Frequently Asked Questions

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(Who is using FUDforum?)
(Who is using FUDforum?)
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* http://www.rift-news.com/ (game-related news site)
* http://www.rift-news.com/ (game-related news site)
* http://www.soundforums.net/ (Professional Live Audio Community)
* http://www.soundforums.net/ (Professional Live Audio Community)
 +
* http://www.nomad-forum.com/ (Noman form)
 +
* http://www.indiebride.com/kvetch/ (Indie Bride)
 +
* http://www.ccmb.co.uk/ (Cardiff City Online)
 +
* http://forums.kerio.com/ (Kerio - Connect. Communicate. Collaborate. Securely)
 +
* http://forum.sipfoundry.org/ (SipXecs Forum - Discussions about the installation and use of SipXecs)
PS: Feel free to add your forum to the above list.
PS: Feel free to add your forum to the above list.

Revision as of 10:38, 16 January 2011

The FUDforum FAQ provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Please consult this FAQ before asking questions on the Support Forum. However, if the answers are unclear, or if you require additional information, please ask anyway!

Contents

Installation and upgrade FAQs

What do I need to get started

Before installing FUDforum, please review the prerequisites in the Install Guide. When done, download the installer and follow the instructions. It should only take a couple of minutes to have a full working forum installed.

Note that we also offer special "pre-installed" versions of FUDforum:

The installer shows a blank page or question marks?

This normally happens with old FUDforum 3.0.1 and earlier releases when the PHP setting detect_unicode is enabled. The unicode detection algorithm chokes on the binary content within the installer. To fix this, create a .htaccess file in the same directory as the installer with the following contents and rerun the installer:

php_flag detect_unicode off

Note that some hosts disable '.htaccess' completely. In addition, hosts that uses phpexec cannot specify PHP settings via .htaccess. In such cases you will have to change this setting in your php.ini file or ask your hosting provider to do it for you.

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of X bytes exhausted (tried to allocate Y bytes)

This normally happens when users run an older version of PHP with a low memory_limit setting (default for PHP 5.3 is 128M) and FUDforum needs more memory to run. To fix it, increase PHP's memory limit, either by adding:

  • memory_limit = 128M to your php.ini file (recommended, if you have access).
  • php_value memory_limit 128M in your .htaccess file in the FUDforum directory.
  • ini_set('memory_limit', '128M'); in the install.php script.

Warning: gzuncompress() [function.gzuncompress]: data error

The installer or upgrade script will report this error if the file is somehow incomplete or corrupt. Please download it again and ensure you have the complete file before proceeding.

If you use FTP, please transfer the file in BINARY MODE as these files contain binary data.

If you still get this error, report the problem on the forum and also post the file's checksum so we can verify if it's complete.

Linux example:

$ md5sum FUDforum_upgrade_zl_2-8-1RC1.zip
8d4dde50488f0364f704e61b9aa7f306

Similar Windows checksum utilities are also available, for details see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Md5sum

Theming FAQs

How do I create/install a theme

Themes combine the forum's source code (logic) with templates (for layout) and message files of a particular language. The resulting files are deployed to the forum's web accessible 'theme' directory. You can define multiple themes to support different languages and/or layouts.

To install a new template set, create a subdirectory in the forum's data/thm directory and copy the theme's files to it. You will note that the Theme Manager immediately recognizes the new template set for use.

To create a new theme, create a new subdirectory in the forum's data/thm directory with the same structure as the default template set. Then only copy the files you want to modify to it (not everything!). Missing files (and sections) will always fall-back to the default theme. For more info, see Create a new theme.

Why should I create my own theme instead of using the default?

Besides wanting to create a unique identity for your forum, users who want to change their themes should preferably create a separate theme to prevent subsequent upgrades (which may contain changes to the default theme) from overwriting their changes. If you don't plan to make any drastic theme changes, it's perfectly OK to use the default theme.

Why must I rebuild my theme after editing the theme's files?

After making manual changes to a theme's files (not required when you work through the on-line Template Editor, as you are supposed to), administrators must navigate to the Admin Control Panel -> Theme Manager to rebuild the theme. This is required for FUDforum to combine the theme's template, source and message files into the PHP scripts required to run the forum. The main advantage of this approach is that work is performed up-front, making FUDforum's scripts lightning fast.

What variables are available for use in a theme?

To see what variables are available for use, embed the following code into a template, compile it, and navigate the the relevant page to see the output:

<pre>
   {FUNC: var_dump( get_defined_vars() )}
 </pre>

This will print out all the variables available for that particular page.

Can I change the URL format/ use SEO (search engine friendly) URLs?

