Do you ever have those moments that you are outside at night and realize that you have a shadow, then look up into the deep darkness we call “sky”, and see the moon? Well, I have, on a regular base. Perhaps, Luna is one of the most beautiful stones around here. Seriously. Sometimes I use my telescope to look at it. The best moment is a couple of days before full moon (otherwise it’s just a white moon, no shadows).
Ow, I guess you are here for an explenation about the updates website, containing references to ModernBB 4, perhaps you also saw it in our bug tracker, that we have a 4.00 milestone. Or just because of the image above. Well yes, it’s true, planning on ModernBB 4 has begun. Wait! Why now? We are still in early ModernBB 3 development!? Well yes, indeed we are. However, planning for ModernBB 3 started during development of ModernBB 2.2. However, we’ve got a special reason for ModernBB 4 to start planning already.
ModernBB 1.6, 1.7, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 and 3.00 are based on FluxBB 1.4/1.5, however, FluxBB is based on PunBB, and that piece of software was released over 10 years ago. Since then, there was highly no change in the way it worked nor during PunBB, nor FluxBB, nor ModernBB. We are going to change that. We will build ModernBB 4 from the ground up, with brand new technology, brand new ways to use HTML, CSS, PHP, etc. And it will be better, faster and more modern.
We will start developing ModernBB 4 right after we ship ModernBB 3 (we changed the release schedule a little bit, 5 days) that will be released on 24 April 2014, 1 year after the introduction of ModernBB. From there on, we will start developing, and that’s going to take a while. We’re planning to get a first beta ready somewhere around the end of 2014. Between 24 April and then, there are some development releases like we have with ModernBB 3, however, they won’t be so close after each other. The final release of ModernBB 4 should be somewhere in 2015 (perhaps 24 April 2015, if we could pull that of).
Now, ModernBB 4 will be build from scratch, and that rises a question: will it be compatible with ModernBB 3.99 and lower? Well… no. Plugins and modification won’t work for sure. Styles might need updates (we will still use Bootstrap, however, Bootstrap does change too). Updating ModernBB to ModernBB 4 will require at least ModernBB 3, and settings won’t be migrated, only posts, topics and some user data (not all either). If you want to update from ModernBB 2.2.x or lower, a clean install will be required (of course, you can first update 2.2 to 3.xx and then update).
Also, some features from ModernBB 3 will be missing. ModernBB 4.00 will contain the basic set of features for forums: categories, posting, profiles, basic settings, rules, maintenance, etc. Other features that should be available are: 1-click updates, plugin system, style system, etc. Any release after ModernBB 4.00 will be to add features from ModernBB 3 to ModernBB 4. We will move on to ModernBB 5 as soon as all features are available again. We are talking about 2015/2016 here.
So, while ModernBB 4.00 will be a downgrade feature wise, it will be a serious and needed upgrade core wise. This is going to be a huge step for us. Development is now planned to take 1 year. That’s very long. I remember I once tried to create my own fork of FluxBB and ended after the second maintenance release, and look where I’ve come with ModernBB. I’m realy exicted about ModernBB 4. Of course, you can count on updates for ModernBB 3 during development of ModernBB 4.