# Release thread for version branch 2.5 (General)

Hello

As we did it before with the 2.4-branch, we open now a pinned thread for the version branch 2.5. We will merge here the announcements for all versions, alpha, beta and stable releases.

The project forum in itself got no update to version 2.5 until the first stable version release.

Stay tuned.

Tschö, Auge

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Tags:
2.5, release

## Release of version 2.4.99.1, testing release

Hello

I'm proud to announce the first public testing version for My Little Forum 2.5, named 2.4.99.1. You can in principle update a forum with a starting point of version 2.4.19.1 or 2.4.20. No older versions are supported. I tested an update from 2.4.20 and it worked. But it is strongly recommended to test the script as a separate installation. You can add existing content to the testing forum after its installation.

Until now we introduced only some of the features, that got discussed in example in this thread. We will add further features and refinements of existing features during the testing phase.

What did we add until now:

- store information about the user who uploads a new image in a new database table
- replace the optional TeX support through the abandoned Google web service with the MathJax library (one has to install the lib or choosing it from a CDN and to provide the URL to the lib via the advanced settings manually)
- allow topics to be pinned/sticked to the certain category (classic way) or to all categories
- Bayes based spam filter, this has to be activated and works locally without contact to a foreign service
- change the charset of most of the tables and text columns to support 4-byte-characters, i.e. emojis

Fixes:

- all fixes, that got introduced in the 2.4 version branch
- relative pathes in the src-attribute of images in the RSS feed made the images inaccessible in the feed, the fix was provided by Mardor

Removals:

- the Google web service for TeX support
- the flash-bb-code-button

Known issues:

- if one deletes uploaded images from the new upload management page the informations, stored tin the upload table, will not get deleted
- a pinned thread, created in a restricted category (access for registered users or the forum team only), will be shown in the main views to the whole possible audience (depends on forum settings), even the access to the postings in itself gets restricted (when opening them)

Please take into account, that the required minimal version of the MySQL server is 5.5.3 from now on. This is because of the changed default charset of utf8mb4 in many of the tables and text columns.

A few words about the Bayes based statistical spam filter. You have to enable it in the spam protection page of the admin area, point "B8". You will have to check your forum very often in the first few days to classify every posting manually as spam or ham (depends on traffic in the forum, open the posting to classify it). After a few (10 to 30) postings you will see, that the script classifies the postings alone and normally with a lowering amount of wrong decisions. With a trained filter you are able to renounce one or several of the other methods, mainly the ones that needs to send data to third party services (Stop Forum Spam and Akismet).

Notes for updaters

If you want to test an update of an existing installation (not recommended at the moment), please make a backup of the database and the installation itself before –or better– make a parallel test installation of your existing version and upgrade the test- instead your live-forum.

Attention: The update is only possible when the existing installation is a version 2.4.19.1 or 2.4.20!

Attention: Use the update file update/update_2.4.19.1-2.5.php

Tschö, Auge

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Trenne niemals Müll, denn er hat nur eine Silbe!

Tags:
2.5, release, beta, 2.4.99.1

## Version 2.4.99.1, updatable but not installable

Hello

Because of my organisational blindness I missed a bit of code to change and a typo in the SQL code for the installation script. It was reported yesterday and the reporter and the team works on a solution. Thatswhy it is possible to update to the version 2.4.99.1 from versions 2.4.19.1 or 2.4.20 (Please do it with a testing installation but not with your live system!) but it's impossible to do a fresh installation of version 2.4.99.1.

Tschö, Auge

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## Release of version 2.4.99.3, testing release, with EDIT

Hello

I'm proud to announce the next public testing version for My Little Forum 2.5, named 2.4.99.3. We skipped version 2.4.99.2 which was inofficially available directly from the master branch.

