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BuddyPress Privacy Component: An Update

  • Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Many people have been inquiring about privacy options in BuddyPress. Some of you are aware that I am currently coding a Privacy Component for BuddyPress. I decided that it is time to fill the community in on my component, providing more details and a timeline.

    My Privacy Component will be entering a private alpha early next week. After the alpha phase is complete, it will then be available as a public Beta. If it goes well, and Andy likes it, it may be included in the BP core for version 1.2. If you look at the BP roadmap, you will see that that is when privacy filtering is scheduled to be included in core.

    In this screen capture of one of the privacy setting screens, you can see that there are actually six user classification filters that can be chosen for each BP object. The sixth option, “Relationship Mapped”, is made available by a separate plugin which I’ll be releasing later. The default Privacy Component will offer five levels.

    My current estimated release date for the first public beta is the week of October 5. This date may change depending on the feedback from the alpha phase.

    More Details

    This is taken from the Privacy Component’s current readme.txt file:

    BPAz is a privacy control component for BuddyPress that provides a site’s users a mechanism with which to control who has access to which pieces of their personal data.

    == Description ==

    The BuddyPress Authorization component (also referred to as BPAz, BP-Authz, or BuddyPress Privacy Component) is a BuddyPress component that allows users fine, granular control over who has access to which pieces of their personal data. It provides this service by hooking into BuddyPress’ core functionality, thereby giving users the ability to control (grant or deny) access to each piece, or grouping of, their personal data.

    The term “auth” is often used interchangeably for authentication or authorization. There is significant difference in meaning between them. Authentication is not authorization. Authorization is not authentication. Authentication must come before authorization. Authentication is handled by WPMU, initially by the registration process and subsequently by the login script. Authorization deals with verifying and managing the access rights a given authenticated user has to certain objects.

    Because of this confusion, the process of authentication is now often referred to as A1, or AuthN, or simply Au. The process of authorization is now often referred to as A2, or AuthZ, or simply Az. Since authentication must come before authorization, the A1-A2 ordinality of the terms is evident. This also explains the alternate names BPAz and BP-Authz.

    BPAz deals with authorization by verifying and managing access rights an authenticated user has to other’s objects–although a user may choose to expose their data to non-logged in users as well.

    The core BuddyPress objects on which rights can be set:

    • xprofile fields
    • activity stream actions
    • friends list
    • groups list
    • messaging
    • blogs
    • wire
    • status updates

    The basic access levels configurable per object (some objects offer only a subset of these rights):

    • allow/deny anyone (globally public or globally private). This is accomplished by setting an object’s viewing rights to either “All Users” or “Only Me”
    • allow only “Logged in Users” to view a given object
    • allow only friends to view a given object
    • allow only a specific list of users to view a given object. This is also called per user access control. This is accomplished by setting an object’s viewing rights to “These Users Only” and then entering a comma-separated list of usernames (a member’s login name) in a textbox that becomes visible.

    NOTE: Per relationship-type access control is possible if you use my BuddyPress Relationship Mapping plugin. For instance, allow by friend, colleague, partner, client, customer, fan, etcetera.

    Site Administration of BuddyPress User Privacy Tools

    Site administrators have ultimate control and oversight over the configuration of BPAz’s features and functionality via an additional administration panel under the BuddyPress menu hierarchy. The BuddyPress Privacy Component is enabled by default for all object groupings. However, Site Administrators can disable user-configurable sitewide privacy, or even individual privacy control objects, by using the Privacy Settings administration panel. As the Site Administrator, you will always be able to see each user’s complete content. Users do not have any options to hide content from Site Administrators.

Viewing 25 replies - 51 through 75 (of 101 total)
  • Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Dido exactly what Paul just said above!

    Since Privacy is slated to be a Core BP component, I decided that my plugin needs to be first vetted through Andy before releasing it to the general community. I do not want people to simply assume that my work is the official version.

    When it is decided whether or not my plugin will in some form or fashion become the Core privacy component, then I will post back here and let everyone know.

    Avatar of John James Jacoby
    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    The privacy component is so good, that it’s set to “private” in the core and you can’t even find it! ;)

    Avatar of pxlgirl
    pxlgirl
    Participant

    @pxlgirl

    Jeff, are you going to release it as an external plugin before it will be taken to core or not? Keep up the great work btw! :D

    pxlgirl.

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    @pxlgirl

    If my component is deemed worthy enough to be integrated in some form or fashion into core, then I imagine what will happen is that it will show up in a bleeding-edge trunk version.

    If not, then I will gladly release it as a plugin until another solution becomes available in Core.

    Avatar of 21cdb
    21cdb
    Participant

    @21cdb

    @Jeff: It would be great if “Privacy” could be a menu point within “Settings” and not another main menu item. Otherwise the userbar is getting more and more cluttered. I know this is kind of difficult task, but maybe it is possible in some way. I did a concept about a possible solution -> http://img243.yfrog.com/img243/2700/settingsprivacymockup.png

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    @21cdb

    Thanks for the mockup and idea. Anything is possible. I do imagine that whatever privacy code makes it into Core, that it may appear under the Settings menu.

