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.

The art of going beyond the Edge

While we’re still in the Preview 3 stage for Aero, when it comes to features, the development of our very first release is drawing to a close, with the expected final release in May, which makes up for 10 months of development and already over 800 commits to the core since the start. Either way, we’ve talked about it in our last blog post: we’ve planned more stuff. Let’s talk about that.

Aero – 1.0
Aero is, as you know our first stable release. We’re currently hard at work on it, and our weekly releases prove that. We’ll continue this schedual until we reach our first stable release. Either way, it’s a major improvement over ModernBB.

Bittersweet Shimmer – 1.1
Bittersweet Shimmer is going to be our first minor feature update to Luna. It will go by the number of version 1.1. Our main focus will be on improving upon the changes made in Luna 1.0, and we expect it rather quick after Aero is released. Do not expect much new features in version 1.1. You, however, can expect the kick-off of some major changes for later versions. This will also be the first Luna release to be developed with our new Git-structure. We’ll also be more specific in ticket items.

Cornflower Blue – 1.2
A couple of days ago, we’ve given our C-update a name: “Cornflower Blue”. Cornflower Blue will introduce a major revamp to the installer and update mechanics of Luna. These 2 systems are set to become completely rewritten and modular from the Luna core. The new components (as they will become components) will be released under their own license, the MIT license, that is. They will be completely separate from the original Luna core, and are our first steps towards a brand new core, which we like to call Edge. Further Cornflower Blue will introduce other small changes, but more on that later. As we follow semantic versioning, this will be Luna 1.2 and this update is planned for fall 2015.

Denim – 2.0
Next up is Denim. This will continue the work we did in Cornflower. But not for the installer and updater. No. You’ll see our Backstage being rebuild from scratch. A thing we’ve already started working on. Just like the installer from 1.2, the Backstage will become a separate component, as modular as possible, and released under a new license – again MIT. This will leave only the Mainstage behind on GPLv3, something we will fix later. Denim is supposed to introduce support for plugins in the Backstage (not the Mainstage). This major revamp of the Backstage will bring us to Luna 2.0 (as semantic versioning requires us to do so).

Emerald – 2.1
Our final planned update for now is Emerald. This update will have the same function to Denim as Bittersweet Shimmer had to Aero: it’s a minor all around improvement update. And thus we’ll probably go with version 2.1 for it. This update will focus on improving Edge (the name of our core for the installer, updater and Backstage by then). It’s currently planned to be the first update for 2016.

Early communication is good communication
So now you know what we’ve up to our sleaves. With Aero, Bittersweet Shimmer, Cornflower Blue, Denim and Emerald, we hope to keep ourselves buzzy for a while, and we hope to keep you guys happy for a while, until we’re ready to go to Luna “F” and beyond. And I guess that after reading this post, you guys might know what our plans are for the next major update after Aero (Luna 1.0) and Denim (Luna 2.0). On the other hand, note that codenames are not related to their respective version, and only in order of the releases.

We’re talking this early about our plans – which are subject to change – because we think that it is important to include our community in the development process as early as possible, so that’s what we do. And now, back to the development table for Aero.

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.

ModernBB 3.4 Release Candidate now available

I am happy to announce the availability of ModernBB 3.4 Release Candidate. Todays version contains some major changes in both Backstage as Mainstage. As always, we recommend you to not use this version in a productive environment as it is still an unstable release (through we call it an RC). This is a great version to start testing with through.

ModernBB 3.4 contains some major changes to the code base. In fact, we have been able to reduce the package with a nice 65% in size when zipped.

Knipsel

And for the matter, that is nothing to be to proud off. As you can see in the graphic above, the size of the ModernBB package has been growing with every major release, except for 2.2, which was smaller due to it’s redesigned styles. And with ModernBB 3.3, we perhaps got a little bit to wild. But as you can see, ModernBB 3.4 RC will use a lot less space, in fact, it’s almost an MB smaller. For the final release, we want to go under 500 kB. Sizes are displayed when zipped.

Anyway, we haven’t made just some optimalisations to the code to reduce size. We’ve also changed some stuff in the Mainstage. For example, your profile avatar will now be displayed in the navigation bar. You will also see a completely new, and less weighting editor. It’s not a WYSIWYG editor anymore, through at least, it does work properly. It is also possible to disable the “Moderated by” list on the index of your board, in case you don’t like it there.

For the Backstage, we’ve redesigned the Backstage Accent feature and added 8 new colors (and updated 2 of the existing 4 colors). You can now also change size of an embedded video. Further more, ModernBB 3.4 also comes with an important security improvement. We have changed the way ModernBB creates and saves passwords, improving security drasticaly. Further on, we have the usual bugfixes and other small improvements.

Remember that not all default styles from ModernBB 3.3 are present in 3.4. We recommend you to download the Random 3.1 package from our official download page as soon as ModernBB 3.4.0 is released and upload this package in case you want to keep giving your users the option to select these styles. Otherwise, we recommend removing them from the style folder, as using them will break the design of your forum.

