And now, I’ll hijack my blog temporarily to rant about obsolete PHP solutions.

So, I tried to start up an Avarthrel forum. Good idea, right? Looks like the venerable giant of forum software, phpBB, has sqlite support in the brand-new release 3. There’s a third-party widget that does OpenID. A well-known, widely supported forum software that appears to do everything I’ll ever need - all good and nice, right?

Unpack, start up installation, and…

<blockquote><dl><dt>SQLite: Unavailable</dt></dl></blockquote>Yeah. All the while my comment system runs pretty darn well on top of PHP and pdo_sqlite.

Meanwhile, phpbb3 installer does say MySQL is available, while referring to “mysqli” driver, which in this day and age should Die in a Fire Already, Dammit. Modern and Largely Rewritten (an allegation that has been flying around about phpBB 3) systems should use fascinating, new, non-headache-inducing database access layers like PDO - incidentally, this webhost doesn’t support PHP sqlite module, but does support pdo_sqlite with all the proper seriousness.

<blockquote>$ grep -r ‘PDO(‘ .
</blockquote>This so bodes well. NOT.

So sorry, no forums yet! As surprising as it may sound, not all webhosts throw MySQL support in for free, and I’m not paying for something that I won’t find massive unprecedentedly popular use for…

Update: A little bit of research later it gets better! “sqlite” is sqlite 2.x, the ancient, the terrible! “pdo_sqlite” is sqlite 3.x, the new, the bold, the beautiful! …please, phpBB folks, if you advertise “SQLite 2.8.2+”, keep in mind that that does sort of imply on the first glance that SQLite 3.x is supported, no?

Yet another angsty update: The competition is even worse! I looked at NuclearBB, which apparently had an alpha release last year, the website doesn’t seem to mention the system requirements, and the bug tracker can’t accept reports from random passers-by, you’ve got to register and all, so I can’t report the issue. I tried FluxBB, which says it supports SQLite, but the wiki page says “FluxBB 1.2.* has only been thoroughly tested on versions 2.8.11 and 2.8.14 of SQLite, but should work with basically any version.” The web site, bless its heart, is a wiki, but I couldn’t edit without logging in or whatever. Which is a damn shame, because I would have liked to point out that pdo_sqlite and thus sqlite3 doesn’t bloody work here either.

sigh look, I’m generally against whining about things in blogs when I should be contacting people about these issues, but the thing is, it’s too hard. How hard, really, it is to have an open forum or wiki for rather fundamental support issues like this? I know, I know: In closed-source world, the Big Faceless Companies answer the phone and say “we don’t do that”, but seriously, OSS people should do better than “we’d love to help you, just participate in this little blood pact ritual first. Open your mouth, say ‘A’!”