PKForum v1.1 Manual (last update: 30 July 2014)

PKForum is an advanced Dolphin 7.1.x forum module that can be used either in place of, or in addition to, the BoonEx "Orca" Forum module that's included in the "basic" Dolphin package.  A single PKForum license can be purchased from boonex.com where "Advanced" BoonEx members will receive a 10% discount.  If you're interested in purchasing more than one PKForum license, your best option will be a discounted package deal directly from DolphinHelp.com/PKForum.  Note: since the PKForum module was designed for easy installation, i.e. no dolphin 'core' code changes, FREE installation service is not being offered.  For busy site owners that may require or prefer some assistance, there is a paid installation service that includes backing up your site's database (to your server), installing the PKForum module, setting up the license verification, migrating your current Orca Forum content, and either hiding or removing of the Orca module.  You may purchase the installation service from DolphinHelp on the BoonEx Market.  Alternatively, if you purchase a package from the DolphinHelp.com website then you can also purchase an installation service for each license.  Please visit DolphinHelp.com/PKForum to place your order.

 

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FORUM FEATURES

PKForum Menu
The PKForum main menu includes links to:  PKForum Main Menu

Forum Home — displays a listing of those categories and associated forums that the viewer has permissions to view.  Hence a site visitor may not see as many forums as a member logged into the site.  Site admins set which membership levels (including visitors) can view which forums though the Forums Structure Settings.

Recent Topics — displays a list of recent topics that the viewer has permission to view.  The number of topics listed, before pagination, is set with the Pagination Settings.

Latest Posts — displays a list of the latest posts that the viewer has permission to view.  The number of posts listed, before pagination (*see note*), is also set with the Pagination Settings.  *Note*: in the same admin settings there is an option to turn off Latest Posts pagination so you can limited the list to to the first page.

My Subscriptions — displays a list of topics the person (that’s logged in) has subscribed to.  The number of topics displayed can be set with the Pagination Settings  There is also an admin option in the Topic & Post Settings to set whether the member who created the topic will automatically be subscribed to receive email notifications when others add posts.

My Topics — displays a list of topics the member added to the forum.  The number of topics displayed before pagination can be set with the Pagination Settings.

Search Forum — the Search form provides various options to search for a key word or phrase, by a specific author, within title and/or content, for all or only a limited history, and within all or only select forums.  See the Search Features section below for more information.

Moderate Forum — this page provides an overview for pending topics, hidden posts, reported posts, latest moderation logs, and moderators notes.  There's also a Forum Moderator icon, i.e. Forum Moderator Icon, located in the bottom menu for moderators/admins that will change display, e.g. Forum Moderator icon with notice alert, to indicate there are active forum moderation issues.

 

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Topic Features
Depending on Membership Level Settings and Moderator Group Settings, the forum topic menu may contain the following options: post reply, subscribe/unsubscribe, delete topic, move topic, hide/unhide topic, sticky/unstick topic and lock/unlock topic.  Site admins, by default, will see all of these options.  Moderation changes to the topic will be noted in the Moderation Logs on the Moderate Forum area.

Unread Topics — members will be able to quickly search Forum Topic listings and the Recent Topics list for new topics by looking for a blue lightening bolt icon, i.e. blue lighting bolt icon, located to the immediate left of the title.

Post Reply — there are three ways to add to a new post in a topic thread.  The first is using the Post Reply link located at both top and bottom of the topic thread block, the second is the Quote Post link located at the top of each post, and the third option is to use the Quick Reply text box located under the last post on the page.

Subscribe / Unsubscribe — the Subscribe link is used to subscribe to receive email notifications whenever a new post is added.  While a member is subscribed to a topic the link will display as “Unsubscribe”. There are two ways for a member to see if they're subscribed to a topic: 1) open the topic page and check if the link is “Unsubscribe”, and 2) open their My Subscriptions page and search for the topic in the list.  The member can unsubscribe either directly from the topic page or from their My Subscriptions page using the Unsubscribe button.

