From danasoft.com and SigX to a tutorial by markus_petrux on how to create them for phpBB, dynamically created signatures seem to be becoming all the rage. Some display information about the person viewing the signature and some display information about a particular message board.
Though the Frost Jedi Graemlin Creator is more than capable of the former, only the later will be discussed in this post.
Traditionally, displaying information about a particular message board has required that the script have access to the SQL database. This method, however, has some serrious disadvantages. It requires you have the GD Library installed on your server, the FreeType library (if you want to use your own fonts), and it requires you write your own rendering engine.
The latest revisions to the Frost Jedi Graemlin Creator eliminate these disadvantages by allowing you to create dynamic signatures based on text or html files located at remote URLs.
The following script, adapted from markus_petrux’s tutorials, demonstrates how to take advantage of this feature for a phpBB forum:
To do this for your message board, just copy the above script, paste it into a new file in your phpBB root directory, and then paste the link into the Frost Jedi Graemlin Creator’s URL field.
Adding smilies such as and user generated variables such as %isp to the output will achieve the same effect that adding them to the main textfield on the Frost Jedi Graemlin Creator would do.
If used in conjunction with fsockopen and pattern matching, this feature can even be made to display information from sources whose database you don’t have access to, such as RSS feeds, cnn.com’s weather, or whatever.
This feature can also be used to create visitor counters. Basically, you’d create a counter which would display the current visitor count as a text file and then give the link to the Frost Jedi Graemlin Creator to render it in a prettier fashion than you might be able too.
All in all, I think it’s a neat feature and hope that others will find it, at the very least, useful