Round-up #2 – Finishing the beta stage

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.

Development Status
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!

The Roadmap
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
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!

ModernBB 2.0-beta.3 now available

I’m proud to anounce the availablity of the 3rd and final beta of ModernBB 2.0! Starting today, you can find this beta on our download page. Starting tomorrow, we will work on ModernBB 2.0-rc.1, which will be the first of 2 Release Candidates of ModernBB 2.0!

Some of you might know that we never planned this third beta. However, when the port to Bootstrap v2.3 was finished in beta 2, I released that as soon as I would start working on ModernBB 2.5, I would break everything again. Plugins, extensions, themes, they won’t work with that new version because of my plans. That’s why all tickets for the ModernBB 2.1 and 2.5 milestone where moved to ModernBB 2.0, and here is the final product of that!

So… what has changed since beta 2? Well, first of all, we have ported the whole front-end to Bootstrap 3.0.0. We also updated Backstages version of Bootstrap from 2.3.2 to 3.0.0. This caused the design we used in beta 1 and 2 to get lost. Anyway, we will probably bring back the old Aurora theme in the first RC. Another improvment is the new front-end design, it’s not ment to be used for mainstream, but more a basic design to build other upon. We will probably change this too in RC1.

The parser has been updated with support for acronyms, tekst alignment and more. Those feature can be used much more easy with the brand new toolbar. The toolbar is customizable: you can choose by yourself what features should be displayed and wich not. We’ve also added new emoticons, 5 to be exact, and 13 new BBCodes for those emoticons. Posts that are reported will be marked in red and the report button will be disabled so a post can’t be reported twice. Another improvement is the redesigned Backstage index.

Users can now view their own profile without the need to log out or use another browser. They will also have a better experience when searching for content. We’ve added a “simple” mode too search. However, users can still access the old extended version. We also got rid of the quickjump feature, it’s wasn’t very usefull after all. We also fixed a bug with statistics on the forum, improved the design of the login page and the “Remember me” checkbox is selected by default.

Structural, ModernBB has changed a lot. The files for the backend have been moved to /backstage/, files for Bootstrap 3, that are used by both front- and back-end are moved to /include/bootstrap/. We merged all language files together until only 5 are left. We also did an amazing job with cleaning up the source code. It’s also inpossible to update to ModernBB 2.0 from PunBB 1.2, PunBB 1.3, FluxBB 1.2 and FluxBB 1.3. We also fixed the update checker bug. However, beta 1 and beta 2 users won’t be notified for the availability of beta 3 and later.

The website
The website has been updated again. It now displays milestones code names on the front page and the download page. To introduce them to you, ModernBB 1.6 has codename “Blythe”, ModernBB 2.0 is developed under codename “Zoe”. We’ve also updated the FAQ with some new questions and updated answers. The about page has been updated too and talks about ModernBB 2.1. The features page has also been updated and it list now some more features. We improved the changelog system too, it now shows related milestones, for example, when you look for ModernBB 1.6.0, it will notice that ModernBB 1.6-beta is related to this build. The “fixed issues”-count for stable build does also count the issues fixed in the pre-releases. This causes ModernBB 2.0.0 to appear in the list with 62 fixed issues. The ModernBB forums will be updated later today!

ModernBB 2.0.0 “Zoe” now available

Finaly, we are proud to announce the availability of ModernBB 2.0.0! With version 2.0.0, we’ve finished 6 months of work on ModernBB, 63% of the ModernBB 1.6 core is modified, resulting in ModernBB 2.0! As always, you can download this version on our download page. Anyway, let’s introduce ModernBB 2 to you.

What’s new?