The URL format depends on the theme you are using and what options you've enabled. Some examples:

Default theme:

  • With the Enable URL sessions (S=) and Track referrals (rid=) settings enabled, URL's will look like this:
http://127.0.0.1/forum/index.php?t=index&rid=2&S=1963f7fce4b7d3db9175dc3a4d6e8b7b
  • With the Enable URL sessions setting disabled and Track referrals enabled URL's will look like this:
http://127.0.0.1/forum/index.php?t=index&rid=2
  • When you disable Track referrals as well it will be:
http://127.0.0.1/forum/index.php?t=index&

PATH_INFO theme:

The PATH_INFO theme (in conjunction with the Use PATH_INFO style URLs setting) can be used to enable search engine friendly/optimized (SEO) URL's. A typical URL will look like this:

http://127.0.0.1/forum/index.php/i/

TIP: You can use webserver rewrite rules to remove the index.php part from your URL's.

How does one remove the 'index.php' part from the URL?

Create a .htaccess file in the forum's WWW_ROOT directory and add rewrite rules to make PATH_INFO work without index.php. Here is an example:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /forum
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*) index.php/$1 [L]

Open FUDdata/include/compiler.inc with a text editor and change

$cmpl['ROOT'] = 'index.php';

to

$cmpl['ROOT'] = '.';

When done, rebuild the theme and test.

Can I prevent search engines from indexing certain pages?

Users that use a PATH_INFO theme may want to add the following lines to their robots.txt file to prevent search engines from indexing redundant pages:

User-agent: *
Crawl-Delay: 2
Disallow: /forum/a/
Disallow: /forum/bl/
Disallow: /forum/d/
Disallow: /forum/ef/
Disallow: /forum/gm/
Disallow: /forum/h/
Disallow: /forum/i/
Disallow: /forum/il/
Disallow: /forum/ip/
Disallow: /forum/l/
Disallow: /forum/lk/
Disallow: /forum/m/
Disallow: /forum/ma/
Disallow: /forum/mar/
Disallow: /forum/ml/
Disallow: /forum/mn/
Disallow: /forum/mv/
Disallow: /forum/ot/
Disallow: /forum/pdm/
Disallow: /forum/pl/
Disallow: /forum/pmm/
Disallow: /forum/r/
Disallow: /forum/re/
Disallow: /forum/rm/
Disallow: /forum/s/
Disallow: /forum/sel/
Disallow: /forum/st/
Disallow: /forum/tt/
Disallow: /forum/u/
Disallow: /forum/uc/

NOTE: Your forum's URLs may differ.

How do I disable the "Topic Description" field?

There are several ways to do it:

  • If you can use the field for something else, like a support status or product version or so, just change its description in your "msg" file and recompile your themes:
post_descr:                     Topic Description:
  • Remove the line referencing "post_descr" from your theme's "post.tmpl" file and recompile your themes.
<tr class="RowStyleB"><td class="GenText">{MSG: post_descr}</td><td><input ...

WARNING: {meta-content-language} is deprecated, please remove it from your templates

If you se this message during upgraded or when you are generating themes, you need to edit your "header.tmpl" and replace all occurrences of

{meta-content-language}

with

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset={CHARSET}" />

Can I remove "Powered By FUDforum" from the footer?

Yes, you may remove the copyright from the footer, but please don't! If you must, please try to keep at least a small "Powered by FUDforum" with the link back to http://fudforum.org/ somewhere on your site.

Administration and Moderation FAQs

Can I move all the topics/threads from one forum into another?

You can select all topics on a page (single click) and bulk move them to another forum. If you have too many pages of threads in a forum, increase the number of topics per page (setting in user control panel / set limit in Global Settings Manager).

Troubleshooting FAQs

My forum's date and time is wrong. How can I fix it?

For starters, check that your server's date and time is correctly set. Also, ensure that the forum's timezone setting corresponds with that of your server. Lastly, check if the timezone of your profile is correctly set by navigating to Control Panel -> Account Settings -> Time Zone:.

FUDforum shows dates in English or with special characters?

This normally happens when the wrong locale was selected for a theme. Navigate to the Admin Control Panel -> Theme Manager to change your locale. When done, rebuild your themes.

The correct locale depends on your operating system. For example, one should typically use german on Windows systems, but de_DE.utf-8 on Linux/Unix systems. If available, always pick a UTF-8 locale. Windows is the exception, as it doesn't have UTF-8 locales.

To get a list of installed locales on Linux (there is no equivalent Windows command), execute:

$ locale -a | grep de
de
de_DE
de_DE.ISO-8859-1
de_DE.ISO-8859-15
de_DE.UTF-8      <-- If possible, always pick a UTF-8 locale!
deutsch

I've messed up my settings and cannot log in

Settings are stored in a file GLOBALS.php in the forums include directory. You may edit it with a text editor to fix whatever is required.

FUDforum shows a blank screen. What now?

