A word on ModernBB 2.0 RC1

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A couple of hours ago, we launched ModernBB 2.0 beta 3. But I would love to give you guys a word on the upcoming next pre-release, ModernBB 2.0 RC1. One of those reasons is that I want to point out some of the known issues in ModernBB 2.0 beta 3 and to tell the future planning.

So, lets talk about Release Candidate 1. First of all, we already have 3 issues to be closed in this first release candidate in our tracker. There is a 4th ticket, but that’s a Meta-ticket, which means that it will only provide us of information. Anyway, I have offline a list of issues too. This does now contain 11 unique issues, 1 of them is bringing back the beta 1/2 design for Backstage and the second one is about the front-end design. Everything else are bugs. So yes, there are 9 known issues in beta 3. However, additional to those 11 issues, there are another 11 issues. What? 22 bugs? Well, yes and no, the second wave of 11 bugs are the bugs that where solved during version 1.6.2, they still need to be added to the core of v2.0.

Anyway, one of those issues is the fact that ModernBB 2.0 beta 3 will warn you for an update: ModernBB 2.0 beta 3. We know already how to solve this issue but it will be fixed in the near future. Don’t freak out: the updater will warn you for a real update, RC1, once it’s available. Another issue is that post errors are displayed in plain text, which will also be fixed soon, a simmilar issue appears in db_update.php. When there are more reports on the report.php page in the Backstage, it will display to much hard returns. And more small issues.

Anyway, non of them will prevent the forum software from working, most are just HTML and CSS bugs. The only real issue we have is that the menu will be displayed upon the forum software as soon as your forum won’t get enough space to display. When upgrading from ModernBB 2.0 beta 2 and earlier, the design of the front-end will also bug up, because this stays on Air. An easy fix for that is simply removing all incompatible styles, ModernBB will automatical fall back on Randomness.

While ModernBB 2.0-rc.1 is planned on October 16th as displayed on ModernBB.be and GitHub.com, we want to launch this RC somewhere in the begin/middle of September, with the second RC a week later, and the final release, once again, a week later.

ModernBB 2.0-beta.3 now available

ModernBB 2.0 beta 3
I’m proud to anounce the availablity of the 3rd and final beta of ModernBB 2.0! Starting today, you can find this beta on our download page. Starting tomorrow, we will work on ModernBB 2.0-rc.1, which will be the first of 2 Release Candidates of ModernBB 2.0!

Some of you might know that we never planned this third beta. However, when the port to Bootstrap v2.3 was finished in beta 2, I released that as soon as I would start working on ModernBB 2.5, I would break everything again. Plugins, extensions, themes, they won’t work with that new version because of my plans. That’s why all tickets for the ModernBB 2.1 and 2.5 milestone where moved to ModernBB 2.0, and here is the final product of that!

So… what has changed since beta 2? Well, first of all, we have ported the whole front-end to Bootstrap 3.0.0. We also updated Backstages version of Bootstrap from 2.3.2 to 3.0.0. This caused the design we used in beta 1 and 2 to get lost. Anyway, we will probably bring back the old Aurora theme in the first RC. Another improvment is the new front-end design, it’s not ment to be used for mainstream, but more a basic design to build other upon. We will probably change this too in RC1.

The parser has been updated with support for acronyms, tekst alignment and more. Those feature can be used much more easy with the brand new toolbar. The toolbar is customizable: you can choose by yourself what features should be displayed and wich not. We’ve also added new emoticons, 5 to be exact, and 13 new BBCodes for those emoticons. Posts that are reported will be marked in red and the report button will be disabled so a post can’t be reported twice. Another improvement is the redesigned Backstage index.

Users can now view their own profile without the need to log out or use another browser. They will also have a better experience when searching for content. We’ve added a “simple” mode too search. However, users can still access the old extended version. We also got rid of the quickjump feature, it’s wasn’t very usefull after all. We also fixed a bug with statistics on the forum, improved the design of the login page and the “Remember me” checkbox is selected by default.

