Support for 0.9 – how long?
I’d like to put this out to the community as that is where the real support for bbPress comes from in the end. How long should we maintain support for bbPress 0.9?
As long as bbPress 0.9 is maintained some time will have to be spent maintaining the 0.9 branch, mostly with regards to security fixes. I don’t see this as particularly burdensome, but I don’t want to be doing it forever.
Given that plugins and themes will take some time to transition to 1.0 as well I think that support should extend for a reasonable amount of time.
I’m thinking somewhere between 12 and 18 months would be sufficient. People helping out here can inevitably decide for themselves whether they deal with 0.9 issues, but it would be good to set a cutoff date.
I run a bbPress site that would be some way up that top 100, and the WP site gets 15 million hits a month.
Reading this does make me more than a little concerned – WP integration is a key feature of bbPress, as can be seen from all the talk about it on these forums. 0.9 integration is almost impossible to get working (I was never able), and the bridge between the two will likely be developed solely with 1.0 in mind from here on (not that it ever worked properly in 0.9).
1.0 seems to the killer app for a WP/BB CMS integration, so for that reason alone it is an appealing upgrade – in my case essential, as I would not have otherwise been able to select bbPress at all. Providing a cohesive user experience is rather more important than worrying about a few CPU cycles in a case like this, as hardware is cheaper than lost page views and users.
However, reading _ck_’s comments here and elsewhere, it is obvious he loathes 1.0 or at least has almost no interest in it.
Since most of the rich functionality which is essential to a rounded forum is provided by _ck_’s superb plugins, it seems that for anyone dependent on them is going to be left waiting for a potentially long time, especially when _ck_ appears to have no interest in taking work, making it a matter of waiting for plugins to catch up – I am sure many users just couldn’t upgrade without being able to carry forward their existing features, which rather renders the whole issue of supporting 0.9 moot.
I’d have to say, it would be a situation like this, and not any “heaviness”, which would press me into looking at an alternative solution…
If I missed such a large site in the top 100 be sure to let me know.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to find certain sites given how much bbPress is being customized.
(I had written a whole thing here but I accidentally closed the tab and restoring it never brought the text back unfortunately.)
You should never adopt a program based on one person, especially if that person doesn’t do it for a living and even more important since that person doesn’t work for the company that made the program in the first place
To be clear I am not abandoning bbPress, at least not until I find something better and I am not actually looking for something else right now and what I have seen over the past year has not impressed me much. Besides, there are other talents around here and they are slowing releasing more and more impressive plugins or porting them from WP. A couple years from now people won’t even remember me.
My biggest problem with 1.0 is how bbPress was on a course with 0.9 to correct many of the legacy mistakes that WordPress had made, and suddenly with a whim by Matt, bbPress has turned around 180 degrees and steered itself neck deep back into the muck and mire via BackPress. It’s now burdened with many more layers and required compatibility and it will never be any more lightweight than it is now, which is not so fantastic anymore.
Another big problem growing with 1.0 is how instead of taking any feature that is outside of the API functionality and making it external as a plugin, it is being poured directly into the core, setting itself up for more legacy failure, like WordPress. Sam wrote some really great plugins as an independent but now as a core developer he can just slide it right into the core. It’s far easier to modified the core to get new features done fast but it should be resisted at all costs. You’ll notice that WordPress doesn’t have any official plugins outside of akismet and “hello dolly”, it’s a very clear but invisible company policy – “we don’t make plugins, put it into the core”. bbPress is now headed down the same path and it’s not necessary.
topic page icons
should not be in the core. Instead any necessary action and filter hooks needed to accomplish such features should be carefully created and then the features should be made as plugins that can be enabled or disabled as desired. bbPress already comes with a “factory” plugin directory, it should be put to good use.
bbPress 0.9’s greatest strength was as a lightweight framework.
1.0 is not just a framework anymore, it’s starting to tell you how it should look and feel, and that is bad, because there are dozens of other forum programs out there that will do just that.
_ck_, I love you, (and you are without a doubt the absolute best when it comes to plugins) but I for one am very excited to have the ability to use gravatars and voice built into the core bbPress program.
