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Update for critical security issue in PHPMailer included in release Vanilla 2.3.1

Frequently Asked Questions

peregrineperegrine MVP
edited March 2016 in Tutorials

Table of contents for this thread is now below, here

if you had trouble with something commonly asked and want to contribute a question. add to this thread.

then maybe we can create an ordered clickable linkable document for everyone.

if you want to be silent and not have a FAQ - don't contribute, meaning you've got to contribute questions, if you want to see a faq.

you don't have to have an answer to the question - we can supply it. Just supply the common question.

it can deal with anything installation mishaps (e.g. forgot to enable mbstring, view increment counter not working, etc)
or changing time, etc.

here are two to start with...


FAQ

  • 1 How do I change the timezone from utc to a different timezone for users who are not logged in (Guests)?

Vanilla sets the internal time to UTC and then adjusts the time shown to logged in users to match their computer clock.

to enable guest to see a different timezone e.g. if you want guests to set your time zone to Easter Island Time.

$Configuration['Garden']['GuestTimeZone'] = " Pacific/Easter";

see the timezone nearest you.


  • 2 How do I make the yellow icon for "new" discussions appear?

you can add this to the custom.css

.HasNew, .JustNew {
display: inline;
margin-right: 5px;
}

we'll see if new users can contribute Questions - since they are the ones who have the questions.....

I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

vrijvlinderzpakzsjj
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Comments

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited December 2016

    FAQ Table of Contents.

    What do I do if I see the image that states "Something Has gone wrong". See here

    Why should I provide the version number of vanilla when posting a question? See here

    What are some basic troubleshooting steps? See here and here

    Clicking on a discussion returns a blank page after a fresh install See here

    How can I change the css to change colour/font etc? See here

    I don't know css or how to change it. See here

    How to change order ( position ) of items in side panel, modules and How to change order of menu items. See here

    How can I translate certain words or change wording? See here

    How do I make pretty urls and how do I change .htaccess See here

    Can I plug in my own user system? How do I have a single signin with another site? See here

    How do I find the version number of vanilla or the version number of a plugin that i am using? See here

    How do I create a config/locale.php if I don't have one? See here

    How do I change the timezone from utc to a different timezone for users who are not logged in (Guests)? See here

    How do I add or modify configuration statements? See here

    Is it possible to show the actual text of a new comment in a notification? See here

    How can I allow users to delete their own posts? See here

    What do I do if someone says run /utility/structure or /utility/update? See here

    My counts for categories and discussions are not correct. what should I do? See here

    How do I reset the default roles? My New or Approved Users seem to get the wrong role. See here

    How do I change text formatting? e.g. BBCode, Markdown and Html See here

    How do I allow users to upload files in discussions? See here

    How do I change the maximum size for file uploads, pictures, etc ? See here

    **I have an error when trying to upload or change my avatar picture? ** See https://vanillaforums.org/discussion/comment/219555/#Comment_219555

    How do I alllow other file extensions allowable for upload? e.g. I want to allow uploads of mp4 files. See here

    How can I stop spam (or at least reduce it) and report it? What about stopping Spam Applicants? See https://vanillaforums.org/discussion/comment/220830/#Comment_220830

    How do I allow users to flag or report posts and receive an email notification that a post has been flagged. See here

    Where is the official documentation for vanilla forums? Why should I read it? See here

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    if users added one question at a time and moderator was able to modify the above Table of Contents. we could have an ongoing FAQ with a table of contents that pointed to any questions that were asked.

    some one could answer the question or point to a suitablr link that answers the question. and the moderator could edit the thread. If I had edit capabilties for this discussion only, I'd be glad to organize.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • You already mentioned it in your first post, but this came up multiple times:


    • 3 Clicking on a discussion returns a blank page after a fresh install

    Your php install likely lacks mbstring support. Recompile php with the --enable-mbstring option. If you are on shared hosting, contact your hoster about the issue.

    My themes: pure | minusbaseline - My plugins: CSSedit | HTMLedit | InfiniteScroll | BirthdayModule | [all] - PM me about customizations

    peregrinevrijvlinder
  • How do we find out the proper string for the timezone?