Developing Luna #1 – Announcing Lun

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.

ModernBB 3.4 “Neon” now available

A month ago, we where releasing ModernBB 3.3 to you. And guess what, we’ve got a new update ready for you! This time, it’s ModernBB 3.4, which brings you some nice improvements, better security, a new editor and more. As always, the download is available at our home- and download-page. Make a backup before updating! So… what’s new?

  • A new editor: because the TinyMCE editor didn’t work very well, we’re replacing it with CKEditor. The result is a revised interface, improved abbilities and a much better working editor!
  • Parser: the parser has been given an update, we dropped support for heading levels, only leaving 1 intact, we removed inline code and inline quotes and alignment options. We hope this will using ModernBB easier and better, you’re users can’t make a mess of their posts anymore.
  • Cookie bar: disabled by default, the cookie bar warns users that ModernBB creates cookies on their PC. The cookie bar is only visible for guests and only when this feature is enabled.
  • More Backstage colors: last update, we redesigned the Backstage and improved our Accent function, adding 4 colors for you to choose from, red, yellow, green and the default ModernBB blue. In this update, we’ve improved the interface of this option and also added 8 new colors to the mix for you to personalise your Backstage.
  • Avatars in navbar: the current user’s avatar is now displayed in the navigation bar.
  • Embedding videos: embedding videos now behaves different, first of all, the default dimensions for an embedded video are changed to match modern standards, users will not be able to set their own size. In the Backstage, we’ve added 2 new options for you to change the default size of embedded videos.
  • Less code: we’ve reduced the amount of code in the ModernBB package, one major step in this was the removal of Magic, Happy, Luna, Pinkie and Shy as build-in themes, no worries, you can download them from our style page in the “Random styles” pack! The ModernBB 3.4 package is 65% smaller then the ModernBB 3.3 package! We still provide a CDN-less version on our download page, under the new CDN-less-release table. Only ModernBB 3.4 and 3.5 will have CDN-less versions, starting from ModernBB 3.6, we will no longer provide CDN-less versions.
  • And more…
  • Bugfixes: and of course, there are the usual bugfixes in this release.

Up next

And now the big question everyone has: what’s next? Obsious, isn’t it? 3.4.1, 3.5 and 4.0 of course! Well… not exactly. While development of 3.4.1 will kick off starting today. I will wait a little bit with ModernBB 3.5. In fact, I’m moving it to a 3-weekly release scheme for ModernBB 3.4. So in 3 weeks, you can find yourself with ModernBB 3.4.1. Whatever we have ready for you by then, will be shipped. Since I’m going on a break for 10 days during that time, don’t expect to much from 3.4.1. Future updates like 3.4.2 and 3.4.3 will have some nice improvements, through. What kind of stuff can you expect from us in those small updates?

  • Optimalizations: just like the main release, we will be improving our code!
  • Social media in profile: we are planning to give the list of social media in the profile an update, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, etc. aren’t used that much anymore, instead, Facebook and Twitter will join the fun.
  • Other small feature updates
  • Bugfixes, as usual…

Except for ModernBB 3.4.1, I’ll also continue my work on Luna. It’s a very buggy thing right now, and you can’t even post a post. So yeah, there is a lot of work to be done… But we’re making progress, and that’s a good thing. I’ll post an announcement about Luna later the summer.

As you might know, the ModernBB.be forums where damaged and down during the 26-27 June periode due to a bug in ModernBB 3.4 RC1, the result isn’t that dramatical: our forums are back online, no data was lost. Except that we did lose our style. We will update the ModernBB Forums to be integrated with our main website in the near future (within 3 days).

Well, I hope all of you will enjoy this ModernBB update! I want to say thank you for everyone who worked with me on this release, it was awesome, I hope all of you contribute to the next ModernBB milestones too! ModernBB 3.4.1 will be a small feature release with the required bug fixes and small improvements (kind of like ModernBB 3.3.1). Anyway, I’m off! Enjoy this new ModernBB, enjoy our new website and see you next time!

ModernBB 3.3 “Vanellope” now available

ModernBB 3.3 “Vanellope” now available – Luna

 

I’m pleased to announce the release of ModernBB 3.3. Today, you can download this new version of ModernBB and use it! ModernBB 3.3 comes with a brand new Backstage and style system and other improvements. As always, you can find the download in the download section in our menu.

