Author Topic: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations  (Read 726 times)

Spectere

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Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« on: January 07, 2019, 10:05:08 AM »
I honestly never thought the spam situation would get bad enough for things to come to this, but I've had it with this bullshit.

It doesn't help that SMF's development is pretty much glacial at this point, to say nothing for the plugin ecosystem, so trying to combat this by tweaking the settings or installing an addon has been pretty much futile. The methods that I used to use no longer install cleanly into 2.0.15 and I was pretty much over manually installing mods all the way back in the arch0wl.com days, so this is about the best "compromise" I could come up with.

All in all, I suspect it's going to be way easier to mass-delete inactive accounts every few days than deal with "hot fortnite xxx cock pussy creampie viagra" threads popping up daily, so that's the route I've decided to take. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Spectere

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2019, 04:27:51 AM »
Turns out these spammers also will occasionally register accounts and then keep them on the DL for a few weeks before posting with them. I dealt with that in a heavy-handed way by doing a comprehensive member list purge (i.e. anyone with zero posts whom I don't recognize). For the first time in quite a while the member count here is actually accurate!

Also, it's kind of surprising to me how many accounts were waiting in the e-mail approval filter (4200 over the span of two years!). I went ahead and purged that.
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Bobbias

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2019, 12:30:30 PM »
Well considering what this site actually is, I'd say it's not a big deal. If someone from years ago shows up, either they have an existing account or they make a new one. If they make a new one, and actually care about posting I'm sure they will find a way to get it activated.
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Spectere

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 01:50:25 PM »
Yeah, that's what I figured. Considering the last legit-looking registration was from late 2017, I'm not too worried. I'll check it periodically, but I don't think it's going to require much in the way of maintenance.

I've also strongly considered jumping ship to another forum given SMF's frighteningly slow development pace. The last bugfix release of SMF 2.0 came out in November 2017. That's a long time for a PHP application to go without security fixes, and I constantly worry about having to deal with more than a few spam bots. I do have Apache running under its own user so I'm not too worried about someone rm -rf'ing my server, but you don't need root to make legit servers do some nasty things.

What's worse is that they aren't even keeping pace with PHP. I dare not ask how much many times the string "8192: Function create_function() is deprecated" appears in my SMF database. That was deprecated in PHP 7.2 (which was released over a year ago) and Simple Machines seems to have no plans to fix the issue. Sigh.

Upgrading to SMF 2.1 is also not a viable option, since the latest packaged beta was released even before 2.0.15 (June 2017). Sure, development is active on GitHub, but I'm not going to go through that song and dance.

So I dunno. Maybe I'll flip back to phpBB. I never thought I'd say this but that seems like a far better option at this point. They're actively releasing builds and third-party support for it has always been strong. I remember testing phpBB 3 when it was still fairly new and it was pretty solid (far better than the mess that was phpBB 2...woof), and I can't imagine it would have gotten worse over time.
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Bobbias

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2019, 12:21:19 PM »
I... I don't even know what to say to that. I'm not comfortable with the idea that phpBB might actually be better than SMF now.
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Spectere

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2019, 02:08:13 PM »
phpBB 3 was a major overhaul over phpBB 2. Even back when it came out (June 2006, according to Wikipedia) it was a solid product. The reason I didn't use it for any sites is simply because I was already running SMF. I ended up demoing it pretty extensively around that time. If I remember correctly, I was contemplating whether to switch back to phpBB 3 due to the stronger third-party ecosystem or upgrade to the next major release of SMF. Obviously I chose the latter.

I think the main problem with SMF is that it lost momentum. When they were cranking out new releases and bug fixes with relative regularity it was great, but now I'm concerned that the next PHP version is going to break the site entirely. I'll bet a large part of that is simply due to Reddit more or less replacing community forums. phpBB was likely popular enough to ride the wave while the smaller open source forums ended up losing too many resources. I dunno.

Oh well. It was a good run, if nothing else. I might do a test conversion on my dev server at home to see if things convert over somewhat gracefully.
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Spectere

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 01:49:47 PM »
W H O A



Edit: It's worth noting that the screenshot was taken after the first conversion step (SMF 2.0.15 -> phpBB 3.0.14). The theme in phpBB 3.2.5 is a bit cleaner and has some of the other missing features, such as showing the most recently updated topic along the right of the index page.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 02:55:01 PM by Spectere »
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Bobbias

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 02:07:10 AM »
Oh my god, it still looks like phpbb after all these years lmao.
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Spectere

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 05:30:38 AM »
YEPPPPPP. I love it, haha. SMF definitely looks cleaner, but it can always be reskinned.

But yeah, the conversion was successful, and phpBB's media extension is like the YouTube one I installed on steroids. Custom BBcode is also a thing, so admins can create basic BBcode thingies without fiddling with mods.

I'm pretty much going to give SMF a long as it takes me to make a phpBB skin. If they haven't gotten any closer to a proper release or bugfix patch I'm going to make the switch. The PHP team has been making a ton of breaking changes to shed off their old ridiculously naïve and insecure features and based on the log spam I'm seeing, Simple Machines either doesn't have the resources or the motivation to ensure that SMF isn't using calls that have been deprecated for over a year.
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Bobbias

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2019, 06:35:04 PM »
The custom BBcode feature is pretty neat.  But yeah, as much as I like SMF, if they can't keep with the times, that's kinda a problem.
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Spectere

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Re: Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 11:55:47 PM »
Yeah, agreed.

Another consideration for me is that phpBB3's admin control panel is downright sane compared to what SMF's became. While some things are still easier to accomplish in SMF (the permissions system is still handled much better), day to day activities are straight up buried in SMF's admin page. For the most part, the ACP in phpBB3 is more logically laid out.

Another feature that phpBB3 has that I wish other forums featured is the ability to preview permissions. When I was setting up SMF's permissions I had to create test accounts so that I could see what users could see. In phpBB3, I can go to your profile and click "[ Test out user's permissions ]". After doing that, I see the forum almost the exact same way you would. Oh, how I wish I had that feature all those years ago. <_<
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