DeeEmm

Pragmatism in code

Waxing lyrical about life the universe and everything software related since lunchtime 2006.

Dolphin - Remove 'unregister' Links

To disabled the un-register buttons on your site - go to admin > builders > navigation builder and un-check both member and guest check boxes from the unregister link. This will prevent it from being displayed in the top menu and the quick links menu.You will then need to also get rid of the link from the members menu too.To do this you will need to edit your database - look in the sys_menu_member table for the entry named Dashboard - Then you will need to edit the PopupMenu field - simply remove the following text, leaving the rest intact

    'unregister' => array(        'url'     => 'unregister.php',        'icon'    => 'memeber_menu_sub_unregister.png',        'caption' => _t( '_Unregister' ),    ),

Then delete all files in cache folder except for the .htaccess file.

Refresh and enjoy.

/DM

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FREE RMS Service

For those of you who have been using Dolphin for a while, you will remember that Boonex used to offer a free RMS hosting service for it's free licenses. This service has long since been discontinued, leaving users to either ensure that they find a combined Web / RMS hosting package, or look for a third party RMS host.

Smoge over at ModMySite, has recently introduced a free RMS hosting package on their own servers, for small low bandwidth sites. There are also a variety of paid packages that should support all sizes of sites from small to large.

ModMySite, are a long time Dolphin support site that has been around since the original days of AEDating, way back in 2003, so they certainly know their stuff.

If you're interested in ModMySites RMS services, click HERE

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FREE MODS

After a little deliberation I have decided to release my mods for free. I am currently holding back a few premium mods, which i will release when I get a bit of feedback from the first round of free releases.

All you need to do is give a positive review over at the Boonex marketplace, and / or post here in the forums.

I'm happy to give these for free to the community, but would appreciate a little bit of interaction in return.

Not too much to ask in my books.

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Dolphin - Flat comments mod updated

I've just updated the mod that converts all threaded comments into flat style comments. The original mod had an issue with the wall posts where it hid the reply button. This issue is now resolved. The mod can be downloaded from either the store here - or the Boonex marketplace.

There are also a few new Dolphin tutorials in the resources section:

How to add a youtube button to TinyMCEHow to remove / edit the Join button on the promo bannerHow to remove the checkboxes fron the keyword search pageHow to increase the size fo the test in the comments boxThese are simply recent posts that I've replied to over at the unity forums, but seeing as the search over there is non-functional, I've decided to also post them here. Don't forget to check back often, as I will add to these when I get time. /DM
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Add Youtube video button to TinyMCE

Not strictly a Dolphin modification, as it applies to TinyMCE in general, but I will outline it here for Dolphin 7. It's a pretty easy modification to do, just two files to edit.

The functionality for this is already in TinyMCE, but for some reason it is not enabled. I've tested this out on version 7.0.2 with no issues.

To enable YouTube /flash video button in the forums

Edit

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Dolphin - Remove big join button from promo

There are a few different ways of removing the join button from the promo banner. The method you use will vary depending on your requirements. You can even change the location that it navigates to.

Here's a few different methods.

 

Remove (hide) button via CSS

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Dolphin - Remove checkboxes from keyword search page

If, like me, you do not like the massive long list of checkboxes at the top of the keyword search page, removing them is pretty simple.

Edit the following file...

searchKeyword.php

At about line 97 look for the following text...

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Boonex Blogs Gone

Well, maybe the title is not strictly true, but for all intents and purposes, the user blogs over at Boonex Unity are now dead. Andrew Boon, in his infinite wisdom, has decided to remove the user blogs from displaying in the blog index, leaving this solely for Boonex team posts. Whilst there is (some) merit in this, from a commercial perspective, it leaves the user blogs with no index, and no way of knowing if there is a new post.

So whilst the blogs still exist, you now have to navigate to each blog individually, via each members user profile to view them. Needless to say, I cannot imagine anyone bothering to post any more.

It's ironic that the focus on the community at Boonex has always centered around their core philosophy of 'Unity', it seems that this is far from uniting people, in fact I woud go as far as to say that it has the opposite effect.

If I were to be blatantly honest, I think that it is Andrews way of dealing with opinions that do not agree with his. I am probably one of the contributing factors in this respect, as i have often made very pointed statements in the Blogs, but if you do not want people to have opinions, why have blogs in the first place? I guess that is what has now happened.

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Dolphin Maintenance Tools Module

We have just released a free module that allows you to easily enable / disable your website. This is a great help for performing maintenance tasks such as adding modifications or backing up.

The module is easily installed within the standard Dolphin module structure, and requires a small modification to one file to be able to utilise.

The module provides an easy place to edit a maintenance page that will be displayed in the browser to visitors when the site is disabled.

