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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:13 pm Reply with quote

Is it possible to set up nuke, where the admin has to approve the members before the confirmation e-mail is sent?

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:44 pm Reply with quote

Yes. It is called the Approved Membership Module from Ulsoft OR CNBYA. I have only used the former and you can get it here:
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Arnoldkrg goes a good job of supporting his hack. Bear in mind, though, that it requires either complete replacement of core PHP-Nuke files and db updates, or losts of manual editing yourself.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:36 pm Reply with quote

I agree with what Montego said about Arnoldkg. They do a great job of supporting the product. HOWEVER, just to emphasize about the manual editing, anytime a bbtonuke upgrade comes in (and that happens all to frequently IMHO) you wind up with doing a lot of manual edits that are very delicate and precise. The product also makes extensive changes to the users table so, for instance, if you are trying to upgrade versions of say, Ravennuke, you are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. I ran Approve Membership for over a year and I loved the functionality but the update process eventually got to be too much for me and I gave it up when I went to Ravennuke 2.02.

I think there's general acknowledgment that we need similar functionality within core Nuke or some fork thereof, but when and how we get there remains to be seen.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:00 am Reply with quote


I ran Approve Membership for over a year and I loved the functionality but the update process eventually got to be too much for me and I gave it up when I went to Ravennuke 2.02.

I believe this depends on the amount of forum hacks you have right? I believe that Arnoldkrg was also keeping up-to-date on the forum patches as well so that all you had to do was overwrite. But, yes, if you do your own hacks, this can get "ugly".


I think there's general acknowledgment that we need similar functionality within core Nuke or some fork thereof, but when and how we get there remains to be seen.

Very much agreed! PHP-Nuke management of users is just absolutely pathetic to the core... (i.e., way too basic)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:17 am Reply with quote

I'm afraid it's more complicated than just the Forum hacks Montego. Any program that touches the users table has to be kept in synch and when I last looked Arnold wasn't always up on those. Also, consider the situation with RN. We've modified /your_account/index.php and also the /your_account/admin/index.php. But Arnold also has to have modified those for Approve Membership. So, if a Forum upgrade comes along that updates your_account he has to coordinate a standard (or patched series) Nuke update but then also look at RN and make the changes there? I haven't looked lately but I doubt he's doing updates for RN. Likewise the memberslist is affected by Forums changes and you have to coordinate changes there. There is also this "addfields" application that comes bundled into Approve Membership that you have to keep in synch.

It's been a while and I'm getting "foggy" on all the details but I just remember sitting here going thru the line by line changelog and making the changes manually for hours and still making mistakes and deciding that was the last time.

Upgrades are one thing any add-on developer should keep in mind. For instance, instead of modifying the core users table, just create a separate table with the extra fields that uses the user number as key. And instead of changing the your_account/index.php just have a separate program that gets included. That way updates could be made with minimum impact.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:53 am Reply with quote

Not disagreeing with anyone but here are my thoughts.

I have used Arnoldkrg's Approved Membership on one of my sites, and along with Arnoldkrg's help, the module has been heavily modified along with the add fields management and just about every other aspect of the site including the forums and nearly every working module.

I also have NS on the site which rarely blocks normal users and so far has thwarted all but one site attack (which then was really my fault).
I use 7.6 patched to 3.1 and have no plans to upgrade anything on that particular site.
WHY ? Because it isn't broke so It don't need fixing /upgrading in my eyes.

IMHO why should I/we feel that an upgrade is so essential, when all we have to do is get the site correct and keep regular back ups 'should anything happen to wrong'. By trying to keep up with upgrades/patches etc, isn't this restricting our abilities to make our websites more interesting and unique while nuke seems to stand still mostly, with it's latest versions only benefitting the keyboard junkies who feel the newest is the best.
Again, IMHO I cannot see much difference between say 7.5 and 7.9 !!! You build a site and the user/admin functions are practically the same "like the themes".

By the way ......... Now I've had a chance to try Raven's version, it's better than most I have tried but I still feel that more radical changes need to take place along with security. Don't do what many other do and bring out a "latest version" just for the sake of it, and then spend the next 12 months patching the holes.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:23 am Reply with quote

Disagreement is the spice of life dogpowell Smile Don't be reluctant.

Seriously, I totally agree that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Raven's releases are just there as an option and no one is twisting your arm, at least I don't think so. You'll have to pardon the understandable enthusiasm that some of us have.

