MyBB 1.8 Tour: Introduction

On April 1st we announced a 1.6.7 Update which updated both MyBB and the Merge System. If you haven’t seen this or not upgraded yet please make sure you read the MyBB and Merge System 1.6.7 Release blog post. We also announced our plans for MyBB 1.8; it was no April Fool.

Back in 2010, just under 2 years ago, we released MyBB 1.6 which introduced over 40 new features – some more at home in commercial software. As MyBB’s popularity continues to grow, the rise of social networks, rival software and the greater expectations of users old and new gives us some of the hardest challenges we’ve faced; to stay on top, to deliver a brilliant product and provide it to you for free.

With our development roadmap for MyBB 2.0 getting underway soon, we quickly felt the need to bridge the large gap that would have been 1.6 to 2.0. We wanted to create something that would provide a legacy to users of the 1.x series – the best of the best – and there was only one way we could get that to our users; MyBB 1.8.

What You Can Expect From 1.8

Whereas 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 delivered over 100 new features 1.8 aims to be more of a subtle upgrade, a facelift and a move to more open source development so that others too can help create the best free forum software. We’ll of course be providing the usual bug fixes and working with large forum owners to see if we can help further improve performance and stability. MyBB 1.8 is a perfect chance for us to provide changes that we couldn’t typically do within our maintenance cycles.

A New Look

When we announced our new logo and mascot, Bolt, the Team soon realised that we didn’t want to wait until 2.0 was released to use them. The 1.6 default theme made these look out of place in its dated design (which was last updated in 2008) so we needed something more up to date. Justin, our lead designer, who created the Apart theme series (from which many MyBB communities either use or have customised the look for themselves) has worked on developing the series for the new 1.8 default theme. We worked together to figure out a method for enabling the Apart colours to be included by default but without the need for including 14 separate themes before the administrator even opened their forum. This method is what we call attachable base colours.

The new default theme for MyBB 1.8

These changes to the theme system allow you to create colours to which you can attach stylesheets (just like you can attach stylesheets to pages). You can also set a display order for all your stylesheets so that they can override styles. Together, the changes mean you can add a theme with as many custom colours as you want. Using the parent/child theme structure that already exists in 1.x you can restrict or allow certain usergroups to use these colours and, as they inherit the main stylesheets, they’re very easy to manage. So, there is no longer the need to install a dozen different themes just for a different colour header.

A New Look Admin Control Panel (ACP)

Along with the new default theme there needs to be a new look Admin Control Panel (ACP). Our ACP is regarded as one of the easiest to use; it’s friendly and we didn’t want to change it much. Instead, we gave it a similar Apart makeover to our front-end.

Screenshot of the MyBB 1.8 ACP

Please note that along with the default theme the look may change as development continues.

Powered by jQuery

While 1.8 won’t be able to make your cocoa or project your forum’s logo onto the moon, much to our disappointment, we really weren’t pulling a prank on this one; MyBB 1.8 will be powered by jQuery. The lighter and more powerful JavaScript library should be able to extend what both Theme Artists and Plugin Developers are able to do without causing conflicts or heavy loading pages. Both front-end and back-end will use the library. This change is probably the most destructive for themes and plugins in the 1.8 upgrade and we’ll be providing support throughout its beta period ready for a main release. In total, including the changes to the default theme, about 20 templates require updating from 1.6.

Along with jQuery comes a change in post editor. Although I’ve had my eye on an ‘off the shelf’ editor for quite some time we’ve yet to make a decision on whether we write our own or not; we’ll be covering that in a future tour. However, please don’t suggest which editor to use as our aim is to make it interchangeable so you can use your favourite one.

Trash Can

One of the most requested features for MyBB is a trash can – or as I prefer, the ability to recover deleted posts. In 1.8, you’ll be able to decide if a user’s deleted post is obliterated forever or is recoverable via the Mod CP. Global and usergroup permissions will allow this to be controlled across your users.

Spam Improvements

For those of you waiting for Spam Ninja I’m very sorry to disappoint as I did promise it to you last year. As soon as 1.8 was decided, I stopped developing it as a plugin and started integrating relevant parts into the core instead. We’ll be looking to improve spam prevention and detection in 1.8 which we’ll cover in a future tour.

Upgrading to 1.8

Upgrading to 1.8 will be similar to upgrading from 1.4 to 1.6; many plugins will only need to change their compatibility line and will only need some major changes if they use Prototype JavaScript, use login functions or make large theme changes. Throughout the beta period, we’ll be upgrading the Wiki with new information and providing support to plugin developers to help them with their new plugins.


The Team has been trying to plan a move away from our current SVN setup to the popular social coding site Github for some time. We’ve come up against problems but feel confident that now is the time to open up our development to people outside of the MyBB Team. Github can be an extremely powerful tool for development and it is something we’re eager to do – we have been working on 1.8 in secret in one of our repositories there which will be made available after our first beta release.

