ModernBB/Luna & Bootstrap/jQuery

Today, the Bootstrap developers released Bootstrap 3.3. This is the final major release for Bootstap 3 before moving on to Bootstrap 4. And well I would like to talk a little bit about that (a little, realy). We’re planning to bring Bootstrap 3.3.0 to the next update for ModenrBB 3.5 (version 3.5.3 that is), and obviously, to the latest Luna development version. TrentUI in the later one will be replaced with Bootstrap 3.3. However, Bootstrap announced their plans for Bootstrap 4 today too, and we’ve decided to not bring Bootstrap 4 to ModernBB. we will continue to update ModernBB with the latest version of Bootstrap 3 as long as it last. Bootstrap 4 will only be used for Luna, as it will require (according to their plans) for our project a lot of changes (we’re using panels a lot, and guess what’s going to change drasticaly).

However, the guys over at Bootstrap weren’t the only once to announce some drastic changes. The people at the jQuery Foundation announced jQuery 3, killing of jQuery 1.x and 2.x (we’re currently using 2.1). Once again, ModernBB 3.5 will not be provided with an update to this major revision, but only to jQuery 2.2 (if that ever gets released). Luna on the other hand will start using jQuery 3 as soon as it is available in the test branch.

With some luck, we will be able to include Bootstrap 4 and jQuery 3 in the final release of Luna 1.0 mid next year. If not, we might dedict a whole major update on simply upgrading to Bootstrap 4 and jQuery 3 (yes, it’s going to be that drasticaly).

Developing Luna #5 – Actual designing Luna

luna-brand

Last time in this series, we talked about concept designs for Luna. That was back in the concept stage. Today, I would like to talk about actual design, the stuff that has made it into the core (for now). I’ll trow in a comparision from the current development build (0.0.3175) and the last preview 0 release (0.0.3136). Also a note, we’re talking Mainstage only.

Our goals
The design of Luna, named Sunrise, is supposed to be simple. It needs to explain itself and if possible, the content should be the interface. With other words: “less is more”. However, we want to make Sunrise a colorful theme. Easy, due to some of the new features in Luna. Applying those nice colors to the design isn’t required for a theme (so if you want 1 plain color, you’re free to do so), but with Sunrise, we want to show everything that’s possible in a nice design. And yes, we’re following the trent, and continuing the design from ModernBB; we’re going for flat design.

Before we start, note that for all images count that left is new, right is old. If images are on top of each other, top is new, bottom is old.

Login form
loginform

The Login modal is a new feature in Luna. A early version was included in the Preview 0 build. A couple of days ago, it was the first part of Luna to get a new design accoding to our new design guidelines. What are those guidelines? Well, a clean and simple look. No border-radius, no box-shadow, etc. Just a nice and simple design. Whatever you might think, the design from Preview 0 to Preview 1 is a major improvement. The forms size has been lowered because, well, you don’t need al that space. As you can see, Sunrise’s main color is dark grey, and the whole color pallet is based on grey, through we use some accent colors every now and then.

Forums
forums
One of the first pages to receive a new design in Luna was the Forum page. The forum’s title is now displayed in a bar and it contains the post and pagination navigations. The bottom navigation has been removed for simplicity sake (no worries, it’s not less usable, or at least, not in the final version). Topic entries in the list themselves have been redesigned to (they still are in process of beeing redesigned, it’s not finished design). The lists heading has been removed (because it’s kind of pointless anyway), and information is beeing presented more friendly. Topic entries will take less screenspace in later builds. 😉 The astriks will disappear too, the left bar in an entry is now taking it’s role.

Search
search
Search to has gained a bar. Just to show that it’s the search page. The advanced link has been removed from the actual search form and is now part of this bar. The search form has has a similar treatment like the previous pages: it got a flat design. We’ve also added an icon to the search field (other buttons throughout the software will also get a fancy icon in later builds). We’ve also added a placeholder.The advanced search has also had a (major) redesign.

Users (user list)
users
Compared to ModernBB, the users page already got a major update. We redesigned the search feature from 4 fields, to a simple dropdown and search field. The result was a simple, yet buggy interface. Those bugy interface isues have mostly been fixed in the current build. We’re now also displaying up to 3 users next to each other and display everything a little bit bigger (yet more content fits on the same screen).

