There are a variety of tools that you can use to help others and even yourself to diagnose whatever phpBB related issue that you may be facing. If you are one of the people who helps others, or you'd like to do so, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
In this tutorial, my aim is to compile a starters list and for help doing this, I asked the community. Here are some tools to consider:
Archivers: These programs allow you to package together various files and to open packages of files that have already been archived or compressed. .zip and .rar are popular file formats for these compressed packages. When you download something from the phpBBHacks.com database, it is compressed in a .zip file.
Pay: WinRAR and WinZip
File Merging Tools: This software allows you to compare different versions of the same file, allowing you to see the differences between them. This can be very handy, for example, when you have one version of a file that is working and another that is not. You can then look up what is different in the file that is not working.
FTP Programs: File transfer protocol (FTP) programs are used to upload and download files from servers - such as the one where a website is hosted. When you make a change to a phpBB file on your website, you most likely are uploading that changed file through FTP.
Free: FileZilla and PSPad
Pay: FlashFXP and CuteFTP
Graphic Programs: A graphic editor gives you the ability to edit or create graphics that may be needed to adjust a phpBB in a visual way.
Pay: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Fireworks
Text Editors: Text editors help you to more easily view, edit and manipulate code. When you install a hack that requires you to make code changes, you most likely are using a text editor to make those changes.
Free: Notepad++, Crimson Editor and PSPad
Web Browsers: Sometimes, a problem is only visible in a certain web browser. Because of this, it can be handy to have numerous browsers installed on your machine, so that you can test and see what the other person may be seeing.
Free: Windows Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, Opera and Lunascape
Web Browser Extensions
Just as phpBB hacks can adjust the functionality of a phpBB or add something new, a browser extension can bring something new to your web browser. Some extensions are aimed at web developers and designers and can help you to fix phpBB related code and design issues.
Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar provides a similar experience to Firebug, but in Windows Internet Explorer.
Other browsers may offer their own developer tools, either built-in or through the addition of an extension.
Your Knowledge: We all have knowledge to share. I'm not a programmer, but what I know, I use and as I learn myself, I have more to use and more to share. Even if you have just installed phpBB, that's still knowledge. People ask about installing phpBB all the time. You can help them. Please don't discount this.
Kind Demeanor: This is a big one, especially within our community. Whatever knowledge you have is pretty unimportant if you can't share it in a way that is kind, respectful and helpful. You don't want to make the other person feel stupid or feel bad for asking a question. Even the most basic questions we've answered a thousand times should be treated with kindness and respect. We're all there at one point or another.
With these tools in your arsenal, you should be well equipped to help others or to fix your own issues. Once again, a big thank you to everyone who helps others within the phpBBHacks.com community.
Thank you cherokee red, ~HG~, lefty74 and Syren for contributing their tool suggestions for this tutorial.