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bbPress v1′s eventual release


  • Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    I’m curious about the upcoming v1 bbPress, and what advantages it may have. Not that I expect a release any time this year from the news, but I’m interested to know what experienced users and programmers see as its main advantages.

    I’m happy with 0.9.0.4 now, and have all the plugins I need to get the results I want (blessed be the name of _ck_). Does anyone think sticking with a sound and working v0.9x into next year is a good idea..?

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 27 total)
  • I am also sticking with v 0.9x for now! If your site is working nicely now and you’re happy with how it’s going… there’s no need to change your platform.

    I hear that version 1 will have better post-level meta data support? That’s exciting and something I’m looking forward to. Other than that, this is what Sam wrote about version 1.0:

    “There is no feature list as such. In fact, you will find that not much has changed at this stage on the front end. The main difference is that we are now using the BackPress library for core functionality. There are some other “under the hood” changes as well, like the introduction of WordPress’ taxonomy structure for storing tags and the creation of a global meta table which can store metadata for forums, topics and posts as well as site options. The global meta table can also store custom meta from plugins.

    The major cosmetic difference is the new admin area which is modelled on WordPress.”


    _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    I highly encourage the use of 0.9 until (and maybe even through) 2010

    1.0 is a different creature internally than 0.9 and while 0.9 has a few years of development and debugging (and compatible with most plugins) 1.0 has none of these things.

    IMHO 1.0 should *never* have been called 1.0

    0.9 should have been finalized and released as 1.0

    and then what is now being called 1.0 should have been called 1.5

    People simply do not understand that 1.0 is not some kind of minor upgrade to 0.9 with just incremental fixes – large portions of code have been changed or replaced entirely. Certain database tables have been completely replaced into a much more complex scheme, etc.

    Remember, you can *never* downgrade once you start with/upgrade to 1.0

    but there is always an upgrade path from 0.9 to 1.0

    (someone someday might be crazy enough to write a downgrade routine for 1.0 to downgrade the database tables but it won’t be me)

    There is also no clear path for bbPress from Automattic.

    They are replacing the WP code base with WPMU, which means the purpose of the extremely labor-intensive drive to integrate BackPress into bbPress 1.0 is now even more unclear.

    I’ve yet to see a single feature/ability in 1.0 that you will miss with 0.9

    ps. I also think WP 2.5 is the last decent version of WP made but that’s for another forum

    I’ve been “testing” 1.0 out privately over the last week, primarily by re-writing my custom code and templates, and then working through every user operation (to check both my changes, and the underlying software). So I’ll try and play devil’s advocate to _ck_’s “don’t upgrade!”

    From the user’s perspective, little has changed. The most significant feature to pull out is the use of Display Names. That’s a huge plus on an “international” forum, because users can now set their names to contain non-English characters. And there’s no need to workaround empty display names in WordPress (when a user registers via BBPress).

    Templating is similarly unchanged. About the most significant change is that the contents of tag-form.php can no longer be altered via a template – which was likely never required anyway. Semantically, existing oddities remain (like the profile edit is still a table), and usability can be clunky in places (when you register successfully, there’s a message that tells you to log in, but nothing immediately helpful, like a login screen).

    Plugins very much depends on how deep they go. The only place I stumbled was in user roles, where the underlying code had completely altered. But I’m not using many plugins, and the custom code I had been using, I’d been prepared to rewrite. (Most of it was a mess anyway!) A clear “your mileage may vary” caveat, and particular risk if one doesn’t understand enough programming to work round anything that breaks.

    Technically, 1.0 feels fairly solid. I have found glitches, but nothing worse than some of the 0.9 versions. 1.0 does perform many more database queries. Like 50 on certain pages. Although it is hard for me to assess the load implications without running it on a public site. Integration worked OK as an upgrade, once I’d realised that the upgrade did not automatically add the new cookie-related keys (which needed to be added manually to the existing config files). The whole package feels more “bloated”, but that may be more the fault of WordPress than BBPress. I just hope BBPress doesn’t evolve into the messy, feature-overloaded forum software I had been trying to avoid.

    So, if I was just running BBPress, on balance I’d stick with 0.9, at least until the dust settles on 1.0.

    But. There’s a but.

