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Developing Luna #1 – Announcing Luna

A while ago, I posted a tweet on Twitter, showing you guys my desktop wallpaper. I announced that something was “coming soon”. That was, perhaps, a little bit too optimistic. Anyway, I think regular visitors are familiar with the name “Luna”. It has been a codename for a while here, first planned for ModernBB 2.5, then for 3.0, then a complete rewrite and start from scratch, then back to 4.0 and then to 3.5. Anyway, it didn’t stay at 3.5, as it is now, again, the codename for version 4.0. Or 5.0, it depends how long development will take. Through we are also considering to go back to 1.0. That’s why Luna is currently developed in the 0.x-branch.

And today, I’m happy to announce that we are working on the next generation of ModernBB, named Luna. Before we get started about this – you’re about to read an awful long text about this project – I want to say that we will keep working on ModernBB 3.x. Our recent release, ModernBB 3.4 is prove of that , through most of our attention will start going to Luna from today on. We’ve still planned some updates for ModernBB 3.x, so stay tuned on that, more information will follow.

Hit it
So, lets kick of the future! Luna will be a major update. This means that the whole codebase will be changed, so will the interface, both Mainstage as Backstage. We will not use the current Random-styles and Aurore 5 for those 2 components respectively. The good news, however, is that Luna will be able to understand your ModernBB 3.x database. Or much of it. Luna will require some serious changes to the database., and because of this, we will only support upgrading to Luna from the latest version of ModernBB 3. This is currently ModernBB 3.4.1, but can Always change, of course.

Luna will provide you and your forum’s users a brand new experience, focused on communication and social interaction. And this is kind of the reason I post this here today. On the following part, we want some feedback. Luna will not use the concept of “categories, forums, topics, posts” anymore. Instead, the index will provide you and your users an overview of threads from all sections (threads are the replacement for topics, sections for forums). Threads will be labeled with a nice colorful label to show from what section they come. Clicking on a thread’s name, will bring you into this thread.

Of course, you can filter easily on a per-section base by clicking the sections name. The section and index view allow you to see which topics are closed, solved, pinned, followed by you, how many comments they have and who started the thread. The main page, will in fact contain more of a log of what’s going on on the forum. Who logged in, what’s the newest topic, what’s the newest post, etc. Sections will function close to this (but this is a feature that isn’t planned for the first Preview).

Threads will have a horizontal design by default (means: profile information above posts instead of left or right). This gives us more space to show more content, like the sections list, which will be always visible inside the index, section and thread views. The new thread view allows us to build in a new feature, “threaded subjects”, which means that posts can be nested into each other. It’s another way to quote someone without having to copy the actual text. A “threaded” view is optional, and we will allow to use the traditional view like it is today, with only one level of posts.

Profiles
Luna will provide a completely redesigned profile. For starters, we will put more focus on the content the user has created on the forum, both threads and posts in threads made by others. We will also add a nice view to follow up on the topics and posts you have starred. Luna will also provide updated personality settings, like new social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and more. We do consider the ability for other users to comment on peoples profiles.

The settings, both personality as board settings, will get a separate file in the structure of Luna. It will have an updated design, through mostly work in the same way as ModernBB 3.4 does today. The administration for the users will happen here to, and contains some new useful features.

Backstage
Once again, the Backstage will be present in Luna. Through redesigned and build from the ground up as well. We’re planning to make the Backstage a more modular setting page, allowing developers to add new abilities to it without the need to  modify the actual Luna Core. This redesign will be familiar to you, as it will be based on our website’s design (ModernBB 3.5 also has a design similar to ModernBB.be). The function of the Backstage, will not change – there isn’t much to change, it’s meant to manage, nothing more, nothing less – through we will provide new possibilities, of course.

