Re: BBpress. Mindset, features and where now? discuss…
thanks very much for taking the time to write back. I’m glad you saw this as a discussion and not something negative towards BBpress.
Maybe i wrote it wrong, but my point is not what “we” the internet community intend BBpress to be, but more what “they” the community of end users want it to be.
BBpress in it’s current form is just a blog. users log on, post a blog, people leave comments. There’s a list of tags, blog posts (sorry “topics”), and um… thats it.
I know, and you know, and i’m sure the intelligent people that have written this lovely bit of code know, that a forum and a blog are very very similar.
When I got into the simplicity of BBpress before the summer, I tried to convince a number of my fellow web enthusiasts to take up the cause. But the more they looked at it, the more disdain they had. I’ve stuck with it, and continue to do so of course, as i thought with each release getting closer to 1.0RC we’d get there.
But we’ve not created a forum.
Forums have a different mindset to Blogs, and don’t get me wrong i’m ok with using plug-ins, it’s just that we’re fixing bugs/issues with a Blog mindset. That is, blogs list things in a singular direction. Forums, by the nature in terms of what the END USER expects, work in a cross polination way.
Yes tags are a good idea, but tags are reliant on the end user.
To give an example:
I recently had to take down BBpress from a backpacker website because the users weren’t putting in tags. The plan being that instead of UK > Scotland > Edinburgh > Travel > Topic that users could just use the UK Travel forum and tag “edinburgh” or “london” etc. Instead, we had 100s of “how do i buy cheap bus tickets” or “cheapest way to travel” or “1 ticket spare” etc with NO tags.
The site lastest 6 weeks before the owner demanded I take it down and replace it with “actual forum software” – that’s a quote from their IT department btw.
But lets give a counter example:
Wordpress.org uses BBpress and it’s working great. Loads of Topics, tags, and few forums. No real need for categories. Same with the technorati one. It’s a credit to BBPress – and nothing can take away from that and the amazing work done by the BBpress team and community… BUT… there’s always a but isn’t there… the people that use WordPress/Technorati are people like us, they are technical, they are used to tags and searching for exactly what they want. They are *not* the typical end user on the internet.
I’m all for free form Ipstenu, i totally get what you mean, and if that suits the needs of your community then great. For me, its suits the needs of some of mine, the problem is as soon as we get into the territory of what people think “all forums” should do, BBpress really starts to look… well, not like a forum.
The more we code, the more we’re coding a wordpress clone, yet not cloning their proven and successful techniques. Our website should match their website (heck, screw the colours, just in terms of layout and user flow), our methods should match their methods. I, no WE, want to help, we want BBpress to be better, but more importantly we want it to fulfil it’s mission statement; and right now that’s not quite happening.