    If nobody uses 1.0, hardly anyone is debugging it, hardly anything gets fixed, and so on. There’s a danger of putting 1.0 on the shelf, waiting for someone else to finish it, and then wondering why the bugs never get found. So even if you aren’t running it on a live site, it might be useful to try it out privately.

    Rightly or wrongly, WordPress 2.5.1 makes me increasingly nervous: As times goes on, I’m going to find plugins and templates that aren’t designed for that version. And while it is claimed that 2.5.1 has no security flaws, if almost nobody is using it, the chance of any flaw getting found and reported is also low. In contrast, the latest version is sure to get picked apart and patched back up very quickly.

    And then I started to look at BuddyPress, and… I don’t even know if it’s possible to run that on top of 2.5.1. But you can see the way I’m starting to think: An old BBPress is itself rooting me in the past. And while I knew it was unfinished software when I started using it, I had rather assumed it would at least keep pace with WordPress, not get left a year behind.

    So right now, it’s a rather person decision. All other things being equal, I tend to agree with _ck_.

    However, I see a lot of WordPress 2.7+ blogs with phpBB forums hosted alongside. And naturally no integration between them. In the near future, that’s the first big, obvious “market” for BBPress. Yet almost all those people need compatability with the latest WordPress. For us “early adopters” that’s important: Some of those new BBPress users will write plugins and templates, and they won’t bother trying to support outdated code. Once that starts to happen, old 0.9 users will find they are missing out – which will probably be the time for most existing users to upgrade.

    Great points, timskii!

    One note – it’s now possible to integrate bbPress v.9 with the latest versions of WordPress, using either of the plugins here:

    http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/freshly-baked-cookies/

    http://superann.com/2009/02/26/wordpress-26-27-bbpress-09-cookie-integration-plugin/

    I share your concerns about bbPress becoming bloated. :-( I hope the platform doesn’t go down that path… that would be the main thing that would eventually drive me off of bbPress.


    _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    bbPress will likely travel the same path as WordPress

    so bloat and uneven internal feature adoption is unavoidable

    but my hope is it will happen in far later versions than sooner.

    I will fondly remember and miss the “good old” 0.9 days :-(

    Note I’m not saying NEVER use 1.0, I’m saying for an active site don’t rush into it and perhaps for any new site, don’t start with it, since it can be upgraded.

    Template developers should not use 1.0 until it has extremely wide adoption as it’s features are not backwards compatible, but any template you make in 0.9 will work in 1.0 with virtually no modifications.

    timskii don’t worry about 1.0 not being debugged enough, even before RC1 it has a 10% adoption:

    1.0a6 : 5%
    1.0 ? : 5% (1.0 using pre-a6)
    0.9.x : 52%
    0.8.x : 35% (this is likely wrong, it includes 0.8 installs that upgraded to 0.9)

    I can’t really add to the argument except to say that I never tried any older versions, so downloaded RC1 last week & love it. I only have one issue mentioned in another thread, I can’t get the function bb_new_topic_link();

    to work but have worked around that for the moment using hardcoded links. The function is only used in 3 places so it’s not much of an issue.

    I am using it on a live site for less than a week now – http://xfactor-updates.com/forum/ – its quiet at the moment but will get busy & fully tested in the next few months

    As WordPress 2.8 is due out the door any day with it’s new widget classes, a lot of themes will have to be upgraded to take advantage of the changes so I can see a lot of people leaving WordPress 2.5, 2.72 and so on behind and making the switch to 2.8.

    The sooner bbPress can be fully integrated with WP 2.8 the better in my opinion.

    I started with a WP2.7 blog so I had no choice but to jump into 1.0 land (this was before the workarounds for .9 were found). And I regret nothing. I have few issues (one, really, but I have a trac ticket #1076 and it seems to be a user pagination vs pretty permalinks issue) and the rest… my users have never noticed.

    The current admin experience on trunk is a bit wild :) Some work needs doing, but I like that effort is being made to mimic WP again. I have no issues with the plugins I use (very few plugins) and other than my own stupidity of developing code on a live site, I like 1.0. Will it bloat? Yeah, but since I’m headed down the path of ‘community’ site and will, in all likelihood, end up with BuddyPress one day, I’m not too worried.

    On developer principle of the whole thing, I’m with _ck_ with a caveat.