Delete Topic — using this option will permanently delete the topic from the forum, i.e. there is no option to undelete a topic.  Hence there is a popup window that requests a confirmation that the member indeed wishes to permanently delete his topic including all the posts within it.  Admins can set whether members can delete their own topics via the Membership Level Settings.  Admins can give Moderators permission to delete members' topics via the Moderator Group Settings.

Move Topic — this option provides a way for moderators and admins to move a misplaced topic to a more appropriate forum.  Clicking on Move Topic link will open a new page with a dropdown list that contains all available *alternative* forums that the topic can be moved to.  A few seconds after selecting the new forum location, you will automatically be redirect to the new topic location.  If the topic was Sticky when it was moved then it will remain so at the new location.

Hide/Unhide Topic — this option can be used to hide and unhide the topic.  Only a site admin or the forum’s moderator (with admin permission) will be able to do so.  And if the topic was Sticky when hidden then it will be the same when unhidden.

List of Sticky and Unopened Topics

Sticky/Unstick Topic — Topics can be made “Sticky” by the forum moderator (or site admin) using the Sticky Topic link located at the top of the topic thread.  Sticky topics will be grouped at the top of a forum’s topic listing with a thumb tack icon, i.e. Blue Thumb Tack icon, positioned to the left of the title.  The ordering of the sticky topics is set in the Topic & Post Settings admin settings.  All non-sticky topics will then be displayed below them.  Note: a forum's sticky topic listed in a Recent Topics list will *not* have a Sticky icon.

Lock/Unlock Topic — this option allows site admins and forum moderators (if granted permission in Moderator Group Settings) to lock/unlock topics.  While a topic is locked, no further posts can be added to it *except* by a site admin or one of the forum’s moderators.

 

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Post Features
The following Post features are available by default: quote, editor toggle, signature, permalink, and display poster's stats.   Then depending on what the admin has set in the Membership Level, Topic & Post and Moderator Group settings, the following additional options may be available: edit, delete, report, bury, hide, share, split, attach files, and display poster's info.

Quote PostQuote Post — use this tool to quote the contents from a previous post (including any quotes it has) into a new post.  Each quote is separately linked to it's original post; thus clicking on the start of the quote will take the viewer to the quoted post.  For example, if post #23 quotes post #14, which quotes post #6, then there will be links to both post #14 and #6 within post #23.  Thus the reader can click on the quote and view the post from which it came.  In the example image, the viewer would click on the “Quote from...” line to view the original post.

Edit Post — use this tool to edit a post.  In most cases the site admin will configure PKForum to allow members to edit their own post while also allowing the forum's moderator(s) to edit any post in the forum... to, for example, quickly edit some improper content.

Delete Post — this option will *permanently* remove the post from the site.  And, just in case someone mistakenly selected the Delete Post option, there is a popup confirmation request.  The admin decides which memberships levels may delete their own posts.  Likewise, they also decide which, if any, forum moderator groups may delete them.

 

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Report PostReport Post — this option is usually made available to all members with an active account so the forum community can help forum moderators keep various posts on topic and reasonably polite.  Furthermore, a site admin can also allow site visitors to report posts by turning on that option in the Special Feature Settings.  Upon clicking "Report Post", there will be a popup confirmation window followed by a popup with a text area (see REPORT POST image) for adding an explanation.  Note: there is no cancel button but clicking on any part of the screen outside the popup window will cancel the report.

Bury/Unbury Post — this option may be used by an individual member to remove a post from their view.  Please note: the process of burying a post *will not* result in it being removed from view for all members... but just for the individual member account that does triggers it.

Hide/Unhide Post — only Admins and forum moderators with permission may hide and unhide a post.  Unlike "Bury Post" (see previous text), hiding a post *will* remove it from view for all members.  There will be a confirmation popup. Plus the post info will be added to the Hidden Posts list in the Moderation Features area and a note will be added to the moderation logs.

