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1.1 feature poll

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 43 total)
  • Only 7% for Facebook Connect ??? o_O’


    fundomaat
    Member

    @fundomaat

    I voted for the wyiswyg editor.

    You can only vote for one thing :/ (Facebook was my second if I coulda)


    fundomaat
    Member

    @fundomaat

    What was your first?

    I don’t think there should be a focus on things that can be already achieved by plugins.

    Facebook Connect – There is no plugins

    WYSYWYG / rich editing – There is a tinymce but I think _CK_ said it was far from being tiny (file size wise)

    Anonymous posting – There is a plugin

    Email notification – There is a plugin

    Keyboard navigation – There is a no plugin, I believe

    Embed support, like videos – There is a plugin but it doesn’t work for me.

    Importers from other systems – There is a no plugin

    Private messaging – There is a plugin

    Integration with WordPress – There is a way to do it, not so easy.

    Attachments – There is a plugin

    Indeed, the poll is a joke, they already have decided to work on WordPress integration OR Matt didn’t do his homework and check if any plugin existed first and just copied the results into a poll.

    I guess people are too lazy to check if there is a plugin or don’t understand the way bbPress is set up: as small and less feature rich as possible, giving you the option to customize it anyway you like (through plugins etc)…. Would be a shame if that idea disappeared…

    Just because there’s a plugin for something doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better integrated into core, in fact almost every feature in WordPress existed as a plugin first, the most recent example being the update system.


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    If I had to rank them:

    1) WYSYWYG / rich editing (tie!)

    1) Facebook Connect (tie!)

    3) Integration with WordPress (that login cookie thing really needs to be fixed)

    The rest: interesting but the above 3=LOVE

    4) Anonymous posting

    5) Private messaging

    6) Embed support, like videos

    7) Email notification

    8) Keyboard navigation

    OMG, it would be awesome if ‘FB Connect’ was introduced into 1.1. This would mean it would only be a matter of time before ‘IntenseDebate Connect’! WOO HOO!

    @ Olympus: I bet FB connect was a second or third choice for many folks


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    @ Matt: was just going to write the same exact thing. What’s the harm with including more popular features (like FB connect or TinyMCE) that can easily be turned on and off?

    PLEASE make the integration of bbPress into WP just as simple as WP Forum / Forum Server – for these plugins all you have to do to integrate the forum is to make a blank page and insert a HTML code like [VastHTML].

    I’m still running Forum Server only because I can’t integrate bbPress the way I’d like to, but I’d really love to switch because of it’s far superior forum possibilities (and it looks like the WP Forum / Forum Server development has been discontinued, so their bugs will probably never be solved).

    Oh, another important thing for the wishlist: make it possible to import the WP Forum / Forum Server database.


    buddha trance
    Member

    @buddha-trance

    I voted for anonymous posting. Offering both registered and non-registered options to interact in the forum seems a logical addition to the core platform.

    WP integration should be a given (better cookies and clear instructions), and my other option for the sake of new users.

    I voted for integration because, damn it, it COULD be so much easier and looking at all those posts about how it doesn’t work, and all the different solutions.

    After that it would be Facebook (which I want for WP in general – Never got it working right…) and that’s it. The rest I don’t have much of an opinion on.


    fundomaat
    Member

    @fundomaat

    I know that FB connect works very good in WPMU (used it myself) so it should be able to be ported to “normal” wp.

    You need to recognize that there are distinct groups of people with different answers. For example:

    Plugin Programmers: Lack of stability of core behavior and data structure over the last year-or-so has become a real grind. A lot of 0.9 code partly stopped working in 1.0 – “partly” being particularly annoying, because those issues are harder to spot. For the rest of us, that grind means that plugins cannot be relied upon: There’s a risk of being unable to upgrade because a key plugin won’t work anymore. While you can argue “that’s inevitable”, if important features rely on plugins, a lot more care needs to be taken to ensure those plugins don’t break.

