Wanting to move from phpbb to bbPress?

Have you found yourself wondering if you could move your forum from phpBB over to bbPress?

While technically I have proven it is possible, it is not optimal. My original thinking for moving my phpBB forum to bbPress was to increase the integration into my WordPress site and to improve the participation of my users. And really, I just wanted to see if I could do it.

So I set out this morning to migrate my forum with 1200+ users and found a plug-in that claimed to help with that, which it did, sort of. The plug-in is called BBconverter and although it did not list phpBB as a compatible forum, I did find an option once installed that allow me to do the migration. The plug-in migrated my users, forums, and posts although it did jumble up a few of the usernames and posts and I did some strange things with my users. There was also no migration of the BBCode. Part of my user problem might have been that I have a Mailchimp synchronization plug-in running. For each of my forum users, the BBconverter tool created a new temporary user for them so Mailchimp tried to subscribe them to my mailchimp list. It then tried to remove the temporary account which then unsubscribed them from Mailchimp and during the process was using a bogus email address so I started getting bounces and about 1,000 messages letting me know that someone left the list.

Once that was under control and the process finished, which took a while, I began to try to lock down the forum. I immediately found posts that were being added no longer than a couple of minutes after my forum had been up and running. These posts were being added by users that had registered on the site longer than a month ago and were obviously sitting there drooling in hopes of me trying to install bbPress some day. I thought I had installed anti-spam plug-ins, created security requirements, and created moderation settings, email notification settings, etc., but all I got were new posts showing up every 20 minutes on my forum from the spammers.

Once I was able to play around with bbPress I soon realized that phpBB was a much more robust solution. Just the simple fact that bbPress doesn’t come with a search tool should be a deal breaker for 99% of the WordPress users out there. My theme happened to have a search widget which I activated but found that I needed a new bbPress search plug-in to allow the WordPress search form to work with bbPress posts.

After getting the search issue was resolved I continued further to try and tighten up my forum and noticed that more posts have been made by spammers. It was starting to get a little bit depressing.

After about four hours of playing with it I really started to miss phpBB so I am now beginning the process of uninstalling bbPress, and I am realizing that it is not as easy to uninstall as I had hoped.

To make a long story short, don’t use bbPress in place of phpBB, it is not a comparable system yet.

Monetizing Open Source Projects (Part 1)

[quote]Monetization: Charging for something that used to be free or making money on goods or services that were previously unprofitable.[/quote]


Open source projects are crazy. I don’t mean crazy in an intellectual way, I just mean that they’re crazy in a business sense. There are many very popular open source projects out there in the world today, and most have absolutely no monetization at all. Why not?

If you don’t have any revenue sources for your open source project you are missing a huge opportunity to capture your traffic. Take a look at your traffic logs and look at how many people are coming to your site: do you have 100 per day, 500, 5000? And what are all of those visitors doing? They’re evaluating your project, downloading your software, looking for support, etc.. If your not even at least gathering information from the user let alone trying to literally monetize from them you are missing a great opportunity. After all, nothing in this world is free, right?

I think part of the reason that open source projects don’t monetize is partly due to pride. The project leaders might think that asking for money or requiring payment for services is somehow not cool or does not fit within the open source concept. Another reason I think that open source projects shy away from monetizing is for fear of backlash from their users. The general feeling is that if they somehow try to make money off of their free, open project that the users will grab pitchforks, light torches and come to break down the castle wall. My experience has shown this to be completely the opposite.

Monetizing your open source project not only improves the resilience of your project but it also shows that you have some business sense. Think about it, do you feel better using an open source project that has a revenue model and resources to help grow the project? Or would you rather invest your time and effort into a project that has no money, no possible revenue sources, no employees, and no resources to draw from to help build the project? I think you know the right answer that question!

So how do you monetize your open source project? Stay tuned for part 2 of our article where we discuss the details behind monetizing your open source project.

WordPress – How to remove a large number of email-bounced users

One of my wordpress web sites has over 20,000 users. Most of these users were verified when they signed up for their account, but there are still a large number of bounce email I get every time I send out a user mailing. There are also a number of “unsubscribe” messages that I get.

