A step by step HowTo for converting a phpBB 3.0 Modification into a phpBB 3.1 Extension, using the "NV Newspage" as an Example.
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README.md

How to convert a phpBB 3.0 MOD into a phpBB 3.1 Extension

This guide should give a quick overview of the needed tasks to MOD-Authors for converting a phpBB 3.0 MOD to a phpBB 3.1 Extension, using NV Newspage as an example.

Table of Contents

Extension Structure

The most obvious change should be the location the MODs/Extensions are stored in 3.1. In phpBB 3.0 all files were put into the core's root folder. In version 3.1 a special directory for Extensions has been created. It's called ext/.

Directory

Each extension has its own directory. However, you can (and should) also use an additional vendor directory (with your author name or author-group name). In case of my newspage the files will be in

phpBB/ext/nickvergessen/newspage/

There should not be a need to have files located outside of that direcotiry. No matter which files, may it be styles, language or ACP module files. All of them will be moved into your extension's directory.

        new directory           | current directory
        ------------------------+----------------
.../newspage/                   |
        acp/                    | phpBB/includes/acp/
                                | phpBB/includes/acp/info/
        adm/style/              | phpBB/adm/style/
        config/                 |   ---
        controller/             |   ---
        event/                  |   ---
        language/               | phpBB/language/
        migrations/             |   ---
        styles/                 | phpBB/styles/

Newly added, additional directories have already been listed. Their use will be explained in the following paragraphs.

Important new files

There is a new file, your extension needs, in order to be recognized by the system. It's called composer.json: it specifies the requirements of your extension aswell as some author information. The layout is a simple json array, the keys should really explain enough. Note: you must not change the type element. In the require section you can also specify other extensions which are required in order to install this one. (Validation for this is not yet implemented, but will be in 3.1.0)

{
    "name": "nickvergessen/newspage",
    "type": "phpbb-extension",
    "description": "Adds a extra-page to the board where a switchable number of news are displayed. The text can be shorten to a certain number of chars. Also the Icons can be switched of (post icons, user icons)",
    "homepage": "https://github.com/nickvergessen/phpbb3-mod-newspage",
    "version": "1.1.0",
    "time": "2013-03-16",
    "license": "GPL-2.0",
    "authors": [
        {
            "name": "Joas Schilling",
            "email": "nickvergessen@gmx.de",
            "homepage": "http://www.flying-bits.org",
            "role": "Lead Developer"
        }
    ],
    "require": {
        "php": ">=5.3.3"
    },
    "extra": {
        "display-name": "phpBB 3.1 NV Newspage Extension",
        "soft-require": {
            "phpbb/phpbb": ">=3.1.0-RC2,<3.2.*@dev"
        }
    }
}

The second new file is called ext.php. It can be used to extend the functionality while install/uninstalling your extension:

<?php

// this file is not really needed, when empty it can be ommitted
// however you can override the default methods and add custom
// installation logic

namespace nickvergessen\newspage;

class ext extends \phpbb\extension\base
{
}

Front-facing files, routes and services

While in 3.0 you just created a new file in the root directory of phpBB, you might want to use the new controller system of 3.1 in future. Your links change from something like phpBB/newspage.php to phpBB/app.php/newspage in first place, but with a little htaccess rule this can be rewritten to phpBB/newspage

In order to link a specific routing rule to your extension, you need to define the route in your extension's config/routing.yml

For the easy start of the newspage, 2 rules are enough. The first rule is for the basic page currently newspage.php, the second one is for the pagination, like newspage.php?start=5. The first rule sets a default page (1), while the second rule requires a second part of the url to be an integer.

newspage_base_controller:
    pattern: /newspage
    defaults: { _controller: nickvergessen.newspage.controller:base, page: 1 }

newspage_page_controller:
    pattern: /newspage/{page}
    defaults: { _controller: nickvergessen.newspage.controller:base }
    requirements:
        page:  \d+

The string we define for _controller defines a service (nickvergessen.newspage.controller) and a method (base) of the class which is then called. Services are defined in your extensions config/services.yml. Services are instances of classes. Services are used, so there is only one instance of the class which is used all the time. You can also define the arguments for the constructor of your class. The example definition of the newspage controller service would be something similar to:

services:
    nickvergessen.newspage.controller:
        class: nickvergessen\newspage\controller\main
        arguments:
            - @auth
            - @cache
            - @config
            - @dbal.conn
            - @request
            - @template
            - @user
            - @controller.helper
            - %core.root_path%
            - %core.php_ext%

Any service that is previously defined in your file, or in the file of the phpBB core phpBB/config/services.yml, can also be used as an argument, aswell as some predefined string (like core.root_path here).