    Server Administrators: One look at this forum tells you all you need to know. WordPress’s installation is accessible to people that know almost nothing about teh internet. In contrast, BBPress integration sucks: Manual, generally bewildering, and prone to unexplained failures. Worth adding here that there is a valid “no bloat please” option: BBPress is currently attractive precisely because it can deal with massive amounts of traffic. Not everyone wants to re-create the internet in one piece of software.

    End Users: Joanna Average forum reader doesn’t care about any of that, and is probably keener on things like WYSYWYG, email, etc.

    Obviously these groups influence one another, but it seems likely that this poll will be swamped by the desires of the Administrator group. Now, if nobody ever installs BBPress, nobody will get to use it or write plugins for it – so there’s no harm keeping the administrators happy. But don’t forget the other groups – they’re also important!


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    @ timskii, great observations. re: “There’s a risk of being unable to upgrade because a key plugin won’t work anymore” and “Joanna Average forum reader doesn’t care about any of that, and is probably keener on things like WYSYWYG, email, etc”:

    This is exactly why some of the more widespread plugins and features should be incorporated into the core as optional features one can turn on or off. It seems silly to force someone to download a plugin and mess with the template to do basic bulletin board admin tasks like display how many times a topic has been viewed, throw an icon next to each forum topic, allow rich text for those posting.

    My only major complaint after a year of bbPress use is the lack of features/polish that exist in vBulletin. Simply put, its just too bare after initial install. I know this will be extremely unpopular to many of you, but over the past couple years there have been many great plugins developed, like private messaging, TinyMCE/rich text, topic views, Allow Images, Smilies, User Directory, Members Online, Related Topics, Reputation, Top Posters, Terms of Service, and some of these features should really be incorporated into the Core as OPTIONS that can be turned and off. So should stuff like the ability to set default topic icons, human test for signups (@$%@%$ spam users), widgets for the sidebar, ability to delete topics, Post Rating, etc. I’m not saying every single feature out there should be incorporated, but what is the hangup with more stuff that can be optionally turned on or off in the admin? If its in the Core, its not going to break when a new version comes out, and additional plugins can be developed to customize those features even more!

    Right now bbPress is VERY bare after initial install so multiple plugins are required to snazz it up…and you can’t even edit the css or template from inside the bbpress admin. And yes there are plugins for everything but the kitchen sink, but some of the older plugins don’t work in newer versions of bbPress! Not sure how many of use also use IntenseDebate, but bbPress software’s core admin should consider have some of the same stuff which can easily be turned on or off, like voting, reputation, smilies (http://intensedebate.com/features or http://intensedebate.com/plugins)

    How cool would it be for a brand new bbPress install to optionally display which users are online, how many views a topic has, or topic icons right out of the box with no fiddling with the css or template files/additional plugin installs? I’m not saying a Nintendo emulator or Weatherbug display should be built in, but if bbPress remains so barebone, it won’t fill the free-easy-to-install easy-to-use vBulletin alternative niche (it should).


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    OK, i may be a little off the reservation here, but for me the One feature that BBpress has seriously lacked has been… The ability to complete simple/standard Administration tasks form the Backend.

    Heck, some of them cant even be done at all…

    Why is it that we’ve not been able to move a post from one Topic to another for 2 years (since 0.7′s plugin stopped working for 0.9a)? That seems a fundamental to me.

    Why is it that we cant move/edit/delete/administer topics (and/or posts) from the Backend?

    Matt, i realise that you’re trying to get to grips with a community that’s been downtrodden for the last year, and you’re re-galvanising what’s left, and that’s all very cool. But may i strongly, and humbly suggest, that BBpress to made to work as a forum and then we go about adding things?

    I know that could sound a little condescending, but 0.9 had loads of plugins (they were horribly organised but they existed), and infact development of plugins and functionality for BBpress only started to slow down once the 1.0.3a debacle kicked off. Without getting all historical out of the 10 features you’ve asked us to vote for on the Poll, 8 of them existed and were working in a stable plugin for 0.9.

