ModernBB 3.3 beta now available

In the past 39 days, we’ve been hard at work to bring you a better forum experience, and today, we think it’s beta-ready. The ModernBB 3.3 beta has arrived and it comes with some nice new and improved features, new styles, bugfixes and a lot more. We’ve also finished a nice little update for our website.

First of all: the ModernBB 3.3 beta can be downloaded from the index and download section on our website, like always. We recommend you to use this version for development and testing purpose only as this isn’t a stable release. ModernBB 3.3 Final will be available begin next month. A Release Candidate can be expected early next week.

Anyway, what does the new beta bring? Well, compared to the alpha release, I’m proud to announce the availability of Shy, Pinkie and Luna, 3 new styles that join the group of Random-styles. We’ve also finished our redesign of the Backstage style Aurora 5, which is now final. The Backstage has also been improved with some little features here and there: search results for users now have a hover effect and are striped to make it more clear what user you’re working with. The color of the Backstage can also be changed in your profile, where the “Backstage Style” feature was, we’ve replaced it with “Backstage Color”. Also, the editors that can use it, have been enhanced with the TinyMCE editor.

Futher on, names are now clickable in the board index and category view. Topics are styles better, idem dito for previews of new posts. We’ve improved the integration with TinyMCE, and so on. We’ve updated all of the included packages: Bootstrap, jQuery and TinyMCE all have been updated to their latest version, Bootstrap is currently the only unstable package in ModernBB, being version 3.2-dev. The most important change of all, might be the fact that the style engine has been redesigned completely. This includes the settings page (which is now a separate page) in the Backstage as well as the template and style system itselfs. This allows much more customization.

More information about the new features can be found at our changelog or the ModernBB 3.3 Shiplist.

Known issues in ModernBB 3.3 beta

  • When reporting posts, they do not appear in the Backstage making it impossible to manage
  • Videos can’t be added
  • The TinyMCE editor adds multiple spaces under headings, through they are gone when posting the post
  • Guests can’t post topics

Website update
We’ve also taken our time to update the website. Let me list them, note that some of the updates where already available, those are marked with a *.

  • More colorfull headers through accents in the background*
  • The footer now contains some stats about ModernBB*
  • The documentation has been updated to miror ModernBB 3.3
  • The documentation has been completed
  • Changelog pages now contain a navigation bar to navigate between versions
  • The FAQ has been updated
  • Small style improvements

The future of ModernBB

So yes, we’re here, we made it. 1 year, 1 month. And counting. Except for Studio 384, this is my longest running project. I’m prety proud on it. And let me tell you something: I’m about to get prouder. What does that mean to you guys? Well, y’all are about to get a forum experience that is more modern, lighter, simpler then you’ve ever seen before. A whole range of updates is coming! ModernBB 3.3 is a promissing release, ModernBB 3.4 will be the from-everything-something release, 3.5 and beyond. Up to 3.8 (if we ever hit that milestone).

Wait, what? There might be no ModernBB 3.8? Well, I hope there won’t. As all of you know, ModernBB 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 followed up on each other very fast. Yust a little over a month. ModernBB 3.3 will be the last fast release, after that, we’re slowing down a bit on release speed. 3.5, 3.6, maybe 3.7. And maybe maybe 3.8. But there, it stops, if we hit that version, version 3.8, it’s over. Done. No 3.9, just done. Why done? Because I’ve got better things to do. Stuff that’s cooler then this ModernBB 3 stuff. Yeah, much cooler, at least, if I get it ever out there. No worries through, I’m planning to do so.

What am I talking about? Well, I’m talking about the next generation. Not the next generation of ModernBB… The next generation of board software. It has been fun with all those categories, forums, topics, post. But come on! We’ve been doing this for ages! What technologie did stand still for that long? I’ll tell you: none. At least, no technology that isn’t replaced. The good news: the next generation of board software, does bring the next generation of ModernBB. Because we’ve got to adapt, you know. And how are we doing that? Well, we’re doing that with ModernBB “Luna”.

Ow, this again. ModernBB Luna. Luna has been the codename of ModernBB 4. And Vanellope 1.0. And Vanellope 1.1. And ModernBB 3.4. And ModernBB 3.5. What’s it going to be this time? Well, we’re back where we started. ModernBB Luna is our name for ModernBB 4. Well, does that mean we’re heading for a rewrite? Again? Well, yes, we are. And this time, we’re going to do it. With ModernBB 4. Because you can do anything. However, what does the next generation of board software bring to us? Well, it will bring a whole new vision on moderating, a whole new vision on the general structure of a board. A whole new vision on everything. A simple vision. Because that is our vision: making a modern, light and simple board. “Modern. Light. Simple.” might not be our slogan anymore, it’s still the rule we follow.

