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AtomBB Alpha One Tour

This new blog post is here to explain some of the various changes which has been made to the AtomBB Software between the Alpha One release and the pre-alpha tour which I posted earlier on in this blog to give you a general taste of what AtomBB could do.

Keep in mind that the AtomBB Forum Software is currently in alpha, so countless features which we plan to implement are currently not implemented in the software and the pre-alpha tour post wasn’t made that long ago. This means that there’s alot less to speak about than if we were comparing two alpha releases like alpha one and alpha two due to the short span of time that has passed.

Other changes to the AtomBB Software were much less visible like countless improvements to the Plugin API which should allow plugins to break much less frequently between releases unlike many of the existing software where plugins break so frequently between releases that they just tend to check a version string when checking whether a plugin is compatible with it.

[Reputation System]

New reputation system.

A screenshot showing the new reputation system which takes into account both the user who issued the reputation and the object which the reputation was applied to which trickles down to the the user who created the object in the form of the approval score.





[AtomBB Alpha Tour: Quote System]

Quote System

Another feature which was introduced between the pre-alpha tour and the actual first alpha itself was the quote system which currently behaves like you may expect however, we plan to expand the quote system in the future like loading data on the quoted item in order to give more context specific information like the user who originally posted the content.





[AtomBB Alpha Tour: Reputation System Upvoters]

More reputation system.

This is another screenshot which shows the new reputation system however, this one also shows the number of people who upvoted a specific post which helps to show the powerful system which associates these upvotes with specific posts as opposed to just simply incrementing the reputation count like in older forum software.

It’s also possible to list the specific users who upvoted the specific post however, this feature is not enabled by default as it is much more performance intensive than, simply counting the number of users who upvoted a post.


[AtomBB Alpha Tour: Topic Prefixes]

The topic prefix system.

While I’ve mentioned this feature on the forums before, the topic prefix system is a more standard feature among the various forum software, but it’s a fairly important feature with the current set of features including access control.

In the future, we also plan to add additional capabilities like possibly making the mark-up input field much more friendly and adding a field to define whether you need to be a local moderator in order to use that specific topic prefix (super moderators and above would automatically be allowed to use it when that setting is on).


[AtomBB Alpha Tour: Message Settings]

Message Settings

The Message Settings setting group is a setting group which was made available for editing which has gained a large number of settings related to controlling message related items.

This setting group adds a great degree of flexibility like the level modifier (lets you tweak the requirements for each contribution level), controlling the quality requirements for individual posts like word count and so forth.


[AtomBB Alpha Tour: Drop-down Topic Loading]

Drop-down topic loading.

One minor feature which I threw in as a way of quickly loading up five topics via AJAX by simply clicking on the drop-down option. This is a nice way of quickly checking the last few topics at the top of the list.

This is also a way to quickly peek at some topics with unread posts without having to manually go to the full topic list for that specific forum.


[AtomBB Alpha Tour: Topic Types]

All of the topic types on the topic list.

An image showing all three topic types which are normal topics, important (sticky / pinned ones) and announcements. With important topics, the only real bonus is that it appears higher on the topic list when you’re viewing a specific forum.

Announcements are similar to important topics as they are prioritised above even the important topics when it comes to viewing the topic list. The main difference (we have many things planned for the announcement topic type) is that the opening post in the topic will appear on all of the pages of the topic at the top.


This concludes the Alpha One Tour which is more of a status update and we hope to add a vast number of features in Alpha Two which should bring in many of the more luxury features along with completing the set of features which most people would automatically expect to have in most forum software.

If you liked this article then, feel free to share it or to link to it or to discuss it on our forums.


AtomBB Pre-Alpha Tour

You might be interested in what AtomBB currently looks like in its current state so, I’ve attached some images to this blog post so, you can visually see everything rather than, just hearing descriptions like you have upto now (keep in mind that the software is currently in a pre-alpha state so, it may change dramatically by the time that the first alpha is actually released and you should not use it on a production site as the software is currently not stable enough.. yet).


The index page for the AtomBB Pre-Alpha Tour.

The index page has remained fairly similar to how it was in earlier development however, the statistics on it can be disabled with a flick of a switch for those who may not want the statistics to be so publically available or those who think that it’s a waste of space on the page.

There are many plans to revolutionise this page dramatically in Alpha 2 however, those innovative features have not been prioritised for Alpha 1 as Alpha 1 covers the more fundamental and basic features which we expect to have in the software.



abb_prealpha_tour_002The list of discussions on each forums is a fairly standard feature which is currently kept fairly simple for expected functionality although, we do plan to extend it dramatically during the next alpha as it currently serves it’s minimal purpose very well.



abb_prealpha_tour_003Santa is an easter egg which was attached to UID -2 (which is unusuable by users) which is the account which the default topic is generated under rather than, the account of the administrator to help differentiate it from the administrator.