    For example, I want to set it to Pacific. $Configuration['Garden']['GuestTimeZone'] = "Pacific"; doesn't work.

    peregrine
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    replacement for 1 above....

    - 1 How do I change the timezone from utc to a different timezone for users who are not logged in (Guests)?

    Vanilla sets the internal time to UTC and then adjusts the time shown to logged in users to match their computer clock.

    to enable guest to see a different timezone e.g. if you want guests to set your time zone to Easter Island Time.

    $Configuration['Garden']['GuestTimeZone'] = " Pacific/Easter";


    • How do we find out the proper string for the timezone?

      for various timezone settings see:

    http://php.net/manual/en/timezones.php

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    Bleistivtvrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 6 How do I add or modify configuration statements?

    if the line already exists, you should modify the right hand side.

    if you see nothing matching the left hand side of configuration, just add the statement anywhere in your /conf/config.php

    also be sure to read:

    http://docs.vanillaforums.com/developers/configuration/

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 7 How do I find the version number of vanilla or the version number of a plugin that i am using?

    see this tutorial

    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/26943/tutorial-how-to-determine-the-version-number-of-vanilla-that-you-are-using-for-your-own-forum

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 8 Why should I provide the version number of vanilla when posting a question?

    see this link

    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/26710/why-adding-your-version-is-more-important-than-ever

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 9 Can I plug in my own user system? How do I have a single signin with another site?

    jsConnect uses javascript to allow cross-domain single-signon with another site. This is useful if you have members registered on your site and you don’t want them to have to re-register in Vanilla.

    for further info see:

    http://vanillaforums.org/addon/jsconnect-plugin

    http://blog.vanillaforums.com/help/vanilla-jsconnect-single-signon-on/

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited December 2014

    - 10 How do I allow users to upload files in discussions?

    see: http://vanillaforums.org/addon/fileupload-plugin

    you may also see:

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 11 How can I allow users to delete their own posts?

    they can self delete comments with this config option

    $Configuration['Vanilla']['Comments']['AllowSelfDelete'] = TRUE; // allow self-delete of comments.

    However, they cannot delete discussions, since this would allow them to delete other peoples comments in discussion as well, which would not be a good idea.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    I would think an excerpt and source would be better for a FAQ style discussion.

    Meaning, provide a link of course, but also answer the question without having to go to another page. Right now this discussion just looks like an index to other discussions.

    I have a blank page or a page that says "Something went wrong". What do I do?

    You enable debugging mode by adding $Configuration['Debug'] = TRUE; to your /conf/config.php file. This is called enabling debug mode. Refresh the page. This should display a more detailed error notice. Search the forums for that error notice.

    Search first

    Check out the Community Wiki! We are always looking for new content.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

    peregrine
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 13 Is it possible to show the actual text of a new comment in a notification?

    Yes it is a config setting. you can add config statements to /conf/config.php

    which adds text of body, instead of just a link to forum.

    $Configuration['Vanilla']['Activity']['ShowDiscussionBody'] = TRUE; // True includes discussion body text for discussions

    and one for comment body

    $Configuration['Vanilla']['Activity']['ShowCommentBody'] = TRUE; // True includes comment body text for comments

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    Bleistivtvrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 14 I have an error when trying to upload or change my avatar picture?

    this could be several reasons.

    • your /uploads folder in the forum folder is not writeable and readable by php.
    • the permissions in dashboard for the role does not have profile edit checked.
    • you have a config statement in config.php that prevents it i.e.
      $Configuration['Garden']['Profile']['EditPhotos'] = FALSE; // prevent editing of photos

    • you php is set to prevent file uploads.

    • or the image file extension is not allowed, or the file is too large.

    • or your GD library is not a minimum of GD version 2.

    To test whether your GD is correct

    you can add this script to the root of your forum folder.

    e.g. if vanilla is installed in /forum then create a script called

    /forum/gdtest.php

        <?php 
    
        if (function_exists('gd_info')) {
        $GdInfo = gd_info();
        $version = $GdInfo["GD Version"];
        echo  "Your Version of is $version"  . "<br>";
        } else {
        echo "GD is not installed, please install it". "<br>";
        }
    

    then you can go to your forum link

    e.g. http://example.com/forum/gdtest.php

    or you can create a script with phpinfo().

