Luna 1.0 Beta 3 now available

We’ve spend a couple more days on developing Luna once again, and here it is: the third and final Luna 1.0 Beta. You can find it on the usual places. Let’s talk about what is new in this release:

Mainly bugfixes. That’s the only thing we fixed in this release. We’ve also decided to strip Random from the Core package. We won’t get it finished by the time we’re done. In stead, it will be part of Luna 1.1 and released for Luna 1.0 as soon as we finished it. We’ve also decided to include an update to the other themes’ their screenshots, so these have been updated too. Further, well, we’ve fixed all bugs that where known to us up until now. We’re kinda proud.

We’ve also included another update to our website. The documentation has been extended once again. But there is more, on ModernBB.be, you’ll now see a message that tells you to got “Check out the new generation”, which links to GetLuna.org. GetLuna.org on the other hand, has received a redesigned front page and now also includes a “donation”-indicator. This will show you guys how far we are from our donation target (that is, our current donation target). Right now, we’re on 12,5%, not bad. Donations happen through donation – obviously – and advertisements.

Advertisements? What advertisements. Yeah, I get why you might get confused: there are no ads on GetLuna.org. However, this donation target isn’t only for GetLuna.org, but for the whole Luna Group. This includes GetLuna, but also ModernBB, Studio 384 and ChangeWindows. The later 2 use ads to gain money, and all donations and ads revenu are combined to pay for our combined hosting, which is 30% of our donation goal, the other 70% goes to developing Luna. 🙂 These ads give us revenu for every time they are seen, or better, clicked upon. Either way, it was time for this project to become a little bit more serious now that we’re running for almost 2 years, and we need money for that, so here we are.

Now, up to the RC stage and the early development stage for Bittersweet Shimmer.

Luna 1.0 Beta 2 now available

A couple of hours ago, the link to download Luna 1.0 Beta 2 went online on our website. Version 0.6.4049 is now available to download and it comes with some improvements.

First off all, translaters now can get to work: Beta 2 makes Luna completely translatable. This includes the Backstage, Mainstage and 3 included themes. Secondly, we’ve also cleaned up some code that wasn’t used anymore. Another change that comes with this update is that all features we disabled for testing purpose, are now re-enabled again. We also updated Random with a couple of improvements. Finally, Beta 2 comes with tons of fixes for multiple bugs.

With Beta 2 released, we will start working on Beta 3, which will be released next week as version 0.7. It will be our final beta before moving to the RC-stage. It’s gonna be fun. Anyway, you know where to get the downloads. And I hope you also know where to find the documentation, because it got updated once again.

Luna 1.0 Beta 1 now available

We’ve decided to make a little change to our original roadmap. The result is that you will be able to try out Beta 1 of Luna starting today. The first Beta is available now on our download page.

Beta 1 is all about translations. We’ve made some major improvements to the translation files. In fact, they are translate-ready. There is a note to it, through: this beta does not include the new strings. These strings still can’t  be translated. We’ve decided to clean up the current language file, and we will add all missing strings later, on the bottom of the Original English translation, to prevent any confusion, and to make translating as easy as possible.

Another focus point in this release was Random. We’ve made some major improvements to Random during this release, prety much all around. However, we’ve decided to not bind Random to the Luna release schedual. This means that, if Random isn’t ready before Luna 1.0 hits, it won’t be in Luna at all. We’ll probably release it later as a separate package before Luna 1.1, and include it in Luna 1.1 as soon as that version is released.

Further, we’ve improved our documentation further. Fixed bugs. And so on. Kind of the usual stuff. Beta 1 also includes some changes to make Luna more release ready, as in we’ve replaced some images and other stuff.

Roadmap update
Yesterday, we’ve decided to alter our roadmap. Why? Because we realized that in April, our project will celebrate its second aniversary. Something we want to celebrate with a new release. But we have nothing useful on the ModernBB-side of things, so the first logical release would be Luna 1.0. Luna 1.0 was originally planned to launch May 2nd, now it will be available on April 13th.

All coming Betas and RCs will be released every half week. We’ll update Luna every Wednesday and Saturday. So stay tuned, Beta 2 will land later this week.

Developing Luna #11 – Final Leap

So hey, where there. In the coming days, we’ll be working on “Preview 5” of Luna. Unlike the previous Preview 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4, “Preview 5” isn’t an alpha release, it’s a beta. Our first beta. So basically, its Luna 1.0 Beta 1 (instead of Luna 1.0 Preview 5). Either way, our final leap has begon.

