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bbPress 2.0 – Feedback

  • John James Jacoby


    So 2.0 beta has been downloaded over 15k times, which is awesome. Feedback has been coming in steadily, and I’ve been holding an official RC because of a few odds and ends that are taking some time to figure out. Hoping to get some feedback on a few specific things:

    Page Templates

    The way WordPress works, page templates can work automagically if the template name matches a page slug. This is really convenient as it automatically acts like a page template without setting it, but can get in the way if you want to use a specific page slug and not have bbPress take it over. Example:


    If you made a WordPress page with the unique slug ‘user-register’ WordPress would automatically use that template file for that page. So far I’ve purposely picked unlikely template names so they wouldn’t collide with existing slugs. But, if that same file was renamed to:


    …all it would take is making a “Register” page and bbPress would automatically have a sign-up page with no shortcodes and no more work. The adverse to that convenience is if you want to customize your sign-up page beyond what bbPress provides, you’re looking at a totally custom theme.

    This works with any template file in the root folder of a theme, so there are lots of possibilities. My goal is to satisfy the majority, so I’m thinking of heading in this direction and renaming the template files.


    At the moment, multisite integration works great, if you want to have individual bbPress forums with their own authorized users per forum. If you want to have all users have access to all forums in a multisite install, you’re currently out of luck. With multisite there are endless configuration options, and I see the use case for all of them.

    Which do you prefer as the default? Users can access all forums, or users can only access forums for which they have a role on that specific site?


    Right now there is no interface for searching the bbPress 2.0 integrated forums. The original implementation got negative reviews because search results were site wide, showing blog entries, topics, and replies.

    It’s currently possible to filter search results by post type (topic/reply) but most WordPress themes assume the search results will come from posts or pages, and as such aren’t styled to look like forum results, which is really confusing to the person performing the search. It’s also confusing to have multiple search boxes, or to need to pick what results you’re looking for.

    How do you think it should work? Should forum results appear in your existing blog search? Should they be separated? Should there be some kind of ‘smart search’ that knows where the request came from, and only shows results based on the type of content you are looking at (blog/forum/other)?


    The WordPress mantra is decisions over options, but creating something as large as a discussion forum within WordPress is going to come with at least a few settings. I think our settings page is starting to get out of hand. Should we break the one page up into a few, or leave it as 1 page with all options?

    That’s what’s on my mind. If you’ve been using 2.0 for the past few weeks, your input would be much appreciated so these last few ends can be tied up and we can let this ship sail. :)

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)

  • pimarts


    Didn’t run into anything with the page templates or multisite (don’t use that), but here’s something about the other two:


    I like a site wide search results, but maybe an option in the settings is an idea? Something like “Search scope: Don’t search forums / Site wide / forum only” or something. I don’t know how that would work out coding wise for you.

    What I ran into when I enabled searching through the forums was the fact that the first result included a reply form and everything, if it could have kept basic styling (like the other results) it would be perfect.


    I don’t think there’s too many settings yet. You could break em up into several pages (with tabs), but that means users have to click more and some options will be harder to find (maybe you want that with some options).

    Some settings I would like to see added (just throwing it in here):

    • Enable / disable time limit on editing.
    • The search scope function mentioned above
    • Avatar size
    • (Just because I stripped it out and don’t use it) Tag functionality: Enable / disable



    Which do you prefer as the default? Users can access all forums, or users can only access forums for which they have a role on that specific site?

    I would prefer that users can only access a forum for which they have a role on a specific site.

    Here is my argument for this:

    1. It is easy enough to programmatically add a user to another site either upon registration or after the fact.

    2. buddypress finally has ‘mu’ capability. Many of us have asked for years to have separated installs of bp with an ‘mu’ network. Having users added to all forums can confuse this operation. (besides if you are using buddypress, there is already a plugin to add all users to all groups/forums)

    Should forum results appear in your existing blog search? Should they be separated?

    I’d rather have all results show up in a users search in a single search box.

    Here is my argument:

    1. Forum posts are data just like a post is data. I simply use forums in order to present the data in a different layout than blogs as it can be more appropriate.

    2. A user comes to a website to find information. Who am I to tell a user that the million+ posts in my forum are less relevant to what they are looking for than a blog post? It gives the impression to a user who uses search and does not see the forum results that there is less relevant information on the site than there actually is.

