ModernBB 3.1 “Mellow” now available

modernbb310Perhaps it is the first day of April, but I’m not joking when I say that I’m very happy to announce the availability of ModernBB 3.1, so soon after 3.0. We didn’t even got the time to build a 3.0.1 (which isn’t coming anyway). ModernBB 3.1 “Mellow” will give you an Improved experience in the topic view and navbar.

This update isn’t that big, so I’m going very shortly over the new stuff… Here’s a link. As always, you can find the download on our download page, be sure to make a back-up before you update.

Through I’ve got something other to tell you. We will continou developing ModernBB 3.2, for this update, which will be a release of the same size as 3.1, and thus is still named “Mellow”, we’ve planned to improve the experience on the user list, profile (especially the profile) and help page. You can expect us to release this update in May our June. Also, this month, we will move Vanellope to a branch inside the ModernBB repository and push all changes we made.

Moving on: our new roadmap

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In the past couple of days, I’ve done various changes to the planned future of both ModernBB, Vanellope and the ModernBB Group in general. I’m prety happy to announce those changes today. The involve mostly arround (big) roadmap changes…

ModernBB 3.1 and 3.2
First of all, we’ve added a new release to the ModernBB serie and renamed another one. ModernBB 3.1 is now called 3.2, while we also added ModernBB 3.1. Version 3.1 will be a minor release upon ModernBB 3.0 to fix multiple issues and improve ModernBB on certain points. All (or most) features planned for 3.1 are moved to 3.2.

Vanellope 1.0
For Vanellope 1.0, I’m trilled to announce that alpha 1 is now planned for early May, instead of early June. This means that the public test release will hit you guys 1 month earlier than originaly planned. It’s getting better through: Vanellope 1.0, the final release, is now planned for November 2014, instead of January 2015! We’ve revised our scheme because our plans where changed too!

Also, it will be possible to update from ModernBB 3 to Vanellope! With some minor changes you have to apply manualy to the database, through we will release a small tool for that too!

Vanellop 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3
Vanellope 1.1, the Luna Update, is now planned for winter 2015 (read: January/February). Our Yellow Update now carries version number 1.3 and is still planned for the summer of 2015. We’ve added a release in between, version 1.2, whose name will be revealed soon. 1.2 and 1.3 are supposed to be smaller updates, where 1.1 will be the update that contains everything that isn’t finished when we want to release 1.0.

I hope you guys are happy with those changes, as we now have planned 3 major updates (ModernBB 3.1, 3.2 and Vanellope 1.0) for this year, and 3 or more updates for 2015!

Vanellope: 2 months of awesomeness behind us

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So, 2 months ago, we made the first commit to Vanellope. Today, we’re working hard on this project to hit a usable state somewhere in June. That is only 3 months from now. So, let’s hope we will get there in time. Through I’m afraid we won’t. But hey, stay optimistic! We’re still in scheme, and release is still planned for early 2015. But let’s go over the current state. Also, if you’re more intrested in how it is going with ModernBB 3, you should read the last paragraphe of this post.

Vanellope Alpha 1 Development
Anyway, for Vanellope, we’ve decided to drop all code we made a week ago. Yes, everything is gone again. Anyway, we’re retriving a lot of it, like the design and basic features like the update check, new style page and more. We’re back to our original plan, to make this a clean rewrite. Sad as it is, the plugin system we hoped to get in there, won’t be happening and is now on track for a future release, through I can’t tell if that will be Luna, Yellow or any later release. We’re probably going to make it the main focus for one of the updates that are coming up.

Anyway, like said before, we’re still on track to get Vanellope out of development at the begin of 2015. Our first public alpha release is planned for June 2014, while the first beta should follow in August, and the first RC in November 2014. The final? Early January 2015 is your time! Stay tuned for more specific dates, through. When we hit the Alpha 1 milestone, we will give an updated on the dates.

Development of Vanellope is going fast. We’ve got our design, and it shines. We’re now working on the Backstage, setting up pages for the settings we’re going to support, the main structure of it and so on. We’re also working on a new installation script and a nice update script. Together, those 2 milestones form “phase 1” of the development cycle for Alpha 1, “phase 2” is the whole front-end: forums, categories, topics, profiles and so on. PHase 2 is supposed to start somewhere in April or May.

ModernBB 3 Final
In the world of the already released versions, development of ModernBB 3 has been quite these times. I know this, and I’ll be working on this in the near future, I hope to close some tickets this week and am now planning to release ModernBB 3 at the end of the month.

Vanellope – it could happen

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So, we’ve been working on this for a while now, let’s do a quick recap of everything that happened the past 1,5 months, because it is prety big, what has happened. We’ll talk about development, planning, branding and more.

