phpBB Blog 2.3 review

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phpBB Blog is a blog tool for phpBB

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 55K
Developer: Anthony Boyd
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phpBB Blog is a blog tool for phpBB. The basic idea is this: you have a phpBB installation already running, you've set up a forum for your posts, and now you want to have a blog-ish page and RSS file to show off each post.

There are 3 major ways to use this product. You'll have to decide which one you want to pursue. First, there is the default setup, which uses the provided index.php file to display the blog. Second, there is the option to bypass the provided index.php file, and simply embed the blog display into your pre-existing home page. The third option is to embed a mini-blog into your pre-existing home page. All this displays is the title of recent posts.

Features include an RSS 2.0 feed for syndication; full support for BBCode, smileys, and avatars; permalinks with first/next/previous navigation; trackbacks; 7 different stylesheets to choose from; and as many Geo-URL settings as possible (so you can get listed in all those blog indexes that categorize you by location and/or language). Oh, and it integrates with phpBB Podcast, too.

PHP 4.10 or greater. Apache 1.3.x or 2.0.36+ on Unix or Linux. It might run on IIS and/or Windows -- I don't know. A working phpBB 2 installation is needed. While this will work with any database that phpBB can use, MySQL support is the most extensive.


1. Before anything else, you should have a working installation of phpBB. In addition, you should have set up a forum for your blogs.
2. Unzip the file you downloaded. If you're reading this, you've already done it. After unzipping, you should have 2 folders: blog & docs.
3. One of the files in the blog folder is called settings.php. Open that in a text editor. You'll need to give attention to the first 220 lines or so. Change each setting, using the comments as a guide.
4. Save settings.php, and upload the entire "blog" folder to your Web server. If an existing folder named "blog" already exists, be careful. I'm not liable for stupidity, so don't overwrite your important stuff.
5. Note that you should change the extension (the .php part) of each PHP file to match what you use in phpBB. So if you changed all your phpBB files to use .php4 for the file extension, then you need to change phpBB Blog similarly. HOWEVER, do NOT change settings.php.
6. Pull up the blog/createtable.php (or .php4, or whatever you named it :) page in your Web browser. If you get an error message, check that you typed in the correct URL, and then check your settings.php file to be sure you entered the URLs & paths correctly. If you get stuck, try dropping the included pwd.php file into your phpBB directory, and view it in a browser. Does the setting it recommends match with your settings.php file? Once everything is OK, if you are using a MySQL database, you should get a message that a table has been created for you. If you are using any other database (or if the MySQL code didn't work) you will get some instructions on how to create the new database table manually, which you should do. Once the table is ready, remove the createtable.php file from the blog directory on the server.
7. Finally, pull up the blog/index.php page in your Web browser. Do the entries appear as you expected? If so, you're done. If not, see the Troubleshooting section, below.
8. OPTIONAL: If you already have a home page and want the blog to appear as part of it, see the Howto section, below.

What's New in This Release:
phpBB Blog is now aware of what file extension you've set for phpBB.
Trackbacks can now be disabled via the settings.php file.
An optional comment system allows you to show comments right in the blog, rather than sending the reader into the forum itself.
Stylesheets no longer try to style all your TABLE, TD, and TH tags.
When doing a fresh install on top of phpBB 2.0.18 and 2.0.19, there was a bug that prevented createtable.php from creating the table. Fixed.
The RSS feed should now be iTunes compatible.
The RSS feed now properly links to the permalink.
Fixed a calendar bug -- the months Jan 2006 & May 2005 now display properly.

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