Beta stage (0.5, 0.6 and 0.7)
We’ve been in Preview stage for a long time, and while Preview 4 already did a lot of work on this: it’s now time to fix bugs and stabelize code. Either way, these Betas will mainly focus on fixing bugs, through we’ll also finalize features. This is the final stage of feature development, through our feature set is already fixed from now on.

Release Candidate stage (0.8 and 0.9)
The Release Candidates are only bugfixes compared to Beta 3. They will only contain bugfixes, through you’ll also see a couple of visual changes (like the long update list from About, it will get removed, and other references to the preview and beta stages). Further not much will change.

Final stage (Luna 1.0)
And with some good luck, RC2 will be the very same version as Luna 1.0, just with another version number. But I’m not going to bet on it. It probably won’t. Either way, in late April/early May, Luna 1.0 will be released, and that officially ends our development cycle for Luna 1.0. Only to start all over again.

Post-Aero stage (Luna 1.0 Updates)
Since Luna is a 1.0-product at this stage, we’ve decided to release updates (1.0.1, 1.0.2, etc.) every week for a limited time (perhaps just 2 weeks). These will include bugfixes only. Meanwhile we’ll be developing Bittersweet Shimmer. The development of Bittersweet Shimmer will start soon, ahead of the Luna 1.0 launch. Either way, with this fast cycle for bugfixes, we hope we can bring you the most stable experience we can give you.

Luna 1.0 Preview 4 Update 2 now available

Well then. Here we are. Luna 1.0 Preview 4 Update 2 (version 0.4.3999) is available starting today, the build number is a coincidence. And this also means that we are at the end of the Luna 1.0 Preview stage. Our next release, which will be available in 2 weeks, will be the Luna Beta (version 0.5). Yep, people, it’s coming to an end. In the coming 2 weeks we’ll finish the feature development. After the first beta release, we’ll only focus on bugfixes and Random.

Like said before, we will not be releasing a Luna 1.0 Preview 4 Update 3 next week like we said before. Another roadmap change is that Luna 1.0 Beta 2 will be released 2 days later (because of personal reasons, fun reasons). Anyway, now we’re going to release Luna 1.0 Preview 4 Update 2, and it is a nice update, in fact.

Small feature improvements
When an username is to long and shortened by Luna, hovering over that name now shows you the full username. It’s a small accessebility improvement. Further, we’ve made improvements to our coding conventions. Another change is that admins no longer see their Inbox percentage, as this didn’t apply to them in the first place. Bootstrap has been updated from version 3.3.2 to 3.3.4.

Interface improvements
Luna (the theme) has been improved to be a little bit more consistent. We’ve replaced most Jumbotrons with navbars to match the interface of Inbox. The Inbox navbar itself also has been updated. The search results also got an update. We’ll continue to change Luna and Sunrise for the next beta.

Random on the other hand has received some major improvements. We’ve updated the design of the topic view to match our old design. Random will be updated further in Beta 1 and beyond (it will be the only feature we’ll develop beyond Beta 1). We’ve got still some work on this, but it is coming along nicely.

Tons of bugfixes
Preview 4.2 comes with an aweful lot of bugfixes. First of all, we fixed 22 HTML5 and CSS3 bugs. Further, we’ve fixed a long existing issue with icons in the navbar. The update also includes a couple of theme related bugfixes. Well, it’s quiet a lot. In total, we’ve fixed a little over 50 bugs compared to Preview 4.1.

 

Luna 1.0 Preview 4 Update 1 now available

After a week of development, we’re ready to release our new preview: Preview 4.1, build 3935. We’ve spend some time on making a couple of improvements which we like to share with you. As we’ve said before, in Preview 4.1, we’ve started to finish all the hard work, and are shifting our focus to fixing bugs (through Preview 4.1 does contain some nice features).

Luna and Sunrise
First off, we’ve updated our Luna and Sunrise theme. Not just with a little improvement here and there, but with a rather big update. Perhaps the largest one since Preview 2.

Knipsel

With this new style, we hope to make Luna and Sunrise a little bit more friendly for the eye by displaying less white. We’ve also added some small shadows here and there. The topic lists have been updated to and now give feedback when your mouse is hovering over an item. Another improvement is the Improved support for smaller widths. Forum lists now also display if there are new posts in them.

For Luna (the theme), you’ll find something weird on the Theme settings page. The page will ask you to install Luna. This will add a couple of additional database entries in the configuration and allow you to change default settings. Important to note is that these settings, currently, do nothing.

Updates: Slow, Normal, Preview or Nightly
When visiting the update page, you’ll find yourself with a new option that allows you to check for slow, normal, preview or nightly updates. Slow updates are updates within the currently used branch that are stable, normal are all stable updates, preview is for the latest unstable alpha, beta or release candidate, while nightly is for versions that get updated more often. We’ve talked about this feature in our previous blog post. When you’re using the Slow or Normal branch, the core version will no longer be displayed in the Backstage.

