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Alternative framing of plugin versus standalone discussion


  • Greg
    Participant

    @rebootnow

    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”.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Just for the record, as someone who runs several large bbPress installs with millions of posts between them, I am supremely interested in the performance aspects and confident we can make the plugin scale better than bbPress does today or did in the 0.7-0.9 line.


    Greg
    Participant

    @rebootnow

    Matt, absolutely. Point taken. All I am pointing out is that the involvement of large standalone sites will provide *additional* impetus for performance/scaling.

    And to get the thread back to the original question, I am interested in a discussion on the relative merits of evolving bbStandalone and bbPlugin independently versus in a coordinated fashion, not the relative merits of bbStandalone versus bbPlugin.

    My realization this morning was that these two paths already exist (you gave guidance on when to fork in another thread and someone recently pointed out that 0.9 is effectively already the standalone fork.)

    So given that the two paths exist, I think it is useful to discuss the extent to which they should be independent of each other.


    johnhiler
    Member

    @johnhiler

    “I am supremely interested in the performance aspects and confident we can make the plugin scale better than bbPress does today or did in the 0.7-0.9 line.”

    I would be really amazed if this came to pass! WordPress leaves quite a footprint, so adding plugins to the mix would seem to increase that even more?

    That said, I’m definitely excited to see how you increase performance and scalability!


    Ashfame
    Participant

    @ashfame

    I doubt if performance of bbPress as a plugin can ever proved to be better than a standalone version of 0.7-0.9

    Any comments on the scalability of 0.7-0.9 branch?


    _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    WordPress today cannot run a live site without caching.

    You’ll get kicked off any shared hosting in a heartbeat.

    This is a HUGE regression because there are times when a page cannot be cached. I was looking at mashable the other day – it uses over ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY queries per page. It would be slaughtered without a super dooper amount of caching.

    But bbPress 0.9 is fully capable of taking loads without any caching at all. I know of a few large sites that use it without any caching, it just doesn’t need it if properly configured until you get to slashdot level loads.

    So in what fantasy world does anyone believe that adding the load of bbPress as a plugin to WordPress’s existing burden will ever make it faster than 0.9 ?

    WP 3.0 already requires the increase of PHP’s default memory allocation per instance (over 32M in some cases). bbPress 0.9 runs in less than 1M (with a whole bunch of plugins at that).

    If being more attractive to the WP masses was important, what should have been done is a project to make standalone bbPress’s integration with WP easier. Perhaps mimic WP’s template actions, etc. so WP templates could be used with less modification.

    But like backPress, I’m afraid it’s probably too late.

    I’m not saying this to be mean Matt, but the reality is Automattic is becoming a one-hit-wonder with everything being folded back into WordPress.

    (and if a bbPress as plugin with WordPress backend goes down for any reason, failed upgrade, security hit, etc. now so will your forum)


    Greg
    Participant

    @rebootnow

    Hmmm. Seems that even the mod is hijacking threads on bbpress.org these days… :)

    Feel free to start a different thread to talk about the specific performance aspects of bbPlugin versus bbStandalone.

    One more attempt to focus this thread on the original question: I am interested in a discussion on the relative merits of evolving bbStandalone and bbPlugin independently versus in a coordinated fashion, NOT the relative merits of bbStandalone versus bbPlugin.

    Repeating the advantages of both, with one additional pro that I thought of for the coupled roadmap.

    Advantages 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 for standalone

    – Easier “cross-grades” between plugin and standalone version

    Advantages of independent evolution of the plugin and standalone versions

    – More flexibility in release roadmap for both versions

    – No compromises for either version


    _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    Sorry I thought you were asking about any potential advantages/disadvantages of a wordpress plugin vs standalone forums.

    Actually the three messages before me all mentioned performance too?

    But am I missing something or isn’t bbPress standalone dead with 1.1 ?

    Your questions is well stated and laid out, but isn’t the point moot?

    Or is this just hypothetical?


    Greg
    Participant

    @rebootnow

    My underlying assumption is that 0.9 or another fork will keep standalone alive.

    We can acknowledge this reality and discuss its relationship with bbPress-as-plugin, or we can continue the (now pointless I believe) argument of standalone versus plugin.

    Personally, I think there are valid arguments for both coupled and independent roadmaps. I’d like to know what other people think.

    I think bbPress standalone is dead in 2010.

    Matt Mullenweg: Non-plugin bbPress development is going to continue until we have a perfect importer so people will be able to bring their content out of the legacy codebase.

    bbPress 1.1 may be here.


    Greg
    Participant

    @rebootnow

    Nope, many sites will continue to use and advance bbPress standalone. Matt might not invest dev resources in that, but others will.

    0.9 is a defacto fork today, and there has been talk of a more official fork. Even Matt has said…

    “Since the stated roadmap for whatever is going to be called “bbPress” and live at bbpress.org is to build on the success of WordPress if you disagree with that direction it’s probably best to fork at that time.”

    So I think Matt acknowledges the potential continued existence of standalone, but believes that independent roadmaps is the right approach. I was hoping to take a step back and discuss the relative merits of that versus an approach where plugin and standalone were more coupled.

    I’m rapidly running out of hope that such a discussion is even possible in this community.

    I’m rapidly running out of hope that such a discussion is even possible in this community.

    That was sort of my point in the thread you just pulled Matt’s quote from, but I suppose I never came to articulate it like you just did.

    The core problem is, this community is haunted by a great divide, the ones who are stuck with bbpress 0.9/1.x for better or for worse, and the ones who just really want to move on. This divide will not disappear any time soon, and it will certainly let its presence be known in every direction-related topic until bbPress standalone is firmly declared dead or forked. As long as its in limbo, so is the community.

    This is why I suggested WordPress Foundation / Core Developers / Automattic could just as well pack up and leave from here and start anew elsewhere, easy as pie.

    Sorry, I know this wasn’t what you asked for in the start of your topic, but I gotta vent some where.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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