vb.net qr code library Using phpBB s Template System in Visual Basic .NET

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Using phpBB s Template System
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When writing hacks for phpBB, interfacing with the template engine is about as inevitable as death and taxes. While this chapter will not specifically detail the creation of templates (a 12 topic), your modifications will need to perform some operations to properly integrate with the templating engine. Therefore, you should have some idea of how the template engine works. When a phpBB page is started, all output is directed to an output buffer, which holds all output until the end of the page. At that point, the template engine dumps the buffer, and thus the page, into your web browser. In between, the programmer performs the various operations the page is to undertake, and writes all intended output to typical PHP variables. In most cases, when the main page s processing is finished, the page title variable is set, the page header file is included, and the page header processing is started. The page header then loads its specific template file, assigns its PHP output variables to special template variables, and parses the overall header to HTML. After returning control to the main page, the main page calls its template file, assigns its own PHP output variables to template variables, and tells the template engine to parse its template file into HTML. Finally, the page footer is included, and it is parsed into HTML. Shortly thereafter, the output buffer is dumped onto the screen, and you have a fully built phpBB forum page. The template engine uses a few public methods to permit programmers to work with templates. Table 11-4 list the most common ones.
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CHAPTER 11 MODIFYING PHPBB
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Table 11-4. Common Template Engine Methods
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phpBB Method
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assign_vars([array])
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Assigns an array of template variables for use in your page. These variables are, in turn, inserted in your templates and display content onscreen. Similar to assign_vars(), except this function is used in loops (such as in the Forum Index, View Topic, and View Forum pages, to name a few). Takes an array of filenames and associated identifiers that represent the files that make up the template. Parses the template file associated with the identifier that is passed in to HTML. This helps to produce the final output.
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assign_block_vars([array])
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set_filenames([array]) pparse($identifier)
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In developing your modifications, you will most likely be working with the assign_vars() and assign_block_vars() methods the most, as these create the necessary template variables for output. Listing 11-4 demonstrates how to assign template variables. Listing 11-4. Assigning Template Variables < php $one = "1"; $two = "2"; $three = "3"; . . . $template->assign_vars(array('UNO' => $one, 'DOS' => $two, 'TRES' => $three) ); > As you can see, Listing 11-4 defines three PHP variables and assigns them the template variable names UNO, DOS, and TRES, using PHP s in-line array definition. Now, you can write a template calling these variables, as shown in the snippet of template code in Listing 11-5. Listing 11-5. Using Template Variables <p>I am counting!<br /> {UNO}<br /> {DOS}<br /> {TRES}<br />
CHAPTER 11 MODIFYING PHPBB
Using the template code in Listing 11-5, the values 1, 2, and 3 will display accordingly. If you were to run Listing 11-5 through the template engine, it would look a little something like this: I can count! 1 2 3
Working with phpBB Sessions
phpBB provides several facilities for working with sessions. A lot of these facilities are automatically called during the script execution and rarely need manipulation. However, you may need to work with these functions if your modifications use custom pages. While browsing the phpBB code, you may have noticed the existence of an append_sid() function surrounding every hyperlink URI, like this: $foo_uri = "<a href=\"" . append_sid($phpbb_root_path . "index.php") . "\">"; If you ever code a hyperlink in the phpBB source code, this is a necessary evil. The append_sid() function, when used around a URI, adds a session ID to the end of that URI to facilitate a continuous session for users who elect not to accept cookies in their browser. Typically, this session ID an MD5 hash of a hashed version of the user s IP address is passed via cookies from page to page, not requiring the passing of a session ID between URIs. It is good practice to make sure append_sid() is used consistently whenever you create a new hyperlink, as forgetting to use this function can cause continuity issues with users who are logged in without cookies. If they click a link on your site that does not have the session ID built in, this can cause phpBB to generate a new session, which may result in problems with topic marking and other related functions.
Note The phpBB developers heard the call of its community, and they have dropped the append_sid()
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