PRIORITY #1: ImageFile Attachments
To be considered a major player in the forum world, it is necessary to have at least some option for attaching files to posts.
Personally, I was actually shocked to learn that this was not a feature until I installed it to test it out.
bbpress is listed up there with the most popular free forum software: phpbb, yaf, smf, vanilla. But it is the ONLY one which LACKS the ability to attach a file.
I hope that this issue is addressed before the 1.0 release, I think it should be the FIRST priority for a new feature.
IF YOU AGREE – Please respond to this post to let the developers know that this is a feature you are looking for in a forum and whether you think it should be intrinsic (like almost every other forum) and not a plug-in.
I disagree. Post your image elsewhere and then use the “Allow images” plugin. Don’t dump them on my server. I don’t have a need for images in my forum. Maybe we use bbPress for different things, which is what makes it great. Customize if for the functionality you need, nothing more.
What you are probably looking for is Flickr-in-a-box as a separate application with a common user database. Just as I’m looking for a Facebook-in-a-box application to run alongside the forum to foster the more personal social side. I don’t believe these should be core parts of the forum software, but there is a need for them somehow.
This notion of modular is important, because it is easy to get side-tracked and try and build the entire internet into one application. That might ultimately happen (mirroring the history of the Microsoft platform model), but at this stage of the game, nobody has the resources to do everything, so doing one part of the jigsaw well is the best plan.
BBPress should focus development on its core, which still has weaknesses. IMHO the most urgent is augmentation of futuristic geek-only features with the traditional ones that most users understand. The need for these functions has been acknowledged in BBPress’s design, however the current implementation is lacking because they are too complex for “normal people”.
So RSS needs to be mirrored with bespoke email notifications, because the only people that “get” RSS are ‘bloggers. Gravatars need to be mirrored with uploadable avatars, because the only people that get Gravatars are ‘bloggers.
Ok, I generalise on the “bloggers” part. But I know moderately technical people that can’t manage to set up a Gravatar, and have no idea what to do with an RSS feed. So the clueless masses stand no chance of using these features for the purpose they were designed.
BBPress’s killer feature at the moment is spam control without forcing users to jump through hoops just to register and post. Easy to work with code, and general lack of bloat are good to. But take a look at this, and tell me the #1 feature requirement of forum software (and if anyone can point to why that’s affecting phpBB 2 sites more than other software, I’m curious). That’s literally hundreds of spam posts an hour. Most admins faced with that kind of nightmare won’t be too worried about forcing users to host files elsewhere.
The reason I’m going with BBPress is because I like the clean and simple look. I don’t want users to post images and turn the forum into a graffiti wall, and I don’t want BBPress to be loaded up with the ability to post pictures when I’m not going to use it.
Keep it in a plugin and let me install it if I decide that I want to install it.
Let’s say “A good image upload plugin is needed”. I agree with that. A good image upload system is a must for some communities and not for some.
There’s no need to discuss why some users need image uploading and some not. I’ll be migrating a very large community to bbpress in a few months. The only reason for us to migrate to bbpress is its code base; it’s extendable and very easy to use. So we will write custom plugins to our specific needs.
Yes, bbpress needs a very good image uploading plugin just like worpdress’s akismet plugin; developed seperately as a plugin. There are some good bbpress plugin developers over here, so what we need to do is just to donate some money. This kind of plugin will take bbpress one more step ahead.
This “argument” is silly.
It would take a person reasonably knowledgeable about wordpress/bbpress internals only a few days to write an attachment plugin. It’s just that no-one has the need/desire (including myself) so it’s never been a priority. bbPress has everything needed to make this fairly easy.
If I get bored and have some time this month I might look at the issue. But attachments are very straightforward. They would be similar to the “avatar upload” plugin but the files would be tied to posts instead the user. Since there is no post metadata, the topic or user meta would have to be used instead (I recommend usermeta since posts one day could be moved around to other topics via a moderation plugin like move-it).
Attachments open big security issues which is another reason why I have not been in any hurry to make such a plugin – I simply don’t want the responsibility. I was also hoping that by now there would be other plugin developers around to make some of these things. With 0.9 being so solid, perhaps it won’t be long before there are more to tackle these requests.
If someone writes a plugin, and that plugin is popular enough, we might add it to core. But it would have to have a bazillion downloads or something.
The fact that nobody has written the plugin yet is telling though.
I love the simplicity of bbpress, but my needs require file attachment. If I had the knowledge, I would write a plug-in, but I don’t, so I can’t.
yes, please, file attachment is valuable for my implementation. I’ll take it as a plugin or hardwired.
Attachments would be nice as a plugin, or a plugin to hook into something like imageshack, putfile, flickr, etc.. for users to attach+post the link.
I need plugin too. Trying to switch from a mailing list based scientific community to a proper forum. Exchange of documents is a must.
Maybe it’s because I’m not so knowledgeable about wikis, but I really wonder what you are talking about. I totally agree concerning the “simple, fast and elegant”. phpBB is far too complicated for example. But gimme a break please. I don’t need to be told what I need. WordPress is great for news publication, it’s understandable by my not so computer literate community and it even allows to attach documents to posts (albeit not to comments). Now I’m thinking about phase 2, which is the integration of a forum to the blog and the duplication of WordPress posts in a dedicated sub-forum through the bbPost plugin. These guys are scientists who need to communicate AND exchange documents. bbPress appeals to me because of the WordPress integration, BUT I need it to have attachment as a feature. And I don’t have the skills to add this feature. I don’t intend to be demanding. I have an idea what open source development can be. I just don’t want some geek zealot to tell me that my need is wrong just because it breaks his ideal of how his software idol should be…
I started a conversation about this very topic here: http://bbpress.org/forums/topic/proposed-method-for-file-attachments-and-uploads
I believe in both sides of this argument:
1. Keep bbPress clean. Don’t bloat.
2. Make bbPress extendible. Do create plugins for everything.
That said, I’m all in favor of an image/attachment plugin. Definitely.
To argue that there is not great desire for this simply because it has not been written is like trying to say “living on the moon sucks” just because we haven’t figured out a way to do it yet. I’m sure living on the moon would totally rule ass.
I’m sure that many people have fine justifications for wanting file attachments. It just seems to be coincidence that those people aren’t the ones capable of writing it. No one is telling anyone that their need for it is “wrong”.
Can I suggest that those who want it somehow co-ordinate their efforts and – rather than pointlessly bumping threads like this all the time – you all work out how you can get it happening in a constructive fashion. There are many competent plugin developers around, perhaps you can pool financial resources and hire one to write the plugin. Perhaps if you are in a University you can co-opt a student with the necessary skills to write the plugin for you in exchange for credit. I’m sure that together you work out a creative solution to your problem.
I would love to see this happen, but I don’t think it will be me who writes it. Dealing with file uploads in web apps is hard and boring for me. I spent about 5 years of my life doing it, so whilst I am probably well qualified to take it on, I don’t *want* to right now. It’s not about some geek elitism. Clearly my want is greater than your collective powers of persuasion at this time.
charlesstout’s topic on this issue has a much more positive spin to it, and you’ll notice that _ck_ has jumped in to get something rolling (which is lucky for you guys, she knows what she’s doing). I suggest that if _ck_ gets this happening you all go and drop some money in her donation account or at least send her a card.
Sorry to bump this thread again…
Sambauer, my post was not directed to you and I respect a lot what you are doing and your attitude on the forum. It’s the “then go for a wiki” remark that made me react.
I’m very happy and thankful that _ck_ got down to the writing of this plugin. Keep on the good works, it’s a great soft you’re all working on
An early beta is now available for review:
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