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Re: BBpress. Mindset, features and where now? discuss…



2 wonderful replies. Excellent to have a frank discussion like this.

I’ll deal with them separately if that’s ok?


I do love that BBpress allows the owner to specify how much of what type of emphasis can be placed on what area of the discussion, or to add/remove features based on plug-ins. I’m all for that.

What I’m saying is, that the way we currently handle things, and the way we currently build things actually negates that. If you want a hierarchal system, you can’t have it. Categories are just forums. We don’t iterate though levels to produce our structure where Forums belong to Categories. Because Categories are just forums with an extra DB mark, there’s no ownership.

(yes at the back end we can set the parent/child relationship up, but at the front end we don’t have access to that information).

Infact, from a template perspective, we only access the information about the forum’s relationship with those around it (parent, child, sibling, uncle, nephew) when we work out the CSS – AFTER the table has been created. This entirely nullifies the option to handle a feudal system with controllable Parent / Child options for the owner / theme developer.

(the call to the BBloop->classes() that works it out only returns a string of CSS classes instead of an object we can use to work things out ourselves).

As someone who deals with accessible websites a lot, I can tell you that outputting tables for a list of the topics is great. Outputting a flat table with different CSS (that gets stripped by the screen reader) for a hierarchal parent/child relationship is totally pointless. Going the other way, for our more fancy theme developers, it really messes up JavaScript iterating and controlling the DOM; and also starts to cause real issues with CSS layouts on older /non-standard compliant browsers.

(ever wonder why all the BBpress themes all look really really similar)

My point is, if I want to go with the flat list of topics as many do, then BBpress lets me, which is ace. If I don’t though, then BBpress starts to cause me huge issues. I’m all for owners being able to choose to do as much or as little as they want with BBpress – but right now, with the current set up, choosing to emulate the basic STRUCTURE of the bigger boards simply isn’t an option.

Yes we can do it in the back end (categories > forums > forum > forum > topic) but we cant do it in the front end; because we don’t iterate through the parent/child relationships like we would say… an xml file, instead we just list all the cats/forums.

To keep with your Pizza analogy, if you said “What do you want on your pizza” and I said “tomato, and give me a coke and fries too” – but when I get the pizza delivered the fries are on a coke drenched pizza. Oh what, you didn’t want it all mushed together in a single item? SWOwman, sorry, what you meant to say was:


– Tomato Sauce

– Cheese

– Pepperoni


– Coke

Side order

– Fries

Shit man, we just mush all that stuff together with no differentiation until it’s output (see we’ve slapped the coke label on the side for you).

Basically, having a standard output that is rigid doesn’t make us more robust, it makes us less flexible. And that, as you have pointed out JohnJames, is one of the joys of BBpress. It’s flexible in so many ways – just not this one.

(and this is just one example)

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