Share PostShare Post — clicking on this link will display a “ShareThis” popup, such as seen in the SHARED REPORTED POST image, with options for sharing the post content on an external site like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Gmail.  The admin, after obtaining a free ShareThis account, can setup the ShareThis feature using the Special Feature Settings.

Split Topic — this can be used by admins and moderators whenever an old or busy topic thread has shifted into a new discussion that deserves its own separate topic.  The admin or moderator takes the divergent post and "Splits" it off into a new topic, possibly in a different forum.  There is also an option to move all the posts added after the divergent post as well.

 

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Attaching Files to PostsAttaching Files — while posting a reply with the TinyMCE editor, if the member has permission for adding attachments, there will be an option available below the content input area for uploading & attaching one or more files.  Click on the green plus icon to add a file and/or the red minus icon to remove a previously chosen file.  See the example image.

PermalinkPermalinks — use this option to obtain the URL address to the specific post.  There will be a popup box containing the URL link (see example image), which can be copied to the clipboard for later use.

Toggle Editor — clicking on the Toggle Editor link, located at the lower-right corner of the TinyMCE editor, replaces the TinyMCE editor with a simple text input box designed for adding just simple content in the reply post.  Though it maybe unclear to members when the simpler version would be preferred, it's there whenever a member needs it.

 

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Signature — each member can have a unique signature displayed at the bottom of their forum posts.  Forum SignatureWhile adding or editing a post, there is an option available to add/edit the poster's signature... located just above the Submit button.  After clicking on the Change Signature link, a text box will appear (see example image) where the member can enter their personal signature text and save it.  Forum Poster InfoBesides simple text, they can use basic HTML tags such as <u>underline</u>, <b>bold</b>, <i>italic</i> formatting and <a href=”http://website.com”>web link</a> tags for linking to another website.  They can also embed an image from an external website.  Note: the lower-right corner of the text input box can be dragged to show extra lines.

Poster's Info — displayed beside each forum posting will be the author's avatar image, their username that's linked to their profile page, their membership type (unless they’re a moderator), the number posts they’ve made, and their forum rating.  An admin can easily customize these labels with the Dolphin Languages tool to, for example, "Member Posts" and "Member Rating".  A member may only rate a post once, either up or down , and they will not have the option to rate their own post.  Whenever a site member is deleted, their forum posts will no longer display their profile info (i.e. avatar, username, stats, etc.) but will instead display "Past Member".  


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Moderate FeaturesModerate Forum Page

Moderators Notes — is a place for forum moderators to leave *temporary* notes for each other (see image).  For a more *permanent* set of moderators notes, an admin can create one or more moderators-only forums using the Forums Structure Settings.

Moderation Log — each time a moderator or admin decides to approve, hide/unhide, lock/unlock, stick/unstick, move, split or delete a topic... the change will be listed in the moderation logs. The same is true whenever they hide/unhide or delete a post.

Pending Topics — using Topic & Post Settings, admins can force new forum topics to initially be in a “Pending” state that require a moderator or site admin to approve them before they're published.  Note: the most recent will appear at the top.

Hidden Topics BlockHidden Topics — topics may be hidden by either a moderator for the forum or a site admin.  Each instance will be added to the Hidden Topics list with the most recent at the top.  Any site admin or an associated forum moderator (with "unhide" rights) can review them and make them visible again.

Hidden Posts — using Topic & Post Settings, admins can force new posts to initially be hidden by default. Hidden Posts Block In addition, any post may be hidden after it is published by using the Hide Post link that, depending on admin settings, may be available above each post.  As mentioned in the Post Features section above, only forum moderators with permission and site admins may hide a post.  The most recently hidden posts will be placed at the top of the moderation list.  

Reported Posts — posts that are reported by members will show up in this list, with the last reported at the top. Reported Posts Block Only forum moderators with permission and site admins can cancel a report, unless the post was made by them.  For example, if a regular member reports a post added by a moderator then a different moderator (or admin) will have to review the post and decide what action to take.  With this in mind, we suggest each site have at least two forum moderators (including admins).  Whenever a post is being reported, the person making it will be expected to enter an explanation in a popup window; thus providing some essential details regarding why it was reported.  This comment will be displayed in the Reported Post list.