What’s next
So, these are some of the notable changes to the user interface for Luna in the Mainstage for the upcoming Preview 1, at least, the once that are ready. Keep in mind that above screenshots show the current state, and some might change completely in future builds. We’re now going to focus on improving the thread interface and readying it for threaded conversations. After that, Me and the profile will receive their design upgrade. And after that, search, help and everything else we left out will follow. Why are we doing this that early in development? Well, we want to make Preview 1 a fully functional build, with a good looking interface. Something you might consider using already (through we recommend you to not do that when it is available). We, of course, will also add features. When all of that is done, we can finaly release our first “stable” preview: Luna 1.0 Preview 1.

Important updates: ModernBB 3.5.2 and Luna 0.0.1

luna-brand

It has been only 2 days since the release of ModernBB 3.5.1 and our first preview release of Luna, version 0.0.3112, or named Luna 0.0.0, but today, we’re pushing out ModernBB 3.5.2 and Luna 0.0.3136 (and by name, Luna 0.0.1). They both fix the same issues. One of these was that the title of a topic displayed on the index wouldn’t update if the topic’s title was altered. The second one is a redirection security vulnerability. And because of this, it’s highly recommended to upgrade to ModernBB 3.5.2 right away. Both 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 have been important security updates, if you are on 3.5.0 or lower, upgrade now!

However, it’s not just bugfixes. At least, not for Luna (for ModernBB it is). The new Luna build, build 3136, comes with some small improvements compared to the first version of Preview 0. You can now select a color for each forum, for example. How this is used will become more obvious in later releases. However, the Improved index already uses some of this. You might notice that altering a forum’s color will change its appearance on the index.

We’ve also updated the index itself. The board statistics have been updated with a new design, and the forum and category list now show the most recent post and the amount of posts and topics in the forum. Further, we’ve fixed some CSS issues. That’s  it for this update to Luna. Luna 0.0.1 fixes the security issue that is also fixed in ModernBB 3.5.2, the issue that’s fixed in 3.5.1 is already fixed in the 0.0.0 release. Stay tuned for more news on Luna!

Announcing Luna Preview 0

luna-brand

We’ve been on it for 2 months now and it’s time to show off our first preview. Or well… pre-preview. Because remember: todays release is a very early preview, earlier then we actualy wanted. We simply think it’s a nice time to show of what’s happening. So today, we are releasing Luna 1.0 “Aero” Preview 0, or by simply it’s version number: Luna 0.0. Let me introduce you to this new version!

New brand and what it is
One of the major changes, yet small functionality changes, is our rebrand. If you’ve been looking in the ModernBB code, you might have seen some “luna”-references there (it used to be the codename for ModernBB 4 and we wanted to keep compatibility as high as possible back in the day). Anyway, Luna is our new name, and with it, we will start from scratch. Back to version 1.0 (or 0.0 for the preview). We announced Luna 3 months ago and started working on it 2 months ago. Luna is or most ambitous release yet, no doubt about it. We’re not only introducing a lot of new features, but we also want to change the way we work on Luna, but more on that later.

Themes
First off, we are reworking our whole style engine, to become more of a theme engine. In ModernBB 3.2 and earlier, we used to allow you to change your style and that was it. If you wanted to change the HTML, you had to edit the ModernBB files themselves, which caused issues when updating. In ModernBB 3.3, we splitted off the HTML from the logic a bit to make this more easy. With Luna, we’re cleaning things up and hoping to put ourselves on par with CMS systems like WordPress when it comes to themes. This new Theme engine is part of todays release, or at least, partial.

For starters, we still have to split out the header, footer, profile, Me, moderation and search from the logic, but that will come soon. We expect this to be finished when we release Preview 1. However, you can go and take a look at the way things are working now. For people that would like to develop a Theme, today’s not your day. We strongly recommend you to wait until Preview 1 (and if you can wait even longer, until Beta 1). Anyway, more work will be done on this, so stay tuned.

When it comes to Theme options, this too has been improved. The “Theme”-page in the Backstage is now capable of showing additional theme options if those are available. This will be extended further too. The page itself has been updated with an altered design.

Editor
The Editor has been updated with a new, and cleaner design. This counts for posting new topics, editing existing topics and the comment section (Quick post is gone, well… it’s stil there, but it’s no longer “quick post”, it’s now the main way to comment). The cleaned design of the editor will give you a better focus on the content you’re writing. We’re still working on this, so stay tuned here too.

Users search
The Userlist page has been renamed “Users” and the search options on this page has been altered drasticaly too. We’ve cleaned up some of the options and are also planning to revamp this page’s main design in the future. Again, stay tuned for this.

Login, registration and rules
Finaly, you can login from every page. When clicking “Login” in the navbar, you’re now presented with a modal that will show you the login form, a feature we have wanted for a long time, but just never came to build it. Requesting your password is also done through a modal. When you are registrating, you’ll no longer be able to alter the default language when more then 1 language is installed on the board. While we do not provide a replacement for this yet, a future build will handle this in a better way through First Run. We no longer provide a “Rules” link in the navbar either. Rules are now part of the Help page, when activated.