Installation and upgrade path
The installation of Luna will be similar to that of ModernBB, through I’m now planning to make it a 3-step installation (making the database connection, making user, basic settings). If you want to upgrade from ModernBB to Luna, you’ll have to update the the latest version of ModernBB. For now, the preview supports updating from ModernBB 3.4.0, 3.4.1, 3.4.2 and 3.5-dev. This will change in the future. As soon as 3.5 is released, support for upgrading from 3.4 will be dropped. So you’ll have to be on the final version of ModernBB to upgrade to Luna.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s a lie, I’ve not been asked anything about Luna, especially not “frequently”, but I can imagine some of you wanting answers on this anyway:

Where can I download Luna?
Nowhere, you can’t. I’m currently developing Luna on my PC, away from GitHub, away from Git, for the matter.

When will you put this on Git? When can we try it out?
I’ll put it on Git (and thus GitHub) as soon as I think I’ve got something worth looking at. That will probably be the same day I release Luna Preview 1. Preview 1 is planned for late Summer 2014.

When will we get a final release?
I can’t tell you. There is a lot of work to do. Preview 1 will contain just basic features, nothing to fancy. Starting from that point, we will have to build up most of ModernBBs current abilities. When I think we’re there, I’ll release the final build.

How many development releases will there be?
I don’t know yet, through for now, I want 3 alphas out (Preview), 3 betas, 2 RCs and the final build. This can take a while, I can’t tell how much time will be put between those releases.

What about future updates for ModernBB 3 & ModernBB 1.6?
We’re planning to support ModernBB 3 after the release of Luna for another 6 months. Of course, you shouldn’t expect any feature updates anymore. As soon as Luna hits RC, we will round up our feature development in ModernBB 3. As you also know, we are currently developing an update to ModernBB 1.6, our very old – and very first – release. Version 1.6.6 is supposed to be the final release (which wasn’t planned in the first place). So don’t expect any updates at all after 1.6.6.

And Luna?
For Luna, we will add more frequently new features, we’re not out of how we’re going to do this, because the current X.Y.Z versioning would make our numbers go crazy. We’re looking into using X.YY version numbers for the future, but that will be decided later on.

Stop with that “Luna” thing, just call it “ModernBB 4″, why would we need a codename?
First of all, this isn’t ModernBB 4. Also, I like codenames for stuff. Like we had Blythe, Zoe, Odd, Mellow, Vanellope, Neon and Kate in the past, Luna is one of them too. What do I mean with “this isn’t ModernBB 4″? Well, I’m not sure if I want to keep hanging on ModernBB as a brand. Sure, the software is now known under that name, but it sounds like I had a moment of non-inspiration when I thought of that name. And heck, that’s exactly the case. With other words, this major rewrite might bring a rebrand too.

Is Luna this final name, you ask? No, it isn’t. Through it has potential to become the final thing. As you know, there has been a time I wanted to rename the project to “Vanellope”, this name is now out of order for my project. Luna is for now the only candidate, so it might end up being the final name. But then again, “ModernBB 4″ is also in the running to become the final name. I guess time will tell. So will the first Preview. By then, the decision should be made.

Rebranding ModernBB: Welcome to Luna

As you might know, we’re rebranding ModernBB to Luna in our future version. And through a member on our forum spoiled it, I would like to introduce to you our new brand and logo.

So, yeah, as a reminder, and before we start, lets take a look at our current brand, ModernBB. We kicked off with “ModernBB” back in April 2013, a nice 1,5 year ago. Back then, we had this weird blue-ish color, and prety much the same wordmark we have now, just not capitalized. As ModernBB evolved, On 12 February, we departed from this blue-ish color, together with a new website, we updated our brand. It now futured the currently used “ModernBB Blue” color. And just a while ago, when moving on to ModernBB 3.3. We altered our wordmark to make the “m” and “bb” capitals. Ending up, with this:

 

Our blog headers kept using the old wordmark through. Anyway, that’s for the main logo. Our slogan, however, also changed through time. We started with “Modern. Light. Simple.” and not soon thereafter, we changed that to “Express Yourself”. A while ago, we changed this again to “You can do anything”, and we’re still going with it, and yes, Luna will use this slogan too. However, our logo, didn’t feature much inspiration. After all, it was just plain text in the Segoe UI font. Nothing more, and I did try to create some logos for it, but I never felt realy happy about them, and thus never used them.