 

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Search Features
Search Forum Tool

The PKForum search tool includes the following options: (also see example)

  • Search Query
  • Members will use the Search Keyword input textbox to enter a set of characters, word, words or phrase they wish to search for.
  • Search Options
  • Members should check and select their preferred Search Type that will set the search boundaries to include only posts with:
  • all of the search words, without concern for order (default choice),
  • any of the search words, resulting in a broader search, or
  • the exact phrase, but without concern for capitalization.
  • Members may optionally use the Author input textbox to enter a member's username (a.k.a. nickname) to help narrow the search further.
  • The Search Within option can be used to restrict the search to within:
  • post subject and content.
  • post content only.
  • post subject only.
  • initial topic-post only.
  • Members can select their preferred Display As option to see the search results with post content or just the topic info.
  • The Order By feature may be used to set the ordering of the search results and include options for:
  • relevancy, the default choice.
  • post time, with the latest post first.
  • topic time, with the recent topic first.
  • post subject, where subject: “Alpha” would be listed before “Beta”.
  • There is also an option to limit the search to posts added in the last: 24hrs, 7 days, 2 weeks, 1/3/6 months, or year... with a default of anytime in the past.
  • Search In
  • For the Search In feature, the form displays a list of all accessible categories and forums so members may select *only* those forums they wish to search through.  This can dramatically reduce the search scope for sites with large forums containing a huge number of posts.  Note: depending on the forum structure, not all of the site's forums may be accessible to the member requesting the search.  The admin selects which forums members have access to using the Forums Structure Settings, discussed below.

 

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ADMIN SETTINGS

PKForum Admin Menu
Added as a separate side menu section in the Dolphin Administration area, the PKForum menu (see image) has the following four sub-sections:

PKForum Administration Menu
  1. Settings, which is further divided into areas controlling:
    • Pagination… the number of topics or posts per page or block.
    • Date-Time… how the date and time will be displayed.
    • Editor… if and how the post-content TinyMCE editor is setup.
    • Topic & Post… the default status and order for topics and posts.
    • Moderation… the settings for email notifications to moderators.
    • Other options… including URL updates, template responsiveness, attachment types, etc.
  2. Structure, with options for setting up and organize numerous categories and their associated forums.
  3. Moderators, where forum moderator groups are created and revised... including settings for which moderation tools (e.g. delete, hide, move, lock, etc.) each group will have access to use.
  4. Manage Installation, this sub-section is used for activating/verifying the PKForum module license and exporting/importing the PKForum content along with the Structure + Moderators configuration.  
    Warning: the "Settings" sub-section above will NOT be saved during the export process.  
    IMPORTANT NOTE: the PKForum module license is tracked by a License Management Server and if the module owner's license is not verified at least once during any 6 day period then the first three sub-sections above (i.e. Settings, Structure, Moderators) will not be accessible to the admin.  If/while there is a license verification issue, regular site users may continue to use the forum normally (e.g. reading and adding posts), however site admins will see a message that there's an activation issue when they attempt to access any forum page.

Each of the above four sections will be discussed in more detail below.

 

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Pagination SettingsAdmin Paginate Settings
The PKForum Paginate Settings control the number of items listed before pagination can access additional items.  Pagination links looks like: Pagination links

Controls for pagination (see example image) include the number of items per page, or per block, to display for:

  • forum topics
  • topic posts
  • recent topics (block)
  • recent topics (page)
  • forum search
  • latest posts (if enabled)
  • subscriptions
  • user’s topics
  • moderation blocks

 

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Date-Time Settings
Admin Date-Time Settings The admin Date-Time Settings control how date and time are displayed for showing when a post was added.  There is a choice of displaying either the exact date (and, if formatted, time), e.g. Posted on April 26, 2014, or displaying the elapsed time from when the post was added, e.g. Posted 54 seconds ago .  Other Date-Time Settings include: a) the option to initially display ‘Time Ago’ then after 48 hours switch to displaying the ‘Exact Date’, and b) customizing the date-time formating for forum topic posts and moderation blocks.  Visit the PHP.net Date/Time Functions webpages for detailed information on formatting.