    If you’re a nerd who likes mucking around with code, who doesn’t mind bleeding edge, who is comfortable with blowing yourself up and cleaning up, you’ll be fine with 1.0. If you KNOW what you’re getting into (that is you’re reading and are aware of and comfortable with everyone’s troubles), then you’re fine. If you just go ‘Yeah yeah SHINY!’ then you’re in for a world of pain with any product. If you’re not a little bit of a developer, if you’re not good with google, if you’re not okay with things breaking weirdly, then stay on 0.9 and you’ll be happier. Heck, we’ll be happier cause we won’t have to help you dig out from a hole you weren’t prepared to be in :)

    Be aware of what you’re getting into with 1.0 and have fun. Or not. Either way works :)


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    Thanks for all the excellent advice. I do like hacking around, but as I need to get a couple of forums up and running I’m best with 0.9.0.4 right now. I think that sticking with it until 1.0 has been well tested – and has the plugins or functionality I need – is the best bet too.

    I’ve spent around six weeks or more trying everything under the sun, until finally settling on bbPress. Mostly, it just works. I don’t think I want to do much more than learn a little php and more css as I go along. I’m remembering that there are people outside this room, and conversation, and beer… Hacking about in the guts of things is interesting and really very addictive, but there’s life out there! Love all you folks for making it possible though, I have to say.

    To put some more detail on the “bloat” thing: I’m comparing databases with identical sets of posts/users, and very similar templates/plugins (I’d hope the 1.0RC code would be better). One setup is 0.9.4/2.5.1, the other 1.0RC/2.7.1.

    With 0.9.4, my forum front page is processed consistently in under 100ms (when repeatedly refreshed). With 1.0, 150-200ms is more typical. For reference a simple 2.5.1 (without wp-cache active) WordPress front page on the same hardware is just under 100ms, 2.7.1 is just over 100ms.

    That’s barely noticeable to the user, who often experiences a few 100ms of latency, and is still more likely to be slowed down waiting for adverts/graphics than the forum software to dispatch the HTML. But it evidently is slower. I don’t have a reliable way to break down that extra processing time… but I’m instinctively drawn to 11 queries vs 45 queries. Probably because those are the only other number I can see!


    Sam Bauers
    Participant

    @sambauers

    The additional queries are probably due to the new taxonomy structure we are using for tags.

    On the upside, you can now use memcached to cache bbPress objects which should give you better performance than 0.9

    I’d be interested to know if the query count was also higher on other pages.

    There is a small amount of code “bloat” because of BackPress abstraction layers, but it’s here to stay. It’s already being utilised in a couple of other projects including GlotPress and there are a few people interested in merging it into WordPress as well. The benefits of using it to the ongoing development of bbPress is becoming clearer all the time.

    As for feature creep, it’s going to be really limited. bbPress is just supposed to do a few things simply and provide enough hooks for plugin and theme devs to add the bells and whistles. That won’t be changing any time soon. Most development over the next few iterations will be concentrating heavily on easing integration with WordPress and making the lives of plugin and theme devs easier.


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    Yep, the idea of a minimal core engine with stable plugin hooks sounds the best way to me too, even as a non-developer.

    Something I’m sure would help is a standard for plugins. I think too many people are put off when the core doesn’t have a function they want, but yippee; there’s a plugin! Then after many hours of frustration, ah crap; this fails too, and here we go with the forum questions again. It also makes the product look bad, even though the plugin developer may not be related to that product in any way.

    A ‘bbPress Certified’ system would give users more confidence, and raise the bar for forum development as the outside world perceives it. I can see that plugin developers work hard to get things right for others, and every eventuality can’t be tested for of course. However, I also know from struggling very hard with different forum packages over the last 6 weeks that there really are no standards, and on a couple of systems people seem to have jumped on the plugin bandwagon because it’s fun and brings kudos. In one case, I found myself delving into posts from as far back as 2005 in an attempt to get something simple working. They have a massive forum, but it’s jam packed with ‘How can I make this work?!’ posts going back years. (bbPress is a gem by comparison, which is why I’m still here).

    Non-programmers see a plugin on a ‘legitimate’ forum and naturally assume it’s going to work properly. Not everyone’s into hacking around, and some have no time or inclination to do so whatsoever, especially working people who want Open Source software but need it to just work out of the box. On the other side of a crucial plugin may sit a very competent programmer with great ideas, but it can just as easily be a school kid who’s learned a bit of php and doesn’t have the experience to make their ideas actually work. There’s no way of knowing, unless they post in an obviously off-putting way. The current user rating system looks good, but is quickly dismissed when two or three 5 star plugins fail.