Structural, ModernBB has changed a lot. The files for the backend have been moved to /backstage/, files for Bootstrap 3, that are used by both front- and back-end are moved to /include/bootstrap/. We merged all language files together until only 5 are left. We also did an amazing job with cleaning up the source code. It’s also inpossible to update to ModernBB 2.0 from PunBB 1.2, PunBB 1.3, FluxBB 1.2 and FluxBB 1.3. We also fixed the update checker bug. However, beta 1 and beta 2 users won’t be notified for the availability of beta 3 and later.

The website
The website has been updated again. It now displays milestones code names on the front page and the download page. To introduce them to you, ModernBB 1.6 has codename “Blythe”, ModernBB 2.0 is developed under codename “Zoe”. We’ve also updated the FAQ with some new questions and updated answers. The about page has been updated too and talks about ModernBB 2.1. The features page has also been updated and it list now some more features. We improved the changelog system too, it now shows related milestones, for example, when you look for ModernBB 1.6.0, it will notice that ModernBB 1.6-beta is related to this build. The “fixed issues”-count for stable build does also count the issues fixed in the pre-releases. This causes ModernBB 2.0.0 to appear in the list with 62 fixed issues. The ModernBB forums will be updated later today!

Round-up #2 – Finishing the beta stage

ModernBB 2.0 beta 3
We need just a week more, and then it’s coming: ModernBB 2.0 beta 3. In the past week, we closed around 15 issues in the ModernBB 2.0-beta.3 milestone. So, lets talk about what we did in the past week and updates to our roadmap.

Development Status
In the past 7 days, we made a great progression. One of those changes is the updater, we removed support for upgrading from PunBB 1.2, PunBB 1.3, FluxBB 1.2 and FluxBB 1.3. This makes the update file 44% lighter and makes updating faster. We also created a features that marks posts as reported so users can’t report one post more than 1 time. We’ve also merged all language files into 5 different files, making them lighter and easier to use. We’ve also Improved search, it now contains a simple search feature (by default), you can easly switch to an advanced mode.

It’s now also possible to add custom menu entries (this feature was removed in an earlier development version of beta 3, but is present in beta 2). Another update this week is done to the login form, it’s design is Improved and looks better. The whole Backstage is now also translatable (small parts weren’t in beta 2). And we also added 5 new emoticons and 13 new BBCodes to display emoticons. A big improvement is official support for MariaDB 5.3.4 and higher. We also worked a lot on Randomness (the default style) but it’s far from finished. And last but not least: bugfixes, bugfixes and even more bugfixes!

The Roadmap
We do have roadmap changes planned! ModernBB beta 3 should be finished in the upcoming week (maybe begin next week). This may result in RC1 and RC2 being pushed forward, together with the final 2.0.0. RC1 should be available somewhere mid-September, RC2 will follow a week later, with the final ModernBB 2.0.0, once again, a week later (which should be somewhere end September, begin October).

When RC1 will start development, we will also start planning ModernBB 2.1. This version will be a focus on Backstage. We want to improve the design, get rid or Yes/No radio buttons (checkboxes should be used there) and more. ModernBB 2.1 will continue the development we’ve started in ModernBB 2.0, stay tuned.

ModernBB.be
ModernBB.be itself will also get updated as soon as beta 3 is released. However, maybe you noticed it, but we’ve updated the features page multiple times in the past week, and we will continue to do this in the future. On that page you can see what features there are added in development releases. Anyway, when beta 3 launches, we will update the website with new information, a new FAQ, etc. Stay tuned!

Round-up #1 – Let’s introduce a serie of dev posts

ModernBB 2.0 beta 3

Starting this week, I will post development round-ups. In those posts, I will talk about the latest and greatist from the dev builds of ModernBB. In this case, that is ModernBB 2.0 beta 3. I will also talk about the future roadmap and how I expect everything to go and of course: explain decisions.

Development status
During the past week, we did some awesome things. Today, the jump to Bootstrap 3 is finaly completed. We also got rid of the HTTP_REFERER errors, adding the possibility to replace files from Backstage to their own folder, /backstage/. Actualy, in one of the last commits, the structure of the core changed completely. We moved the Bootstrap-files to the /include/bootstrap/ directory, since both the front-end and back-end use the same Bootstrap core, and /admin/ is a weird place to load files for the front-end.

