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miniBB / Complete User and Administration Guide

Version 2.0 RC3 June 04, 2005.
Copyright (c) 2001-2005 miniBB.net
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

  • Forums-wide user options
    1. Users hierarchy
    2. User's registration
    3. User's login
    4. User's language
    5. New topics and replies
    6. Editing preferences
    7. Changing user password
    8. Forgotten password
    9. Forums search panel

    Forums-wide user options

    Users hierarchy

    There is "liberal" users hierarchy in miniBB. Topics can be made both by anonymous users and registered users. Let's see what happens.

    • Anonymous users. If you are lazy, or do not register for some reasons, you can make anonymous post, even under your usual nick, if it's not taken by another already. Simply type your username in "Login" field without password, and make a post under this name. If you leave both fields blank, your name automatically will be "Anonymous" (it depends on forums language setup even). However, if you will enter the nick which corresponds to any registered user you won't be able to post. This feature is only available, if forum's administrator has not set the forums for registered users. Notice that Administrator may disable some anonymous nicknames for using - in that case, your nickname will be posted as default "Anonymous".
    • Registered users. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND all users to register - in any way, will you visit this forum often or not. Why? First, no one else will take your "unique" username/nick, and anonymous users will not be able to post messages under your nick. Second, if you will post some messages under your nick, and register it later, it is NOT POSSIBLE to edit these "anonymous messages" anymore. And finally, any registered user can take your "anonymous" or not registered nick simply by filling registration form.

    User info is displayed on the separate page. On the threads page, you'll find only user's nick and, if this user is registered, a "member" beneath. Clicking on it, you'll get all possible info about user, which either is specified/allowed or not (see below). NOTE: by clicking on user's nickname, you "quote" his nickname in the reply form!

    User's login

    Users must have cookies enabled in the browser. Cookie passwords are saved in encrypted format. User login form is located on every topics or threads page, as well as on the first page. On the topic or thread pages, you are able just to log-in without posting any text. You need to type your login and password correctly.

    Depending on forums setup, user login can expire in different time. Usually it expires within 1-2 hours, but administator can also make more longer expire (especially on international forums). Cookies renew mechanism also allows users to stay logged during longer periods of time - until the browser is closed. Anyway, we recommend to do logout before you are leaving forums.

    Anonymous users also receive cookie that goes from one page to another. Enjoy comfort!

    User's language

    Registered users can change their board's interface language in their profile, choosing from dropdown list. However, administrator of multilanguage board also can set some links for anonymous users, so they will be able to view the board on desired language. For this, you need to put the link containing variable "setlang" and the value corresponding to the language file name. Example: http://.......index.php?setlang=rus will display board in Russian; however this setting will not affect logged-in user.

    Language change is working only in forums interface. Email notifications are sent to user on default forums language.

    User's registration

    For registering, just click on "Registration" menu and fill in the form.

    Necessary fields are:

    • LOGIN: your username, must be unique - if a user with the identical login already exists, you won't be able to register. Login must contain only symbol combination defined by admin. Usually, we recommend to use only A-Z letters, digits and maybe "_" sign. But, if admin defines more symbols, you can also use them. There is only one possibility to view defined symbols - to make a mistype in username. Then you will see them in error message. Anyway, don't choose "exotic" usernames - at least, it is stupid. You can use a name with length from 3 to 40 symbols.
    • PASSWORD: your password for BB. Must contain only A-Z letters, digits and "_" sign (no spaces!). You can use password with length from 5 to 32 symbols. Why exactly 32? We don't know ;) If seriously, try to use not more than 10 symbols.
    • PASSWORD ONCE AGAIN: this must be the same symbol combination, as the "PASSWORD". This is just for checking - have you entered password correctly, or not. Pay attention: all passwords are saved in encoded way. There is no possibility to view user password even by admin! Despite you can anyway receive new password via email, but it will be different from your orignal one (randomly generated).
    • EMAIL: your email. Must be also unique (no 2 users with the same email are possible). Email is checked by simple regular expression for avoiding "stupid" emails. If you can't register some email, please report to admin, or at least, miniBB team. Even we have checked this combination in many cases, there are some "exotic" emails that can not be validated with our function. But this is a rare thing.

    Depending on what option current forum has, you can be registered just after filling the form, and can login to forums straight forward after it. Otherwise, if administrator has set avoiding of open registration, you'll need to check for the password your email first. When open registrations are forbidden, your password will be generated by the system, that's why you need to enter the correct email-address.

    New topics and replies

    New topic form is placed at the bottom of each topics listing page. You need to type topic's title ("New topic") and body ("Message"). At least, "New topic" field must be filled in. If you write in it and don't write in "Message", message will be automatically equal to topic's title.

