HomePHP Page 6 - Talking The Talk (A phpBB Primer)
A Moderate Approach - PHP
Looking for a full-featured message board to add interactivity to your site, or to communicate with your customers or users? Look no further than phpBB, a robust, open-source PHP implementation that is both easy to use and simple to administer. This introductory tutorial discusses the process of installing, configuring and using phpBB, explaining how to create discussion forums, add users, assign moderators and administrators, and post and search for messages.
Next up, user creation. Continuing the example above, since the forums on the previous page were primarily intended for technical support, our customer requested us to create accounts for their five-member technical support department. Since these users would moderate the various forums, they would need appropriate moderator privileges, so as to allow them to maintain and administer their forums.
In phpBB, this is a two-step process: registering the users and then assigning them moderator privileges. The first part can be easily accomplished by haveing users register themselves through phpBB's user registration module, accessible via the main page of the application (in our example setup above, "http://medusa/phpBB2/").
Selecting the "Register" command brings up a user registration form, which each user has to complete to gain access to the forum (since I made the forums accessible to registered users only on the previous page).
Important elements of this form are the user name and password (obviously!), and a valid email address - phpBB uses this email address to send the user email notification of forum replies, and to resend new passwords if needed. The user may optionally provide other personal information, and set various profile options such as the timezone for messages and whether email notification and private messaging is enabled for the account (these options may also be altered later via the "Profile" link at the top of every application page).
Once the user's account has been activated, he or she may log into the system and begin using it to post messages in the various forums. Before we get to this, though, there is one additional step to perform with reference to the example above: assigning moderator privileges to the five tech support users. Therefore, once I received notification that the five tech support members had successfully registered, I logged back into the phpBB administration module and clicked my way into the "Permissions" component of the "User Admin" section.
This section allows you to select users and assign them moderator privileges on a per-forum basis. Moderators will then see an additional "Moderator Control Panel" for each forum when they log back into the board; this control panel allows them to delete offensive posts, move posts to other forums, split discussion threads and perform other, forum-level administrative tasks.
This "Permissions" component of the "User Admin" section is also the place to assign specific users administrative rights to the system. phpBB has two basic security levels, "user" and "administrator". As you may remember, when phpBB is first installed, it asks you to define an administrative user; this user is automatically assigned administrator-level access to the system. New users, as they register, are give user-level rights; however, you can alter this and give specific users administration-level rights at any time.