It's been a little while since the last release of the DNN Community Forums module. If you're not already aware, this module is the same forums module we use on this website. So, we continually base the updates needed on our real-world, actual needs. This release brings with it all kinds of updates, and I'll attempt to summarize the most important things below.
First, Thank You!
If you're one of the people who have commented on issues, created issues, and/or provided any level of feedback/testing, thank you so much for your help. All open-source projects depend on and need your participation. We (the DNN community) are thankful and grateful for your efforts.
I'd also like to single out two people, specifically...
Thank you SO MUCH to John Henley and Timo Breumelhof for the amazing amount of effort they've each put into this release. I can't even begin to guess how many hours they've donated to making this release happen. It's simply amazing, and I personally am extremely thankful and always excited to work with them on this project. I can't thank them enough!
DNN Community Forums 8.0 Highlights
This release is a major (MAJOR) milestone in the evolution of this module. During the past year, a ton of technical debt was knocked out, creating a far more stable platform for us to build upon for all future releases. This also enabled us to add much-needed and very anticipated features in this release. (What's more, we already have a ton of updates queued up and ready for subsequent releases!)
If you're as excited as we are and want a better look into the direction we're taking the module, you should check out the previous article I wrote about this module.
Rebranded to Community Forums
If you haven't been in the DNN community for long, you may not realize that this module was originally named Active Forums, based on the original (and since acquired) commercial DNN vendor that donated the original code to the community. In prior releases, some of that had slowly been replaced with DNN branding. In this release, we finish all of that work. Timo even created a new module icon and logo for us to nerd out over!
This effort took all of us to complete.
Improved Template Engine
The template engine in all previous releases was based on a database storage approach. None of us can take "credit" for that approach, but it presented people with a big learning curve since this isn't a typical approach, and it made things super-difficult for designers to deal with.
This is now replaced with a file-based template engine, empowering designers to be able to help more with customizing the look and feel of the various views in the forums. All of the tokens and everything else you might be used to previously remains, and the upgrade should migrate everything for you.
Documentation: Templates & Usage
Minimum DNN Version Raised
The module now requires that you have at least version 9.9 of DNN CMS installed before you can install or upgrade to this release. This is for lots of reasons, of course, but primarily to knock out some technical debt, improve security, and use the newer DNN API endpoints.
Tons of Other Updates!
Honestly, if I kept highlighting everything exciting, you'd stop reading this blog. There is THAT MUCH that we could talk about. I invite you to take a look at the release notes to get the full picture of every update.
However, here's a bullet point list to whet your appetite:
- Improved CSS loading
- Able to ban problem user accounts from the forums
- Can now use <Ctrl>+<Enter> to submit quick replies
- Improved performance (code and database)
- Removed a lot of legacy code
- Replaced the iconography with a contemporary library
- Added views: Most liked, Most replies
- Improved mobile usability
- Lots of bug fixes and other usability improvements
Read the Full Release Notes
Not only has the module itself received all of this TLC, but the documentation has been getting fully flushed out, almost exclusively by John Henley, I think. If you need to know something about the module, chances are fairly good that you'll find an answer in the wiki.
DNN Community Forums Module Documentation
Download DNN Community Forums 8.0
Well, it's that time. I'll get out of your way, and let you enjoy this monumental module release. Happy New Year!!
Download DNN Community Forums 8.0