It’s that time again, time for another MyBB 2.0 dev blog! This post is the fourth in a series of development update posts regarding MyBB 2.0. Currently in pre-alpha, MyBB 2.0 is the long awaited upcoming major version of the open source MyBB forum software. We’ll be posting regular updates (we promise!) in regards to the development to keep you all updated. The development team have been hard at work since our last dev post, adding new features and polishing existing functionality. This post will explore some of these new features and highlight our approach to the development of the system.
This month has been slightly slower than most due to many of our team members being busy finishing up university courses, exams and more. However, we’ve still managed to work away on new features and plan out new features. In this post, we will review some of the exciting new features and some of the plans we have for the future of 2.0.
CircleCI to ensure working builds
In order to ease and enhance the development of MyBB 2.0, we are utilising Unit Tests via PHPUnit. This allows us to automatically test our code to ensure fewer bugs and issues caused by our development. To take this even further, we’re also using a continuous integration service called CircleCI. CircleCI automatically runs our Unit Tests and checks our code style every time that we commit code to the MyBB 2.0 core, ensuring all of our developers are following the same standards to produce a clear and maintainable codebase.
This integration will also be rolled out to all third party contributors as the MyBB 2.0 repositories become public, which is something we’ll be talking more about in the future. We just wanted to give you a heads up now so that developers can know what to expect when the time comes.
Profile Field Enhancements
Profile fields in MyBB 2.0 have received a much needed update. Profile fields can be organised within groups, and can be a configured to use a variety of different input types. In addition, profile fields can also have validation rules to ensure only certain types of data can be entered by users. Some of the currently supported field types are:
- Select – a drop down box of options from which a single value can be chosen.
- Text – A simple textbox.
- Email – A textbox allowing only valid email addresses.
- URL – A textbox allowing only valid URLs.
- Number – A numerical input box, with up/down arrows.
- Text Area – A simple text area to input larger amounts of text.
All of these different input types will use semantic HTML5 input types, and we plan to add support for running the parser upon profile fields and using the rich text (WYSIWYG) editor.
Quoting a small subsection of a post
Quotes are an integral part of the forum experience – being able to respond to another post whilst keeping the context of that post eases inter-member communication. In MyBB 1.x, we’ve had the ability to quote multiple posts and single posts in full, in MyBB 2.0 we’re taking this a step further. In addition to quoting single and multiple quotes, you can now also select a section of text and automatically quote it within a reply. This greatly speeds up interactions and should be a welcome addition for many users.
We’ve been working hard to enhance and improve the post parser. Parsing MyCode has traditionally been one of the slowest parts of MyBB – and one of the most prone to issues. With MyBB 2.0, we’re aiming to provide a parser that is not only faster, but is also fully unit tested and much more reliable. In addition, the parser will also be picking up some new features – such as the ability to handle Markdown as an alternative to MyCode.
Looking to the future – community interaction
Over the last months, we’ve been trying to improve the way that the staff team interacts with the community at large. Starting this dev post series was one step towards improving this interaction, then we started organising the 2.0 suggestions forum to make our direction more clear. We’ve started making steps to being more open, but we still have a long way to go.
In the future, we plan to be holding public RFCs (Requests for Comments) regarding the direction of MyBB and some of our planned features. This will allow community members to have their say, and to see the direction in which MyBB is headed.
We’re also looking for volunteers to help us improve the current MyBB documentation and, when the time comes, to help us write a full suite of documentation for MyBB 2.0. We’ll be writing a post with more details about how you can contribute to the documentation soon, so keep your eyes stuck to the blog.