 

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Editor Settings
Admin Editor Settings The admin Editor Settings include options to control how content is added to topic posts, such as: activating the TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor for the initial topic post and/or reply posts, enabling the TinyMCE plug-in for uploading images (see next paragraph), enabling a text-only “QUICK REPLY” option, and forcing URL links within posts to open in a new browser tab.

A modified version of the "images upload" TinyMCE plug-in (see NOTE below) has been included in the PKForum installation package.  After installing PKForum and enabling the plugin option in admin PKForum Editor Options, members will be able to select this icon Image Upload to upload an image and place it inside their forum post.  Otherwise the default TinyMCE option is to use this editor button Link to Image to add the web address for an image, i.e. stored somewhere on the Internet, to display it in a post.  The potential problem with the default option is the online image may be outside the poster's control and therefore may be, without warning, either moved to a different URL or removed from the Internet entirely (though sometimes that's appropriate for the post).  NOTE: the JustBoil.me images upload plugin for TinyMCE is free opensource and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

 

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Topic & Post Settings
Admin Topic & Post Settings These settings include whether the member that created the topic will have their avatar displayed in the topic lists, and if they'll automatically be subscribed to their own topics.  The settings also include options for whether to show the member’s join-date on their posts, what the default visibility status will be for new posts/topics, and what the default ordering will be for posts and topics (sticky/non-sticky) when displayed in a list.  Note that within a forum's topics listing, the sticky topics will all be located at the top and can be ordered separately from non-sticky topics starting with: newest, oldest, last updated, alphabetical, or when made sticky.  In addition, there is a Topic Settings option for including income-earning Contextual Advertising within topic threads, e.g. a Google Adsense Ad every 5 posts.

Please be aware that when an admin sets the default status for new Topics to “Pending” (or new Posts “Hidden”) then either the forum's moderator or a site admin will be responsible for reviewing and deciding whether the Topic (or Post) should be published.

 

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Special Feature Settings
Admin Special Feature Settings This section includes some additional features such as: a) whether to update the forum-topic web page address (URL) whenever the topic title is revised, b) whether to make the forum page layout responsive (if the site template is), c) what the allowable attachment file types can be, d) whether site visitors will be allowed to report a post, e) whether to enable auto refresh on the Latest Post block, and finally f) whether to enable the ShareThis all-in-one widget for content sharing.  For the last item, admins can obtain their ShareThis Publisher Key directly from ShareThis.com.

WARNING: regarding uploading files, there is *no* setting for file size limit in the PKForum configuration because that is determined by the server setup.  If you notice that a file cannot be uploaded then check the file type is allowed and the server php settings "upload_max_filesize" and "post_max_size" limits are large enough.

 

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Forums Structure Settings
Category VisibilityForum Structure
Forums are organized into Categories and the Forum Structure Settings include options to create, delete, rename, organize and manage access for both forums and categories.  When creating a new forum the admin can include both a list description and an add-instruction.  The description text will be visible in the Category > Forum lists, while the instruction text will be displayed in the ADD TOPIC block *after* a destination forum has been chosen.  The above Structure Forums example image shows two categories and some associated forums.  Admins can drag-n-drop a forum to reposition it within any category. Likewise categories can be reordered.

For each category and forum, there are visibility settings based on: visitor types, genders, memberships, and moderator groups. For an example please examine the CATEGORY VISIBILITY image where the forum structure includes four membership types and three moderator groups.  For members, the forum visibility can be further restricted by the type of membership they have and/or the moderator group they belong to.  To create a moderator-only forum the admin de-selects the “Non-Member” option along with all membership types... then selects the moderator group(s) they wish to include.  Please be aware that site admins can view all forums and will have access to all moderator features.  