When you browse your FUDforum site and you get a blank page, it usually means that an error occurred, but PHP is configured not to display it.

  • Open your webserver's error logfile file (error_log for Apache) for details of the error.
  • To display errors on-screen, edit your forum's index.php file (or the script that causes the error) and add the following lines to the top (after the <?php tag):
error_reporting(E_NOTICE | E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE | E_COMPILE_ERROR);
ini_set('display_errors', '1');
ini_set('display_startup_errors', 1);
define('forum_debug', 1);
  • If all else fails, you may also need to put the following code in an .htaccess file in you forum or public_html directory:
php_flag display_errors on
php_flag display_startup_errors on
php_value error_reporting 2047

All my messages are empty, what is wrong?

FUDforum stores its metadata in the database and message bodies on disk in the FUDdata/messages directory (default setting, can be changed). If you can see your forums, users, etc., but your messages are empty, you need to check if your message files are still there and check if the webserver has read/write permissions on them. If required, restore them from a recent backup.

To trace the message path:

  • Pick a message and write down its message number (look for something like "message #528" in the header).
  • Query the file_id and offset where the message is stored. For example:
SELECT file_id, foff, length FROM fud28_msg WHERE id = 528;
10000	976757	2092
  • Look for the file with the selected file_id in your messages directory - in our case msg_10000.
$ ls
msg_10000
  • Check if the file contains the message body at the selected offset:
$ od -a -j 976757 -b 2092  msg_10000

FUDforum is slow, can I see the database queries?

Yes, edit index.php (or the required script) and uncomment the following line:

#define('fud_query_stats', 1);

Illegal mix of collations for operation 'UNION'

If tables have different collations, MySQL will report an "illegal mix of collations for operation" error. Go to the SQL Manager and execute:

ALTER IGNORE TABLE ... CONVERT TO character set utf8 COLLATE utf8_unicode_ci;

Incorrect key file for table...

This error indicates that your MySQL database must be repaired. Go to the SQL Manager and execute:

REPAIR TABLE ...;

I've moved my forum to a new server, how do I get it to work again?

If you are moving your forum's directories (copy, FTP, etc.) and database (SQL import) to the new host, not using the provided facilities as you are supposed to, you need to:

  • Recreate symlinks/stubs to GLOBALS.php. Note that each installation only has one GLOBALS.php file in the forum's /data/include/ directory. The others are symlinks or stubs that point to this master file. You may need to recreate these symlinks/stubs to point to the correct GLOBALS.php location:
./GLOBALS.php -> ./data/include/GLOBALS.php
./scripts/GLOBALS.php -> ./data/include/GLOBALS.php
./adm/GLOBALS.php -> ./data/include/GLOBALS.php
  • Edit your GLOBALS.php file with a text editor and fix all absolute paths within it to the correct locations.
  • Rebuild all your themes from the Theme Manager admin control panel.
  • Run this UPDATE statement from the SQL Manager to reset attachment paths:
update fud28_attach
set location = replace(location, '/old/forum/dir/', '/new/forum/dir/');
  • If required, redirect requests from the old to the new forum.
<?php $url = 'http://new.forum.url/forum'. $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];
 header('HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently');
 header("Location: $url"); ?>

None of the above is required if you use the forum's Make forum datadump and Import forum data admin control panels as it automatically takes care of all these complexities.

Other FAQs

This is a great project! How can I get involved?

FUDforum is a community project and new contributors are always welcome to get involved and participate in the development and support effort. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Introduce yourself on the support forum.
  • Try to answer other user's questions (good way to show-off your skills and learn at the same time).
  • Proofread and expand the documentation on this wiki (note the edit links).

If you are a developer:

  • Install SVN and checkout a copy of the source code.
  • Develop patches and share them with the community.
  • Develop new plugins and share them with the community.

If you are a web designer:

  • Design new themes and share them with the community.
  • Propose enhancements to existing themes.

If you are a translator, see Translating.

We look forward to your participation!

Who is using FUDforum?

There are too many sites to list here (do a Google search to see for yourself). Here are a couple, just to show that you are in good company:

PS: Feel free to add your forum to the above list.

Who can host my forum for me?

If you don't want to install and maintain your own forum, contact one of the following providers to host your FUDforum solution for you:

"A large number of our customers have selected the FUDforum software and are satisfied with the excellent performance of their web sites."

Feel free to add your hosting offering to the above list (only if you provide specific FUDforum services).

How is FUDforum licensed?

FUDforum is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public License. In short, this means that FUDforum is free to download, use, distribute and modify. However, if any of these modifications are released to the public, that code must also be released under the same license as FUDforum. The copyright notice in all the source files must ALWAYS be left intact. Any modification or removal of this copyright is illegal under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence.

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