bbPress IRC Transcript 12/9/2009
We just had our first ever IRC meetup for the new bbPress, here are the logs, sorry if they’re a little rough. If you’d like to join in next time check out the Getting Involved page.
Just finished reading up…ecstatic to see this chat.
Random thoughts (from someone who has been periodically messing with this for a year and still learning the ropes):
-Don’t like the idea of eliminating bbPress’s stand alone ability and REQUIRING it be a WP plugin (some of us just want to run stand-alone forums without having to install WordPress first.) Prefer to keep it as a separate project.
-Love the idea of adding new OPTIONAL features to the bbPress core (bbPress 1.1) . Here are my top 6:
(1) Optional TinyMCE addition
(2) Ability to edit plugins and templates from within bbPress admin
(3) Ability to add widgets to certain areas without having to mess with the template (will be handy for easily editing ‘sidebar’ stuff from the admin page rather than having to play with the template code each time
(4) More Avatar/Gravatar options, such as easily adjusting their size on Profile pages and including instructions on how to get a Gravatar built into the ‘edit profile’ pages. People want to customize their forum character. Make it easier for them to do it right out of the box: display a click-able link to Gravatar.com!
(5) To combat spam registrations, build optional ‘Human Test’ and ‘Terms of Service’ registration page features (which can be further modified and tweaked by plugins/user modifications). I’m sure everyone else there has noticed ‘Spam’ user signups. A built-in human test and/or TOS box to check will go a long way in eliminating them!
(6) Better bozo management notification on the admin page (have numbers pop-up like for new comments and plugins in case a legitimate user has been marked as a bozo. I’ve had this happen a couple times because I didn’t check the bozo list.
-Pleased to hear bbPress.org design will be revamped and include Codex
-THRILLED to see folks from the message board helping bbPress.org and the overall project in various areas
-In summary, EXCITED about bbPress 1.1
glad to see that there are still some committed people to the project.
Read the whole IRC chat…
I would like to just suggest upon some of the major topics:
- bbPress.org redesign would get a lot benefit (which is in process), it could/would get more attention to the community, the new theme which Sam was working on was looking more user friendly and gave a Web 2.0 feel – I think it should also include Themes Repo, as bbShowcase is down, the list compiled by ck is no more – I tried to check the cache but couldn’t get it
- bbPress should contain major admin-side part. I want to discuss some below:
- Auto-update feature as in WP (for plugins and bbPress – also themes in future, if a repo is created) – This would help people stay updated
- Ability to edit Plugins & Themes
- User & Topics management should be improved, like selecting multiple users and deleting them
- Some more small things can be added like ability to edit which HTML tags are allowed
- Coming to the integration part, I think bbPress has to be a standalone forum, as TalkPress runs on bbPress and similar services by the users can be created in the future (eg. there are many phpBB forum hosts), similar things can be created with bbPress too (live example is TalkPress, but it is paid). The only thing I can think of is a 2 sided plugin (WP part and bb part), which should take care of all the issues like database access, cookies, settings etc. Now the only issue left is of themes, and if it is needed, then the bbPress theme structure must be re-worked upon or revamped (I know, it is a difficult job) to be compatible with WordPress themes.
- The sidebar should be only in one file (and dynamic), should support widgets like WP – theme compatibility issue would make it do that.
- At the end, when everything’s done, codex should be there. This would encourage people to build bbPress plugins. Stats & compatiblity section (as on wp.org could be added in the near future). An IDE style coding would also help (to create phpdocs).
These are some of my views, some are very difficult to achieve but once they are done, everything would be like butter and users would always come to this forum with positive replies!
Also note that the functionality provided by the plugins need *not* be integrated into bbPress core, the plugins can be handled by their own respective authors – and could need more frequent updates than the bbPress core part. The thing I want to say is, if a plugin needs update then the author can flag a new version, but if the same thing (which is not needed by all) was integrated into bbPress and the update would have been critical (update in that part only), then a new version of bbPress had to be flagged, which shouldn’t be the case. Also new features & enhancements to that part (which can be as plugin) cannot be added frequently.
If bbPress stops being a stand alone program, I’ll leave it. People seem to forget it’s a forum and not WP++.
Optional TinyMCE addition…… please NO! TinyMCE is crap! When I read this all, bbPress is going to look like/ act as WordPress too much , it wont stay as clean as it is now.
Please keep it stand alone, don’t copy everything from wordpress (like TineMCE, where a plugin can be made for). If people want all these options, then they have installed the wrong software and should install WP, where bbPress can act as a plugin.
Don’t turn it the other way around!!
I think there is a plugin for TinyMCE too – http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/tinymce/
So no need of integrating it into the core.
I am also a fan of keeping bbPress as its own software entity. However, I would not care if it was available as a plugin to WP by default, but could be installed stand alone as well.
It just might be a little more difficult to market it as a forum in the mainstream if it is hidden away as a plugin with an optional checkbox to just install as a forum and not a blog. Just my 2 cents on that.
Oh, and not a big fan of TinyMCE myself. But I’m old school. I think the masses generally like crap like that… Making it optional would of course be the way to go.
I like to see some activity on this project, read the IRC chat, here my $0.02:
1. I like the idea of better integration with WP I’m actually looking for a solution with wordpress + bbpress, I don’t mind if it’s a plugin for WP or a standalone, thinks I would like to improve are: users (single profile page, authentication -openid) and themes.
2. I like the widgets idea for bbpress.
3. I think TinyMCE should be optional.
Looking forward to get involved in this new wave of bbPress.
