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Blue Eagle 5 v1.5.3 has been Released (31 Mar 2020)

The Kunena team has announce the arrival of Kunena template Blue Eagle 5 v1.5.3 which is now available for download. This version addresses most of the issues that were discovered in development.

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Question Upgrade templates each time Kunena updates?

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6 years 7 months ago - 6 years 7 months ago #1 by Shimei
I have a question, why is that with Kunena one is forced to update their Template each time Kunena updates? With Joomla! this is not the case, unless between major revisions such as from Joomla! 2 to Joomla! 3? It sure would be nice if Kunena worked out a method where one doesn't need to do this... I think that this may be a reason why the number of third party templates has dropped?


Thanks
Last edit: 6 years 7 months ago by Shimei.

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6 years 7 months ago #2 by sozzled

Shimei wrote: I have a question ...

Actually, I counted 3 questions. I will try to answer them as best I can.

Shimei wrote: Why is that with Kunena one is forced to update their template each time Kunena updates?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by forcing you to update. What we can say, with certainty, is that each time you update Kunena, the original files distributed with the component when you first installed it (or last updated it) are replaced with new versions of those files included in the installation kit. In that sense I suppose one could argue that the Blue Eagle template that was shipped with K 3.0.0 is replaced (whether you want it replaced or not) with a new version when you upgrade to K 3.0.1 and that version will be replaced when you upgrade to K 3.0.2 ... and that version will be replaced when you upgrade to K 3.0.3.

If people do not want to use the Blue Eagle template then people can use other templates (their own designs or third-party designs) and we don't have a problem with that. We may, however, decline to respond to questions asked on the forum if people encounter problems using those other template designs. If you use a template that is not the Blue Eagle template then you are largely responsible for resolving issues that you may encounter.

Shimei wrote: With Joomla! this is not the case, unless between major revisions such as from Joomla! 2 to Joomla! 3?

Well, yes and no. Generally-speaking, this is correct. Templates designed for J! 1.0 cannot be used in J! 1.5 - we could debate whether J! 1.5 was a major release or a minor release but the truth is that J! 1.5 was a major change from J! 1.0). Yes, we all know about legacy mode (which was never supported by Joomla) but that doesn't change the facts: J! 1.0 templates don't work in J! 1.5 because they are designed differently; J! 1.0 templates are built on PHP 4 and J 1.5 templates built on PHP 5.

J! 1.5 templates did not work on J! 1.6 either (yes, J! 1.6 was a major release even though it was not "numbered" as such). When J! 1.7 came out, the Joomla CMS developers made further changes to the default templates distributed in the Joomla installation kits. You would be aware that many template sites needed to carry additional identification tags for people who searched those sites, stating whether or not a template was J! 1.7-compatible. And then J! 2.5 came out and changed everything again. While J! 2.5 was released as the LTS form of J! 1.6/7, templates changed again.

It is true, though, that within each version of Joomla, if you updated from J! a.b.x to J! a.b.y, the upgrade process did not change the template file shipped with J! a.b.0 ... as a general rule. (There were a couple of exceptions in the early days of J! 1.5 but let's not go into that.)

Shimei wrote: It sure would be nice if Kunena worked out a method where one doesn't need to do this ...

I am guessing that this is a comment rather than a question. If I am right in my understanding, it seems that you would like to see a kind of "incremental update" process (if going from, say, K 3.0.0 to K 3.0.1) rather than replacing everything that was installed in one version when updating to the next minor version. Yes, I agree, it sure would be nice, wouldn't it? Perhaps, one day, when Kunena has hundreds of developers all around the world who can lend their expertise to develop an incremental upgrade procedure, we may see this happen.

Shimei wrote: think that this may be a reason why the number of third party templates has dropped?

I cannot comment on this question. I cannot say whether the number of third-party templates has changed over time.

Just as the main change between K 1.0/K 1.5 and K 1.6/1.7 was architectural - going from a non-MVC design to a MVC design, - and the change from K 1.7 to K 2.0 was required for J! 2.5 compatibility (and K 2.0 to K 3.0 was necessary for J! 3.0 compatibility), the change from K 3.0 to K 3.1 will be architecturally significant. The architecture changes include jQuery, HMVC and .LESS (among others). These ongoing work behind the change in architecture necessarily affects every facet of the way that Kunena works - from the way that the product is installed to the way the the standard template operates.

We know that there are defects in the Blue Eagle template - just as we know there are defects in Joomla - and when these defects are reported to us we do our best to make sure that the fixes for them are included in the next version released. K 3.0.3 will include further changes (you can see a demonstration of K 3.0.3 here, on this website).

So, while it may be ideal to not have to replace the Blue Eagle template we ask people to try to understand that Kunena is a work-in-progress and we're doing the best we can. I hope this helps.
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6 years 7 months ago #3 by Matias
To continue on @sozzled's reply on this, we have been working hard in order to make old templates compatible to later versions of Kunena -- but we promise that only to the next major update.

There have been a few changes to Kunena templating in the short history:

1.0: Our original template from FireBoard
* J!1.0 Native, J!1.5 Legacy
* All updates broke the 3rd party templates

1.5: Joomla 1.5 update
* J!1.5 Native
* All updates broke the 3rd party templates

1.6: Major rewrite
* Old templates were not supported
* Moved most of the code out of templates
* Allowed 3rd party templates to work with minor changes

1.7: Feature release
* Compatibility issues with old templates
* Slightly better compatibility with older 3rd party templates

2.0: Rewrite to MVC
* New version of Blue Eagle template
* K1.7 templates worked if they had only CSS and image changes
* Only nessessary changes into templates, some minor breakages

3.0: Joomla 3.0 support
* Only very minor template changes from K2.0
* Major code cleanup to remove J!1.5 support (and add J!3.x)
* Removal of many deprecated functions
=> Some unexpected compatibility issues, we're been fixing those


In short Kunena 1.6 was the first version that made it possible to upgrade Kunena and not to rewrite all the template changes. But even it was half way done (= too much work), so we had to break the templating again in K2.0.

Kunena 2.0 was much better on upgrades, I believe that most of the 3rd party templates worked just fine after most upgrades.

Kunena 3.0 had some changes which were nessessary for Joomla 3.0+ support. It also removed some legacy features on code cleanup. Unfortunately there have been some unexpected issues on the K2.0 templates, but we've tried to fix those as we've found them.

How about Kunena 3.1?

Kunena 3.1 will be major change on templating as we choose to change our architecture from MVC to HMVC in order to greatly simplify the underlaying code.

What does it mean for the users?

Nothing in short term. We have kept the old MVC and template code in most parts unchanged, which means that all Kunena 3.0 compatible templates should work out of the box and with no changes.

That said, we highly discourage users from using the old templates as the new ones will offer both improved performance and some new features. Also the old templates will stop working on Kunena 4.0, so it's better to change them in time.

What does it mean for the template creators?

At first I tried to make it possible to easily convert the templates from MVC to HMVC. Moving the files into the right place was easy as most of the files have just changed their location. Unfortunately cleaning up the templates revealed that it was not a good idea afterall -- too many important changes were missing and it took a lot of time to debug and fix them.

So the conclusion is that it's much easier just to apply the custom HTML to the new template files. Basically it means that all the templates need to be fully redone.

What about the future?

With HMVC the templates will become more independent from the underlaying code changes, which means that even if the default template changes in its structure, need of changing 3rd party templates get smaller. In the future the new features will just be disabled in older templates and the needed changes to add the support will becode much better contained.

Hope this helps!
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