A less error-prone, more future proof group forum
I’d like to see the current implementation of Group Forums be deprecated out of core and put into a legacy plugin. As it stands, the Group Forums feature is error prone and inflexible.
- Creates a ton of sub-forums, cluttering the forum index with ~5 post sub-forums.
- Causes URL inconsistency (some links point to links like /forum/myboard, others point to /groups/otherboard/forums)
- Unclear what functionality belongs to which component, bbPress or BuddyPress.
- The nature of the integration is not user- nor future-friendly because the basic logic of “what connects where” is not clear, it’s just some magic settings box.
- Group Forum activity is contained within a single category
I’ve made similar suggestions before, but haven’t started a self-contained discussion about it. I think the way wordpress.org handles its embedded forums is a much more elegant solution. And it is entirely possible with bbPress+BuddyPress as well.
Here’s a basic mockup:
When accessing the forum via a group, you’d see what you usually see today; a forum within the group view. But if you enter a topic, you’d be transferred to the forum, just like wp.org does it. But to maintain context, there’d be a context-sensitive group widget to remind you which Group this topic is associated with.
How it would work:
1) During group set-up, instead of creating a new forum, all you’d do is select a tag to display.
2) Whenever you post via this group, your selected tag will be automatically added to the topic.
- No new sub-forum per new group, just a new (or existing) tag.
- No URL leaping.
- bbPress serves up the shortcode, that’s it. The rest is on BuddyPress.
- With easily identifiable tags, similar forum+group setups can be set up with custom forums or group solutions.
- Group Forum activity can happen across categories.
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