Warning: if you update a visibility setting at the Category level and save it then those settings will be transferred to each of the Category’s forums.  This means that any special settings previously put in place for a particular forum under that revised Category will be changed to match those of the updated parent Category.  The work-around is to check and make some notes of any unique *forum* visibility settings before you revise similar settings for the forum's *category*... then reset them after.

 

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Moderator Notification Settings
Admin Moderator Notification Settings The admin decides whether forum moderators will receive email notifications for issues about hidden or reported posts and for pending topics.  If notifications are being sent, the admin determines how many issues will be included within each email and how often those emails will be sent out.  The notifications will be emailed repeatedly according to the time interval setting, but only to those in the associated moderator group, until one of the moderators has logged in and processed the issue(s).

For example (see image) you could adjust the settings to send moderator notifications for only Reported Posts, with at least a one hour delay between emails, and a maximum of 3 issues listed in the email.  Please be aware that emails are *not* sent instantly whenever a new moderation issue arises; instead notifications are sent after an adjustable delay to reduce the number of emails sent to moderators.

 

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Moderator Group Settings
Moderator Group Managed ForumsThis admin area is used to create, rename, manage and delete moderator groups.   A group can be assigned to moderate any number of forums within one or more categories.  Two groups can be setup to both moderate some of the same forums but not others.  While one or more site members can be assigned to the same group, a member can only be assigned to a one moderator group.

Edit Moderator Group
Click on this link to rename the group, set which categories & forums the group will moderate, and select which moderation tools the group can use.  Site admins are by default moderators for all forums and have access to all moderation tools.

Moderator Group Allowed ActionsGroup Managed Forums — this is where site admins configure which forums a group will moderate.  See the example image with four forums in two categories... the admin has decided the group will be responsible for only two of the forums.

Group Allowed Actions — site admins use this to decide which tools (see image) a group will be allowed to use when moderating a forum.  The available options include...
 a) for Topics: delete, move, hide, make sticky, and lock.
 b) for Posts: edit, delete, hide, split post, and cancel report.

Assign/Remove Moderators
Use this tool to assign or remove members from a moderator group. The member search only considers usernames but you can enter their full username or only part of it.  Note: since admins have full access to moderate forums, their username will not be listed.  Also, once a member is a moderator their username will no longer be displayed in the search results.


 

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INSTALLATION

Installation Steps
STEP 1: Download PKForum to your Computer
a) after the purchase process is completed, download the latest version of PKForum from http://www.boonex.com/m/pkforum.
b) then find the zipped PKForum file on your computer, unzip it into an empty folder, and read the version's readme.txt notes.

STEP 2: Pre-install Website Preparations
a) though not critical, you should place your site in "Maintenance Mode" (or offline) while setting up PKForum.
b) next, as a smart precaution, backup your site's entire database using  Admin > Tools > Database Backup  tools.

STEP 3: Upload PKForum to your Website
a) FTP in and upload to your site's root folder the three install folders from STEP 1 b): /modules, /plugins, /migrator.
NOTE: during the initial installation, merging the three PKForum folders into your site will *not* overwrite any files.
b) next, go into the /modules/dh/pkforum folder and set the /uploads folder permission to chmod 777 (i.e. full access).
c) now access your site's Admin area, open the "Modules" menu section, and go to the "Add & Manage" page.
d) there find the "PKForum ... by DolphinHelp.com" module name in the "NOT INSTALLED LIST" and install it.
e) if you notice an error during the install that you can't fix, please email dolphin4help@gmail.com with details.

