disable forum main page/ extensive forum structure

  • Hi guys, I have a more general question, let's see if the great wbb support can help me :D

    Ok so I am making a forum for our university students. The structure will be extremely large, ie attached is the professors section- there are 7 colleges, each has about 7 departments and there are approx 50 teachers per department. In total I expect this structure to include over 1500 teachers. Now you can see category is professors, subcategory is colleges-then departments and then each professor will have his own forum. This causes the whole structure to blow up like a balloon. The picture is of the default main page of the forum (index.php page=index) and you can see that even now, when I am just testing, the structure is already too large for this overview.... he wants to list all the forums, but as there will be thousands with complicated structure, this page will be a giant mess.

    Now, I installed the portal and set it as homepage, rewritten the redirect template and logo link. I don't want users to be able to see this page, as it does not look very nice. Is there any way to disable this Overview page? Or to limit the number of forums it shows? I don't need it to show them all, I just want it to look organized..... or disable it altogether, which is what I am doing now.

    Do you foresee any issues-like with speed- due to the extensive structure? I mean the SQL table will be enormous, right? Will it cause problems or will it work just fine and fast? I am trying to come up with a way to make the forum look neat and organized, but I am a little worried about the speed.


  • The database isn't a thing you should be worried about, a bunch of our customers run forums with almost 1k forums in total but it still doesn't affect performance in any way. As the forum index is meant to be the main forum page, there is no option to hide it and links tend to redirect it there. You could pick a rather dirty approach to rewrite links to "index.php?page=Index" to the portal page instead (as I said, it's not smooth but should do the job).

    PS: Drag'n'drop sorting of forums within the ACP is automatically disabled once you exceed 100 forums, the used JavaScript would slow down the page a lot. Still you can use the select boxes to adjust the ordering etc, you're just losing a comfort function, that's all.

    Alexander Ebert
    Senior Developer WoltLab® GmbH

  • Ok thanks, well I should top that, haha as I expect the total number of forums to be around 5000. I will build up the structure now over the spring break and I will touch on here afterwards to say how it went.

    Yeah well as I said that is the approach I came up with, i rewrote logo template, breadcrumbs, redirect, i cannot think of another way people could get to this page. Interestingly, if you just split it up and click on Professors only, the page does not seem that messy. That's what made me want to create the forum this way.

  • Hi Alex, can I also ask, can you think of a way that would make creating such a big structure easier/ faster, eg create like 1000 forums in the same category? I can do it one by one, but it will take forever :D I have a list of entries I want to include and I know how I want them structured.

  • You could write a script to access the API directly, but it requires some effort to create it. Well, at least you should be quicker writing it as opposed to create all forums manually :D

    Alexander Ebert
    Senior Developer WoltLab® GmbH

  • Yeah true, plus I can feel better about it, because I did it the smart way, right? :D Would you help me with it pls? Or at least point me in the right direction, I guess my forum gives you a rough idea of my programming skills..... low :D But so far I managed to modify my forum in every way I wanted.

  • Well, you should be aware Burning Board/WCF uses upper-level programming mechanics and not the simple stuff like seen within WordPress etc. Basically you have to include the global.php from WBB and the BoardEditor-class (lib/data/board/BoardEditor.class.php), starting with line 377 you can find the create() method which is internally used to create a new board.

    Alexander Ebert
    Senior Developer WoltLab® GmbH

  • Ok well thank god for the /** side notes in the code. Idk it does not sound that hard, I just need to take parts of that php file and modify them.... so such package would have only global.php and boardeditor.class.php in the files.tar? Which global.php do you mean btw? I'm sorry if my questions are too stupid.

    I will have to research it, I have never used php. Well if it proves to be beyond my capabilities, I will just pay someone to do it for me. I will be transferring to the University of Michigan next year and I would like to make the same website there. So I would like to be able to take the templates, styles and skeleton- including this script and "branch out"

  • I'm not talking about creating a plugin as that is exactly the higher level I was talking about. If you simply want to create hundreds of hundreds of boards, you better create a standalone script which includes (require_once()) the two mentioned files and simply invoke the API. Of course you could create the forums by issuing plain database queries, but this is the easier way to accomplish it.

    Alexander Ebert
    Senior Developer WoltLab® GmbH

  • Ok so you mean a simple script like this?

    but how do I "invoke the API" eg I guess you mean exectute it. I have never used just a script, always packages. Don't I have to modify the code somehow- Would this just create one single empty forum?

  • btw if I go into my SQL admin, I can create the forums quite easily (i know you said this was the worse way) by copy-pasting rows in Notepad++ and changing the 2 parameters I need changed, but I have a problem with the time variable, I know it is defined as Time_now and the forums don't show because I did not create the time entry, just copying the time value does not work and putting in a random one also doesn't, because it is not defined, yes? How do I fix this?

  • ok I take that back, time is not the problem, it is boardID... it needs to be created in acp, if I just add a new one in the sql database, wbb will not see it.