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Time for another current progress update on what I'm working on. This time it's a new major release for CB Activity. Lots of great new features with a heavy focus on performance improvements! Check out the details below.

The next release of CB Activity is 5.0.0. With it comes Themes. Themes allow adding a customized CSS and/or Image based background to a users post allowing further expression. See it in action below!

A few defaults will be included, but you'll be able to add as many Themes as you like for your users. You can make them CSS only, image only, or combine image and CSS. Next is a nice usability improvement for emotes. It has always been frustrating for users being expected to know the emote shortcodes, but that will no longer be the case. Now a new emote button can be found at the bottom right of the active text input when making a post. This will let your users quickly and easily insert an emote. Take a look below.

Now we're going to dive into changes more on the code side of things. First things first is sometimes CB Activity can be slow. This is mostly due to poorly optimized queries. I'm going through and padding every CB Activity database table that stores user behavior (e.g. activity, comments, likes, follows) with at minimum 1 MILLION database rows. I'm then optimizing all the queries to be lightning fast when accessing such a massive dataset. What this means is your site will be able to safely grow while still being nice and fast. These optimizations have already been made in part and released as build releases, but even more optimization is coming!

Some other great features planned at things like finally rewriting the template files to be simple to understand HTML like what you may have seen in a few other plugins. A lot of the PHP will be moved out of the template files making it even easier to override and customize CB Activity. The biggest benefit of this is you'll be able to use a different template PER STREAM. The possibilities could be endless!

There are also plans to implement support for Reactions. These are basically animated GIFs that can be inserted into a post. They'll behave similar to Emotes and will have a button next to the new Emotes button shown above. The plan is to use 3rd party giphy service for this since it would be too heavy to maintain such a large library of GIFs and because it'll use a 3rd party service it will be disabled by default.

There's a lot more little fixes and minor adjustments coming to better improve the usability and performance of CB Activity. You can find out what all is coming and current progress on our forge below.

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