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.

Moving on: our new roadmap

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!

Round-up #7 – Backstage 2.1

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

  • Some panel headers are 1px larger than others
  • Inconsistent use of page titles or not
  • Remove tables wheneither they are not usable
  • Update structure of the Backstage menu
  • And many, many more

Round-up #8 – It’s Odd modernbb22d

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.

Round-up #9 – Development in full swing

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.

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