MyBB 1.8 Tour: The Retirement of Supertux

As MyBB approaches its 10th-year anniversary it’s quite easy for us to dwell on history. Even with the changes we’re working on in MyBB 1.8 you can still compare the early versions of our product to our next major release and see that they are made from the same group of people. Despite the dozens of Developers, SQA Testers, Support Team members, PR guys and Management we’ve had over this time, who have each made their mark in their own way, the consistency of MyBB as a forum system at its core is one of the fundamental mantras of the MyBB Group.

With that in mind, whenever we do come to develop around a feature, we’re cautious to remove the legacy it might leave behind. It is often a tough decision between moving forward and embracing something new and doing what we know. MyBB 1.8 gives us a great chance to look around and research how to improve these features for our users; with around 40 planned research projects into different areas of MyBB we’re aiming to bring a higher level of usability and functionality to your forum.

Avatar Changes

With Gravatar, an avatar hosting service, being integrated into WordPress, Redmine and GitHub (alongside other websites and many 3rd party addons for other software) it brings together an opportunity for us to provide a consistent platform for users to have the same look wherever they go. In MyBB 1.8 you can now use your Gravatar email in the Avatar URL field. Options in the ACP allow Administrators to control the content of avatars with Gravatar’s age-based rating systems.

Changing Avatar

The MyBB 1.8 Change Avatar

Alongside Gravatar is our new format_avatar function. This introduces the ability to pass a user’s avatar information to a single function to work out the correct dimensions to display on the page; it also means we aren’t parsing the same avatar twice for the same user on the same page. If the user has no avatar set Administrators are able to set a default avatar from the ACP to use instead.

These changes do come with some sad news; in MyBB 1.8, we’ve removed the avatar gallery feature. We’ll all be disappointed to see the end of Supertux and Mr Spam but we thought it best to keep a clear and simple method to change user avatars in which the avatar gallery was a much non-used feature to the majority of forums.

News and Version Check Changes

One of the main aims of MyBB 1.8 is to help improve the services we offer to our own users. This involves keeping users up to date about what’s happening and new versions of MyBB.

News Feed in the ACP

News Feed in the ACP

In the ACP, we’ve introduced a small news feed into the Dashboard. We’ve also moved the Version Check, which used to have its own section, into the Dashboard too so that all updates are in the same place right in front of administrators. A new task is to be added to regularly check for any updates (versions and news) rather than relying on users to catch the ‘Your last version check was…’ message that may otherwise be easily missed.

The Little Things

Some of the other, smaller changes to MyBB 1.8 come to fix those trivial things people may (or may not) have noticed. These include removing the option to rate your own thread and changing trim() in templates to rtrim() so that those with OCD can create pretty source code for their themes.

We’re also looking to provide public access to our GitHub repositories in the very near future where a few problems have stopped us from doing so sooner. As soon as the MyBB 1.8 theme changes are ready we’ll also be making that project available too – alongside development standards for non-team members for those who want to get involved in helping us create the best free forum software.

Changes on the Team

Many will have noticed some changes on the team recently. We’ve welcomed back on-board Polarbear541 to our SQA Team and StefanT and Nathan Malcolm have moved over from SQA to the Development Team. All have quickly jumped into their new roles and we’re looking forward to their contributions.

Joining the Team

Being apart of the MyBB family and developing the future of forum software is no small task. Being volunteers takes dedication and patience as well as the skills to pull off your role. Take a look at Joining the Team, and if you meet the descriptions, send us an application – we’d love to have you on the Team!

37 thoughts on “MyBB 1.8 Tour: The Retirement of Supertux

  1. So mybb 1.8 is coming this month? Its completed now? πŸ™‚

    Now we can hope fast development as 2 more developers. πŸ™‚

    • MyBB 1.8 is not completed and will not be publicly released (as a final or beta version) until you see a blog post which tells you so.

      The project will be available soon on GitHub for people who want to help us develop it.

  2. It is sad to me seeing the Avatar Galleries feature is gone, considering I have found some nice use for it myself. I suppose it is for good and will require somebody to write up a plugin (hopefully you guys provide a hook or easy way to modify the format_avatar(); function otherwise it will require patches).

  3. Wait, is the avatar gallery gone? I have tremendous use of it for providing official avatars of my forum.

  4. I know you keep saying that there is no release date but can you atleast answer this question: 1.8 will be public in four months (or sooner). True or false?

  5. Are there other news this month about MyBB 1.8 beta? I had heard 3 months ago that at the ending of this month a first beta release would be published and available to the download.

    Will we still need to wait other months to see it?

    • “I had heard 3 months ago that at the ending of this month a first beta release would be published and available to the download.”

      You either heard that from a misleading source, or you misunderstood one of our team members. There is no set release date for MyBB 1.8. It will be released when it’s ready. We’re hoping to open our Github repository for MyBB 1.8 soon so people can provide feedback on MyBB 1.8 Alpha, which is neither a Beta nor a Stable release, but as always it will be released when it’s ready.

  6. This is taking a silly amount of time. So apart from rather common and very vague “It will be released when it’s ready” reply, do you have ANY reason at all as to why it’s been so long since the last dev update.

    If there are dev updates, people will not hassle you. Simple as that. As long as people can see you are making progress, they have no reason to bother you lot. I know you do this for free, but it is customary to keep a good clean development cycle.

    • @Echo off – A silly amount of time? If you would be able to see the Github repo, you’d see development is happening every day. We release a new version on average every three months, but due to recent events (1.8 development, the hacking of and ridiculously long restoration process, personal issues within the team, and so forth) that has not been possible. 1.6.9 is a large change to the 1.x series which includes countless changes for PHP 5.4 support and many changes regarding broken links, along with the usual bug fixes. 1.8 has become a very large change to the 1.x series. It introduces many new features, and has expanded to the community’s request. When you have more work to do development takes longer and until we have something worth posting about, you won’t be hearing anything. That’s what the tour is for. We did it for 1.4, 1.6 and we’re doing it for 1.8 after much success.

      As a part of our open source initiative, we are opening both 1.6 and 1.8 Alpha up on Github soon for both read and write access (via pull requests). We do do this for free, and for that reason alone you have to accept the fact that we’re going to be doing it at our own pace.

      • There we are, that’s what I wanted to hear, All you have to do is make little posts like that, just to re-assure people that development is continuing. Thanks for telling me, and I perfectly understand this process of development, I’m a developer my self now of a different project.

        I didn’t realize there had been personal issues with devlopers, if you had said to all of the people above there had been various problems, I’m sure they would have stopped asking.

  7. Come on guys, the MyBB team (and all other contributors) brought us an excellent piece of forum software which is simply amazing – and it is free too.

    I, too, can’t wait for 1.8 to be ready – but annoying the MyBB team will not help at all. I don’t mind if they don’t post updates more frequently – all the past versions were great and this one will probably rock harder.

    So let us wait eagerly and cheer them up for their good work :).

      • You guys said “it will be released when it’s ready”, but everyone just keeps on asking over and over for a release date or demanding more frequent updates. Such actions from the community toward the development team are not constructive nor helpful at all – that is annoying.

    • I was not annoying them, it’s just that it’s expected of a software company, free or paid, to keep regular updates.

  8. Well, I’m definitely looking forward to 1.8’s release as I’m intending to use it as a base framework for one of my upcoming projects. I much prefer it to WordPress.

  9. Pirata_Nervo wrote in his own forums site that 1.8 beta will be soon available? Is it true? Will that time be before January 2013 or after some months that date?

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