    The realism is, BBpress has been a moving target for way too long and while its really great that you’re stepping in (and it is – thank you) there were 9 months of sheer Project Management craziness that have scared alot of Plugin Developers away.

    Please, before you go adding any crazy “the public have spoken and they want …” features, how about getting a Project Plan, a Trac with actual data (and not a Trac that’s 4-5 months out of date as you’re trying to release software you’ve decided not to beta test, even though the last alpha had a huge number of bugs), and give us a platform to once again build upon.

    Many Thanks,

    Kevinjohn

    ex- http://www.bbprogress.com


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    @timskii

    “Joanna Average forum reader doesn’t care about any of that, and is probably keener on things like WYSYWYG, email, etc.”

    This is a really excellent point, but you have to realise that “Joanna Average” doesn’t hang around on these forums, and so any suggestions of what the ‘average’ user wants – especially in terms of interactive functionality – is generally the poster projecting their own wishes.

    There is also this great myth that the ‘average user’ is a tech savvy person, running JavaScript on a fast machine, who greatly enjoys a every feature out there. If you look at the trend of the internet over the past 15 years, almost all types of interactivity on the client-side or ‘feature requests’ become popular and then get phased to a small percentage real quickly.

    @grassrootspa

    “…private messaging, TinyMCE/rich text, topic views, Allow Images, Smilies, User Directory, Members Online, Related Topics, Reputation, Top Posters…”

    The issue i have here mate, is that very few of these are essential to the running of a forum.

    I use, and one or two other do two, something called E-mail as a private messaging system. My website, bless it – almost 14 years old now – has something called a Contact Form. I’m not sure that forums absolutely *need* another way of contacting people to function.

    I don’t want to debunk your list, but given what you and timskii have said that we should redefine the categories we’re placing things into:

    1) Features that are essential to administer a forum.

    2) Features that are essential for users to use a forum.

    3) Features that you’d like to see available to your forum.

    4) Features that could be kind of cool.

    5) Features that are useless.

    BBpress development should, in my opinion, focus on Section 1 and then Section 2. Once we have a working stable and maintained version of BBpress, plugin developers will start to work on Sections 3 and 4. We know this because that’s how WordPress works, and its how BBpress was working about a year-18 months ago with version 0.9.

    My issue is, while everyone’s opinion would vary, i don’t see many of the features you think should be included as standard being in Section 1 or 2. I understand that they may be features you want in t a forum as standard, or features that you think your users want as standard – and that’s totally cool – but lets focus on the features that both we (admins) and the users need as a minimum to use our forums effectively.

    Just my two cents.


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    D’oh,

    I hate when I reply to myself, but whenever people bring up Facebook Connect i try and remind them of how new Facebook is and how quickly social networking websites go from popular to past-tense (anyone trying to useMySpace connect???).

    Facebook while monumentally huge, isn’t popular everywhere in the world, infact it’s popularity is very localised.

    http://venturebeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/world-map-social-networks.jpg

    http://www.hardknoxlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/facebook-heat-map.jpg

    http://buzzcanuck.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c555153ef00e555100cc48834-500wi

    Facebook is also popular with a certain demographic, a demographic that’s shown itself time and time again to be far more adaptable to registering/confirming/managing different user accounts that people of an older demographic. While Facebook Connect (like OpenID) is a great thing, its a feature that will mostly be used by people who would have signed up to comment anyway.

    http://www.insidefacebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/20090201fbdemopie.png

    http://www.insidefacebook.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/12-17-09-facebook-race-pic3.jpg

    http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/02/02/fastest-growing-demographic-on-facebook-women-over-55/

    http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

    Focussing on something like Facebook Connect, which may be good for the latest forum you’re working on or the demographic you’re currently aiming towards, takes development time away from features that would be useful for every forum you deploy.

