Many people have already noticed that Automattic has soft launched TalkPress. TalkPress was mentioned and explained some time ago in the bbPress forums, but there is no harm in restating our intentions here.
It has been public for a while that Automattic was going to launch a hosted forum service based on bbPress and the decision was made early on to not call it bbPress.com for three reasons.
- It avoids the sort of confusion users experience trying to distinguish between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
- bbPress is not a particularly good product name for that service
- The bbPress.com domain name is already registered to someone else
The last reason is fairly conclusive.
So the name TalkPress was chosen. As a joke we put up a phpBB forum at TalkPress.com for a while, which we all found quite amusing until it got heavily spammed, so down that came!
In the meantime we have been preparing bbPress to accommodate many of the needs that this new service would require, specific functionality has included preparing bbPress to handle the huge user tables of WordPress.com – some of this work is already available to bbPress users (even if it’s only really useful if you have millions of users).
The architecture behind WordPress.com demanded that we make bbPress play nice with the HyperDB extension for WordPress. This neat database load-balancing and redundancy tool is now fully compatible with bbPress. So if you want to run your bbPress site with redundant MySQL databases in multiple datacenters then that’s possible now too. bbPress now has a pretty enviable set of advanced options for MySQL connectivity.
Finally, the secret sauce of TalkPress.com is an extension called “bbPress Channels”. bbPress Channels does for bbPress what WordPress MU does for WordPress, except that it is a single file that is simply included in a standard bbPress install rather than being a complete fork of bbPress.
I call it an extension, because strictly speaking it isn’t a plugin. Some of you may have noticed the “BB_CHANNELS_INCLUDE” constant floating around in
bb-settings.php, this is where that file gets included. The bbPress Channels code is not ready for release yet, but it will be released as open source code at a later date.
TalkPress itself is not open for public signup at this stage. Currently we are bringing on a few “VIP” partners so that we can run-in the platform in a more controlled way. The pioneers on the service are Time Inc. who are incorporating a TalkPress forum into their Health.com website. I’m happy to report back to the bbPress community that TalkPress (and thus bbPress) withstood their rigorous security testing with flying colours. This testing incorporated, amongst other things, comprehensive XSS and SQL injection tests.
As for bbPress, some movement has occurred in the priorities leading up to a final 1.0 release. Some of the more fundamental changes that were planned are being put on the back-burner so that these aims can be achieved:
- Full compatability with both WordPress 2.7 and 2.8
- Easier integration steps for WordPress MU
- Retaining compatibility with the existing catalogue of current plugins
This means that some things, like the planned re-factoring of the rewrite methods, are being postponed until some future version or even removed from the radar completely.
The next Alpha version of bbPress is imminent and will likely be the last bbPress 1.0 Alpha version. From there we will move into Beta and hopefully quite quickly through to Release Candidates for 1.0 in the next couple of months.
Looking forward to this. I think this should be great. I’ll be able to host my forums elsewhere.
Wow, bbPress is finally growing up, good luck on a successful launch!
Even with only one page, talkpress.com looks great, you should give bbpress.org a fresh new look too…
That’s really great news. Thanks for letting us know what is going on. I, for one, am very excited for bbPress and its full integration with the other Automattic products.
We thinks you have another winner, winner chicken dinner! Do you guys sleep?
I am looking for a way to share a forum across more than one domain, more than one blog, not necessarily all of them wordpress.org installations (some might be drupal, e.g.) I want to preserve the domain name for each instance of the forum, so that it appears integral to the particular blog, but have access to multiple databases on different domains, with local administrative control over what appears on each separate forum, so that forums that are not relevant to a particular blog do not appear.
Is that within the realm of possibility with TalkPress?
Sounds more complex than what we are aiming for with TalkPress or the bbPress Channels extension.
[…] of bbPress with a hosted service for forums. It really is exciting as Sam talks about it on the bbPress blog: Many people have already noticed that Automattic has soft launched TalkPress. TalkPress was […]
Great. Love feedback like this.
Hopefully we can have a post like this once per month.
Excellent news Sam, well done.
W00t! We were about 48 hours away from writing hyperdb integration for bbpress, so thanks for saving us the work, it lets us focus on the bbpress/mu/buddypress integration points instead 🙂
You can specifically thank mdawaffe for most of that DB work!
I am hardly waiting for the bbPress update. Everybody needs it!
Great job Sam!
Can’t wait until the Alpha stage is complete!
Wow, I’ve been waiting on bbPress 1.0 for some time now, great to hear that things are speeding up!
