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SMF 2.1

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I wanted to write this down somewhere, so everyone that needs to know this, can compare the pros and cons between SMF 2.0 and SMF 2.1, and decide for themselves if they're upgrading now, or later. I didn't feel like it warranted an entire guide, though, and also wanted a place where we can easily discuss, so here it is.

I will say now: please seriously consider upgrading soon. We have about a year and some change before PHP version 7.1 goes out of security support (December 2019). SMF 2.0 does not run cleanly on PHP 7.2, and running an unsupported version of PHP opens your server to potential security vulnerabilities. You can wait and see if 2.0 will be updated to operate on PHP 7.2, honestly I don't expect it, or you can just take the leap into 2.1 now, and get used to it at your own pace, instead of having to make that decision in a hurry when somebody bombs your server through a security hole.


Yes, 2.1 is in beta stage, and they will tell you not to use it in production. It does have some glitches, but I can work around them. We can make it work, if you're willing to ask for help. The next version, 2.1 Beta 4, has been said to be a potential RC version. RC stands for release candidate; that means the features and functions are locked in, and they're just fixing bugs and glitches, tidying up for final, full stable release. As such, it may be worth waiting for RC, as it may not be far away, but given their current progression pace, I wouldn't hold your breath.


However, the things that are important to us, are not always important to the SMF community at large; this section of the topic is intended to point out, and offer workarounds, for known bugs that role-players will run into. I will also post a change-log underneath between 2.0 and 2.1 Beta 3.


Known Quirks:

  • When manually installing a fresh copy of 2.1 Beta 3, you will encounter the installer's inability to create Settings_bak.php. Workaround: Copy Settings.php, and save it as Settings_bak.php, in the file manager.
  • Sometimes, installing a new theme by uploading the .zip does not work. Workaround: Upload and extract the contents of the .zip into its own folder in /Themes, then install via directory folder.
  • Sometimes, when removing a theme, it will not go away completely. Workaround: Check your database's themes table for all entries under the theme's ID number, and manually remove them.
  • Guest post verification checkbox will not stay checked. Workaround: Set a minimum post count requirement for verification.
  • Anti-spam control default type-what-the-image-says always logs as wrong if reCAPTCHA is turned on. Workaround: Don't use it, or don't use reCAPTCHA.
  • Anti-spam control questions and answers will not display question title without default type-what-the-image-says turned on if reCAPTCHA is on. Workaround: List your questions somewhere else, like on the registration agreement, don't use questions, or don't use reCAPTCHA.
    • Tbh, the type-the-image verification paired with questions (difficult to guess ones!) should be sufficient enough on their own, or reCAPTCHA by itself, either way.
  • Avatars on board and message index are built-in, but do not work by default. Workaround: if you want it working, ask me, you have to replace a function in the source files and it's Big. If I'm installing/modding/theming your site and have access to your backend, I will do it for you automatically.


2.0 => 2.1 Change Log:

  • New WYSIWYG editor; uses SCEditor, for much cleaner, nicer BBCode WYSIWYG handling.
  • HTML5 attachment uploading (drag and drop).
  • Post drafts. Able to turn on periodic draft auto-saving.
  • Post likes.
  • User mentions.
  • Alert system; alerts can be sent for:
    • Topic replies in followed topics;
    • New topics in followed boards;
    • Mentions;
    • Post quotes;
    • Post likes;
    • New replies to unapproved topics;
    • New PMs;
    • Sent PM replies;
    • New buddy additions;
    • When it's the user's birthday;
    • FOR MODS
      • New unapproved topics;
      • Reported messages;
      • Member profile reports;
      • Replies in post and profile reports the user has replied to;
      • New registrations;
      • When another user is warned;
  • Event times and time zones in the calendar;
  • Time zone selection;
  • Google's reCAPTCHA system is built in;
  • Google Authenticator for two-factor logins;
  • More powerful and versatile BBCodes;
  • Background tasks;
  • SQL's ifnull is now deprecated; use coalesce;
  • Smart emulation for package manager; it can now propose a version to emulate instead of needing to be manually told which to use;
  • IPv6 support;
  • IP ban cannot do 198.* type bans; need to use 198.0-255.0-255.0-255.
  • Detection of mobile devices;
  • Previews are available for several new things (PMs, news and newsletters, warning templates and warnings, signatures);
  • jQuery support by default;
  • PHP 7.2 support;
  • UTF-8 is now standard;
  • Curve2, the 2.1 default theme, is mobile responsive out of the box;
  • Admin area has been reorganised; it is MUCH BETTER trust me;
  • Core Features page is removed;
  • Improved attachment error handling;
  • Admin and moderator sessions can be manually ended, prompting user to login again to reaccess ACP/MCP;
  • Deny access to boards;
  • phpinfo() directly in the admin panel; this tells you what your server has available to it, from Apache version, settings, and enabled mods, to PHP and MySQL/MariaDB versions, settings, and enabled modules, and settings for Apache, PHP, MySQL/MariaDB mods;
  • Ability to enable/disable admin and moderator security, killing the password prompt for the panels;
  • No backward compat for PHP < 5.4 -- must be running at least 5.4 but for FRICK'S sake be on 7.1 or 7.2;
  • Per board group moderators;
  • Board installation allows to set registration mode;
  • Register links do not show if registration is off;
  • PMs now require a subject;
  • Membergroup icon/badge/pips are now stored in their own folder in theme images, and have a drop-down of available images to choose from;
    • Also now PNGs instead of GIFs and have a set max size (128x32, I have changed this before, I'd have to remember how), annoyingly, but I digress;
  • HTML is no longer parsed as a membergroup name;
  • If users can view their own warning status, they can see their own warning history;
  • Per group permissions for seeing a user's email, and emailing other members;
  • Email addresses are no longer sent to mods on post report;
  • Improved spam defences, registering too quickly blocks the user, and inept bots will get tripped on hidden variables;
  • PMs are saved by default when sending into outbox;
  • Anti-spam Q&A can support multiple languages, as well as multiple answers per language;
  • Messages can be previewed on hover over subject on topic list;
  • Ability to disregard/ignore topics and no longer have it appear on unread lists;
  • Ability to specify how long moved topic notices are kept before they are deleted;
  • Categories for boards to membergroup management pages;
  • Categories have descriptions now;
  • Child boards are now sub-boards, like the rest of the friggin world calls em;
  • Post recount for members added to maintenance;
  • Custom profile fields can be ordered, kinda clunkylike atm, but hey, it works;
  • lot of "default" custom fields are now actual custom fields instead of needing to be disabled; you can delete all the messenger icons and whatnot if you want now, or just alter them;
  • Improved HTML coding, like everywhere, it's less stupid;
  • AJAX dropdowns for profile and account options, messages, and mentions;
  • Several templates in the theme system have been broken down a bit further; certain information arrays also have had a 'cheat variable' added to them that prints a default language line and values; ergo, "x posts in x topics by x members" can be achieved with just $context['common_stats']['boardindex_total_posts'].
  • Gravatar support; users can also enter a different email for Gravatars than the one attached to their account;
  • Uploaded avatars are no longer stored as hashed attachments by default now, they go into custom_images as image files;
  • Hooks. Lots of hooks.


If you have any questions about 2.1, upgrading to it, need clarification on anything, concerns, I'm gonna say this is the thread to post it in. We'll make this the Official The Initiative SMF 2.1 thread. (If you are running 2.1, and get a bug, post in the help forums like normal.)

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This depends on the mod. Several work perfectly fine, others don't. A general rule of thumb is, the less it needs to alter the standard source files, the more likely it is to work on 2.1, but that's very vague ballpark.

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