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Testing setup

PostPosted:January 5th, 2021, 8:26 pm
by pawlshepherd
As of late I've started playing with the templates again - aesthetic changes because I like to fiddle with stuff. At the minute the viewtopic_ and viewforum_body files are getting my attention, but because I'm a professional I've been making the edits live. 🙈 This obviously results in lots of cache clearing and lots of reverting to the original files when I inevitably make a mess of things.

So! Is there a simple way to replicate my board offline, so that I can adjust and see the changes in real time?
I considered simply installing a new board and copying the style and ext files over, but that would still mean lots of cache clearing (both ACP and browser) to see changes, where I would prefer simply refreshing if possible!

Re: Testing setup

PostPosted:January 5th, 2021, 11:04 pm
by Dion
FYI, enabling the "Recompile stale style components:" setting on the ACP Load Settings page will let you update templates and be able to immediately see the changes.

The best option, though, is to use a test site. You can set this up on your local/personal system using products such as Xampp (Windows) or MAMP (Mac). Or if you prefer to use your current hosting, you can set up a test site that only you can access.

Using a localhost solution like Xampp/MAMP is nice if your local system can support it, and you're comfortable with messing around with settings. Using your current hosting is nice becuase it requires much less setup...basically a couple changes to your Apache configuration.

Re: Testing setup

PostPosted:January 6th, 2021, 12:21 pm
by pawlshepherd
Is that a continuous process? I've had that setting enabled since installation, I believe, but I still sometimes seem to have to clear caches to see changes. It might just be that only the browser cache is affecting things in that instance though.

Given that in all honesty I don't know what I'm doing with the back-end stuff (or really the front-end, but there you go!) a local setup probably has much less risk involved, so when I get my laptop out later I'll look into Xampp 👌

Re: Testing setup

PostPosted:January 6th, 2021, 6:07 pm
by Dion
It's probably only the browser cache.

If you decide to install Xampp, make sure it contains a version of PHP that's supported by the version of phpBB you're using. That means PHP 7.2 for phpBB 3.2, and PHP 7.4 for phpBB 3.3. Do not install PHP 8.0!

Also, if you're using phpBB 3.2, make sure you install an older version of MySQL/MariaDB because PHP 7.2 does not support the newer versions. The newest version you can install is MySQL 5.7 or MariaDB 10.3, and I'd suggest MySQL 5.6 or MariaDB 10.1.

For what it's worth, I use MariaDB 10.1 for all new VPS installations that have at least 1.5GB memory. It is the last version of MariaDB that followed the MySQL "footprint" and has proven to be (by far) the most stable and secure branch in the MariaDB 10 line.

Re: Testing setup

PostPosted:January 6th, 2021, 11:12 pm
by pawlshepherd
All duly noted, thankyou!
My only concern is that Wikipedia seems to think that large amounts of processing power is required to run it, and that's not something I have an excess of!

Re: Testing setup

PostPosted:January 7th, 2021, 12:22 am
by Dion
If your laptop is reasonably new (built in the past 5 or so years), it should be fine from a CPU standpoint. And as long as you have about 1GB free memory, you'll be fine from a memory standpoint. I suppose the biggest issue will be the disk drive. If it's not solid-state, MySQL/MariaDB will be a bit slow, but some of the slowness can be offset with additional free memory.

Re: Testing setup

PostPosted:January 7th, 2021, 1:04 am
by pawlshepherd
...yeah, it's about ten years old! 🙈
Put it this way, when I tried to run Skyrim on minimum settings it played at about half speed!

I've been meaning for years to buy something a little newer, but never in my life have I had a spare thousand pounds!