Skip to:
Content
Pages
Categories
Search
Top
Bottom

Activity Streams in Page and Groups

  • Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    I posted about this several days ago and just tried to find it and cannot. So here goes again. I’m using the latest updates of everything. My site is at http://www.tafaforum.com.

    This has been a six month process of headaches and I’m very frustrated. Our members are totally confused. The biggest issue is with the Activity Streams. I never understood why you have set up two systems (buddypress and bbpress) instead of making them one. Replies that are posted in the Activity streams do not show up on the forum posts which causes major chaos.

    I already deactivated sitewide forums because they were too confusing and now I would like to deactivate the activity streams so that all people see are the groups and when they go to them, a list of the forum topics that have been posted. When I tried to deactivate the Activity Streams, I still get the Home page in the groups, but it’s blank.

    I don’t write code and I think that this needs to be set up with backend controls so that people like me can use it. Otherwise, you should have a notice saying that BuddyPress and BBPress are only useful to programmers.

    I’ve spent hours on this forum and over at BBPress trying to learn how to use this. I don’t want to learn code. I just want it to work. None of the buddypress forums that I have used (my theme’s, you guys, bbpress, rtmedia, etc.) have an activity stream like what comes with the plugin. What we see are the topics. How can I get my site to display in the same way?

Viewing 22 replies - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Avatar of Hugo
    Hugo
    Moderator

    @hnla

    buddypress and bbpress
    Two completely different apps/plugins, bbpress is a forum plugin that integrates with BP groups if desired. Activity streams are designed to try and record and display as much site activity as possible. Commenting on items in the activity stream such as forum entries has always had issues and the advice and best practise generally has been to disable commenting on such items in the activity stream in order to avoid this confusion.

    I don’t write code and I think that this needs to be set up with backend controls so that people like me can use it. Otherwise, you should have a notice saying that BuddyPress and BBPress are only useful to programmers.

    Uttered out of frustration!. Sorry but BP does a lot out of the box but works best when taken and modified to suit the individual site. You always have the option of learning some level of coding ability, stating you don’t want to learn code somewhat limits your ability to use and manage these apps really, it’s not simply a case that they MUST be written for absolute non coders, these are open source apps that represent thousands of hours of work that people get to use for gratis, expecting more than that a little unfair? Also both these two plugins really do do a remarkable job of working out of the box with both teams having put a lot of effort in on that side of things (too much imho)

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    Thanks, Hugo. But, is there a way to disable commenting on the Activity Streams without knowing code? That is exactly what I want to do.

    If not, can you point me somewhere where there is info on how to do it? There is just too much info to dig through.

    The only thing that I have found is in BuddyPress>Settings where it says:
    Blog & Forum Comments Allow activity stream commenting on blog and forum posts

    I unchecked the box and the Reply option still shows on the Activity Streams page and on the Group Home pages.

    I worked with FrontPage for years, then with DreamWeaver and have navigated around on many different types of platforms. I do understand a bit of code and I do understand all of the work that goes into all of this. But, I don’t have the confidence to mess with the files and with the constant updates from WordPress, plugins, and theme, I would much prefer to work with settings than to mess with things that might later conflict with future updates, etc. I did a lot of reading and looked at many options before choosing to go with BuddyPress, but I had no idea that it would be so hard. I set up WordPress sites for other people and am a good tweaker, so it’s not like I am totally green. But, there are some major flaws as can be seen by all of the distressed people flooding the forums here and on bbPress.

    When I started up in January, everything was a mess with the new updates. The theme I had bought took several months to work out their incompatibilities, various plugins were going through revisions, etc. Now, finally, almost everything seems to work, but our members are totally confused and I just want to make it as simple as possible for them.

    So, when you say, “Commenting on items in the activity stream such as forum entries has always had issues and the advice and best practise generally has been to disable commenting on such items in the activity stream in order to avoid this confusion.”, then, yes. I do expect that issues that come up regularly for you developers should be addressed and fixed, especially when it can cause so much confusion for the end users. If it’s an inherent problem, then we should have a button in the settings area where we can turn off that problem.

