Forking bbPress: First Draft
Release of the first draft of my proposal for the forking of the bbPress software into a separate and well managed community project.
Kevin, I’ve eagerly read your pdf and I promise you’ll hear from me soon, though my upcoming degree is sucking me all my free time…
Your idea definitely deserves more attention, man!
So finally we are rolling. I am with the fork definitely and I totally agree that _ck_’s involvement is crucial.
Its true that both of you are on a fork and has custom core by now but hey its certainly possible to bridge them up slowly and efforts from both of your side will emerge as one, a strong one infact.
And regarding collecting bbPress ideas, we need something on board, on the web live where everyone can see it and interact with it.
– Voting system on ideas
And we will surely need to keep it tightly integrated with WordPress to market it and make it a success. Else the WP community will not gain interest in it.
I am also in favor of a fork of bbPress 0.9
Dashboard theming can be done.
But I think there are going to be issues in different view of how you have divided things to be Core plugins and like because everyone will have a different opinion and not managing this thing can make those people turn away which is something we can’t afford. Not every one but big players. You know what I mean.
The title is “I want to fork bbPress”, but it’s really “I want to manage a bbPress fork. Here’s my feature wishlist. Who wants to code it?”
Kevinjohn, one of your 4 “Key Points For Discussion” is a matter you want to draw a line under (which was covered by the word “fork” anyway), and the other three are the areas that need the least discussion and the text itself explains why they don’t need discussing.
Indeed, a number of the points you make are a natural consequence of forking (eg ‘have a new website’) followed by some adjectives (‘have a better website’). However some of the ideas point towards a more substantial rewrite – rethinking categories and changing the database schema. The “blue sky” metaphor doesn’t exactly chime with a continuation of existing code either.
You prefer to fork 0.9 rather than 1.0 but you’re open to decisions from others.
You deride duplication of effort, yet you intend to fork bbPress.
You have “Focussing development efforts on the administration of the software, over front-end user needs” as a goal, which appears to mean that having a nice admin interface without any need to edit text files is more important than having a forum that people can use.
You may possibly have meant “needs” over and above basic functionality but if there are no fancy features on the front-end, how will the support forum “show-off”?
What sort of timeline are you attaching to this project?
thanks for the kind words.
I’ve also replied to your email.
Great to hear from you mate, and to have your support.
No doubt there will be differnt opinions, but with many people pulling in the same direction, i’m sure we’ll find suitable compromises along the way.
it’s really “I want to manage a bbPress fork. Here’s my feature wishlist. Who wants to code it?”
Haha, thanks for telling people what I actually meant Paul, but I’m a half (quarter?) decent developer. Not as good as some of the great developers we have around here already, but but i’m more than happy to get my hands dirty when needed.
Right now, we’ve alot of exceptionally talented Developers, and not so much in the PM/BA department, and I’m merely trying to fill the gap I can be most helpful in. Apologies to all those that my document offended enough to take pot-shots at the language used.
It’s a high level effort of one person to kick start something bigger than himself, if its all the same with yourself, i’ll hold off on the low level fine tuning for quite some time, even though you raise some interesting points.
We’ve a software to save
I totally agree that _ck_’s involvement is crucial.
Y’all don’t need me. I highly encourage you to keep going with the fork and there doesn’t have to be just one fork.
Remember, WordPress itself is just one (big) fork (of b2evolution).
I’ll be taking a sabbatical for the rest of the year starting next month or so as I have serious real-life things to deal with, and then *maybe* announcing my own project next year in the spring. Instead of a fork it will be a 50% or more rewrite of the entire core, fixing a few legacy problems. But it would not be available to the public for at least a year from now at the soonest and it won’t be fully backwards compatible.
