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Vanilla 2 Public Beta

MarkMark Vanilla Staff
edited July 2009 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
Vanilla 2 Public Beta

The Vanilla 2 Public Beta is online now. Please read this entire post before clicking away, as it contains important information about questions you will surely have after getting there.

Development Status

I wasn't sure if I should call this an alpha or a beta. There are a number of core features that are not yet in the version of Vanilla you are about to see. The most glaringly obvious of these is a search page. In the end I chose beta simply because it rolled off the tongue. Regardless, rest assured that the application is not yet feature-complete.

Feature Suggestions

I know that many of you will have feature suggestions after playing with the application. Please use the Vanilla category here at the community forum as a place for your suggestions. Also, please remember (a) that the application is not yet feature-complete, and (b) to be nice when making suggestions, and (c) if your suggestion is not implemented, Vanilla 2 is a pluggable system (and more easily pluggable that Vanilla 1 was), so your feature ideas can easily come after Vanilla 2 is finalized.

Whispers & Data Loss

There are no whispers in Vanilla 2. Instead there are "conversations". The installation you are about to see is a copy of the community forum from about 3pm on April 3rd, 2009. All of your whispers from that database have been transformed into conversations. Also note that as bugs are encountered and fixed, it may be necessary for us to roll the database back to the April 3rd date. So, don't be surprised if your discussions, comments, replies, conversations, messages, status updates, profile changes, etc get wiped out.

Reporting Bugs

We've set up a trac issue tracker at If you discover a bug, please register there and then search for it before submitting it.

Without any further ado, I give you Vanilla 2.


  • I have submitted various tickets already.

    One thing I’m not sure about is how much you care about style bugs at this stage. I already have one simply titled 'Default style IE/Opera bleh' although I am noticing various css error that are more general. I might change this to ‘Default style IE/Opera/General bleh’. Therefore you have them in one place instead of me writing many tickets. I am mostly only concerned about practical issues, rather the pure aesthetics. For instance the preview is thin so therefore any blocks such as code you don't want extending off screen.

    grep is your friend.

  • fmimosofmimoso
    edited April 2009

    Have you already decided how you'll distribute Vanilla2 (paying or free)?
    In any of the cases, in what development stage will we be able to download Vanilla2?

    Thanks for any info you're willing to give. :)
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    edited June 2009
    Vanilla 2 will be free just as Vanilla 1 was. I will also be offering a paid hosted service of Vanilla 2 (and various other apps). Vanilla 2 will not be available for download to the general public until the paid hosted service is ready. There is a lot to do before I get there. However, there will be a git repo available at some point in the future when we are getting closer to release (probably on github) where devs can get the code to help debug installation issues. I don't know when that will be yet.
  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    edited May 2009
    Mark, do you think it would be a good idea to grab some of the more useful/popular addons from Vanilla 1 and include them as standard features in Vanilla 2?

    The reason being that everytime a new version of Vanilla comes out, the previous addon's break...and general users don't have enough coding experience to get them working again.

    Better yet, maybe there should be a paid version of Vanilla which comes bundled with features like AutoLink, BlogThis and PageManager give Vanilla a lot of functionality and therefore value as a CMS.
  • I'd like that idea (inclusion) especially if the "base set" would somehow be "verified" (non-free if also fine with me) See discussion here:

    Love the smart suggestion there by mumpitz to track actual usage via the update check site. If Mark happened to have some of those stats available, this could be a nice basis for determining "key" add-ons to include.
  • The software's name is Vanilla, not Tutti-frutti. ;)
  • @F: Add-ons are add-ons, ie. you can enable or disable them. IMHO when a certain add-on has an installed base of 80%+, something that is relatively easy to track with a modified "update" mechanism, it would make a lot of sense to test them properly and offer a "bundled" download, if only because problems with popular add-ons reflect badly on the core product itself. The user can still opt to dis-/enable them if the functionality is not desired or of bloat is an issue.

    Note: the hosted version Mark mentions could be part of the solution. Cf. which includes a lot of "popular" and "proven" add-ons and themes by default.