    New post form is located at the bottom of each threads page.

    Note: if the anti-spam protection is enabled (usually it is), you can make posts and topics only once-per-defined-time. Usually, this time is 1-2 minutes - and it means, you can make posts not often than 1 per 1-2 minutes as well.

    Note 2: before making a post, make sure you have corresponding ENCODING for this. F.e., if you have to make post on non-english language, let's say, chinese, be sure your browser encoding is set to it. To do it:

    • In Internet Explorer, click the right mouse button on the screen, choose "Encoding", and then set it;
    • In Netscape Navigator/Opera, choose menu's "View" -> "Character Set (Encoding)" and then set it.

    Note 3: text breaks (newlines+carriage returns) are automatically converted to "physical" breaks.

    Note 4: don't use a lot of apostrophes, quotes and specific tags in your messages. Actually, they are converted to "real" HTML-tags like "'" (apostrophe), "&" (& sign) etc. As you see, HTML special char takes at least 4 times more space than usual symbol. So, if topic's title limitation is set, let's say, to 70 symbols by administrator, your sentence can contain maximum 17 special symbols. Practical example: your topic is "Quick brown fox jumps over lazy dog's ears & nose" (49 symbols). Actual title is converted to: "Quick brown fox jumps over lazy dog's ears & nose" (58 symbols). If the limitation would be 50 symbols, the sentence would be cutted to "Quick brown fox jumps over lazy dog's ears" (minus "nose" minus 5 special-symbols).

    Email notifications

    Email notifications can be enabled or disabled by forums admin. Usually, on large forums they are disabled. If enabled, every user who makes a post, can subscribe to them. Alternatively, there us also a way to make notifications available without posting some text. Notifications are sent to user's email when someone replies to the topic after this user. Users can subscribe to notifications even if they are not topic authors. Users can also unsubscribe from notifications. For that, got to the desired topic and find "Unsubscribe" link instead of notifications checkbox, and just click on it.

    Note: notifications are sent on default board's language, even if user has choosed another available language.

    Automatic links highlighting

    If you are using links like http://www.minibb.net (beginning with "http://", "https://", "ftp://", "www" or "mailto:"), they are automatically converted to "real" links. But, when checking "Disable" box, links ARE NOT automatically highlighted, both as BB-codes (see below).

    BB Codes

    In miniBB, there is no possibility to include HTML in topics or posts. They can contain only "BB-codes" - special HTML-code replacements, that "emulate" HTML code. Since HTML is not supported in our board, most popular BB-codes are good alternative when posting new message or topic. Currently, miniBB supports following codes:

    • [url=SOMEURL]SOMETEXT[/url] where SOMEURL is URL like http://www.minibb.net, SOMETEXT is alternate text to URL. DON'T USE QUOTATION MARKS OR APOSTROPHES INSIDE THIS TAG. In a post, these tags are replaced like following: <a href='SOMEURL'>SOMETEXT</a>.
    • [img(left|right)]http://www.someserver.com/images/image.gif[/img] where http://www.someserver.com/images/image.gif is exact URL for an image file (.JPG or .GIF). Alternatively, you can use "left" and "right" tags (without trailing space!) followed exact after "img". They place image left or right on the page, in the same way like HTML does. Usually, only [img] tag is used, but in systems like "forum news" you can also use left/right aligns. This tag is replaced with: <img src='http://www.someserver.com/images/image.gif' border='0' align='left OR right OR nothing' alt=''>. (Example: [imgleft]http://www.someserver.com/images/image.gif[/img]) Note: because of hack protection, you can include images only from http:// servers, also as with only extensions like .gif or .jpg.
    • [b]Bold[/b] where "Bold" is the text you want to markup as in a "bold" style. Example: [b]Attention[/b] produces Attention.
    • [i]Italic[/i] where "Italic" is the text you want to markup as in an "italic" style. Example: [i]I apologize[/i] produces I apologize.
    • [u]Underlined[/u] where "Underlined" is the text you want to markup as in an "underlined" style. Example: [u]Don't write me an email[/u] produces Don't write me an email.

    Note that the case of BB codes doesn't matter. You can type "[URL]" or "[uRL]" or whatever. Only opening and closing tags ([urL]...[/uRL]) are important, also tags CAN NOT CONTAIN SPACES!

    There is no necessary to know exactly what do you need to type for corresponding tag. Each template message form contains JavaScript buttons that helps you to insert these tags into your post.

    Both anonymous and registered users can use BB-codes, but also you can DISABLE BB-code in your post, checking "Disable" flag. Usually this is not necessary, because BB-codes allow posts be more organized and good-looking messages. But if you need to post something using not BB-code, but actual info containing BB-code, it is useful. For avoiding BB-codes, you can also put spaces inside them.