    P.S. That’s not to say i wouldn’t like Facebook Connect or OpenId sign-in; its just that i’d rather be able to fully administer my forum first before we spent time on some proprietary software which may either change or become unpopular as time goes on.


    grassrootspa
    Member

    @grassrootspa

    @ kevinjohngallagher:

    One doesn’t need bbpress to display Voices, but it’s built into the core.

    One doesn’t need bbpress to give every registered user a profile pic or gravatar, but it’s built into the core.

    One doesn’t need bbpress to display Tags, but it’s built into the core.

    One doesn’t need bbpress to allow users to ‘favorite’ posts, but it’s built into the core.

    One doesn’t need bbpress to display a user’s recent activisty, but it’s built into the core.

    One doesn’t need bbpress to display a user’s location, occupation, and interests, but it’s built into the core.

    We could go on, and on, and on. One could make the argument that those features above (as well as others) could easily just be offered as plugins (no one REALLY needs to use them) but they are there to make the software more robust, fun, and useful! Think about each one and how things like Tags, favorites, gravatars, profile pics could simply be kept as plugins. Thank God those features were incorporated into the core.

    Yes, bbPress could be the most barebone of all barebone bulletin board programs, with multiple plugins required to do anything more than throwing up a forum post, but for this software to become what WordPress is to blogging/CMS software it needs to offer a more robust list of core features that can be refined and further fleshed out with future plugins.

    Again, I’m not saying you NEED to have TinyMCE turned on, use bbPress widgets, show how many times a topic has been viewed, display how many users are online, or use (new) default topic icons, but build this stuff into the core so folks can optionally use it, develop plugins to flesh those features out (imagine plugins/themes built around customizing various icon sets), and this stuff can grow with bbPress.

    bbPress is like 1.93 MB is size. Plugins like mini-stats are 37.9 KB. You guys are killing me, like incorporating stuff like some of the more popular plugins is going to make bbPress too bulky and bloated to use? Someone isn’t going to go, OMG, bbPress is 2.20 MB in size, its just to bloated to download and install on my server and it offers too many optional features! Come on guys, this is getting silly. Let’s make bbPress more robust in features so it blows vBulletin out of the water.


    johnhiler
    Member

    @johnhiler

    @grassrootsspa – The size of the code isn’t necessarily the key factor in bloat. A tiny but poorly coded feature or plugin can put an immense load on the server! I think for most personal sites this isn’t a big factor, but scaling is a huge factor for some sites and I greatly appreciate having the choice to keep features out of my core engine.

    In any case, history is on your side… Matt tends to move features from the plugin into the core (or just add them straight to the core). Sam was moving in that direction too – Voices went straight into the core without any discussion or debate, even though it could easily have been implemented as a plugin:

    http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/topic-voices/

    Overall what bbPress needs right now is not new features or a new release. It needs documentation of what we have, and a focus on building a developer/designer community. A themes directory would go a long way towards that. So would sprucing up the Extend/plugins tab not to be using the 0.8.x version of bbPress… which isn’t even signin integrated! And Stats have been “coming soon” for several years now:

    http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/bb-cumulus/stats/

    Implementing this stuff (along with a site redesign) would also give the Automattic leadership time to get to know the bbPress community better, before any hasty design decisions are made.


    kevinjohngallagher
    Member

    @kevinjohngallagher

    Wow, for some reason half of my post doesnt’ appear until i’m logged in. That can’t be good…

    @grassrootsspa

    Bloat of the code isn’t the Physical Size mate, its how well written the code is, how processor intensive it is, and how many Database queries it needs etc etc.

    v1.0.2 with 0 plugins is about 150% more processor intensive than v0.9 with all my plugins running. On small sites it makes very little difference, on large sites it makes a heck of a difference.

