Friday, October 31, 2008

Guest Post: Forum Integration With SMFTracker

A friend of mine is working on a BitTorrent tracker mod for the Simple Machines Forum system. He was kind enough to provide us with a peek at his development process. He is basing his mod's announce on the basic framework I developed and published on Monday.

I've had to edit his post a bit, since he strayed into matters regarding our true identity pretty frequently, but the gist of the tracker mod development is there. Hey, what's life without a little mystery?

This is ChiliDog, co-collaborator of our ever-elusive stand-alone tracker script.  I was asked to make a guest post for the TorrentFries blog by CurlyFries.  Unfortunately, being the uninteresting person that I am, I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out what to write about.  I eventually came to the idea of writing about my current project: a SMF mod, with complete tracker integration.
Our main goal with the collaborative project was to successfully bridge any forum system’s [be it SMF, vBulletin, phpBB, etc.] database, however, that turned out to be a far-fetched dream [for now], due to its resource intensive code [blame CurlyFries ¬_¬].  But to tell you the truth, I couldn’t care less for any forum system other than SMF.  It’s powerful, feature-rich, and masterfully safe [not to mention completely free].  
I’ve been keeping an eye out for any tracker mods for SMF for the past 5 years or so, but not one has ever appeared.  There have been a few makeshift attempts at bridging a tracker system and SMF’s user table, but nothing worth using.  So after waiting so long, I finally set out to make one.
But, ‘Why a mod?  Why not just a bridge?’ you ask?  We’ll, I’ll tell you… It’s always been my philosophy to take advantage of what’s there, rather than to create something that does the same thing.  A bridge will still require all the things that SMF already does, in your tracker’s source.  CurlyFries is apparently the opposite of me.  He likes to create, rather than use what’s available [but more importantly, give people more options for the forum system].  That in itself is fine, and I’ll follow along for the main project, but I’ll be doing the SMFT mod in my spare time.
Other the announce.php, everything takes full advantage of SMF’s functions, including its permission system, themes, security, and even the language and modifications/upgrade system.  With three possible modes, open [ratio tracking is disabled], semi-private [non-members can still connect, just no ratio tracking and they might be restricted in site permissions], and private tracking [only members can connect], you will have a choice of what type of tracker you want to create.
There’s really nothing ground breaking about my project, but it should be the first SMF bittorrent tracker available; hence my project’s name: SMFTracker® [genius naming sense, eh?].  A lot of the front end source code, is the code CurlyFries and I created for our project, albeit most of it [if not all], was rewritten to work with SMF.
Our original announce [which I really liked] was ‘accidentally’ deleted by CurlyFries, but the [barebones] announce posted here is just as efficient [although, I prefer the switch system code he posted first].  I’m not ashamed to say I used that as a base to work with [credit was given where credit was due].
Although, I’m almost complete in coding SMFT [the remainder is just fluff and whatnot], it probably won’t be released for distribution this year.  I intend to beta test it for a while on my site and work out the kinks.  Once testing is completed, I’ll probably ask permission to add it to the SMF modification repository.  I say ‘ask permission’ because I’m not sure of SMF’s stance on a tracker mod.  They’re a legitimate corporation, and might decline my request, due to bittorrent being synonymous with copyright infringement [who’d have thought?].
On a side note, neither I, nor CurlyFries have abandoned our own project, and we do intend to [eventually] complete it.  However, SMFT is just something to keep me occupied until CurlyFries has extra free time on his hands for a time intensive project.

I definitely agree that SMF's mod system is ridiculously versatile, but with it comes unnecessary bloat and overhead. I personally prefer to build from scratch for maximum efficiency, and to me it makes more sense to build a forum around a tracker rather than a tracker around a forum.

I've subtly hinted that he may want to think about load testing the announces of various popular PHP/MySQL trackers, perhaps including his own and the one I wrote. It'd be interesting to see how they stack up.


ChiliDog said...

"I've subtly hinted that he may want to think about load testing the announces of various popular PHP/MySQL trackers, perhaps including his own and the one I wrote. It'd be interesting to see how they stack up."

Well, since I'm keeping the announce itself separate from SMF's database connection, load shouldn't be any more than the other various tracker systems. SMF only controls the front end. Depending on the mode of the tracker, load could be less.

CurlyFries said...

Well yeah, that's what I mean. I did write it, you know. I'd be interested to see how it stacks up when fully loaded...

ChiliDog said...


Can't really effectively load test it until it goes public. A handful of users connecting to announce.php won't make for a reliable reading. I personally, probably won't test it, but I can ask for readings of TBDev and TT from the people who download my projects source. I was intending to do so anyways. Nothing can ever be 'too' efficient, or in my case, have efficiency at all... ¬_¬

CurlyFries said...

Sure you can... just do a 1000x loop or something, slow it down enough that you can use microtime() to benchmark it. I meant to do some load testing on the TorrentFries server back when it was serving 10 hits per second on announce.php, but I never got around to it.

ChiliDog said...

*chilidog shakes head in disappointment

OnionRings said...

/me cries.

ChiliDog said...


this one must have slipped by me.

but to me, I never liked the 'attachment' system. And not enough features for me.

Anonymous said...

I have stumbled upon this through various google searches etc ...

This looks like a very promising tracker Forum Mod. I for one would like to see a bridge between XBTT ( a fast tracker written in C+ )and SMF.
Mainly for the setup consisting of XBTIT/SMF/XBT. XBTit is a Tracker indexer and community site which can use XBT as the tracker. SMF forum integration is flawless and embedds great with user integration etc ...
However, the forum content does not allow torrent submission or torrent details.
All torrent creation/management & use is from within XBTit.

I'm very curious to see if what you guys have done so far would be able to integrate with XBT.

I have quite a few sites and trackers, all running various stuff.
please keep me up to date.


CurlyFries said...

Take a look in the forum; there's a thread in there about this project.

tupeu said...

Hi, we need this mod SMFTracker !
People ask for it:

You did not said anything on the SMF forum:

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

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