    It is possible to combine tags with each other, f.e., to make "bold+italic" or "bold link". But be careful again with opening and closing tags correspondly. Example:


    'This General Public License [b]does not permit[/b] incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General Public License instead of this License.

    Return to [url=http://www.fsf.org/home.html]GNU's home page[/url].

    FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to gnu AT gnu.org. Other ways to [b][url=http://www.fsf.org/home.html#ContactInfo]contact the FSF[/url][/b].

    Comments on these web pages to webmasters AT gnu.org.

    [b][u]Copyright notice above[/u][/b].

    [i]Free Software Foundation, Inc[/i]., [i][u]59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA[/u][/i]'


    produces:

    'This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General Public License instead of this License.

    Return to GNUs home page.

    FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to gnu AT gnu.org. Other ways to contact the FSF.

    Comments on these web pages to webmasters AT gnu.org.

    Copyright notice above.

    Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA'


    If you need to post 100% "tagged" URL, it is better to do it with tags, since automatic replacements can't work in some cases. F.e., the following example will not work: [b]http://www.minibb.net[/b]. It is only "bolded", but not "highlighted". For bolding url links, use [url] tag.

    Note: you can use tags also for multi-line text. Example:

    [b]Text1

    Text2[/b]

    (text contains two paragraphs) produces:

    Text1

    Text2

    Users also can use any HTML decimal codes in their messages. This is done mostly for international forums, when user's encoding is set to different language, in which he posts a message. You can use any code beginning from "&#" and ending with ";". For example, it is useful for displaying both BB-codes with their interpretators. This:

    [b]Use bold[/b]: &#91;b]Use bold&#91;/b]
    

    will produce: Use bold [b]Use bold[/b]

    Note that decimal codes are not replaced back, when you edit your message. They are displaying like they are.

    Editing preferences

    For editing user preferences, you need to log in and go to the "preferences" appearing in menu. You can type new data for your account, except login, that can not be changed. If you don't want to change your password leave the password field and go next to the fields you want to edit, you don't need to write your password once more, 'cause are already logged. Then done just press submission button below.

    This action works exactly like registration: you need to type grammatically correct data. Thus, you can not change your email to the one of someone who already registered (incl. admin's email ;) ). Updating preferences, you don't need to enter password, if you don't want to change it. Just leave these fields blank.

    Two exceptions:

    • Show email public?: that option allows (or not) other users to view your email in user info. It does not affect emailing notifications etc.
    • Sort topics by: that option switches sorting filter. On topics and last discussions pages, you can view topic names sorted by new topics or new posts. This is one of the points of why to register: logging into the forums, you can quickly view, what's new. This option is saved on all pages, since anonymous users will need to click on "sort" every time.

    Changing user password

    Login, go to the preferences, type new password 2 times in "password" fields. Your password will be updated to the new one.

    Note: after changing password your old password will not be valid, and you will need to re-login on the login page. If you will edit more settings, you'll get the message "not allowed" or something similar.

    Changing forgotten password

    miniBB passwords are encrypted using MD5 algorithm. You can decode MD5-hash only with special hacker tools, using forces or dictionaries; it is impossible to decode it in "easy way". As longer password you have, as it more difficult to encode it. If you have forgotten your password, PHP-script can't restore it anymore, but instead, it generates new random password.

    Follow these steps to receive new password:

    • Click on "HESLO" links near login form;
    • Enter an email you've mentioned in the registration form;
    • If your email is correct (we hope, yes :) you will receive further instructions via email;
    • Follow link described in email and confirm your password;
    • Only(!) after confirmation, your password will be changed. You will be able to change it to something "human" in "preferences".

    Forums search panel

    You can quickly search forums for keywords. Search panel is placed under the "Search" link in menu. You can search text in topics and posts, in topics only, in poster names, in specified forums, by all words, any words or the whole phrase. Search results are sorted by post time in descending order (new posts are shown first).

    Also remember that search phrase length can`t be more than 100 symbols. Also minimum length of any word is 3 in "Any words" type of search and at least one word must be more than 2 symbols in any other type of search. This was made to protect your server in case, if somebody will try to attack it with lots of simple search queries, like, for example, searching letter "a" in all posts and topics, which will lead a large number of search results to be returned by database server, thus it can become overloaded.

    There is also more complicated search. You can choose "match whole words" option which actually means you will search only WHOLE words (if you type "nick", the sentences containing "nick" will be found, but not such words as "nickname" or "snickers"). Also, you can search within defined period of days, when posts were made. If you want to expand your search, it is always better to set this to big amount, f.e., of 365 (1 year) days. Note that searching for username is NOT affected by this "search-within-days" option.

    Search within specified forums is also available. You can either search in all forums or choose a forum you want to search in.