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BP GroupBlog, P2 ready (with bugs)! Please review…

  • Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    Because we are always struggling with our users and posting from the backend we decided to give more attention to frontend posting. We ended up creating a P2 child theme with BuddyPress functionality and looks. We modified the P2 post form to include other post categories and some other functionality. The “Featured” category is only available to group admins and mods.

    Additionally we added these new features to the upcoming GroupBlog plugin:

    * Alternate layout support. We are working on including three different layouts which define the look and functionality of the group drastically. In the future these can be set at Group creation stage instead of sitewide.

    * New redirect options to match your sites needs. In order to take advantage of the new layouts, the “Template Page” has to chosen though.

    * New tabbed backend settings screen and reworked a lot of the functionality.

    * Ajax updating of the activity stream using the P2 form (this is still being developed).

    * The P2 BuddyPress theme includes standard activity comments on layout pages and individual entries.

    * All buddypress functionality and third party plugins work inside the blog, but you need to enable them sitewide. For example “BuddyPress Oembed” and “BuddyPress Like” plugin.

    * @mention works the same from the P2 post form.

    * Character counter for status updates on the P2 form.

    We are still looking to expand the posting abilities for the P2 post form. Rather than seeing it as a quick update form, we are looking to make it unnecessary for users to visit the backend.

    Feel free to test and give suggestions. We currently have only created to different layouts and are looking for a third. So give us some ideas what is needed.

    http://sandbox.ywamcloud.com/screenshots/blog/

    http://sandbox.ywamcloud.com/the-apple-experience/blog/

    PS. You need to be logged in and part of a group to be able to post.

Viewing 21 replies - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
  • Avatar of avi-m
    Avi M
    Participant

    @avi-m

    Looks great. One question do the will the tags show up on the main page tags widget?

    Avatar of Bowe
    Bowe
    Participant

    @bowromir

    First note: AWESOMEMILICIOUS!

    2nd note: Posting new blogposts works great! I can add new posts/photos and videos on the blog page and you get a nice growl like notification when you post something.. This is some serious next level stuff!

    The magazine theme layout looks cool, but I feel it’s bit overwhelming for certain users. especially on lower resolutions I feels a bit crammed, with the 3 column recent posts, etc. But I think that’s something personal, and you already said that you’re working on different layouts. I’ve tried to view a different layout in my blog, but could not find the settings. But my suggestion for a third theme would be:

    http://emberapp.com/bowromir/images/untitled-8/sizes/o

    This is quite simple but powerful enough.. I don’t know if you can add custom text boxes/widgets, but I think that would allow user to be creative with their blog. I forgot to offer a search/archive widget, but that would be handy as well.

    3rd note: To avoid confusion I would probably rename Status Update in the groupblog to something like News Update or Blog Update, so that it does not get mixed up with a status/activity update in BuddyPress. To be honest I think that the P2 status update does not add much to it, because a group admin can easily post a status update in the group itself. I understand it’s a added feature in the P2 theme, but I think BP handles it very well.. This is also something personal though :)

    4th: Maybe allow the user to switch to a full markup mode or tiny editor to have more control over longer posts. You already mentioned bringing everything to the front end, but maybe you can solve this by opening a lightbox with the full featured posting of the WP backed (and then remove the navigation in the admin, so the users only sees the posting area). This might be complicated and/ore messy, but it would make for a better user experience.

    I’m really really impressed with the current plugin so far and I can’t wait to try it on my site. Thanks so much for sharing this Marius and the rest of YWAM!

    Avatar of Anointed
    Anointed
    Participant

    @anointed

    the upgrade looks fantastic. I registered and made a few test posts and it worked as advertised.

    suggestions:

    1. preview blog post before posting it — without visual editor, it’s hard for a regular user to know what the formatting around images is going to look like etc..

    2. ability to edit the post after it’s posted. (I forgot to align the images I uploaded so it was looking bad). If there is an edit button, I just couldn’t find it.

    Avatar of pcwriter
    pcwriter
    Participant

    @pcwriter

    I agree with @Anointed: preview and edit functions are musts. But so far, WOW!

    My hands are itching to get this theme and get the L&F to my liking…

    I only found one glaring omission: clicking any category tag displays the archive for that tag on a page that has no group header.

