Re: “alphabetical” ordering of hot tags
bbPress uses the same concept as WordPress with add_filter and add_action so there are many guides out there as to how it works.
Essentially it’s a “hook” that allows you to intercept the process or results. The first part of the add_action/add_filter is the process name or trigger, the second part the the name of the function you want to process at that moment.
If there are existing filters/actions in place you can unhook them with remove_action or remove_filter.