It took a while, we’ve been working on it for 4 months now (and a whole time will follow) but we can be proud to announce that we’ve finished Luna 1.0 Preview 1! We’ve talked about it quiet a lot, and a “Preview 0” has been available to all of you for some time, but today, it’s time for the real deal: the real first preview! Let’s take a look at what we’ve got!
First of all, this is our first official release with the new brand. Instead of “ModernBB”, the software is now called “Luna”. We also decided to not go with Luna 4.0 (continuing the ModernBB versioning), but instead, jump back to Luna 1.0 (well, 0.1 for the preview). We want to make it clear that Luna is a break from ModernBB. This includes our new logo (see above). The ModernBB.be website will continue to feature Luna as a page, however, we intend to release a new website later this year.
A build-in private messaging system has been requested for a long time. Not just for ModernBB, but also for is preseccors FluxBB and PunBB. And while we’re not adding it to ModernBB, we do add it to Luna. Inbox is Luna’s PM system and it brings along some nice features, like Lists, where you can create lists of multiple users to send a message all at once. While we’re mostly “done” with Inbox for Luna 1.0, it’s feature set will be extended in the future (of course).
Ever since ModernBB 1.6, and up to ModernBB 3.5, we’ve been using styles. With Luna, we’re pushing it beyond with Themes. Unlike ModernBB, developers now have full freedom to do whatever they want with the Mainstage (that’s the front-end, visible for users and guests). This also makes that you can modify your board without breaking the ability to easly upgrade (you just need to make sure the theme is compatible). Themes bring more freedom to your board, but can also add some nice features if they want to.
Editor and syntax highlighting
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. We also use icons much more to give a nice touch to it. 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.
In the Backstage, you’ll also find some new options. Under “Settings” for example, you’ll find the new menu items “Menu” and “Inbox”, the later one to manage the feature we’ve mentioned above. “Menu” is a new feature that replaces the “Additional menu items” option, it gives your much more power with a much simpeler interface. Other pages have been redesigned to follow guidelines, bringing a more consistent interface. Finaly, we made some major usability improvements, an example being the fact that you can now edit multiple ranks at once, and save them at once too.
Sunrise: A brand new interface
Also, Random (and Awesome, Radical and Kind) had to make space for a brand new design, named Sunrise. Sunrise makes full use of the Theme engines new capabilities. It comes with a much improved interface for all pages and major personalisation features for all your users alike. Sunrise is a joyful and colorful theme, reflecting the user’s settings, as they are able to select their own color, the interface will adapt to it.
Profile + 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. “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. However, note that these 2 pages are still in full development, we hope to bring a more polished version of these pages in a future update to Luna 1.0 Preview 1 or to bring it to you in Luna 1.0 Preview 2.
But these aren’t the only changes. Be sure to check out Luna 1.0’s release notes. Together with this release, comes also a couple of bugfixes too. If you are running Luna 1.0 Preview 0, or any update on top of that, be sure to upgrade to Luna 1.0 Preview 1 right away for a more polished and stable experience (for as far as you can call it “polished”). If you are on ModernBB 3.5 and like stable environments, get the upgrade to ModernBB 3.6. Remember that PHP 5.2 is required, instead of ModernBB’s PHP 5.1 requirement, to run Luna. Further requirements are the same.
Preview 1 updates and Preview 2
Meanwhile, we’ve already started development of Preview 2. A couple of the upcoming features from Preview 2 are subforum support, a major design update, extending the abilities of Me, the start of the plugin system, and a lot more. Unlike Preview 0, Preview 1 won’t get feature updates, we’ll only fix major bugs (the minor bugs will have to wait until Preview 2 or any later version). Anyway, you can expect Preview 2 to arrive in January 2015!