It’s better to get a solid 1.0 out the door now with the features that are available, than to wait for everything to be perfect before shipping anything. That’s why the number 1.1 was invented. 🙂
I’ll look forward to putting the beta / release candidate versions through their paces!
Sounds interesting. Since it seems like TalkPress is the bbPress equivalent of WordPress.com, is there going to be any “bbPress MU” type software released in a similar fashion as WordPress MU?
Yes, in time we will release the extension I mention in the post as open source.
When will we be able to get a forum that is hosted at TalkPress?
I see that the title tage for the index of talkpress is TalkPress VIP. Will TalkPress be available for everyone or just elite with lots of money.
Also will there be a way for users to import their WordPress posts and comments in the event they want to move form a WP blog to TalkPress?
I look forward to hearing back from you on this exciting chapter with WP.
Currently it is closed to VIP customers only. We plan to open it up eventually, perhaps via invitation at first.
[…] – April 9th, 2009: Sam Bauers talks about TalkPress on the bbPress Blog. Sam has been an excellent help in getting this rolled […]
Me and all my blog’s community are looking forward to use the release 1.0 !
Thanks for the update and thanks a lot for this amazing work !
hopefully one can use the new alpha soon.. can you make easier tutorials for using it though?
bbpress is wonderful, and I’ve been evangelizing it for a little while now. It’s exciting to know that Auttomattic is moving out into new areas. Keeping to simplicity & semantic code will make you guys very successful.
good to see that bbPress makes some steps! I`m lookin foward for the next alpha release!
[…] combining the architecture behind WordPress.com with bbPress. The end result is TalkPress. In a recent announcement on the bbPress blog, Sam Bauers explained that TalkPress is going to be a hosted forum service using bbPress with the […]
Very interesting. I’m glad they’re not taking over what’s going on with bbpress though. I really love what you guys are doing here, and hope it continues onward and upward!
Damn, I’ll have to sell that bbpress.net domain name I have now, another road to riches is gone 🙂
It’s not wasted, you can always gift it to the bbPress community 🙂
Any new updates. When might the next ALPHA release be made available.
It’s been about 3 months since last I heard that it was “soon” to be released.
Great stuff guys – it’s very encouraging to see bbPress coming together with BuddyPress and WordPressMU for a real social community site.
Any word on importers from vBulletin to bbPress? Without importers most/all bbPress installs will be limited to people starting fresh sites that may or may not ever do anything, not sites with a significant presence migrating over.
For example… We have a very popular Love & Sex advice community built around Ask Dan & Jennifer. We’d love to move to bbPRess + BuddyPress + WPMU but we’d have to do a full import of our current vBulletin forums – ideally also preserve our current URLs that are already search engine ranked and linked to from various sites. It’s all SEO indexed, etc. tens of thousands of pages.
Dan (Ask Dan & Jennifer)
You should probably head over to the BuddyPress forum at http://buddypress.org and ask around there.
Even if I guess it is not true… bbPress looks like a dead project.
I mean, there is absolutely no evolution on the open source part since months. So of course, there was this announcement of TalkPress, but it sounds like a bad news for us as it means the developer has no more time to release anything useful for the community.
WordPress 2.7.1 is out, BuddyPress 1.0 is out… and people are still struggling with a few-months-old beta version. And although many people asked for some news… I can hear the sound of silence from the developers…
For all the people trusting Automattic and planning to base their projects on their products, it is a shame.
Come on guies, we NEED stable and compatible version of WordPress Mu, BuddyPress AND bbPress !
An announcement about 1.0 will be made shortly, the project is not dead 🙂
How about inviting the top 50 bbpress forums to use the service?
The owners of those sites should consult the TalkPress website for more information about how to possibly use the TalkPress service.
I am looking forward to seeing Alpha stage!
I really want to use bbpress on my wordpress powered blog, but, I do not have the technical skills to be able to get the forum to look anything like my blog theme. Is there any plans to make this process easier, as I suspect the majority of bbpress users would like to integrate the designs to make the transaction between the two services easier for users.
It’s up to theme designers to get things happening there. Try contacting the person who designed your WordPress theme and try to convince them to create a matching theme for bbPress.
An announcement about 1.0 will be made shortly, the project is not dead 🙂
Comment by Sam Bauers — May 10, 2009 @ 12:46 pm
Great news (even if I already read that a few weeks ago…) !
Should I waste time trying to integrate the current 1.0.6 alpha with Buddypress or should I wait for this famous 1.0 announcement…
Please not only teasing but precise release dates.
In all cases, congrats for the great work.
[…] a bit more info on the technical workings of TalkPress head over to Sam’s post on that topic. And for more details on the building of this forum project, the lead consultant Watershed Studio […]