    However, an argument can be made that this is a full-blown component, not unlike Groups, Profile, Blogs, Friends, etcetera. Therefore, it should be given equal status as such-especially since it is a very important feature. Most new users, maybe even some seasoned users, may not notice a privacy option in their settings menu. It is probably better to put it front and center.

    Also, since there was no guarantee that my Privacy Component would be chosen to be the Core privacy version, I decided to offer a separate main-menu level like many other plugins do.

    By the way, your mockup does not show the additional third column that appears only when a user selects the “These Users Only” option from the “Who Can View” drop down list. See the screen shot in the OP.

    Avatar of 21cdb
    21cdb
    Participant

    @21cdb

    I do understand your arguments, but i would also prefer it to be nested in “Settings”.

    I spent some more time on the mockup and included the third column, just to see if it works.

    http://img29.yfrog.com/img29/1253/settingsprivacymockup2.png

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    In the long run it does not matter to me where the privacy settings menu reside. Proper functionality is of prime importance.

    Perhaps we will find a happy medium ground for placing the privacy settings menu in the default BP theme and simply let people decide for themselves how they style it in their own custom themes.

    Avatar of John James Jacoby
    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    It’s only a matter of switching up a few functions and hooks to relocate where the menus are, so it can satisfy just about anyone’s needs.

    Avatar of Damon Cook
    Damon Cook
    Participant

    @damoncook

    I just found this post, because I finally hit the wall with my recent implementation. Users are going to want their stuff to be private. I can’t wait to see what comes of this AC. I would be happy to test Alpha releases.

    I also agree that the Privacy menu should be located in BP Settings area.

    Avatar of madloki
    madloki
    Participant

    @madloki

    To much people want this, please andy…please :) Have the same problem like you damoncook…wait and hope.

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Please remember that based on the BuddyPress roadmap, some form of a privacy component will be integrated into Core for v1.2.

    But, before that comes out, there will be a public beta of my Privacy Component. I have talked with Andy and he said to proceed with the testing. So, right now, the alpha version of my component is in a very limited-release private alpha. I am almost ready to release the alpha 2 version which will also be a private release.

    Once the beta version is ready (which I’m now estimating to be around December 1st), it will be uploaded to the WP Plugin Repository and available for everyone to test. Please remember that it will still be a pre-release version which means that it should not be used in a production environment.

    Of course, as I’ve said before, even with all of this testing, there is still no guarantee that my Privacy Component will become the de facto core privacy component. Only time, and your feedback, will tell.

    In my experience loading anything on to the wordpress.org/extends/ that isn’t release-ready is asking for trouble and will only give you threads of people saying why isn’t x working, etc.

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    @DJPaul

    Thank you! That sure does make sense–and is good advice.

    I guess that I could place it on my blog and give people the link here. That way, it will be tested by the group of people who are most interested in testing it.

    Avatar of abcde666
    abcde666
    Participant

    @erich73

    I was just thinking about going “online” with my website, but I do not dare yet because of the missing “Privacy Component”.

    I think this “Privacy Component” is the single most important feature before everything else…..

    Avatar of madloki
    madloki
    Participant

    @madloki

    Da spricht der Deutsche, hast Recht Erich ;-) Ich warte auch schon drauf, weil aktuell werden mir zuviele Daten irgendwelchen Besuchern preis gegeben.

    Dont hope we must wait for the pc component to long. When paul said its not ready… :-(

    Avatar of Hollosch
    Hollosch
    Participant

    @hollosch

    *zustimm*

    very important !!!

    Avatar of roydeanjr
    roydeanjr
    Participant

    @roydeanjr

    Lookin’ forward to your plugin Jeff! Thank you for the hard work.

    Avatar of egturbo
    egturbo
    Participant

    @egturbo

    thanks for your work. yeah for progress.

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Okay, I guess it is time for an update.

    I’ve had some great feedback from a few of the alpha 1 testers. Based on that, I’m proceeding with the next phase. At this stage, I might skip the alpha 2 stage and move directly to the first public beta.

    What does this mean? Well, depending on my progress, the first public beta release of my Privacy Component will be in about 3 weeks. I cannot promise that for certain, but let’s say I’m aiming for December 1st as the release date.

    At that stage, the component while fully-functional, will still be considered for use in non-production environments.

    Avatar of abcde666
    abcde666
    Participant

    @erich73

    great news Jeff !!!

    …it seems you are woking “behind the scenes” as well…..

    just kidding ;-)

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Well, I’m behind something or other. But, it’s debatable whether or not I’m working.

    Avatar of jivany
    jivany
    Participant

    @jivany

    (crosses fingers) will I be able to play with the beta on the weekend? :D

    /me run behind Jeff with flowers… maybe that will tease him…

    *(or frustrate him badly)

    Avatar of Bowe
    Bowe
    Participant

    @bowromir

    Maybe we should ditch the kind approach.. WE NEED THAT ^%^^^&E$$% PRIVACY COMPONENT. WE ARE INCAPABLE OF MAKING SUCH AN AWESOME ADDITION TO BP OURSELVES. GIVE IT NOW !!!111!

    Ok that was uncalled for.. sorry…..

    =D

    it’s ready when it’s ready Jeff ;)

Viewing 25 replies - 51 through 75 (of 101 total)

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