Improving ModernBB.be

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In the past couple of weeks, you’ve seen us do some changes to the ModernBB website. We redesigned and rewrote our changelogs, updated the style, reverted that update again… Updated our documentation. Changed our footer, etc. We did some nice small improvement. But all this where just minor enhandements and part of the update that rolles out today too ModernBB.be. Let me show you what’s new (this includes changes from the past weeks)!

Updated design
After the rollout of the design conventions we had to follow from the 384 Group, some changes where made to allow us to be more ourselves. And well, we’ve used that opportunity. The ModernBB website has got a little redesign. The navbar is part of that. We also updated the page headers, buttons, etc. When you’re visiting the changelog, the color of the design will change into that release’s color (every major update gets a color from us). The navbar now also includes a link to GitHub and Twitter, which are removed from the sidebar in the About section. And perhaps most important: our brand is now always visible in the navbar, no matter what page you’re on, no matter what devices you’re using.

New changelog
The changelogs have been enhanced a while back already, through we haven’t stopped there. Patch releases are now included in the major releases. The changelogs are now also more friendly. Starting from the changelog for ModernBB 3.3, we also take another style of logging our changes. We’ve also added an easier way to navigate the changelog by adding a link to every version on top of the page.

Removing the dev center
The dev center has also been removed. The pages in this section, however, are still there. The Changelog has been replaced to the About section, the style and modification page has been removed as they where already copies of the documentation, and the contributing to ModernBB and Tickets pages are moved to the documentation.

Features list
It’s time to end an area. We’ve officialy removed all information about ModernBB 1.6, most visible change is its removal from the features-page. Instead, we’ve added Luna to this list, as that is our next major point in development. We’ll update the feature list for Luna soon. We’re planning to remove ModernBB 2.2 from that list in the near future too, at the same time as the first alpha release of Luna will be released.

Documentation update
We’ve also updated our documentation, not only did we add new pages, we’re back to the per-version documentation. The documentation for both 3.3 and dev are now available in our documentation section. We also cleaned up a bit, improved the navigation, etc. We’ll keep providing information on older versions of ModernBB, however, that doesn’t mean those versions are still supported. We’ll keep the documentation for the at least the 2 latest stable releases up, starting from version 3.3, and the development release.

Forum
We’ve also, finaly, started working on integrating the design of our forum with the website (which I haven’t much time for, but it has to be done…). This integration, however, will end with some nice new integration abbilities in ModernBB, which could be part of ModernBB 3.4 or 3.5. Anyway, expect a global design for our whole site somewhere in the future!

Update – Our forums are now using the updated design! Enjoy!

ModernBB 3.4
Meanwhille, we’ve, of course, worked on our ModernBB 3.4 release. Some of you might be following this on GitHub. And it has to be said: we’re making very nice improvements. The new and enhanced editor is a blast! The updated parser works nicely, the improved integration of YouTube, DailyMotion and Vimeo works great. We’ve got some awesome new settings. The Cookie bar will get your site EU-ready, we reduced the size of the package, we’ve been fixing bugs… Yep, it’s a beautiful time. Anyway, expect a ModernBB 3.4 beta to be released soon, followed by the ModernBB 3.4.0 release 1ste July!

Round-up #14 – Let’s do a round-up about round-ups & more useful stuff

Well, it’s a very active month, I guess. It has been quite in the round-up category for a couple of weeks, and now, we’ve posted 3 posts in less then a week in it. This time, I want to spend some time to round-up all round-ups and talk about some more recent changes.

ModernBB.be blog
First of all, you probably noticed our completely redesigned blog. This is done as part of the 384 Group design and code conventions. The style blends in way better then our previous one. That’s clear. Anyway, you can’t access all posts very easy now, and comments aren’t available either (so is a sidebar and pagination). Those are things we will add later on. For now, you’ll have to deal with the stuff we got. At least, it’s now responsive and faster.

ModernBB is a growing platform
Perhaps you noticed on the ModernBB Twitter feed, but the first tutorial about ModernBB that isn’t from the 384 Group was posted yesterday on YouTube. A nice “thank you” to the people over at Coder’s Guide. What does this mean to ModernBB, you ask? Well, since yesterday, the amount of downloads is growing faster then before, and I’m prety sure we can thank this video for that. The fact that ModernBB has now a third-party tutorial, is great. On the other hand, the people at Wikipedia think we are also worth to have a page there. So, if that thing is running behind, update it! All of this is proof that we are actualy getting somewhere, we’re growing, and that’s great and prety important for a community.

For the mather, as part of the 384 Group coding and design conventions, ModernBB is going to get some official brand assets. This means that, very soon, an updated to our website will add a new “Brand Assets” page to the “About” section, here, you can find all of our logos (which means, all color schemes). You will be able to use those logos wherever you think you want to mention us. As much as possible, ofcourse. 🙂

ModernBB 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5
In the 4 upcoming feature releases, we will spend a lot of time on modernizing the interface of ModernBB. 3.2, 3.4 and 3.5 will focus on the front-end. While 3.3 will focus on the Backstage. The 3.2 updated is planned for late May. 3.3 should be here early this summer. We hope to get 3.5 out before the end of the year. 3.6 and onwards will focus on making ModernBB a platform with modern features, as we will put some work in a better template system and a plugin system (again). Another feature that is being worked on right now, is a fancy new update system that allows you to update ModernBB right from the Backstage with a click on a button.

