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Moving phpbb 3.0.7-PL1 to XF - some questions

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by chuckcintron, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. chuckcintron

    chuckcintron New Member

    I have a small (medium?) board with 13K users and 190K posts. I'm on an old version of phpbb - 3.0.7-PL1

    Back in 2010 when I first set up, I was a naive newbie and did a bunch of customization to the board theme and boxed myself into a corner on any easy path to upgrade within phpbb. Also, I'm really not happy with newer versions of phpbb (for example the way they arbitrarily screwed around with email notifications -- turning them off and now relying on the user to log in and look at a menu bar to see if he has pending notifications...WTF).

    Anyway, I'm convinced I need to move to XF after doing research including reading threads here and the migration guide, etc. I have some lingering questions however:

    1. Does the (complicated) permissions masking, user groups, etc. all migrate cleanly from phpbb 3.0.x to XF? For example if I created a custom user group in phpbb with some permissions turned "off" and some set as "never" and some set as "on" -- will that all carry forward to XF or will I have to step through all my intentions with the existing permissions structure and try to manually configure again in XF?

    2. Do user passwords migrate or will users have to set their password after migration?

    3. Is there a concept of "newly registered user" -> "moderation queue", in XF? In my current phpbb setup, when a brand new user registers his first post is held in a moderation queue until approved by a board moderator. Once approved, the user is automatically upgraded to "normal member" and subsequent posts are no longer held for moderation. Can this same process be easily implemented, in XF?

    4. Having been burned by my .css, .js and .php adventures in making my own theme in phpbb, my game plan is to keep XF as vanilla out-of-the-box as possible. All I need to do however is put my own header, footer and content wrapper in place so the board will at least look integrated with the rest of the site. I'm assuming the base theme for XF is fully mobile-ready and will give an awesome user experience on a mobile device without me having to drop in an alternate theme, or "mobile_detect.php", or create my own responsive .css file?

    5. Today my site is organized like this:

    www.foosite.com/store/ (shopping system)
    www.foosite.com/content/ (wordpress CMS)
    www.foosite.com/forums/ (phpbb)

    I did not mess with any "pretty url" or other rewriting of the native phpbb URL emitter. So, will it be easy for me to put XF at the /forums/ directory and make the migration happen? I'm assuming I might have to use some simple .htacess redirect post-migration to keep Google (and user bookmarks) from going haywire?

    6. I use phpStorm to do all my code management, development, etc. In phpStorm I have the default file permissions set to 644 and folder permissions to 755. Will XF tolerate this? I read somewhere that XF wants some files to be group-writable, but I don't understand that because we usually don't worry about this since the PHP processor can always write to the (same server) localhost filesystem -- did I misunderstand something and we really do need to have permissions set higher for XF folders/files?

    7. Any other 'gotchas' or issues I should know about when going from phpbb to XF? Anything that just doesn't work right after migration? I did read the list of items that do migrate over, I guess I'm wondering what might be missing that doesn't migrate over.

    Sorry for the length, and thanks in advance for any insight. I really want to do this but I don't want to make a fatal mistake, either.
  2. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    We do import the user groups and attempt to migrate across the permissions. There should be a UI displayed to help pick some of the forum specific permissions. We cannot, however, always guarantee they will come across exactly as they were designed to, so it is always recommended to fully test permissions after the import is completed.

    The passwords migrate fine.

    Yes, you can do this with user group permissions and user group promotions.

    You shouldn't need to be too shy with regards to CSS and HTML customisations. Should there be a situation where you change something in a template and we subsequently change something in that same template, the template will be marked as "outdated". Your version of the template will still apply, and your changes will not be lost. To help you merge your changes into ours, there is a template merge feature. If there is no conflict in the template, the merge can be done automatically. If there is a conflict, a UI is displayed to show you both versions so you can try to ensure the changes are merged in correctly. You can also just revert the template which will remove your changes, then you could just add your changes back in.

    For simple CSS changes, there is a blank template named EXTRA.css. You can add anything you like here to override the existing CSS.

    If you're going to make JS and PHP changes, these should be extended properly. For example, PHP changes should be made using our class proxy and/or code events system where necessary.

    The XF default style supports a responsive design so you shouldn't have to do anything extra here.

    Yep basically. You can retain content IDs when you import into XF (so thread 123 in phpBB is thread 123 in XF) this makes redirecting URLs a lot simpler.

    The only directories that most likely need to be world writable are the data and internal_data directories. These are written to by the web server itself for the storage of avatars and attachments. It may be possible to avoid this depending on the set up of your server.

    We will migrate everything over that is considered to be standard in phpBB that has an equivalent in XF. I'm pretty certain this is everything. There may be certain things added by modifications / add-ons / plugins you have in phpBB that if they add additional data, this may be skipped. Similarly if there are things like custom BB code which we don't support by default, you will likely need to find an XF alternative.

    Aside from that, just ensure you do a test migration first and attempt to test this as much as possible and resolving any issues before committing to doing a live migration.
  3. chuckcintron

    chuckcintron New Member

    Chris - thank you. All sounds good, and just the fact you responded (and so quickly!) makes me feel better about getting on the XF train!

    I am more than willing to do my share of heavy lifting on a migration; just wanted to gauge the risk, which sounds low right now.
    Chris D likes this.

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