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bbPress Lives

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December 11th, 2009
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bbpress

bbpresslogoBack at the end of October, What Is The Immediate Future Of bbPress was the question being asked around the bbPress community. Matt had published a thread asking this very question and was also soliciting help to move the project along.

On December 9th, Matt published the chat log to the first bbPress meetup that occurred in the bbPress IRC channel. The attendees were made up of folks who volunteered to keep the project going. Here are some of the tidbits I learned while reading the archive.

There was a great debate amongst those in attendance on whether to continue bbPress as a standalone product, a dedicated plugin, or both. As far as I can tell, a concrete decision has not been made but quite a few leaned towards making an awesome bbPress plugin.

bbPress will become a registered trademark under the WordPress Foundation.

One of the biggest weaknesses of bbPress right now is documentation. Therefor, a documentation team has been put together comprised of Tom39Away, pmall, justintadlock, and Nightgunner5. For the first time, access to the bbPress.org website will be given to outsiders such as the documentation team.

Hajii who has been a long time moderator on the bbPress.org forums will be putting together a state of the forums where he will be stating where the forum needs help the most. If you’ve been looking at being more active on this particular forum, keep an eye out for the announcement for more moderators.

I was wondering when the name _ck_ would be mentioned which it was 37 minutes into the meeting. For those that don’t know, _ck_ was a very active bbPress contributor by being a forum moderator, producing a number of bbPress plugins and was recently brought on by Sam Bauers to help out with the project. But, after Sam left, _ck_ also left. There is some controversy as to why she left the project but Matt himself said he was surprised to find out she left the project.

I was very surprised when _ck_ left, I hadn’t heard anything from her like an email or anything — anyone know the story there?

Everyone took a stab at guessing why she left but the only one who really knows is _ck_. She had a loyal following and many in the bbPress community enjoyed her contributions.

The next big topic was plugins. There are many plugins for bbPress that only work up to 0.9. It looks like there will be a survey published on the bbPress.org blog in the coming days asking users what type of functionality they would like to see in the software which would not only generate core functionality ideas, but plugin ideas as well.

It’s also worth mentioning this information as well.

hajii: yes and to clarify just like wordpress.org, bbPress is not owned or operated by Automattic, it’s separate. Just because I saw a lot of people conflating them in the forums.

I own bbPress.org just like WordPress.org — separate from Automattic — and the plan is to run it in the same fashion. We’ll register the bbPress trademark under the pending foundation

Last but not least, the survey I mentioned previously has since gone online. The poll focuses on ideas and features that you think should be in 1.1.

So in the end, Matt is spearheading the project once again as he did when he created the software over a weekend back in 2004. In fact, this Christmas, bbPress will turn five years old. If you are interested in being a part of this renaissance, now would be a good time to head on over to the bbPress.org forums and make your presence known.

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Comments

  1. Steven Hodson (4 comments.) says:

    As someone who is in the middle of converting a set of SMF forums over to bbPress it is reassuring to see some life coming back into the project. I have been hanging in both the forums, for a little while now, as well as starting to hang out in the IRC channel.

    At some point I hope to be able to contribute to the community but for now I’m just trying to get past the challenge of the conversion.

  2. donnacha | WordSkill (12 comments.) says:

    bbpress has been the runt of the litter for too long, this new focus is overdue but, also, good timing because one of the most popular commercial forums, vBulletin, has recently started turning the screws on their customers, radically changing their license terms and massively increasing the costs. Most vB forum owners don’t have any choice but to bend over and, if they complain publicly, they can have their licenses canceled with no refund.

    vBulletin is a case study in why, if possible, you should always go with GPL’d software. The original UK company had a very good relationship with its users but was acquired by a Californian company in 2007. Things slowly changed and, this year, they sucker punched their users with this new pricing structure, completely reversing the assumptions under which everyone bought their licenses. Three of the longest-serving and most trusted developers left the company in disgust, with Scott MacVicar tweeting ““So sad to see the company I helped build up screw customers over. Glad I bailed when I did, funemployment rocks” (Scott has now joined Facebook as an Open Source Developer Advocate).

    Sadly, it’s not so easy for all the people who have built their forums and their businesses around vBulletin to move on; they face a future in which the developers whose work they’ve admired have bailed, the plugin community that added so much to vB has hemorrhaged and they are held hostage by a US corporation with no sense of fair play. This massive and highly-skilled community of users has no right to fork vBulletin, they are screwed – and that is why, for all the misinformed FUD flying around, the GPL is so valuable to us.

    Of course, the main reason why people went for vBulletin in the first place was that it was clearly better than the Open Source alternatives. Those alternatives have improved in recent years but I would still say that, for large communities requiring advanced features, vB is still better. I don’t think that bbPress will ever even attempt to cater for the types of forum that vB is adept at but it would be good to see it become better at what it does do and for it to integrate more easily and more deeply with WordPress. Given the way that vB users are being treated, I suspect that many community owners will find bbPress’s more streamlined approach to be attractive, especially when combined with the social features of BuddyPress and the freedom of the GPL. bbPress has a real opportunity to gain momentum here.

  3. Kenji (7 comments.) says:

    Any reason to wait for a new version of bbPress when Simple:Press Forum seems to be pretty well supported? I’ve not used either and am wondering which to go with…

    • Ryan (55 comments.) says:

      SimplePress is very much tacked on the side of WordPress. It is far simpler than bbPress and is missing things which most consider standard features for any forum software, such as the ability to create custom themes. bbPress is massively more extensible and usable than SimplePress, and apparently uses much less resources.

      Having said that, some people prefer SimplePress because it includes some features which users want to have working straight out of the box, such as private messaging, forum signatures etc. which are all a hassle to get working with bbPress.