Changes from 2.4.99.1 to 2.4.99.2

- All database tables are of type InnoDB from now on.
- The listing of spam entries for forum team members is part of the main view and not a possible view in the search results page from now on.
- After storing an entry after it's creation that was classified as possible spam we generally redirect to the single posting view to show a message about the situation.
- several database columns got a smaller size. This is because they should store UTF-8 with four bytes and have an index at the same time. The indexes for text fields istself are limited in their size what limits the possible size of the text fields. We limited the sizes of the columns mlf2_userdata.user_name, mlf2_tags.tag, mlf2_b8_wordlist.token to 128 characters.
- A registered user can decide for whom se/he is contactable about the forums e-mail-based contact function.
- The forum is now able to send e-mails via a SMTP-function. That's currently a proof of concept and the configuration is located in config/php_mailer.php but not accessible in the admin area.
- The forum operator can decide if registerd and unregisterde users should be able to set tags for postings.
- Send the notification e-mails only, if the entry was classified as ham (not as possible spam).
[/edit]

There was only a few changes from 2.4.99.2 to 2.4.99.3. So we corrected several queries in the installation and in the update scripts, fixed a bug that made it possible to see postings, classified as spam, when one wrote self a posting that was classified as spam in the same thread. The last change affected the uninstalling-function in the admin script, that contains from now on the new tables when dropping the database content and tables.

Please take into account, that the required minimal version of the MySQL server is 5.5.3 from now on. This is because of the changed default charset of utf8mb4 in many of the tables and text columns.

If you want to test an update of an existing installation (not recommended at the moment), please make a backup of the database and the installation itself before –or better– make a parallel test installation of your existing version and upgrade the test- instead your live-forum.

Attention: The update is only possible when the existing installation is a version 2.4.19.1 up to 2.4.24!

Attention: Use the update file update/update_2.4.19.1-2.5.php

Tschö, Auge

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## Release of version 2.4.99.3, testing release

Hello,

We skipped version 2.4.99.2 which was inofficially available directly from the master branch.

There was only a few changes.

If you list the changes to the not existing 2.4.99.2, there are a lot of changes like SMTP mail.

/Micha

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applied-geodesy.org - OpenSource Least-Squares Adjustment Software for Geodetic Sciences

## Release notes for 2.4.99.2 amended

Hello

We skipped version 2.4.99.2 which was inofficially available directly from the master branch.

There was only a few changes.

If you list the changes to the not existing 2.4.99.2, there are a lot of changes like SMTP mail.

I'm very sorry. Meanwhile I added it here and in the release entry on Github.

Tschö, Auge

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Trenne niemals Müll, denn er hat nur eine Silbe!

## First release in the version branch 2.5, 20220508.1 🚀

Hello

After a very long time with only slow or no progress we got it! Here we are with a brand new version of My Little Forum 2. The new version comes with full UTF-8-support including emojis like 💥🎉👍 and with the compatibility with PHP up to the 8.1.x branch.

Beside these main features, there are several features and featurettes. A forum operator is able to specify a target for opening links in forum entries as a forum setting for the case that the forum runs in a frameset or an iframe. On the other hand a registered forum user is able to specify, that links in entries should open in the same browser wirdow/tab or in a new window/tab, possibly differentiated if the link leads to an internal or external site.

The forum can be configured to send e-mails with the class PHPMailer, which is able to send the e-mails via SMTP. This has to be configured by hand in the file config/php_mailer.php. A further remarkable feature is the local spam filtering which works with a Bayes algorithm. You and your teams in your forums have to train this filter by manual classification of entries as ham or spam. It will get better with more classification input from you. It will make the use of external spam classification services obsolete in the long run.

Because of the abandoned Google service for rendering LaTeX formulas it got replaced with the option to use the MathJax library. To make it possible to lower the dependencies for external services a further bit, an administrator has to provide only a link to a MathJax-instance, self hosted or from an external service (i.e. a CDN). Then it has only to be activated by a second, boolean forum setting.

Pinned threads can be restricted to a specific category as before or can be displayed in all categories.