The brand itself is another inspirationless piece of work of mine. And to say the truth, I regret ever starting of with it. I should have tought of a better brand from the start. Sure, ModernBB sounds nice and all, but like I said, its inspiration lacking and “BB” just… well… it doesn’t feel right. And thus, that’s going to end next year.

Because we’re rebranding. Our new name? Luna. Our new slogan? Nothing new, just “You can do anything”. Our new color? Luna Blue. And do we have a logo this time? Yes. And it’s already on top of this post, but here is it again:

 

Luna is a reference to the Latin name of Earths moon. And that brings us to our logo prety quickly. It’s quiet the no-brainer if you ask me. Through I’ve made a couple of different logos. One thing was certain: the color would be this kind of blue, the brand would be Luna, and the logo should be able to adapt to other colors easly. And this logo covers all of it. You’ll slowly see our new brand take over the ModernBB one. For starters, like an user on the forums pointed out, the sites live tile generated this logo instead of the usual ModernBB wordmark (this has been reverted already, through). As soon as the first preview of Luna is available (version 0.1), you’ll start to see this logo appear more often on our main site.

Our site will be trimmed down, by the way. This includes the removal of the ModernBB 3.3 docs. Information regarding Luna and more. Luna, will get its own site (somewhere on the world wide web, more later). And that’s when the real fun begins. Preview time. However, before we get to that, I just want to say that we will sillently release a pre-preview. This build will suddenly appear in the version history list under “Downloads”. And will be a preview of Preview 1. It, of course, won’t be feature completed and highly unstable. But it’s just to show what we’ve got! Also, we will soon kick off a new series of blog posts where I’ll explain new capabilities of Luna. Stay tuned!

ModernBB/Luna & Bootstrap/jQuery

oday, the Bootstrap developers released Bootstrap 3.3. This is the final major release for Bootstap 3 before moving on to Bootstrap 4. And well I would like to talk a little bit about that (a little, realy). We’re planning to bring Bootstrap 3.3.0 to the next update for ModenrBB 3.5 (version 3.5.3 that is), and obviously, to the latest Luna development version. TrentUI in the later one will be replaced with Bootstrap 3.3. However, Bootstrap announced their plans for Bootstrap 4 today too, and we’ve decided to not bring Bootstrap 4 to ModernBB. we will continue to update ModernBB with the latest version of Bootstrap 3 as long as it last. Bootstrap 4 will only be used for Luna, as it will require (according to their plans) for our project a lot of changes (we’re using panels a lot, and guess what’s going to change drasticaly).

However, the guys over at Bootstrap weren’t the only once to announce some drastic changes. The people at the jQuery Foundation announced jQuery 3, killing of jQuery 1.x and 2.x (we’re currently using 2.1). Once again, ModernBB 3.5 will not be provided with an update to this major revision, but only to jQuery 2.2 (if that ever gets released). Luna on the other hand will start using jQuery 3 as soon as it is available in the test branch.

With some luck, we will be able to include Bootstrap 4 and jQuery 3 in the final release of Luna 1.0 mid next year. If not, we might dedict a whole major update on simply upgrading to Bootstrap 4 and jQuery 3 (yes, it’s going to be that drasticaly

TEN awesome THOUSAND

So I decided to take a look at ModernBB’s ModernCount control panel (we’ve got other software besides ModernBB you know), where we track the downloads. And today I saw the counter standing on 9.984 downloads. Which is a very impressive thing, because that means that 10.000 downloads is a very close milestone.

And thus we hit that milestone. Today, 18 November 2014. 19 months after ModernBB was founded, 14 months after the first real release (ModernBB 2.0). And let’s make it clear: I couldn’t be more happy! 10.000 is quiet the archivement. It’s nothing compared to others, for instance, if WordPress would have an avarage of 10.000 downloads every day, it’s a bad day for them. We got it in 14 months together.

