Buddypress.org needs a common place to share code snippets
Issue: BuddyPress developers need a common place to share code snippets.
As we discussed today on IRC, we can’t have group forums here yet (Andy needs to enable them yet) and we can’t add a new blog yet (for the same reason).
I was tasked to research possible snippet bin solutions and get back to you all with my findings.
Here are six possible ways to solve this issue.
1. New blog on buddypress.org
A new blog on buddypress.org for sharing code snippets and solutions would be a great solution since each snippet would have a post (title, author, etc) and could take comments from other people. The posts would be searchable and archivable, and have permalinks for sharing in forums and IRC.
This would also leave the main blog to share non-technical stories and ideas about BuddyPress as a whole.
2. Group forum for snippets
Burt\\\’s original idea for this — and still a good one. This has to wait until Andy gets the group forums up and running on buddypress.org. The advantage to this is a nicely organized set of topics (one per snippet) that can be commented upon and linked to.
Right now we can post on the Code Snippet Solutions group’s wire but that is not optimal since wire posts don’t have URIs, can’t be commented upon themselves, and don’t allow enough HTML formatting to show code snippets well.
3. Post snippets to a self-hosted snippet library here on buddypress.org
We could roll our own snippet library using open source projects such as pastebin.com (you can download and reuse the code with a GPL license) or bin.cakephp.org (MIT license, I have an enquiry out about using it). It would probably run on a subdomain (like “bin.buddypress.org”) and be linked from the site itself.
The advantage to this is that we’d control the data and be able to tailor the snippet bin to the exact needs of BuddyPress.
4. Post snippets to another snippet site
With this option we would simply tell everyone to use a hosted bin site (we’d recommend one and stick with it) with a certain tag or category (like “buddypress”), then paste the link to the code snippet in their forum topic, blog post, etc.
The hosted solution is not a great option, in my opinion, since we won’t have control over the look-and-feel and wouldn’t have access to dump the snippet contents at a later date if we move it to a new home — all the data that was entered by BuddyPress users would stay on that other site.
5. Codex pages
Each snippet or solution would have its own Codex page. This option is probably the least compelling since it takes a lot of effort to create and manage the pages. Also, the rigid hierarchy of contents and the way the navigation works would not lend itself to a growing, changing set of snippets over time.
6. Sticky forum post
Burt started this topic today, and it’s a great start — especially for new people hitting the site or the forum for the first time. It gives them solutions to common problems and answers to common questions right away.
This won’t be suitable long-term though as the list will be long and will get hard to scan or search. I do think this sticky post should be kept up for the top 5-10 most asked questions, though. That way it’s a kind of “did you read this stick post first?” that has pointers to common topics.
We could also extend the current forum to add a category for “Code Snippets and Solutions” as a new top-level “theme” that would encompass all these snippets as “topics” within that theme.
Please comment / vote on what you think would work best.
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