Alternative framing of plugin versus standalone discussion
I can see strong arguments for both a wp plugin and a standalone forum.
Also, the reality is that both will exist in the future. The WP team is very passionate about “bbPress as plugin” and at the same time some existing large installations will see to the continuation of standalone version in some format.
So it might be good to frame this decision differently than plugin versus standalone… The real question is: to what extent do we want the plugin and standalone versions of the bbPress code base to evolve independently versus in a coordinated way?
Simplistically, the two options are:
1. coupled roadmap with coordinated releases or periodic rev/fwd integrations
2. independent roadmaps that diverge over time (the current plan of record)
Both options (coupled roadmap and independent roadmap) can work, but it would be better for this decision to be the result of thoughtful discussion.
To kick things off, here are some pros of a coupled roadmap:
- Higher quality for standalone (benefitting from the larger installed base of the plugin)
- Better performance for the plugin (benefitting from the big standalone sites)
- More tight WP integration is likely
And some pros of independent evolution of the plugin and standalone versions
- More flexibility in release roadmap for both versions
- No compromises for either version
Another more subtle effect to consider is the impact on dev resources invested in the code base. For example, I think that there are currently a lot of “silent” but significant resources being invested in standalone bbPress development. It would be great to pull more of that work into the official project, but I fear that opportunity will go away once the move is made to “bbPress as plugin”.
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