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BP showcase – Lead us to water

  • Avatar of designodyssey
    designodyssey
    Participant

    @designodyssey

    I’ve searched and there are lots of posts, so maybe it’s because I’m a noob, but . . .

    How do I integrate BP into a site for functionality like the sites on the WP showcase of BP http://wordpress.org/showcase/flavor/buddypress/ ??? Tastykitchen, Tank Wars, GigaOm Pro? We see them on the home page for inspiration, but I’d like someone to explain the methodology.

    Not do the work for me (although that’d be nice), but explain:

    1) How they went about it – methodolgy

    2) What level of modification to BP was necessary

    3) What were the key hurdles and how resolved

    4) What they learned about BP/WP/bbP from the experience

    This would be extremely helpful to me. If my searches were insufficient and someone has a link to this information – please post it.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Avatar of designodyssey
    designodyssey
    Participant

    @designodyssey

    Using google, beginning to answer my own question.

    http://vocecommunications.com/blog/2009/07/expanding-wordpress-with-buddypress-the-tasty-kitchen/

    Now I’m wondering if I’m biting off more than I can chew. Anyone else taking on something this aggressive?

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Most of the sites that you mention required many weeks to months of hard design and custom coding work. You need the proper design, CSS, and PHP skills to tackle this on your own. Or, you need to hire out an expert WordPress/BuddyPress developer like GigaOM Pro did–or even a team of developers.

    Avatar of designodyssey
    designodyssey
    Participant

    @designodyssey

    @jeff

    I appreciate the feedback and perspective. What’s weird is I built a modular php/mysql site circa 2002 basically overusing includes, very basic css and taking functionality from Hotscripts.com’s PHP repository. In fact, what I liked about php was the modularity of what I was doing (even if a bit sloppy). BP/Wordpress seems to promise the same, but frankly the number of sites that deviate from the structure of the standard theme is small (maybe it’s too new). It’s like the complexity of the theme structure has scared people off or the fact that the themes are both style and functionality makes it difficult to be modular.

    I’m hard-headed and have no hurried timeline – I’m designing for myself. I’ll probably take this on and suffer the pain of BP’s infancy just like I did in 2002. That was my education. What would be helpful is a methodology for taking on something like this.

    My threshhold question is whether to use a theme framework as a starting point or whether that’ll be too restrictive and I just need to bite the bullet and build my own theme. I’d be on the hook for updates (sucks), but it sounds like it may save some pain. My limited understanding of actions/filters is that I should be able to build almost anything from a good theme framework using functions.php and style.css, etc., but not sure if that’s true or whether it’s worth pain of learning that way of developing instead of just tearing apart templates.

    I’m sure, by the time I’m done there’ll be dozens of modular BP themes/frameworks to choose from. That’s what happened after I slaved over the site in 2002. Who knew WP was there with plugins for most of the stuff I hardcoded myself.

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

    @r-a-y

    It depends on how complicated your design is and how it differs from the default BP design.

    With the new parent / child theming structure of BP (since v1.1), you won’t have to worry about updating your theme when BP gets an upgrade!

    And… you also won’t find many BP theme frameworks right now since v1.1 just got released! So it’s probably easier to create a child theme of the default BP theme.

    Avatar of wordpressfan
    wordpressfan
    Participant

    @wordpressfan

    @designodyssey: I like your idea for a BuddyPress showcase that provides a bit of information, as well as inspiration, for others. Certainly learning how GigaOM hired a team of developers to massage code won’t help the average backyard designer, but I’m sure we’d all benefit from others’ experience. Such a project could collect a book of BP ‘recipes’ covering countless common issues.

    Avatar of designodyssey
    designodyssey
    Participant

    @designodyssey

    Everybody is busy trying to live life and make a living. The folks at VOCE that made Tastykitchen indicated they would provide more information to the community.

    Nick Gernert on July 31st, 2009 at 6:13 am

    We’ll be doing some follow-up posts here with more details around how we’re accomplishing some of these things on this and other sites, so stay tuned.

    Nothing yet that I could find, but hey business first.

    What most sites could use is a “librarian.” Someone to take the common questions, forum posts and turn them into a functionality knowledge-base. I don’t expect that here soon, so my forum-searching skills will have to suffice.

    I’m hardheaded and trial and error is how I learned everything so far anyway. What I am looking for is some road markers, not detailed directions. Once I get started, I’ll post what I’m planning and let the community shoot holes in it so I can learn. Heck, I’ve gotta get WPMU running on my home box first.

    Justin Tadlock of Theme Hybrid fame did say that Tastykitchen could be accomplished using Hybrid as the WP-part of the parent theme. My plan is to do that and add the appropriate templates from the BP parent. I’ll build the child from there modifying the CSS and functions.php provided by BP and Hybrid. That ought to create a functioning site. Then I can work on the plugins needed for my project. Since I’m doing a single-blog, directory-structure install of WPMU, I’m hoping to get over that hurdle quickly. Hopefully, before I launch, the merge of WPMU and WP.org will be complete and I can complete that “upgrade” and test it before going live.

    Avatar of wordpressfan
    wordpressfan
    Participant

    @wordpressfan

    Once you learn how you will design your theme, I hope you tell the rest of the community – and release the theme to the public.

    There’s nothing about BuddyPress that makes it difficult to theme. The only reason most sites don’t deviate much from the default theme right now is simply because BuddyPress is still in it’s infancy and the people making sites with it are probably mostly hobbyists without a ton of design/css/html/php skills. There’s nothing stopping anyone from making a theme that looks nothing at all like the default theme.

    Avatar of designodyssey
    designodyssey
    Participant

    @designodyssey

    @David

    Thanks. I hope you’re right. I’m designing a site that will integrate BP functionality throughout in widget areas and the BP pages. Once I get used to using hooks in WP through functions.php, it should be OK.

    Also have to learn some advanced CSS to make it all sing.

    @wordpressfan. My theme probably won’t be much use to anybody else, but I think the plugins I have to build will be helpful extensions of WP/BP. I actually started designodyssey.org to chronicle what I’m learning as I build the site I’m primarily working on.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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