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miniBB 3.5 is released

 
Author Paul
Lead Developer 
#1 | Posted: 14 May 2021 20:19 
The first & final release 3.5 of miniBB in 18 months is finally released and available to Download now! Long time to come to collect all the little bugs and attritions found; here we go — check the list of associated features, updated files and add-ons below.

This version is a final attempt to collect everything of a currently present development before proceeding to miniBB 4.0, which is planned to have a new authorization functionality and some major layout improvements.

With miniBB 3.5, and possibly its post-fixed releases, I hope to achieve the version of the forum software, which just works stable, and works on any regular nowadays server configuration. There could be some ideas of how to implement this or that, but the version 3.5 is a border line to what's is achieved in almost 20 years of development.

Note that all scripts were updated during a long-time period, and now are just collected in the common release. In some scripts, you could see the «Latest File Update» referring to the prior dates of this release date, but this is normal.

The new major features include:

* Support for the newest versions of PHP — this supposes, the updated version should now work with no errors, notices or interruptions on PHP 7.x (I've tested it on major 7.3.x and 7.4.x versions) and hopefully expecting the PHP 8.x support (reviewing the release notes from PHP dev.team, I didn't notice anything critical to not run on this version, despite I still didn't have a chance to try it out, PHP versions come too fast!). I must note that the min.version to run miniBB starts from version 5.2 now; it's only because of the filter_var function used now for validating the email address. Those having older 5.x version (are they?..) could just replace this function in bb_func_checkusr.php and enjoy the further running. On my local environment, I've developed/tested it on PHP 5.4.37.

* Support for the utfbmb4 mode of mySQL — the lowest version of mySQL which I still have on one of my environments, is 5.1.40 — so, miniBB works just fine with this version and up. Additionally, if you have mySQL version 5.5.3 or greater, you could apply the 'utf8mb4' mode, which extends from a regular UTF-8 to support the majority of symbols. I've tested it on the original mySQL 8.0.19 and MariaDB 10.x — worked just fine.

* Support for more sophisticated cookie options and associated functions, introduced respectively in PHP 5.2.0 and 7.3.0.

* Brute Force Attack Protection (also know as «Failed Logins Auto-ban») — this feature has been initiated and sponsored by a truly heavy forum having a lot of brute-forcing attempts for stealing the login credentials, and already tested on this forum for a few months. I've thought that a default software must have this feature by default. In practice, it means the script will stop the l/p verification with the database, if this combination was entered improperly for some amount of times, making further attempts senseless. This block is removed in a configurable amount of time.

* Watching — found at the top menu items, this leads to a section where you could collect and watch all of your favorite topics; for adding a topic there, click the «Watch» link at the top right of a topic near its title, or when submitting the post, tick the proper checkbox below the form. As soon as a new reply since the last check appears in the topic, it will be indicated in the menu. The feature is also combined with the Subscriptions by Email algorithm; depending on the forum configuration, emailings could be allowed or not. This feature is included in the free version by default, and it replaced the Favorites add-on, which is eliminated from now. The Database upgrading package now contains the conversion script named dbs_convert_fav2watch.php (only mysqli version). If you've had the Favorites add-on installed, this script would convert all Favorites to the Watch/Subscriptions section.

* Preview — previously known as a standalone add-on, now it's included in default version. I consider it's very important to review the post before it goes live, there could be too many options/BB codes/uploads and text adjustments to align them all properly, specially in a large sensful posting like this one.

* Moving replies — this is another add-on which is now included in the default package as a basic function. Using miniBB for years, I've always installed it on customized boards. While Merging topics could not be so important, at least with this add-on it's possible to achieve almost everything a basic moderation requires.

* Messages Locator, also known as the script named msg.php, is now inherited from the «Advanced Anchors» add-on, and included in default core. All single message references will gradually link this script; by now, only basic links in posts and in the «Watching» feature are implemented.

Below goes the list of updated packages and new features to mention:

* minibb_update.zip — as usually, this file lists all miniBB upgrading history, and you'll find the notes regarding version 3.5 more closely to the end of file. When upgrading your forum from the previous release 3.4.2, check the section named Changes comparision: 3.4.2 — 3.5 [released: May 14, 2021]. You could also review it straight live. Don't forget to fully backup your forums before proceeding the upgrade. It could be tough job!

* minibb_db_check.zip — a little script to check the proper mySQL UTF8 configuration now includes the automated suggestions for 'utf8mb4' encoding.

The following Premium miniBB add-ons were updated amongst this release:

* The set of templates for the Mobile Layout 2.2 — that's the only addition in this list, which is now limited to compatibility with miniBB 3.5. Other add-ons below could be upgraded for previous releases and not 3.5-dependant. Changes for this add-on include the updated codes in bb_plugins.code.txt, templates under /templates-mobi/ and a couple of new icons under img/mobi/icon_subscribe.png and img/mobi/icon_unsubscribe.png, supporting the Watching feature.