Documentation
We’ve also updated our documentation on our website. We’ve updated information about the database. Another big change you’ll probably notice is that we’ve changed the index design and the page order.

Languages and bugfixes
Further, Preview 4.1 comes with multiple bugfixes, for the user list, themes, Inbox and other issues. Another change we made was improvements to the translation files.

Preview 4 Update 2
Next up is Preview 4 Update 2, in which we, once again, will be fixing bugs and finishing of our work. However, for Preview 4 Update 2, we’re planning to finish our work on the Luna and Sunrise theme. I hope all of you guys realize that we’re getting close to the final!

Luna: check for updates 1-0-1

In the coming months, we’re getting ready to release Luna. Finally, after months of work. Either way, reaching the “Stable”-milestone is nice, but it doesn’t mean we’re done. In fact, it’s just the start for a plethora of updates coming your way. And this is how we’re going to do it.

After the Lun 1.0 release, we’ll release new updates for Luna 1.0 on a regular base. 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 will be released a week and twoo weeks afater the Luna 1.0 release, respectively. These updates will include fixes for issues that wheren’t catched during the beta and RC stage of Luna. Of course, every 0.0.1 release does that, but this is for the major bugs.

Either way, from that point on, we’ll be going for a 3-weeks cadence. Every 3 weeks, we’ll release an update to fix issues in our currenlty supported branch. This will happen on a Saterday. Of course, when a security issue has been fixed, we’ll release a new update that same day or the day after, wether or not it’s a 3rd Saterday.

Meanwhile, we’ll be developing our next minor update, Luna 1.1. This version, too, will follow a 3-weeks cadence bu unlike the 1.0.1 updates, you’ll get new features when updating to this release. Dhu. Developmen of Luna 1.1 will somewhere during the Luna 1.0 Release Candidate stage.

Anyway, Luna has a build-in feature that warns you for new versions of our software. Unlike ModernBB, we’ll continue to support older versions for some time (this won’t be regular). Older versions will mostly get security fixes, through bugfixes could also be introduced in older versions.

This means that at one point, we’ll have Luna 1.1.0 as our main release, but also a Luna 1.0.x. And we do understand quiet well that not everyone would like to update to an update that’s bigger as normal bugfixes. That’s why Luna will include an option to warn you for updates from different branches.

You’ll be able to check for updates in the master branch of Luna (the “Stable” option). The master branch will have the latest and greatest features and bugfixes for our stable releases. Another option will be to check for updates in your current branch (the “Patch” option). For example, when you pick this option in Luna 1.0, the update mechanism won’t warn you for Luna 1.1 being released, but it will warn you for Luna 1.0.3 (or something) to be released.

Third, there will be an option to check for updates in the lunadev branch (the “Preview” option. This branch contains the latest alpha/beta/release candidate version Luna. This is experimental software. Note that if you’ve downloaded a alpha, beta or release candidate version of Luna and you create a frech install with it, you’ll also be warned for these kind of updates, but only until the first stable release for the branch that preview version is part of has been released.

Finally, there will be an option to check for nightly builds (the “Nightly” option). Nightlies aren’t the kind of nightlies you might expect as from other projects, but they will be rather regular releases. We’re updating our forum every now and then with a version of Luna that isn’t a full preview release. Well, it’s that kind of version you’ll find in this branch. They are completely untested version, and well, we do concider to call this branch the “Risky” branch. But we’ll warn you for that in Luna.

Luna 1.0 Preview 4 now available

As promised when we release Luna 1.0 Preview 3 Update 2, we are now on a weekly schedual and thus, we release Preview 4 today. Preview 4 is our final alpha-branch for Luna 1.0. Starting from this point, it’s going to be exciting! Luna 1.0 Preview 4, or shorter Luna 0.4 (version 0.4.3900) can now be download from our download page. Go get it!

Announcements
In the past previews, the announcement-system was broken. Now it works again in all its glory. Enjoy it.

Theme color schemes
Themes are able to use different color schemes that are delivered with the theme. With Preview 4, we’ve decided to use IDs instead of colors to identify a color scheme, this will allow you to switch to another theme without breaking anything. Also, the default themes – Luna, Sunrise and Random – have a fall back build-in just in case. We recommend your own themes to do the same.

Random
Preview 4 also includes a very early version of Random 5.0. Random 4.0 and earlier have served us well during the ModernBB-age, and we’re happy to make it join us once again for Luna. Random is being build up from scratch. The current development version actualy contains more features on the index than Luna and Sunrise do…

Luna and Sunrise
Sunrise and Sunset have been renamed in this build. Sunrise is now called Luna, and Sunset is now called Sunrise. It’s a small change, but be sure to remove Sunrise and Sunset from earlier version before applying the update. We’ve made other improvements to these themes, through, like enhanced design for Inbox and other small changes.