STEP 4: Activate and Verify the PKForum Key
a) in your site's Admin area, open the menu  PKForum > Manage Installation  and click on "Register Module" to obtain your module Activation Key.
b) next, in a new browser window, open the  DolphinHelp Management Panel  (found at: https://manage.dolphinhelp.com) to create your account.
c) log into your DH Panel account, open the  Products > Activate Product  section and enter your site's Activation Key (from Step 4a)... and click Next.
d) then open the Products > Active Licenses section to do a quick check that your site address, Key #, Activation date and active Status are all correct.
Note: to RE-INSTALL PKForum, you need to first remove the current Key by revoking it... click on the green "Active" status button, then on "Revoke".
e) finally, return to your site's  Admin > PKForum > Manage Installation  area (same as Step 4a) and click on "Verify Now"... you'll see a confirmation.

 

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Manage Installation
Manage Installation This admin area includes module activation information along with a tool to verify the activation key.  If there is no activation for your domain then a message will appear to inform you.  If the module is registered to your domain but not activated, there will be a message asking you to visit the DH Management Panel to activate your DH module.  You can learn more about the Management Panel in the next section of this document.

If your site is hosted on a VPS or dedicated server (i.e. *not* shared-hosting), then you should be able to use the “Export" and "Import” tools to backup and restore your PKForum content.  Warning: the PKForum Admin Configuration "Settings" will not be saved in the exported file (note: you can review the PKForum Admin Menu section above to see what "Settings" refers to).  If you’re wondering why… it’s because those settings are not stored in the PKForum database tables but in a Dolphin core db table.  We suggest you either take screenshots of the settings or make a note of any changes you made to the default settings.  Thus using the Export and Import tools, along with your Settings notes, you should be able to safely export (save) your current PKForum content, then uninstall an older version of PKForum and install a newer one, plus safely import the saved PKForum database info back into your website (see image).

 

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DH Management Panel
DH Management Panel After purchasing your first PKForum module, please create an account in the DolphinHelp Management Panel  located at https://manage.dolphinhelp.com.  After you've created an account you can activate your PKForum module by entering your module’s unique key, found on your site's Admin > PKForum > Manage Installation page, into the DH Panel Activate a Product page (see image with "Activation Key").

Then, after clicking "Next", you’ll be shown the key’s associated domain name and asked to enter either the email associated with your PayPal account or the PayPal Transaction Number (TXN) associated with the purchase.  This private information will *only* be used by the Dolphin Help Support Team to verify that you paid for the license (see image with "Payment Info").

Activate a Product

You can check the status of your PKForum license in the Products > Active Licenses section of the DH Panel.  In the example image (listing the demo site) you will notice the site name, key, activation date, and status are listed. The unique activation key is comprised of a long combination of uppercase letters and numbers.

Active Licenses

You can deactivate your PKForum license, necessary only if you reinstall the module, by clicking on the green Active Status button and then clicking on the Revoke option.  Note: while the license is *not* activated, the site admin will be blocked from accessing PKForum content and settings.  Instead they will see "PKForum is NOT Activated" on all PKForum pages except for the Admin > PKForum > Manage Installation page, which is required to re/activate the PKForum module.  During the "NOT Activated" state, non-admin site users may continue to use PKForum as it was configured before the deactivation.

 

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Membership Level Settings
Site admins will choose which settings (see image) to activate for each membership level and that will determine which PKForum options will be available for regular members.  Membership levels includes the defaults (i.e. Non-member, Standard, Promotion) as well as any custom membership levels that were added (e.g. Premium).