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 15 What do I do if I see the image below that states "Something Has gone wrong".

    We've run into a problem and are unable to handle this request right now.
    Please check back in a little while.






    In order to reveal full descriptive error messages:

    add the following configuration statement to conf/config.php

    $Configuration['Debug'] = TRUE;

    • if you see

      $Configuration['Debug'] = FALSE;

      change it to

      $Configuration['Debug'] = TRUE;

    • Remember to remove the config statement or change it to FALSE, when you are done.

    Start a NEW discussion on this site with your version number and the exact error message you got, and what you were doing when you got it. if you want help solving the issue

    Do not post your error message in this thread please.

    also see: http://docs.vanillaforums.com/developers/troubleshooting/

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 16 My counts for categories and discussions are not correct. what should I do?

    to recalculate counts ...

    run /dba/counts

    e.g. if your forum is located at http://example.com/forum then

    http://example.com/forum/dba/counts

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • - 17 What do I do if someone says run /utility/structure or /utility/update?

    to restructure and rescan database via /utility/structure or to run /utility/update

    e.g. if your forum is located at http://example.com/forum then

    http://example.com/forum/index.php?p=/utility/structure
    http://example.com/forum/index.php?p=/utility/update
    

    or if you use rewrite urls's you could also type

    http://example.com/forum/utility/update
    http://example.com/forum/utility/structure
    

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2015

    - 18 How do I reset the default roles? My New or Approved Users seem to get the wrong role.

    EDIT - 2.2 is explained here: http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/comment/235719/#Comment_235719

    you can do this via dashboard/role/defaultroles

    e.g. if your forum is located at http://example.com/forum then

    http://example.com/forum/dashboard/role/defaultroles

    you will see this screen - check appropriate boxes as you wish and click save.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited November 2014

    - 21 Help! I don't know css or how to change it.

    • you can change the css in the custom.css in the design folder of your theme.
    • you can add rules and change rules.

    See theme guides and tutorials for vanilla

    http://vanillaforums.org/docs/themequickstart
    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/19915/deploying-a-new-forum-and-adding-a-theme-for-everyone
    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/24813/how-to-go-about-editing-the-default-theme

    if you make css changes and have problems seeing the changes working, maybe it is due to caching or cloudflare then try this link for info and turn off caching and cloudflare or use the cssedit plugin.

    more info here on cssedit and a great theme tutorial:
    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/comment/217104/#Comment_217104

    more tutorials may be in this category

    http://vanillaforums.org/categories/tutorials

    try this theme for experimentation and learning.

    http://vanillaforums.org/addon/annotated_css-theme:


    Although css questions are asked on this forum, you really can learn about general css from a tutorial

    But I don't know css and I'm just a beginner

    • everybody was a beginner once,
    • some have learned by reading css tutorials, you can too.
    • try googling css tutorials.

    CSS Tutorial sites

    http://www.csstutorial.net/
    http://www.htmldog.com/guides/css/beginner/
    http://www.tizag.com/cssT/
    http://www.tutorialspoint.com/css/

    also see these links which will be very helpful after you reviewed some of the tutorial links above.

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/04/07/css-specificity-and-inheritance/

    http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/cascade.html

    Development tools for CSS

    Next stop learn how to use Firebug or some other web developer tools

    you can google "firebug tutorial" or "inspecting css tools"

    http://css-tricks.com/video-screencasts/15-introduction-to-firebug/
    https://developer.chrome.com/devtools
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd565627(v=vs.85).aspx
    https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/AppleApplications/Conceptual/Safari_Developer_Guide/Introduction/Introduction.html

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    vrijvlinder
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited December 2014

    - 23 How do I change the maximum size for file uploads, pictures, etc ?

    you can add a config statement (or modify it if it exists already) in /conf/config.php

    e.g. config statement below would set a max size of 8 MB

    $Configuration['Garden']['Upload']['MaxFileSize']= '8M';

    However, there may be a limitation set via php.

    you may need to alter php settings as well via php.ini

    e.g.

    upload_max_filesize = 8M

    see links for more details:

    http://php.net/upload-max-filesize

    http://css-tricks.com/snippets/php/increase-maximum-php-upload-size/

    the smallest setting from setting php or from the conf/config.php is the maximum allowed upload size.

    i.e. if php shows upload_max_filesize = 2M and your config statement is $Configuration['Garden']['Upload']['MaxFileSize']= '8M'; You are still limited to max 2M.