    The two websites i’ve upgraded to v1.0.2, simply did to having to upgrade WP on them, are far more processor intensive than all my other sites. Faaaar more. _CK_ had some really good stats on this before she left, which we now dont have access to, so i apologise for my annacdotal evidence.

    My point was, not to nit-pick over your statement or get into a discussion about which specific features YOU and I want in the core (because that would vary from everyone else here), but merely to come to some form of concensus about how we should talk about what we all think BBpress needs.

    I say this because, since BBprogress closed and i’ve tried to be more involved with the BBpress site again, i notice that people mix up Feature requests quite a bit. If i can again take your post:

    “…private messaging, TinyMCE/rich text, topic views, Allow Images, Smilies, User Directory, Members Online, Related Topics, Reputation, Top Posters…”

    Topic Views is a great example of something that is pretty bog standard in terms of user’s experience of forum software. X thread was viewed Y times and replied to Z times. Without adding much/any bloat to the forum software, you’re adding a feature any user from ages 1 to 100 could use without requiring interactivity.

    Private messaging, Reputations, Rich Text Editors etc all work on the presumption that the average/most users want that. Experience tells us otherwise.

    “Let’s make bbPress more robust in features so it blows vBulletin out of the water”.

    I’m not sure why anyone else came to BBpress, so i dont want to presume. But there seems to be 2 camps, those that wanted totally customizable well written code with hooks in a way we were used to and those that came to BBpress because WP is awesome and easy to configure/download themes for and they wanted to create something as good as vBulletin but easier to control.

    I’m quietly confident people in camp 1 are not fussed in the slightest about blowing “vBulletin out of the water”, because if it did, then i’d just have something along the same lines as vBulletin. Not wanting that is the reason i joine dup here in the first place, again thats just me.

    People in camp 2, have a tendancy to want core Features to be things (while useful) that aren’t neccessary for forum software to fulfill its duty in the most efficient manner.

    There’s nothing wrong with either opinion, but taking the fight to other forum software via cool features that on the whole are rarely used by the end user, is not in anyway the focus of BBpress.

    @johnhiler

    It is good to see an old voice :)

    You’re ofc right about fixing this website (in the first instance to remove all the wrong information), and the plugin section, but i’m going to say that documentation on functions is not something i’m too fussed about right now.

    I think you’re right that, even with Matt taking over BBpress, we wont have a new release anytime soon, and as such this is BBpress’ most stable time in years to design theme’s and plugins. And yet, thats not happening.

    With Sam’s moving on, and then then _ck_’s moving on, the project appeared (emphasis on appeared) to be shelved or forgotten about. Development has slowed to a crawl, and many sites that use BBpress are still choosing to use 0.9 (I know that both you and I are for the most part).

    The realism is that 1.0.2 wasn’t seen to be a full on stable release by many, rather a rushed stop gap. This wasn’t helped at the time by _ck_’s negative comments about it (which i agreed with both at the time and now). It was largely rewritten between the 2nd and 3rd alpha, and beta testing was scrapped before it was released to us. 2 small bug fix released 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 and c.15 days later the main/only developer leaves town without saying anything. *tumbleweed*

    Whatever Matt and the team do, it’ll need some serious project management, and some serious PR to get people beliving in the project again. Looks to me like he’s started both, which is wonderful, but i still doubt that many people will be up for documenting a version of BBpress that is likely to be replaced realtively soon – especially given how few plugin or theme developers there are for BBpress, and the sheer drop in numbers in comparison to how many there were a year ago.

    Good night all and take care.


    Elias
    Member

    @goebelmasse

    The one thing I love on bbPress

    The one thing I love on bbPress is: It is simple and fast. “Simple” means, its functionality is easy to understand and to use for a less experienced internet user and there are no features distracting from the one core thing in a forum, from that funny discussion thing. And “Fast” means, that the bbPress core is even faster than the rather minimalist PunBB on the virtual server I use bbPress on. These are the two “features” of bbPress I really want to see in the future.