To clean up the list of registered users, the forum sends an e-mail to a user after a certain time of inactivity (default: 3 years). In case of no reaction after a specified period (default: 30 days), the inactive account will be deleted.

The forum has now a simple image upload management. A forum operator/administrator can list the images and can delete them groupwise. For new uploaded images the forum stores meta information as the time and the ID of the uploader (if registered and logged in). It is planned to enhance the functionality.

Attention: The forums own backup feature has gone. This was planned because it was to often broken when a new feature changed the database structure and we forgot to adapt it to the backup code. With an external tool like phpMyAdmin (for example) a changed database structure is no issue at all. So please use such a tool for backups.

Also gone os the BB-Code-button for Flash and its interpretation. Even old forum entries with embeddings of Flash-content will not work anymore.

There are a few obsoleted files: js/admin.js and its compressed comrade admin.min.js and the subdirectory includes/classes. Please delete them after (!) the succeeded upgrade.

With the first release of the 2.5-branch, we start with a new version numbering scheme. From now on we will use a date based numbering as shown at the end of the subject of this entry. Additionally we will provide an equivalent version number in the old scheme. For the current release 20220508.1 the equivalence is 2.5.0.

You can download the new release 20220508.1 from Github. For an update you will need at least a forum with the version 2.4.19.1 or newer.

Please report any problems with the new version here or in the projects issues section on Github.

Tschö, Auge

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Trenne niemals Müll, denn er hat nur eine Silbe!

Tags:
2.5, release, 20220508.1

## A few hints about the upgrade of this forum to 20220508.1

Hello,

Yesterday in the evening, during the preparation of the release 20220508.1 I wrote down the release entry, the one I am now replying to. Copying the emojis into the text it became clear to me that I did not upgrade this forum instance from 2.4.24 to 20220508.1. Because of that, saving my forum entry would definitely fail.

I tested the upgrade before with test installations on my own webspace, starting from versions 2.4.22, 2.4.23 and a pimped 2.4.99.3. None of these instances contained many entries or users. I was sure afterwards, that the upgrade would succeed but I wasn't able to say anything about the performance or possible pitfalls during the upgrade on instances with many datasets (especially entries and user data).

I started the upgrade of the project forum with crossed fingers. I saw instantly, that there was a considerable difference in the time, the upgrade lasted. While the upgrade of the database structure in a more or less empty forum instance took less than a second, it needed around five to seven seconds in this forum. This is mainly caused by altering more or less all tables, generating or deleting columns and a few new indexes in the entries and user data table.

All in all it took a bit more time as on all upgrades I saw before but if one knows about the demand of time, it is nothing one has to worry about. Do not forget to replace all of the files and directories, that are advertised to be replaced with it's new versions and in case of formatting problems start with [CTRL]+[F5] to reload the web ressources from the server to bypass the browser cache.

Tschö, Auge

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## There is a little but breaking bug in version 20220508.1 😒

Hello

There is a syntax bug in the installation script. I solved it, but only locally and not in the repository (silly me 👎). The Github user prbt2016 provided a pull request and I will release a new version later today. If one wants to upgrade the own forum before the new release, one has to add a single bracket in install/index.php, line #45 as seen in the code on Github.

Pay attention to the section between empty(\$newVersion) and die('Error in line.

I'm sorry for the inconvinience.

Tschö, Auge

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## Release of version 20220509.1 (2.5.1)

Hello

This is a first bugfix release in the 2.5-branch. As mentioned in another posting, I forgot to iron out a bug I found and fixed locally during the tests for the relase. This bug got now fixed by the Github user prbt2016, He also came across this unfixed bug and provided a pull request within a few hours. Thank you for your attention and your help.

The bug in itself affects only the update script.

Being on it, I harvested a few low hanging fruits (a translation and HTML/CSS-issues). The changes are noticed in the release message on Github where one also can download the package of the new release.

I'm sorry for the inconvinience of the broken upgrade script.