    Any standard takes time and effort in the background to assess the code others produce, though it sounds like that’s already being done anyway. I submitted a very simple plugin and wondered why it hadn’t appeared on the forum, and another member mentioned that it can take a while for it to be reviewed. If some checks were done for code readability, apparent competence, etc., as well as the checks already being done for maliciousness and obvious bugs, then you’ve got a working standard. If someone submits something your programmers can see is messily written, uses innapropriate function calls, etc., then they get a ‘Sorry, it doesn’t reach our standards’ email. Maybe a Certified bbPress Star System; 1 star – not rated; 2 stars – appears competent, or is excellent but has no admin panel; 3 stars excellent structure and use of core functions, and has admin panel, and so-on. No guarantees, but at least we’d know to go for 3 stars or more, or if you love to play, grab the 1 star and have fun improving it. Kudos for both developers! The user ratings could be left in as an extra, though casual, system.

    It doesn’t really have to be any more labour intensive than at present, and if bbPress and associated systems want to be taken even more seriously in the working world, then standards for plugin development are essential.

    The memcached information is useful to know. And based on what I’ve found below, will logically make an absolutely huge difference. Closer to “requires memcached” on a busy forum.

    You see, I’ve done some more tests. And BBPress seems to do a lot of simple queries to check information that generally doesn’t change.

    I’ve hooked up _ck_’s excellent BB-Benchmark, and started looking for patterns. I assume this picks up everything in 1.0.

    As a general rule, page rendering (after queries) is very slightly slower with 1.0. That can probably be explained simply by twice the volume (in bytes) of files typically being executed from 0.9.4 to 1.0. Only about 10ms difference. So, not an issue.

    The crux of the problem is the volume of queries. The fastest query execution is 1ms – measured, it seems, to within 0.1ms – although I’m unsure of that accuracy. This may be due to the way the database is hosted – mySQL is on a separate machine, which is logically going to impose a delay in getting results back.

    1.0′s slowest query is faster than 0.9.4. But 1.0 executes vastly more queries: It’s almost inevitable that 40 queries will takes longer to execute than 10 queries, because there is such a significant overhead associated with “running a query”, regardless of its complexity.

    Here are examples of what I found:

    On the front page, forum views, and tag views, many pairs of queries are being run that look like:

    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = ‘n’

    SELECT meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_usermeta WHERE user_id = ‘n’ /* WP_Users::append_meta */

    My first thought was that my templates or plugins were broken. But disabling everything, and switching to the default theme, still causes all these pairs of queries to be executed.

    The only reason I can see for the first query is to extract the display name for each of the last post authors. I can’t see any requirement for the second query, unless you were trying to augment the name with some extra information, like a title.

    The topic table contains a last poster field, but it cannot contain the display name, presumably because the display name can be changed on a whim, while the old username was unchanging. If you have a lot of active posters (rather than a handful), a 20-post-per-page view could easily require 40 individual queries, just to check a piece of information that probably has not changed.

    Now, we can argue that there should be some element of caching of the display name in the topics table. I wouldn’t have a problem with, for example, always seeing the name the user displayed when they posted, rather than the name they are currently using. But there’s also a compromise position, where the last poster name is only checked against wp_users at intervals.

    Profile views repeat this a lot:

    SELECT meta_key, meta_value FROM bb_meta WHERE object_type = ‘bb_post’ AND object_id = n /* bb_append_meta */

    And I’m only displaying recent replies.

    Turning to a topic page. I’ve looked at the first 20 posts in a 260+ post-long topic. A real mix of users, some who have added a lot of custom data (I allow quite a lot to be added, which is stored in wp_usermeta). This is painful: 30ms total query time on 0.9.4, 120ms on 1.0. 14 queries plays 79 queries.

    Again, the key weakness is duplication of ostensibly similar queries. Line after line of:

    SELECT meta_key, meta_value FROM bb_meta WHERE object_type = ‘bb_post’ AND object_id = n /* bb_append_meta */

    or

    SELECT * FROM wp_users WHERE ID = ‘n’

    or

    SELECT post_id FROM bb_posts WHERE topic_id = n AND post_status = 0 ORDER BY post_id ASC LIMIT 1

    In contrast, 0.9.4 manages to decide all the IDs it needs, throws them all into one query, and presumably lets the PHP split out the results. The wp_usermeta data continues to be pulled out in such a manner:

    SELECT user_id, meta_key, meta_value FROM wp_usermeta WHERE user_id IN (n,n,n,n…) /* WP_Users::append_meta */

    In 3ms. Bargain.

