CapeSoft Forums is an example of a NetTalk web application. It allows you to easily create, and
administer forums on the web.
To compile the forum source code you will need the following;
Install all the supplied files into a new folder. This will include an app and dct file,
and other dependent resources (such as icons).
The application is provided in source code format (app & dct) and the source code
may not be distributed to other people. However the resultant EXE created with the source
code can be distributed, without restriction, royalty free.
After compiling the application, you are free to deploy the resulting EXE and DLL on one or more of
your servers without additional payment. However you may not resell either the source code, nor the
resulting Exe / DLL without permission from CapeSoft.
the Web Forums Exe will run on any version of Windows from Windows XP, Service Pack 3. If you need to run it on Windows
XP before Service Pack 3, then see here.
Load the app into Clarion. It is shipped as a Clarion 6 app, so if you are loading it into a later version of Clarion
allow it to convert.
Start the compile using the usual methods. This will create (by default) an Exe. You can change this, if you wish,
to compile to a DLL, so that it can be run under the Multi-site Host program.
The program is using port 88 by default. This can be changed in the NetTalk
Extension in the WebServer procedure.
Updating to a later Clarion / NetTalk
If you update the forums to a later version of NetTalk or Clarion then you may want to check this section for any specific information which may apply to you;
- Cannot call procedure as function
change this line
packet = clip(packet) & p_web.jQuery('#' & p_web._jsok('menu')&'_f'&
p_web.jQuery('#' & p_web._jsok('menu')&'_f'&
and this line
packet = clip(packet) & '</div></div><13,10>' &
p_web.jQuery('#group_' & FGRP:GroupId,'accordion',loc:options)
to the following 2 lines;
packet = clip(packet) & '</div></div><13,10>'
p_web.jQuery('#group_' & FGRP:GroupId,'accordion',loc:options)
- Unknown Identifier CRLF
Change CRLF to p_web.CRLF
When you run the Exe for the first time, you
set all the basic settings for the application.
This is done on the Settings tab of the server's Window. The settings are
stored in an xml file, ForumSettings.Xml
, which is located in the current
Overall Forums Name
This is the name of the forums as presented to the user.
This is the url that the user would enter in order to access these forums.
This is used when creating emails, sent to the user, alerting them to a
response to their note etc.
User File Path
This is the location of the User.Tps file. This may be in a different place
to the other data files if you wish to share a user list among multiple
forums. If left blank then the folder containing the EXE or DLL is used.
Forums Data Path
This is the location of the data files on the disk.
If left blank then the folder containing the EXE or DLL is used.
There are a number of places in the forums where an email can be sent to a user. In order to do this
the forum software needs to know the following details of your Email Server.
After setting the email settings it is recommended you click on the
button to make sure the server can send emails.
The IP address, or DNS name pointing at your mail server.
The Port the email server is listening on. This is usually port 25.
The "from address" which is valid for the server. Most servers will not
accept mail for delivery unless they contain a valid "from" address for
If your email server requires that you login before sending, enter your
user name for the server here.
If your email server requires that you login before sending, enter your
Topics Per Page
This is the number of items which will appear in the topics list (the
left hand list), per page. Around 20 is a good value here.
Replies Per Page
This is the number of replies that will be shown (the right-hand-list)
for each topic, before it in turn goes to the next page. This can be set
quite high as in most cases you want to see the whole conversation for a
Add "All Postings" to menus
If this is on then an additional item is added to each Forum Group, which
allows the user to see all the topics posted in that forum group.
Enable Subscriptions functionality
If this is on then the user is able to subscribe to some specific forums.
Add First User
When you connect to the server for the first time you will be prompted to add the first user.
This will become the supervisor, or overall administrator, of the site. To add
the first user, click on the New User link.
Note: When adding a user, the forum
server uses a slightly different approach to other forum software. Rather
than require a captcha to be entered, the form requires a code to be
entered. This code is emailed to the user as the user enters his details.
For the first user this code is always 1111, and so the default value can be
Customize Styles and HTML
Three HTML snippets are included in the web folder. These are used to
determine the basic layout of the site. They are;
- Welcome.Htm - This page is the "home" page for the site, and contains
information for the user about the site.
- Header.Htm - This is the layout for the header. It typically
includes the site name, and a login screen for the user to login.
