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The BuddyPress Codex Survey

Published on August 19th, 2013 by Hugo

As part of the work on the upcoming 1.9 release, we’re putting effort into improving the BuddyPress documentation. There have been many great new features and improvements to BuddyPress over the last few releases and we need to bring the documentation up to date.

We’ve launched the Buddypress Codex Survey. The survey is already providing useful feedback and it will be used to finalise the structure of the Codex and help put together a plan to improve the documentation over the next few releases.

If you haven’t already taken the survey, we encourage you to add your feedback on what matters to you. We especially value any comments you care to leave on what pages you would find useful that might not exist at present.

Thanks for helping BuddyPress grow; we really appreciate your responses! Thanks!

BuddyPress 1.8.1

Published on August 5th, 2013 by Boone Gorges

BuddyPress 1.8.1 is now available. This is a maintenance release, which features improved compatibility with WordPress 3.6, as well as fixes for some RSS feeds, the meta_query parameters in the Groups and Activity template loops, and the Groups Extension API. A complete list of closed tickets can be found at the 1.8.1 milestone, and a full changelog is at http://codex.buddypress.org/developer/releases/version-1-8-1/.

This is a recommended update for all installations of BuddyPress 1.5+.

Upgrade via your WordPress Dashboard > Updates. You can also download the latest version at http://wordpress.org/plugins/buddypress.

Questions or comments? Check out our support community and development tracker.

BuddyPress 1.8 “Di Fara”

Published on July 17th, 2013 by Boone Gorges

The BuddyPress team is proud to announce BuddyPress 1.8 “Di Fara”!

What’s new in 1.8

BuddyPress 1.8 is a major feature release, containing many bugfixes and dozens of new features. Some of these items are highlighted below, and a full changelog for 1.8 is available on the BP Codex.

Better theme integration

Since BuddyPress 1.7, BP has been compatible with practically every WordPress theme. But traces of the BuddyPress Default theme were still everywhere to be seen, in particular concerning the way that buttons, fonts, and form elements were styled. In BuddyPress 1.8, we’ve made a thorough review of our stylesheets to make them more minimal – we call it a “de-theming” – so that BP inherits CSS styling more gracefully from the active WordPress theme. We’re thrilled with how seamlessly BuddyPress 1.8 integrates with a variety of WordPress themes, and we think you’ll be thrilled too.

Template hierarchy

One of the most powerful tools available to WordPress theme developers is template hierarchy, which defines a set of file naming conventions for context-specific template overrides. BP 1.8 extends this concept to top-level BuddyPress templates – the templates that are first located when loading a BuddyPress page. Let’s say, for instance, that you want your Groups directory to have a single-column layout, while the rest of your BuddyPress content has a right-hand sidebar. Simply create a single-column page template in your theme at buddypress/groups/index-directory.php, and BuddyPress will use this file, instead of the fallback page.php, when loading the Groups directory. Documentation of this new feature can be found on the Codex.

Developer goodies

1.8 is loaded with improvements aimed at making it easier and more fun than ever to develop for the BuddyPress platform.

  • The popular Groups Extension API has seen a complete rewrite, fixing long-standing bugs, adding new configuration options, and dramatically streamlining the process of extending BP_Group_Extension.
  • The activity and groups loops now support filtering by 'meta_query', using syntax familiar from WP_Query.
  • Group member directories are powered by the new BP_Group_Member_Query, which extends the flexible tools of BP_User_Query to the Groups component.
  • Automated testing is now built into the trunk and stable Subversion versions of BuddyPress, complete with flexible tools for testing BP-dependent plugins.

Artisans at work

In Midwood, Brooklyn, there’s a pizzeria where every pie is handmade by a single septuagenarian, and diners can wait two hours or more for a pizza of their own. While the BuddyPress team doesn’t like to make anyone wait (the 1.8 dev cycle has been our shortest ever, with every milestone hit right on schedule), we do like to think that we bring passion and care to BuddyPress that’s similar to Dom DeMarco’s single-minded pizza-making. So, we’re proud to name BuddyPress 1.8 “Di Fara” after Dom’s classic pizza joint.