    Keep in mind, you won’t see this pattern if your forum contains 20 posts by you. You must have the variety of posters, that tends to only be found on larger forums.

    My gut feeling is that some of the loops aren’t terribly well optimized. Or not well optimized for remote databases. Or not well optimized for operation without a secondary cache. Something’s instinctively not right.


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    Holy cow. You know what I said about plugin programmers maybe not knowing what they’re doing..? Re-reading, I do wonder…

    If all this inefficiency is real, then who’s writing the core code, and are they truly competent..? I would hope that those who construct a system like bbPress have some professional training behind them. If not, then perhaps we’re back into school kid land…

    @Michael3185 – sambauers (see above) is one of the main authors of bbPress.

    I’m sure there will be a lot of optimization as 1.0 gets closer to release…


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    Aha. Then Go sambauers, Go sambauers, Go sambauers – YAY! (Pretty girls doing athletic stuff here. Well, it can’t hurt, can it?)

    If Sam’s the man, then listen up Sam. Standards for plugins are essential. Really. Essential. Yep, really essential. Can’t say it enough. I’ll say it again: If bbPress and associated systems want to be taken seriously in the working world, then standards for plugin development are absolutely essential. Really, absolutely, and any other words that mean really and absolutely.

    Leave the rest of the ‘bb developers’ behind. Simply calling plugins ‘bbPress Certified’ will make the world assume that those behind bbPress are an authority who have the power to authorise things. M$ did it, and millions of people believe in them. Do it Sam, and you’ll quickly become an authority. People will believe in you, and plugin coders will soon learn to adhere to your standards. In fact, they’ll have to. Those who produce cool ideas but crap code, or cool code but no admin settings so users have to hack (and can’t or don’t want to), will become a thing of the past.

    Those of us who aren’t programmers will be able to download and use certified plugins that do what bbPress core does: just click and go. Think of the kudos. Think of the subscriptions. Think of the write-ups in The Times, etc. bbPress: click, go.

    Trying to grok the vision here… bbPress would have a top-down certification model, where someone would audit the code of all plugins and do testing to certify that the plugins work in various bbPress versions?


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    Yes johnhiler! But without much extra work.

    (My ‘Holy Cow inefficiency’ rant was fueled by a late night and beer – I finally got out of the house).

    bbPress, and WordPress, need some standards for plugins. Think about it. I know there’s no perfect analogy, but let’s imagine it’s a car. Ford decide to release a twenty-first century car, and it’s damned cool. It has a chassis, steering, wheels and an engine, but everything else is bolt-on. You get to choose how it looks and works. Some people bolt on an aerodynamic shell and a blower, and achieve speeds in excess of 150mph. Others bolt on a big shell and wheels, and lots of seats to carry their kids around. Everyone has a hundred other options. Cool! However, anything you want to bolt on has either a) to be ratified by Ford, or b) noted as a user bolt-on from elsewhere. Ford has a main site/blog/forum where you can see authorised bolt-ons working and links to where to get them, but there are a thousand sites/blogs/forums where you can get ‘unauthorised’ bolt-ons. The world is, as Douglas Adams said, any mollusc you like. But at least you know the Ford authorised bolt-ons are going to work, because they’ve tried them, and all the screws fit the right holes.

    Sam and other core developers need to do something similar. Set some standards. Many existing plugins may adhere to those standards already. Many won’t. They should do it across all systems they’ve created. They tell the world that these new standards exist, and that they’ve set a benchmark. The world reports that bbPress/WordPress has set standards other forums haven’t. They don’t need to do much more work, but lickety-split, they’re an authority in the blog/forum world.

    When that happens – and it had better happen if the developers want to be taken seriously – users will do a few simple things. They’ll download and install, grab some certified plugins, and go. Sites will appear all over the world with comments like, “I clicked a couple of links, sent the package to my server, added a few certified plugins, and YAY!”

    That’s what you folks developing the core of bbPress/Wordpress want.

    Isn’t it?