Emoticonset
Preview 4 also includes a redesigned emoticonset. We’ve updated our rather outdated emoticons with fresh and modern designs, based on the Segoe UI Emoji font versions of the emoticons. Further, the size setting that used to be only for Emojis now also changes the size of emoticons.

CDNs
Preview 4 also removes the build-in Bootstrap, jQuery and Font Awesome packages. Instead, to keep our own core light and simple, we use CDNs to load these packages. This is only a developer thing. Through Preview 4 is 127kb smaller then Preview 3 Update 2. And don’t forget that Preview 4 comes with an additional theme compared to Preview 3.2.

Other changes
And as usual, we’ve got included a couple of bugfixes. The language files also have received an update, but they are far from finished. We’re currently only cleaning up the strings we don’t use anymore. The new strings have yet to be added.

Build 3900
A fun-fact for this build is that it is build 3900. You don’t get why that is a fun-fact? Well, because build 2900 was our very first Luna build. This build was made back in the summer of 2014 as version 0.0.40.2900, and now we’re here, 1000 builds later, with 0.4.3900 (if we would have followed our old formating, it would have been version 0.0.44.3900). Either way, this also means that there have been made 1000 commits to Luna since ModernBB (through not all of them got pushed to GitHub). It’s kind of a milestone. 🙂

The art of going beyond the Edge

While we’re still in the Preview 3 stage for Aero, when it comes to features, the development of our very first release is drawing to a close, with the expected final release in May, which makes up for 10 months of development and already over 800 commits to the core since the start. Either way, we’ve talked about it in our last blog post: we’ve planned more stuff. Let’s talk about that.

Aero – 1.0
Aero is, as you know our first stable release. We’re currently hard at work on it, and our weekly releases prove that. We’ll continue this schedual until we reach our first stable release. Either way, it’s a major improvement over ModernBB.

Bittersweet Shimmer – 1.1
Bittersweet Shimmer is going to be our first minor feature update to Luna. It will go by the number of version 1.1. Our main focus will be on improving upon the changes made in Luna 1.0, and we expect it rather quick after Aero is released. Do not expect much new features in version 1.1. You, however, can expect the kick-off of some major changes for later versions. This will also be the first Luna release to be developed with our new Git-structure. We’ll also be more specific in ticket items.

Cornflower Blue – 1.2
A couple of days ago, we’ve given our C-update a name: “Cornflower Blue”. Cornflower Blue will introduce a major revamp to the installer and update mechanics of Luna. These 2 systems are set to become completely rewritten and modular from the Luna core. The new components (as they will become components) will be released under their own license, the MIT license, that is. They will be completely separate from the original Luna core, and are our first steps towards a brand new core, which we like to call Edge. Further Cornflower Blue will introduce other small changes, but more on that later. As we follow semantic versioning, this will be Luna 1.2 and this update is planned for fall 2015.

Denim – 2.0
Next up is Denim. This will continue the work we did in Cornflower. But not for the installer and updater. No. You’ll see our Backstage being rebuild from scratch. A thing we’ve already started working on. Just like the installer from 1.2, the Backstage will become a separate component, as modular as possible, and released under a new license – again MIT. This will leave only the Mainstage behind on GPLv3, something we will fix later. Denim is supposed to introduce support for plugins in the Backstage (not the Mainstage). This major revamp of the Backstage will bring us to Luna 2.0 (as semantic versioning requires us to do so).

Emerald – 2.1
Our final planned update for now is Emerald. This update will have the same function to Denim as Bittersweet Shimmer had to Aero: it’s a minor all around improvement update. And thus we’ll probably go with version 2.1 for it. This update will focus on improving Edge (the name of our core for the installer, updater and Backstage by then). It’s currently planned to be the first update for 2016.

Early communication is good communication
So now you know what we’ve up to our sleaves. With Aero, Bittersweet Shimmer, Cornflower Blue, Denim and Emerald, we hope to keep ourselves buzzy for a while, and we hope to keep you guys happy for a while, until we’re ready to go to Luna “F” and beyond. And I guess that after reading this post, you guys might know what our plans are for the next major update after Aero (Luna 1.0) and Denim (Luna 2.0). On the other hand, note that codenames are not related to their respective version, and only in order of the releases.

We’re talking this early about our plans – which are subject to change – because we think that it is important to include our community in the development process as early as possible, so that’s what we do. And now, back to the development table for Aero.