And I’ve got a lot to thank Coder’s Guid and Neil for this. After they started using ModernBB and made an installation tutorial about ModernBB 3.1, our donwloads made a hole in the roof. Mutliple times a week. Now, a bunch of months later, I’m still feeling the consequences of that. So for this, thanks! However, it’s not only because of CG that we got to the 10.000 of course. No, I also have to thank all the 9.998 other people (the first download was by myself, later downloads I made aren’t counted by ModernCount) that downloaded ModernBB.

I hope all of you enjoyed it so far, and I hope all of you are helping me out with the next 10.000, and let’s hope they come faster than the previous 10.000 (let’s try to do it in less then a year)! I’ll be fine if it takes as much time, but let’s hope that it doesn’t take more time. Anyway, I’m sure that the downloads will continue to grow as we are on the edge of releasing the first real Luna Preview. And in just 3 weeks, we also have our third update to ModernBB 3.5. Stay tuned!

2014 was awesome!

2014 has come to an end. And to be fair: for ModernBB, it was a rather awesome year. Let’s take a quick look at a year of work!

Last year, we ended with the development of ModernBB 3 beeing at full swing. We released 40 new version of ModernBB and Luna in the past year, the first one beeing the ModernBB 3 Alpha 1 (core 0.0.30.1534). During 2014, 5 development releases of ModernBB, 6 pre-releases of ModernBB, 22 stable ModernBB releases and 7 development releases of Luna followed. The most recent one beeing Luna 1.0 Preview 2 DEVED (core 0.2.3478), earlier this month. And later today, you’ll be able to enjoy Luna 1.0 Preview 2 NEWED (core 0.2.3573)!

40 new versions is a lot. During 2013, we only released 23 versions of ModernBB. Note that ModernBB came to existence in April 2013 through, and that the real development actualy kicked of in late June 2013. So, on avarage per active month, we have released a lot more releases last year.

But releases aren’t what matter. Neither are downloads, through we’ve seen some realy nice numbers the past year! We closed of 2013 with 2045 downloads in total, making an avarage of 227 download each month since April. 2014, however, closed of with 11.780 downloads in total, making an avarage of 811 download each month. December 2014 was our best month up until now, with 1309 downloads. This means that, if we do not shrink in downloads, the amount of avarage downloads can be doubled during 2015 (let’s hope even better!). 2013 to 2014 was over 3 (almost 4) times more download per month!

But like I said, numbers doesn’t matter. Well, there is one number that does: the number of happy people. And we hope that we did make some people happy with all the work that is beeing done to ModernBB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 and Luna 0.0, 0.1 and 0.2 during the past year. A lot of features have joined the fun since last years final 2.2 release. And in fact, a lot of features are joining right now since the 3.x branch in Luna. Next year arround this time, I hope to be looking back at a beautiful Luna 1.0 and Luna 1.1 release (yeah, only 2 major releases planned for next year, 3 if you count ModernBB 3.7 (but that’s planned to be not such a major release) 4 if we might get to Luna 1.2, it feels weird!).

Well, I wish you a Merry Chrismas (a little bit late, but I already did this on Twitter too) and a Happy New Year! Enjoy the fun! I’m out for this year!

What’s In A Codename?

So today, I discovered that there is a Wikipedia article about ModernBB (which also covers Luna). Awesome! Thumbs up for the guy that’s keeping the information on it up-to-date. Anyway, I decided to read through the whole lemma, and then, I came across this:

Similar to other software, like WordPress, main releases are named with code names. However, the logic used for ModernBB’s code names is unknown. Some releases share the same code name.

It sure knew to steal my attention. Why? Because it’s right. There is no logic in the ModernBB codenames. Will there be any kind of logic in Luna codenames? Probably, but remember, they are what the name says: codenames. Nothing more, nothing less.

ModernBB Codenames
While ModernBB 1.6 is called Blythe, it didn’t had a codename until ModernBB 2.0 was named Zoe. Both codenames came from the same source: Hasbro (that big entertainment company, you know, like Monopoly and stuff). 1.7 just took the 1.6 codename due to it not being such a big release. However, releases being small isn’t the only reason we stick to a codename. 2.1 and 2.2 where both named Zoe, too. There is no reason for that naming convention.