Tschö, Auge

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Tags:
2.5, release, bug, fix, bugfix, 20220508.1, 20220509.1

## Next day, next bug with 20220508.1 and 20220509.1

Hello

I was informed in a new Github issue (#601) about a bug in the collection of database queries for the installation. This is especially annoying because I tested the fresh installation with both versions 20220508.1 and 20220509.1 and my installation attempts was successful.

I found the cause and prbt2016, who opened the issue, stated, that the fix solved the bug. But, it revealed another bug, that only occures with MySQL-versions up to 5.6.x. I myself run my installations with MySQL 5.7 and could not imagine to run into such a problem.

When we introduced the support of utf8mb4 we ourself came across the problem, that a column, defined as varchar(255) that was indexed, exceeded the maximal possible size of an index. Because of that we resized the user name of a registered user from 255 Bytes to 128 Bytes. One of the later changes was to change the definition of most of the database tables to use the charset utf8mb4, what makes all text columns using utf8mb4, if not defined otherwise. We also added an index for the column user_email that has a size of 255 Bytes. You see, where this will end?

Well, IMHO we can not half size of the column for the e-mail-addresses to 128 Bytes. E-mail-addresses can be longer than that. Because of that I decided to test another solution, that defines the column user_email as charset utf8 without mb4 and because of that with no chance to exceed the maximal index size. I was only able to thest this scenario with a MySQL-server of version 5.7 in a 5.5-compatibility mode. I was able to install the forum with the new definition. On the other hand I can not say anything about the result of a installation attempt on a real MySQL-5.5-server.

I added a PR (#602) with my changes contemporary and would be thankful if someone is able to test the fresh installation of MLF in version 20220509.1 on a server, that is connected to an instance of MySQL 5.5.x (x >= 3) or MySQL 5.6.x.

Thank you, tschö, Auge

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## Release of version 20220517.1 (2.5.2)

Hello

This is the next bugfix release in the 2.5-branch. After introducing of the feature to notify the users, that logged in for the last time more than 3 years ago, the project forum sent hundreds of e-mails what caused the project page to get blacklisted because of sending spam. Thatswhy we limited the code to send only five e-mails per daily actions/per day to prevent the blacklisting.

Beside of that the Github user prbt2016 found a bug, that occurs only when installing the forum on a server with MySQL in versions 5.5 and 5.6. We recommend to use a newer MySQL version (at least 5.7 or MariaDB) but in case of a configuration with an older version of MySQL we want to prevent you as forum operators from not being able to use the 2.5-branch.

Additionally I came across a bug I introduced with the change from XHTML 1.0 to HTML (5) and the corresponding changes in CSS. On narrow screens/viewports the user menu was inaccessible because it slipped below the bottom border of the header because of the headers fixed height.

The changes are noticed in the release message on Github where one also can download the package of the new release.

Tschö, Auge

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Trenne niemals Müll, denn er hat nur eine Silbe!

Tags:
2.5, release, bug, fix, bugfix, 2.5.2, 20220517.1

## Release of version 20220529.1 (2.5.3)

Hello

This is the next bugfix release in the 2.5-branch. We also introduced a new feature and begun the HTML and CSS-overhaul for the main section (between the submenu and the page footer). This is far from done but the main thrad listing views and the starting page of the admin panel in a smartphone browser should be less buggy now. Additionally we fixed an edge case in the function to delete a user account.

Known issue: When installing the forum, it is in some cases possible, that the installation succeeds but the redirect to the forum page fails with the error message "database unavailable". In this case you will see the URL of the forum in the address bar of the browser (i.e. https://www.example.org/forum or https://forum.example.org) without the trailing /install of the installation script. When refreshing the page, the forum works normally. We know this but we didn't find the cause til now.

The changes are noticed in the release message on Github where one also can download the package of the new release.

Tschö, Auge

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Trenne niemals Müll, denn er hat nur eine Silbe!

Tags:
2.5, release, bug, feature, fix, bugfix, B8, 2.5.3, 20220529.1, bayes