DragonflyCMS Convertor 0.9.04 Released

I’ve released an updated and enhanced version of the DragonflyCMS Converter for phpBB3.  This release has a few bug fixes, and also a few enhancements to make the conversion process a bit richer and reduce the amount of manual work afterwards.

This release is pretty serious.  Lets talk about the enhancements first

Enhancement 1 : BBcode conversion

There are a number of differences between the BBcode used in DF and that used as standard in phpBB3.  The convertor tries to do the most sensible conversion for each type of BBcode in DF.  Those codes that work in both systems are left alone ([b], [i], [u], [url], [email], [img], [quote], [code], [list], [color] and of those that don’t exist in phpBB3, some are removed ([hr], [marq]), some are changed to fit existing codes ([flash], [size]) and some are changed to use codes that you can easily add to phpBB3 in the ACP ([align], , [php]).  You can easily add an extra conversion or two in the function if you wish (look for the function df_fix_bbcodes in functions_dragonfly.php).

 Enhancement 2 : URL Replacements

If your forum is anything like mine it will be full of links to forums, topics post and other bits of the site.  None of these will have the same URLs on the new phpBB board.  This enhancement converts the more common URLs to their new formats.  This is limited to Forum and Your Account links because I don’t know what you will do with other modules so can’t decide.  You can easily add an extra conversion or two in the function if you wish (look for the function df_fix_forum_urls in functions_dragonfly.php)

NB:  If you use LEO then you’ll have different links that also won’t work but won’t be converted.  You’ll have to sort yourself out.

Enhancement 3 : Time Zone Correction

So you live in the EU and host in the USA.  Your time zone is CET (+1) and your hosts is “Central Time” (-6).  In DF all the posts in your database are stored in your hosts time (-6).  These are then converted and displayed using either your setting or your boards setting to give you local times (or that for your guests).  This is dumb.  In phpBB3 they have done something much more sensible.  All posts are stored in GMT (+0) and converted to your local time as per DF.  Why is this better.  Because if you get a better hosting package somewhere else in the world the times for your existing posts will still be correct.  In DF they won’t be.  They will be offset by the difference in the two locations.  I digress.  DF is almost behind us.

What this enhancement offers is a time zone correction to reset all the times to GMT.  If this isn’t done after the conversion all the previous posts will be treated as GMT times and so if they are not in fact GMT, the post times will be offset in the other direction.  In the case above they will be six hours ahead (+6).

To do the conversion we need to know the time-zone of the server.  There is no 100% reliable method for this (especially if you change hosts or are testing locally) so we need to get it from somewhere.  You therefore need to set your system timezone in DF (Admin -> Forums -> Forums Tab -> Configuration) to the same time zone as your server (in this example above this will be -6).  You can set it back afterwards in phpBB3 so that it reflects that of most of your guests.  This is not great and I’m working on sorting it out another way – but this does sort out the times correctly.

Various Bug Fixes

I’ve fixed bugs with avatar paths and user name collision checking (neither of which you will have noticed) and I’ve also changed the topic icon import process to replace icons rather than add them to the list.  This means that you’ll have to add in any new icons from phpBB3 that you like, but this way it makes the conversion process repeatable and all tables work the same way (they are emptied first).