideas and comments.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

bjones9942

Yes, either null birthdays or '0000-00-00' please!  Option or no - doesn't matter ;)  They're filling up my calendar!

Thanks Richard!
'No one can be exactly like me.  Even I have trouble doing it!'
  -- T. Bankhead

Richard Rhoden

Working on the feature as we speak, its a bit more complicated as not all forums support this, some require a date, or default the date in one case to Jan 1 (current year) and that would be bad, so we are having to look at each systems LACI independant and do some test runs with it and see what the support can be, some also allow for a NULL field other requires the 00-00-0000 in there to be valid, i assume a check for a NULL value something in the admin code. But we have hear from many users about this, some like having them there others done and only want local members birthdays to appear, so we hear you guys and are working on s solution today. Most likely (dont hold me to this till we have finished all our testing across the board of all forums, but a new setting in the efsettings.php that would read something like "Only Show Local Members Birthdays" YES/NO or something to that effect.

Any comments or suggestions on this path of development before we dive in and start making changes and testing across the board? Would that solve the problem? That way only members local to your system would have a valid birthday and show up in the calendar and at the bottom of the page. Have a good day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

bjones9942

Richard -

I've found that allowing choices wherever possible is generally the best (you *can* try to please everyone!).

I anticipate, once my site starts generating a little traffic, that I'll have to 'explain' the echoforum member group to the normal board members - not having to deal with the 'Who are all these people turning 21' questions would ease my burden :)

I also have a couple of other problems, but I'm going to leave that for the echoforum board, and at a time I'm a little more coherent [sleep has been a rapidly diminishing resource lately]!


Thanks,


Brett
'No one can be exactly like me.  Even I have trouble doing it!'
  -- T. Bankhead

Richard Rhoden

No problem, we are looking into it now and how it crosses all the forums, as we are striving to make the messages that yo exchange between the echoforum networks as seamless as the ones posted locally, since these are real users just not on your system, we call them "remote members" who are contributing to the conversations, adding their opinion, and generally enhancing content. I'll let you know how things turn out on the development side as we have a few other features set for the docket today as well, most requested by other members. Have a good day, and some rest.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

Richard Rhoden

Alright, we have finished with out testing on the new feature, and now the SMF forum LACI will NOT make all newly added members birthdays as of today and 21 years of age. This patch has been posted and will automatically patch in the background the next time you run the LACI, no need to download anything new or touch a thing, its all easy and automatic.  They have been set to NULL so they will not appear with a birthday at all or show up in the calendar. So not the effect will be that only members local to your system will be represented in the calendar with birthdays.  Let me know if you run into any problems with this over the next couple of days, and hope it didn't take too long to get this fix in ther efor everyone, but we had to test it across all the different forum types and then update all our download sites etc... Hope this helps you guys with the "excessive calendar" problems and have a great day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

greystone

Ok looks like the new patch is causing problems here with a null birthdate.. apparently smf only likes 00-00-0000 as a birthdate(other then a real 1) or something..

Just ran smf_laci...
Got the below
Quote
Launching LACI
LACI Version 1.46
Reviewing (0 of 0) Bizarre Sci-Tech News for export
Importing a Message 1 of 2779
Column 'birthdate' cannot be null ERROR QUERY insert into smf_members(memberName,dateRegistered,posts,ID_GROUP, lngfile,lastLogin, realName, instantMessages, unreadMessages, im_ignore_list, passwd, emailAddress, personalText, gender, birthdate, websiteTitle, websiteUrl, location, ICQ, AIM, YIM, MSN, hideEmail, showOnline, timeFormat, signature, timeOffset, Avatar, im_email_notify, karmaBad, karmaGood, usertitle, notifyannouncements, notifyOnce, memberIP, secretQuestion, secretAnswer, ID_THEME, is_activated, validation_code, ID_MSG_LAST_VISIT, additionalGroups, smileySet, ID_POST_GROUP, totalTimeLoggedIn, passwordSalt) values ('RSS', unix_timestamp(now()), 0, 11, '', unix_timestamp(now()), 'RSS', 0, 0, '', '3304a3f168a68f5b47fc8ee5625c2972', 'nobody@echoforum.com', '', 0, null, 'ECHOFORUM', 'http://www.echoforum.com [nofollow]', '', '', '', '', '', 0, 1, '', '', 0, '', 0, 0, 0, 'efb17912', 1, 1, '255.255.255.255', '', '', 0, 1, '', 4, '', '', 4, 0, '')
either that or something else got broke.. it worked before.. grom what i can read there it is the birthdate though..