  • Improved style system: ModernBB 3.3 comes with a brand new styling system, not only the way styles are saved has been improved, but styles are now able to change much more then before. For example: you can change the whole view of the user list if you want, simply with a style, and still be able to upgrade to ModernBB 3.4 later on, without loosing anything.
  • New Backstage: We’ve redesigned our Backstage, not only does it have a nice new color, but it contains also some usability improvements, when searching for users, the result you’re hovering above with the cursor will light up. Text fields that support HTML now also have a WYSIWYG editor. Plugin creators now can use all available Bootstrap features. In your profile, we added an option to change the color of the Backstage to red, green, yellow or ModernBB blue.
  • New styles: We also extended the amount of default styles with 3 new styles: Luna, Pinkie and Shy. Those 3 new styles are available in the download. The other 6 styles have been updated to support this version of ModernBB too.
  • Language improvements: Translating ModernBB is now easier too. We’ve removed all mail templates and replaced them with the already existing language file. A lot of sentence in the language file also have been shortened.
  • And more: There is a lot more too ModernBB 3.3 then this, through those are the large improvements, everything else is basicaly small changes that makes your experience much better. Idem dito for the 27 bugfixes.

I want to say thanks to everyone who worked on this ModernBB release, and I hope I see all of you next time too! Yesterday, we kicked of development of ModernBB 3.4… and 4.0 (well, we where working on that version since mid May, through development started officialy yesterday)! More news on both releases will follow in the future. However, we’re planning to release ModernBB 3.4 very soon as we are planning to tackle a serious issue with ModernBB in this release, we might even cancel ModernBB 3.3.1 and merge it with 3.4 instead (just like what we did with ModernBB 3.0 and 3.1). Also, I want to thank everyone who download our software, as we hitted the 5.000 download mark today.

ModernBB 3.2 “Mellow” now available

Yesterday, we released the ModernBB 3.2 beta, well… I’m pleased to announce, the availablitiy of ModernBB 3.2!  Between ModernBB 3.2 beta and 3.2.0, we’ve fixed a couple of additional issues. It’s recommended to upgrade, of course. But be sure to have a backup of your data. What’s new in ModernBB 3.2, you ask?

  • Front-end, reimagend: ModernBB 3.2 contains a brand new front-end! The profile? New. The forum view? New. The help page? New. The user list? New. The only thing that didn’t change is the topic view, as it was already revamped in ModernBB 3.1. The new interface is ment to be more content focussed and will give you and your forum users a brand new and awesome experience.
  • First run: First run is a brand new feature in ModernBB 3.2. It will show a nice message on top of your forums index page that welcomes new users and gives links to common first run tasks, like uploading an avatar, user settings, etc. When you upgrade, your current users will get to see this message too. Guests also see this message, for them, it’s permanent, unless you disable this feature for guests in the settings in the Backstage.
  • A Magic and Happy family of Awesome Random styles that are Radical updated to give a Kind look: in other words: we gave Randomness, Awesomeness, Radicalness and Kindness an updated look and renamed them to Random, Awesom, Radical and Kind. Why the rename? Because 2 new styles joined in: Magic and Happy. Through we have a word like Happy with -ness (happieness), we don’t have one for Magic, so here it is. I think you will like our new styles.
  • Posted: When an user post in a topic, and this feature is enabled in the Backstage, a “Posted” label will appear in front of the topic.
  • More help is better help: since the introduction of the WYSIWYG editor in ModernBB 3.0 (which will be updated in 3.3), the help page became kind of useless (more useless then it already was). So, we updated it with shiny new content.
  • Redirections without waiting: When you, or your users, are redirected, no matter where they are (Backstage or front-end), you won’t see any redirect screen anymore.
  • Login: This is important for forums that are very old (PunBB 1.2 and prior), because users that ever since didn’t log in, won’t be able to login anymore. We’ve removed some legacy code that allowed very old accounts to log in. We don’t expect this to be a problem, as those users probably wouldn’t return anyway (unless you’re still running PunBB 1.2, but then again, you can’t update to ModernBB 3.2, you’ll first have to update to something higher then FluxBB 1.5 and lower then ModernBB 3.0).
  • Language files: We’ve checked our language files and removed all lines we didn’t use anymore, or everything that was double (and that’s a lot, we removed 20% of the files content). Translators will get it much easier to translate ModernBB now, and I’m planning to do so. People in Belgium and the Netherlands can look forward to a Dutch translation of ModernBB in the near future. I’ll also start up an account for ModernBB at a service to translate it in more languages. Something else we did with language files is that they now contain default settings for date and time notation.
  • General code base cleanup: the language files where part of our code base cleanup, just like the profile, login and our default styles, did we remove a lot of useless code. Over 1400 lines of code have been removed.
  • Bugfixes, bugfixes and even more bugfixes.

ModernBB 3.2 is the result of 3 weeks of hard work, with a total of 142 commits and some great help from other people. That “great help from other people” will become even more clear with ModernBB 3.3. Because Oldhobbyist, our newest addition to the develop team, is working to separate the logic from the content in the ModernBB Core. Style creators can expect an aweful lot of nice new things in ModernBB 3.3. For plugin creators, some new stuff is coming to with those changes. For fans of the Backstage: this is our main next focus point of ModernBB 3.3, you will get to see a brand new design. And we will do some serious improvements to the UX. Stay tuned!

ModernBB 3.1 “Mellow” now available

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

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

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