@Gautam: Thanks a million, did not notice that plugin existed until you pointed it out. Gracious! Still think an optional TinyMCE should be built in, but this plugin is great.
My post/reply to that vanished. Huh. Must be moderated.
Ah well, I would say this: I’m okay with bbPress becoming a plugin. Why reinvent the wheel? If you can set up a WP install to just run as a forum with the bbPress plugin and hide the WP blog stuff (or make it look like a forum with a blog/news page separate) then why not? It sounds logical for how bbPress is perceived.
It’s never going to win against the big boys and most people seem to like it as a WP+ tool.
And frankly the WP admin side is better.
Death to lightbox (PLEASE make it optional!) and keep tinyMCE as optional as well.
@ipstenu – I didn’t see it caught by Akismet. Doesn’t appear to be moderated to me.
whatever you do with bbPress, please make sure to keep it SIMPLE to be used by “average internet users” and “newbies”.
Only “simple to use” applications enjoy huge success. Look at Craigslist, Facebook, etc.
Features need to add value for the user and provide easy to use interface.
For example looking at the WordPress-Dashboard “Admin-interface”, I still believe this interface is way too complicated to use and not really self-explanatory. A newby will be confused and just click away from it.
Start thinking out of the box
When I build new web site, I need contents + forum most of time.
I wish bbpress is integrated with WP (which can be CMS) including WP theme.
Anyway, I love bbpress’s simplicity. It is best of all forum application.
@Gautam, the next meetup on IRC will be Wednesday 16 December 2100 GMT irc.freenode.net #bbpress
bbpress as wordpress plugin?
I see … Probably BuddyPress is more important project … ?
bbpress IS NOT phpbb, so better to make 1.1 simple as possible, but CAPTCHA is needed for registrations.
and bbpress should stay STAND ALONE forum engine. imho.
Hey guys, sorry I missed the meeting. I’m glad you people are going forward on this. I just want to thank you. I’ll keep my suggestions and comments for the next meeting. I notice a lot of comments I made on the here were brought up in the chat. I will try to attend if you let me.
gerikg: Good idea – we’d like these meetings to be as productive as possible. And you’re very welcome to attend on Wednesday. Looking forward to hearing your ideas.
I think the only things bbPress really needs are :
- A better default theme . The actual theme is too Web 0.9 . Oh, and try to get rid of the green, or use it in a clever way like Technorati or Techcrunch .
- Facebook, Twitter ( no plugins for the both until now … ) and OpenID ( there’s already a plugin by _ck_ ) integrated by default .
OpenID (and facebook login) is a great idea, though I feel most of the things we ‘hate’ (using the stronger term because it’s more than ‘dislike’ and ‘want fixed’ but less than ‘OMG this sux!’) about logins etc would be corrected with proper WP/BB integration.
Course that brings in a whole nother kettle of fish for coding, but given what BuddyPress has done (and I was hugely impressed by that, just waiting for 1.2 or 3 to roll out and fix things that are ‘critical’ for me) that all seems very possible.
The problem is that some people ( me for example ) don’t want to install a blank WordPress blog integrated with the bbPress forum just for the Facebook Connect support .
Oh and, I think it’s a really bad idea to make bbPress a WP plugin, if it’s gonna happen, there will be two choices for me : either leave bbPress and search for another easy to design forum software, or stick with the 1.0.2 or something like that and avoid to update . Because I can’t afford to install a WordPress blog just to use bbPress !
So, I think Matt is wrong when he’s saying that bbPress can’t compete in the forum software market ! IT CANS ! Just do some little improvements like default theme rewriting ( so that newbies will be encouraged to use it ), and write a Codex so that everyone sees how easy it is to customize bbPress, then, when bbPress becomes mature, try to link the two sites wordpress.org and bbpress.org together ( well yeah, when I visit WordPress.org, I don’t see any mention of bbPress ! ) to have a greater user base .
Matt had two choices :
- Listen to the non-coders ( who are requesting to make bbPress a WP plugin, because they find it “too hard” to integrate in the WP theme ) .
- Listen to the coders ( who are saying that bbPress should stay a standalone application ) .
Matt made the wrong choice ( the first one ), so I think that many coders will leave bbPress .
Sorry but… If someones wants a WP plugin, there are tons of them : SimplePress is a great example !
So please, leave bbPress as a standalone application !
You could just make the WP install part the ‘about this site’ page, or use it for a FAQ. Most forums I’ve seen end up using some plugin to force that anyway, so the loss is a little negligible.
What about having WP bothers you so? I mean that sincerely, since I suspect a good, logical argument would be beneficial to the development. You say you can’t afford a WP install, but I don’t know why (security risks? just don’t like it…)
Speaking as a coder/programmer/developer/whatever, I think that BB is most often used in concert with WP, and the integration is superficial right now. You can easily get user integration, but login can have issues and themes are often separate. While I had only minimal issues setting it all up, the difference between setting up WP and BB versus WPMU+BuddyPress+BB is obscene! It’s all of a click and done for the later, and there’s really no reason it can’t be that easy for WP. That kind of integration would really help BB get out there and be used.
This is a 5 year old app, it’s barely in V1, and it needs an injection to get it back on track. If the developers feel it’s easier, better and work on and support, well, I trust them. As far as forums go, there are other, better, stand-alones out there. If the dev team don’t want to complete against those, and want to make a niche app, that’s not a bad idea.
The forums at wordpress.org and mu.wordpress.org and wordpress.com are all using bbPress, which I suspect might be the driving force there.
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