ModernBB 3.0 was named Odd. Because it was version 3, and uneven number, which is also called “odd”. Also, “Odd” is a name in some countries. ModernBB 3.1 and 3.2 where both named Mellow. These 2 releases sharing a name, did have a reason. Both releases putted the focus on revamping the front-end design. Its codename wasn’t ment to be the word “mellow”, through. It actualy comes from “marshmallow”. But we thought that was to long and shortened it to “Mallow” and then we switched the a for an e. I didn’t even realize at the moment it was an actual word.

ModernBB 3.3 was named Vanellope, after the Vanellope project I did in the months prior to it, of which it also got a lot of code. Anyway, that project’s name on its own was from Wreck-it Ralph, a Disney movie. One of the characters was named “Vanellope von Sweetz” (or something). ModernBB 3.4 was named Neon, and at that point, we did plan to introduce a logic in naming our releases: after the elements. Didn’t happen, through. The next version, ModernBB 3.5, was named Kate. ModernBB 3.6 and 3.7 are both named Blue. We just took names, there really is no reason behind these names. 3.6 and 3.7 share the same name because we don’t think it’s worth it to give it new names.

Luna Codenames
Luna continues to use codenames. Aero is an example, the codename for Luna 1.0. “Luna” as a name itself was a codename until it became our final name. We currently call our 1.1 milestone Luna 1.1 Bittersweet Shimmer. Another update, that currently doesn’t have a version number is Luna Denim. There is an updated planned in between Bittersweet Shimmer and Denim, so that’s going to be something with a C. Anyway, for the people that didn’t notice it: Aero, Bittersweet Shimmer and Denim are all colors. In alphabetic order. So there you have our logic. Finally.

Developing Luna #10 – The Road to Preview 4 and 5

Yesterday, we’ve closed off the Preview 3-stage of the Luna development, now, we’re working  on the first Preview 4-release, for which we’ve planned 3 updates. And than comes Preview 5, perhaps better known as Luna 1.0 Beta 1 (Luna v0.5). Why are we talking about Preview 4 and 5 this time around and not just 4? Let me explain:

First off, with Preview 3 Update 2, we kick off our weekly updates. This means that next Saturday, you guys will be able to enjoy Preview 4 already, we’ll release a new build of Luna every Saturday until we get to the final release. With this, we like to indicate that the now +8 months of Luna development are coming to a close. We’re left with 10 more previews (Preview 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), through we might add a couple of additional previews. Either way, Luna 1.0 is now set for a 9 May 2015 release. Get hyped!

Final features
Preview 4 and its 3 updates will be all about finishing off the features we’ve included in the previous previews. Some other small additions might make it into the software, but don’t put your hopes on it. At this point, we start stabelizing our code, getting everything ready for translation, adding Random 5, and more. It’s not for now, but when we hit Preview 9, you’ll see us remove a couple of developer codes (like the “Core” message in the Backstage and all information in About about Preview-updates).

Further, we’ll be working on improving Sunrise and Sunset, extending the Notifications (the actions you have to do that will trigger notifications) and so on. Something else that is now on our main radar is the documentation, and while Preview 3 Update 2 already comes with a first draft of the documentation, it’s far from finished, and thus, more is coming. Finally, you’ll see us fix a faire amount of bugs.

When Preview 4.3 (“Preview 4 Update 3″) is released, we’re going in to our final week of feature development. After that, we’re on a feature freeze that will bring you guys Preview 5, perhaps better known as Luna 1.0 Beta 1 or Luna 0.5 (but we’ll officially continue to name them “Preview”, both betas and release candidates). Preview 5, 6 and 7 will all focus on finishing the new features, but they will mainly fix bugs. Preview 8 will be our first release candidate and with some good luck, Preview 9 will be our last. Followed by Luna 1.0 some time after (we’ve currently planned a week between Preview 9 and Luna 1.0, but we do not expect it to take that long).

