This PHP guestbook script was written by Thomas Hettenhausen and it updated by Vincenzo Capuano since 2006. Also it was greatly updated by Ilya Zverev in 2009.
Visit flatPHPbook @ SourceForge or sitoserio.it for the latest version.
This guestbook stores all of its data in a flat text file, so no database is needed. This makes it easy to use for people who want their own guestbook and have webspace with PHP support, but no access to a MySQL database, which often costs more and is not needed for smaller web projects. That does not mean that you have to live with less comfort - this script offers some features known from other guestbook and bulletin board / forum scripts, among them
You are welcome to help implement the features!
But also to make suggestion ;-)
- Up -
This guestbook script does not need much; it basically comes down to this:
I tested it on www.sitoserio.it (on webserver running Linux operative system).
- Up -
The flatPHPbook archive contains the following files:
Just copy all these files into the same directory on your web space. Files in bold font are required for normal operation, as well as at least one of .lang files. However it's recommended to unpack all the files, adjust configuration options and then remove unneeded files. Language files can reside in base directory, along with index.php.
After that, you must make your guestbook.db and guestbook.ini files writable for the web server process (guestbook.ini only needs to be writable if you plan to use the web interface for configuration, if you edit the file manually, it is not necessary). With most webhosters that means setting the writable flag for other (since the web server process which will be writing to it is neither run by your account nor by anyone of your group). This would correspond to the CHMOD number 666, making the file readable and writable for all. You can also try if writable for group is enough (664), for me it is.
With some webhosters you might have to explicitly flag the script as executable. You will see this is necessary if you know for sure that PHP is enabled for you but you only get to see the code instead of a nice looking guestbook. To do that, set the CHMOD number to the value 755, equivalent to read-write-execute access to the user (owner) and read-execute to the group and all others.
To do either, load your favorite FTP program (I use FileZilla on Windows and gFTP on Linux, but every ftp program should be fine), and open the directory where you put these files. Now this is where it is probably different with each FTP program, but usually you right-click on the file index.php and select "Properties / CHMOD" or something similar from the context menu. At the bottom of the new window, you can set so-called flags (read, write, execute) for either user, group and other, and sometimes also a field with a 3-digit number. Experiment until it works, usually you have to set executable for either group or other.
- Up -
To upgrade the script:
Do not overwrite your old guestbook.db file or all your posts will be deleted and gone forever
(unless your server contains some undelete feature and you have access to it).
You might also want to make sure to check if you made any update to the index.php file and/or the stylesheet (guestbook.css) instead of creating your own/using a modified copy.
- Up -
The file index.php is the PHP script itself, but you can of course open it with any text editor you have at hand and take a look at it.
Pretty much at the top, you can see a line reading
$INIfileName = "guestbook.ini";
This points to the configuration file called guestbook.ini. In there I defined the variables that control the behaviour of the scipt. You may of course edit that file with a text editor and change these settings, but if you log in as admin you will be presented with a link to edit the configuration via a web interface. The options you will be able to edit are the following:
|version||this is the flatPHPbook script release version number - no need to edit this|
|gbName||the guestbook name, this is displayed as the title and headline of the page|
|delimiter||the special character used to tokenize the parts of a post in the database file - no need to edit this|
|disableMSSmartTags||if set to "1", prevents Microsoft products like MS Office and the Internet Explorer from creating so called "Smart Tags" (hyperlinks) out of company names mentioned on the page. These get created only for companies Microsoft has on their list for this feature. Set to "0" to allow Smart Tags|
|useAntiSpam||if set to "1", the script will use CAPTCHA image to prevent spammers|
|useMultiLanguage||if set to "1", the buttons for multi-language are displayed. Defaults to "1"|
|allowAnonymous||if set to "1", users can post messages not entering their nicknames. Defaults to "0"|
|readOnly||if set to "1", posting is turned off. Defaults to "0", of course|
|nbspBr||in older versions line breaks were stored as <br />. If this flag is set to "0" (default), they are stored as <br /> This option was introduced to maintain compatibility.|
|maxLinksPerPost||as the name suggests, contain maximum number of links a post can have. This is basic antispam protection, since most spammers tend to put hundred links in each post. Defaults to 5, recommended value is 3|
|guestbookFile||filename of the guestbook database file where the posts are stored. Defaults to "guestbook.db"|
|stylesheetFile||filename of the CSS stylesheet. Defaults to "guestbook.css"|
|configDescFile||Contains types of parameters in configuration file. Defaults to "configdesc.ini"|
|emailIcon||the icon/image representing the email address. Defaults to "email.png"|
|homepageIcon||the icon/image representing the homepage. Defaults to "homepage.png"|