It literally took me three years but I kinda figured out an indirect way of doing something like this. Part of the solution is so simple that I guarantee WordPress will “steal” the idea within six months of me publishing the code because it’s backwards compatible and a great idea that no-one else apparently has thought of yet for some mysterious reason. I’ve already tested a proof-of-concept and it’s one of those things that once you see it, everyone says “well that’s so simple anyone could have thought of it”. But no one has, yet.
also, this is a better way to link your PDF, even foxit has security issues from time to time and people have to be insane to use adobe with it’s exploit-of-the-month
Has anyone heard updates on bbPress (WP plugin)?
I only ask since it’ll effect this project fork.
frooyo, if you see point 7.4 of the draft proposal you’ll see that it shouldn’t negatively affect this fork. Kevinjohn reckons that the bbPress plugin code and community will be excellently managed by JJJ. The fork will not prioritise integration with WordPress, meaning the fork can instead concentrate on being lightweight and modular (with 25 modules bundled in).
So that’s alright then. Oh, except at least one supporter of the fork thinks that “we will surely need to keep it tightly integrated with WordPress to market it and make it a success”.
I don’t really understand what part of bbPress it is that Kevinjohn wants to save. To me, it seems that the main thing he wants to keep from bbPress is the developers…
Right now, we’ve alot of exceptionally talented Developers, and not so much in the PM/BA department, and I’m merely trying to fill the gap I can be most helpful in.
Kevinjohn, you’re not filling a gap in bbPress, you’re creating a new project with all-new gaps and filling one or two of them.
Throughout the document you say “we” and “us” to mean either the bbPress community or the fork community. I wonder if at some points you forget that there even is a difference – that a fork is a breaking away. A new software, not a saving of the old software.
I was attracted to bbPress because it is the forum from the WordPress people and I like the tags. It is a shame that the project hasn’t flourished like WP has. I can understand that people will be attracted to a continuation of bbPress, but without the ties to WP the fork needs to stand alone with a clear identity. Heck, bbPress’s main problem is that it has a muddied identity – is it 0.9, 1.0 or plugin?
You say the proposal is a draft one, but I’m not entirely clear when/if you plan to release an amended version. I think that what you need to do after your blue-sky and requirement refinement phases is to publish a detailed proposal, a manifesto for the project, identifying what parts you’re taking from bbPress and what parts need to be rewritten, and asking “who’s with us?”.
Indeed, that’s what I hoped to see in the draft document, but instead I was disappointed by the contradictions and lack of detail. However, a definition that is refined by community consent rather than one man’s vision may well be the best start, and this fork may excite me yet.
With the fork defined clearly in a proper proposal, people who were particularly attached to rejected ideas can leave, and other developers and contributors will join. Everyone on the fork will believe in the project. You’ll know how many people are truly committed, and you can plan accordingly.
And this process will probably inspire even more forks from teams and individuals.
I suspect that the best post-bbPress projects will be rewrites of the core, like _ck_ has identified is necessary for her intriguing project. And that’s fine. Take the spirit, learn the lessons. Don’t keep bbPress code alive for the sake of it, just write the best forum software you can.
Kevinjohn, it may not seem it, but I wish your project well.
Just a quick update, I’m afraid I’ve been offline for a week due to family issues. To that end, it’ll be another week or so before I come back with an actual update. Just didn’t want people to think I’d gone AWOL.
_ck_ best of luck with your projects. No doubt we’ll all be slapping our heads at the simplicity of what you build next.
Paul, thanks for the kind words and well wishes.
If we are talking “blue sky” here, I’d like to propose a re-think of the content of “forum”, “topic”, “thread” and “profile” pages. WordPress site maintenance took a giant step forward with the addition of widgets.
Blogger.com is aimed at the masses (as any good forum software ought to be) and the “blog layout” tool is a great example. Drag + drop gadgets from a palette and tweak the look of the blog without ever editing a line of code.
Wouldn’t it be nice if forum themes revolved around skinning just the presentation, and the structure of the page could be as simple as drag + drop in the admin area?
