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Who needs permissions anyway?!?!?!?
By: Talibar Zukro , on: 2014-08-03 14:55:53
I have sort of taken the liberty of turning the news page into a development diary until I release the immense updates I have performed on the staging server.

One of the pitfalls of web sites in general falls on permissions. I shouldn't say it is a pitfall. Permissions really help keep things in order and undesired things from happening. Unfortunately, permissions can become sort of annoying. In one sense you make something more secure and much cooler. Then you realize you just broke 100 other "Important" things you really needed to work. Part of the reason why I take long times away from the game when creating a project so complex is because sometimes the smallest of the small can take away functionality. You are then left doing a search that can take hours and some times days to find where the culprit went wrong.

For example. I recently had a permission setting which would allow you to assign a group to a forum category and to a particular forum under that category. Works well for categories. I can transport myself to a topic when I manually type the address in the address bar and my permissions are there to view the topic. However, click on the topic and your permissions go nuts. I spent 3 days (Not 72 hours straight, mind you) trying to find the culprit in about 3,000 lines of code. The reason behind the error? I missed putting an underscore on a database table name. Yes, I missed this: _ . I know many my wonder why I disappear at times and this is the reason. Either I am taking a very long time searching for a mis-typed name or looking for where I missed the comma or semi colon, etc... Or I may have went through hundreds of hours of searching, finding the solution and would now like to take a rest. Sometimes you need to step back and when you come back to the task at hand refreshed, you work faster and more adequately.

In addition to the more annoying things like that, you have to think of everywhere permissions would need to work. So for instance, in the sense of a forum, you have these issues to contend with when it comes to permissions:

1)Who can view the forum: Anyone, a member group, a certain individual and/or administrators?
2)Permissions need to be set for the board, the categories, the forum, the topic, the mod/admin/gm tools and the editing feature. Miss one of these, and though a hacker would not be able to see the categories or topics... He can take a guess at an id number and pop right through to edit someone's post or view a topic he shouldn't be seeing.
3)Adding permissions for a particular forum means adding permissions for a certain category. Easy enough. You add a group to a forum, you can automatically add it for the categories. Otherwise, even though you have access to the forum, if you do not have access to the category, you wont see the forum.
4)Removing permissions becomes more complicated. If you remove a group from a forum you can remove it from the category too, then you wont see that forum or category any longer. However, if your group is assigned to other forums under that category... You can not automate a process to remove the group from the category. Now you have to make sure that there are no other places the group belongs to before removing it from the category. Is this hard? No, but requires a lot of concentration not to break something else. And finally...
5)This all becomes even more complicated when you have sub-forums within a forum.

I say finally... But these are the big things to worry about when it comes to forum permissions.

With all that being said.. A few posts ago I mentioned that there were some bugs. I am getting closer and closer to getting rid of those bugs. I know this seems like I am taking a long time. But please take a look at this site. Take a look at the features. Then imagine all the tools you are not seeing that administrators see. I have coded all this with my own code. I am not borrowing software from anyone or anywhere. The last time I had my project manager tally up the lines of code I had put into this (That is not to mention the lines missing from edits or mistakes or upgrades that I have done in the past 2 years) it came to about 146,000 lines. A 350 page novel contains at most 120,000 sentences. So, you can see there is a lot of work that goes into this.

Let me tell you though.. The ACL Permissions in this game are going to be extraordinary. I only hope I make it hacker proof as well. But, I just wanted everyone to know how hard I have been working on this. This is not to show off or gloat. But I writing this because I have recently received e-mails stating that I am not working hard enough or fast enough on this game. I can understand the frustration, but I also have a personal life on top of writing such a complex site and game on top of the site. For all of you who are waiting patiently, I thank you for your support and patience! Keep coming back to read more updates.


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