You can see the contribution level system in action with a level being displayed clearly on the postbit along with the group which the user is in and a user statistic to gauge the number of “big” posts which a user has which eliminates small low quality posts in order to avoid artificial inflation.


abb_prealpha_tour_004The system will make sure to confirm your action when you click one of the moderative options on someone’s post to prevent you from accidentally deleting a post or other such actions.



abb_prealpha_tour_005There are several options under the user’s message which are signified with icons which expose a number of moderative features like banning the user rapidly or protecting a post which is a feature where you lock the post so, no one else can modify the post in any way without revoking the protection which when used in conjunction with a specific permission can be quite powerful.

abb_prealpha_tour_006Welcome to the Moderation Control Panel which is a miniature control panel for moderators which you may already be familiar with when using other modern software (unless, you are coming from one of the older software) which has a number of sections for moderators to do their jobs more effectively by having a general overview.




abb_prealpha_tour_007For instance, you can see posts which have been deleted (normal deletions are soft-deletions with more powerful deletions generally not being available to lower level moderators), posts which have been hidden from public sight by a moderator or posts which have been protected so, no one is able to modify it without revoking the protection flag from it.

A similar overview is also available in the thread manager under it (Yes, you can protect whole topics too) which is not shown here but, it looks very similar to the Post Manager.


abb_prealpha_tour_008The Notice Manager is a relatively new innovation in the forum market as other software don’t really leverage the idea of sending global messages across the forum (group specific ones are planned for Alpha 2 so, don’t worry about those) so, we decided to have an easy system for staff to make a notice across the forum which is very visible (unlike announcements in other software which are usually buried under a forum. We’ll have those but, we are implementing them as a third topic type which topics can be elevated to rather than, a whole new concept).


abb_prealpha_tour_009An example of a notice created by the notice manager mentioned above.

As you can see, the user who created the notice is listed in the notice list next to the notice so, it’s easy to hold people accountable for their actions.




abb_prealpha_tour_010There is also a miniature user manager where you can issue warnings and bans from along with giving some useful information on a user on a glance like the group which they are currently in. Editing capabilities are planned.

While you can’t see it here, it is also possible to activate an account via this page which allows moderators to help with managing an activation queue or to speed people who you know are not bots through the activation process.


abb_prealpha_tour_011I’ve done quite a bit of work on the Control Panel like reworking the navigation bar to make it somewhat more appealing than the more boring look which it had yesterday and I threw on the logo to help the branding of it.


abb_prealpha_tour_012The User Editor has fairly standard capabilities and has a layout consisting of two parts (asides from the sidebar which is present everywhere in the Control Panel) with more items planned to be added to the right part in the future.




abb_prealpha_tour_013A list of all of the groups which are currently on the forums which won’t necessarily all be admin-created (if you set it up, that way, of course) as we have huge plans to add to the group system as a whole with group permissions being considered a basic feature (unlike some recent software which are trying to go down a more minimalistic approach).



abb_prealpha_tour_014Several minor features which differentiate this group system includes the ability to have multi-coloured names which is caused by the system assigned a random colour to each letter in the name.

A more important feature however, is the access level system where if you try to edit another user of an equal rank (E.g. supermod, admin, etc.) then, the system will check whether your level is higher than theirs otherwise, it will prevent you from performing that action or any moderative (or administrative) action on them for that matter.

abb_prealpha_tour_015AtomBB has a fairly fine grained permissions system which should grant a huge degree of flexibility to administrators to control access in nearly exactly the way which they desire access to be granted.

For those who find the permissions system to be overwhelming, there will be a type of plugin known as “presets” which populate your installation with custom groups created by other members of the community (which ever ones which you want) or any other type of script which involves inserting data in a similar manner.

abb_prealpha_tour_016The forum manager looks fairly standard however, you are capable of dragging forums around to rearrange them (or you could set the orders manually via the forum editor) which should help to speed up your workflow with forums being assigned to other categories when you drag them under another category automatically.

abb_prealpha_tour_017As mentioned above, you can set the order via the forum manager.




abb_prealpha_tour_018The Control Panel can manage moderators much more effectively than the ModCP with a vast degree of control over the local permissions being available while if you want a more simplified interface then, there’s always the ModCP’s forum manager.




abb_prealpha_tour_019The setting editor is one of the features which takes advantage of the two pane layout much more than the other areas with plans to add over twenty types of settings with each having their own unqiue input type like the system automatically pulling a forum list when you have to input a specific forum into a setting.


abb_prealpha_tour_020The plugin manager allows you to install plugins although, it hasn’t been expanded much currently although, it is planned for the ability to upload plugins and to have an interface to navigate the plugins which are available in an interface similar to that used by WordPress for those who want to quickly find plugins to use.

abb_prealpha_tour_021The System Manager which you might have seen before on the blog has been planned out much more thoroughly than it wa when I last made a blog post about it.

It shows several important statistics with a single glance and is planned to have dramatically more information to ensure the smooth running of the site.


abb_prealpha_tour_022Why not? Just throwing the UserCP out there.















Alright, back to the more.. advanced features.

abb_prealpha_tour_025As you would expect with the current climate, we have created a conversation system for people to privately (well, depends on if anyone is snooping like an admin so, let’s reword that to.. directly) communicate with each other and where multiple users can join in a conversation.




abb_prealpha_tour_026You simply have to seperate each name with a ‘,’ to create a conversation with multiple participants in it.





abb_prealpha_tour_027You can also add people to an existing conversation by hitting the invite option while some users (like administrators) may have the ability to lock a conversation which results in no one being able to post in it at all.





That’s the end of this AtomBB Pre-Alpha Tour however, we plan to continue more and more features as we progress towards our eventual goal of entering the Beta Phase with our currently goal being the release of the first AtomBB Alpha which will contain a small subset of the eventual vast array of innovations however, it is one step in the direction of our objective to break the stagnation in the forum market.

If you liked this article then, feel free to share it or to link to it or to discuss it on our forums.

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