Talking about /admin/, we’ve got completely removed this folder, the /admin/img/ folder has been moved to /img/backstage/, the Bootstrap files are moved to /include/ and everything else has been removed or moved to /backstage/. Other changes are improvements to the update dialogue, bugfixes and an Improved login experience. We’re also working on improving the Backstage design.

Roadmap changes
No roadmap changes are planned compared to the current roadmap. Which means: no beta 4. The 1.6-branch doesn’t have any roadmap changes planned, either.

Decisions
I’ve got an quit important decision in front of me. This is about the Backstage design Aurora. I liked the design that has been used during beta 1 and beta 2 of ModernBB 2, however, the new beta 3 design is way more simplistic and uses flat colors, it has also a darker color scheme. However, IF I’m going to move back to the beta 1/2 version of Aurora, that will need port-work and time and will happen in RC1. Otherwise, RC2 or ModernBB 2.1, or just not and we stick with the current Aurora.

Meanwhile, I’m also working on the front-end design and system. The system is almost done and only profiles need still some work. But the design needs lots more attention. For now, the current style is almost only Bootstrap 3 with some fixes to keep ModernBB working properly. The design will be called “Randomness”, this name would be used by the new ModernBB 1.7 default design, but never made it (because, you know, that version is never finished). However, one default design isn’t much, I want to add more designs, but I don’t know how many and if it should be color variations or completely different designes. I think I will go for the first option, but then: how many? Randomness will be a blue-colored theme. There is an option between 4 default themes and 7 default themes.

Those themes are in the package of 1, 4 and 7 default themes:
Randomness, a blue theme
Those themes are in the package of 4 and 7 default themes:
Awesomeness, a green theme
Radicalness, a red theme
Kindness, a yellow theme
Those themes are in the package of 7 default themes:
Magic, a pink theme
Freedom, a purple theme
Happiness, a orange theme

However, if there are coming more themes than Randomness, they will be added in RC1.

ModernBB 1.6.2 available

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2 days ago, I announced that I was working on ModernBB 1.6.2, and here it is: the second patch release in the 1.6 branch.

This release fixes several bugs, including 3 security issues, updating is recommended. Other improvements in 1.6.2 are bugfixes to our PostgreSQL support, moderators can’t edit admin posts anymore (this was partial fixed during ModernBB 1.6.1), fixes to the update process of ModernBB and several other issues are fixes.

As always, you can find the downloads on our download page. If you are already using ModernBB 1.6-beta, 1.6.0 and 1.6.1, you can take a look at the update check. Anyway, we’ve made a milestone for the next update, 1.6.3 and we start the works on ModernBB 2.0 again.

Retaking development of ModernBB 1.6

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With FluxBB 1.4.11 and 1.5.4 released, we finaly can take of the development of ModernBB 1.6.2. We couldn’t work further because most of the issues where security releated and needed to be kept a secret. Anyway, the development of ModernBB 1.6.2 will start tomorrow and I hope to release this update this weekend or somewhere in the days after it.

Anyway, I also want to give a word on the development state of ModernBB 2.0 beta 3: a couple of minutes ago, I pushed Bootstrap 3 RC2 to GitHub. This breaks a lot, more then I expected it to do. I’m probably working the whole night to fix all issues that appear because of this update. It’s also the case that, when I don’t finish this tomorrow, this will have to wait until 1.6.2 is released.

Anyway, after 1.6.2, I will retake development of ModernBB 2.0 beta 3, and I will try to develop ModernBB 1.6.3 in parallel, next time. It’s prety important that we get 1.6.2 out there as soon as possible since lots of security issues have been fixed, which, by the way, also will be part of ModernBB 2 beta 3. So, actualy, I’m still working on the next beta release.

Planning a 4th beta

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Today I would like to announce that there is a (small) chance that after beta 3 of ModernBB 2.0, we won’t start developing RC1, but we will start the works on beta 4.

Beta 4 will, if it will be developed, focus on making ModernBB more mobile friendly. This means that we want to make the system integrate better with Bootstrap 3. This might give us the time to implementate even more features. Now, about time: this will also cause the development of ModernBB 2 to last longuer then expected. The good news is: we think this will only be a week. Just like beta 2, beta 4 will be focused more on the improve features part. As soon as beta 4 will be mentioned on the about page, this release will be official added to the roadmap. However, if not, then RC1 will be the next milestone. If beta 4 won’t make it, we will improve the works on a mobile ModernBB in version 2.1, which will be the next release!