NOTE: The classes from phpBB/ext/ are automatically loaded by their namespace and class names, whereby backslash ( \ ) represent directories. In this case the class nickvergessen\newspage\controller\main would be located in phpBB/ext/nickvergessen/newspage/controller/main.php

For more explanations about Routing and Services see the Symfony 2.1 Documentation.

In this example my controller/main.php would look like the following:

<?php

/**
*
* @package NV Newspage Extension
* @copyright (c) 2013 nickvergessen
* @license http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.php GNU General Public License v2
*
*/

namespace nickvergessen\newspage\controller;

class main
{
    /**
    * Constructor
    * NOTE: The parameters of this method must match in order and type with
    * the dependencies defined in the services.yml file for this service.
    *
    * @param \phpbb\config  $config     Config object
    * @param \phpbb\template    $template   Template object
    * @param \phpbb\user    $user       User object
    * @param \phpbb\controller\helper       $helper             Controller helper object
    * @param string         $root_path  phpBB root path
    * @param string         $php_ext    phpEx
    */
    public function __construct(\phpbb\config\config $config, \phpbb\template\template $template, \phpbb\user $user, \phpbb\controller\helper $helper, $root_path, $php_ext)
    {
        $this->config = $config;
        $this->template = $template;
        $this->user = $user;
        $this->helper = $helper;
        $this->root_path = $root_path;
        $this->php_ext = $php_ext;
    }

    /**
    * Base controller to be accessed with the URL /newspage/{page}
    * (where {page} is the placeholder for a value)
    *
    * @param int    $page   Page number taken from the URL
    * @return Symfony\Component\HttpFoundation\Response A Symfony Response object
    */
    public function base($page = 1)
    {
        /*
        * Do some magic here,
        * load your data and send it to the template.
        */          

        /*
        * The render method takes up to three other arguments
        * @param    string      Name of the template file to display
        *                       Template files are searched for two places:
        *                       - phpBB/styles/<style_name>/template/
        *                       - phpBB/ext/<all_active_extensions>/styles/<style_name>/template/
        * @param    string      Page title
        * @param    int         Status code of the page (200 - OK [ default ], 403 - Unauthorized, 404 - Page not found, etc.)
        */
        return $this->helper->render('newspage_body.html');
    }
}

Note: The consecution of arguments in services.yml should match the consecution of arguments passed to the class constructor public function __construct(). Otherwise, error will be thrown and the board will be broken if you try to enable the extension.

You can also have multiple different methods in one controller aswell as having multiple controllers, in order to organize your code a bit better.

If we now add the entry for our extension into the phpbb_ext table, and go to example.tld/app.php/newspage/ you can see your template file. Congratulations! You just finished the "Hello World" example for phpBB Extensions. ;)

ACP Modules

This section also applies to MCP and UCP modules.

As mentioned before these files are also moved into your extensions directory. The info-file, currently located in phpBB/includes/acp/info/acp_newspage.php, is going to be ext/nickvergessen/newspage/acp/main_info.php and the module itself is moved from phpBB/includes/acp/acp_newspage.php to ext/nickvergessen/newspage/acp/main_module.php. In order to be able to automatically load the files by their class names we need to make some little adjustments to the classes themselves.

As for the main_info.php I need to adjust the class name from acp_newspage_info to main_info and also change the value of 'filename' in the returned array.

