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One Install, Multiple Boards, Multiple Domains, One Database

edited September 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
hey, i'm of course interested in your project, otherwise I wouldn't be posting. :) we were looking at phpBB for what we want to do, but a colleague suggested your group, and I think you're doing great work. I work for a group with 14 different city based sites. Unique sites NY, Paris, LA, etc.. We want to make a forum available to all of them, but use one install of the software to help with versioning, as 14 sites are a lot to update. We wouldn't mind if each board needed a separate database, but it would be nice if the users could be shared across all boards so people could post to multiple forums. Would something like this be possible with Vanilla? Couldn't it work with a config file that points to a remote domain for the structure files, and the database location? thanks and great work


  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    Are you looking to make each board for each city use a different style? Would you want every different board to include all of the same discussions? The main problem here is separating the users from the rest of the data. Vanilla is not currently in a state where this type of thing is possible with an extension. However, it could be accomplished with some alterations to the codebase. Interestingly enough, it has been a common request to allow for cross-forum logins (ie. user accounts shared across different boards), so it will probably be one of the features in an upcoming revision. Also, the next revision includes some changes to the way that updates occur - basically, it will mean that when a new version comes out, you'll only need to copy over the new files and you're done. You won't have to worry about overwriting configuration settings or anything like that. So updating 14 or even 100 wouldn't be very difficult.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    Mark, I think a neat feature in order to say, throw 2 or more Vanilla installs into the same DB would be to allow the admin to define a custom table prefix. If that's not defined, then just revert it to the standard LUM_ prefix. To address the multiple boards with shared access scheme would require not only the custom prefixes, but some kind of grouping within the admin area. Basically a central admin area where you can globally set up roles across the entire base. This would probably require another file in the /appg/ folder detailing what boards are where and what prefix they're utilizing in the DB or if they're in another DB, then pick it up from there. I'll attempt to draw the idea out if I can think of anything more for this.
  • mark> to answer your questions, Ideally they would all have the same look, just different accent colors and main logo. I figured I could handle that with a php script (if nyc - serve this css). Again ideally they would all have their own discussions. so discussions from the NYC board wouldn't appear on the LA board. But someone from the LA board could comment on a thread on the NYC board without having to re-register. My worry for installations comes from my years of history with phpBB. The boards become quickly mod'ed to be functional, and things can break very easily. And then of course you'll have the admin of one board as for a feature on his board, and then a 2nd board will want the same things, so when mods become involved it becomes quite a headache. thanks for your time
  • Neat idea lech. Table prefixes would be the best way I can see. The user tables would remain untouched however, as this is the only global link between sites. As for styles. How would you have each site PICK its style from a single code base? Would a new table (*waits for the answer NO*) of write-able file need to be created so store this data. The grouped admin area could be done with an extension, if the core could be modified to have this functionality.
  • Come to think of it, you might need a /appg/ folder for each site that is running of off that codebase. How else would you have the different settings for each different ite in the same file, WITHOUT them getting overly bloated. If we move this way, then I would suggest moving the /appg/ folder under a /sites/ folder, and renaming it to default. This would be the setting folder for the DEFAULT site. Then, if more sites were to use that codebase, then a new folder would be created in the sites folder. (call the folder what the site is called for ease of recognision). The default/ original site could then house the global admin settings panel. Lech; as you were looking into this, what do you think of that idea?
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    The only part that would need to be central for each individual board would be the forum name and default style for each of those boards including languages. Everything else could be handled from a central location to deal with site-wide settings.
  • this is one of the two reasons i haven't switched over to vanilla in earnest. in phpbb, you just put all your boards in the same database and modify constants.php. in vanilla, i'm not sure how to compel vanilla to any prefix other than LUM. (the other reason is templating) the central admin system that lech speaks of is something i would absolutely despise in my situation; example being one person is an admin on one, but doesn't want to be on the other, etc. one thing to keep in mind with multiple boards on one db is that it easier to get to mysql's limits if one does not purge each board.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    @the aloha: I wasn't describing the central admin area like that necessarily. I do suggest installing vanilla to see what your options are though and how things are currently treated. I also didn't mean just the one main admin... It would all still function via role settings obviously. But the "central" global "admin only area" would define settings that separate each board from one another like neps is asking for. All in all, anyone with master admin role status can access all of these settings like admins can currently. Within these settings you would still all on one page, define all your standard application globals like you can now. The only extra page that would be needed is the individual page titles that separate the names of each forum if you wish. That being the settings for forum name, additionally I guess under each of those, you could define a default custom style for each of those boards. This would hardly be over-doing it or making anything unecessarily complicated. A simple idea on how to break this off and get things started would be in the way custom fields are formed under user profiles. To add a new segment that seperates one forum from the other, simply define a table prefix, default forum and cookie path, the forum name, banner title, and a default style. This then could get written out as a formatted static array to the settings.php and new tables could be created on the fly once submitted. Once created, you could then go back later to edit or delete it. If you delete it, then those tables all get wiped or just get unhooked (depending on how mark decides to do this, if he takes any of this word for word in the first place) and viola instant multifaceted board. Forum A is New York, Forum B is Paris and so on...
  • a-ha. i get what you are saying and agree with it. sorry about my minsunderstanding of what you said haha.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    @the aloha - good point on the LUM_ thing. I just added that as a configuration option for the next rev.
  • woohoo! thank you for paying attention to the ideas of your users, mark.
  • FLCFLC New
    edited September 2005 Is it about this?
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