Respectfully to all, just because the ABILITY to use a new feature is built into bbPress DOES NOT force one to use it. It’s still totally up YOU. No one HAS to incorporate Gravatars or Voices into their site, but it is very cool for newbies to simply turn a core feature on or off rather than needing to download a plugin that is probably months or even a year old…praying it will work with the latest version.
Am I saying Sam should build an NES Emulator and a Weatherbug Widget into bbPress 1.2? HECK NO.
(Sam, start with the Atari emulator instead)
But things like Gravatars, (which Automattic owns) have tremendous potential use (goodbye individual avatar uploading for every single forum, hello universality). And the ABILITY to display voices makes sense to add in (being able to show the number of different people contributing to a topic certainly enhances bbPress).
Perhaps I am in the minority here, but I am hoping future versions of bbPress will continue to add these sorts of new features that make the bbPress experience more enjoyable for all users.
Out with the old, in with the new.
If it wasn’t against the grain to open up a .9 legacy forum here specifically for supporting it, I’d say just do that and see who falls into it.
A majority of the audience of bbPress are people that want to be on the bleeding edge of WordPress development, and be part of a growing and maturing community. As such, people will remember .9 of bbPress as much as they remember .9 of WordPress (b2evo anyone?)
I personally think anything officially past the end of 2009 is a stretch, and is a very generous offer from Sam to not leave the early adopters on their own without patches and support.
Just my tuppence worth, but as I said elsewhere, I’ve taken _ck_’s advice and stuck with 0.9. My forum needs aren’t very demanding, I have all the plugins I need and they work fine, and I don’t use WordPress so integration isn’t an issue. I have enquiries from others who want sites and forums building, but static sites rather than blogs. I can use my DTP package and bbPress 0.9 to do everything very quickly, and have excellent stability from both.
I also agree with _ck_’s points about core vs. plugins. From what I can gather, the original idea was to have a fast, secure, and plugin extensible system. Even as a user rather than a developer that makes a lot of sense to me. It means the core quickly becomes more and more stable, and anyone is free to develop whatever they want to hook into it. Brilliant. But putting various functions into the core means that any changes have to be redone by Sam et. al. and re-uploaded, hacked in the core by users, or redeveloped by hooking in a plugin to change the functionality. As everyone has differing needs and opinions, plugins for anything but basic core functions leave open far more options. Anything which is not essential to all users is not a core function. Gravatars, for example, are not required or even wanted by many users.
As to people remembering old versions with fondness, but having moved on with each bleeding edge version, I’d suggest that it’s only those who keep moving on who voice their opinions most in these forums. There are huge numbers of users who’ve built forums with very old packages of all kinds, and when they build new ones they use the old software too. I think it’s important that those who love bleeding edge, along with the challenges and time consuming re-uploading and fiddling around, don’t forget that many people are perfectly happy with what works and see no need to keep reinventing the wheel. After all, how much better really, do all these new ideas and functions appearing all over the web make life? This is probably a point for a philosophical forum, but worth mentioning I think. We seem to spend so much time redoing and redoing, that often purpose is lost in the background noise of being so busy changing everything. We live in a, “Yippee, it’s new!” culture, where anything which doesn’t titillate the mind is ditched for whatever’s next.
New functionality is great if it’s genuinely useful, but I’m glad 0.9.0.5 exists and works so well, and the occasional security update will do fine. Incidentally, I’d quite like to see a separate 0.9 forum. It would save 0.9 users having to wade through all the 1.0 questions and allow us to quickly see what’s relevant.
I’ve now made the identical Topic Voices functionality available for bbPress 0.9
Any changes you make to your templates to use it will remain compatible when upgrading to 1.0, users will only have to deactivate the plugin after upgrading.
(this is also a demonstration of how Voices should have been a plugin rather than in the core)
Can someone test this new version of Freshly Baked Cookies with bbPress 0.9 + WP 2.8.1 and let me know if it works and cookie sync is maintained?
Don’t forget to copy over your settings at the top of the plugin and remember to set the AUTH_COOKIE_VERSION to
2for WP 2.8
I have a hard time believing it’s that simple to fix for WP 2.8 vs 2.7 but here’s hoping.
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