Example : http://rpol.net

I am trying to create a site of the same nature and trying to avoid "Cgi".
A Few questions:

The example above allows users to create threads in allowed areas only. Further in some areas user can only post.. In others they can Admin thier threads..

I expect each area uses different code.
I also wish to include a sticky list and private messages.. and and and.
I have two templates phpbb (php) and e-blah (cgi) Or maybe you know of a better template to begin the mods with?
Can I do this in php? Or can this only be done in cgi?

I am new to the whole code thing and would be so greatfull for any and all help you could offer. Thanks in advance Andy.

13 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Troy

Whoa, just beginning, eh? Well, you've got a ways to go, but try to enjoy the journey...and don't forget to sleep! :)

The system you describe sounds similar to a forum/bulletin board system. The features restricting users to various access levels are common in applications such as phpBB and VBulletin (used by Daniweb).

Anything you'll want to do, you can do with PHP--you won't need to do CGI. (Note: PHP can be used in CGI mode.)

Spend a little time researching products such as phpBB and VBulletin--their websites will have feature lists that should help you discover if these products already do what you want. Both are very customizeable, but to do that, you've got to learn PHP programming, and know how to work with databases.


Thank you,
I am aware this road will be long. I have looked at the code and gotten the program, php designer (2005). Next a few books and hundreds of hours.
At least I have a place to start now. I have decided on phpbb as I need source code and heck it's free. I would love anyones thoughts or help as I jump into the deep end of the code pool. ;)


Don't be surprised if you get lots of replies telling you one product is better than the other with equal numbers of defendants on both sides! For right now in your stage, phpBB being free is probably a good place to start playing and learning. And compared to the example site you listed, I think you'd be able to create a MUCH slicker site using phpBB than the CGI system they have. vBulletin is nice--no doubt about it. I've not used it, but the fact that Daniweb runs vBulletin speaks volumes about the product's value.


I hope to exceed that sites structure. I saw they were "Cgi". I felt that there must be a reason they chose cgi? I am not yet aware of the exact limitations provided by php. I dont care to spend the time to learn to learn the code if at the end of the day, I have to re-write the whole script in cgi.
Wonders if vBulletin offers source code?
As the type of forum I am creating would require the entire code.


I am looking into creating a site that carries the same general structure and user allowences as the fore mentioned site.

-overview: In a way it operates as a forum host with a series of user controled threads/forums. ie You (user) Can start a thread/ forum and are it's admin. You (user) Can add and remove users, Further (user b) Must ask to join (Users forum / thread).

Also sticky list for entire site, And profile picture and separate profile for each forum . Many other features as well.

All I ask at this point is could all this be done? Using phpbb?

Basic idea A large forum containing a bunch of user created forums they would amin and appoint mods and such.. I would still be able to manage each forum as an admin.

Also important the admin of each smaller forum decides whether of not to admin a user... It's really hard to explain.. The site above shows you the basic idea...
As I said all I ask is could I do that with this template?


I'm not a phpBB expert, but it obviously has a member system already. And you, the site admin can give forum admin privs to individual users. So, you the admin could create a new forum, and give a member admin privs over that forum. So you'd need to hack something that allows any member to create a new forum, and whoever creates a forum, automatically has admin privs on it. This can be done...not sure how difficult, but in the realm of possibility.

As for each forum admin having privs to add or remove other users...hmmm....in phpBB, you can make a forum "private" which then means you must be a member of a privileged group to access it. So, I guess in your system, every forum is a "private" forum, and for each forum, you'd want to create a member group to match. This would give you the mechanism to add users to a forum group for access. Your individual admins would have privs to manage that group. Again not sure how much work that would entail, but in the realm of possibility.

Site-wide sticky posts, etc...again, sounds plausible within phpBB hacking.

The question is, what level are you with your PHP/MySQL programming skills? The same skill it would take to write your own system from scratch is what you'll need to do the customization work. The customization work will not be "easier" programming. But starting with a base such as phpBB should save you a LOT of time coding the posting engine, member/group system, etc.


Thank you once again for taking the time to reply.

I did belive I would be re-working the code. (thus my comment on source code.) As for the skill end of things. I am a quick student and realise it is a massive project. I do belive I can in about 4567394067 hours complete the task. Thus me taking the time to start in the "General" direction I seek.