Thanks

As always, the BP core team extends appreciation to the scores of developers, designers, and community volunteers who have spent thousands of hours on this version of BuddyPress. The following individuals contributed patches during the 1.8 release cycle:

boonebgorges, borkweb, chouf1, chriskeeble, chroniko, czarate, danbp, dcavins, dcowgill, ddean, djpaul, dontdream, eggproject, ericlewis, grahamwashbroo, hnla, imath, johnjamesjacoby, karmatosed, lenasterg, magnus78, megainfo, rogercoathup, mercime, merty, mjustice, modemlooper, mort3n, mukkundthanki, nacin, needle, r-a-y, saurabhshukla, sbrajesh, SergeyBiryukov, SGr33n, shanebp, splatte, thebrandonallen, themightymo, tivnet, trishasalas, vegasgeek, wpdennis

Buon appetito

Questions about BuddyPress 1.8? Make the BuddyPress Codex your first stop. A growing community of volunteers can also be found in our support and discussion forums. If you’ve found a bug in BuddyPress, or if you want to contribute code to the next release, our development home is buddypress.trac.wordpress.org

There’s always a line at Di Fara (except that one time I went there after a tornado!), but the wait is over for BuddyPress 1.8 “Di Fara”. Download it today from the wordpress.org plugin repository, or from your WordPress Dashboard.

BuddyPress 1.8 – Release Candidate 1

Published on July 11th, 2013 by Boone Gorges

BuddyPress 1.8 is so close you can smell it! (Incidentally, it smells kinda like pizza.) The first release candidate (RC1) for BP 1.8 is now available.

“Release candidate” means we think everything’s in place for the final 1.8 release, but want to give developers and users one last chance to kick the tires. Not sure what to test? We’re working on formal release notes, but in the meantime visit /wp-admin/index.php?page=bp-about of your RC1 test installation for a summary of the major changes in 1.8.

RC1 also means a strict string freeze. If you maintain any BuddyPress localizations, now is the time to complete any necessary translations against trunk.

Get BP 1.8-RC1 via SVN, or as a zip. If you find issues or have questions, head for our support forums or our development tracker.

BuddyPress 1.7.3

Published on July 10th, 2013 by Boone Gorges

BuddyPress 1.7.3 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release, and we urge all installations running BP 1.5 or later to upgrade immediately.

Version 1.7.3 includes fixes for the following:

  • A cross-site scripting vulnerability in the way that success/error messages are stored and then displayed
  • A bug that caused Set-Cookie headers to be sent inappropriately, causing problems for certain caching configurations

Complete details can be found in the 1.7.3 release notes.

Many thanks to Andrew Nacin for his responsible disclosure of the XSS issue to the BuddyPress team. As a reminder to the community: if you think you’ve found a security issue in BuddyPress, please practice proper disclosure procedure, and report issues directly to the BP development team (or to security [at] wordpress.org).

Download BuddyPress 1.7.3 from Dashboard > Updates, or from the wordpress.org plugin repository.

BuddyPress 1.8 Beta 2

Published on July 5th, 2013 by Boone Gorges

BuddyPress 1.8-beta2 is now available. Since our first 1.8 beta a few weeks ago, we’ve fixed a number of issues, especially related to the new BP_Group_Member_Query class. If you are a plugin or theme developer, please test the latest beta in your development environments. This is also a good time for BuddyPress translators to start thinking about the 1.8 release, which is slated for about two weeks for now.

As usual, this is beta software, and we recommend that you do not run it in a production environment.

Download BP 1.8-beta2 via svn, or in zip format. Check out our support forums if you have questions, and visit Trac with bug reports.

BuddyPress 1.8-beta1 is now available

Published on June 13th, 2013 by Boone Gorges

Ladies and gentlemen, start your testing engines: BuddyPress 1.8-beta1 is ready for a lap around the track.

If you develop BuddyPress themes or plugins, or if you run a BP-powered community site, now is the time to start testing the next major version of BuddyPress in your development environments. BP 1.8 will feature a large number of fixes and enhancements. For the full list, see the 1.8 milestone in Trac. Here is a short list of major changes, areas where you may want to focus your testing energies:

  • BP_Group_Extension has been largely rewritten, with the goal of making Group Extension plugins faster and more consistent to write (#4955). We’ve worked hard to make sure that existing BP_Group_Extension plugins will continue to work as before, but we encourage you to verify your own plugins. In the upcoming days, I’ll be writing updated Codex documentation for the Group Extension API, so you can see how the new features in BP 1.8 will make writing group extension plugins radically simpler. Watch bpdevel.wordpress.com for updates.
  • The group administration panels in the Dashboard have seen some improvements – in particular, to the way that the Manage Members section works (#4482, #4977). Pagination support has been added to the member lists in these panels, as well as the bp_group_has_members() stack that underpins the panels.
  • The bp-legacy stylesheet has undergone a process of “detheming” (#4953). We’ve combed through the bp-legacy CSS – which provides BP-specific styling on themes that don’t have native support for BP – and removed some of the lingering stylistic remnants of the bp-default theme. Now, things like font faces, buttons, and form element styling will be inherited from your WordPress theme in a much more graceful way.
  • We’ve introduced a new template hierarchy layer for top-level templates (#4639). Similar to WordPress’s template hierarchy, this new feature allows themes to provide top-level template files that are specific to a component or item. For example, if your theme contains a template at groups/index-directory.php, it’ll be used instead of buddypress.php or page.php when viewing the Groups directory. See r7212 for more details on the hierarchy, and watch the Codex and bpdevel for documentation between now and the 1.8 release.
  • bp_has_groups() and bp_has_activities() now accept a meta_query parameter (#3521). This means you can filter a group or activity query based on groupmeta or activitymeta, using the very same meta_query syntax familiar from WP_Query.
  • @-mentions can now be disabled (#3388), by adding add_filter( 'bp_activity_do_mentions', '__return_false' ); to your bp-custom.php file.
  • RSS feeds for activity streams have been overhauled (#5020). Our RSS implementation has been brought more in line with best practices for feed construction. And feed-building logic has been abstracted from myriad standalone feed templates into a single BP_Activity_Feed class, which makes the creation of custom feeds a breeze.

