Forums in Read Only mode, when closed

Enigma

Well-known member
Also a true "read-only" mode would need to disable ALL database updating which would mean disabling all sorts of stuff, not just post creation..
You might be able to disable the appropriate database writes at the data access layer without changing much.

The alternative is to just disable logging in when the forum is in read-only mode, this way threads won't be marked because the user isn't logged in.
Except for admins, right? ;)
 

James

Well-known member
Also a true "read-only" mode would need to disable ALL database updating which would mean disabling all sorts of stuff, not just post creation...but editing user accounts, profile, updating user status, private messaging, all modifications (chat, gallery, blog), registrations, login attempts...yikes, the more I think about it, the longer this rabbit hole gets.[...]
I'm sure it wouldn't be as hard as I anticipate it to be (as in rewriting the whole user-input). Perhaps there could be a block issued just before the data is inserted that states "The forum is in read-only mode, no changes can be made to your account."

Just to throw my other idea out there, we could store changes made to a cookie instead of storing in the database then grab the cookie and insert the cookie into the database when read-only mode is disabled. *wonders how many times I could suggest this alternative*.
Oh wait... HTML5 Local Storage comes to mind.

@Enigma, except admins of course :p
 

Neutral Singh

Well-known member
How about an admin option to choose which usergroups can use the read-only feature... like enabling read-only mode for guests which also includes SE crawlers... this will also resolve thread markings issue as forums would closed for members anyway...
 

James

Well-known member
How about an admin option to choose which usergroups can use the read-only feature... like enabling read-only mode for guests which also includes SE crawlers... this will also resolve thread markings issue as forums would closed for members anyway...
If we choose which usergroups can view, if these users were to browse as normal then thread marking would still need to be in effect.
 

Floren

Well-known member
I like the idea, but I think it would cause some issues I don't want to deal with every single time I shut the board down, and Ryan brought up some valid points as well.
Personally, I believe users would not mind about those aspects, especially if they are looking for some information on your site and they see a message like "Board open in 1 hour", instead of the actual information. After all, it will be an option and you decide if you want it enabled or not.

Here is an idea. Make the forums readable only for guests and let the users know. No more marking issues. :)
They have both of worlds: if I'm a guest, I will see no difference. If I'm an user, well... I see the normal closed board message who is telling to logout if I need to read forum content. Or even better, logout all users and when they try to login display a message that reflects the current situation.

This option was requested by every single large forum, when it comes the time to make a reliable backup.
Back to first post...
 

CBI Web

Well-known member
...Another very obvious problem with read only mode is the simple fact that major upgrades/migrations often break lots of things - and you don't want your users to experience this, hence closing the forums completely.
Keep a mirror copy of the board, and there do all upgrading, re-customizing of templates, checking mod compat, etc. Once the test board has been upgraded and tweaked into submission, upgrading the live board and migrating the customizations over is a short & sweet adventure.
 

Erik

Well-known member
If you're doing database or code changes, simply executing the files and reading from the database could be broken at certain points. I would rather just shut down my forum completely. :)
 

Dean

Well-known member
Here is an idea. Make the forums readable only for guests and let the users know.
So, could temporarily moving all non-admins to the 'guest/not logged in' group achieve your goal?

Maybe a switch/option that does that?
 

James

Well-known member
If you're doing database or code changes, simply executing the files and reading from the database could be broken at certain points. I would rather just shut down my forum completely. :)
Still, this could be used for cases like permission changes, forum overhauling, things that aren't direct database work.
 

Kim

Well-known member
I like it!!!

Some Corporate or special boards which require staff to be active when members are posting would also use this feature, the board could be shut down for the night, and still allow it to be read.
 

Dean

Well-known member
I like it!!!

Some Corporate or special boards which require staff to be active when members are posting would also use this feature, the board could be shut down for the night, and still allow it to be read.
Doesn't the BBC do this? Have 'hours they are open'? cannot quite remember.
 

Kim

Well-known member
Doesn't the BBC do this? Have 'hours they are open'? cannot quite remember.

Not sure if the BBC does or not, but I know of many organisations that would never leave open to abuse a site that was not monitored very closely.
 

Ben Davis

Active member
Just to throw my other idea out there, we could store changes made to a cookie instead of storing in the database then grab the cookie and insert the cookie into the database when read-only mode is disabled
The idea to use cookies for storing changes to the user account (i.e. read posts, etc.) and then entering them into the database isn't really a good idea. This could lead to either hacker attempts using the cookies when board comes out of read-only mode, or if hackers manage to get their hands on the cookies of users they can use it to track them, etc, etc. and obviously the cookie might be storing personal data so that you can verify the cookie. I could go on with different scenarios that could, and might, happen but I'll just leave it at that.
 

James

Well-known member
Valid point :p What about HTML5's local storage for browsers that support it. It's not a unanimous solution, but it's a better solution than not marking at all.
 

---MAD---

Well-known member
I like this idea. A lot of time after upgrading especially when you want to set up new features for example or check stuff are working the way they should, you leave the board offline while it could be accessed (read-only). Obviously whilst upgrading etc it's far better to have it completely offline.
 

Floren

Well-known member
Just to throw my other idea out there, we could store changes made to a cookie instead of storing in the database then grab the cookie and insert the cookie into the database when read-only mode is disabled.
That could open the door to MySQL injections, no? :)

How about an admin option to choose which usergroups can use the read-only feature... like enabling read-only mode for guests which also includes SE crawlers... this will also resolve thread markings issue as forums would closed for members anyway...
Well, the idea is to stop all writes to database, so you can create a reliable backup. If you allow the group of admins to browse the forums, you will not gain anything enabling the option since your allowed users will perform writes to tables, based on their activity. That is why I suggested to allow only guests viewing the forum content. It will still require to have the number of users online disabled, etc.
 
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Carlos

Well-known member
I want the "closed forum" feature that vbulletin employs, so lets make this an option in ACP.
 
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