    The things I hate on WordPress

    Following the current discussion reminds me on my own experience with the great WordPress blog software. I am a WordPress user since WP 1.5.x, and WP 1.5.x was the software making me a blogger. It was easy to use, had a clean and simple user interface for the blogger, could be extended easily and replaces my simple home-written system after one week of testing and comparing to s9y.

    Now, I do hate my long ago decision for WP sometimes. The current WP version 2.8.x is bloated, slow and without a good caching plugin not well-suited for a blog with readers.

    As an example, there is a tiny german blog filled by me and less frequent some other people. It is called “Blah”, and most of its postings are simply links to other internet resources, mostly political, conspirational and funny ones. Did I mention that the blog is called “Blah”? ;-) It is not really a “successful” one, in the last six months there were approximately 2,000 visits per day, that’s not much. The “average visitor” requests five postings, and only one percent of them ever leaves a comment. The blog’s database contains 4,300 posts at the moment, that’s not much too. If I deactivate the WP Super Cache plugin, the server fails to handle that little load, the response time of the tiny blog grow to 30 to 50 seconds, the apache processes accumulates and finally the server runs out of virtual memory, giving visitors that funny “Out of memory” PHP error messages or a plain white page.

    This is a situation totally unwanted for a bulletin board, which is a highly dynamic kind of website that can not be cached as easy as the less frequent views of a blog.

    From bbPress 0.9.x to 1.0.x, the number of database queries to view the same page has nearly doubled, and the execution time has grown by approximately 60 percent on the same server. From the user point’s of view, it was exactly the same page, and bbPress is at the moment still performant enough to be better than any other bulletin board software. But from my point of view it remembers me to the things I experienced again and again with many new WordPress versions in the past, reaching the current point of a blog, which isn’t made to have more than a handful of readers. But for a WP blog, I can work around with WP Super Cache, for forums this approach is nearly impossible.

    Some words about readers

    I’m looking at the statistics generated from the apache logfiles of the Blah-blog for the last six months. It is a blog in german language, and of course most readers are living in Germany, less in Austria or Suisse, some in the Netherlands, Danmark, Belgium, Poland, Russia or Hungary too. These are not readers from the so called “third world”. (There is only one world, and we all have to share it!) In the last six months, 19 percent of the Blah-blog readers used an old dial-up modem connection to access it. (Identified by the rather speaking hostnames given in germany for that kind of connection I can identify, there may be some more readers with a low-bandwidth connection.) For this fifth part of my readers (which may be a representative value for other websites in germany too, but most people seems not interested in this kind of information), every use of large JavaScript magic which has to be loaded via a low-bandwidth connection gives an impression of slowness, and this is something I do not want to give them. That’s a reason for the rather minimalistic design of this blog.

    Let me compare that 19 percent to another statistical number for the Blah-blog. 12 percent of all readers uses that fu… fine Internet Explorer 6.0 for surfing. (Identified by the user-agent string, which may be faked in rare cases.) The IE 6 is an old and ugly browser with many problems and a CSS box model interpretation giving a good headache to designers, and there are much better browsers out for free. But in many cases it is unwanted to exclude that 12 percent of website users or to give them a totally trashed design experience. It is also amazing, how many people are still using Windows 98 or ME or even Windows NT 4.0. I assume these people use rather old computers, still working for their personal requirements, so they don’t want to throw them to waste. Yes, there are people out there, which are poor and simply cannot spend a few hundred euros for new hardware every few years — me too. These are people I don’t want to exclude from any website I maintain, and especially I don’t want to exclude these from pages about political or cultural subjects. Every kind of bloat is wrong in my point of view.

    (I use bbPress for a small forum on an uncommercial artists’ webpage, and it is great for that. This usage is my reason why I’m maintaining an inofficial german translation of bbPress, there is simply no language file for German at the moment, and not to share this work is stupid.)

