Frequently asked questions

Sweepr edited this page Jun 18, 2015 · 3 revisions

I only see two year old posts

Spotweb retrieves the oldest Spots' first. Just let retrieve.php running and after a while (depending on your internet connection speed, your usenet provider speed and your database speed) it will catchup and start showing recent spots.

I'm missing posts i see in other usenet indexers.

Spotweb is a Spotnet implementation in PHP. Spotnet only shows actual Spots - spots are manually created by humans which categorize them and provide an image and description for the spot. You cannot compare Spotweb with for example Newznab or other such systems as its a moderated and curated system with manual intervention.

This makes Spotweb slightly slower for new content but should most likely raise the bar on quality - depending on the Spotters.

Please post a small thanks and rate their spot when using a spot by one of the spotters to acknowledge their hard work.

I only see Dutch spots

SpotNet and its deratives (Spotweb is one of them) is an product which originated from the Netherlands. Most Dutch people do speak English though so a lot of the content is available in English. Feel free to add Spots yourself.

My Spotweb is in Dutch

Make sure you login. Go to "Configuratie" (top right of your screen), click on "Voorkeuren" and change the setting of "Welke taal moet Spotweb zich tonen?" to "English".

My Spotweb is in English

Make sure you login. Go to "Configuration" (top right of your screen), click on "Preferences" and change the setting of "In welke taal wordt Spotweb getoond" to "Nederlands".

I have upgraded Spotweb but now i get an error about needing to run "install.php"

Spotweb now uses an installer to correctly configure Spotweb, another step in deprecating the infamous ````ownsettings.php``` file.

There are two ways to fix this, first you can just run the wizard by opening the install.php using your webbrowser (http://localhost/install.php for example). However, this will overwrite your current settings and create a new user.

If you never liked or understood the user stuff in Spotweb, this is likely the best option as it will give you the option to remove all that.

Another way to fix this, is by creating an file called in the same directory as your Spotweb files. The file needs to contain the following information:

$dbsettings['engine'] = 'mysql';
$dbsettings['host'] = 'localhost';
$dbsettings['dbname'] = 'spotweb';
$dbsettings['user'] = 'spotweb';
$dbsettings['pass'] = 'spotweb';

This is not a copy and paste from your ownsettings.php!

How to configure a new kind of template / theme?

To enable a new template is a bit convoluted at the moment, but you need to do the following steps (example for 'Splendid' template)

  • Add the following to your ownsettings.php $settings['valid_templates'] = array('we1rdo' => 'we1rdo', 'splendid' => 'Mijn Template Display Naam');
  • Give people the permission to select the template:
  • . Log in with a user with administrative permissions
  • . Navigate to Config -> Users & Group management
  • . Click the tab 'Grouplist'
  • . Click on the +-sign to add a new groep. Give this group the name 'Access to Splendid Template' and add the group.
  • . Click the pencil-symbol for this new group -- its located in the column 'Permissoins'
  • . Select the permission 'Select own template'
  • . For 'objectid' you select the technical (direcotry) name of the template. Usually 'splendid'
  • . Add the permission and close the screen.
  • . Add users to this group
  • . Now you can select the template from within the users' preferences

I'm getting an error "Call to undefined function mysql_connect()"

Your PHP is not properly set up to use the MySQL PHP module. Usually you just need to install this module (please consult the PHP or your operating systems' documentation on how to do this) and restart Apache for this to be resolved.

On some NAS systems there are actually two seperate PHP versions installed - one with the MySQL module enabled and one without - using another PHP interpreter will fix your issue for these problems.

Will you implement posting of spots / comments / reporting of spam ?

This has been implemented. Please make sure you are logged on using and you are not using the built-in 'admin' account.

I do not have a "Retrieve new spots" button on the index

This has been implemented. Please make sure you are logged on using and you are not using the built-in 'admin' account.

I've changed some filters but now everything is wrong.

You can pass the '--reset-filters' command to upgrade-db.php which will reset everyone's filters.

I've changed some security group settings and all i get is 'access denied'

You can pass the '--reset-groupmembership' and '--reset-securitygroups' command to upgrade-db.php which will reset all security settings back to their defaults.

What do all the 'Retrieve .... ?' options mean?

Full spots: Per default Spotnet clients only retrieve the usenet headers but these do not contain all of the necessary information to display a full spot. For example to display the full description and picture you need the full spot which is (default) only retrieved when you actually open a spot.

By enabling this setting Spotweb will retrieve the fullspot whenever retrieve.php is run. This makes retrieve.php a lot slower but Spotweb itself faster. Makes using Spotweb faster but both retrieval slower and your database larger.

Prefetch images and Prefetch NZB files: Same as above but for images and NZB files. Will increase the size of your database a lot and retrieving of new spots a lot slower.

Retrieve comments: Comments are an optional feature of Spotweb. If you disable this, you will not see any comments on spots at all.

Retrieve full comments: This is the same option as the 'Retrieve fullspots' option. Per default Spotweb will only retrieve the header of the comments (when 'Retrieve comments' is turned on), but this makes Spotweb retrieve the full comments at all. Makes using Spotweb faster but both retrieval slower and your database larger.

Retrieve reports: Whenever spots are marked as spam from within any of the Spotnet clients, this happens by posting a message in the usenet groups. Spotweb is able to retrieve those spots as well and calculate a reputation score for the spot using this information. This score is displayed beside the spotlisting.

Why is the security system so complicated?

In the early days of Spotweb it did not have a security system at all, many questions, issues and messages were sent with the request to create a security system. Unfortunately, many different things were expected and requested with regards to this security system.

To make sure everybody needs' can be fulfilled it has to be a rather powerful security system with the corresponding complexity which arises with it.

Spotweb (the user interface) is really, really slow.

If your system is not a very slow system this should usually not happen -- Spotweb is regulary tested on lowend hardware and runs succesfully on very small NAS systems.

If you think your computer system is setup properly and not overloaded by itself, but Spotweb still runs slow you could enable 'timing' in the settings pages. This will create a timing trace at the bottom on each page. Please submit this complete timing trace in a properly formatted way as a new issue and we will take a look at it why your system is slow.

'Retrieval of spots keeps crashing'

You can pass the '--debug' command to retrieve.php which can give useful debug info about the crash.

'Retrieval of spots is really slow' or 'My database is huge'

Spotweb has some extra checks built in to make sure the database will not logically corrupt itself, this makes retrieval of spots slower. Besides these extra checks you can tune Spotweb to retrieve almost no data (which is comparable with other Spotnet clients) till retrieving almost anything and everything.

The last option is usually not recommender for all but public Spotweb installations. If you run Spotweb just for you or a couple of friends just turn off these options in the 'Settings' page in the 'Performance' tab.

I have a question not answered in this FAQ.

Please first check wether the question is actually related to Spotweb or to one of the other requirements of Spotweb. The Github issue tracker for Spotweb is not really meant to help you install PHP or MySQL and other places will be a lot quicker and more knowledgeable to help you in these situations.

There are currently two places where Spotweb is being discussed: and

If you think you found an error in - or have a feature request for - Spotweb please create a new issue on the Github issue tracker.