    To clarify my optimization comment slightly:

    It may be optimized for memcached, since all those individual pieces of user information rarely change, so all those queries will fall straight to the memory, which becomes ruthlessly efficient. If all the information used on each page is queried together, memcached would fill up with page-specific results, rather than user-specific results: So many individual queries is logically more efficient if you are caching the results of those queries.

    There is some logic in this: The structure still works reasonably well on smaller (often shared) setups, where caching can be technically difficult to implement. However BBPress is aiming to support large scale deployment, which is almost inevitably going to mean the use of caching. If you can only write the code optimally for one of those users, optimizing it for someone that can save whole machines in the process, is sensible.

    Simply calling plugins ‘bbPress Certified’ will make the world assume that those behind bbPress are an authority who have the power to authorise things.

    I think you’re going at this the wrong way. WordPress doesn’t do this, and frankly if such an effort was to come down upon our fair bbsoftware, it would HAVE to come from the Big Brother that is Automattic if it was going to stick at all. Is it a good idea? Yeah, but it feels almost contrarywise to the tenents of open source. That may just be me, and I’ll need to re-read the GPLs for WP and BB. Either way, it does end up being a weird feeling to think that someone has review plugins. It’s going to be work, no matter what, and much like the recent themes switch (where paid themes got the boot) someone’s going to get pissed off… Meh. I like the idea, I worry about implementation.


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    I can see what you mean, but I don’t think it’s going the wrong way at all, and it’s not contrary to Open Source. (Open Source is not another name for ‘A Flaming Mess’). It’s common sense. It needs to be implemented in an easy-going way, but be there as a label so users know that plugins have been looked at and given a thumbs-up by those in the know. And those in the know don’t have to create a huge system and lots more work for themselves either. They’re already glancing at plugins from what I’ve been told. All that’s needed are some simple guidelines as a standard.

    As I said, the current user rating system is useless. I downloaded a bunch of 5 Star plugins and they crashed badly. Since then, I ignore the star ratings. I also look at the code before installing a plugin. If it looks like granny’s hair in a tornado, I dump it. Anyone who writes code without caring how it reads is unlikely to write code that works. You either care, or you don’t.

    Bear in mind that I’m talking about end users here, not forum fiends who love to delve into things (and I’ve quickly become one of those!) Picture someone like my voluntary sector clients, and others, who want to download, install, and play. They don’t want hassle, and they don’t want to hang around forums looking for fixes to plugins which provide functions they need. They want the star system to mean something, and they want the people who created the software in the first place to authorise plugins in some way.

    It doesn’t have to be Big Brother. For those who aren’t coders or forum hounds, it just has to work. having something like ‘bbPress Certified’ or whatever, would give some idea as to whether it’s going to plug and play, or whether you plug and pray. Sadly, at the moment, the latter is more likely. Just read through the forums! (And yes, I very much do respect the time and effort people put into developing plugins).

    Yah plugins aren’t at the plug and play point yet, sadly.

    Slapping a name like “bbPress Certified” on it is begging for legal problems. But it might be neat to have a system where individual users could say, “Works For Me” and list their version number. If I saw that five people with 0.9.0.4 had installed a plugin I was looking at, that would give me a lot of comfort (and avoid the legal and logistical problems of having Automattic review each plugin).

    In a similar vein, it’d be great if there were a way for a site mod to put some kind of warning on exploited plugins. It really pains me is that plugins with widely reported security problems don’t have a warning on them:

    http://bbpress.org/forums/topic/security-warning-stop-using-private-messaging-plugin

    http://bbpress.org/plugins/topic/private-messages/

    That said, NightGunner5 wrote a great substitute plugin without the security hole… and it’s quickly become more popular. So maybe the issue is less urgent than I had thought…


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    Yeah, I use NightGunner’s PM, and it’s a gem. As to the legal side, I know so-called civilisation has become litigation mad, but you just put it in a nutshell yourself; “bbPress Certified”. If it’s in quotes, it’s ‘a quote from someone’, and not legally binding as a testimonial (at least here in the UK, which is why all our adverts are wrapped in quotes). I’m sure with the millions of dollars Automatic were given recently, they could easily get advice on making it litigation safe too.