Wouldn’t it be nice to allow widgets developed by other people to be dropped into place on the various pages that make up the site? What would it take to allow WordPress widgets to co-exist with bbPress ones?
Now that would make moderating and tweaking a forum easier!
Actually, while I think of it, a “get more widgets” link in the admin area, that seamlessly downloads and activates widgets would be awesome. All the smartphones are going toward an “App Store” why shouldn’t we?
I couldn’t agree more. The new bbpress needs something like wordpress’s custom post, and it would be awesome if bbpress had the same thing, only more flexible and with a UI.
Example: just drag a wigit in between topic title and message, and name it topic description.
WordPress already has the “app store”, but bbpress needs it to.
WordPress integration is crucial, because tons of people would like to have a cms and a forum. However, I don’t think that making bbpress a wordpress plugin is the right solution. Lot’s of people also want to have a standalone forum software. The integration just needs to be smoother.
If you guys could do that I would definitely use the forked software.
Always happy for more Blue Sky thinking.
Widgets, and easy theming, are definitely points I would like to discuss in detail further down the line. I absolutely believe that the theme should just deal with simple presentation, and this ties in with that nicely.
Custom post types is actually very simple, and has already been factored in to a certain extent.
WordPress integration is crucial
No, it’s not
And nor is it going to be a goal of the software.
WordPress is getting it’s own forum software, and I’m sure that will work really well, and meet the needs of many.
What will be happening is that people can extend the user or login classes so that external systems can be tied into the software (MediaWiki, Drupal, WordPress etc).
that is integration. But why stop at user tables when you can do layout/content/user integration with several different softwares? I think that integration with other scripts, including wordpress, is crucial.
What will be happening is that people can extend the user or login classes so that external systems can be tied into the software (MediaWiki, Drupal, WordPress etc).
Does that mean that you have it all figured out and the purpose of this thread is to get extremely talented programmers on board. I could be wrong, but it seems like you’re approving any and all ideas that come your way. If this fork is a democracy, I want in, but count me out if your going to have complete control over it.
I am aware that Matt technically has almost complete control over wordpress, but the difference is that he has a totally awesome script, whereas you have no script, and (as far as I know, correct me if I’m wrong) no experience contributing/managing php scripts.
Integration with WordPress, or any other external software, will not be something we’ll be aiming for in the core.
The plan is to allow classes and functions to be overwritten/extended so that anyone that interested can write a plug-in to handle such features. That’s more to do with OOP data mapping versus hard-coding, than an attempt to so anything with WordPress specifically.
Does that mean that you have it all figured out and the purpose of this thread is to get extremely talented programmers on board
Only if they use Dreamweaver like I do.
There are many of talented people on this site whom I have come to respect; and it would be folly of me not to keep them in the loop on something like this. I’m not really sure why people think that’s Machiavellian of me…
you have no script, and (as far as I know, correct me if I’m wrong) no experience contributing/managing php scripts.
What’s PHP again?
Before I respond, can I give you some comments about your draft.
- Some of the proposed plugins should be integrated in the core. Report user, user roles, quotes, SEO, stickies, improved moderation, Pivate Messages: all of that I consider essential to a good forum script and while there is nothing wrong with making them into a plugin, it would be much more convenient for new users not to have to install a bunch of stuff to get those features.
- I agree that bbpress has been neglected over the past years, and that the website especially needs a revamp.
- I also think that the fork needs a better theming structure, one that is easier to use and allows people with little/no knowledge to be able to edit the theme.
- I also think that this new software should include some features that have not been included in a lot of forum softwares, but are still useful, if not esential.
- Moderation Log: the idea behind it is that whenever a post gets deleted, who deleted it, a copy of the deleted post, and some notes on why it got deleted are recorded in a log (that is only viewable to certain people, of course). That way administrators and moderators can easily keep track of troublemakers and they have a log of all past offenses.