    Avatar of r-a-y
    r-a-y
    Moderator

    @r-a-y

    Very nice, Marius!

    I love how you’re using activity comments to power the blog post replies:

    http://sandbox.ywamcloud.com/the-apple-experience/2010/03/21/enter-a-title-for-your-post/

    However, if you have ”Disable activity stream commenting on blog and forum posts?” set to ”Yes” in the BP admin area, I’m guessing this wouldn’t work. If possible, would love to see Groupblog override this option when a group blog is enabled.

    Agree with Bowe about blog status updates. I would like to see an option to disable status updates for blogs. It’s a little redundant b/c of the group activity stream.

    I must be daft, but I couldn’t find the alternate layout options screen.

    I know there’s a lot planned for this plugin, but I’m loving it so far!

    Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    Thanks for giving it a look guys…it is so helpful to get another set of eyes on there as I was looking at completely different things. Here goes:

    @avi-m

    will the tags show up on the main page tags widget?

    On the blog pages they show in relation to the blogs’ tags. For the main page you would need a sitewide tags widget. Look here: http://wpmututorials.com/plugins/sitewide-tags-0-4/

    @Bowe

    The magazine theme layout looks cool, but I feel it’s bit overwhelming for certain users. especially on lower resolutions I feels a bit crammed

    I agree, it needs some testing and wiggling. I noticed the colums are not behaving how I want them to as well. I like your comp, it is in between a Microblog and Magazine layout. I might just include that unless there are other suggestions.

    To avoid confusion I would probably rename Status Update in the groupblog to something like News Update or Blog Update, so that it does not get mixed up with a status/activity update in BuddyPress.

    Yes, it seems posting updates is not needed and we should encourage users to post media from this point. I think Ideally the update form from buddypress would exist in a top screen dropdown (not sure how you call those web 2.0 things). So you could post updates at any time and doesn’t take away real estate.

    Maybe allow the user to switch to a full markup mode or tiny editor to have more control over longer posts.

    This functionality would have to be born at the P2 theme. We just use there functionality. Whatever they develop, we inherit. I already hacked the main P2 a tiny bit to include the allowed categories and ajax feedback. Since it is a theme created by Automattic I think it is a safe horse to bet on.

    @Anointed

    preview blog post before posting it

    Yes, I was surprissed to by this when using P2 the first time. I didn’t expect img code in the post form, but it makes sense. A preview screen would be very nice. Again, this is something that would needed to be developed by the P2 theme. Unless anybody can supply some code we code integrate.

    ability to edit the post after it’s posted.

    There are actually a bunch of P2 features I omissed. Like keyboard shortcuts and inline editing. I’m going through the P2 theme and comb through what is still missing, inline editing is one of them. Thanks for mentioning that.

    @pcwriter

    preview and edit functions are musts

    As mentioned previous :) Basicly inline editing is a core feature so no problem. The preview of posts I’m not sure. I wonder if there’s a feature request section for the P2 developer crew.

    clicking any category tag displays the archive for that tag on a page that has no group header.

    You are absolutely right. I’m only including the group header in single, but this is something I can add in with a few lines. Just didn’t get to it yet, but was already to excited to share what the development was.

    @R-A-Y

    if you have ”Disable activity stream commenting on blog and forum posts?” set to ”Yes” in the BP admin area, I’m guessing this wouldn’t work

    Ha, yes you are right. I want prioritize buddypress activity comments since they are more sitewide than individual blog comments. This helps prevent forking of discussions and the discussion can take place at multiple stages. We could do an easy conditional to check if activity comments are disabled and then include the regular comment form instead.

    I guess for backward compatibility for old blog comments we should show those on the blog posts as well.

    Agree with Bowe about blog status updates.

    yes…

    I must be daft, but I couldn’t find the alternate layout options screen

    Currently this is controlled by the site-admin. So one layout rules them all. We quickly realized that it would be much better for the site-admin to allow group creators to choose a layout. This way you can have diverse groupblog expressions. We just did not get around coding that yet.

    There is still a bunch of stuff we need to add and fix. Pitfalls also include group admins to change the theme of their blog (I just of that) as well as we need to see if we can omit the featured category from the backend for group members who are not admin or mod. An many other stuff.

    So it is a bold task to include P2 support and does add some dependency, but at the end I do think it adds to the overall value. We just need to smooth out what and who the plugin is used. Your feedback help us with that.