bjones9942

It's always something, isn't it!  I'm sure Richard will get it working soon :)
'No one can be exactly like me.  Even I have trouble doing it!'
  -- T. Bankhead

Richard Rhoden

Thanks Bjones for the vote of confidence, and yes we are already working on the problem as we speak, the database entries we see in the DB are NULL, but my gues is that SMF is doing some math caculation on it somewhere else which is causing the error. We are running tests now, and will have a path out that fixes the problem later today after we have fully tested it, sorry for the problem.... Dang bugs try to do what looks like an easy fix and its always something, its my fault for trying to respond to everyones need too quickly I should have left it in testing for a couple of extra days with the in-house systems. But we will have a patch out today and everyones system will automatically patch to the latest version when the run the SMF LACI sometime later today. And we will release more info and an update here and well as on our support board later...Sorry for the problem, have a good day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

Midgard

Nice service, but i guess this is only for charter members? your services is paid? i don't understand sorry

Richard Rhoden

Hello Midgard,

Thank you for the kind words about the service, to answer your questions, no, it isn't just for charter members, in fact any member running a SMF forum can join, or many other forum software types as well. The services do have a subscription based option, but it also has free options available in addition to a 30 day evualation period. So far we have had a wonderful response from all the members here at Simple Machines, and for more information please visit http://www.echoforum.com.

And if you have any other questions just let me know I'll be happy to answer any that you may have about the service and how much it can enhance your existing SMF forum. Have a good day
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

[Unknown]

Richard Rhoden,

As it happens, the error message you received was from MySQL.  Different versions of MySQL will handle the NOT NULL constraint differently, but some will disallow the insert.  In SMF's case, it's better to simply leave off the column in the column list and value list, because then the default value will be inserted.

-[Unknown]

Richard Rhoden

Greystone,

A patch has been issued that fixed the problem you discribed and a couple of other minor tweaks, more info can be found in our Announcment forum on http://www.echoforum.com. But your SMF LACI will auto-update to the latest version which is 1.47 on the next time that it runs and will take care of the "birthday" problem within SMF and from now on no "echoforum" user will show up in the calandar list cluttering it up, and all birthdays will be set to 00-00-0000. Hope this solves your problems, and if you have any other questions or feature ideas just let us know, and have a great day.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

Richard Rhoden

Unknown,

Thanks thats what we found out as we were investigating the problem here, and hadn't seen it before, well you can never truly test a product completely till you get it in the hands of thousands of users all with different configurations and setups. But all is better now, for us the most important this is to respond quickly to our members whatever the case... Thanks so much for your input! and Helping out.
Richard - The "Echo" Team
Share your forum content with thousands of sites and add
discussion content from hundreds of categories to your forums.

EchoForum.com - The Shared Community  Solution.

greystone

Quote from: bjones9942 on April 28, 2005, 02:38:32 AM
It's always something, isn't it!  I'm sure Richard will get it working soon :)
Yeah.. Im not trying to criticise at all.. just trying to help...

bjones9942

I didn't mean to imply otherwise!  In fact, my face is a little red at the moment!  FYI - if you 'host' a mail list on echoforum and it points to your mailbox, echoforum needs to be granted access to your pop server before they can transfer any messages :)  Darn me and my paranoid mind (well, perhaps not too paranoid - I have people from Hong Kong trying to get into my system all the time)!

Brett
'No one can be exactly like me.  Even I have trouble doing it!'
  -- T. Bankhead

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