However, I would like to make one point. So far at least the Raven releases have focused mostly on building a better infrastructure for Nuke, that is patching bugs and fixing compliance issues primarily. There's a million (well: thousands at least) little problems, bugs, inconsistences that were fixed in 2.02 and many more being fixed in 2.10. The reason you don't see more frequent RN releases is that the results are going thru exhaustive (and exhausting) quality assurance tests.

I think everyone on Raven's team realizes that further changes are needed and that improving Your Account is one area of top priority. Meanwhile the choice of if and when to upgrade is totally up to you.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:33 am Reply with quote

Maybe you should get Arnold (well .... ken actually ) on board to help. I am sure he could make a huge contribution ?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:57 pm Reply with quote

I'm sure he would too. Personnel decisions are Raven's though and I'm sure he'll stop by and see this at some point. Of course, Arnold (Ken) is probably oversubscribed already.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 4:10 pm Reply with quote

I developed a site on which all members need approval. It's a local site, so new members are referred by other members or local organizations. I also voice verify all new members.

I got around the automatic registration issue by creating a module which I called Join_Form. It's basically a form that gets filled out by the new user and includes whatever information I need from that person, including desired nickname and password, then the data is sent to me via email. Then, only after I do my verfication that the person is who they say they are, I add the new member via the Edit User function. I've been working this way for this site for almost 5 years and almost 1000 members.
There is a blurb about accomplishing this in the manual.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:16 pm Reply with quote

Well, if CNBYA 5.0 would ever get released.... The user management portion of Nuke is just too braindead, IMO, to be only remotely useful. While I really like Ken's AM module/hack (because it is relatively simple, well supported, and RELEASED), I would rather see something even more functional than that for RavenNuke...
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:29 pm Reply with quote

Unlike many add on modules, Kens AM/Add Fields modules are also patched with chatserves patches. This is more appealing to me than a couple of extra functions.

Saying that montego, what type of functions are you thinking about, because one of my site which runs extremely well has a serious amount of hacks, add ons and modifications to the AM module. I may already have it doing something you have in mind !!!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:37 pm Reply with quote

Try multi configurable security images/code/background and obsfucation as just one example Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:21 pm Reply with quote

Here's a good start:
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:12 pm Reply with quote

I first discovered PHP-Nuke during my final year at university. We had a project to build a web site for a "real" client and figured that using PHP-Nuke would be a darn site easier than building from scratch. The client wanted to be able to approve applicants before they were allowed to register. This seemed like a reasonable requirement so I scoured PHP-Nuke admin for the button to click for this option and couldnt find it. Since getting my degree was depending on being able to meet the clients requirements, I set about and made a simple hack to allow him to make his approvals.

I passed my degree and afterwards started to frequent PHP-Nuke Forums simply because I had used PHP-Nuke and liked the idea of the CMS. I saw frequent posts asking how to make PHP-Nuke allow admin approval of applicants and decided to package up my hack as a module and released it to the world at large. It has been added to and modified over the years but is still quite simple in nature. It was needed to do a job and thats what it does.

Later, I saw frequent posts asking how to add an extra field in the registration and profile pages. I first started out by giving a list of instructions of how to do it in replies to Forum posts. Problem was, that changes are needed in tons of places. People got it wrong....missed a bit out, made a typo etc. Your instructions dont work they said, when I knew that they did work and they had screwed up. So, rather than keep on writing instructions, I made the Add_Fields mod. Again at first it was quite simple, but has been added to and modified over the years.

My problems had only just started. New versions of PHP-Nuke were being released quite frequently with just enough changes to mean that I had to rewrite both modules to incorporate code changes brought in by the new releases. Then the patches started coming out more frequently, and again I had to rewrite both modules each time new patches came out and do it for all versions of PHP-Nuke. So thats when I married the two modules together. One single module, half the work. I forgot bbtonuke upgrades so I have to do those as well.

I would love it if the functionality afforded by Approve_Membership was included as standard in PHP-Nuke. It should be! Approve_Membership, and of course CNBYA as well, fill a very frequent requirement of users. If they would incorporate the functionality into core releases, I would shut down my site and hang up my boots at a moments notice and sleep soundly.

The way Approve_Membership is coded is not the best way to solve the problem, I admit. It was what I came up with on my ownsome at the time. It works, so I have stuck with it because I have neither the time nor the energy to undertake a complete remodelling.

