21 August 2010

Mods not just Themes

By Bryan

My last article looked at how poor the customization team is currently with Theme Approvals, now while this has brought alot to light, it came to my attention last night that the Cus. team are also being sloppy with Mod Approvals.  Yes its not just themes, is this the downfall for the Cus team, all this humiliation must not be good for moral.

A friend of mine pointed out a mod that contains hard-coded text, this in both mods and themes is not allowed, as it does not help with making SMF more friendly towards other languages.  I went to take a look at the most recent approved mods, and I noticed alot of them are also going against what the team decided on.

Before the incident in January, even before I was asked to leave the team it was decided that small mods would be advised to be posted in Tips and Tricks not submitted as mods, and if they were they would go to a specific category.  Well to my shock and horror,  on a simple public search I found a mod that added no more than a few characters well in all honesty 31 character including a space:

&& $context[‘user’][‘is_admin’]

This is all the code does is add that to a specific area, is this really a mod? a check to make sure that someone is an admin? this my friend is tip or trick NOT a mod.

So closer looking at the mods, one removed more code than it needed to, when I was team member the easier solution would have been to advise the author on the correct and easier way, luckily I posted in the authors thread, and he has quickly taken up my suggestion as it makes more sense.

Another mod all it does is remove:

. ‘/index.php’

That’s 14 characters including the spaces, yet again this “mod” should have been advised to be posted in Tips and Tricks, to help the community again.  I remember when I first started on SMF this is what people would do, they would post in tips and tricks saying this like:

Hi guys,

I was recently looking at how to remove my forum calling on index.php, and I managed to find it,

In QueryStrings.php in your sources find:


$scripturl = $boardurl . '/index.php';


and replace with


$scripturl = $boardurl;


This will change your forum page from mysite.com/index.php to mysite.com

Hope this helps.

But why don’t people do this? as most of these trivial mod authors want to get a name for themselves and advertise there forum.  These small mods don’t help, they encourage users to be lazy, they don’t allow for people to have a reason to explore the code to find things themselves,  in turn they don’t learn, and they need to ask for support more and more and that gets them angry as the Support team are being overworked and don’t get to the users as fast they should, it means that SupportTopics (a list that shows all open support topics) is constantly high.  And who is to blame for this, the mod authors of these trivial mods …. NO

The cus team as they are not helping the mod authors as they should, they are not thinking of the users, or the other team members but getting that mod list down. Its funny that a whole team of modders can not keep the mod list low when 1 former team member could not only clear a backlog of 40+ themes but also keep the list below 5 themes.  Makes you think.