We’ve gone outside of our usual box with 1.8 in that we’re actually telling you what we’re doing and what we’re planning even though none of this is public. We’re aiming to provide a beta of 1.8 in May so please be patient while we’re polishing our development and removing all the takeaways and soft drink cans.


With MyBB 1.8, our aim is to fully complete the series with features and improvements that make us a better rival not only to our free forum software friends but also to commercial community software too. We want to make it more friendly, faster and go further than any of our products have been before. Everyone here at MyBB is looking forward to 1.8 and hope you are too!

See you at the next tour!


107 thoughts on “MyBB 1.8 Tour: Introduction

  1. So it wasn’t an April Fools joke? Okay. This is new. I was expecting most of these new features and changes to be a part of 2.0. Especially the jQuery part.

  2. The timing of the 1.8 announcement was a joke, but the announcement its self is not a joke. MyBB 1.8 is real and the repository will be made public when we release a beta (hopefully in May).

  3. jQuery for the win! Kinda tiring changing all those $ to jQuery lol even though you could just use the replace button..


    looking forward for this release!
    I also hope this is faster than 1.6 plus some proper implementations of the plugin hook functions (like the location of the hook function in the forumdisplay.php)

  4. – wow “Powered by Jquery”
    – 1.6 plugins capable of run in 1.8 with minor updates
    – trash can

    Great move. Upgrading will be a lot less painful than zero compatibility

    Thanks mybb team

  5. + jQuery = nice.
    + “working with large forum owners to see if we can help further improve performance and stability.” = I really hope so.
    + Trash Can = awesome.

    – The default theme could be improved though!

  6. Looks plumed & stuffed with good features. I am scary though on templates & plugin part. Lets see though. But still 1.6.8., 1.6.9 left before we move to 1.8 or a direct jump would be there from 1.6.7 to 1.8 ?

  7. @crazy
    Just like MyBB 1.4, MyBB 1.6 will be maintained and supported for a even after 1.8 is released.

  8. Looks great guys! The move to jQuery is my most anticipated update seeing as it’s my preffered library. I guess now’s the time to start updating any of my plugins using Prototype in order to make sure they’re ready to go.

  9. I am very happy that this was not a joke! I’ll be ready with dev setups to test every nook and cranny of the software (Nathan Malcolm-like).

    The new ACP theme looks great! So much better than Sharepoint.

    Now I have to find out Audentio’s plan to prep each of their themes for 1.8.

    *goes off to bug Audentio* 🙂

  10. I think I will install it as main web discussion board on my home website. I really like the new theme, hope in MyBB 2.0 will be much and much and much more better than this!

    • @Marlou – As always, it will be released when it’s ready but we’re hoping for a beta version in May.

  11. We just updated ~15 themes to 1.6.6 again… now we’ll soon have to move to 1.8 and then later to 2.0. I really hope for minor changes in the plugins ystem for 1.8.

    The timing with the april joke was not your best idea MyBB team, caused a lot of confusion here. But we are still looking forward to 1.8.

    Thank you for all the hard work.

  12. I Honestly thought 1.8 was a April fools joke… well nice job mybb theme i am looking forward to seeing free high quality forum software.

  13. Why would you face your product with such a horrible theme? Is this just to make us think you really are doing a thing over there?

    • @Jason L. – I would hardly call it a ‘horrible theme’ – It’s meant to be a face lift from the outdated, 2007/8 design. With 25,000+ downloads, the Apart Series is most certainly the most popular MyBB theme out there. Also because it has multiple themes it’s a great way to show how to use our base colors feature. It’s a great theme and a step up from the old one.

  14. The switch to jQuery and the move to Github are great. The addition of base colors will be fantastic for theme authors, however I’ll need to see the implementation before I get too excited 🙂

    The April Fool’s joke was fine by me, although I think it was left to carry on a bit long. If it had been restricted to even 12 hours, confusion would have been limited and contained. Live and learn.

  15. Trash Can:

    It can move deleted messages to the Draft User? if you’ve done something wrong and can modify and re-publish, that option would be very good

  16. @Beautiful Cat – sounds like an interesting option.

    @Craig – unfortunately I had to go away for the weekend, otherwise the gap between me writing this tour and the April Fool joke would have been less.

    @Jason – as Nathan says, altering the Apart series makes sense just by the sheer number of people who use it (both by default and modify it to their own needs). You could argue that you can start a forum quicker out of the box as it would save time searching for themes.

  17. I kind of see where Jason is coming from. It’s just basically unoriginal to slap an old theme on what’s supposed to be a new release. Yes it’s a nice theme (Though I’m not fond of it myself), but it’s been all over the place forever, so it might as well be just as old. I’m not trying to be rude with this at all, but it just comes across as lazy.