I have been recommending, when asked, that people use Raven's distro of PHP-Nuke for some time now. I decided just this past week that I will make available a version of Approve_Membership available which can be used with Ravens distro. If I am gonna recommend it, I better put my money where my mouth is I suppose.

How we convince FB to add what seems to be basic functionality to PHP-Nuke is anybody's guess. If he cannot be persuaded to fix errors that have existed in Nuke for years, will he include basic functionality? I wouldnt hold my breath waiting.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:15 pm Reply with quote

Thank you for the post Ken, it is very enlightening. As you know, the latest release of Ravennuke (2.10) is due out soon (only Raven can quantify "soon") but days or weeks would be my guess rather than months. That would be a good target to aim at in terms of incorporating an AM module. How the AM module is built and whether it can built so that there is not a lot of interaction with BBtonuke 22 when that inevitably comes out is another issue. Also whether AM or some or all of CNBYA should be incorporated into the successor to RN 2.10 is another issue. The decisions on both of theses issues are subject to discussion and ultimately, as the military officers say: "above my grade level".

For the immediate present I think those who are looking for a short term hack would be best to turn to Codyg's post and hold tight until 2.10 is out and some further direction can be given. As for FB, I have put that aside as an option. I really don't care what he does with 8.0 or whatever follows that nor do I have any hope that he could reliably include any new functions like what we are talking about here.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:47 am Reply with quote

Ken, good to see you here again as well and thank you for responding to this thread! I love the idea of having a RN-compatible AM module. I have used this in the past for a few years on several sites, but I have been hesitant to apply the hack. I have been wanting to get my sites to the new 2.10 release first because of all the bug fixes, integrated FCK editor, XHTML/HTML compliance fixes (no where near done), and speed improvements. After that I was going to consider installing this again. CNBYA 5.0 functionality is what I really want on one site, but who knows when / if that will ever be released.

Maybe a simple method of approving user registrations and collecting additional information for the users is just what a base PHP-Nuke distro needs (like RavenNuke). So, if you are serious about this...

Raven is not autocratic. He appreciates community input and community collaboration. In fact, without all of us (and I mean the entire community), he would have shut down this site long back I think. Also, RavenNuke was "born" from community input, so, he might be ameniable to it, but I would say that all altering of core nuke tables would have to be removed. If all we're talking, then, is replacement of files, this could work really well.

This would get my personal vote.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:32 am Reply with quote

Removing the data for custom fields from the nuke_users table and placing them in a separate table referenced by the user's idnum is no great problem.

My difficuty has always been with the Forums profile and the Members List and the use of templates. At present my code simply throws the appropriate code for an active field onto the page via a place holder in the template {CUSTOM1}. If the place holder is empty (an inactive field), then nothing gets thrown onto the page. If the field is active, then the place holder has something in it and the html for the field gets thrown onto the page. BUT the html templates for each theme are different. To get round that I have if statements for loads of themes. So if theme is DAJ_Glass, give the place holder the DAJ_Glass html else if theme is fisubice, give the place holder the fisubice html and so on. This means that if someone installs a theme which isnt covered in my code, then I have to make a patch for that theme in order for the correct html to be thrown for that theme.

There must be a better way and, if someone who understands templates better than me can figure it out, then the rest is easy. Except that it would probably need cooperation from theme writers to include the placeholders for the Custom fields in their theme templates. I can really see that happening. My method is also very invasive of bbtonuke code which makes updating problematic although not overly difficult.

My code is freely available, I would welcome anyone's efforts to pick it apart and improve or completely change it. I have always believed that the worst person to test/improve some code, is the person who wrote it. We all believe that our own baby is beautiful and find difficulty in seeing its faults
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:01 pm Reply with quote

Hi Ken, thanks for the time in contributing to the thread.
When you talk about placeholders for html to be thrown to the page depending on the theme used, just to clarify in my own small brain;
I assume the placeholders would be there (or a list of edits required to put them there) in the default forum template (subSilver) so would I be right in thinking the placeholder issue only pertains the nuke themes that use their own forum files?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:23 pm Reply with quote

Yes thats right. Many themes default to the subSilver templates and any placeholders can be included in there as standard (I include those as standard in AM). As you say, the problem comes when a theme has its own forum directory complete with its own set of .tpl files.