      • Morgan Wick (1 comments.) says:

        You CAN create custom themes, as long as it’s a derivative of the default Kakumei theme, and you know HTML and CSS (and even then a lot of the CSS seems to be ignored and I can’t figure out why even with basic PHP knowledge, which means I can’t stop it from using “absolute” positioning, which I don’t know how to work with – I’ve read on the bbPress forums that themes SHOULD be a straight port from WordPress to bbPress, but that’s not remotely the case). What bbPress REALLY needs that WordPress has is a “Sandbox” theme…

  4. Archer (2 comments.) says:

    Simple:Press Forum is mutch better than bbpress

  5. Brett (1 comments.) says:

    As someone who uses WordPress in every project I’ve done and as a complete CMS on some – I can say that the success or lack thereof that bbPress will (or could have) had will in large part be based on trust. I’d love nothing more than to be able to integrate a basic forum with my blogs and throughout my sites – especially when it comes to creating user accounts for consistency throughout the site. But bbPress is the slowest-developing project imaginable. It’s gone nowhere fast and I can’t imagine trying to implement it throughout my sites when after years of this they can hardly make up their minds whether or not to even bother with the project.

    Hey, if the creators of WordPress – one of my favorite pieces of software of all time – can’t see the enormous opportunity they’re missing by dilly-dallying around with this project instead of giving it the attention it deserves, then I certainly can’t risk trying to implement it so that a year from now I can tear down all of my forums because they decided once again that bbPress isn’t that important.

    If they won’t make a serious effort with bbPress, maybe someone could inform them of the massive opportunity they have when it comes to making WordPress a more complete CMS.

  6. drmike (7 comments.) says:

    bbPress will become a registered trademark under the WordPress Foundation.

    Matt said a couple of times that he was going to do this with the WordPress name and it wound up being owned by Automattic. (Forgive me for not giving links but the Trademark lookup I use doesn’t produce usable URLs that can be copied and pasted.) I wouldn’t be surprised to see if this is the case yet again.

    Matt has chased away folks from WordPress projects before. I wouldn’t be surprised that this was the case with these folks as well. He’s also done this on the WPMu forums as well. Right now there’s only a single main supporter answering forum questions with maybe 2 or 3 pitching in on occasion. Most folks have moved over to the WPMUdev.org Premium forums where folks are more willing to help each other without the overpowering shadow of stepping on Matt’s toes.

    Gotta agree with SimplePress being a lot more complete than bbPress but I believe that was the point of the software. bbPress was supposed to be fairly simple while SimplePress is marketed as a full features forum plugin.

    • donnacha | WordSkill (12 comments.) says:

      This astro-turfing for a paid service is getting old. Has it occurred to any of your gang that this demonisation of Matt shows a lack of basic human decency? To say that a man who has spent the last six years of his life building an open platform, and who has traveled all over the world to encourage people to jump onboard, to say that he chases folks away from it is a gross distortion.

      Not everything can be justified in the name of profit and this sort of Fox News style spinning is devious and, ultimately, self-defeating.

      At $79 for a month, WPMUdev may be great value for university IT departments or Web Design companies (or, indeed, owners of ISPs such as yourself) but is too expensive for most WordPress users. That would be fine except that it places a certain amount of the discussion and energy around MU behind a pay-wall. It is a company creaming off the top-end of a market built upon the efforts of an open community, and then cynically launching a smear campaign against that very community in order to whip up publicity and yet more business. Pathetic. Dishonorable.

      • drmike (7 comments.) says:

        I notice that you don’t mention any of the points I raised but yet go into a personal attack. Yup, it’s WordPress.

        Just to clarify a point, the link for the premium site was added as a reference. Most WPMu folks already know about it. Gotta wonder though why you’re going after Andrew and James, folks that have been held up in the spotlight previously, but yet no mention of the other three services that offer similar features.

        Interesting how you complain about that but yet you work for a company who does the exact same thing but at yet an even higher price. Funny how others can’t cash in yet yet it’s perfectly exceptable for you and others to do so.

        As to dishonorable and pathetic, I politely remind you once again that you, Matt and other members of Automattic made light of my physical handicaps and my relationship with my ex on a number of occasions and have refused to come clean about it. Don’t talk about smear campaigns when you yourself is involved in one and have been for years. Don’t talk about “human decency” when you’re so quick to insult people.

        Excuse this off topic rant. All I wanted to show that all was not clear cut on this issue like many that come from the WordPress Community. I welcome the day where someone steps forward to report both sides of these issues.

        • donnacha | WordSkill (12 comments.) says:

          Firstly, I need to clarify one thing, and it is fascinating that it is ONLY ever people who are attacking Automattic, and claim to know so much about them, who make this mistake: I have nothing to do with Automattic, my name is Donnacha, I have no connection with, and my name is spelled differently from, Donncha O’ Caoimh, the lead dev behind WPMU.

          Sure, our names may be similar but it seems that everyone else can tell the difference – the anti-WordPress brigade clearly pay as much attention to detail as they do to facts.

          More to the point, do you really think that anyone from Automattic would waste their time, energy and dignity defending themselves against all the mud that you guys are throwing at them?

          Secondly, no-one is going after the WPMU Premium guys – you came here, to a post about bbPress, and splattered it with your anti-Automattic bile. I have never written a post critical of WPMU Premium because I understand that they are misrepresenting Matt for precisely that sort of publicity, purely to generate controversy and traffic.

          In this case, I responded to YOUR unfair comment, which it is now apparent stemmed from your own deeply personal and long-standing animosity towards Matt. You cannot see past your own agenda, you view everything through that splintered lens and a quick Googling shows that you have been banging this drum for years.

          You should give yourself a break. Matt, Automattic, WordPress, the Internet … none of it is that important; you should let go of all this bitterness – it might make you sick.



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