I regularly receive emails (even DMCA notices) from organisations/people attempting to contact the owners of phpBB forums. It's an interesting problem, since there are few ways to actually get in touch with the owner of a board and none of them are straightforward for an unfamiliar person.
What I usually do is visit the registration page where the email of the administrator is listed (in plaintext) above the CAPTCHA. I then reply to the email with a canned "not us" message while CCing the owner. This happens multiple time per day and is obviously a problem.
What I would love to see is a dedicated simple contact page that sends an email to email addresses configured within the administration panel. The registration page could then link to the contact page rather than listing the email in a mailto. Likewise, a link to the page should go somewhere in the footer, such as next to the "The team" link. As this is a relatively simple and well separated page, it would be great in a minor release, rather than waiting for 3.1.
Useful reference: http://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/mod/contact_board_administration/
People, especially from Germany (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressum), have asked for this since 3.0 gold release. Since it has not been added until at least 3.0.8, I see no need to add it now. We should rather try to harden the 3.0.x branch as we promised in http://blog.phpbb.com/2010/02/18/moving-on-the-future-of-phpbb-development/ instead of adding any more features (although small) to it; this is because we always introduced bugs with those features in the past. So this should really be for 3.1.x.
1) Admit not having it was a mistake and rectify it as soon as possible
2) Decrease the amount of time before this problem goes away (or is improved), since people will update to 3.0.9 quickly, but won't update to 3.1 quickly.
3) Save me time having to constantly answer such emails/DMCA notices/lawsuit threats.
4) Save us from having to hire lawyers when someone, inevitably, files a lawsuit against us for nonsense
EDIT: Also, if people from Germany have been asking for this since 3.0.0, why haven't we added it? It's not like the usual feature-creep rules apply since this is a completely separate component that is extremely unlikely to cause regressions. Isn't this precisely what people criticize us for everywhere? Why not give in to perfectly reasonable requests by the community, and me?
I'm for adding this if it is simple page that gives details on who to contact, additional mode to one of the existing pages plus a template file.
There are only two hitches I see:
- Templates that don't use inheritance will bomb out until they're updated. Although there will not be a link to the page if the template isn't updated, so perhaps a moot point.
- Displaying the board email address, which should be fine as it is already visible during registration but I doubt everyone realises this.
I would remove the board email from the registration page and instead link to the new contact page.
It should be very simple.
Admin configuration: email address, contact name, custom message
Contact page: contact form that sends email to the specific email address.
The functionality for most of these features already exists in phpBB.
Adding this to 3.0 feels like dragging 3.1 on longer and longer. The whole point of 3.1 was to stop adding features to 3.0 and release 3.x more quickly. Now that has taken too long. So maybe we need to reduce the number of features in 3.1 again, but I do not want to add more features in 3.0.
Note, there is a difference between an "impressum" and a contact form page. An impressum as required by german law must contain personal and contact information in writing (http://www.suchmaschinen-online.de/muster-impressum.htm example). The contact page yuriy is requesting is a form, that will send an email to the board owner.
An impressum is specific to certain countries, which is why it does not make sense to add it. The contact page you are proposing will not replace the impressum for countries such as germany.
Adding such a contact form is generally a good idea, for both site admins and ourselves. I'm a bit sceptical about it's effectiveness, especially on sites with questionable content (they may just remove it). Another potential issue is spam, by linking to the form from every page (eg. footer), spam to that address could increase significantly (assuming the current address is partially protected by being on the POST registration page).
If content is admin configurable, you can use that page as an Impressum.