Referring to my earlier remarks about there must be a better way. It must be via a switch in the template eg (from profile_add_body.tpl):
   <!-- BEGIN switch_confirm -->

      <td class="row1" colspan="2" align="center"><span class="gensmall">{L_CONFIRM_CODE_IMPAIRED}</span><br /><br />{CONFIRM_IMG}<br /><br /></td>
     <td class="row1"><span class="gen">{L_CONFIRM_CODE}: * </span><br /><span class="gensmall">{L_CONFIRM_CODE_EXPLAIN}</span></td>
     <td class="row2"><input type="text" class="post" style="width: 200px" name="confirm_code" size="6" maxlength="6" value="" /></td>
   <!-- END switch_confirm -->

Now none of that html appears on the page unless visual confirmation has been enabled in the Forum configuration. Similar switches could be used for custom fields. If the field is enabled, it appears on the page. If it isnt, then it wouldnt. If it was done that way, and custom fields were standard in PHP-Nuke, then the onus could be thrown back onto theme writers to include those switches in their theme templates. They aint gonna do it for me, but may be persuaded to do it for Raven's distro. Even so, it would only matter for themes not using the subSilver templates. Those switches could be incorporated in the subSilver templates as standard.

I just checked in Nuke 8.0 and that switch is not included in profile_add_body.tpl....but it is included in Chatservs 3.2 patches for nuke 7.9. But the principle still applies.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:53 pm Reply with quote

Could Approve Membership, without Add Fields, work with the current table structure?

Would not having Add Fields eliminate most, if not all of the interaction with other modules, especially Forums? And also many of the edits that are required for YA to display the potential added fields? And also the need to edit themes?

I'm just wondering if, strategically, we could slipstream a very lightweight Approve Membership module in the wake of RN 2.10 while we investigate the long term feasibility of integrating CNBYA into RN.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:26 am Reply with quote

Yes a version of A_M without the extra fields could be incorporated quite easily. The only core file modifications would then be to the Your_Account module. Using this would mean that no mods would be needed to any Forum files or templates or Members List. With this version could come the three basic choices

1. Admin Approval on

2 Admin Approval off but with a no mail hack included

3 Normal registration.

I only included Add_Fields in Approve_Membership to save myself work. Essentially they are two separate things except that they both need modifications to Your_Account.

The Approval part works by placing applications into a separate pendingusers table instead of nuke_users temp. If admins approve the applicant, they either go in nuke_users_temp and the activation email is sent or they go directly into the nuke_users table and a simple notification mail is sent (which causes no great hardship if it isnt received) and the users account is activated immediately.

No modifications to existing core database tables would be needed.

Other features are included if Admin Approval is on. For example, pre approving an email domain (universities, colleges, and businesses like this) where all potential approved applicants have email addresses from the same email domain. Applicants using email addresses from the approved domain are registered as normal and only stray registrants from other email domains have to be approved.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:42 pm Reply with quote

Again, this sure would get my vote. Of course, problem is, you have some other hacks out there for YA and have folks asking "where do I find this code", but we are already get that due to the differences in patches. So, why not! Wink

Of course, Raven would have to give the final "ok". He may decide to take it up for community vote or at least ask for more specific debate on this.

P.S. I will say, however, that the full-featuredness of the promised 5.0 CNBYA is sure enticing...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:59 pm Reply with quote

CNB YA 5.0 is definitely promising, and pretty close to release, from my admittedly-limited testing. I haven't looked closely at Approve Membership, so I can't comment on that.

As was the case with NukeSentinel and other security tools, competing "products" will evolve over time - usually for the better. Some may disappear, others may combine, and still others may appear. We just wish that evolution took weeks instead of years...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:27 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for the response Ken. I don't see any contradiction between having CNBYA as a comprehensive solution and a lightweight AM as a piecemeal (not meant in a derogatory way) solution for those who want it. I'm on the opposite side from Kguske in that I've used AM previously but have never looked at CNBYA.

I don't know if we can have "officially supported hacks" for RN but if so then I'd lobby to get a lightweight AM included. I think we'd want to look carefully at how it is implemented so that it can be turned on and off with minimal impact on the code base. For instance, have the YA code look to see if the AM module is_active and if so include AM code and if not bypass it. That way you might not have to modify the YA code just to turn on or off AM.

I suspect there will be a lot more discussion of our options here once 2.10 is out the door and the initial round of support questions settle down a bit.
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