  • Backstage: we’ve redesigned the back end of ModernBB, the old Dashboard, in something we call “Backstage”, from here, you can manage your forum in a clean way, having everything only one click away, thanks the the always-on-top and hover menu.
  • Stay up-to-date, the easy way: While you had to check on updates for yourself in ModernBB 1.6, ModernBB 2.0 will check on his own! We understand how important it is to stay up-to-date, and well, here you go, an easier way to do so.
  • Redesigned front-end: Not only the Backstage, but the front-end, too, has been redesigned. With it’s new structure, it’s less complicated to create awesome styles. Just like the Backstage, the front-end is based on Bootstrap 3.0.
  • Simple login: The login form contained a menu, footer and so on. But when you are loging in, you only want the important things: the login form, a password request link, a registration link, and that’s it. With ModernBB 2.0, that’s what you get, a clean login.
  • Manage your database: It’s important for you to create back-ups of your database, not only when updating. So why is something so important, so hard to do? Not anymore, ModernBB 2.0 contains a build in back-up system. One click on a button, and go. The backup system is also able to backup custom tables.
  • StopForumSpam: StopForumSpam is integrated in ModernBB 2.0, the only thing you have to do is request an API key and then you can say goodby the known forum spammers.
  • New parser features: ModernBB 2.0’s parser contains lot’s of new features, it support video embedding from DailyMotion, Vimeo and YouTube, we support super- and subscript, acronyms, inline quotes, etc.
  • Toolbar: When you want to post something, BBCodes are a great way to give your posts some style, however, it’s hard learn them all, so we added a new toolbar you can customize on your own.
  • And many more!

With ModernBB 2.0 finished, we will move on with the development of the upcoming hotfix release ModernBB 1.6.3, and the normal releases ModernBB 1.6.4, ModernBB 2.0.1 and the next big milestone, ModernBB 2.1-beta. When you’re updating, please create a backup. Enjoy this brand new ModernBB! If you want to stay in the ModernBB 1.6 branch, we highly recommend you to use ModernBB 1.6.1, since version 1.6.2 contains some serious bugs.

ModernBB.be 2.2
With ModernBB 2.0, we also launch, once again, a big update for our website. Most of the improvements are done in the core, but we are also proud to announce that the documentation is finaly available for ModernBB 2.0.

ModernBB 1.6.0/1.6.1/1.6.2 LTS releases no longer available

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!

A new ModernBB.be

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).

Moving to a better license

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.

ModernBB 3.3 beta now available

In the past 39 days, we’ve been hard at work to bring you a better forum experience, and today, we think it’s beta-ready. The ModernBB 3.3 beta has arrived and it comes with some nice new and improved features, new styles, bugfixes and a lot more. We’ve also finished a nice little update for our website.

First of all: the ModernBB 3.3 beta can be downloaded from the index and download section on our website, like always. We recommend you to use this version for development and testing purpose only as this isn’t a stable release. ModernBB 3.3 Final will be available begin next month. A Release Candidate can be expected early next week.

Anyway, what does the new beta bring? Well, compared to the alpha release, I’m proud to announce the availability of Shy, Pinkie and Luna, 3 new styles that join the group of Random-styles. We’ve also finished our redesign of the Backstage style Aurora 5, which is now final. The Backstage has also been improved with some little features here and there: search results for users now have a hover effect and are striped to make it more clear what user you’re working with. The color of the Backstage can also be changed in your profile, where the “Backstage Style” feature was, we’ve replaced it with “Backstage Color”. Also, the editors that can use it, have been enhanced with the TinyMCE editor.

Futher on, names are now clickable in the board index and category view. Topics are styles better, idem dito for previews of new posts. We’ve improved the integration with TinyMCE, and so on. We’ve updated all of the included packages: Bootstrap, jQuery and TinyMCE all have been updated to their latest version, Bootstrap is currently the only unstable package in ModernBB, being version 3.2-dev. The most important change of all, might be the fact that the style engine has been redesigned completely. This includes the settings page (which is now a separate page) in the Backstage as well as the template and style system itselfs. This allows much more customization.

More information about the new features can be found at our changelog or the ModernBB 3.3 Shiplist.

Known issues in ModernBB 3.3 beta

  • When reporting posts, they do not appear in the Backstage making it impossible to manage
  • Videos can’t be added
  • The TinyMCE editor adds multiple spaces under headings, through they are gone when posting the post
  • Guests can’t post topics

Website update
We’ve also taken our time to update the website. Let me list them, note that some of the updates where already available, those are marked with a *.

  • More colorfull headers through accents in the background*
  • The footer now contains some stats about ModernBB*
  • The documentation has been updated to miror ModernBB 3.3
  • The documentation has been completed
  • Changelog pages now contain a navigation bar to navigate between versions
  • The FAQ has been updated
  • Small style improvements

Improving ModernBB.be

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!

Vanellope: 2 months of awesomeness behind us

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.

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