So, what will hapen when we hit 3.8? Why no 3.9? For the later one: 3.9 will come, however, everything it will do is change your database, rendering it useless for the normal ModernBB 3 Core. It will kind of brick your forum for as long as the ModernBB 3 Core is on top of it. Until you replace that core with the Luna Core. What happens then? Well, a whole new world will open. And why exactly not just update from 3.8 to 4.0? Well, we figured out that it is easier to make the old core update the database, to prevent issues from happening. Then replacing all the files with Luna allows us to start with a real clean slate. No migration, no fancy update process. Just replace the files, and go. When we hit 3.8, I’ll only focus on developing patches for ModernBB 3.8, no new features, no big code changes. After that, my attention goes to ModernBB Luna. Through again, I hope we won’t hit the 3.8 milestone.

When will this be done? Well, I’m currently still working on ModernBB 3.3, and if that’s done, development of ModernBB 3.4 and Luna kick off. For now, there are only some concepts. When will you get to see the work that is being done? Well, I suggest you go keep an eye on the Luna repository on our GitHub account. It’s empty. For now. As soon as we think we’ve got a working basic board, the fun will begin. Prepare yourself for ModernBB 4.0 Preview 1. Through, that’s a while from now. Like I said, we only have concepts now. And a database.

ModernBB 3.3 Preview now available

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Today, the ModernBB 3.3 Preview has been released to the public (or at least, developers)! We release this preview to you to try out the brand new style system, it’s recommended to take a serious look at the new system. We will put the required documentation online in the next few days. As usual, you can download this alpha release in our download section. We recommend you to keep working with ModernBB 3.2.1 if your forum is in a productive environment.

Ahead, we will release the first and final beta of the ModerrnBB 3.3 update later this month, bringing new features and 3 new default themes (and updates to the current themes). Through it might be ModernBB 3.3, this is a prety big update to the way ModernBB works, your current styles WILL break! The good news is, ModernBB 3.4 and onwards in the ModernBB 3.x branch should be much better at keeping compatible with ModernBB 3.3 styles. Most of the upcoming changes to the ModernBB 3.3 core will be things you won’t see of to much. 😉

Moving onwards, after the release of the ModernBB 3.3 Release Candidate (also only 1 RC), we will start working on ModernBB 3.4 Vanellope… and ModernBB 4 (through more info on that later, I don’t have to much to share). And no, ModernBB 4.0 won’t be the next version after ModernBB 3.4, that will be for 3.5 and onwards, we’re not planning to release ModernBB 4 any time soon (though that’s what we said about ModernBB 2 and 3 too, which where supposed to be released in januari 2014 and august 2014 respectivly).

ModernBB 3.3: it’s all about styles

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Hey everyone, our latest release – ModernBB 3.2 – has been available for a little over 2 weeks, and we can’t be more happy with the result. Through after that, development of ModernBB continoud, of course. ModernBB 3.3 is the thing that’s coming next, and especialy for style developers and customization, it will be an awesome release. No, no plugin system, through that’s something we Always concider. What we do bring you is a brand new style system!

Already a while ago, it was announced that ModernBB 3.3 had to folow design conventions that where given to us by the 384 Group, and so, we’re doing that with our brand new Backstage. We will also take this change to further improve your experience in the Backstage, for both desktop and mobile usage. One of those improvements is the availability of the TinyMCE editor in the Backstage to write rules and more.

Another focus for ModernBB 3.3 is the style and template system, which will be drasticaly changed. We’ll rewrite the documentation on styles to match the changes in ModernBB 3.3 very soon. However, I can asure you, that your current styles won’t work anymore with ModernBB 3.3, the good news is, compatiblity for ModernBB 3.4 and onwards will be much better than it has been since ModernBB 2.0.

The new styling system will allow styles to customize the ModernBB software extremly well. First of all, styles will be able to change what is displayed by including their own views. For example, if they want the user lists name + group collum to be displayed as 2 separate collums, or not even as a table, but as cards, they can do so. Display the profile cards on the right hand side of the topic view instead of left? Why not? Or no profile cards at all. The whole front-end will be broken up in pieces to do so! Emoticons will be style-depended too. No worries for the people that want to just change the style, just like templates, you’re not required to add your own views and emoticons. If they aren’t there, ModernBB will use the Core’s views and emoticons.

On the Backstage side, styles will be able to display much more information then just their name. Now, they can display their logo, a screenshot (both are required), information about the style and developer and more. The new style system will also allow you to force a style for all your users (so the styles are actualy reset to the style you want them to).

Like announced before too, we will also add 3 new styles to the ModernBB Core (Vanellope, Pinkie and Luna). Later this month (we hope the 15th May), we will release the ModernBB 3.3 Preview, this is an alpha release for developers so they can have fun with their and improve their styles to work with the new system. Like said before, current styles aren’t forward compatible, neither will ModernBB 3.3 styles be backwards compatible.