End of the line, or road, pick what you prefer
And with that, the end of the road is in sight. I can see it, it’s still a distance, but it’s there. And we’re closing in. Finally. And what’s at the end of this road? Well, a brand new one. Bittersweet Shimmer Avenue, yeah, let’s call it that. If that doesn’t ring a bell, I’m referring to Luna 1.1. Guys, we’re coming close to the end, it was an amazing ride, and I hope you all are ready for the next one, because Bittersweet Shimmer isn’t the only road over there. Not even close.

Luna: Check For Updates 1-0-1

In the coming months, we’re getting ready to release Luna. Finally, after months of work. Either way, reaching the “Stable”-milestone is nice, but it doesn’t mean we’re done. In fact, it’s just the start for a plethora of updates coming your way. And this is how we’re going to do it.

After the Lun 1.0 release, we’ll release new updates for Luna 1.0 on a regular base. 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 will be released a week and twoo weeks afater the Luna 1.0 release, respectively. These updates will include fixes for issues that wheren’t catched during the beta and RC stage of Luna. Of course, every 0.0.1 release does that, but this is for the major bugs.

Either way, from that point on, we’ll be going for a 3-weeks cadence. Every 3 weeks, we’ll release an update to fix issues in our currenlty supported branch. This will happen on a Saterday. Of course, when a security issue has been fixed, we’ll release a new update that same day or the day after, wether or not it’s a 3rd Saterday.

Meanwhile, we’ll be developing our next minor update, Luna 1.1. This version, too, will follow a 3-weeks cadence bu unlike the 1.0.1 updates, you’ll get new features when updating to this release. Dhu. Developmen of Luna 1.1 will somewhere during the Luna 1.0 Release Candidate stage.

Anyway, Luna has a build-in feature that warns you for new versions of our software. Unlike ModernBB, we’ll continue to support older versions for some time (this won’t be regular). Older versions will mostly get security fixes, through bugfixes could also be introduced in older versions.

This means that at one point, we’ll have Luna 1.1.0 as our main release, but also a Luna 1.0.x. And we do understand quiet well that not everyone would like to update to an update that’s bigger as normal bugfixes. That’s why Luna will include an option to warn you for updates from different branches.

You’ll be able to check for updates in the master branch of Luna (the “Stable” option). The master branch will have the latest and greatest features and bugfixes for our stable releases. Another option will be to check for updates in your current branch (the “Patch” option). For example, when you pick this option in Luna 1.0, the update mechanism won’t warn you for Luna 1.1 being released, but it will warn you for Luna 1.0.3 (or something) to be released.

Third, there will be an option to check for updates in the lunadev branch (the “Preview” option. This branch contains the latest alpha/beta/release candidate version Luna. This is experimental software. Note that if you’ve downloaded a alpha, beta or release candidate version of Luna and you create a frech install with it, you’ll also be warned for these kind of updates, but only until the first stable release for the branch that preview version is part of has been released.

Finally, there will be an option to check for nightly builds (the “Nightly” option). Nightlies aren’t the kind of nightlies you might expect as from other projects, but they will be rather regular releases. We’re updating our forum every now and then with a version of Luna that isn’t a full preview release. Well, it’s that kind of version you’ll find in this branch. They are completely untested version, and well, we do concider to call this branch the “Risky” branch. But we’ll warn you for that in Luna.

Coming soon to a Luna software project near you: Luna 2.0

Gosh, we shouldn’t be talking about this yet, however, while we are still at full work to bring you Luna 1.0 Aero, we’re already thinking about what’s next. And we’ve got some nice ideas. Some major changes are coming up. And we like to call it Luna 2.0.

O gosh! Are you guys going to make every release a major number? No. Luna 2.0 simply is our next major project. There will be a Luna “Bittersweet Shimmer” 1.1 and Luna “Cornflower Blue” 1.2 release in the meantime. Either way, we’re following Semantic Versioning. This means that we have to change the major number every time we make a change to the software that will break some extensions or modifications. For the note: no, Luna 2.0 won’t contain extension support (at least, for the Mainstage, the Backstage is planned to support extensions). The fact is, that we’re about to make some major changes, and thus, we’re going to make a major version number. After Luna 2.0, we hope to go up a little bit slower, unless Semantic Versioning requires otherwise and the Mainstage revamp is finished to early.

