Lets face it, if you are a ModernBB user, you’ve had a realy boring time the past 9 months when it comes to new features. Sure we released 3 minor updates during this periode (3.5, 3.6 and 3.7), but they where one by one just small and minor updates. But now, starting today, we give you access to a broad set of new features. Because today is that day. Welcome to Luna.
We’ve worked on it for a long time. A little more then 9 months have past since the beginning of our development cycle. We’ve released 20 development releases (2 Release Candidates, 3 Betas and 15 Previews), and we made over a 1000 commits, closing over 260 tickets. The development of “ModernBB 4.0 Luna”, as it was called in the early days, has been a hell of a ride. But this isn’t ModernBB anymore. We thought it to be time for a new chapter in our ongoing story, so here we are. Luna 1.0 is available for everyone as a stable release starting today. Let’s take a brief look at what is new (through a list of what ISN’T new would have been shorter).
A brand new design, Backstage and Mainstage
First of, we gave Luna a big redesign. The Backstage has been updated with a new header, more concistency in its interface and more, while the Mainstage has been ripped apart and put back together to make it more customizable then ever before. The Mainstage now has full theme support (through improvements to it will come in the future), and with that, we’ve build a brand new theme.
Luna is the name of this theme, to match our actual brand name and to indicate that it is our default design. Luna is build from the ground up and comes with, what we think, is a fresh look, yet familiar, to forums. In case you aren’t up for this fresh idea, yet you do like the design of Luna, we’ve got Sunrise for you. Sunrise is a theme that is build upon Luna, yet is a little bit more conservative with its design, going more for a classic look.
And in case even that isn’t classic enough, we’ve rebuild Random for Luna. Random has served us well during ModernBB 2.x and 3.x, and we’ve decided to bring it along with Luna. Random brings the classic ModernBB look to Luna. In case you wonder where the color variantions on Random have gone (Awesome, Radical, Kind, Luna, Shy, Pinkie, Happy and Magic), they are now part of the Random theme as a color option in the user profile.
New management tools
We’ve added a ton of new features to the Backstage to manage your forum even better. First off, we’ve rebuild the menu system. It now isn’t as confusing anymore as it used to be, yet much more powerful. We promis you that you’ll love the new menu system, through your menu from ModernBB won’t be converted to Luna. We’ve also updated the Backstage’s index with a note section, where you can write down important notes all of your fellow administrators and moderators have to read.
Another major change has come to the update system. You can now ask it to check for in-branch releases (so for example, if you choose this option, Luna will only notify you for 1.0.1, 1.0.2, etc. if you have Luna 1.0, but it won’t warn you for Luna 1.1), stable releases (which warn you for the newest stable release), Preview releases (alphas, betas and RCs) and nightlys (almost daily updates). In case you wonder what an update adds, the “About” section from ModerrnBB 2 has returned too, to explain exactly what has changed.
Moderating forums and topics used to be part of the Mainstage, however, we’ve decided to move this to the Backstage, to make it the one-stop point to manage your board. While you’ll have to enter the Moderation mode from the Mainstage, the feature is visible in the Backstage. In case you want to change multiple ranks at once, this is also possible starting with Luna 1.0. For user groups, you’ll also see a bunch of new permissions (like soft delete, Inbox permissions and more). We’ve made more minor changes, and added more settings, for a full overview, read our ship list.
New Mainstage features
Not only the Backstage was up for an update through. The Mainstage also got a bunch of new features. First of, we now support sub forums. You can now put a forum into a forum. We’ve also revamped the user search feature to be less confusing. Another much requested feature was the ability to send messages to other users, and we’ve added this capability with Inbox. This private messaging system can be disabled in the Backstage. It allows users to talk with each other without others seeing their posts, it’s a rather simple tool.
The Profile Settings have received a major revamp too. First of all, we’ve made it possible to change and save all your settings at once. No longer do you need to visit multiple pages and save your settings one by one. Now, everything is displayed on one page, under mutliple tabs (through this is up to themes to use). Another update to the Profile system is the addition of notifications and the notification center. On certain actions, Luna will send a notification to the user, what will be visible in the navigation bar’s user section.
Another update we’ve made is to the editor. The editor now works much smarter: it adds white spaces where it is useful and logical to have them, or includes other tags on locations where it is useful (like the *-tag inside list-tags). We’ve also updated our emoticon set, they have a new modern look, and if you want, you can change their size in the Backstage. Or even better: you can switch to use emojis. Emojis are ever-scallable smilies, perfect for smartphones and tablets, not so for older desktop operating systems, like Windows 7 and below. So be sure to update your whole family to Windows 10 later this year so we can enable emojis by default in the future!
And so much more
Yet we have much more to share with you guys. Be sure to check our ship list for Luna 1.0, or our release notes. We’ve got a long list of features, and we think we’ve covered a couple of nice ones here. Of course, Luna comes with updated components and tons of bug fixes.
Luna 1.0.1 and “Bittersweet Shimmer”
And now, all our focus shifts to Luna 1.0.1, the first update to our Luna software, which will be released next week, and should fix the first batch of bugs that have been found in the software. Together with 1.0.1, we’ll also develop Bittersweet Shimmer, our next, minor, update to Luna. Bittersweet Shimmer will come with feature refinements and more minor changes. And we’ve a whole road set out beyond that.