Information About the Latest XMB Patch Cycle

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Patch #15, released on 28 December 2017, offers thirty-four new bug fixes for your XMB forum.

Since the first release of XMB 1.9.11 over eight years ago, hundreds of documented improvements and bug fixes have been added. Everyone should consider how to take advantage of these free updates.

Issues Specific to Patch 15

Translation Encoding

When XMB's older patches were released, it was safe to rely on HTML headers to transmit the correct character encoding, which is saved in the "charset" variable of your Translations panel.

Unfortunately, newer versions of PHP forced an HTTP header on to the XMB pages, and it specified UTF-8 as the character encoding. This was wrong, and totally incompatible with almost all of the XMB translation files. This had two important consequences:

  1. English forums likely saved some special characters, such as curly quotes, encoded in UTF-8.
  2. Translated forums were essentially incompatible with PHP unless the administrator changed the "charset" variable to UTF-8 or tried to patch XMB on their own.

Possible Changes Needed After Patch 15

When you patch up to version 1.9.11.15, your forum will override the bad PHP headers with the correct XMB headers and character encoding.

If you had previously taken some steps to change the "charset" variable to UTF-8 in your forum, this will not change or break in any way now.

If, instead, you kept the original files and ran on a newer version of PHP before patching XMB, or if you re-encoded the translation file, you might find some garbled threads in your forum after patching. But don't worry. There are two ways to work around this potential glitch now.

  1. When there are only a few special characters garbled, a manual search and replace by the moderators, or automated search and replace using SQL code can be employed quickly.
  2. Converting the XMB language translation to UTF-8 would also quickly restore the garbled posts.

English message boards can change the "charset" variable to UTF-8 if necessary because there are no special characters in the original translation file.

Non-English message boards have more complexity with the translation files. However, there is no major conversion needed with this patch. If the character encoding suddenly seems garbled after patch 15, then you likely just have the wrong value saved in the "charset" variable. Updating the "charset" item in your Translations panel, or by using a SQL tool to match your needs should resolve any new discrepancy.

Do you need to patch your forum?

Anyone running version 1.9.11 can copy the latest files to benefit from these patches. No upgrade steps are required.

Every copy of XMB 1.9.11 has the same version number. Patching simply means that your copy includes the latest bug fixes. So, whether you have the original release package, a copy from one year ago, or patch #13, the procedures are the same.

Updating your files

There are many strategies you can choose from that are listed below.

The easiest way to update your XMB 1.9.11 files is to download the latest full package and copy the new files over the old ones. Since the patched files still have the same version number they are completely compatible with your XMB database. On the other hand, it is common for XMB webmasters to customize their files, so one of the other strategies might be better for you.

If you originally installed the XMB-1.9.11.13.zip package, or if you are updating regularly and already updated with Patch #13, then you can use a patch file to automatically make changes to your files. This file is available in the list of patches in our forums.

Sometimes the easiest way to update files is to merge them. This means you could use a program like TortoiseMerge to compare your files against the new files and apply the changes without deleting your customizations.

If you really enjoy manually Patching Files, there is a full history of changes available in the XMB SVN repository. SVN can be used to generate patches for specific files or a range of changes that you want to use.

Updating your templates

This step is completely optional, but it is sometimes necessary to change the templates to fix problems in XMB. Updating your templates will give you the full benefit of Patch #15.

If your templates are not customized, then all you have to do is upload the file named templates.xmb to your forum directory. Then, in the XMB Administration Panel, click the Templates link, and then the Restore All button.

If you have custom templates, the best strategy is to merge or edit them all at once. To do that, simply use the Backup All button to download all of your templates in a single file. Then all you have to do is compare your current file to the file named templates.xmb that comes with the latest XMB package. When the files are merged and saved, you will have one file with all of your templates including customizations and patches. Then upload the file to your forum directory and click the Restore All button.

If you really enjoy editing your templates, you can of course go through them one by one in the Administration Panel and apply the changes from a patch file or SVN information.

Updating your database

This step is completely optional. As part of the previous Patch #11, there were two changes made to optimize performance in the database. You can find the instructions for safely updating your database in the patches forum.

Do you need to upgrade your forum?

The latest release of XMB 1.9.11 includes the best upgrade system ever offered, for webmasters running older versions of XMB.

From XMB 1.8, and XMB 1.9.1 through XMB 1.9.10

There is only one upgrade that you have to do now. In the past this wasn't possible, but now you can upgrade directly from any version as old as XMB 1.8 in a single procedure. So if you've fallen a few versions behind, that's okay. We still want you to upgrade!

From XMB 1.6 and older forums

At this time, it will still be necessary to follow the instructions provided with the older versions on how to get upgraded to XMB 1.8. After that, you can then go directly to XMB 1.9.11.

And the hacks...

We now have a library of over 70 different hacks (XMB modifications) that are compatible with version 1.9.11. This includes the famous XMB Portal System and the Shop hack. More hacks are being added and upgraded all the time. For example, changes were included with Patch #12 that will allow for better integration of the Avatar Upload hack.

Please bring any questions or comments about XMB updates to our forums.