|languageFile||the default language file from which the output texts are read. Defaults to "english.lang"|
|welcomeMessage||the default file containing the text displayed above the input fields. Defaults to "welcomeMessage.inc.html"|
|customHeader||file containing any kind of HTML code that is placed right after the opening body tag. Defaults to "customHeader.inc.html"|
|customFooter||file containing any kind of HTML code that is placed right before the closing body tag. Defaults to "customFooter.inc.html"|
|bannedWordsFile||file containing words that are not allowed in posts, one per line. Defaults to "bannedWords.txt"|
|displayNewestFirst||sorting order for display of entries, "1" for newest first, "0" for oldest first (in both cases, the oldest is labelled 1)|
|refreshWaitingTime||time to wait in seconds before a refresh on the Thanks-for-posting page|
|showTotalNumber||toggles display of total number of posts above the list of entries ("0" or "1")|
|entriesPerPage||set to "0" for all entries on a single page, or else to how many you want on one page|
|entriesPerHistoryPage||number of entries on pages 2 and higher. Defaults to 'entriesPerPage' value|
|entriesInRSS||number of posts included in RSS. Set this to "0" to disable RSS feature|
|separateViewFromSign||if set to "1", the form for signing is displayed on another page and not together with the old entries|
|signAfterView||if set to "1", the form for signing is placed at the bottom of guestbook|
|alternateSignLink||if set to "1", the link for signing is displayed both before and after guestbook (if there is no signing form displayed)|
|trackUserIP||set to "0" if you do not want to (or it is illegal in your country) log user IP addresses, will log "0.0.0.0" then, else it logs the posters IP address to the database file|
|timeNotation||determines the format in which the post date and time is displayed:|
"ISO" → "DD-MM-YYYY, H:mm"
"american" → "MM-DD-YYYY, h:mm am/pm"
"german" → "DD.MM.YYYY, H:mm"
"italian" → "DD/MM/YYYY, H:mm"
|timeOffsetOnSave||the number of hours that gets added to the time a post was made - at posting time, not display time. Defaults to "0"|
|tableLayout||determines what table layout to use for the guestbook display: "classic" uses the 4-cells layout (2 rows, 2 columns per post) that is the default since release of the first version, "simple" uses only 2 cells|
|externalLinksTarget||determines the target of the external links. Defaults to "_top"|
|customFieldNames||a comma separated list of the names for the custom fields (so it reads something like "City,Country" without the quotation marks)|
|moderatedPosts||if set to "1" instead of "0", posts do not automatically appear in the guestbook, but have to be approved by the site administrator first|
|wordFilter||if set to "1", messages containing words listed in the bannedWordsFile are rejected|
|displayEmails||if set to "0" (default), email addresses will be shown only to administrator|
|forcePreview||if set to "1", users will be forced to preview their messages before posting: 'Submit' button will appear only on preview screen.|
|displayHomepage||if set to "0", homepage input field will be hidden (but homepage links will still be visible)|
|sendEmail||set to "1" if you want to be notified via email every time a new post is made to your guestbook|
|fromAddress||the email address the notification is sent from (some mail servers do not accept mails without a valid From: address)|
|toAddress||the email address the notification is sent to (like the From: address you should probably use your address for this)|
|SMTP||the SMTP server for sending messages - check with your ISP for this (or open your email programm like Outlook or Mozilla Mail and search for an entry called "SMTP Server" or something like this)|
|overrideLocalhost||only useful on Unix/Linux web servers - set to "1" if you do not want to use the email service on your web server (usually has some MTA like sendmail, exim or postfix installed), but your regular email account instead. Has no effect on Windows machines, as you need to use your regular account there anyways|
|displayButtons||if set to "1", the buttons for BBcode are displayed; if set to "0" they are not displayed. Does not disable the interpretation of BBcode in messages posted earlier. If enabled, only those buttons explicitly set to "1" below are being displayed|
|displayWebButtons||sets whether the "www" and the "@" buttons for hyperlinks and mailto-links are displayed|
|displayFormatButtons||sets whether the buttons for bold, italic and underlined are displayed|
|displayColorButton||sets whether the color selector dropdown field is displayed|
|displaySizeButton||sets whether the size selector dropdown field is displayed|
|displayImageButton||sets whether the button for linking to an image on the web is displayed|
|displayCodeButton||sets whether the button for entering preformatted (verbatim) text is displayed|
|1_File||the language1 file. Defaults to "english.lang"|
|1_Icon||the little language1 icon. Defaults to "english.gif"|
|1_Title||the language1 title. Defaults to "English"|
|1_welcomeMsg||file1 containing the text displayed above the input fields. Defaults to "welcomeMessage.inc.html"|
|Language_2 through Language_8|
|2_File etc.||the same as for Language_1, but for other languages (e.g. german, italian, spanish).|
Just edit these values to your liking, but be warned: I do not have any checks in there to catch problems if you set e.g. the number of posts per page to below zero - this is not something someone from outside is going to hack, and I think you will be wise enough to fill in valid numbers. After all, you want this to work...