<?php

/**
*
* @package NV Newspage Extension
* @copyright (c) 2013 nickvergessen
* @license http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.php GNU General Public License v2
*
*/

/**
* @ignore
*/
if (!defined('IN_PHPBB'))
{
    exit;
}

namespace nickvergessen\newspage\acp;

class main_info
{
    function module()
    {
        return array(
            'filename'  => '\nickvergessen\newspage\acp\main_module',
            'title'     => 'ACP_NEWSPAGE_TITLE',
            'version'   => '1.0.1',
            'modes'     => array(
                'config_newspage'   => array('title' => 'ACP_NEWSPAGE_CONFIG', 'auth' => 'acl_a_board', 'cat' => array('ACP_NEWSPAGE_TITLE')),
            ),
        );
    }
}

In case of the module, I just adjust the class name:

<?php

/**
*
* @package NV Newspage Extension
* @copyright (c) 2013 nickvergessen
* @license http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.php GNU General Public License v2
*
*/

/**
* @ignore
*/
if (!defined('IN_PHPBB'))
{
    exit;
}

namespace nickvergessen\newspage\acp;

class main_module
{
    var $u_action;

    function main($id, $mode)
    {
        // Your magic stuff here
    }
}

And there you go. Your Extensions ACP module can now be added through the ACP and you just finished another step of successfully converting a MOD into an Extension.

Database Changes, UMIL replaced by Migrations

Wiki/Migrations

Basically migrations to the same as your 3.0 UMIL files. It performs the database changes of your MOD/Extension. The biggest difference between migrations and UMIL hereby is, that while you had one file with one array in UMIL for all your changes, you have one file per version in Migrations. But let's have a look at the newspage again.

$versions = array(
    '1.0.0' => array(
        'config_add' => array(
            array('news_number', 5),
            array('news_forums', '0'),
            array('news_char_limit', 500),
            array('news_user_info', 1),
            array('news_post_buttons', 1),
        ),
        'module_add' => array(
            array('acp', 'ACP_CAT_DOT_MODS', 'NEWS'),

            array('acp', 'NEWS', array(
                    'module_basename'   => 'newspage',
                    'module_langname'   => 'NEWS_CONFIG',
                    'module_mode'       => 'overview',
                    'module_auth'       => 'acl_a_board',
                ),
            ),
        ),
    ),
    '1.0.1' => array(
        'config_add' => array(
            array('news_pages', 1),
        ),
    ),
    '1.0.2' => array(),
    '1.0.3' => array(
        'config_add' => array(
            array('news_attach_show', 1),
            array('news_cat_show', 1),
            array('news_archive_per_year', 1),
        ),
    ),
);

Schema Changes

The newspage does not have any database schema changes, so I will use the Example from the Wiki. Basically you need to have two methods in your migration class file:

public function update_schema()

and

public function revert_schema()

whereby both methods return an array with the changes:

public function update_schema()
{
    return array(
        'add_columns'        => array(
            $this->table_prefix . 'groups'        => array(
                'group_teampage'    => array('UINT', 0, 'after' => 'group_legend'),
            ),
            $this->table_prefix . 'profile_fields'    => array(
                'field_show_on_pm'        => array('BOOL', 0),
            ),
        ),
        'change_columns'    => array(
            $this->table_prefix . 'groups'        => array(
                'group_legend'        => array('UINT', 0),
            ),
        ),
    );
}

public function revert_schema()
{
    return array(
        'drop_columns'        => array(
            $this->table_prefix . 'groups'        => array(
                'group_teampage',
            ),
            $this->table_prefix . 'profile_fields'    => array(
                'field_show_on_pm',
            ),
        ),
        'change_columns'    => array(
            $this->table_prefix . 'groups'        => array(
                'group_legend'        => array('BOOL', 0),
            ),
        ),
    );
}

The revert_schema() should thereby revert all changes made by the update_schema().

Data Changes

The data changes, like adding modules, permissions and configs, are provided with the update_data() function.

This function returns an array aswell. The example for the 1.0.0 version update from the newspage would look like the following:

public function update_data()
{
    return array(
        array('config.add', array('news_number', 5)),
        array('config.add', array('news_forums', '0')),
        array('config.add', array('news_char_limit', 500)),
        array('config.add', array('news_user_info', 1)),
        array('config.add', array('news_post_buttons', 1)),

        array('module.add', array(
            'acp',
            'ACP_CAT_DOT_MODS',
            'ACP_NEWSPAGE_TITLE'
        )),
        array('module.add', array(
            'acp',
            'ACP_NEWSPAGE_TITLE',
            array(
                'module_basename'   => '\nickvergessen\newspage\acp\main_module',
                'modes'             => array('config_newspage'),
            ),
        )),

        array('config.add', array('newspage_mod_version', '1.0.0')),
    );
}

More information about these data update tools can be found on the Wiki Migrations/Tools.