    Some words about the dashboard

    The current bbPress dashboard is fine, it is aesthetical appealing, easy to use (compared to other bulletin boards’ backends) and fast even via a low-bandwidth connection and on a not up-to-date computer. It can be used with all browsers, and it makes all administrative tasks easy. The current WordPress dashboard sucks. It is unuseable slow with the Opera browser, and even with other browsers needs an enourmeous transfer of data and an long initialization time before one can do that simple thing which is blogging: writing a new post. If someone uses an older computer (older than five years), it is unuseable with any browser, and it is unbelievable frustrating to use via a dialup connection. And no, that “Google Gears” stuff does not help.) The huge amount of features are overwhelming for an unexperienced user, and for the little artists’ site (with eight authors) I still have to help some people for every post they want to blog. Since I had to upgrade that site to WP 2.8.x (it used 2.0.x and 2.3.x for a long time), the other authors hate me. Some of them are poor people. I recommend the usage of BlogDesk for them, but sometimes there are tasks which cannot be done with BlogDesk, as deleting an unwanted idiot’s comment or declaring a post as sticky (to announce an action, happening, exhibition, sound vernissage, reading, party, etc.). Since WP 2.8.x, the posting frequency of some co-authors is reduced to zero, and if I had the possibility for it, I would create my own WordPress fork (a DietPress for people who wants blogging without bloat).

    And this is the way bbPress should avoid, in my opinion.

    The bbPress of the future I want

    bbPress is great! The bbPress core is good, and the features in an out-of-the-box installation are enough in many cases. But of course, there are things that could be improved, and there are many features often missed by people who wants a bulletin board. The probaly most wanted features are (list may be incomplete)

    • eMail notification for new posts
    • A kind of bbCode, which meets better the standard people expect in a BB software
    • An improved editor, helping the user to do the wanted markup (may be bloaty magic WYSIWYG, but even eight buttons with a little JavaScript are better than nothing for the inexperienced user)
    • An internal system of personal messaging (I hate it, but others love it)
    • Attachment of files to a post
    • Perhaps an avatar system independent from Gravatar
    • An easy to extend user profile with additional informations
    • A “who is online now” display
    • Counters how often a post has been read
    • A “terms of usage” statement which is required to be accepted by newly registered users
    • An extended search with criteria as forum, tag, date range, username. (The existing search is better than the WordPress search, but I can still be improved. In a support forum with ten thousands of topics, it would be good to have the accumulated information more “findable”.)
    • An interactive (and plugin-extensible and i18nable) help system for all core bbPress features, explaining the bbPress usage to inexperienced users and the concepts they cannot understand directly, especially tags. This is something I haven’t seen in any other BB software, but it is something really needed. It may even contain some words about netiquette…
    • Perhaps a “widget system” similar to WP as a simple way to modify the order of appearance of the displayed entities without editing in themes

    And of course, bbPress must remain performant, non-bloated and easy to integrate with WordPress. That’s a lot…

    Many of these frequently requested features are not a good “standard” functionablity.

    • The eMail notification is fine for spammers too. I am registered in some boards with this “feature”, and from time to time someone registers, writes spammy posts to various topics and the BB software dutifully and reliable sends that spam to a lot of users, before a moderator can do something. That’s why I am deactivating it always — one day, I received more than 100 mails “from my favorite forum”… aaargh!
    • An over-improved editor slows down the forum for people with old hardware and makes the forum unusable for blind people with their strange solutions for surfing. (Yes, some of my “readers” are blind.)
    • Personal massaging is a poor reinvention of good old internet eMail that sucks. For someone active on various boards, he has to check it messages in many places, which is ugly.
    • An extended user profile is exactly the thing spammers want. The links in approximately 5 percent of my eMail spam are going to user profiles in bulletin boards, which are misused in many ways.
    • Every upload possibility to the server can be a security problem, can be used by spammers to put spammy graphics in the internet or can consume execessive hard disc space on the server if heavily used.