Just above the line mentioned above in the file index.php, you will find the two lines setting the admin username and password:
$adminusername = "admin"; // the administrator username who can delete posts
$adminpassword = "123456" ; // the corresponding password
Equally in the file charconv.php, you will find the one line setting the admin password:
$adminpassword = '123456'; // admin password
As noted in the code as well, you really should change $adminusername and $adminpassword to something else.
Actually, charconv.php isn't needed after you've converted the database, so you should delete it.
The file guestbook.css is a CSS file for the guestbook. If you know how to write HTML and used CSS yourself, go ahead and play with it. This is just regular CSS, no magic involved. Make the guestbook fit your own webpage with this. If you do not know what CSS is, either be daring and play around, or go learn something about it first. There are some pretty good online tutorials for CSS and HTML.
- Up -
This PHP guestbook script was written by Thomas Hettenhausen and it updated by Vincenzo Capuano since 2006 and by Ilya Zverev in 2009. It is released under the GPL.
Thomas Hettenhausen wrote this little script because he intended to move your web presence from a HTML-only host to one allowing PHP, but not MySQL (a matter of money), and he did not find any suitable PHP-based guestbook. Right now he does have MySQL (found a cheaper host), but hey - that does not mean he cannot finish a project he starts! On the other hand, free guestbook services might have been ok, too, but they usually display advertisements, are often slow in response time (after all, they are free, and their companies do not want to spent lots of money for their free services), and they often are not exactly easy to modify in their appearance, so they never quite fit your web page design.
Vincenzo Capuano updated the flatPHPbook version 1.02 and wrote the AntiSpam version. In this version he added a CAPTCHA AntiSpam Controller, the Multi-Language functionality and the new language packs.
Ilya Zverev updated this script fixing all found bugs and implementing some of the requested features. He decided to keep 'Plus' version line.
This is the second stable release of flatPHPbook Plus version which updates the Plus version 1.0. The 2.x line is essentially feature frozen, point releases will see only bugs and/or minor changes. Please do not post questions asking when new version will be available, no release date has been set, but you feel free to suggest new features for the guestbook.
The editor used to write this script is Notepad++. It is a free source code editor (and Notepad replacement), which supports several programming languages, running under the MS Windows environment. Give it a try!
If you like this guestbook, drop me a line and tell me! I would love to hear from installations, and I can also put up links to some of the sites that use it.
|0.9.0||July 26, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.1||August 02, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.2||August 19, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.3||August 29, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.4||September 01, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.5||September 14, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.6||October 06, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.7||October 15, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.8||November 08, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|0.9.9||December 12, 2003||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|1.0||March 01, 2004||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|1.01||June 25, 2004||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|1.02||February 08, 2005||Thomas Hettenhausen|
|Antispam version 1.0||July 18, 2006||Vincenzo Capuano|
|Antispam version 1.1||February 13, 2007||Vincenzo Capuano|
|Antispam version 1.2||July 11, 2007||Vincenzo Capuano|
|Antispam version 2.0||October 22, 2007||Vincenzo Capuano|
|Antispam version 2.1||May 08, 2008||Vincenzo Capuano|
|Plus version 1.0||February 03, 2009||Vincenzo Capuano|
|Plus version 2.0||September 17, 2009||Ilya Zverev|
|Plus version 2.1||November 25, 2009||Ilya Zverev|
- Up -
Here I will document e.g. the structure of the database file (guestbook.db) for all those who want to edit it manually.