    Come WP3.0 I hope P2 changes to post-types rather than categories, but we will see.

    Avatar of Anointed
    Anointed
    Participant

    @anointed

    I’ve been playing around on the beta site for some time now, and I have to say it’s quite impressive!

    I was going to install the older beta version on my clients site and was curious if I do that, if there is a clear upgrade path to your new version or not. Or am I simply better off just waiting for the new vs?

    Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    No upgrade path is needed. We don’t use tables and the metakeys we use are still still the same. There is one but hanging around we are still figuring out causing a WP_Error on some groups. I’m a bit busy juggling a few things at the moment so unfortunately development has slowed down a bit.

    The current tagged version 1.4.4 is definitely not Beta and should be fine to install on your client site.

    Avatar of Anointed
    Anointed
    Participant

    @anointed

    I’ve had an ongoing problem with the blog page titles and article titles not showing up on the group blog homepage. It turns out it was a conflict with the events-manger plugin.

    In the events-manager plugin file: dbem_events.php there is the following function which causes the issue. Now I don’t know why, or what the proper fix is, but by commenting out the filter on ‘the_title’ I was able to get the blog titles back.

    I hope this helps someone in the future as this took me days to track down.

    function dbem_events_page_title($data) {
    $events_page_id = get_option ( 'dbem_events_page' );
    $events_page = get_page ( $events_page_id );
    $events_page_title = $events_page->post_title;

    if (($data == $events_page_title) && (is_page ( $events_page_id ))) {
    if (isset ( $_REQUEST ['calendar_day'] ) && $_REQUEST ['calendar_day'] != '') {

    $date = dbem_sanitize_request($_REQUEST ['calendar_day']);
    $events_N = dbem_events_count_for ( $date );

    if ($events_N == 1) {
    $events = dbem_get_events ( "", dbem_sanitize_request($_REQUEST ['calendar_day']));
    $event = $events [0];
    $stored_page_title_format = get_option ( 'dbem_event_page_title_format' );
    $page_title = dbem_replace_placeholders ( $stored_page_title_format, $event );
    return $page_title;
    }

    }

    if (isset ( $_REQUEST ['location_id'] ) && $_REQUEST ['location_id'] |= '') {
    $location = dbem_get_location ( dbem_sanitize_request($_REQUEST ['location_id']) );
    $stored_page_title_format = get_option ( 'dbem_location_page_title_format' );
    $page_title = dbem_replace_locations_placeholders ( $stored_page_title_format, $location );
    return $page_title;
    }
    if (isset ( $_REQUEST ['event_id'] ) && $_REQUEST ['event_id'] != '') {
    // single event page
    $event_ID = dbem_sanitize_request($_REQUEST ['event_id']);
    $event = dbem_get_event ( $event_ID );
    $stored_page_title_format = get_option ( 'dbem_event_page_title_format' );
    $page_title = dbem_replace_placeholders ( $stored_page_title_format, $event );
    return $page_title;
    } else {
    // Multiple events page
    $page_title = get_option ( 'dbem_events_page_title' );
    return $page_title;

    }

    } else {
    return $data;
    }

    }
    // to make sure that in pages lists the title is dbem_events_page_title, and not overwritten by the previous filter
    //add_filter ( 'the_title', 'dbem_events_page_title' );
    add_filter ( 'single_post_title', 'dbem_events_page_title' );

    You can see that I commented out the second to last line.

    So far it seems that the events plugin still works perfectly, as does the group blog plugin.

    anyhow, hope it helps someone out.

    Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    Thanks for sharing.

    Avatar of Anointed
    Anointed
    Participant

    @anointed

    I’ve run into 2 issues with the current version.

    1. When I create a group and decide to create a group blog at the same time, it only allows me to create domain.com/groupblogname instead of groupblogname.domain.com

    This causes everything to break

    2. If I create a subdomain blog prior to creating the group, and then choose an existing blog it ‘seems’ to work and goes through the install process.

    however:

    When I visit the group page and click on blog, the page ends after the header, and looking at the server error logs I see a bunch of the following:

    PHP Catchable fatal error: Object of class WP_Error could not be converted to string in /wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 488

    Is that the error you are talking about having?

    btw

    It seems not to matter what I name the blog, so it’s not a naming conflict as far as I can tell. Basically I cannot create any new group blogs no matter what settings I try.