    You know, it doesn’t have to be much of a big thing from this end, but it’d inspire confidence in ‘the outside world’, by which I mean those who want Open Source software, but not problems, as they’re not coders or forum hounds. On the inside it could be very simple indeed, ie;

    1. Is the code neat and readable? 1 star.

    2. Uses the the proper hooks and function calls? +1 star.

    3. Works instantly with the current ‘safe’ release? + 1 star.

    4. Doesn’t affect, and isn’t affected by, other plugins? +1 star.

    etc.

    User ratings could go alongside it as an extra, and us forum hounds can carry on as usual. However – and it’s a big however in the eyes of the outside world – the creators of bbPress (and their other systems) gain massive kudos, and therefore, a larger user base. Imagine a press release;

    “Sammy Surfer, creator of burblePress said today; We’re into the next generation of forum software. What we’ve realised is that most folks want it to run straight out of the box. We have a compact and powerful core engine, and are announcing our new certification system for plugins. Plugins allow users to develop additional functionality, and while we can’t guarantee code others produce, we do look at and rate plugins. In fact, plugins are key to making burblePress do what you want it to do, so get involved!”

    Etc., etc., ad nauseam.

    Funny, don’t you think, that no Open Source forum producers have had the balls to do this yet..? But I’ll tell you this: the first one who does will have their name in lights. Do M$ produce amazing, unbeatable code which rules the world? Do they hell. Have they grabbed the world’s attentions and millions of users simply because they set their own standards? You bet your damned underpants. I hope Sam reads this, and throws his own undies to the wind.


    _ck_
    Participant

    @_ck_

    People don’t write software to see their name in lights.

    I think the point is being missed by some who haven’t kept up with bbPress history.

    bbPress wasn’t invented by Matt to create a better forum for the masses.

    It was invented to serve the needs of Automattic needing (faster) support forums.

    It just happens to be open source so others can improve it, write plugins for it, etc.

    You’ll never have “certified plugins”, that would have no useful purpose to Automattic. On the flip side I would never have written a single plugin if I thought it was being held to some kind of standard, I wrote them for “fun”, to see if I could do it, or to show others it was possible.

    Releasing a product as open source is a way for business to get additional labor on their products for free by encouraging adoption. That’s not a criticism, that’s how it works in general. Matt used code from other open source projects so he’s motivated to also share his projects as open source.

    Sure there are some projects that are made from scratch to try to serve the greater good. But there’s no reward for that, you can never please more than a handful of people with whatever you try to do, given how many different opinions and experiences there are in any community.

    Some of the wishes expressed in this topic were expressed last year, the year before that and will be said next year and the year after that. Don’t use bbPress if any of those issues are important to you, because WordPress has been around for six+ years and it still has those issues and always will.

    @Michael3185 – Personally I wouldn’t trust a top-down authority to validate plugins. But some sort of bottoms up thing, I could get behind.

    But if you want to take the lead on it, you could draft a proposal and post it in a new thread! Maybe some other users would be into it. :-)


    Michael3185
    Member

    @michael3185

    @johnhiler – I guess you’re not alone in not wanting an ‘authority’, though all I mean by the word is those creating and maintaining bbPress being seen as an authority in ‘the outside world’, as opposed to ‘the inner world’ of bbPress forum users. It’s already being done in a way, internally, by us getting to know who we trust most. Perhaps I’m letting my enthusiasm for a great product carry me away..?

    Maybe just this thread and the comments from various members is enough in itself, as like any other, it raises awareness. For myself, I already have a few names in my head of those I trust when it comes to plugins, which are an essential part of bbPress. _ck_’s comments are funny in a way, about only writing plugins for fun or to show what can be done, hers(?) turning out to be among the very best! Perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree, and it should just be left as it is; to be fun, a hacking ground for those who want to hack, with gems coming up here and there from the talented coders. As you say _ck_, it spreads the workload and encourages new input, perhaps in ways that just wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t Open Source.

    In any case, I’m grateful to those who invest time and effort into extending bbPres. My needs are few, as almost everything I want exists already. I’d like user roles in a stable version, and may have to go the way another thread suggests, and edit a file to add my own. I’d also like a sticky topic sort order plugin, but don’t have the skills to create it (yet). Tell you what I will do though, regardless of any standards for plugins, etc. I’m going to advertise bbPress personally; word of mouth, on my sites, etc.

    Returning to my original thought; “bbPress v1′s eventual release”… I’ll have user roles when that version is considered stable enough for general use. For now, 0.9.0.5, completely free, is excellent.

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