Admin Membership Level Settings
  • The view posts option is the primary control for which memberships types, including site visitors, are allowed to view forum posts.  There are also a couple of secondary ways for managing who can view a post:
  • a) the Forum Visibility moderation settings will determine whether members and/or non-members may view a particular forum.  See section on Forums Structure Settings for more information.
  • b) the Topic Pending, Topic Hidden, and Post Hidden moderation settings will determine whether a particular topic/post is hidden from view.  See the section on Moderation Features for additional info.
  • The topic subscriptions option allows members to subscribe and unsubscribe to the email notifications that announce new posts to a particular topic.  Also note:
  • a) members that create a new forum-topic will automatically be subscribed to their topic.
  • b) an email notification will only be sent after the first new post has been added since the subscribed member last viewed the topic.  For example, if there were three more posts added since someone last viewed a subscribed topic, they will only receive an email notification after the first post.
  • The add topics option will allow those in that membership level to add topics to any forum they have access to.
  • The delete own topic option allows the site admin to control whether members within a certain membership level can remove their own topics (along with the topic’s posts).  If not allowed, then only site admins and those forum moderators with “Delete Topics” permission can delete them (see Moderator Group Settings).
  • The add post option controls whether those with a certain membership type can use the Quick Reply and Post Reply tools for adding posts to topics.  Each tool has it's advantage:
  • a) the Quick Reply tool is for quickly adding text-only messages.
  • b) the Post Reply tool provides a full Text Editor capable of formatting text and adding images.
  • The edit own post feature is used by admins to allow or disallow members within certain membership types from editing posts they've added.  Some admins may prefer to limit which membership types can edit their own posts.
  • The bury posts option allows members to selectively bury, i.e. hide, specific posts by other members.  Be aware that the post content will only be removed from sight for the member that “buried” it... for others viewing the post, the content will remain visible.
  • The delete own post feature controls whether members in the membership level can delete their own posts.  Some admins may prefer to disallow this feature, yet allow editing posts.
  • The add attachment option provides a tool to upload and “attach” files to posts.  And if a poster can add them then they can also remove their attachments later.
  • *FYI: see the section on Special Feature Settings for how to control the file types that can be uploaded, for example: jpg, png, gif, txt, doc.
  • The download attachment option can be used by admins to control which membership levels can download attachments that have been added to posts.

 

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Dolphin Page BuilderPage Builder
Several items are added to the Dolphin Page Builder tool (see image) so Admins can control the layout for the following pages associated with the PKForum module: Forum Home, Add Topic, Recent Topics, Move Topic, Split Topic, Post Reply, Edit Post, Posts Feed (i.e. Latest Posts), Search Forum, Moderate Forum, My Subscriptions, and My Topics.  Site developers and admins can use the Page Builder tool to arrange the PKForum pages to best suit their website plans.

You can also add a Recent Topics or Latest Posts block to any Page Builder page by simply adding a new PHP block using the free Deanos Tools module then inserting *one* of the following code snippets into the block:
   a) for a Recent Topics block use return BxDolService::call('forums', 'get_recent_topics');,
   b) for a Latest Posts block use return BxDolService::call('forums', 'get_posts_feed');.

 

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Migrate Orca to PKForum
For those that wish to migrate content from their site’s default Orca forum to PKForum please install the new forum module along with the old one, i.e. run both at the same time, then upload the PKForum migrator folder (located in your downloaded PKForum zip file) into your site’s root and ensure the "migrator" folder is writable (chmod 777).  Though you may leave that migrator software on your site, we suggest you remove it when you’re finished.  Test results for the migrator program were found to be complete and error free for D7.1 .1 - .4 and PKForum 1.0.  We also found that, depending on the amount of content in the Orca forum, the migration process could take longer than expected to complete.  If you have modified either the Dolphin core code or the Orca Forum code then please consider testing the migration on a "duplicate" test site to ensure it will work as expected.  When migrating on the live site, we strongly recommend you take the site offline and create a complete datebase backup *before* proceeding.  NOTE: it will be necessary for the site admin to login with full admin privileges in order to run the migration software.  Once completed, and a check was made to ensure the content was copied over, the admin can adjust the main menu configuration settings to essentially hide Orca and thereby limit access to only those modules that use special "integration" code for it.  If Orca is not being used anywhere on the site then it can be removed.  As part of the next version of PKForum, the DH Support Team plans to work with Dolphin 7 developers to help them upgrade those modules that would benefit from an integration with PKForum.   IMPORTANT: if you notice any troubling issues during the migration then we suggest you rollback to your recent database backup and contact the DH Support Team with details (plus screenshots if possible) of what appeared to go wrong.  If you think some content did not get copied over, do NOT attempt the migration a second time (i.e. without rolling back the database first) as you will end up with duplicate forums.