I searched around for a plug-in that would allow me to upload a CSV file and would then bulk-delete the users but none was found. Instead of creating a new plug-in I decided to figure out a way of doing some form of bulk removal of users. Here is what I did (note: my site does not have any “contributor” users):

  1. For each bounce email or unsubscribe request I receive I copy the email address
  2. Execute this query in your wordpress database:[quote style=”boxed”] update wp_usermeta SET meta_value=’a:1:{s:11:”contributor”;s:1:”1″;}’ where meta_key=’wp_capabilities’ AND user_id= (SELECT ID from wp_users where user_email=’theuser@example.com’);[/quote]
  3. I repeat that for all users
  4. Go to the Users panel, click on “Contributors”
  5. Click the check mark all
  6. Bulk Delete

Again, this works for me because everyone is a “Subscriber” and the “Contributors” list is always empty so I use that to store my temporary delete list.

Fix for the WordPress Theme Studiopress for WordPressMU

The Studiopress theme for WordPressMU is broken. When you try to update the options you get the message “options page not found”. I have fixed the issue:
> if ( is_admin() ){ // admin actions
> add_action(‘admin_init’, ‘register_mysettings’ );
> } else {
> // non-admin enqueues, actions, and filters
> }
> function register_mysettings() { // whitelist options
>   register_setting( ‘Theme Options’, ‘greeting’ );
>   register_setting( ‘Theme Options’, ‘welcomemessage’ );
> }
<   <div class=’wrap’>

>   <div>
> <?php settings_fields(‘greeting,welcomemessage’); ?>
<   <p><input type=”submit” name=”Submit” value=”Update Options” /></p>

>   <p><input type=”submit” name=”Submit” value=”<?php _e(‘Update Options’); ?>” /></p>
> <?php settings_fields( ‘Theme Options’ ); ?>
< ?>
\ No newline at end of file

> ?>


CPU Test – Safari Vs. Chrome Vs. Firefox on Mac OS X

Ok, I was thinking the other day… Why did I start using Chrome? I must have been unhappy with Safari. Then I thought some more…. I must have been unhappy with Firefox before I was unhappy with Safari. But why?

I don’t remember the exact time I switched to Safari, away from Firefox, so I don’t recall the specific reasons, but I think I was looking for a more integrated Mac experience with my iPhone browser. After using Safari for a while I started noticing that when I had a lot of tabs open, which on a normal day may mean up to 15 or 20 at a time, the performance of the browser and the CPU/Memory requirements was starting to cause me grief.

So one day I saw an article that was essentially “Why are you not using Chrome? You should be!”. So I figured I would give it a shot.

I have been using Chrome now for a couple of months, and it seems to perform well, although I have noticed a few sites that do not work with Chrome (Webex for example).

Well this morning I decided to do a very technical performance test, one that could only be done by a highly trained technician such as myself, I decided to load them all up with the same tabs content and compare them using the built-in Activity Monitor. 🙂

Here is the result:

I loaded each browser with 6 tabs and loaded the same sites on each.

Safari: Real Memory=142.55MB, CPU=.3, Threads=13

Firefox: Real Memory=99.5MB, CPU=.7, Threads=12

Chrome: Real Memory=115.36, CPU=0, Threads=16

The results are not surprising. Chrome basically sites there idle, consuming the 2nd most RAM, but consuming the least amount of CPU.

I then decided to open up 10 more tabs on each:

Safari: Real Memory=222.52MB, CPU=.4, Threads=16

Firefox: Real Memory=152.55MB, CPU=1.5, Threads=15

Chrome: Real Memory=125.34MB, CPU=0, Threads=16

The one thing that stands out here is the fact that Chrome is only consuming 10MB more of RAM, while Firefox jumped up 53MB, and Safari a whopping 80MB! And CPU on Chrome is still at 0!

Now I realize this test is probably VERY flawed, but it sort of proves to me what I kind of figured out before I did this test, that Chrome performs better than Safari or Firefox when it comes to system resources.

GuildMM v1.0 – Mass Mail Addon for World of Warcraft

GuildMM is a free addon for World of Warcraft that adds mass mailing functions to the game. It is an update to the an addon called Guild Mail List. Guild Mail List contained all of the features I was looking for but had not been updated for quite some time so I decided to start a new version of the addon and maintain it myself.