We need just a week more, and then it’s coming: ModernBB 2.0 beta 3. In the past week, we closed around 15 issues in the ModernBB 2.0-beta.3 milestone. So, lets talk about what we did in the past week and updates to our roadmap.
In the past 7 days, we made a great progression. One of those changes is the updater, we removed support for upgrading from PunBB 1.2, PunBB 1.3, FluxBB 1.2 and FluxBB 1.3. This makes the update file 44% lighter and makes updating faster. We also created a features that marks posts as reported so users can’t report one post more than 1 time. We’ve also merged all language files into 5 different files, making them lighter and easier to use. We’ve also Improved search, it now contains a simple search feature (by default), you can easly switch to an advanced mode.
It’s now also possible to add custom menu entries (this feature was removed in an earlier development version of beta 3, but is present in beta 2). Another update this week is done to the login form, it’s design is Improved and looks better. The whole Backstage is now also translatable (small parts weren’t in beta 2). And we also added 5 new emoticons and 13 new BBCodes to display emoticons. A big improvement is official support for MariaDB 5.3.4 and higher. We also worked a lot on Randomness (the default style) but it’s far from finished. And last but not least: bugfixes, bugfixes and even more bugfixes!
We do have roadmap changes planned! ModernBB beta 3 should be finished in the upcoming week (maybe begin next week). This may result in RC1 and RC2 being pushed forward, together with the final 2.0.0. RC1 should be available somewhere mid-September, RC2 will follow a week later, with the final ModernBB 2.0.0, once again, a week later (which should be somewhere end September, begin October).
When RC1 will start development, we will also start planning ModernBB 2.1. This version will be a focus on Backstage. We want to improve the design, get rid or Yes/No radio buttons (checkboxes should be used there) and more. ModernBB 2.1 will continue the development we’ve started in ModernBB 2.0, stay tuned.
ModernBB.be itself will also get updated as soon as beta 3 is released. However, maybe you noticed it, but we’ve updated the features page multiple times in the past week, and we will continue to do this in the future. On that page you can see what features there are added in development releases. Anyway, when beta 3 launches, we will update the website with new information, a new FAQ, etc. Stay tuned!
Todays site update has removed the Long Term Support tab from our download page. With that, ModernBB 1.6.0 TLS, 1.6.1 LTS and 1.6.2 LTS are no longer available. If you’re searching for those versions of our software (which we do not recommend), you can download ModernBB 1.6.0, 1.6.1 or 1.6.2. However, at least ModernBB 1.6.3 would be a better idea.
The only difference between 1.6.0, 1.6.1 a,d 1.6.2s LTS and original version is the file it compares it’s version with. While the original version would ward you for ModernBB 2.0.0 and later being available, the LTS versions will warn you for a newer 1.6 release being available. Since 1.6.3, we only release versions that compare towards the 1.6-branch. We think it’s pointless to keep those version on the site, when they making it harder for us to keep track on things.
Anyway, todays site update doesn’t only remove things, we’ve added stuff too! The FAQ has been updated, we’ve added information about ModernBB 3.0 on our About page, we also added other milestones. The type of milestones are no longer showed, however. We’ve also updated our feature list and the ModernBB.be home page. Enjoy!
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).
Some of you might know, ModernBB 1.6 is developed under the GPL v2 license, just like FluxBB. For ModernBB 2.0, we moved to GPL v3. A decision I do regret. So, with ModernBB 3, I’m going to fix this! We’ll move to another license, away from GPL (and with that, away from a FSF-licese). We’re moving to the way better MIT license.
When you compare MIT to GPL (no matter which version), you will have more feeling to read the MIT license then the GPL license. While GPL v3 has 5644 words in it, MIT has only 171 words, better to read, isn’t it. Also, the MIT license allows some more thing to happen with the ModernBB source. Anyway, you are still required to leave the copyrights as-is.
The commit that will switch our license to MIT will be pushed today to the version3.0 branch and will also update the copyright notation on top of every file to 2014. Also, if you want to read the licenses ModernBB is released under, you can find all information you need on our brand new licenses page. We’ve published both GPL v2, GPL v3 and MIT on this page for respectivly ModernBB 1.6, 2.0/2.1/2.2 and 3.0.
We’re glad to announce that we’ve got finaly launched our modifications repository. You can find our repository at GitHub for all modifications and releases, or at ModernBB.be for all stable versions of any modification that has asked a release request. More information about our repository and how it works can you find over here.
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
oday, I would like to introduce you to the improvements made to the Backstage interface in ModernBB 2.1. Actualy, the improvements we are making. ModernBB 2.1 has a very huge focus on the Backstage, we want to make it more clear and easier to use, and that will happen in 2.1.
First of all, yesterday, I got a HUGE mail from someone who calls himself ‘Fisher’ – note that this is the same name as I use for test accounts – filled with usability and design issues. That mail did impres me, I agreed with most of his/here points. While some of those issues where stuff that I already planned to fix, or that where fixed in ModernBB 2.0.1, some of them where issues I didn’t tought about. Some of those improvements will make it later to the front-end of ModernBB, most of them will be first used in Backstage to see if it does work. Anyway, I will note some of the important ones that also will be fixed in ModernBB 2.1:
Issue 1: “Edit forums” is using to much space – WIP
This is an issue I agree on. Actualy, 2 months ago, I created a ticket for this issue in the bugtracker. It was supposed to be fixed in ModernBB 2.0-beta.3, however, it never made it so far. The problem in the “Edit forums” panel is that the table heading and the titles of the categories the forums are in, are using way to much space and leave a lot of white behind. The fix is very simple: put the category names in the table, give them the class “active” and remove the table heading (which repeats every time again. Result? You safe lots of space, here an example with 2 categories and 3 forums in the new interface:
Issue 2: You have to scroll all the way down to safe settings
This is mostly a problem on the “Global settings” page, which is a very long page. If you want to update your forums discription, you can do that on top of the page, but to save those settings, you have to go to the end of the page. The solution of this issue is already partial visible in the screenshot above. One probably noticed that the “Update positions” button has gone. Well, it is not removed, it is replace. This is a screenshot of the “General Settings” page.