    On the other hand, I think it suits the ACP nicely.

    • @Eric – We won’t just be removing the old one and adding the Apart theme series just to replace it. It will be updated as we feel necessary. Whether we use a great design already available or design one from scratch, users will get bored of it eventually.

  18. The most exciting thing to me, opening up the development to the outside world. Now I imagine I can watch this project update like my other favorite open source projects, and perhaps contribute some if I have spare time. Good to hear the progress.

  19. Although I really like the administration theme, I really dislike the default theme of the forum itself. I dislike the current theme of 1.6 too, but I like that one better than the theme of 1.8. But that’s just me, I’m looking forward to test it.

  20. I’m going to agree with Jason here… That theme is not nice, definitely not Jessie’s best work. It’s old and frankly I prefer the current MyBB theme default over this.

    • @Álvaro Carneiro – That won’t be happening until 2.0. We’d have to re-write the whole template system and every single template. It would break every 1.6 theme which is definitely not what we’re going for.

  21. That’s one small step for mybb, a giant leap for all of us :):):)
    Great going team,we want to see more 🙂

  22. I’m very excited and looking forward to MyBB 1.8 and, eventually, 2.0. I’m planning on switching to the new version as soon as it comes out. I think that you are doing a great job and want to give you many thanks. Your project is awesome. 😉

  23. I’m looking forward to the release of 1.8.

    The new Default theme looks great, always loved the Apart series.

    I am most looking forward to the Trash Can feature, but I hope that with 2.0, you guys can make this into a full-fledged soft-deleted feature (or something similar), like in vBulletin, where the soft-deleted post remains on its place in the thread, but will be invisible to normal members.

    I also hope that in 2.0, you guys will include something like the profile comments feature as core/default, and user-based permissions, instead of just usergroup-based permissions.

  24. @Nathan Malcolm Thats right. I was thinking of changing all the “eval(“$tpl =…” to “$template = $twig->render($templates->get(‘some’), $data);” (with twig in string environment) but I had problems when in the template exists something like “{$mybb->sett..”. I’m really impatient for the 2.0 🙂

  25. I am damn excited for 1.8 and 2.0. Granted at one point I was considering to switch to IPB, but the fact that I put a lot of work into MyBB and the 1.8/2.0 announcement made me change my mind. So thanks for your hard work MyBB team, keep rocking 🙂

  26. On my suggestion in the “Trash Can” believe it would be possible? I would be very good, I have faith that someday will come true 🙂

    • @John – No, they’re completely different images. They’re the ones used in the Apart theme.

  27. My only real request for 1.8 is that *all html and css* be done in templates and the themes. Right now there are so many bits here are and there which are done raw in the php, and it forces tweaking code to change the appearance which makes updates a real nuisance.

  28. has i see, the new look is coming with various color scheme; if it’s true, i hope they have rgb please! (red-green-blue). And… jQuery … niceone! Using jquery, i hope you can replace various of buttons like: newthread, reply, … detecting language forum.

    greate job myybb team! Cheers

  29. Each version continues to grow better and better. Having been with mybb for a long time now.. I look forward to every change as I have always had great success with this free forum software!

  30. please add more features and awesome style skins( like ipb or vbuiltin)

    integrate post and forum swf, flv, youtube embedded code and two side bars, …. also .rar extension, and mobile view option

    please consider these in new relese

    these things help to build flash forum……

    am like your forum and feature all are so nice……
    wishing good future for mybb team

    • @Trison – Look above. That’s the new design. We won’t be rewriting the whole theme. As for embedding flash, you can already do that for Youtube and other major video hosting platforms. Others can be added via MyCodes. There won’t be a mobile theme in 1.8.

  31. Thanks for the announcement. Really looking forward to this.
    My whish for the future development:
    Please please please don’t ever hardcode design elements like the names of certain images or a tablespacing in the core code like it was done in 1.6 in a few places. It should all be in the theme.
    I love MyBB 🙂

  32. I will be waiting for next version of MyBB not because it is best among free forum software but is user and admin friendly. I believe one change is necessary. i.e. better compose window. Whose size can be easily extended (without overlapping menus). quite similar to vB.

    another thing, better compressed emoticons. MyBB default set will be quite old for next version of MyBB.

    Best of luck for MyBB 1.8,

  33. What I’m waiting for when you guys build the forum from ground up again with better HTML (HTML5! :)) mark-up and CSS. The current mark-up is annoying. I really hope you guys get away from tables as much as possible, along with choosing better semantic mark-up, class names, and id’s.

    But what I’m most happy with the new announcements is moving to GitHub. I’ll be sure to commit with my suggestions as much as possible :). Thank you guys for going even more ope source. Best forum software ever built.

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