Today, we’re celebrating the 2nd anniversary of ModernBB. It has been just 2 years, and to be fair: we did a lot. ModernBB has seen some amazing updates in the past 2 year, and I think that ModernBB 2.2, 3.0, 3.2 and 3.4 where the greatest releases we ever had (that is litteral, they where the greatest as in most changes). Not to say that ModernBB 2.0, 2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 weren’t great. They are as stable as the others, through 2.0, 2.1, 3.1 and 3.3 just feel less polished, while 3.5 – 3.7 just weren’t big changes.
A little more then 2,5 years ago, I became a FluxBB Developer. I was supposed to focus mostly on developing the FluxBB 1.5 core and move it forward, and help with FluxBB 2.0 where I could. And I was looking forward to that task. I was looking forward to extend the possibilities of 1.5 beyond the things it could do 2,5 year ago. There was only one issue: FluxBB 2.0.
It was decided that FluxBB 1.5 wouldn’t get new features and that everything would be saved for 2.0. However, back then FluxBB 2.0 was in early alpha stage. And now, 2,5 years later, it’s still in early alpha stage. In fact, it’s now abandend in favor of Flarum. I understand the decision, because development of FluxBB 2 went just way to slow. And meanwhile, the capabilities of FluxBB 1.5 weren’t changed at all. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I simply wasn’t allowed to.
And then it happened, I was a FluxBB Developer for 7 months and forked the FluxBB code on April 13nd, 2013. Not to create a fork, but just to provide people that liked FluxBB 1.4 more then 1.5 with the latest fixes, as only security fixes where ported to FluxBB 1.4, and not the other fixes, or new small changes. This version of FluxBB was renamed by me to ModernBB 1.6, based on 1.4, with all fixes and changes from 1.5.
On April 29th, ModernBB 1.6.0 was released. And it stayed like that for a couple of months. I adandond ModernBB myself. Until a couple months later. I started to play arround with Bootstrap and wondered how hard it would be to get FluxBB ported to Bootstrap, or at least make a theme based on Bootstrap. This turned out to require more change that I first tought and ModernBB came back to mind, and I decided: heck, why not make a ModernBB 1.7 that uses Bootstrap for styling instead of these old styles?
What followed was weeks of work on porting FluxBB/ModernBB to Bootstrap, meanwhile kicking in some other features I liked to see in ModernBB. This is basically where ModernBB went beyond what it was ment to be: a simple patch for FluxBB 1.4 users. Due to the big changes, ModernBB 1.7 was renamed ModernBB 2.0, and the ModernBB project became a thing of its own. It wasn’t just bug fixes anymore, but a new design and a lot of new features.
What followed was me improving the port to Bootstrap, resulting in one of the first (one of the first, not the first) forum software that supported a responsive design out-of-the-box in ModernBB 2.2. And we continued to improve this Bootstrap usage. And with ModernBB 3.0, an update that was mostly under-the-hood, we nailed it. What followed was a serie of updates to ModernBB. The most notable ones where ModernBB 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4. ModernBB 3.1 was only a redesign to the thread interface and other minor changes. ModernBB 3.2 extended the new thread design all over ModernBB. Version 3.3 included the new style engine and 3.4 just contained a lot of nice new features.
And then, in April, it happened. I decided to take a step back to the drawing table for “ModernBB 4”. And announced on twitter that something was coming soon. Later that year, in July, I announced Luna. This ment that ModernBB wouldn’t be developed as active as it once was, and most of my focus shifted to Luna. ModernBB 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7 where mainly small releases. Only fixing some interface issues and other bugs, adding little new features.
Ever since July, I’ve spend an aweful lot of time developing Luna, and today, all that work will finally pay of. We’re ready to release Luna. And we’re ready to close off the most amazing story of my life when it comes to technology so far. Seriously. I’m proud of the work that has been done. And I’m proud on the community arround it. Sure, we’re not the largest community out there. But we are an amazing one. I get exited every time I find a now ModernBB-based forum. It’s amazing to see your work grow beyond the things you imagened yourself.
I mean, I’ve had a lot of projects like this before, but every time again, they ended up dead. For some reason, that didn’t happen to ModernBB (until now that is). And I’m sure of it that it won’t happen with Luna. Thanks for 2 amazing years, and now we’re up for the next. The first one of a brand new story, a story that is going to be great. I believe that we can build an amazing piece of software together. Because after all…