WP-United comes back to life!

It’s been a bit over a month that I’ve been reading about the resurrection of WP-United, but the day I’d been waiting for has come. A release date has been set for the newest version of WP-United. It will be released on the same day as WordPress 3.5, which is in two weeks. Jhong is asking for people to install the beta and give feedback, so if you have a site where you can oblige, please do so and help us all out!

WP United and WordPress updates

The latest update to WordPress broke my WP-United installation. There is a function definition conflict. At this point, I haven’t done anything to look into the problem other than the “standard” fix attempt of clearing the PHPBB cache. That didn’t work. I will be doing a backup and attempting to correct the problem soon. Will keep you posted when I find an answer.

Cross posting with WP-United

Finally got around to getting cross posting working with WP-United. It was not too difficult once I got over the notion of having PHPBB handle the logins for WordPress. All that was needed was to mark the settings in WP-United to have PHPBB handle the logins, then you enable crossposting and comments. Once that is done, there are some permissions changes that need to be made in PHPBB. Usergroups need to have WP_United permissions added to allow cross posting and comments. Also, the forum into which things will be cross posted needs to be set permissions. That’s all there was to it. Very nice and easy.

Once it was working, there were some changes that needed to be made to the text that is generated for the cross posted items. Some of these changes are in the language file. That is found under the languages/en/mods/wp-united.php file (at least in my case where my forum is English) under your PHPBB install directory. The entries I changed were blog_title_prefix and blog_post_intro.

By default, WP-United puts the blog_post_intro first in the post, then some lines, then the post as either excerpt or full story as selected when cross posted. I wanted the link to the post, which is in the blog_post_intro after the story instead. To change this, I edited wp-united/functions-cross-posting.php. I searched for blog_post_intro in that file to find the relevant line to edit. It was a simple string concatenation and was real easy to change. Now the posts appear as I want.

Model160.com is almost ready to launch now. There are a few more stylistic things to change and there is some odd behavior from time to time that I think comes from WP-United. All those things are related to CSS so I am confident I can get them sorted out.

WP-United and Google sitemaps

This morning I discovered a problem with the Google sitemaps on my site. They were no longer being generated correctly. I’m not sure if that problem existed before I made a change to WP-United or not.

We wanted to have the URL to the site be simply http://www.model160.com and not the default of http://www.model160.com/forums/blog.php. That change was easy enough. All you need to do is copy /forums/blog.php to /index.php, edit the new index.php to add the location of your PHPBB directory, /forums in our case, and then change a setting in the WP-United panel. Once that was done, the site looked the same, which is exactly what I had hoped for.

The problem is, the setting for your home page in WP-United includes the file name, so it looks like http://www.model160.com/index.php in our case. I use a plugin for Google sitemaps called Google XML Sitemaps with qTranslate Support. The problem was it was grabbing the site URL from WP-United and so was attempting to generate the file as http://www.model160.com/index.php/sitemap.xml. Since index.php is not a directory, it didn’t work. All I needed to do was set the path manually to sitemap.xml and the url to http://www.model160.com/sitemap.xml and all was better.

WP-United

Yesterday I decided to take a different tact with the WordPress / PHPBB integration. I installed AutoMod into PHPBB and used that to install WP-United. This time, I had no issues. I remembered to deactivate all the plugins first which was probably the cause of my issues in the first place.

Not too much to talk about this time as the install worked exactly as I would have hoped it would. Things seem functional for now. As of now, I have PHPBB running inside WordPress. My next steps will be to figure out how to better integrate things and to try some of the cross posting features. I would also like to investigate using PHPBB as the comment system for WordPress.

WordPress and PHPBB integration

For a site I’m working on, I need to integrate PHPBB into WordPress. There are a few solutions for this out there but WP-United seems to be the one that is cited most. As such, it’s the first I’ll work on.

I attempted this integration last week with no success, but I must admit that I tried to rush it and should have taken a different tact. I got the PHPBB side uploaded and manually edited the files according to the install XML file. After getting all the files edited, I tried running the setup wizard and got lots of error messages. Most of the messages were about duplicate function definitions and a couple of duplicate class definitions. To fix these, I added if (function_exists("FUNCTION NAME HERE")) { blocks around the offending functions and if (class_exists("CLASS NAME HERE")) { around the classes. It was quite repetitive and annoying. So much so, I looked into creating macros for my favored editor jEdit. The macro worked well and saved tons of time, but the solution was a poor one for the real problem.

Once that was all done and the errors stopped showing, I tried the setup wizard again. The main way wp-united likes to work is to display WordPress within PHPBB. I wanted to go the other way as the site already had a lot of work done to change the appearance. I aborted the wizard and just filled in the settings on the settings page. In the end, something was not done correctly and the site and no longer functioned.

I think one of my critical mistakes was I did not disable my WordPress plug-ins before installing. Before editing the files the first time I had made a tar backup of the site, so I was able to get things working again pretty easily. I intend to try again, this time using AutoMod on PHPBB and disabling plug-ins before installing. As I write this, WP-United.com is not responding, so I am unable to try again for the moment. As soon as it is available again, I will retry the install.

I should note that I am using WordPress 3 on this site and WP-United is not yet updated for WordPress 3. There are some instructions for allowing it to run, but I expect some problems.