Backstage “Edge” 4
While Aero brings a looks-like new Backstage, it’s rather only the navigation and general design that got changed. Of course, there where other improvements, however, it’s not very modern under the core. With Edge – the name of the new core that will be used by the new Backstage and is introduced with the new installer in 1.2 –  we want to change that too. This is a step to an easier to use Backstage and an easier to extend one for that. Where does the “4” come from? Well, it’s version 4. After the Admin Panel v1 from ModernBB 1.x, the Backstage v2 from ModernBB 2.x and 3.x and the Backstage v3 from our upcoming Luna 1.0 Aero release.

Anyway, Backstage 4 will be build from the ground up with modern technologies in mind. But that doesn’t change that our goal is to keep the code as simple as possible. And of course, we will documentate it as well as we can. Expect a major design change, through, that will use the full width of your screen, on any device.

Lunicons
We’re planning to design our very own icon font to be used in Luna. This will bring us a much lighter and smaller icon font then the currently used Font Awesome. We love that project, but it simply is to big and we need to give our software more of an identity. So here we go, our very own iconset, called Lunicons. Also available as a free package in the future. We’ll publish a website for it, perhaps. Something like icons.getluna.org, or something.

Edge core
Unlike the current Backstage, the new Backstage will be build on the “Edge core”. What is this? It basically replaces everything in the current Luna versions to make the Backstage completely separate from the Mainstage. A small version of Edge core will already be included in Luna 1.2 for the installer and update systems, but Luna 2.0 will include a more powerful version. This will also allow us to kill off the GPL license for the Backstage (additional to the installer and upgrade mechanisms), moving Luna even further to MIT.

Luna 2.0.12, 2.1 Preview 5 and Typography are here

A new Luna, a new theme

We’re happy to announce the availability of Luna 2.0.12 and 2.1 Preview 5. 2.0.12 is a security release, but has a few other minor improvements too. In Preview 5, we continue to move forward with modernizing Luna. And this preview does that in some major ways. Not only are we introducing a fresh looking new default theme, we’re also working hard on modernizing the logic below. Preview 5 is a major update compared to the previous previews, so let’s get started!

Luna 2.1 Preview 5

Typography

First of all, meet our new default theme Typography! Typography, as the name implies, heavily leans on typography as its main design element. For the first time since 2015, we’re introducing a new default theme (and the fourth time since our first release with ModernBB 1.6 (from Air to Random to Fifteen to Typography).

Fifteen has served its purpose well and even got a major redesign in Preview 4 to support Bootstrap 4, but with Luna 2.1 we are deprecating it, as well as Sunrise. This means that both themes won’t be included in the next major version of Luna.

Note that this is still an early version of Typography and there are still plenty changes coming.

Fifteen & Sunrise

With the major redesign for Fifteen and Sunrise in Preview 4, we also spend some time on refining the updated themes with Preview 5. This includes some more design refinements to better match with the new Bootstrap 4 framework and updates to support the new theming APIs that are part of Preview 5.

Earlier we announced that Fifteen and Sunrise would ship with Preview 5 in an entirely broken state, this is no longer the case. Fifteen and Sunrise should work as expected (at least, for as far as it is to be expected in an alpha).

Developers: easier theming

Preview 5 introduces a bunch of new tools for theme developers. Most notable is the fact that Luna now provides themes with raw data rather than info put in HTML and CSS. This allows for better customization and less reliability on Bootstrap.

  • Pagination is now returned as an array of Page-objects instead of a variable with pre-written HTML and CSS with Bootstrap classes.
  • Notifications are now returned as an array of Notification-objects instead of a variable with pre-written HTML and CSS with Bootstrap classes.
  • The usermenu is no longer generated by Luna, themes now have to take care of it by themselves, complex URLs are now provided through the Menu object.
  • The menu is now passed to the theme as an object with an array of objects, the menu items can be acced by calling $menu->getItems(), which will return an array of items.
  • Anything that isn’t a Luna config item that is relevant to the footer can now be found in the $footer variable for the footer template. The $footer variable returns a Footer-object with relevant statistics about your board.

