Figure I should give you guys an idea of my level of experience. My background in programming is more windows development as I have been coding in object oriented pascal for 15 years. I have basic skills in PHP and do well as long as no one separates me from my desk references. I am fluent in html and css techniques and have no problem with building my output. But the core concern is of course working with the platform. I wrote some basic stuff for vBulletin like pulling information displaying it in a new profile tab etc. I think that experience will barely provide any help from what I have seen so far.
I have seen this mentioned but do not have an understanding of when a Xenforo DataWriter is used, should be extended or when its safe to write to the database directly. I assume that say a plugin that makes a forum post or changes a usergroup should make use of these DataWriters? We will be doing some things like that such as applications and ban appeals will be posting to the forum as a thread. But most other plugins will be writing to tables specific to the plugin and not an existing part of the forum is that a case when I would just do things like how I did before?
I had a basic understanding of Hooks in vB. But my initial look at "listeners" confuses me a little. Is this basically one in the same? One plugin I have to write for example will basically need to insert something above the first post in a ban appeal thread when being viewed by an administrator. So we basically have a listener for the start of that section and have code that generates what I need output at that point?
Also looking for an example or tutorial on hooking the moderation bar. The application and recruit management plugin as well as the ban appeal system is intended to have notifications in this area. So far I have run across a couple plugins to look at but not such much an existing tutorial?