There are future plans to add additional features to the basic module, so if you have an idea for s setting that you feel should be included, just let me know.

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Increasing server memory limit

If you are experiencing memory issues with scripts, it may be necessary to increase the memory available to the script.

If you have access to your servers php.ini file, this is relatively straightforward -  simply increase the value of the memory_limit directive to 128M then restart apache. However, I'm guessing that if you're reading this post, looking for a solution to memory issues, then the last sentence probably made little sense, and chances are that you do not have access to your servers php.ini file - this is true for most shared servers.

If you do not have access, all is not lost - you can override the value in either a custom php.ini file, or via the htaccess file - the method needed depends on the following:

If PHP is compiled to run as a cgi script then you will need to use a custom php.ini, but if it is compiled to run as a module then you will need to use htaccess. (tip - you can view your servers php_info() to find out which one)

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Dolphin 7 - Increase text size in comments box

If you have the tinymce editor enabled for comments boxes, and you wish to increase the size of the text, then you will need to do the following.

To alter the size of the text in the comments area - if you have tinymce enabled for comments.

Edit /tinymce/themes/advanced/skins/default/content.css

look for the following element

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Dolphin 7.0.2 Released

The Boonex team have just released the not so long awaited 7.0.2 release. It seems that they have taken community comments about a shorter release cycle on board and trimmed down the releases to enable them to be released one a month. Got to admit, i was a little skeptical that they would pull it off, but its nice to be proven wrong. Lets hope that this is the shape of things to come.

The 7.0.2 release addresses a number of bugs and enhancements. It also removes the callbacks to the Boonex site to prevent the issues seen during the recent DDOS attacks, where many users were locked out of their admin panels.Probably the most important bug fixed is the bug that prevented profile fields from being updated, happily, this is now fixed.

i have already jumped in and upgraded my D7 site, and so far there are no issues.

/DM

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Dolphin Tag Converter

If like me, you used the migration tool to transfer your Dolphin 6 based site over to Dolphin 7, you will notice that there are some things that need a little tweaking. One of these things for me was the tags.

On D6 tags could use a space as a delimiter, but on Dolphin 7 the space is ignored, this is to allow multi word tags. What this effectively does is create massive long 'tag words' out of those tags that were entered without using a comma as a delimiter in D6.

The following code reads the tags and splits them up if more than one word is detected. it then deletes the original entry and creates a new entry for each word detected using the original data. Single word tags are ignored

$sql_query = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM `sys_tags`");

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Google Chrome for Mac

If, like me, you have been using the beta version of Google chrome for mac, you will be pleased to learn that Google have now released the final version. Chrome for mac is only available for intel based macs, OSX version 10.5 or later. Being a long time Firefox user, I've been noticing a slowdown in performance lately that has been causing a little frustration, especially when it comes to developing. A pet peeve of mine is having to wait for the browser to finish loading pages - it's simply lost time that i could put to better use.

Chrome is without doubt much faster than Firefox, with very impressive page load times, even with slower pages. With the addition of a few of my favourite tools available (FireBug and Web Developer), Chrome is possibly looking like a replacement for my long term love affair with Firefox. The only downside is that FireBug is only available as a Lite version - which means that there are some critical features missing (javascript tools), but for general day to day use, you could substitute other dedicated tools instead. Of course, it's also possible that an updated version of FireBug for the Crome platform might surface in the future, but this is probably just fanciful thinking, as there are no reports of this as yet.

Chrome also comes with a nice bookmarks migration tool to easily import bookmarks from your other browsers, and includes up to the minute support for HTML5 and the emergent new web technologies. Bundle this with a with a nice clean interface, and you have an improved web experience.

So, if you've yet to try it, or haven't updated form the beta, I recommend to give it a go.

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Boonex Dolphin Security Vulnerability

It seems like this week is a bit of a strange one so far. Not only is it National Cyber Security Awareness Week here in Australia, but first the Boonex site suffered a massive DDOS attack and then my own dolphin site suffered a similar fate. I believe that the two events are probably coincidental, as the attack on my site was not particularly well formed, and was easily defeated - most likely just some kiddie with a script. I managed to get the service that the attack was coming from terminated due to a violation of the providers TOS - they're probably in big trouble with mom and dad now. The attack on the Boonex site continued over the weekend, and there are still some services out of action.

I believe that the main source of the attack on my site was to take advantage of the exploit recently published on Boonex's site, and reported about here on DeeEmm.com in an earlier news article - http://www.deeemm.com/news/154-dolphin-7-security-vulnerability-exposed.html Whilst the noise about this issue seems to have been muted a little, after the attack on my site I am pretty convinced that the solution given by Boonex is no solution at all.

