Coranto Comments System = $500

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Moderator: Spunkmeyer

Coranto Comments System = $500

Postby Sknil » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:53 pm

Hey all, I am new to this specific site, but not coranto. In fact, I've been using it since it was called NewsPro.

I am wondering if anyone here has the ability and want to create a lite comment system (like wordpress has) for coranto?

Yes, I am aware of isay and the vbulletin hacks, but I'd rather use wordpress than either of those, and I HATE wordpress! I think it is way overhyped and also very rigid.

I love coranto so much because of its flexibility. I like that I can build my site then easily build my coranto install around it. All other CMS I've tried are the reverse. I have to build my site around the CMS. Terrible!

I know this is a free script with volunteers expanding it, but I am willing to pay anyone $500 USD to create a comment system for Coranto.

These would be my requirements:
- I would like it to work on the static pages Maginot creates.
- To be able to be toggled on/off per article.
- Have a user system where people have to sign up/login to post.
- Keep track of post counts and have avatars enabled.
- Simple template based to work within coranto news styles.
- Also be able to edit/delete users posts and ban users/ips.
- Be able to show "Comments (3)".

Pretty much function as wordpress' comment system does.

Would be nice to have it be able to work the the vbulletin user system, but that is not a requirement at this point.

I have spoken to a couple of freelance programmers and they have given me the quote of $300-$400 to build this (and have it incorporated with Vbulletin), but I would much rather keep this in the community if possible.

Please post/pm me if you are interested in taking up this offer. I will pay half ($250) over paypal when I see a working demo on YOUR server, then the other half when I am given the zip file and have it working on MY server.
Last edited by Sknil on Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GabeT » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:44 am

I'd also be willing to pitch in $$ to have this addon developed. It would really be a nice touch.
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Postby Sknil » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:22 pm

If I can get it made by someone in the community here, I will be sure to have it released as an addon for everyone to use and hopefully continue development on.

If people want to add money into the pot for someone to develop this, that would be great. I guarantee that if someone takes this comments project up they will get at least $500 from me. Any money anyone else wishes to pony up would be added to that amount:)
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Postby Alexv » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:35 pm

Having created iSay, I doubt this would be a tough thing to accomplish. One thing I'm not sure about is the vBulletin integration. As far as I know, it is not free, and I'm not sure if it's open-source or not. Also, isn't it a PHP/MySQL script?
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Postby Sknil » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:06 pm

vbulletin integration would be something extra to add to the script, but I think even if a standalone addon existed without that integration it would still be very usefull for people.

Wordpress has its own comment system, but then others have built bridge scripts so you can share the userdata base and cookie between them, as well as phpbb, smf, and bbpress.

Wordpress is a pain to deal with. It is fairly simple to install, but getting it to look different than every other wordpress site is difficult. You have to build your whole site around their templates or spend hours customizing it. Even doing something as link structure is like being stuck in that same box. But it does have a slick comment system which makes me very jealous being a fan of coranto for so long.

isay is great, except that it doesn't load into the pages. Being able to have comments on the pages themselves, is great for SEO.

The vb addon we have is also great, but vbulletin is expensive and you are also stuck in the same template system. And to make it work for seo you also have the buy the equally expensive vbseo plugin.

My coding skills are very limited and only useful in making mods in exisiting code to fit my needs, so I don't want to insult anyone. But my ideas on how to go about this would be:

- Bulid it in mysql/PHP

- Bulid an addon for coranto that inserts a check box on the submit news page to toggle on/off the comment system for that article.

- Have a PHP include line added in the news style where you want the comments to show on the page.

- When news is created and the toggle box is checked, it builds the news in coranto but also creates a new comment thread in the mysql database so people can post. This thread will appear on the static page maginot produces where you placed that php include code.

- The comment threads could be referenced in mysql by the coranto news ID to keep things organized.

This isn't much different that how the vbulletin addon works as far as functionality, really.
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Postby Alexv » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:39 pm

I've been playing around with vBulletin and WordPress for the past few hours to get a better understanding of what is required. I've done some proof-of-concept code on the things that I thought would be the hardest to do:

- Generate vBulletin password hashes (so integration with the vBulletin userbase is possible and easy to accomplish). Using the same approach integration with the phpBB, smf, and other systems would be easy to implement.
- Include comments in to maginot pages (this more-or-less requires the use of PHP, especially if you want seo).

Everything else is basically a no-brainer and is already mostly handled by iSay. I'm not sure whether it would be easier to modify/streamline iSay (which is made in Perl) or to create a new script in PHP (with a small Perl addon to integrate with Coranto).