- Footer.Htm - This is for information displayed at the bottom of the
All 3 of these files can be modified by the user, but care should be taken to backup these
modifications when updating the forum software itself.
The Header.Htm should consist of a
xHTML compliant snippet of HTML. In other words, if it contains code which
is both HTML AND XML compliant, then the menu will be updated "live" on the
screen when the forum details change. The two most important thing about
making HTML also XML compliant is
a) Every opening tag must have a closing tag and
b) "attributes" must have a value, and the value must be in quotes.
This is not xml;
<input type="text" readonly>
<img src="whatever" />
<input type="text" readonly="readonly">
In addition to the HTML, you can also add additional CSS files to the styles folder in order
to override the default styles. You should put your custom changes into a file called
site.css (which you will need to create). After editing this file, re-run the Gzipall.Bat utility.
the Gzipall.Bat utility is generated for you when you compile the app, and requires the Gzip.Exe
program which is in your Accessory/Bin (or /3rdparty/bin) folder. When deploying your app it
is recommended you ship the GzipAll.Bat, and Gzip.Exe files and place them in the folder immediately
above the Web folder. In this way you can edit your site.css file live, re-run GzipAll.Bat, and
see the effects, without needing to recompile the program.
The basic idea of a forum is to let people communicate with each other in a group context. However
the basic structure of this communication can change by changing some very simple parameters. When
creating each forum you will be able to make them behave differently to each other by changing the forum
A forum allows anyone to start a new thread, and anyone can comment on any thread. Only the original
posted (and system moderators) can edit the original posting.
A blog is similar to a forum, except that only moderators can start a new thread. Thus while anyone can
comment the number of people who can start a new topic is limited.
A Wiki is a forum where any person can edit the original posting.
A task is a forum topic which can be "Assigned" to a user. Using this approach the topic can be closed
when completed. It also has an optional Urgent setting which can be applied when the topic is created.
Users are able to click on the To Do menu item to see which topics have been assigned to them. They are
able to comment on the topic, assign the topic to someone else, or close the topic.
If you log in as an administrator (the first user is automatically an administrator) then you will be able to
configure various aspects of the forums.
Two extra menus will appear, one for Forum Management, and another for
Assign Access Rights.
If you are setting up the forums for the first time, then we recommend you start by clicking on the Forums item.
This menu is only available to system administrators.
All users are not created equal. There are Administrators, Moderators
and Users. Administrators have complete control and can add new forums,
manage users and so on. They can also appoint users to be Moderators of
one or more groups.
Another way to assign the access rights to a group is to choose the
Forums item under the Assign Access Rights menu. Select the forum to
inspect, and then from the list of users determine who has access, and
who the moderators of the forum are. This option is also open to
moderators, for groups that they moderate.
In this software there are two layers that identify a forum. the first
is the "Forum Group". This is a group name given to a collection of
individual forums. This group will appear as its own menu on the left
hand side of the screen. Inside each group can be one or more forums.
Group Name: NetTalk
Forums: Web Server, Email, FTP
The ORDER setting allows you to determine the order of the Foum groups,
as they are displayed in the menu on the left.
Once you have created one or more forum groups, you can go ahead and add
individual forums to each group. Most of the forum settings are pretty
self-explanatory, but it is worth noting that you can set a specific URL
for a forum here. This is particularly useful if you want to alert the
user to an existing forum, but in the case where the actual forum is on
another site. If the URL field is left blank (which you will want to do
in most cases) then the forum is considered to be internal to these
You also have the opportunity to set a forum to be a Blog, or a Wiki. A
blog is where only pre-appointed persons are allowed to start a new
thread (the administrator, or forum moderators), other users can only
comment. A wiki is where multiple users are allowed to change both the
original post and the replies. A private group is invisible to all
users, and access is by "invitation only" - ie the administrator must
grant specific access rights to users to that group.
When viewing the forum groups, and forums, you will also see a list of
users. For more information on the user list see the section above.
This is the Web-Interface version to allow you to set the primary
settings for the forum software.
This allows you to send an email to all the users who have either
subscribed or registered with the forum. (Each user has the ability to
turn off the receipt of these emails on their profile.)
Assign Access Rights
This menu is open to Administrators, and Moderators. It allows you to
grant, or deny, access rights to users to specific forums.