Dependencies and finishing up migrations

Now there are only two things left, your migration file needs. The first thing is a check, which allows phpbb to see whether the migration is already installed, although it did not run yet (f.e. when updating from a 3.0 MOD to a 3.1 Extension).

The easiest way for this to check, could be the version of the MOD, but when you add columns to tables, you can also check whether they exist:

public function effectively_installed()
{
    return isset($this->config['newspage_mod_version']) && version_compare($this->config['newspage_mod_version'], '1.0.0', '>=');
}

As the migration files can have almost any name, phpBB might be unable to sort your migration files correctly. To avoid this problem, you can define a set of dependencies which must be installed before your migration can be installed. phpBB will try to install them, before installing your migration. If they can not be found or installed, your installation will fail aswell. For the 1.0.0 migration I will only require the 3.1.0-a1 Migration:

static public function depends_on()
{
    return array('\phpbb\db\migration\data\v310\alpha1');
}

All further updates can now require this Migration and so also require the 3.1.0-a1 Migration.

A complete file could look like this:

<?php
/**
*
* @package migration
* @copyright (c) 2013 phpBB Group
* @license http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-license.php GNU Public License v2
*
*/

namespace nickvergessen\newspage\migrations\v10x;

class release_1_0_0 extends \phpbb\db\migration\migration
{
    public function effectively_installed()
    {
        return isset($this->config['newspage_mod_version']) && version_compare($this->config['newspage_mod_version'], '1.0.0', '>=');
    }

    static public function depends_on()
    {
        return array('phpbb_db_migration_data_310_dev');
    }

    public function update_data()
    {
        return array(
            array('config.add', array('news_number', 5)),
            array('config.add', array('news_forums', '0')),
            array('config.add', array('news_char_limit', 500)),
            array('config.add', array('news_user_info', 1)),
            array('config.add', array('news_post_buttons', 1)),

            array('module.add', array(
                'acp',
                'ACP_CAT_DOT_MODS',
                'ACP_NEWSPAGE_TITLE'
            )),
            array('module.add', array(
                'acp',
                'ACP_NEWSPAGE_TITLE',
                array(
                    'module_basename'   => '\nickvergessen\newspage\acp\main_module',
                    'modes'             => array('config_newspage'),
                ),
            )),

            array('config.add', array('newspage_mod_version', '1.0.0')),
        );
    }
}

Include extension's language files

As the language files in your extension are not detected by the $user->add_lang() any more, you need to use the $user->add_lang_ext() method. This method takes two arguments, the first one is the fullname of the extension (including the vendor) and the second one is the file name or array of file names. so in order to load my newspage language file I now call

$user->add_lang_ext('nickvergessen/newspage', 'newspage');

to load my language from phpBB/ext/nickvergessen/newspage/language/en/newspage.php

File edits - Better don't edit anything, just use Events and Listeners

As for the newspage Modification, the only thing that is now missing from completion is the link in the header section, so you can start browsing the newspage.

In order to do this, I used to define the template variable in the page_header()-function of phpBB and then edit the overall_header.html. But this is 3.1 so we don't like file edits anymore and added events instead. With events you can hook into several places and execute your code, without editing them.

php Events

So instead of adding

$template->assign_vars(array(
    'U_NEWSPAGE'    => append_sid($phpbb_root_path . 'app.' . $phpEx, 'controller=newspage/'),
));

to the page_header(), we put that into an event listener, which is then called, everytime page_header() itself is called.

So we add the event/main_listener.php file to our extension, which implements some Symfony class:

<?php

/**
*
* @package NV Newspage Extension
* @copyright (c) 2013 nickvergessen
* @license http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.php GNU General Public License v2
*
*/

/**
* @ignore
*/

if (!defined('IN_PHPBB'))
{
    exit;
}

namespace nickvergessen\newspage\event;

/**
* Event listener
*/
use Symfony\Component\EventDispatcher\EventSubscriberInterface;

class main_listener implements EventSubscriberInterface
{
    /**
    * Instead of using "global $user;" in the function, we use dependencies again.
    */
    public function __construct(\phpbb\controller\helper $helper, \phpbb\template\template $template, \phpbb\user $user)
    {
        $this->helper = $helper;
        $this->template = $template;
        $this->user = $user;
    }
}