Sigh inserted here... :-|

I just really wish to keep it to php as this is much less work to learn for me than cgi.

All thou I am led to belive the running scripts in Cgi are shorter?

I am taking my time to decide on the best method to pull this off as I belive research is the best place to save time and head aches.

Once I decide for sure on personal mental battle cgi vs php
I will pick up a few part time courses and yes one will be MySQL.

Most I have read claims PHP is set to become industry standard for the web.
set to replace java, and all the other browser end apps.

The future appears to be server side apps. (as bandwith gates open).

Totally off point anyhow thank you again Andy


I just stopped by the site I dont need to buy the program right? I just need a server that hosts it? clutches my wallet... :eek:


Linux is free
Apache is free
PHP is free
MySQL is free
Hosting...usually not free.

I provide hosting at www.ShinySolutions.com.

If you are still debating CGI vs PHP....I don't know how to make this plain enough, but go PHP. CGI does not give you any more power, flexibility, ease of use, faster processing, etc. OK, the one thing I can think is that if you configure PHP in CGI mode, there are some special user permissions things you can do such as run PHP scripts with root privs. Other than that, you are not going to get 6 months into PHP and say to yourself, "Man, I wish I'd gone cgi." I did cgi for a few years before ASP and PHP were hot. It was great, but the newer webserver-integrated scripting is a lot easier. I've been around the web-dev block a while, and the ONLY people I know still doing CGI are old-school PERL guys. Nothing wrong with that, and it's powerful stuff, but PHP is just so easy (relatively speaking), and VERY powerful and flexible.


Just another vote for PHP, against CGI.

CGI was the FIRST web development methodology (it's at this point that someone usually chimes in with a reference to some OTHER methodology which was actually first, but that no one ever used:) )

CGI uses environment variables to pass values. Remember those? Remember doing "PATH=c:\;c:\dos;" in your autoexec.bat files? That's an environment variable. CGI uses stdin and stdout to pass request and response streams. Don't know what those are? Good - that means you're not an old fart like me.

In other words, CGI is ancient and seriously confined in its abilities, including its ability to grow.

PHP is the current king of web development. It surpassed ASP, primarily because Microsoft dumped ASP in favor of ASP.NET. ASP.NET is the worst idea in web development ever. I know, I'm an expert :) ASP.NET is a web development language that pretends it isn't doing web development. Which makes doing web development, of course, a considerable challenge.


~Sold~ To php,

Ok Great information! Thank you so much!

I seek A few great straight forward books to begin to beter understand php and variables and proper code as well I do have the manual allready from php.

I understand the whole <? php .....?> I am not totally lost I have been reading alot online but I would love a few great referance books.

I prefer ones that look in on the topic of forums, Or at least would give me the power to figure it out on my own... Any titles? :?:


I would consider contracting the work out, but I really don't belive I could afford the cost of that.

So here I go, I know what the end product is so it's just a matter of finding and building the strings that will get the job done. At least I have a base to start with!


I don't have any books to recommend, because I've never picked up a PHP book. There is SO much on the Internet, and since I need to be at the computer ready to code the examples anyway---it just works for me.

You will need some tools. Not sure what you have now, but let me recommend as an editor, PSPad. It is free, and feature rich, and works great for PHP. It also allows you to work with files directly off your ftp server so you don't have to use a seperate ftp client to put files on server after every little change. There are lots of great editors, for example, UltraEdit. But PSPad is free and excellent. I recommend you also download the PHP Help File for Windows--there are links to it on the PSPad website. If you follow the directions to install it for use in PSPad, you'll be able to hover over any PHP command, hit Alt-F1, and see the PHP documentation for the command including user comments! It's VERY handy for a person learning the statements.

You will still need a good ftp client for managing your web directories on the server and moving files back and forth. I can recommend the free, open-source FileZilla.

You'll need a PHP compatible webserver and a MySql database for phpBB. If you don't already have one, I operate ShinySolutions Webhosting.

Then to learn PHP, I say, download phpBB, follow the directions to install it, then start opening the php files in PSPad and read them. It is English after all, so you can read the code. With some study and referencing what the statements mean, it should start to make logical sense. For the beginner basics, Google for a "PHP Tutorial", and see what you find. You have to code along with the examples, or you won't learn it--in my opinion.

Enjoy the journey!

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