    How I would solve the template problem.

    1. Include all results in the search output and simply separate out the design within the template for each type of data output.

    `if (get_query_var(‘post_type’) == “post”){

    get_template_part( ‘loop’, ‘post’ );

    } elseif (get_query_var(‘post_type’) == “topic”){

    get_template_part( ‘loop’, ‘topic’ );

    } else …..’

    2. This can lead to one really annoying issue. The results are output in the order of ‘post-date’, so the results are jumbled together. Meaning you could end up with post – topic – topic – post – reply…

    To solve this issue I would attack this with the ‘groupby’ function. I would show 10x ‘posts’ then 10x ‘topics’ then 10x ‘replies’ etc, with a ‘MORE’ button underneath each of the 10. That way a user could say I want to see ‘MORE’ search results for just ‘posts’, or just ‘topics’ etc..

    To go even fancier, you could apply some ajax loading to the MORE button.

    Another option would be to allow the user to filter their search results either pre or post search utilizing check boxes. A user could select what types they want to search for. Then have the search function itself only include the selected post-types in the initial query.

    *All of this is currently possible and I am about 70% there already, although not for search specifically. I ran into this issue when a user goes to a tax term page where the tax term is shared by multiple post-types. When I finish, I’ll pass the code along, although I’m sure you can probably do better than I can anyway.

    Should we break the one page up into a few, or leave it as 1 page with all options?

    I had to laugh when I read that you thought the page was already out of control. Have you ever seen the admin page for vbulletin?

    If it were me, I would use a multi-tabbed admin page much like many of the premium theme companies use.

    I absolutely love the flexibility that the vbulletin admin panel gives me. I can control every aspect imaginable and can’t imagine running a large forum without it.

    Frankly if an admin doesn’t want to take the time to learn and operate the admin panel they should just bugger off and install any one of the crappy basic forums already available. I’d rather see bbpress turn into a full blown commercial level forum setup for wp.

    beta 3 works great. for future i wish only to show last topics over/under forum-index.

    great work.

    would be just good to have the RC on the distro instead of the older Beta3, as people would see what was done really, not just the bugged version… would it be possible to update the distro ?!

    btw, my own question would be against the template styles of the forum. when using the 20-11 theme, when we browse thru the forum, the main level has one style, and the sub-pages has different styles… making it unconfortable for the visitor… i would personally add a setting when using a 3.2 theme to have a setting in the forum configuration to choose what structure to use, sidebar or not, page or single display, etc… because i would use the “page with sidebar” configuration for most of my clients … you see the point?

    btw, 20-11 for the final version please ?! :)

    oh, btw, great job, the forum is just great… i donated in the last years and will continue to do so for each of my clients that use your product… :)

    Doug Smith


    How do you think it should work? Should forum results appear in your existing blog search? Should they be separated? Should there be some kind of ‘smart search’ that knows where the request came from, and only shows results based on the type of content you are looking at (blog/forum/other)?

    The desired mode of search could depend on the site or the page within the site. In my case, I would want to show both main site and forum content in a search from the main site because I want to expose that content. But within the forum pages I wouldn’t mind adding a checkbox to the search to limit it to forum content only.

    How about choosing a sensible default to avoid options, but then giving the search function parameters to allow a theme developer to do the kinds of things I described?

    @anointed mentioned grouping search results. I would want to be able to code a search results page with mixed content or grouped by posts, pages, forum posts, and other custom post types. But I realize that may beyond the scope of the decision you need to make for this.

    I think our settings page is starting to get out of hand. Should we break the one page up into a few, or leave it as 1 page with all options?

    Thanks for trying to stick to the “decisions over options” mantra. Opinionated software is much more pleasurable to use.

    The settings page does have more options than any of the WordPress settings pages so it is a bit full. I could certainly see grouping all of the slug-related options to their own page. But it’s not so horrible now that it couldn’t go out the door and then be iterated later.

    where i can download the bbPress RC?



    [Multisite:] Users can access all forums, or users can only access forums for which they have a role on that specific site?

    I think they should have access to all forums. Once you have a multisite setup, isn’t it commonly because a bunch of sites are going to have some unifying factor in common?