Branding
So yeah, we’re now calling Project Luna “Vanellope”. Nothing new here, we’ve been doing that on our site for a while now, yesterday however, we pushed this also to the actual project (which was using both Luna and Vanellope as branding). Since we already have a codename that’s also name Vanellope (update 1.1), we’ll give version 1.1 codename Luna instead, just to make it more clear. The repository will also be moved in the near future. You won’t find it anymore at github.com/ModernBB/Vanellope, but at github.com/Vanellope/Vanellope. We have got our hands on the Vanellope username on GitHub. 🙂 We’ll fix that last branding issues on our site in the upcoming week.

Planning
So, a couple of days ago, the Vanellope project page on ModernBB.be was updated with Yellow, update 1.2. This will be the second update for Vanellope, planned to launch in the summer of 2015. That’s a while from now… Just like Luna (which is now update 1.1), this release will add features that didn’t made it to our first stable release. Update 1.3 and update 1.4 will be released in Fall 2015 and Winter 2015/2016 respectivly, from there on, we want to have 3 major updates each year (kind of WordPress-like).

Version 1.0 itself didn’t change that much on our schedual. In fact, it stayed the same, we’re still planning to launch our first alpha somewhere this summer, probably in June. The beta, RC and final stage are also still on their usual dates. Anyway, we’ve also some news on when we won’t support ModernBB anymore: support will end after the Luna update has been released. That’s a year from now. Meanwhile, we’ll finish ModernBB 3.0 next month and might release another ModernBB 3.1 update.

Development
This is a very exciting part of the past month. Development of Vanellope has taken of over a month ago, and we’ve made already more then 150 commits to the repository. Slowly, we are making progress in rewriting the whole ModernBB source, into a much more advanced piece of software. Currently, we’re working on striping down the features and making the core more simple. Then we’ll add everything again. Currenlty, we’re spending a lot of time on the design, the front-end is being reimagened and so is the Backstage (however, we’re not quit happy with it’s design). The front-end is looking good for now. Anyway, we do recommend to not use the Vanellope software on this early stage of development.

Roadmap changes: 3, Luna and Vanellope

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Earlier today, we’ve made some big changes to our roadmap and website in general which you might want to check out. What’s going on? Well, we’re changing plans, like we do so much, for ModernBB 3 and Luna. Also, meet Vanellope. Let me introduce you to our updatet roadmap.

ModernBB 3
First things first, ModernBB 3. Today, we’ve decided to launch only 1 beta and 1 release candidate of ModerBB 3 before the final will be released, instead of 3 betas and 2 RCs. We don’t feel like we needed all the time we had planned in first. Of course, this could be the result of features I’m not going to develop for ModernBB 3 anymore. So, you can expect ModernBB 3 to launch this 9th March 2014, if not even earlier. In the upcoming days, we might put it on 2nd March 2014.

From there on, we will start developing ModernBB 3.05, the first minor feature release for ModernBB 3, however, do not expect to much from it. The reason behind the change of release dates is that I don’t want to spend much time anymore on the ModernBB project, in fact, I’m pulling the plug. ModernBB 3 will be supported until the next release, when that happens, it’s goodbye ModernBB.

Meanwhile…
By now, you might start to get confused. We’re pulling the plug? It’s over for ModernBB? What…? Well, yes, and I’ve announced this a while ago already, but not with those words. I’m not planning to go anything further with ModernBB. So, what about Luna then? Well… you might want to read the updated paper (link comes later in this post). Because…:

Luna
It’s no longer ModernBB “Luna” 4.00, no, just Luna. We’re seriously concidering to drop the ModernBB brand in the future and replace it by a better brand that better fits (not sure what yet). Anyway, as we announced already, Luna will be build up from the ground. Not only will it have a brand new core, we will also start back at version 1. We’ve already started with the development of Luna. The repository is ready, we’re collecting all packages we need for the development to begin and will soon (if not today, then tomorrow) enter the design stage.

Well, Luna will be an awesome project I think. But since the brand might get ditched, where will you be able to download it? Well, just here, at modernbb.be. But we should, of course, move to another address as soon as our brand change and redirect people to that address. Our goal with Luna stays the same: get a modern and basic forum system on its feets. However, we’re not going with the classic forum concept. But mix it a bit more to make it a social experience too. How this will work out will be reveiled later on (I don’t know either how I’m going to do this anyway). Anyway, read our updated paper for more about Luna.

Vanellope
Vanellope will be what comes after Luna. It will be our first feature update, version 1.1 (we will go with semantic versioning again). This release will be a polishing release. It’s supposed to improve upon everything we have by then and make it more feature complete. Since this release is prety far away, I don’t have much to talk about for now. Anyway, for the people that might wonder: where does that codename come from? Well, it’s from Wreck-It Ralph (that 2012 Disney movie). The full name is actualy Vanellope von Sweetz, but who cares.

Luna: A reference guide for planning

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So, I’ve got this fancy bundle of paper here next to me. It’s a information guide about our Luna project, perhaps better known as ModernBB 4. ou might would like to read it. Now, I’m still working on it (refinments), and will publish it tomorrow. Also, stay tuned for the 2nd alpha release of ModernBB 3 tomorrow.
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Luna: The quest to a modern web

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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.