ModernBB 2.0 beta 3
Anyways, the development of beta 3 is moving on. We are almost done with the port of the system to Bootstrap 3 RC1 (and believe me, I’m happy as soon as this is finished). However, as soon as this is fixed, there is still a series of 19 tickets to be closed, including an editor, new styles, reworking the tree structure of the ModernBB core and more). Anyways, I’ve got some nice statistics for you guys. Compared to ModernBB 1.6.1, we’ve changed 11.288 lines and added over 5.000 lines of code to the ModernBB core, spread over 177 files and 165 commits. This means that over 37% of the core has been rewritten since ModernBB 1.6.1 and 42% since the initial commit, which was FluxBB 1.4.9.

A roadmap change, once again

After our first roadmap change (whe stopped development of ModernBB 1.7 and the planned 1.8 release and jumped to the upcomming 2.0 release), I want to present you guys another change in our roadmap. Yesterday, we started developing ModernBB 2.5, now ModernBB 2.0 is in RC fase and we are actualy waiting for FluxBB 1.5.4 to be released (security reasons). Today, we stop development of both ModernBB 2.0 RC and ModernBB 2.5 beta 1.

ModernBB 2.0 RC is moved to a later date, while ModernBB 2.5 beta 1 is, just like beta 2, rc and 2.5.0, cancelled. Why? Because all features that where planned for ModernBB 2.5 beta 1 will now be part of ModernBB 2.0 beta 3. Idem dito for the features from 2.5 beta 2. This also means that the development of MBB2 will take longer then first planned, however, what we will get will be even better!

The reason behind this change in the roadmap is very simple to explain: we think that ModernBB 2.0 beta 2 isn’t feature ready and that it can’t be launched with additional bugfixes as a stable release. This sounds like a weird statement but the point behind this is, that ModernBB 2.5 would break everything we did in 2.0 once again (we already break the thing with the jump from 1.6 to 2.0). We don’t want this to happen twice in a very short period of time.

Somewhere around the end of this month, or in September, you will see a 3rd beta of ModernBB 2.0, revamping the design of Backstage and rewriting the complet front-end with a new design and new features. Later, in October, we’ve planned 2 RCs and the first stable release. The first RC will be launched on October 16th, RC2 will follow a week later at October 23th and 2.0.0 will be launched at October 30th. This makes, that the development of lots of new features, that where planned to take 7 months (starting in December), has to be done in the upcomming 2,5 month. So,, it’s very likely that we won’t hit this deadlines, however, I’m will try to do whatever I can to get this all done by then! Trust me! Stay tuned for more information!

ModernBB 2.0-beta.2 available

I’m happy to announce the availability of ModernBB 2.0 beta 2! Starting today, you can find this download at our download page. Beta 2 is the second of 3 pre-release releases (beta 1, beta 2 and release candidate) before we launch ModernBB 2.0.0! Let’s introduce you to the changes.

First of all, before you update to beta 2, it’s recommended to check if your host supports MySQL 5.0.1, starting with ModernBB 2.0 beta 2, we won’t support MySQL 5.0.0 and lower anymore. Another important note is that beta 1 users won’t get a update message, you have to check for the update by yourself. This will also be the case for the future release cadidate.

Now, what has change between beta 1 and beta 2? First of all (and most noticeable), the Backstage frontpage has been redesigned, it now contains useful stuff like reports, statics and more. When installing a fresh installation of ModernBB, it won’t make demo content anymore. We also redesigned the update dialogue to be more simplistic. StopForumSpam is now also included into ModernBB (disabled by default) to protect your forum from spambots.

Other changes are various fixes to the core, like some rendering issues. The extensions menu bug is also fixed. And everything can be translated now. Another change is the renaming of the back-end of ModernBB, starting with beta 2, we call it the Backstage. For developers: we also renamed all PUN_ stuff to FORUM_.

Before you update your forums, make a backup of your database (you can do this in Backstage > Settings > Database management). We also recommend you to use ModernBB 1.6.1 if you want to use ModernBB in a productive environment.