Another thing I am not sure about is how far you would like it to integrate in to vBulletin. Do you just want this system to share the usernames and passwords with vBulletin, or do you want an actual vBulletin forum thread to be created for each news item? I'm assuming the former. So there would really be 3 user databases (or 2 if you disable vBulletin integration, or more than 3 if you want phpBB, smf, and others). When a user goes to register or login, the username and password is checked against:

1) The built-in user database in the commenting system
2) The user database in Coranto
3) The user database in vBulletin

Edit: A few more questions:
- anonymous posting?
- emoticons?
- captcha and/or approval queue?
- e-mail verification upon registration?
- recover/reset lost password?
- should the avatars be pulled from vBulletin or are the avatars set and stored in the commenting system database?
- ability for users to edit/delete their own comments?
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Postby Sknil » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:10 am

Wow Alex you have me all excited over here! lol

For VBintegration, sharing usernames and passes, and adding to the user's postcount (posted in the coranto pages + VB posts), and pulling the same avatar would be cool. Wouldn't need a vb thread created for each item, though, that would create a bit of redundancy.

Ability to intergrate with other forum systems would be cool. My personal choice is VB, but it is expensive. If it could work with phpBB or SMF, which I believe are the most popular free boards, out there, I believe more people could embrace this system.

I use phpBB on a couple of my smaller sites, just because it is free, but I've also had a virus injected by someone on two occasions through different phpbb versions' security holes.

- Anonymous posting I would never use.
- Emoticons would be nice, but not necessary at all. Though BB code like [- img -] and such might be good, so people can insert a picture or link into their posts.
- Capatcha and abillity to mod posts before they are posted would be nice addition to have to keep spamming a minimum.
- email verifcation, same thing. Wordpress has that.
- recover/reset lost pass, would need that.
- avatars should be pulled by vb, though, in a standalone instance of the script, perhaps users could be able to add a url to an avatar? Thus a mini profile system would be nice to have. Wordpress has that, as well. You can add an avatar to wordpress comments through a plugin, but by default you can add a URL to show on each post you make by clicking on the username.
- users should be able to delete their own comments. Also somekind of mass delete option would be nice to have for admins.

Thank you very much for taking the time to even consider this. Would be so awesome if you decide to take up this project!
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Postby Alexv » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:44 am

Thanks for the clarification!

A concern that has just come up is that post counts, in most forum software (I've seen this behavior in vBulletin, SMF, and phpBB to be specific), are often re-calculated. So even though this addon could update the post count in the user's vBulletin profile very easily (just tested this), the post count would eventually be reset whenever the forum does it's statistic maintenance routine. In vBulletin, for example, running "Update Post Counts" from the Maintenance > Update Counters page will go through all of the posts that each user has made and make sure that the user does not have any unaccounted posts. Some of the other forum systems re-calculate post counts any time a new post is made. If you would like to play around with this for yourself, fire up phpMyAdmin, go in to the "users" table (vBulletin), and look for the "posts" field.

I suppose it would be possible to make a few hacks here and there in the vBulletin code to account for the increase in post counts, but these unofficial hacks may create problems in the long-run.
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Postby Sknil » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:52 am

That makes sense about the post counts. If the comment system can keep track of its own post counts separate, irregardless of if VB is integrated or not, then perhaps would be the best way to go about it.

Adding the post count variables together in PHP for example by pulling both those variables in an external file would be pretty simple after the fact. That way whatever changes are made to the VB post count by updating counters wouldn't diminish the posts in the comment system, plus would just be easier to handle in a standalone install, as well.

Relatedly, going with the idea of adding the cornato comment tables (with different prefixes) into the same database as a VB install would make things easier to trade info between the two scripts.
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Sticking my nose in...

Postby CSEnforcer » Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:58 pm

...just to say how exciting and needed this is. I think it also addresses a larger concern -- that many of the other CMSes (Drupal, etc.) have addons that connect into vBulletin in a number of different ways.

The vBulletin Comments addon has been a great first step, but actually having an addon that allows users to use their vB log-in to get into Coranto is a huge step. For example, I know it would increase the amount of news posters on my site, since the forum is the main 'community' area now. Currently they have to register yet another account (using GuestReg) and it's not always apparent who is who.

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Postby Sknil » Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:43 am

I would be more concerned with it being a standalone system. VB integration is a nice extra feature, but not everyone has the means/want to use it, so I don't want the focus taken off having the ability for users to add comments to static coranto pages, and put onto VB integration at all.

Would like to keep it as lite as possible in its base use.
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Postby Spunkmeyer » Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:51 pm

Just a quick question: You're willing to have this script developed for $500, but you'll let the Coranto community use it for free? That's awfully nice.
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Postby Sknil » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:07 pm

Yes, for free, for everyone. Coranto over the years has been a very community-driven script, that is one of the things I like about it.

The script, itself, is free, all current addons are free, this should be free, too:)

I am still waiting to see if Alexv (or someone else here) wants to take this project on. I hope that would be ok with the developer, as well.
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Postby Sknil » Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:23 pm

I just found this thread, thought it would be good to post a link here since it is pretty related:
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Postby GabeT » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:51 am

Sknil did you have any takers on this project? Just checking in.
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