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Summary

It has been decided to release a new minor version to be known as Kunena 1.7.  The purpose of this article is to inform all members of the community of this decision.  This article discusses why a new minor version release is considered the most appropriate way to introduce these changes at this time and what this means for the Kunena project roadmap.

K 1.7 does not mean that you need to have J! 1.7 installed in order to run it.  It is important to understand that K 1.7 will operate on all supported versions of Joomla, namely, J! 1.5.23, J! 1.6.6 and J! 1.7.0 and beyond (but not beyond J! 2.5).  K 1.7 will make obsolete all previous versions of Kunena.  Support for K 1.5 and K 1.6 will cease one month after the release of this new version.  It is planned to introduce K 1.7 soon (towards the end of August 2011).

K 1.7 will implement four new features and a number of fixes for K 1.6.5.

For all intents and purposes, K 1.7 will not be significantly different to K 1.6 in terms of how it's installed or how it functions.  For the most part, K 1.7 will be backward compatible with K 1.6 but not in all respects.  The differences between K 1.7 and K 1.6 are summarised in a table at the end of this article.

Background

Many of you will be aware that the Kunena project has been actively engaged in a major rewrite of the forum software that will completely change the way that people think about Kunena and how it operates.  This task began over two years ago and, as recently as only 10 months ago, the intention was to label this release Kunena 1.7.  A lot has happened in two years.  The original idea to release this K 1.7 changed and this rewrite is now known as the K 2.0 project.

At the beginning of 2010, it was decided to utilise some of this development activity and this resulted in K 1.6 which has enjoyed enormous success in a very short time.  The main differences between K 1.5 and K 1.6 were outilned in a discussion topic called Kunena 1.6 - a moderator's view.

While the intention was that K 1.6 would be J! 1.6 "ready", certain issues existed in the J! 1.6 core that prevented the project meeting all of the team's original objectives.  The main problem was that J! 1.6's new ACL mechanism fell short of the expectations that Joomla users had been waiting for in that new version.  With the release of J! 1.7.0 about a month ago, a lot of those issues have been resolved but, because work was already well advanced in K 2.0, it was decided that it would be impractical to backport the development that has gone into K 2.0 in order to complete the original design objectives in K 1.6.  This situation has not changed.  The task is too large to make K 1.6 fully take advantage of everything in J! 1.7.

The release of J! 1.7 came with many challenges.  At the time when J! 1.7 was released, Kunena developers were engaged in other activities that most members of the community would have had no knowledge.  Under enormous pressure  from the community, to deploy a version of Kunena that was capable of operating under J! 1.7, K 1.6.5 was released.  It was expected that this would be the last release in the K 1.6.x series pending the availability of K 2.0.

Details

Some other Joomla extensions have adopted a new minor version numbering - having a "version 1.7" to coincide with Joomla's version numbering scheme - but that's where the similarity ends.  K 1.7 (when it's released) will not require that people will need to have J! 1.7 in order to install it.  K 1.7, like K 1.6 before it, will work equally well on J! 1.5, J! 1.6 and J! 1.7 ... and beyond (but not beyond K 2.5 which is expected to be available in early 2012).

As anyone who is familiar with open source development would know, version numbering is a "tricky" business.  Some people see K 1.5 and automatically equate it as a product that only works on J! 1.5 (and that is mostly true); K 1.5 will not work on J! 1.6.  However, when K 1.6 was released, some people assumed that this version required them to have  J! 1.6 installed; this is not true.  K 1.6 works just as well on J! 1.5 as it does on J! 1.6 and J! 1.7.  In fact, Kunena is one of the few Joomla forum products (if not the only one) that works equally well on all supported versions of Joomla.

It has always the intention to eventually retire the old out-of-date K 1.5 product.  This has been a difficult task and, even today, there are still a lot of users who continue to use K 1.5.  It is impractical, given the number of people who have worked on K 2.0, to continue to fix everything that is broken in K 1.5 or to expect that K 1.5 can continue to be supported indefinitely.

A further opportunity has now presented itself to the Kunena project team to implement a number of long-overdue reforms to the forum product.  While these reforms do not realise the full extent of what is envisaged for K 2.0, it has been decided to release another "interim" series known as Kunena 1.7.  This new release will be similar, for all intents and purposes, to what people are now accustomed to in K 1.6.  This new release introduces a few new features and, it is because of these new features, it was decided that it was better to label the successor to K 1.6.5 as a new minor release rather than describe it as K 1.6.6 (i.e. a "bugfix" release).

This opportunity to release K 1.7 also coincides with the end of support for K 1.5.  Support for K 1.5 will cease, one month after the release of K 1.7.  From that time, all existing forum topics that relate to K 1.5 will be archived and those categories that deal with this version will be locked.

The main changes that will be introduced when K 1.7 is released are summarised in the following table.

What will be included in K 1.7 What will not be included in K 1.7
  • Joomla version requirements:  J! 1.5 native, J! 1.6 and J! 1.7 (specifically, J! 1.5.23; J! 1.6.6 and J! 1.7.0).
     
  • Changes to Kunena Category Manager (leverages some Joomla ACL functionality) .
     
  • Announces end-of-life for K 1.6 and end of support for K 1.5.
     
  • Fix naming conflict with Nooku.
     
  • Fixes CAPTCHA issues with J! 1.6.  Prepares the way for improved CAPTCHA functionality that will be introduced in K 2.0.  Hide Quick Reply if CAPTCHA is enabled
     
  • Improved integration with Community Builder.
  • Fixes all known problems with K 1.6.x; some of these issues will not be fixed until K 2.0 is released.
     
  • Adds new frontend functionality to K 1.6.x; most of the changes will only be visible in the backend.
     
  • Eliminates the possibility for spam messages from accounts before they have passed initial probation period (e.g. messages subject to review "before x posts").
     
  • Support for some third-party and user-written templates, particularly those developed for early versions of K 1.6.x.

To stay informed about announcements when K 1.7 is released, people should subscribe to Official Announcements and News about Kunena.  More up-to-date details about the changes in K 1.7 are contained in the online project changelog.

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Andrew11's Avatar
Andrew11 replied the topic: #1 11 years 2 weeks ago
Thanks for sharing this great information with all members.