In the getSubscribedEvents() method we tell the system for which events we want to get notified and which function should be executed in case it's called. In our case we want to subscribe to the core.page_header-Event (a full list of events can be found here ):

    static public function getSubscribedEvents()
    {
        return array(
            'core.user_setup'               => 'load_language_on_setup',
            'core.page_header'              => 'add_page_header_link',
        );
    }

Now we add the function which is then called:

    public function load_language_on_setup($event)
    {
        $lang_set_ext = $event['lang_set_ext'];
        $lang_set_ext[] = array(
            'ext_name' => 'nickvergessen/newspage',
            'lang_set' => 'newspage',
        );
        $event['lang_set_ext'] = $lang_set_ext;
    }

    public function add_page_header_link($event)
    {
        // I use a second language file here, so I only load the strings global which are required globally.
        // This includes the name of the link, aswell as the ACP module names.
        $this->user->add_lang_ext('nickvergessen/newspage', 'newspage_global');

        $this->template->assign_vars(array(
            'U_NEWSPAGE'    => $this->helper->route('newspage_base_controller'),
        ));
    }

As a last step we need to register the event listener to the system. This is done using the event.listener tag in the service.yml:

nickvergessen.newspage.listener:
    class: nickvergessen\newspage\event\main_listener
    arguments:
        - @controller.helper
        - @template
        - @user
    tags:
        - { name: event.listener }

After this is added, your listener gets called and we are done with the php-editing.

Your users will not get conflicts on searching for files blocks and other things because another MOD already edited the code. Again like with the controllers, you can have multiple listeners in the event/ directory, aswell as subscribe to multiple events with one listener.

Template Event

Now the only thing left is, adding the code to the html output. For templates you need one file per event.

The filename thereby includes the event name. In order to add the newspage link next to the FAQ link, we need to use the 'overall_header_navigation_prepend'-event (a full list of events can be found here ).

So we add the styles/prosilver/template/event/overall_header_navigation_prepend_listener.html to our extensions directory and add the html code into it.

<li class="icon-newspage"><a href="{U_NEWSPAGE}">{L_NEWSPAGE}</a></li>

And that's it. No file edits required for the template files aswell.

Adding Events

You can also add events to your extensions php and template code. If you miss an event from the core, please post a topic into the [3.x] Event Requests-Forum and we will include it for the next release. We try to include a huge bunch of events by default, but surely we can not cover every place your MODs need to be covered.

Basics finished!

And that's it, the 3.0 Modification was successfully converted into a 3.1 Extension.

Compatibility

In some cases the compatibility of functions and classes count not be kept, while increasing their power. You can see a list of things in the Wiki-Article about PhpBB3.1

Pagination

When you use your old 3.0 code you will receive an error like the following:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function generate_pagination() in ...\phpBB3\ext\nickvergessen\newspage\controller\main.php on line 534

The problem is, that the pagination is now not returned by the function anymore, but instead automatically put into the template. In the same step, the function name was updated with a phpbb-prefix.

The old pagination code was similar to:

    $pagination = generate_pagination(append_sid("{$phpbb_root_path}app.$phpEx", 'controller=newspage/'), $total_paginated, $config['news_number'], $start);

    $this->template->assign_vars(array(
        'PAGINATION'        => $pagination,
        'PAGE_NUMBER'       => on_page($total_paginated, $config['news_number'], $start),
        'TOTAL_NEWS'        => $this->user->lang('VIEW_TOPIC_POSTS', $total_paginated),
    ));

The new code should look like:

    $pagination = $phpbb_container->get('pagination');
    $pagination->generate_template_pagination(
        array(
            'routes' => array(
                'newspage_base_controller',
                'newspage_page_controller',
            ),
            'params' => array(),
        ), 'pagination', 'page', $total_paginated, $this->config['news_number'], $start);

    $this->template->assign_vars(array(
        'PAGE_NUMBER'       => $pagination->on_page($total_paginated, $this->config['news_number'], $start),
        'TOTAL_NEWS'        => $this->user->lang('VIEW_TOPIC_POSTS', $total_paginated),
    ));