That doesn’t mean that 3.2 until 3.5 will only focus on design, we’re also adding new features and improving others, just no big feature updates, unless realy required, or if I finish the new styling system and plugin system before the time it was planned. The development of both those features will start shortly and have their own branch and milestone on our GitHub project.

Looking for developers
If anyone is intrested in developing ModernBB: good news. Since I’m the only developer, I’m looking for people that can join me in creating a better piece of forum software. How can you get started? Join our forum, create a GitHub account (if you don’t have one yet), push some nice improvements to our repository, etc. If you’re good at that, I’ll add you to our team so you can claim some tickets for yourself.

A new ModernBB.be

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For the first time since April 2013, when ModernBB 1.6-beta was released, our very first beta, we’ve developed the website from scratch. What? Yes, indeed, we’ve worked on our website the last couple of weeks, during development of ModernBB 2.2 and here it is. When you visit our home page, you will find yourself on a brand new website.

Our new website is visual more appealing. The new design is supposed to give a cleaner look. We’ve kept the most important elements from our old website and used them again in today’s update. We’ve redesigned the home page to be a portal to other pages on the site. This is important for the accessability of ModernBB and all available resources. Talking about resources: we’ve some good news here too!

We’ve added a Development center (you can find it in the “Develop” menu item). Here, you can find resources to develop your own style and plugin. For designers, we’ve got a structure-only CSS-file ready for use to base your styles on. For developers that like to create plugins, we’ve updated the Example plugin from ModernBB 1.6 to work with ModernBB 2.1 and 2.2. The Developer center also gives access to the ModernBB changelog, source and bugtracker. The “About” and “Download” section are mostly the same. While the “Docs” section has been updated on its markup.

And maybe the most important update of all: ModernBB.be is finaly responsive with this update! It’s about time, I know. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy the new website. More updates will be added later on, including a styles repository.

Our first patchround is coming!
In other news, in 8 days, 10 December 2013, we will have our first patch round. Starting that day, we will update ModernBB on a schedul, every March, June, September and December, the second Tuesday of the month. This month, we will release ModernBB 1.6.4 LTS, 2.0.2, 2.1.2 and 2.2.2 (yes, another update for ModernBB 2.2). For both ModernBB 2.0 and 2.1, this will be the last update before going EOL. Support for ModernBB 1.6 and 2.2 will continue, while we’re working on ModernBB 3 (and start working on 1.6.5 LTS and 2.2.3). However, before that (and 10 December) we still have 39 tickets to close (majorty in 1.6.4 and 2.2.2).

Roadmap overview

Today I want to show you some things we are working on. It’s important for us to show this to you, after all, we are an open source project. That means also that we will keep our roadmap transparent. So, let’s take a look at the stuff that going on.

First of all, we updated some launch dates today. Version 1.6.1 is now planned for June 2013 (instead of Summer 2013), and version 1.7-beta1 is now planned for July 2013 (instead of Summer 2013). We also moved the release of ModernBB 1.7-beta2 to August/September 2013 (instead of Summer/Fall 2013). I hope you guys like this. As you can see, version 1.6.1 is coming very soon, we only need to patch 2 issues (and 1 of these will maybe be moved to version 1.6.2 or 1.7.0), and we patched today 2 issues too!

As you know, we are also working on ModernBB 1.7, this version will be a big improvement to the front-end of the system. We will also start using our own visual style(s). For beta 1, only 4 tickets are waiting for a patch. However, there is still a chance that we will add new tickets or reopen tickets that are already closed. The new style of ModernBB will also get more versions in the future releases, this is planned for beta 2 for now. Beta 1 will be available in July 2013.

And what else? You wouldn’t expect it, but we also have worked on ModernBB 1.8. This update will reinvent the dashboard. For now, it’s only a proof of concept. However: the new dashboard will be Bootstrap based. This means that you can easly constumize it. This feature isn’t pushed to GitHub yet, and it won’t happen for a longue time. Since this feature is not build on ModernBB itselfs, it still has to be ported. Stay tuned for more on ModernBB 1.8!

And last but not least: our website. We haven’t anything new for the website itself yet. But in the near future (before the end of the month), we will move our blog to a system that’s a little bit more advanced. I mean WordPress with that. So, this part of the website will be in maintenance for a short period.

A brand new website

The ModernBB website is now online for a good month. We’ve used the basic Bootstrap theme for all that time, but today, that will change. We have launched our brand new website, featuring a new style, that matches the design of ModernBB, ModernCount and ModernTask. Welcome to our brand new website!

When you visit the home page of our website, the first change that you will see is the new menu and page header. Both have now a flat color and feature the real ModernBB logo. It’s not centered anymore and the download button is now more prominent. In the menu, the ‘Resources’ link isn’t a drop down anymore and we added ‘Blog” (where you are right now).

We also rearanged the download page, it now contains tabs so the page won’t get to long over time. The download buttons now also indicate how safe it is to download something. Green means it’s table, orange means it’s unstable and red indicaties a nightly. For all pages: the page headers are now less high. It turned out to be not user-friendly to have that kind of page headers.

With the new design online and the everything up and running, the development of our software will go on. ModernBB 1.7 beta 1 is expected to launch somewhere at the end of next month (which is June), we will also launch ModernBB 1.6.1 this our next month, together with its LTS version. Meanwhile, we will launch our 3rd application: ModernTask. And ModernCount v2.1 will make it’s way to the internet too! We will also add those software to our own website very soon (you can now download it from Studio 384).