- Good page structure: most people spend a minuet or two looking at a site before deciding to join it. One of the factors that influence the decision is activity. The new forum software structure should be designed to reflect the activity of the forum, and how much fun people are having. This is mostly in the themes, so that’s why the default theme should be designed to reflect that.
But anyway, now I have 3 questions:
- have you ever been on the development side of an open source project?
- If this fork got underway, would you be running the show, and if you did, how much would you contribute to the project programing wise?
- How would ideas get approved?
thank you for your time
I think you’ve hit a key point christofius:
Some of the proposed plugins should be integrated in the core. Report user, user roles, quotes, SEO, stickies, improved moderation, Pivate Messages: all of that I consider essential to a good forum script
Many would agree, many wouldn’t.
Thats one of the goals, to ensure that you only had what was essential to run a forum.
I’ve been lucky enough to be on the internet for almost 20 years (and on “forums” since the bulletin-board/guestbook era), and i’ve never once used “private messaging”. That is, unless [you] call E-mail private messaging.
…while there is nothing wrong with making them into a plugin, it would be much more convenient for new users not to have to install a bunch of stuff to get those features.
The same could be said for people uninstalling them.
My viewpoint is this, and I may be totally wrong, but if you include ‘core plugins’ turned off by default, users get a light-weight active and working forum right out of the box, and all they have to click is “activate” to get the desire feature working.
This is how WordPress does it just now with the likes of Akismet, and there are very few complaints that I know of.
Spotted this today
A few thoughts.
If you’re going to fork it, call it something new and fork it. Sever the ties so that discussion can start someplace else and these forums can continue to be used for bbPress. It’s in bad taste to rally the troops on this website for something that will only further fragment the already small community we have.
If you’d like to continue to support or contribute to your favorite existing branch of bbPress, that doesn’t require a fork; it requires ownership and dedication like _ck_ has for 0.9.
If you’re going to fork it, call it something new and fork it.[…]
Mmh… strange déjà-vu… -_-“
If you’d like to continue to support or contribute to your favorite existing branch of bbPress, that doesn’t require a fork […]
As always, I appreciate you stopping by
I have not at any time here solicited people to leave bbPress, and 99% of my conversations about this topic have taken place away from this forum, and for the most part, over the last 2-2.5 months.
I refute entirely the statement that I’m attempting to “fragment the already small community” or do anything in “bad taste”. While I’m a vocal son-of-a-gun at times, I think my record for attempting to support bbPress, this forum, and it’s community over the last 2 years will stand up to some scrutiny.
In fact, my initial post was simply a link to another website on which the discussion could take place. I had, and have, no intention of parking the discussion here. I did take time to reply to people as a courtesy. To me, it’s just being mannerly, but I apologise if it’s been wrongly viewed in a different way.
I never intended this thread to cause any issues, I included a link to a website for people that might be interested, and I’ve only replied to folks who have commented here of their own volition (never having sought their comments in these forums). I’ve tried to be courteous and succinct, though I have failings at both, directly e-mailing people whose contact details have been available so that I could keep the chatter here down.
Could I ask if a moderator would be as kind as to lock this thread?
If you’re going to fork it, call it something new and fork it.
I totally agree with you bro
What’s your WordPress plug-in that’s not a continuation of the bbPress0.9/1/ branches going to be called?
mr_pelle: How can we contribute if no one submits patches […]
You just answered your own question!
And as for #538 believe it or not JJJ has submitted a patch, some testing probably wouldn’t go wrong with that, then maybe someone with commit access can add it to trunk!
Huh?? “call it something new and fork it” ??
Um, but “1.2” itself is a fork without being renamed?
Forks of the original standalone bbPress serve the community by giving them somewhere to turn to since they are being abandoned. In less than a year they will find this forum completely useless for assistance.
So I consider fork announcements a badly needed public notice/service.
Kevin feel free to duplicate this topic on my site if need be, as well as any anyone else making a fork announcement of their own.
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