    Avatar of Anointed
    Anointed
    Participant

    @anointed

    well I have made multiple attempts with multiple fresh installs (just wpmu/bp no other plugins but yours, and default theme). bp-groupblog 1.4.4 –not an upgrade started with 1.4.4, checked meta table and no issues there

    Without exception on every install, I am able to create the first group without problems. Even if I choose to have bpgroups create the group for me, it does create it as a subdomain which is perfect.

    However, I cannot create a group blog for any further groups on any install. Basically I end up with a bunch of server errors which I mentioned above when I click on the group ‘blog’ link. The group is created ok as is the group forum. It’s just the blog step that gets messed up.

    I have no idea whatsoever where to go from here.

    Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    Sorry for the trouble anointed. I’m pretty sure this only applies to subdomain installs on the group step create blog function.

    The work around for now is as follows, please test this and let me know if that works for you as well. Create the group as usual, but do not create a groupblog. Then visit the group admin and click “Group Blog”. Enable the groupblog and let it create a new blog. Don’t worry about the address we mention (we just show that as information anyway), we just never took subdomains into account, sorry about that. Check your wp-admin and notice the blog is now created successfully as a subdomain blog and the group will work accordingly.

    This worked for me, if that works for you I’m pretty sure where it is going wrong and we will fix this in the next release.

    Permalinks are also still an issue…if people can share code fixes releases will come quicker, just tight up a bit at the moment. However bugs have major priority and we will try to get it resolved asap.

    Avatar of Anointed
    Anointed
    Participant

    @anointed

    ok a few observations. In all steps below I do not create a group blog during the group creation as you requested.

    1. If I try to let the plugin create the blog, it gives me a white screen, clicking refresh on the screen then shows error that blog has been created.

    – I go into the db and sure enough it’s created

    – There seems to be no way of assigning the newly created blog to the group

    – I then simply delete the new blog from the database

    2. If I create a blog prior to creating the group, create the group, and then go back and try to assign a created blog to the group it does not work on the first try.

    – I then go back in and try it a few times again, and once in awhile it will kick in and accept it.

    Basically it took me 5 attempts to link one blog with a group, and then it took 4 attempts to do this the second time. In the end both worked out.

    There was no way I could let the plugin create the blog where it would work. It does indeed create the blog, but does not link it to the group. Only solution is to go into the admin and delete the newly created blog.

    I hope all this info helps troubleshoot things for you.

    Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    I think there must be some additional problems in your install as I’m not able to replicate those errors. I hope for you that when we iron out the WP_Error other things will fall into place as well as it is our only lead with this issue.

    Avatar of arnonel
    arnonel
    Participant

    @arnonel

    Hi Marius

    Do you have an ETA for this? Im gagging for it ………….. hehehe

    Avatar of arnonel
    arnonel
    Participant

    @arnonel

    Hi there, any updates for this?

    Avatar of Peterverkooijen
    peterverkooijen
    Participant

    @peterverkooijen

    Does member directory search still work with this? Can someone who has this plugin beta installed please check?

    I’m working on a variation of Groupblog + P2, more integrated into my custom theme. It broke the directory search. Something in P2 seems to clash with the directory search ajax.

    Avatar of Anointed
    Anointed
    Participant

    @anointed

    Wow, I sure hope this project didn’t die as it’s really impressive. Just bumping up to see if there are any further updates on this plugin. I had not seen any updates on the ywamcloud site, so figured i would ask here. Sure hope all is well with Mariusooms.

    Avatar of Mariusooms
    Mariusooms
    Participant

    @mariusooms

    Nope…it is not dead, but definitely on halt as I am involved with other projects as well. Unfortunately my development for BuddyPress runs in sync with the requirements of our local development for our organization. We are anticipating wordpress 3.0 release and content post types. P2 is category based. At the same time we have other issues that take priority, one of them being integrating outside networks such Facebook and External blogs.

    I wish it was as easy as being able to develop full time, but it just isn’t the case. The project is still on track, but delayed.

    Avatar of bplove
    bplove
    Participant

    @bplove

    Very much anticipating this wonderful update on Group blogs. Would love to see this as a May release! ~ :) ~ :) ~ :) ~

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