Each line in this file represents a post, new ones being appended at the end of the file. The line consists of the entries in the post, separated by the delimiter stored in the variable $delimiter. The order of the fields is:
followed by some possible custom fields, each with the delimiter before it.
A typical line might look like this:
El Gringo::email@example.com::www.provider.com/elgringo/::1076874034::220.127.116.11::That is a nice guestbook you have! See my homepage [url=www.myhomepage.com]here[/url].
This would show up in the guestbook as follows:
|El Gringo||20:40:34, 2004-02-15|
|That is a nice guestbook you have! See my homepage here.|
- Up -
It is possible to use a localized version of the script. All translation files reside in lang folder. The following languages are included:
|flatPHPbook Plus version Language Packs|
|Language||Icon||Version||This translation done by|
|Dutch||1.2||Pieter Bos en Bas van den Bosch|
|Russian||1.1||Andrey Mikhalchuk and Ilya Zverev|
If you want to do another language, check out the file english.lang. Technically, this is an INI-file containing just one section (ATM) called "General", and then some lines with a variable name and then the appropriate string with which this variable is to be substituted in this language.
Just copy the file, name it to your language (e.g. greek.lang), and then translate the strings. Keep in mind that the strings has to be enclosed in quotes, and may not contain "too" special characters (just try it out...). Also pay attention to where the string is used: the "New post! and " just added a new post to your guestbook!" strings are used in emails and therefore should not contain HTML entities, e.g. like "ä" for "ä" - use the real character or like in this case "ae" as workaround. Also do not forget to add your language file name to 'languageFile' key in configdesc.ini.
For your own use it is of course sufficient to only translate those phrases that regular users will see, but if you did a complete translation please send it in and I can make it available for download for everybody! For credit, just include your name as a comment in the language file (that means on a line starting with a semicolon).
- Up -
In the second stable release of flatPHPbook AntiSpam version the possibility to select the user's language in front-end side (Multi-Language mode) has been added.
e.g.: if the user clicks on the little Italian icon, it will set the Italian language. So the user will able to use his own language.
NOTE: the language setting should last until the browser is closed.
To use this mode needs to set the INI file in this way:
useCookies = 1
useMultiLanguage = 1
besides to the configuration of the other points (see default values).
For each language it is possible to set the language file (e.g. italian.lang), the language icon (e.g. italian.gif), the language title (e.g. Italiano) and the welcome message file (e.g. welcomeMessageITA.html).
- Up -
This version uses CAPTCHA images based on a technology created by Vincenzo Capuano. It limits the robots bombarding spams.
A CAPTCHA image shows a random string which the user has to type to submit a form. This is a simple problem for (seeing) humans, but a very hard problem for computers which have to use character recognition, especially, because the displayed string is alienated in a way, which makes it very hard for a computer to decode.
You have probably encountered such tests when signing up for an online email or forum account. The form might include an image of distorted text which you are required to type into a text field.
The idea is to prevent spammers from using web boots to automatically post form data in order to submit feedback comments or guestbook entries containing spam messages. The text in the image is usually distorted to prevent the use of OCR software to defeat the process. Hotmail, PayPal, Yahoo and a number of blog sites have employed this technique.
The CAPTCHA image needs the GD Graphics Library extension to be installed. GD is an open source code library for the dynamic creation of images by programmers. This library was originally developped by Thomas Boutell and is now maintained by Pierre-A. Joye under the umbrella of PHP.net.
- Up -
Since Plus version 2.1 flatPHPbook allows users to use RSS feed to monitor new posts. This feature can be turned off by setting entriesInRSS configuration parameter to zero. Note that that only disables link to RSS, but the feed itself is generated, but with no items in it.
There is no link to RSS in default templates. It is placed in META tag, and all modern browsers understand it and inform user about RSS presence. An example of placing the link to RSS on the page can be found in bundled customFooter.inc.html.
- Up -
The flatPHPbook script was written by Thomas Hettenhausen in 2003.
This PHP guestbook script was written by Thomas Hettenhausen and it updated by Vincenzo Capuano since 2006.
This script was updated by Ilya Zverev in 2009. No point showcasing his sites :)
- Up -
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
- Up -