    - 24 How do alllow other file extensions allowable for upload? e.g. I want to allow uploads of mp4 files.

    you can add a config statement (or modify it if it exists already) in /conf/config.php

    $Configuration['Garden']['Upload']['AllowedFileExtensions']=array('txt','jpg','jpeg','gif','png','bmp','mp4');

    anything in the array above is allowed you can add other file extensions to the array.

    add any extensions you want to allow to the array.

    e.g.

    $Configuration['Garden']['Upload']['AllowedFileExtensions']=array('txt','jpg','jpeg','gif','png','bmp','mp4','pdf','doc','xls','ppt','docx','xlsx','log','rar','7z','wav','aiff','mov');
    

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • - 26 How do I allow users to flag or report posts and receive an email notification that a post has been flagged.

    • enable the flagging plung that comes with the vanilla core distribution.

    • go to the dashboard roles and permissions. select the admin role and check flagging notify

    you can also add this to other roles perhaps moderator.

    • next edit your profile, then select notification preferences, you will see a new notification preference.

    check what preferences you want.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited December 2014

    - 27 Where is the official documentation for vanilla forums? Why should I read it?

    • It may be obvious to some, but others might not be aware....
    • You can see a link for Documentation on the top menu bar of this forum!
    • Reading the documentation can help you). It give you insights about Vanilla.
    • It can be really helpful to skim it, scan it, read it, peruse it!

    • if you are using the open-source version of vanilla, meaning you are hosting vanilla yourself, check out the links relating to open source, Developers, Themes, and Features.

    click here. ---> http://docs.vanillaforums.com/

    if you click on developers it give you insights on many aspects of the open-source configuration, etc.

    http://docs.vanillaforums.com/developers/

    e.g. if you have questions about the configuration, config.php, adding or changing config statements see....

    http://docs.vanillaforums.com/developers/configuration/

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited August 2015

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    visenselx
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited September 2015

    - 29 What are some basic troubleshooting steps?

    troubleshooting mysterious problems

    Got a mysterious problem occurring. But can't figure out if it is theme or plugin or core or database structure related.

    • A ) run /utility/update and /utility/structure to update structure of database.

      to run /utility/structure and/or /utility/update type

    e.g. if your forum is located at http://example.com then

    http://example.com/index.php?p=/utility/structure
    http://example.com/index.php?p=/utility/update
     or
    http://example.com/utility/update
    http://example.com/utility/structure
    
    • B ) Have you recently changed theme or added css files or added a locale or created new definition files?

      • delete the .ini files in /cache folder.
      • getting a bonk or blank page after changing themes. check the permission on your Smarty/compile folder and make sure it exists.
    • C ) other mysterious issues.

      change theme to default
      if problem goes away - check your theme for errors
      if problem still occurs
      disable plugins one by one
      if problem is fixed - identify plugin and post question under offending plugin
      if problem still occurs, download core files again.

      • if problem still occurs (no plugins and default theme) , file issue on github.
      • if problem is fixed - you made a change to core that caused the problem.
    • D ) if you see a blank page (or something has gone wrong page).

      In order to reveal full descriptive error messages:
      add the following configuration statement to conf/config.php

        $Configuration['Debug'] = TRUE;
      
           if you see
          $Configuration['Debug'] = FALSE;
          change it to
          $Configuration['Debug'] = TRUE;
      

      Remember to remove the config statement or change it to FALSE, when you are done.

    • E) miscellaneous can't see effects of plugin in mobile view

    also for plugins to make them mobile friendly:

    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/comment/196078/#Comment_196078

    locale and mobile:

    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/25641/how-to-tutorial-theme-specific-definitions-mobile-vs-non-mobile

    miscellaneous info

    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/comment/199091/#Comment_199091

    tip: always good to enable plugins via dashboard instead of modifying config.php.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

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