    But of course these features are wanted in many cases.

    We should have a bbPress slogan for all future development. My suggestion is: Let’s make simple things easy, and let’s make complex things possible.

    Learning from that part of WordPress which sucks means: Doing it better in bbPress. The core system should kept as a small one, perhaps a little smaller than the actual core. (The current user profile is sometimes unwanted.) And all additional features should be implemented in plugins, that a forum administrator can activate and configure as needed.

    Core Plugins

    But plugins are a huge problem too. Using a plugin indenpendent from the core system means: Making the update of bbPress to a new version sometimes to a migraine upgrade, whenever the needed plugins do not work with the newer version. Sometimes, I have this problem with one of my sites based on WordPress. And if the plugin’s functionality does require editing in the themes, it excludes less-experienced forum-administrators with a lack of PHP knowledge from using the plugins, which is not exactly the way to make complex things possible.

    So there should be a set of plugins which are part of the bbPress release, which are developed together with the core system, let’s call them “core plugins”. It is not required to activate them to have a simple and basic bulletin board, but if someone do so, he will never have problems with upgrades. The “core plugins” are guaranteed to be delivered and to work with every release version and every security fix ever released. We have this kind of “core plugins” already, bozo users and Akismet. But it is a concept to be extended. A better post editor, a “terms of usage” page, a PM system, an internal avatar system, attachments to posts and all the administrative stuff around these features are good candidates for “core plugins”. If someone does not need them, he does not activated them. But if someone activates them and only them, this will never make the next bbPress release to a upgrade hell.

    There may be bbPress-tags which are implemented empty if a core plugin isn’t activated, to make it easy to program the default theme and any other theme independent from the activated set of “core plugins” and without that sucking lines of if (function_exists ('bb_great_feature')) bb_great_feature ();. This kind of interface can be defined long before the “core plugins” are stable, and it can be documented for theme developers to allow them making their themes future-proof. (Oh yes, we need some good themes, the default one is fine, but some people want a richer selection.)

    The bbPress features eighty percent of people want can be implemented in “core plugins”. Simple things will be easy. And if someone wants a small bbPress, that’s easier, he simply does not need to activate any “core plugin”. And there is still a plugin interface which makes complex things possible — sometimes a little editing in themes is required, but most people never needs to do so.

    That’s the way bbPress should go, in my opinion.

    (It may be a way for the future of WordPress too. But that’s not the topic here, and the WP developers do their work for a huge community of users and simply cannot change earlier decisions easily.)

    And excuse my english. My poetic german is much better… and shorter.

    I had this longer post and a computer crash but … this stands out as something I’ve advocated for years with … everything.

    I don’t want to debunk your list, but given what you and timskii have said that we should redefine the categories we’re placing things into:

    1) Features that are essential to administer a forum.

    2) Features that are essential for users to use a forum.

    3) Features that you’d like to see available to your forum.

    4) Features that could be kind of cool.

    5) Features that are useless.

    IMO, features should also be added in that order, since if you can’t admin a forum, it doesn’t matter bugger all if people like to use it.


    chrishajer
    Participant

    @chrishajer

    > It needs documentation of what we have

    Ditto that. The first IRC meetup focused on getting people on the “documentation team”, so Matt obviously saw the need.

    Briefly on the bloat comments:

    Forums are different from ‘blogs, and these differences need to be considered in the design:

    • Users tend to interact more with forum pages – more page views, less use of remote feeds.
    • Advertisers dislike forums – they’re much harder to fund using advertising.

    So a “processor-intensive” forum can become a technical headache once you start seeing tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of users each day.

    I’m in favour of features – BBPress clearly needs more to compete with mainstream expectations. The problem is specifically with features that are not optional – features that cannot be removed.

    The logical approach is to include “standard” plugins in the distribution, which can be turned off as required. But that might still be problematic, if the most basic forum has to haul in the whole of WordPress before it does anything…

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