After announcing plans earlier to breathe some life into bbPress, the core WordPress.org team has announced that they are ceasing development of the blog platform in order to redouble their efforts on WP’s red headed step child.
For the first time in over 8 years, the core development team is not working on the next version of WordPress, but rather on an initiative that’s been dubbed “3.org.”
3.org is a very appropriately named project that is focused on building and polishing the surrounding elements of WordPress rather than on WordPress itself. Part of this initiative is the conversion of bbPress from a standalone platform into a neat little WordPress plugin. I’ve volunteered to lead that initiative, and wanted to take a moment to explain what that means for BuddyPress, bbPress, and what you can expect for the next few months. (Official BuddyPress Blog) read more
Unlike a few other WordPress services, bbPress is more or less the runt of the WordPress clan.
Compared to other Automattic services (like VaultPress, BuddyPress, VideoPress, etc.), which are only a plugin away, bbPress is more or less a nightmare for DIY bloggers who are not fluent in the art of geek (aka hosting language).
Coding headaches aside, it looks as if Autmattic is once again revisiting bbPress in order to make it easier to use for the masses.
I think WordPress integration is the most important item on the roadmap for the future of bbPress.
One, it’s an embarrassing pain in the butt to do now. One of the most frequent questions here on our forums. You have to jump through endless loops, and end up with something worse than most of the WP plugins for forums.
Two, we get the benefit of all the WordPress plugins and themes, which vastly outnumber our current options. Want private messaging? Use the BuddyPress plugin for it. Want OpenID? Stats? Sitemaps? There’s a plugin for that. Social network and profile features, in particular, are useful to the future of discussion forums and it’d be silly of us to duplicate that effort. (Official bbPress Blog) read more
What separates a blog and a forum? It’s not as simple of an answer as it was just a few years ago.
Forums have long been making use of RSS feeds and some have even adopted more blog-like layouts. Now many forum applications have begun sending pingbacks and trackbacks to articles linked in posts, an activity that began and, previously was limited to, blogs.
However, blogs have also begun to become more and more forum-like. Though comments have always been a major part of blogging, many are also encouraging original submissions. They are also placing a heavier emphasis on comments and services such as Disqus and Intense Debate provide greater commenter identity and cross-site accounts.
In short, where forums have been pulling from the playbook of blogs in their newest features, blogs have been gradually becoming more community-oriented, turning away from the author-oriented approach they are often associated with.
This has had the effect of blurring the lines between the two and confusing many who are building new sites.
To help make sense of it, I decided to turn to my long-time friend, podcast co-host and all-around community expert Patrick O’Keefe in hopes he could provide some insights into their similarities and differences as well as help sites decide which format is right for them. read more
It’s here, the WordPress of forum software! I’m happy to report that bbPress 1.0 is out, featuring a user friendly interface and a lot of the things we’d expect from something this closely related to WordPress. This from the announcement post:
This release offers many usability improvements, based on making bbPress more approachable for adopters who are accustomed to WordPress. To that end bbPress 1.0 now has a similar administration interface to WordPress and uses similar descriptions and names where appropriate. bbPress also behaves more like WordPress when it comes to things like automatically generating your .htaccess file when setting up permalinks.
BbPress has been stable for quite some time, actually, but in desperate need of polishing for most users. The 1.0 release is said to bring that, along with great support for integration with WordPress 2.7 and 2.8. Naturally, you can download it from bbpress.org.
We saw this coming, especially with the feature we did on the new b5media back in February. Mashing lots of blogs together and moving to WordPress MU, it all smelled forum integration with bbPress, and Facebook-ish social networking with BuddyPress from the start. And now they’re rolling it out, first on Splendicity and Blisstree, but the rest of the roster will get the community treatment too.
All of our bloggers will certainly play a key role in this. There are very few leaders in any given community; it is one of those miniscule percentages of total users, in the 1% range. We have a clear advantage because our bloggers are already our community leaders. [...] Most importantly, it allows bloggers to interact with their readers outside of the author/commentor relationship and allow readers to start discussions about their favourite topics as well.
Read the full presentation, and the hopes and dreams of the b5ers, in the blog post.
With the power of the WordPress Community behind it, could TalkPress ignite the fire under forums?
WordPress.com has been an incredible success with millions of bloggers registering millions of blogs and having their chance to blog free, or for a small fee for some services. Blog topics range from personal and private to politics and raising social consciousness. Some WordPress.com blogs have become popular and even famous, such as Robert Scoble and icanhascheezburger.
As a hosting company, WordPress.com hosts some of the largest websites and blogs in the world including icanhascheezburger, CNN news sites including Political Ticker, the Dow Jones’ All Things D, GretaWire, Time’s The Page, People Magazine’s Style Watch, and more. These companies provide the revenue to keep the free blog hosting services rocking and prove that WordPress has the strength and capabilities to support serious demands from users and servers. read more
In a comical typical dialog between a son, desperately trying to explain web technology and terminology to a father, thrilled his son might get paid for what he’s long considered was “time wasting computer stuff,” Jane Wells of Automattic spells out some of the basics of this year’s WordPress Summer of Code 2009. read more
The WordPress sibling, bbPress, is growing up. 1.0 alpha is out, and although we’ll probably have to wait some time for a real release candidate, and a sharp 1.0 release, it does reminds us about the forum software project that works so nicely with WordPress. I’ve been running bbPress for some projects the last year or so, and it is pretty stable already, although upgrading can cause issues and it is a little rough around the edges. With 1.0, my patience with the platform will be shorter, because I expect a finished product. That being said, I have no reason to doubt it will be so.
So bbPress is growing up, and that might result in growth pains. The 1.0 release won’t be upgradeable from previous releases, and there will be no diff release according to the blog post, because there are too many changes. Likewise, 1.0 will break some plugins. Just a heads up for people running bbPress today, be sure to do some preliminary testing already. There is still plenty of time, but it is always a good idea to be ready.