    Again, I would pay for a tested add-on pack (or bundled vanilla). Especially if the core builders of Vanilla (Mark & perhaps others) have looked over the code with their expert eye, and give me some assurance that "this add-on uses the optimal way to implement this additional functionality".
  • Dumb question from a newb ... are there release notes for version 2? Just want to see what the new functionality is going to be. Thanks.
  • Good Work! Very Clean!
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    @TomTester & Raize: Vanilla 2 will be coming bundled with some popular addons. It might take a while to get some of the addons created for Vanilla 2, but we will be looking at what the most popular ones are and might write our own versions of them to get the ball rolling a bit faster.

    @Kevinpotts: I haven't written any release notes yet - we're still working on some core features at the moment. All we have right now is the issue tracker, which should give you a decent idea of what's coming up. As for what's already in there, you can get a pretty good idea of the core features by reading all of the blog posts listed at
  • Will Vanilla 1.x still be supported after Vanilla 2 comes out of beta? Or will Vanilla 2 become the "official" Vanilla?
  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    Sounds good Mark, let me know if you need a hand with the business and marketing side of things []
  • edited June 2009
    Will the V2 discussion forums open up? I want to make a note somewhere that the V2 plugin documentation should be updated to mention that plugin class names need to end in either 'Plugin' or 'Hooks'. I didn't see that anywhere it caused me some grief at first. :)

    edit: Also, application folders need to be lower case.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    @aerocapture - Yes, Vanilla 1 will still be supported. We haven't decided on a retirement date. I think that as long as people are using it and asking for help, we'll do what we can.

    @Raize - Thanks!

    @saladyears - Do you want to help with the documentation? It's actually a wiki, so I can grant you access to edit it if you want. Email me: mark at vanillaforums dot com
  • edited June 2009
    I too would be interested in paying for a modded forum. I wish I wasn't so braindead or had enough time to devote to learning about coding. I have hired coders to help mod a PHPBB site which didn't work. I like the Vanilla idea of simplicty. I want to host a basic forum in which the members can only post, read and vote in polls and possibly be notified of replies to their posts. I need to have multiple moderators who handle registration of users in one large forum and start a poll. When a member signs in, they see the banner for the moderator who signed them up. Is this a difficult thing to do?
  • When can we get this bad boy?
  • edited July 2009
    Hey guys!! I've been absent for the past 2 years, but I recently got a message from Mark. You might not remember me, but I developed addons like Account Pictures, Attachments, Polls and a few others. At the moment, I'm looking at the new Garden development platform, created by Mark. Once I've got the hang of it, I'll be porting some of the Vanilla 1 extensions (read: create them from scratch so they'll be cleaner, better, faster and more stable) and maybe come up with some new applications as well. I won't be spending much time at the community now, as I want to learn the new platform as fast as possible! So we'll keep in touch!
  • Welcome back Jazzman, it'll be nice to get some of your extensions ported over :)
  • Welcome back Jazzy.
  • edited July 2009
    It looks really nice! Very neat and interesting layout. I like it.

    I'm assuming this probably won't be possible though (or it'd be a lot of work) because a lot would have changed, but I'd have to ask anyway. Will you be able to upgrade a 1.1.x installation to 2.0 when it's released?

    EDIT: Another thing I noticed, can we still have Trebuchet MS as the default font? Helvetica looks weird on my system for some reason - I have irregular spacing between the characters.
  • I like it!

    @Mark: How would Vanilla 1 extension developers go about porting their extensions over to Vanilla 2? Will they just have to wait till V2's source is released?
  • The V2 source code is available at It changes regularly so you're working with a moving target, but I have successfully created a facebook style chat application in V2 (albeit with some painful learning curve experiences.) For some of the simpler plugins, though, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to get them going.
  • RaizeRaize vancouver ✭✭
    Wow...Vanilla 2 looks awesome.

    I like the new activity section. Very innovative, and effective in giving the forum a very social feel. Big ups on all the progress you guys have made...just when I thought Vanilla was fading away :P
  • edamedam New
    edited July 2009
    @saladyears: ah yes, thanks! I looked on github, but didn't realise it was an application in the Garden source tree...

    Is it too early-days yet for a Vanilla 2 addon repository similar to
  • I am really looking forward to the release of Vanilla 2.
    I can't wait, and so far the software seems great!
  • Vanilla 2 will soon be released.

    Wheeeeeeeeeee. I can't wait.
  • @Mark: why don't you mail users who want to subscribe every new release like me. actually it maybe very useful to send language files to translators, I really want this.
  • when will have a final version?
  • how close are we to version 2......days, weeks?
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