Once logged in the user will be able to subscribe to forums, post to forums,
post replies to entries, search past entries, and edit their profile. These
options are briefly discussed here.
Subscribe To Forums
Inside a forum group it's possible to have a large number of forums.
Usually the user will not be interested in all the foums, but may want
to pay attention to only a few of them. To limit the list of forums on
the menu the user can choose to Subscribe to forums. If they have
subscribed to forums, inside a forum group, then only the subscribed
forums will appear in the menu.
If the user has not subscribed to any of the forums in the group, then
all the forums in that group are displayed.
The Search functionality does a full text search of the existing posts,
across all forums (that the user has access to.)
The search term can consist of multiple fields. These are by default
"OR" fields, in other words any result which matches and of the searched
fields will be retrieved. In addition to this search terms can be
prefixed with a + or - character. If prepended by a + character a field
MUST be in the result, if prepended by a - character the field MUST NOT
be in the result.
will return all the posts that include the word "example" but do not
include the word "sql".
will return all the posts that contain the phrase "sql example" in the
The search results are sorted by date, the most recent post which
matches the search is displayed first.
The user can change their personal details here.
This section describes some features of the software that may not be obvious when first using it.
Editing & Deleting Posts
Users can edit their own posts, and posts can be deleted if there are no
replies to the post.
Moderators can edit, and delete all posts, and replies, in the forums that
Administrators can edit and delete all posts and replies.
If a particular topic needs to remain at the top of the forum, then it can
be marked as Sticky. A Moderator, or Administrator is able to set this (or
clear this) for any post. Stickies are usually used for informational type
posts, or posts which need to be easily found by all users of the forum.
Convert to SQL
The forums source code is shipped as using a TPS data store. However it can be converted to
using a SQL data store using whatever conversion approach you prefer. If
you have any problems during the conversion, or you identify code you
feel is not suitable for SQL data stores, then please contact us.
This section discusses possible modifications you may need, or want, to make to the software.
Support Windows XP, before SP3
The default hashing algorithm for hashing the login passwords is SHA-512.
This is only available on Windows XP Service Pack 3 and later. If you run
the forums software on a machine that does not support SHA-256 you'll get
the following error;
Cryptonite. Error in CreateHash(): Could not create the Hash object. Windows
CryptoAPI error -2146893816: 80090008h: Invalid algorithm specified.
a) Update the machine to XP Service pack 3. (recommended)
b) Use another machine to host the Forums software.
c) Recompile to use a different hashing algorithm.
Pros: It'll run on Windows XP SP2 and earlier.
Cons: Because Hashing is a "one-way" operation you won't be able to change
the algorithm later on (without resetting all the passwords.) SHA-1 makes
the passwords slightly more vulnerable to cracking than SHA-256.
Login Attempt procedure. Search for cs:CALG_SHA_512 and replace with
- Version 3.00 - - requires
NetTalk 8.61 or later and Clarion 10.
Change: Recompiled for Clarion 10 with NetTalk 8.61
- Version 2.04 - - requires
NetTalk 6.38 or later.
Change: (Important) - "Priority" system
for tasks reversed. Now the default priority is 0, and the bigger the
number the more important the task.
Change: Cosmetics of Breadcrumbs changed to allow for really long
topics, or really narrow monitors.
Change: Some cosmetic changes
Fix: clicking on Attachment allows attachment to be downloaded.
- Version 2.03 - 7 July 2012
Add: Email is sent to users when a task is updated.
Fix: Couple of cosmetic fixes.
- Version 2.02 - 29 June 2012 - requires
NetTalk 6.36 or later.
Add: Support for "Tasks" (in addition to "Forums", "Blogs" and "Wikis").
See Forum Types for more.
Change: Various cosmetic improvements
Fix: Problem with making people moderators.
- Version 2.01 - 28 June 2012 - NetTalk 6.35
or later recommended.
Add: Setting: ServerPort. Allows web-serving port to be set at runtime.
(Restart of server required if this value changes).
Add: Topic List "Order" field (default 999). Allows finer ordering of
topic posts by moderator.
Add: A Topic can be moved from one forum to another. (by editing the
entry under the Topics list.)
Change: A forum group must have forums before it will show up in the
list on the left.
Fix: Various bug fixes.
- Version 2.0.0 - 25 April 2012 - First public released version.