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Dear users,Simple Machines is proud to announce the release of our next major milestone for SMF, SMF 2.1! A lot of work has gone into 2.1 over the past 3 years, and with over 5500 commits by numerous developers, we have a whole set of exciting new features and improvements which we hope you will like.Warning! This is just the first beta! There ARE bugs and incomplete features; it is not recommended that you run this release on a live/production site.Below is a brief summary of changes from 2.0. For a more comprehensive account, please check out the monthly updates on the Developers' Blog and the GitHub repository, and the Wiki "2.1 Features" page.A fresh, new, responsive design with Curve2:SMF 2.0 introduced the Curve theme, which was an update that gave a more modern web look to SMF. 2.1 includes a revamp of our default theme called Curve2! Curve2 introduces responsive design concepts to most of the areas of your forum, making it much more easily accessible to modern smartphones and tablets. Additionally, we have a number of major and minor UI/UX improvements across the board.Notification Alerts:In prior versions of SMF, notifications were a distributed affair, with the two primary options being e-mails and PMs. 2.1 changes this with the introduction of Alerts, which can be enabled to display all your forum notifications, major or minor, in a single location without cluttering your e-mail or PM inbox. Alerts' preferences also acts as a central notification preference center where you can specify the format of notification you'd like to receive: e-mails, alerts or none, all in a single place, instead of having preferences scattered throughout the forum. In the new preference center you will now have the ability to set preferences for e-mail, alerts or both for individual topics and boards instead of forum-wide settings, which allows you to exercise a much finer control over notifications you want to receivePM and Post drafts:Ever closed a tab or window on a long post you've been writing for a long time? I know I did while writing this announcement. Or perhaps you simply couldn't finish a post in a single sitting and hoped you could continue from where you left off? Then Drafts is for you, it is fully integrated into 2.1, along with the ability to auto-save posts and PMs as you're writing them.Likes and Mentions:Likes has been added to SMF, replacing the existing Karma system with a more content oriented one. The system can also be extended internally by mod authors in order to allow likes for their own content.Members can also flag a post to call the attention of other members by mentioning them, using the internet standard @displayname syntax. This will send an alert or e-mail (depending upon the receiver's preference) and notify them of the mention.A bunch of other stuff!Full SSL support throughout the forum. (NOTE: Requires appropriate certificate and configurations on the server.)Password hashing has been improved from sha1 to bcrypt.The Admin area has received a number of usability and organizational improvements. A few of the areas have been reorganized and relocated as well as some overall clean upThe Moderation Center also has several usability improvements, including enhanced reported topics, and moderator notes among other things.Improvements to membergroup requests and approval.Permissions have been expanded with new permissions for member profiles, accounts etc.Built-in support for Gravatars.Users can select their timezones instead of manually selecting the time offsets.jQuery is now included by default with many functions now using it in core.Support for SQLite has been dropped.Internal improvements reducing memory consumption and improving overall speed.Lots and lots of other internal and external improvements!As we mentioned, this is just a brief summary. There are more changes that we have not mentioned here, so feel free to give it a test drive, yourself!Please remember that the minimum requirements of SMF have been increased to PHP 5.3.8+ and MySQL 5.0.3+ or PostgresSQL 8.0+.Servers running a lower version of either will not be able to run SMF 2.1 and we do not intend to support them. If you have a server running an older version, you can either upgrade your server software or stay at an older version of SMF. SMF 2.1 has also dropped support for IE6 and IE7 but will continue to work with IE8+ (although IE10+ is really recommended) and browsers having similar/fuller standards compliance (any modern version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera etc will be fine).The general installation and upgrading procedure remains the same, however, once you upgrade from an older version to 2.1 you cannot go back, so please take careful consideration before upgrading any live site.. Have a look at Installing and Upgrading SMF in the Online Manual to know more. You cannot upgrade to 2.1 Beta 1 via the package manager; instead you will need to do the "Large Upgrade" process. SMF 2.1 can be obtained from the Download section.Please note: Because this is the first beta release, translations and language strings other than English have not been finalized and may not be complete yet.Finally, as always, this topic is not for support; discussion and support for 2.1 can be found in the new 2.1 support board. Regards,Simple Machines Forum