2015: A year in review and a year in preview

So… I wrote this post at the end of 2016, but forgot to post it. So here we go…


2015 was a big year for us. We release Luna 1.0, a major update to our software. And we also released the final ModernBB release. Let’s take a look at what we did this year:

We released 19 development versions (alphas), 13 pre-release versions (betas and RCs), 4 final versions (Aero, Bittersweet Shimmer, Cornflower Blue and Denim) and 19 updates (x.x.1-releases). In total, we released 55 versions of Luna. We also had 2 ModernBB-releases (version 3.7 and 4.0). This brings us on a total of 57 releases in 1 year. That’s up 17 from last year’s 40 releases and quiet a bit up from 2013’s 23 releases.

I’m also very happy with our download count. Compared to last year, we had a 60% year over year growth for the counted downloads. The bad news is, in the period of June to early November, we – sadly – didn’t count all downloads, so this could have been more.

But what will 2016 bring? Well…

First of all, I hope we’ll be releasing less updates. Sure, updates are fine, but some of the past year’s updates shouldn’t have happened. I hope that Luna 2.0 will bring along a more stable platform then 1.0.0, 1.1.0 and 1.2.0 have been so far (Luna 1.3.0 is doing just fine, though). I’ve also noticed that well, I should be a little bit more critical about contributions made by the community. Don’t get me wrong: I love that people help out with Luna and that’s more then welcome. But some commits shouldn’t have happened either and I’m not to happy about some of the directions Luna has been going into the past year (and Luna 2 will revert these directions).

What I do hope is that 2016 will bring Luna 2.0. This won’t be for the coming months, I can tell that already. The first preview might, though. Luna 2.0 is probably going to be the final major update. Future updates will probably be more focused like the x.1-updates. Don’t worry, we’ll eventually get to Luna 3.0, but I’m hoping to adapt a more rolling-release-ish scheme for updates after the Luna 2.0-update is done. More on that later. I hope we’ll have a great 2016. I’m actually certain of it.


So now that I failed to put this one up on January 1st, 2016, I actually can reflect on what I said back than already. Where we’ve released 57 builds in 2015 in total, this year, we’ve only released 3 versions so far (1.3.1, 1.4-alpha.1 and 1.4-alpha.2). So to that matter, we’re on the right track. I hope 1.4 to be a very stable update from the get-go, despite it having some changes that are potentially dangerous.

Luna 1.4 Preview 1 now available

It has been a while since our latest update: Luna 1.3 was released last year on Christmas day and the last patch followed on New Year. Now, we’re ready for the next step as we approach the launch of Luna 1.4 “Emerald”. Today we’re releasing the first of a series of Previews to show you what’s new.

Fifteen 2.0
As promised, we’re bringing the Luna 2 design (or at least an early concept of it) to Luna 1.x. Luna 1.4 Preview contains a reimagined Fifteen theme based on this concept. We’re still working on it and the light grey accent color is currently a little broken, but it is a first step towards this new UI.

Password security
Todays Preview also brings much better secured passwords, as they now use salts and SHA-512 instead of SHA-1 like Luna 1.3 and prior used to. Just like the new design, this is a feature backported from Luna 2.

New night-mode
Together with Fifteen 2.0, we also introduce a much improved and much cleaner looking night mode for the Fifteen theme. Minor adjustments to this mode are coming in later builds.

New editor
The editor has been revamped to have a more mobile-friendly toolbar. The mobile editor no longer just removes buttons, but instead hides them under the new ellipses menu.


And well, that’s it. For now. We have put our main focus on Fifteen and the password update, both being features we backported from Luna 2.0. Later previews will also come with some new features. We’re planning a couple of other stuff:

Improved Backstage night mode
The Backstage will receive an updated night mode, mainly focused om some serious consistency fixes compared to the current version.

Sunrise 2.1
Sunrise will also receive an update, mainly focused on bug fixes but also bring along some minor design improvements.

Revamped search results
Search results will be more informative, the goal is to make search results look more like the threads do today.

All by all, most of the changes are visual updates and some minor feature improvements. The reason should be obvious: we’re focusing feature development on Luna 2 and I’ll reiterate: it’s coming along nicely. The work on Backstage is progressing very well and I’m hoping to have a first preview ready soon. Anyway, before updating to Luna 1.4, I’ve got a few words to say:

Make. A. Back-up. Luna 1.4 Preview 1 messes with the users-table in your database, more specifically, the password and salt fields. These are 2 fields that you really don’t want any damage too, so make sure you can always go back to Luna 1.3.1 and can restore at least the users table. Damage might not be reparable!