    I also provide loads of free technical assistance to my people, so I do appreciate what all of you do. I believe in the WordPress model, encourage other people to use it, and now have had these months to try to learn BuddyPress. Would I recommend it to other groups and organizations? Not unless they have the money to hire their own code people (which I don’t). Are there better options out there? I ran a Ning group for a couple of years and it did what I want this forum to do: groups with topical discussions. But, I hated how it looked, found it clunky and wanted the freedom that BuddyPress offers in adding on WordPress pages. I tried several other platforms, too. All were a mess. There are some very nice cloud options but they are expensive and I’m doing the “starving artist” routine, so it’s not fun. So, I think BuddyPress has the potential to be the top model, but it’s not there yet, at least not “out of the box”. IMHO

    Anyway, if there is a fix for this, please point me the way and I’ll try to make it happen. Thank you.

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    I’ve been thinking about the concept of gratefulness since I last posted here, an hour and a half ago. This is how I feel about BuddyPress right now:

    It’s like a community group having a housing fund and giving me a really nice house to live in. It has ceramic tiles in the kitchen and bath, wood floors, a nice yard, some beautiful accents, and it’s just lovely. But, there are no windows. The spaces are there for them, but they are empty. Rain and cold can get in.

    Those with money, will have them installed with the latest and the best.
    The Renaissance guys will build something funky and cool themselves.
    Some of us will be able to hang curtains or blankets to keep the cold out.
    But a lot of the old, the sick, the weary, will just live with the holes and appreciate having a roof over their heads.

    Would I get rid of the house? No! I would probably fit in the blanket category, but it’s less than ideal.

    (Make you smile?)

    Avatar of Hugo
    Hugo
    Moderator

    @hnla

    (Make you smile?)
    More or less.

    If I were given a really nice house for free I would suffer it’s little flaws, I would attempt to learn how to construct window frames by studying books etc, however what I wouldn’t be doing is ‘looking a gift horse in the mouth’ to quote a metaphor – not suggesting that this what you are doing here though, but the point being that nothing is perfect, and BP has it’s issues and is in ongoing development; it’s not a finished product but one stable enough, developed enough that it serves sites well enough to be used, it can, and works best, when extended, modified, adjusted to suit the particular sites purpose.

    If it’s an inherent problem, then we should have a button in the settings area where we can turn off that problem.
    There is! and you found it:

    The only thing that I have found is in BuddyPress>Settings where it says:
    Blog & Forum Comments Allow activity stream commenting on blog and forum posts

    I unchecked the box and the Reply option still shows on the Activity Streams page and on the Group Home pages.
    That shouldn’t be the case and isn’t on my test installations so not sure what’s happening with yours, first thing to try is activating the default theme or twentytwelve to see if still the same to test whether this is a theme issue.

    As for general site users feeling unsure or confused in how to use I ought to point out this isn’t unusual nor is it particular to buddypress installs, one overlooks the fact often that the vast majority of users on the internet really struggle to understand anything in real depth, with many apps causing them confusion. With buddpress or any app really there is the need for guidance and explanation, but this is the responsibility of the site owner to provide, guide pages on a site imho are essential, something that sets out the sites purpose, explains the various features and how users ought to use them.

    Buddypress as stated earlier is in ongoing development, but as an Open Source project requires feedback from users, bugs reported, issues or enhancements raise on the ticket system ‘trac’

    As for BP ever providing everything to all people out of the box this is never likely to happen, providing options is the biggest nightmare as it’s endless and eventually grinds things to a halt. Due to the nature of WP being open in terms of it’s plugin API a lot of what one may want is going to be left to plugin developers to provide.

    So BP improves with each iteration but if you believe there are issues or enhancements to be made then please get involved feedback to the project (and not in the support forum where it will just get lost) add your thoughts, examples, possible solutions to the BP trac ticketing system, it’s open to anyone to use.

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    Thanks, Hugo. I do appreciate the dialog, but now there is another issue and I’m at my wits end. I was trying different editors the skinny one that BuddyPress provides now is not so great. All of a sudden, I could not post in forums. I had lost my permissions as an administrator. I was already tired and worked on it for two hours, scouring the forums again, even finding you in the threads I was looking at, and finally got it fixed by using an old bbpress file in your repository and then doing an update as one guy suggested. The forum was back, I could post again, I went to sleep.

    Woke up and it’s the same thing. This is really awful. I would love to get involved, volunteer, etc., but I already sit at the computer 10 hours a day for very little income and last night I lost a $100 ad because the site wasn’t working. Hopefully, she will still do it, but now I am really nervous about BuddyPress’s stability. I’ve invested hundreds of hours in the last six months getting this thing to work and now it finally seemed like we were moving forward and this happens. I really am overwhelmed.