See that “Save changes” button? It’s included in every panel that need it. This button is an easy way to save the changes you made. However, when you change a setting in another panel on the same page, the button from the first panel will also save the changes you made in the second panel.
Other small issues that have been fixed
It has been a silent time in our tracker, we know. However, that’s soon coming to an end. For the past few days, I’ve been working on a mod for FluxBB: the ne ModernBB profile for FluxBB. This mod might become part of the FluxBB core, however, we’ll have the same feature coming in soon!
Anyway, you might know that development of ModernBB 2.2 ‘Odd’ has been started. We are now working on the profile for the most time. Of course, we will also work on the installer and responsive design, like we promissed. However, we will take our time for this release. 2.0 was released very fast for what it brought (maybe even to fast), and 2.1 was, with less then a month of development, also a quick, but great, release.
ModernBB 2.2 on the other hand, will be developed a little bit slower. Mainly because we also working in our sqlite3, hook and upgrade branch (it has been quit there, I know, but there is progress). I expect to merge upgrade and sqlite3 into master in this release! SQLite 3 support will also come to ModernBB 1.6. Just that you know it. We also expect Bootstrap 3.0.1 to be released this or next week, which will fix a lot of bugs in Bootstrap, and so in ModernBB, too.
Bootstrap 3.0.1 is coming to ModernBB 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2 if it is released before the week of 2nd December 2013. Otherewise, it will come only to ModernBB 2.1 and 2.2. However, it’s unlikely that it will be that far away from now. If jQuery 1.11 is released, that will also make the cut in ModernBB 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2. Normaly, this would be only for ModernBB 2.2 (because that’s the current development version), however, since 1.11 is realy focused on improving stability and performance of jQuery, and is actualy more a big bugfix release, we’ll bring it to older versions too. However, once again, if it isn’t released before the 2nd December, it won’t make the cut in ModernBB 2.0.
For ModernBB 1.6, we’ve also some great news. It might happen that, with SQLite 3 in the works and a new profile page, we will jump to ModernBB 1.7. For MBB1.6, this will mean that the support ends after the then running quarter ends. However, it could also happen that we just release those features as a 1.6.x release. But since we use semantic versioning, that’s very unlikely.
It has been an exciting week! We’ve done some serious construction for ModernBB 2.2 “Odd”, and it keeps getting better and better. Since last round-up, a lot of tickets have been opened, discussed and closed again. And most all of them have made it to the core of ModernBB 1.6.4 LTS, 2.0.2, 2.1.2 and 2.2-beta. However, we changed some stuff on the way we are working, that’s kind of important to note for you guys.
What has been done in the 2.2-branch?
Well, we’ve done some awesome work on it. We’ve improved the styling of ModernBB, did some clean-up. And most important of all: we’ve done some serious work on a responsive design, which is almost finished. The responsive design is, give or take 1 ticket, completed. Another update we did is the parser, it now supports more font sizes and families, and a horizontal line. However, we’re not sure if the font settings will make it into the final version (they will be there in the beta release). Finaly, we removed the toolbar from all the editors. Don’t worry, it’s coming back. However, a little bit more advanced.
What are we going to do in the 2.2-branch?
While that’s what we have done, we are, of course, planning even more stuff. The next days, we’re going to redesign the profile system! Finaly. We’ll also finish the responsive design. And then, there are still 9 other things that have to be done. We might add more to this counter in the upcoming week. However, we hope to get the beta of ModernBB 2.2 out there at the end of this month. It’s going to be awesome!
The way we work
ModernBB 2.2 is the first milestone where we work wit a shiplist. This shiplist contains all changes that we made, and are planning to make to the ModernBB core. We’ve also decided to not create sepparate milestones for betas, RCs and final versions. So ModernBB 2.2-beta is developed in the ModernBB 2.2.0 milestone. However, in the changelog on our site, it will still be displayed as a sepparate milestone. We might merge the older milestones later on to, to clean up a bit.
The Future Ahead: ModernBB “Cortex” 3.0
You may have noticed that we cleaned up a lot of our branches. “hook”, “sqlite3″, “upgrade”, “mbb.dev”, “1.6/lts”, they’re all gone. However, a new branch has joined the others: “version3.0″. Yes indeed, ModernBB 3.0 is our next big milestone, after ModernBB 2.2. It’s a very ambitious milestone, we’re planning a lot for it. The 3 first branches that where removed, hook, sqlite3 and upgrade, are supposed to be in this branch. But many, many more will join. However, do not expect it to be here any time soon. We want to change a lot, and development will take a while. That why we plan 2 alphas, 3 betas and 2 RCs before the final version is here. Both alphas aren’t feature complet, the first beta will be the feature-freeze, however, beta 2 and beta 3 can still remain changes to features, but no new ones. The first RC is the code-freeze and willl, just like RC2, only contain bugfixes. And with some luck, ModernBB 3 RC 2 will also be the final ModernBB 3.0.0.