Remember that BuddyPress 1.8-beta1 is beta software, and we don’t recommend running it on a production site quite yet.

Get 1.8-beta1 via svn, or by downloading the zip file from wordpress.org. Find a bug or have a question? Check out our support community, or visit our development tracker.

Read more →

BuddyPress 1.7.2

Published on May 16th, 2013 by John James Jacoby

BuddyPress 1.7.2 is now available. This maintenance and security release fixes several MySQL injection possibilities reported by Glyn Wintle from dxw.com, and a few other issues we caught after 1.7.1 was released last month. 1.7.2 is a recommended upgrade for all installations running BP 1.5+.

For complete details on what’s changed in BP 1.7.2, see the Trac milestone or the 1.7.2 changelog in the BuddyPress Codex.

Download it today from the wordpress.org plugin repository, or from the Plugins page in your WordPress Dashboard. Questions or comments about the release? Visit our support forums or our bugtracker.

BuddyPress 1.7.1

Published on April 30th, 2013 by Boone Gorges

BuddyPress 1.7.1 is now available. This is a maintenance release, which fixes a number of bugs reported since version 1.7 came out earlier this month. For complete details on what’s changed in BP 1.7.1, see the Trac milestone or the 1.7.1 changelog in the BuddyPress Codex.

1.7.1 is a recommended upgrade for all installations running BP 1.5+. Download it today from the wordpress.org plugin repository, or from the Plugins page in your WordPress Dashboard. Questions or comments about the release? Visit our support forums or our bugtracker.

It’s time to update your BuddyPress installation

Published on April 11th, 2013 by John James Jacoby

With the release of BuddyPress 1.7 just a few days ago, and with almost 1.5 million downloads behind us, I wanted to take the time to remind everyone about what’s gone into improving BuddyPress recently, and to reassure everyone that it’s okay to update.

In the early days of BuddyPress, things were in flux. Andy and I were furiously building components and features, deprecating code, refactoring the way things worked, and generally tearing up the codebase over and over again. It helped us build a great foundation, but it made updating to the next version a scary and frustrating experience. To those that remember those days, I apologize; to everyone else, I’m sorry you missed out on the fun. :)

Whenever your WordPress installation checks to see if BuddyPress needs an update, the WordPress.org Extend API remembers the current version of BuddyPress that you’re running. This is how we know (with relative accuracy) approximately how many of what versions are out in the wild, and it’s also how we generated the pinwheel below, taken from the Stats page from WordPress.org Extend:

Active BuddyPress Versions

Every color of the rainbow is clearly represented

Despite the pretty colors, this pie chart is actually a little scary. There are so many old and outdated installations of BuddyPress out there, not taking advantage of the neat new features, and not running the most stable and secure code available. The irony is, this is largely our fault.

These days, BuddyPress is a 1 click update in your WordPress dashboard, and we’ve built a bunch of API’s that allow third party plugin developers to write plugins that won’t break when BuddyPress needs an update. We’ve spent a large part of the past 2 years reinforcing the foundation we invested in, so that no one needs to be afraid to update BuddyPress ever again.

Starting with BuddyPress 1.8, the core team will be focusing our efforts on including automated tests with each enhancement and critical bug fix, to help ensure that each future release gets more stable than the release before it. Boone Gorges and Paul Gibbs both donated huge amounts of labor building a test suite that is already committed into our development branch, just days after BuddyPress 1.7 was packaged up. Their dedication towards making BuddyPress stable and amazing for everyone is unwavering, and their contributions are truly awesome.

If you’re running an old version of BuddyPress, I urge you to check out and update to BuddyPress 1.7. It’s the culmination of thousands of hours of effort, and is the most stable, secure, and performant version of BuddyPress yet. Help us change that pinwheel into more of a Pac-Man or a circle.