* Contacts Form script 1.1 — updates in addon_contactus.php; in addon_contactus_options.php new options introduced: `$contactUs_EmailInBody`, `$contactUs_StopRepeated`, `$contactUs_meaning_tolerance`; new vars in lang/contact_us_eng.php; SQL sets updated and introduced for utf8mb4.

* CAPTCHA 1.5 updated for PHP 7.x compatibility (addon_authorize.php); templates/addon_authorize.html — `autocomplete=«off»` added for the «turing» field.

* File Bank 1.7addon_storage.php now contains some fixes regarding thumbnails creation; PHP 7.x fixes; addon_storage_options.php introduces new options: `$maxAspectRatio`, `$excludeModFromEmails`, also `$notifyUploadsEmail` changed to `$notifyUploadsEmails` and it's now an array (possible to specify multiple email addresses for notifications); lang/storage_eng.php contains a new variable below /* 1.7 */; minor fixes in bb_plugins.code.txt; SQL sets updated and introduced for utf8mb4.

* Photo Album 1.6.2 — the minor fix in addon_pics.php.

* Premoderation 2.1.2 — bugfixes and layout improvements in addon_premod_panel.php; lang/premoder_eng.php — now contains '{USER}' for a shorter interface container; premoderation.sql: 'user_regdate', 'user_premoddate' fields are now without «not null»; SQL sets for utf8mb4 introduced.

* Private Messages 2.7 — error fixes and improvements in addon_pmail.php; /templates/addon_pmail_sendmsg.html — minor addition for `onkeydown` event for `topicTitle` — prevents the form from submission by hitting Enter in this field; SQL sets updated and introduced for utf8mb4.

* Polls 1.4.1 — minor fixes in addon_polls.php and bb_plugins.code.txt; SQL sets introduced for utf8mb4.

The following Free miniBB add-ons were updated amongst this release and now are compatible ONLY with miniBB 3.5:

* Advanced Anchors — it doesn't contain msg.php anymore — since it's included in default package;

* Disclaimer — it's now using the updated functions for setting a cookie;

* Who's Online — it's now using the updated functions for setting a cookie;

* Unchecked Topics Indicator — cookie updates and minor replacements in bb_plugins.code.txt.

The following Free miniBB add-ons were updated amongst this release and are compatible with older releases as they are mentioned on the Downloads page:

* Anti-Guest — fixes regarding the language pack;

* Avatars — fixes in bb_plugins.code.txt for the Mobile template and for supporting the 4-chars extension of pictures like 'jpeg';

* Keyword-rich URLs modules are now updated to have some extras in their codes and .htaccess lines;

* First page news (addon_1stpagenews.php) now eliminates support for the older Premoderation add-on, and introduces the short value of `$pt_ps` (could be used to determine the quick amount of posts like it's used on miniBB website);

* Signatures — some fixes in bb_plugins_user.code.txt and /templates/addon_signatures_userform.js; notes about an extended Configuration added to the README;

* Smilies — only minor fixes in templates/addon_smilies_func.html;

* YouTube — updates in Encode/Decode functions for bb_codes.php.

ALSO among this release:

* Eliminated the Favorites add-on — this add-on is replaced to the «Watching» section, unlike its predecessor providing some extra features on emailing and locating to the latest unread post.

* The Compiler is updated to include all changes for the basic package and add-ons.

* miniBB Demo has been updated to support the new version and all add-on updates.

As you see, there is a lot of new stuff, and with no doubts you will find issues and bugs, as it's a heavy burden to hold alone. Welcome to post whatever you discover here, or via the Contacts form.

And remember:

Unique Purpose: Everyone Is Important

Enjoy using the new miniBB and have a nice day, everyday 😊

Author Paul
Lead Developer 
#2 | Posted: 14 May 2021 20:34 
P.S.: Please note that the update of all language packs except English is postponed for a few days. Since I couldn't speak all languages on Earth, it would take a bit of time to add new English phrases to the existing packs to make them compatible with this release (and possibly to convert them all to UTF-8 — finally).

So far, update your current language pack manually, following the new additions in the current package /lang/eng.php (below the /* v.3.5 */ line).

Author a63548
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 17 May 2021 02:07 
Thank you so much! Really appreciate such an awesome update.

Author Paul
Lead Developer 
#4 | Posted: 18 May 2021 20:57 
The file bb_functions.php — specifically, the emailCheckBox function — has been updated today to prevent guest subscriptions. Missed it somehow when developing. The file is updated in the core package, this is the quick update over the new function, so there would be no version change. If necessary, just overwrite this file over your existing update.

But as usually, if you update your forum, don't do this immediately — a few days could pass until I realize I've fixed all things that came up live. On local development, it's difficult to catch all errors immediately.

Inform about more bugs you'd found as well.

Author Paul
Lead Developer 
#5 | Posted: 28 May 2021 18:58 
A quick and little addition for the today's package, which was missed somehow in the past — the reciprocal (copyright) link to miniBB is updated to have «https://» domain. No version change provided for this tiny issue.

I appreciate if anyone of miniBB owners without a Commercial License would update miniBB's Copyright link to:

https://www.minibb.com/

Thanks...

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