The main crux of the problem was claimed to be the DB_FULL_VISUAL_PROCESSING or DB_FULL_DEBUG_MODE settings, which caused the debug backtrace to be echoed directly to the browser in the event of a fault. Boonex's comments were simply that these were disabled by default and so the issue was a non-issue. This glaring oversight caused an obvious embarrassment to those who made the claims that the issue was with the DB_FULL_VISUAL_PROCESSING setting, this then caused them to promptly back off a little.

Whilst Boonex's solution has seemingly pacified the masses, it does not address the initial issue - that the debug back-trace is getting echoed to the browser in some error situations. The fact is that the issue has been reported by many, and until now no one had been sure of a definite cause, unfortunately the DB_FULL_VISUAL_PROCESSING setting was little more than a red herring, and whilst easily dismissed by Boonex, their solution does not actually fix the issue.

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National Cyber Security Awareness Week

This week is National Cyber Security Awareness Week here in Australia.

National Cyber Security Awareness Week is an annual initiative of the Australian Government held in partnership with industry, community and consumer groups and state and territory governments.

It is designed to raise awareness among Australians of cyber security risks and simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online.

National Cyber Security Awareness Week 2010 is from 6 to 11 June. It will promote six easy tips for better online security:

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Dolphin Orca Update

The Dolphin forum, or Orca, as it is known, was a parallel stand alone development that was integrated as a module into the Dolphin 7 release. This module is a massive improvement over the previous integration in Dolphin 6, and has provided an easier opportunity to improve it.

Many Dolphin users are unhappy with the features supplied with the standard forum module, often opting to replace it with other forums such as phpBB or IPB. This has mixed success, as often the integrations are simply iframe hacks, or miss out important aspects such as avatars or messaging. This is where Orca is already a step ahead. The integration is already completed, it is a core part of the Dolphin product, and so already has all of the needed variables and data available to it, to use in improving its features.

We have been working on an update to Orca, to add in the missing features that many complain about, these are usability features for both users and administrators alike, as well as the creation of a set of moderation tools.

The project is in it's very early stages, and only in Alpha release, but as it's based on a functional product, we already have a demo set up. This will be updated as the project progresses.

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Dolphin 7 Security Vulnerability Exposed

It would seem that this weekend has been an active time in the CMS community for security vulnerabilities, first Joomla issue a patch for a potential XSS issue, and now Boonex's Dolphin package has been raising some eyebrows with, an as yet unresolved security issue that exposes the database name, username and password, in plain text to the browser via a verbose error report. This report is triggered by any number of bugs, and could easily be used to compromise a website or server.

The security 'hole' had previously been reported and raised as an issue with the Dolphin developers, who's response was that it had been addressed. Amusingly this seems not to have been the case, with the latest attention being that the bug has now been witnessed on the Boonex admin test site, and the resulting full error report published. - http://www.boonex.com/unity/forums/topic/Hey-BoonEx-Notice-Something-.htm There is some further discussion in the blogs as well - Major Security Risk: Information and Temporary Solution

The community were quick to act, with a couple of suggested workarounds published on modmysite - http://www.modmysite.com/general-issues-comments-questions/10491-db_full_visual_processing.html#post39764 as well as on the Boonex site, but there has been no official response.

As of the time of this post, some three days after the original post, Boonex have still yet to comment, and there has been no official patch available to address the issue.

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Joomla 1.5.18 Released

XSS Vulnerability addressed.

Joomla 1.5.18 has recently been released and includes a security update to fix a core XSS vulnerability. All Joomla users are advised to upgrade. More details about the vulnerabilty can be found on Joomla's developers board HERE.  If you wish to stay abreast of the latest security announcements and updates for Joomla, you are advised to keep a check on the Joomla Developer Vulnerability News Feed.

 

More information on the 1.5.18 release, including the downloads can be found on the product release page - HERE

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Free Mods Released

It's been a very busy week here in the software office. Hot on the heels of the recent Flat Comments and Group Forum Posts Block mods, we have a further three - yes that's THREE!! new mods available in the store, plus a re-released oldie.

Whats more, three of the mods are free!

The first mod is a re-release of our Login redirect mod for Dolphin 6. Whilst this has been available for download over at Boonex.com, for some reason it was omitted from the store, so we added it in. You can download it HERE

Next up is Auto Friend on Join. This is another Dolphin 6 mod that has been updated to work with Dolphin 7. The Mod automatically adds a friend to the joining members profile - a bit like Tom on myspace. This mod differs a little as it will add select the friend it adds based on the gender of the joining member. It can be set  to add either a friend of the same sex, or opposite sex. Get it HERE

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