This is just a small revamp of the theming engine, and more is to come in Preview 6.

Theme settings

When changing the theme, there is a chance that your new theme has a different number of accent colors available. This is not a problem if there are more accent colors, but if there are less, it becomes an issue: your board’s default setting and your user’s custom setting may be set to use a higher accent color than the theme provides. Starting with Preview 5, Luna will now reset any setting that might violate the number of available accent colors for the new theme. Right now, Luna will reset this number to 1, in a future preview it will be possible for themes to set a default value.

Emoji

Todays preview also continues the emoji improvements. This time around, we’re updating our emoji support to use the more modern notations like “:smile:” as can be found on other platforms like GitHub. If your forum is running Luna 2.1 Preview 4 and earlier and upgrades to Preview 5 or later, your board will continue to support the old “:)” notation, etc. The new notation is the only notation for new installations, however.

Additionally, Preview 4 required emoji like “:p” to be declared as both “:p” and “:P” to work as expected, in Preview 5, emoji are case insensitive which means you can get away with a single declaration.

Censoring & emoji

Up until now, you had to change each censored word or emoji individually then do the next. With Preview 5 you can now update all lines at once and save them all together.

Profile & settings

Today’s new preview also includes a major rewrite of the profile section in the front-end. We’ve rewritten entire thing to use the User object, including all validations and storage functions. The Profile is only one of the first pages to start using a more OOP-minded structure and more is to come. This will also help in our move to PDO.

MySQL & PHP support

Luna 2.1 is dropping both the MySQL and MySQL InnoDB drivers. MySQL has been considered deprecated for a while now and PHP 7 removed it entirely. Given that MySQL Improved and MySQL Improved InnoDB should be available on any system, these old drivers have now been dropped.

Additionally, Luna 2.1 will require PHP 5.4 or higher, this is up from PHP 5.3 for Luna 2.0.

Other changes

  • A bunch of icons in the Backstage have been changed to better represent their page
  • Bootstrap has been updated to version 4.1.2
  • Font Awesome has been updated to version 5.1.1
  • A number of emoji have been remapped to better represent their meaning
  • Luna now correctly redirects you after setting a new theme
  • Proper HTTP errors during maintenance and errors
  • When updating, fields are now correctly dropped from the database
  • Cleans up a number of old PHP checks
  • Removes a number of checks and function fallbacks designed for PHP 5.3 and or lower
  • Fifteen’s “online users” list now works properly again

Known issues

  • Fifteen, Sunrise and Typography have a number of visual issues
  • Luna will reset the theme to Typography
  • First Run will be enabled for everyone who disabled it and disabled for everyone who enabled it

More to come

We still have plenty more changes to come in the new previews. Here is a short list:

  • Further revamp of the theming APIs
  • Allow themes to set a default accent color
  • Support for local videos in comments
  • More Typography improvements
  • Icon packs
  • (Investigate) moving to PDO
  • Font Awesome 5.2
  • Bootstrap 4.1.3

Luna 2.0.12

We’re also releasing Luna 2.0.12 today. This update contains a number of fixes and enhancements, including one security fix. We highly recommend you update to this version.

  • Introduces support for modern emoji shortcodes as found in Luna 2.1-alpha.5
  • Some emoji have been remapped to better match their textual counterpart
  • Proper HTTP errors during maintenance and errors
  • Luna no longer returns the password when a registration error occures
  • When updating, fields are now correctly dropped from the database

Final remarks

As always, make sure you have a back-up before updating to Luna 2.1 Preview 5 or Luna 2.0.12. We test these versions but of course we can’t test for every single possible outcome.

Website updates

And yet again, we’ve made more adjustments to the documentation for Luna. You’ll find that we’ve begun expanding the “Extend Luna” section for both themes and translations. Many more minor changes have been made throughout the documentation and for Preview 6 we will further expand on theming, and we will begin expanding the Mainstage documentation as well as preparations for future versions of Luna.