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Preview release: 2.4 beta

LincLinc Detroit Admin
edited January 2017 in Releases

Major new features:

  • Dashboard redesigned from the ground up.
  • Added "Flat categories" - a new Vanilla-exclusive feature.
  • Full IPv6 support.
  • Support for Twitter cards.
  • OAuth 2.0 basic addon support.

We also made hundreds of enhancements and fixes over the last 9 months.

Here's a few highlights of what's been upgraded under the hood:

  • Rebuilt our category management system to scale to tens of thousands of categories.
  • Rebuilt our permissions system to scale to thousands of custom permissions.
  • Dependencies rebuilt using Composer. (We are removing /library/vendors/* by 2.5.)
  • Major overhauls to the addon manager and dispatcher. Faster and easier to use.
  • Tagging and the MediaModel were added to core.
  • Upgraded PHPMailer and Smarty (from 2.0 to 3.1!).
  • Refactored our password management into separate dependencies.
  • Move transient key checking to cookies.
  • Replace "Hide Category" with "Mute Category" option (that only hides from Recent Discussions).

Important warnings for developers & site owners:

  • Smarty 3.1 can be more strict. It may generate an error on invalid markup that Smarty 2.0 would have let slide.
  • The new addon caching system means you need to manually delete /cache/* when changing what themes or plugins are available on your site. We are working on a better way of handling this, hopefully before final release.
  • The new categories system may have unexpected results in page layout if you didn't specify a "Display As" setting for all your categories. If your homepage has weird issues, try editing your categories and checking this setting.
  • Plugins with settings pages need to be updated for the new Dashboard. They're gonna look real bad until then.
  • UPDATE: You need to delete these: applications/vanilla/controllers/class.settingscontroller.php and applications/vanilla/views/settings (entire folder). Symptom will be the new dashboard not working correctly. (And high five to @R_J for catching this in the comments below).

Release timeline estimate:

March or April 2017.

Other announcements:

Vanilla 2.5 is expected in late 2017. It will require PHP 5.6 and will include a new internal API.



  • LincLinc Detroit Admin
    edited January 2017

    You can download the 2.4 beta 1 here: https://open.vanillaforums.com/addon/vanilla-core-2.4b1

    We use it in production, but it hasn't been vetted for all platforms so we recommend extreme caution. You could run into backwards compatibility issues and other hiccups in the upgrade process. As always, back up everything before installing and do so in a place where it won't be an emergency if something goes wrong.

    Please test it out in a safe place that replicates your production environment and report back with details and results (including your hosting provider, PHP version, MySQL version, and server software & version).

  • TimTim Operations Vanilla Staff

    Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter, About.me]

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    What are Flat Categories?

    You can fill a Flat category with hundreds or even thousands of child categories. Instead of a typical category view, they'll paginate! This lets categories scale in exceptional ways.

    Let's say you're a book publisher with thousands of titles and want a category for each one. Flat categories is how to make that happen.

    Vanilla now includes a "Flat category module" for embedding this style of categories on other pages, and includes an auto-complete search box for faster navigation.

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    Need I say more?

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    How do I update my plugin to match the new Dashboard style?

    We put together a comprehensive styleguide, and it's bundled right into Vanilla at /applications/dashboard/styleguide.

  • R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    The update step to Vanilla 2.4 requires further user action. While the upgrade steps mainly keep the same, you have to delete
    a) the file applications/vanilla/controllers/class.settingscontroller.php and
    b) the folder applications/vanilla/views/settings

    Otherwise you will not be able to fully enjoy the new dashboard ;)

  • TimTim Operations Vanilla Staff

    Other announcements:

    Vanilla 2.5 is expected in late 2017. It will require PHP 5.6 and will include a new internal API.

    Oh my goddddddddd, so good!

    Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter, About.me]

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin
    edited January 2017

    Prerequisites for 2.4 final release

    Note there are dated milestones for all of them.

    It can take 2-4 weeks to schedule an indepth task. The sooner you find a blocker bug, the less likely it is to have a delaying effect on the release. So don't put off testing. :awesome:

  • This look cool. I will test it on my XAMPP server this days, let see how will work :)

    Can you include a way to put links insaid of category listes?!?!?!?

    There is a problem whit the categorys adress , it is shows like this : "http://roboticants.com/discussion/4/theme-black-ant-1-0"

    That nr. "4" there in the midle is not SEO friendly :( , can you make it to disepier ? and make the link like this :
    "http://roboticants.com/discussion/theme-black-ant-1-0" --> seee like this ??? = no nr. 4 in the link. ?!?1?1?1?1

  • Wow the new dashboard is so fancy, I love it. Great work everyone!

  • GermontGermont New
    edited February 2017

    After visiting plugins list page, I noticed settings link at least for a few plugins don't work.
    Here it is the wrong link

    I had to acces the link manually and save the settings one time, or I couldn'use css edit.

  • I have updated in my "test forum" but when I try to access it I get this:

    {asset name="Head"}

    {discussions_link} {activity_link} {custom_menu} 

    {module name="MeModule"} {asset name="Panel"}
    {asset name="Content"}
    Forum Software Powered by Vanilla {asset name="Foot"}
    {event name="AfterBody"}

    I can access the Dashboard just fine so have I missed something along the way?

  • Actually I now can't even see the Dashboard page ; I get that message all the time now :)

  • And you know what ; read twice - act once! I forgot to delete the files in /cache. I have the dashboard back now but still get the same error when accessing the forum itself so I'll carry on digging down

  • What is the "Flat categories" about?

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin

    @nikoskip said:
    What is the "Flat categories" about?

    Beyond my comment explaining it above? Did you have more questions?

  • @Linc said:

    @nikoskip said:
    What is the "Flat categories" about?

    Beyond my comment explaining it above? Did you have more questions?

    Ops... sorry I didn't see it.


  • edited March 2017

    I have some plugins that appear in the plugins folder but are not visible in the dashboard. One example of this is the "FileUpload" plugin. Is there anything that needs to happen to make these "missing" plugins appear?

    So my "new" forum is a copy of my old one just running Vanilla .24. If I look in the dashboard on my "old" forum I see 34 plugins with 17 showing enabled and 17 showing disabled.

    On the "new" forum the dashboard shows me 23 plugins with 13 enabled amd 10 disabled. The /plugins directory in both locations contain the same files (a straight copy)

    What do I need to look for to identify why the missing plugins aren't being shown?

  • R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    That's a caching problem. I'm not really sure which of these actions will do the trick, but since non of these do any harm, you can do both:

    • restart memcached (if you use it)
    • delete /cache/addon.php
  • Thanks R_J; I deleted addon.php and can now see those "missing" plugins!

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