Backstage revamp
One of the major changes compared to ModernBB 3.5 is the Backstage and its general design. We’ve made huge changes to it. The interface is darker and we’ve done away with dropdowns for option pages. The major changes have been done in the index, this page now features a “Admin note” field where you can write down things you need to do and the “About” panel has been replaced to “System info” (previously “Server statistics”). You’ll also find “Welcome to the Luna Preview” message, but of course, this is temporarly. Further more, some features have been removed because we might consider them out dated (like the Redirect sections, disabling emoticons). You’ll also find some pages to have been rearanged. This, too, is still a work in progress.

Menu
The menu systme has had a major revamp too. We’ve talked about this change earlier. The new menu system is much more advanced, it gives you more freedom and a better overview of what’s in your menu. And guess what, it’s a work in progress.

Sunrise
Random, Awesome, Kind and Radical have been removed in favor of Sunrise, which, again, is still a work in progress and nothing like the theme you see in this preview. We will make great progression with this in the future. Sunrise is supposed to become a very joyful and colorful theme. We expect this theme to take shape in later previews, but preview 1 won’t be it.

Profile and Me
You might also notice that the the user menu has been altered and contains a “Profile” and “Me” button. The “Profile” is where you can find your profile and where admins moderate users. “Me” is your new home, it will contain your settings, but it will also keep track of everything you do and keep up with the board so you don’t have to do that yourself. This feature is not available in Preview 0 either, expect an early version in Preview 1.

Small changes and bugfixes
Further more, we’ve made some small changes, like improved YouTube embedding, improved performance, new components, etc. We’ve also fixed some bugs, including those that will be fixed in ModernBB 3.5.1.

What’s next
You can imagen that we will now continu our development to get to Preview 1 and don’t look to Preview 0 anymore. Right? Well no. While we do not support Preview 0, you might find an updated version at our site (which we won’t announce here). Build 0.0.3105 can be updated by us to fix some major issues. We won’t fix small issues, if the board is usable, we will not issue a patch. You’ll have to wait for Preview 1 t o fix that. Expect Preview 1 later this Fall.

(Some of the) known issues

  • Multiple syling issues in Mainstage and Backstage
  • The Backstage section menu is not responsive
  • The editor contains 2 tabs or adds 2 tabs to the end of a post when editing
  • Emoticons aren’t parsed when eidting a post in preview mode
  • Posting a new topic or post and using preview will erase the editors’ content
  • Post preview will trow an error at you in edit mode
  • The editors toolbar is to small for the full toolbar height
  • The newest topic title on the index isn’t updated when the title is changed
  • Backstage menu item is visible to everyone

Stuff we don’t care about yet

luna-brand

With Luna in full development, and Preview 0 (our “pre-preview 1”) coming soon, some people are asking questions about stuff. Stuff we don’t care about yet. Stuff that will happen later in the development cycle of Luna. So, here is an overview.

Website

Milestone Description
Preview 1
Version 0.1
The first bits of the official new Luna-website will be launched, not earlier. It will contain all information about the preview, but no support or documentation.
Beta 1
Version 0.5
From this point on, we will start developing the documentation and extending it with more information, the forums will join in too.
RC 1
Version 0.9
We start to phase out ModernBB.be and the website will be completed at this point for the launch of Luna 1.0.
Final
Version 1.0
Public release.

Theme engine

Milestone Description
Preview 0
Version 0.0
At this point, the theme engine will be split of from the core for most parts, theme developers can start developing already.
Preview 1
Version 0.1
The Luna Core will no longer contain anything that should be available for themes, themes are in full control.
Beta 1
Version 0.5
Further improvements to the theme engine.
Final
Version 1.0
Public release.

Translation

Milestone Description
Beta 1
Version 0.5
We start making sure all strings are available in the language files, including a rewrite of the language file itself.
Beta 3
Version 0.7
The language file will be cleaned up, making it ready for translation.
Final
Version 1.0
Public release.

Plugin system

Milestone Description
Preview 2
Version 0.2
The kick-off release for the plugin system, it’s prety much the only focus point for this release.
Beta 1
Version 0.5
By this point, the plugin system should be ready for usage.
Final
Version 1.0
Public release.

Accessibility

Milestone Description
Beta 2
Version 0.6
We will start improving the accessibility of Luna at this point, development will continue in beta 3 and RC 1.
Final
Version 1.0
Public release.