Thursday, May 08, 2008

vBulletin 3.7.0 Released!

Today, the vBulletin team is proud to declare version 3.7.0 to be our stable, supported release.

vBulletin 3.7.0 is available immediately from the Members' Area to all customers with active vBulletin licenses, and will be offered as the primary choice to those making new purchases.

This release supercedes the 3.6.x branch as our primary product. vBulletin 3.6.x will continue to be maintained for a limited time, as outlined in the end-of-life announcement posted today. We recommend that all customers with active licenses upgrade to vBulletin 3.7.0.

There are many new features and improvements to existing functionality in vBulletin 3.7.0 over vBulletin 3.6.x, most of which have already been described in the release announcements for the various pre-release versions, and in the First Look thread that was posted at the beginning of the beta process, but here is a brief list of just a few of the highlights.

  • Inline spam management & prevention
  • Thread tagging
  • Search cloud / tag cloud
  • Thread prefixes
  • Reciprocal friendships between users
  • Public visitor messaging on profile pages with 'conversation' feature
  • User picture galleries with user comment facility
  • User-created social groups with invite only and moderated membership options
  • Extended member profile pages
  • Customizable member profile pages with admin-controlled styling abilities
  • Inline editing of custom user profile fields
  • Lightbox viewer for attached images
  • Viewable and comparable history maintained for post edits
  • Extended re-authentication for inline moderation actions
  • Notices system for navigation bar
  • Multiple human-verification systems including reCAPTCHA, image verification and Q/A
  • User change history
  • Social bookmarking integration

PHP and MySQL Requirements

vBulletin 3.7.0 requires at least PHP 4.3.3 and MySQL 4.0.16 (These are the same requirements as vBulletin 3.6), but we strongly recommend that all customers run PHP 5.2.5 with APC and MySQL 5.0.51 or later. Major performance benefits can be had by taking the recommended route rather than simply satisfying the required versions.

What is a 'Gold' Version?

When talking about software, the term 'gold' is not related to the color of the application. Rather, it refers to the practise of burning the final version of a software product to a CD-R so that it can be sent to a large scale CD press for large-scale distribution. It is used to indicate that the code is ready for deployment to customers. The official name of this new version is vBulletin 3.7.0.

Installing or Upgrading vBulletin

Anyone who has installed or upgraded any version of vBulletin 3 before will be familiar with the process, but for those who are new to the system, the vBulletin manual has all the details for installing and upgrading.

Template Changes

A large number of templates have been changed when compared with vBulletin 3.6.x. It will be necessary to revert affected customized templates or otherwise carefully integrate the changes into your custom versions or new features and existing functionality will be adversely affected. A complete list of the templates you have customized whose original version has been changed by the 3.7.0 upgrade is available within your Admin Control Panel after the upgrade is complete.

Bug Reports

As with any software, bugs will appear. If you find a problem that you believe to be a bug, please don't post about it on the forums where the development team may never find your message, but instead use the dedicated bug tracker to make a report that can be tracked through to completion.

Before reporting a bug, please ensure you are able to reproduce the problem on a board using a default, uncustomized style with all plugins disabled.