    On my own site, all forum activity would most likely be confined to a single bbPress install tied to the main BuddyPress site, so I don’t think this decision concerns me anyhow. I would like to know though, would either way be fairly easy to opt into by means of existing settings or a plugin if whatever ends up as the default is not ideal for a particular setup?

    Search is a pretty big topic. Isn’t this something that ought to be discussed in context of the entire WordPress ecosystem?, i.e. including at least Multisite and BuddyPress. I really think there ought to be just the one default type of WordPress search, which both bbPress and BuddyPress would plug into. My project will rely on bbPress in BuddyPress, so in my case I’m looking for a BuddyPress search that will properly incorporate bbPress search results.

    As for the settings panel, I would agree that the secondary layer of navigational tabs that many premium themes (-frameworks) come with is very manageable.

    I have tried the plugin for a while now. I have ported a big PHP-Fusion installation to bbPress.

    I have two comments so far:

    1. There’s something “funny” about the reply post type. I have written this issue regarding it:

    2. The RSS feeds are also clunky as far as I can tell. Here’s my experience:

    I also had an issue with the search, but since I just wanted a sitewide search, i just implemented Google CSE, and it’s working great for me.

    I’m all for adding more settings, anytime rather that than having to punch a bunch of stuff into the functions.php :-)

    But to sum up, it’s already a lot better than what I have used for the past couple of years with PHP-Fusion.


    I prefer authorised users to be handled per blog but see the need for some people wanting it site wide. Multisite doesn’t make it easy for users to sign up to sub-blogs although there are solutions out there. Perhaps there could be a widget which would allow users to sign up to each forum individually. Allowing the admin to change the wording could give all users what they want. The widget could title as a suggestion “Join These Forums”. Logged in users would see just a button which allows them to join or leave. Non signed in users would see a log on box which would assign them rights to the forums, or a register link/form?

    This way it gives all what they want and makes it easy to sign up to one and all forums. Perhaps the widget could have an option to allow “per site” or “Multisite” (all forums) sign up.


    I like the way that various CMS handle this. Perhaps it can display specific results (smart) when searching from a certain section but have check boxes to allow you to also search other post types which are available. Use jquery so as the boxes become checked it performs a live search.


    If settings can be broken into separate meaningful page names so you know where to go when something needs changing.

    John James Jacoby


    I’ve added a multisite option to handle the assigning of the default role and caps. I see value in having it work either way, and can see a case for toggling this setting even on a per site basis.

    Multisite crisis averted. :)

    Excellent, thanks! :-)

    913012.0 beta has been downloaded over 15k times

    I’ve encountered a little problem. When adding description to a topic-tag, it looks like the shortcode feature is missing a linebreak :-)

    For instance here:

    i have found a bug or whatever in RC1. In the beta 3 all its okay but in the rc1 i choose a forum when i create a topic.

    in beta the new topic its automatcly in right forum but in rc1 i must choose the right in editor. when i choose not the right the post cam in a complete other and false forum-.

    When editing a forum post or reply from the regular WP backend the revision dictates that the post should be on top in the forum flow.



    @Buslawekee, @tntc1978 and @Mike1233, please don’t make this into another bbPress 2.0 Updates thread. We’ve been given specific topics to which John wanted additional feedback. Anything not related to those clearly defined topics belong in their own threads, or a new ticket on Trac if it’s a valid bug report.

    Sorry. But that thread doesn’t want bugs either :-)

    I’ll just do what John wrote in the long thread you link to, and write a new thread for each issue (hoping they won’t drown in the flow of regular bbPress queries)

    I understand that we did wrong, but I don’t understand why a moderator didn’t just split the thread, since I think the comments are very valid regarding bbPress.

    John James Jacoby


    Because bbPress 1.0 doesn’t allow for comment splitting. :)

    If what you want to talk about doesn’t have an existing topic, make one. We’re pretty lax about things getting off topic here, but there are a few focused topics (mostly stickies) that I’m trying to keep on topic.

    It goes both ways too – if you start a topic for help on something, and someone comes into it and starts asking unrelated questions, eventually there will come a point where you’ll want things to shift back on topic.

    Haha good point. And sorry for my ignorance

Viewing 20 replies - 1 through 20 (of 20 total)
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