Thanks very much for any advice!
More details about my experience looking through some website code...
I've been looking through phpbb's code and it looks very messy & disorganized. There are some comments but most of them don't help me because I don't know how they go about doing things so their comments are 'greek' to me. I have programming experience, but not with internet stuff, but I'm assuming website code would still follow some kind of organization. But in general it seems like the programmers just put functions & classes in files all over the place, and didn't follow a simple model. I would assume each page would have one file where it starts, and then call various functions/etc to do things, in sequence as it builds the page from the top down. But no, things don't seem to work that way. I just can't even read this phpbb code -- I found some files where the code is supposed to do some things, but then the code doesn't make any sense to me. I know how things are supposed to basically be done, but yet, their code still doesn't seem logical. Obviously it works, but it's just impossible to make even the smallest modification. Am I wrong, and just don't understand enough about website code yet... or is there a big difference between how different websites are coded?
For example, there's a dropdown box on a page that sorts the topics, and I want to modify it so that it has different sort options because the programmers gave it lame options (unlike Xenforo which is good), so I see that the dropdown box submits it's form data to a php file, so I look at the code in that php file, and instead of just reading the dropbox values and making a sql statement to reload the topics, it does all sorts of stuff that seems nutty to me. I can't even make much sense of it. In general, if I were to make the change I want to make with a Visual Basic application, it would take me 5 minutes. But I spent over 3 hours looking at phpbb's code and I can't even figure out what it's doing or how to change it. Can anyone relate to what I'm saying?