    Is there a fix that is working to restore admin privileges?

    Avatar of Hugo
    Hugo
    Moderator

    @hnla

    This sounds like the dreaded single line comment ‘you don’t have sufficient permissions to …” Sadly I cannot say in this case what may have occurred to trigger this, sometimes clearing the browser php session and/or cookies will resolve this. It’s a WP issue which needs greater clarification than I’ve found thus far in why this nonce check cuts in from time to time seemingly without provocation.

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    I did clean my browser’s cookies and have W3 Cache installed. There is nothing recent on the bbpress site on this issue.

    What should I do, Hugo?

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    @hnla, Hugo, I was able to figure it out! (Jumping up and down!)

    I got it to work! Whew!

    I did a lot of different things, including installing an older version of bbPress, but I don’t know if that matters. Actually, it probably does, because I was then able to see the forums on the backend again.

    What did seem to make a difference was downloading the Members Plugin and changing the roles for Administrator. A bunch of them were not checked, including the role of a Participant. I checked everything and was able to post again. I then updated to the latest version of bbPress.

    http://wordpress.org/plugins/members/

    I hope that it doesn’t do this again. A major pain! It took me all day to try different things and get it to work.

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    @hnla, since you have been patient with me so far, Hugo, can you help me with my initial question of the Activity streams? I found the following and made notes in my forum help area on my site:

    I want to disable replies on the Activity Streams because they do not carry through to the original post in the Group Forums.

    My notes on how to do this:

    Post on why this is confusing: http://commonsinabox.org/groups/help-support/forum/topic/your-members-might-be-confused-activity-stream-comment-vs-group-forum-reply/

    Discussion about this on GitHub: https://github.com/cuny-academic-commons/commons-in-a-box/issues/73

    Solution by boonebgorges (one of the BuddyPress authors):
    Putting this line in your functions.php or bp-custom.php file will disable all activity stream commenting:

    add_filter( ‘bp_activity_can_comment’, ‘__return_false’ );

    Note on bp-custom.php file:
    Creating your file

    bp-custom.php does not exist by default. If you don’t have a file located at /wp-content/plugins/bp-custom.php, go ahead and create a blank file with the following:

    ?
    1
    2
    3
    < ?php
    // hacks and mods will go here
    ?>
    Next, save the file as “bp-custom.php” and verify that this file is located at /wp-content/plugins/.

    Now, when you encounter a forum thread telling you to put a code snippet in bp-custom.php, you’ll know what to do!
    See: http://codex.buddypress.org/developer/customizing/bp-custom-php/

    Action:
    How is this done? Do I go to my control panel and create a file there?

    Avatar of @mercime
    @mercime
    Keymaster

    @mercime

    @rayela You create a file bp-custom.php and include the code there – make sure there’s no line or space above or beside opening <?

    Then you upload that file from computer into your server wp-content/plugins/ folder via FTP or cpanel

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    Thank you, @mercime, but where do you create the file in the first place? I suppose I can go google it, but am so exhausted…… whew!

    Avatar of @mercime
    @mercime
    Keymaster

    @mercime

    @rayela open up your own text editor – NotePad on PC or TextMate on Mac.
    – File > New
    – Add the content per what I posted above
    – File > Save As – bp-custom.php (note select All Files in dropdown)
    – Upload bp-custom.php via FTP/cpanel to where I noted it above

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    OK, I’ll try that tomorrow. I did look for some tutorials, but every one I looked at assumed that you already knew where to create the file… :)

    Avatar of Hugo
    Hugo
    Moderator

    @hnla

    What did seem to make a difference was downloading the Members Plugin and changing the roles for Administrator. A bunch of them were not checked, including the role of a Participant. I checked everything and was able to post again. I then updated to the latest version of bbPress.
    Glad you figured out a workaround, however one shouldn’t need to use a thirdparty plugin to fix another, there’s an issue that needs addressing, I have this where I have groups enabled for forums but haven’t had a forum selected to use, trying to do so results in a perms issue and using the bbpress forum tools to remap users to default perms has any effect which it ought to or suggests ought to.

    However, if I navigate to the dashboard and edit the group from the CPT where you have the same options as front end the process does work, so when issues might arise worth trying from that way around.

    Avatar of Hugo
    Hugo
    Moderator

    @hnla

    already knew where to create the file
    cos it doesn’t really matter where you create a file it’s simply a plain ansi text file with a particular name, where it’s uploaded is what matters. Ideally you have a test install of your site on your localhost machine so you would create the file in /plugins/ so you upload from /plugins/ to /plugins/

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    Thanks, Hugo. I understood about half of what you said. :)

    I think I do pretty well for someone who kicks and screams at code, but have huge gaps of knowledge. Not everything makes sense or is intuitive. Once I do something, it sinks in. Thick skulled, I guess….

    Avatar of wiste
    wiste
    Participant

    @wiste

    Hi @rayela, since your original question never got answered I thought I’d give you an answer:

    As you discovered, you can disable all activity feeds for your entire site by unchecking the “activities” component on the BuddyPress settings Components tab, but as you mentioned this results in a blank home page which isn’t good.

    Unfortunately, you cannot fix this without writing code because there are no easy options to do this with BuddyPress (I feel your pain, I quit programming for a reason).

    You will need to create a functions.php or bp-custom.php as mentioned above to add custom code to. This function will redirect it so that the forum tab is the “home page” for your group and remove the “home” tab so that it’s no longer visible:

    function redirect_group_home() {
      global $bp;
      $path = clean_url( $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] );
      $path = apply_filters( 'bp_uri', $path );
      if (bp_is_group_home() && strpos( $path, $bp->bp_options_nav[$bp->groups->current_group->slug]['home']['slug'] ) === false ) {
        if ($bp->groups->current_group->is_user_member || $bp->groups->current_group->status == 'public') {
          bp_core_redirect( $path . 'forum/' );
        }
      }
      
      $bp->bp_options_nav[$bp->groups->current_group->slug]['home'] = false;
    }
    
    add_action('bp_init', 'redirect_group_home');

    I’m not sure if you’re still active here but I felt after your amiable responses you deserved a real answer.

    Avatar of Rachel Biel
    Rachel Biel
    Participant

    @rayela

    Thanks, @wiste… Yes, I still come over here when something goes wrong. :) But, things have been pretty smooth over there lately. Members are still confused about how to use it, but I do a lot of hand holding and eventually they catch on. I’m not going to mess with it anymore and just hope that over time, new updates will make things simpler for people. I appreciate your effort in replying!

    Avatar of wiste
    wiste
    Participant

    @wiste

    No problem! I found your post because I had the exact same issue. On my site I’ve just renamed and reordered the tab because I think it’s still useful, it’s just information overload if that’s the first thing you see when coming upon a very busy group. I also disabled the ability to make comments on items in the group activity feed to reduce the confusion about where forum posts should be made.

    Avatar of wiste
    wiste
    Participant

    @wiste

    I made a slight change to the function for redirecting the user to the forum instead of the activity page because I forgot that you can create groups that have no forums which results in the group page never being able to be found. Now if you the group h as no page the activity page will still be the first tab selected when viewing a group:

    //function to redirect group home pages to the forum tab instead of the activity tab
    function redirect_group_home() {
      global $bp;
      $path = clean_url( $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] );
      $path = apply_filters( 'bp_uri', $path );
      if (bp_is_group_home() && strpos( $path, $bp->bp_options_nav[$bp->groups->current_group->slug]['home']['slug'] ) === false && bp_is_active('forums') ) {
        if ($bp->groups->current_group->is_user_member || $bp->groups->current_group->status == 'public') {
          bp_core_redirect( $path . 'forum/' );
        }
      }
      
    }
    
    add_action('bp_init', 'redirect_group_home');
    Avatar of wiste
    wiste
    Participant

    @wiste

    If you want to see what it looks like you can check out a group page on my website:

    http://www.makeloops.com/groups/amigurumi-designers/forum/

    Avatar of Jeroen Schmit
    Jeroen Schmit
    Participant

    @slimndap

    Hi @wiste,

    If you use this code, then it’s no longer possible to display the old home (activities) tab.

    Also, if I visit a group on your website you no longer default to the forum tab:

    http://www.makeloops.com/groups/amigurumi-designers/

    Is it possible to still display the home tab, but to load another tab (eg. forum) as a default?

Viewing 22 replies - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.