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End goal?

  • Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    Just installed a nightly build of this plugin, just too check what features were in it.. And the options blew me away, not in a good way though. I mean, it has more options then BuddyPress itself, for which it was created. Perhaps you guys are going too far? I also feel that a lot of options this plugin is adding could be better added by another plugin, rather then let this single plugin do it all. Like social intergration?

    Basically what I’m saying, why’d you guys blow this plugin out of proportions, while you could’ve just only made it a plugin that added simple media capabilities? Like albums with upload of photo’s/video and the option to embed from populair sites? Why does it need an in-build system log..?

    So basically, what are trying too reach with this plugin, making a CMS in a CMS?

Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    We’ve had long, long discussions about the scope and goal of this project:

    1) We’re trying to build the world’s best media handling app for BuddyPress

    2) We have already started merging our technology into the BuddyPress core, and will continue to do this as blocks of technology become ready.

    3) It be a bad idea to split BP-Media into dozens of WordPress plugins. Doing so would cause *huge* dependency problems: For example, how does the thing that’s making a gallery of JPG files know that it has the thing it needs to make thumbnails of JPG files. To solve this, each plugin would need workarounds, or its own built-in copy of the code, and that would make each plugin twice as it needs to be.

    4) As for the overwhelmingly large UI… its normally a lot more “folded up” than that. Imagine every single settings panel on your computer open at once. that would be confusing too … :)

    Thanks!

    ^F

    Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    1) There’s what, only 2/3 solutions for buddypress media? Who are you comparing to?

    2) Hope not, since as the plugin is now, I dont wanna see it having to do anything with the core.

    3) Why would it cause huge dependecies? Your working with “modules” already which you can deactivate, why couldn’t these be made into plugins and removed if needed, it means less bloated code and stuff you dont need you throw away. And no, not all plugins need the whole code, do wordpress plugins have the whole wordpress cms included? No. So if you make a strong core, you wont have to either.
    (As an example take http://www.woothemes.com/woocommerce/ for instance, it works with extensions build upon a strong core and it adds stuff that you might only need for one site, thats why they’re extensions.)

    4) That might be so, but I never need all my computer settings at the same time and even if I did, it’s easier to find my way there then it is in finding it in your UI.

    I actually believe if you keep going with this your rather leaning towards becoming the worst media plugin.

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    2) Consider the possibility of having “circles” of friends on BuddyPress, as well as just “friends”. That sort of stuff contributed to the BP core.

    3) Our entire plugin is built in a modular fashion. Users can install, delete, and deactivate modules as they desire. We do not feel like creating 37 separate plugins on the WordPress SVN and making our users go out and download them. BP-Media plugins also have a more advanced API than WordPress plugins with mechanisms to use shared memory, cache objects, and dependency resolution.

    4) Studies have shown users consistently prefer editing settings in a GUI as opposed to a text file.

    5) We’re an open-source project and value contributions. If you think there are ways we can improve BP-Media’s architecture, have a look at plugin trunk and let us know any improvments you can suggest.

    6) We also have weekly video developer chats. Circle me on Google+ (“Carl Roett”) for an invite.

    Thanks!

    ^F^

    Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    1) Guessing you dont have an answer to that?

    2) How is this relevant for a Media plugin, it’s like Im installing WordPress as a blog CMS and I get free Wiki capabilities. Even if your not gonna make seperate plugins for your bp media “core” at least dont add stuff which the plugin doesnt have anything to do with.

    3) You might not feel like creating seperate plugins, but its whats needed for this plugin to succeed. Most people wont use anything more than just photo upload and might add embed from other sites.

    4) Studies also show that if something takes to long too reach the end goal, most people drop off in the middle, which will happen with your plugin (speaking out of own opinion, since I did the same when I saw the admin part of your nightly build).

    5) I’m already suggesting stuff to improve it, but apparently your not interested.

    6) The points Im listing dont have anything to do with developing (untill your gonna go through with any of these points offcourse), nor am I a great plugin developer. So that wont be usefull to anyone.

    Would like to reach out to other people on Buddypress.org to tell your opinion. Would be nice to hear.

    Edit: Adding to point 1, the quality of a plugin gets judged by the users, Im a user and this is my opinion. Which would mean you already lost my vote on this being the “world’s best”.

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    @xevo

    Feel free to use whatever plugin you feel best suits your needs.

    ^F^

    Avatar of vatoloco2
    vatoloco2
    Member

    @vatoloco2

    @foxly @xevo
    I don’t think it’s about being the best media plugin. Correct me if I am wrong but there aren’t much buddypress media plugins available atm. So there are no competitors at all for BP-Media – still on a side note I can understand what xevo wanted to say:

    He’s blown away of all the features BuddyPress-Media is going to offer us but I think he wanted to say that users like him or me just would need an album / video plugin with some moderate social web integration.

    I could also have been thinking of a modular extending BuddyPress Media like xevo suggested. Lots of coding developers do the same: offer a free basic plugin and sell a PRO version (extendable via plugins for e.g) for some money to get some small incomings to keep the project alive.

    Please don’t understand me wrong now @foxly. I know it’s very hard to spend your free time on the BP-Media project and I really appreciate your efforts. But actually after following the project for a while now via googlecode commits/changes I think it’s going to be a never ending story. At least once combo Wp3.3/BP1.6/bbpress2.1 is out you should consider making a cut and throw out a release candidate with basic album/photo/video-embedding features (not really video uploading and converting). You and your team would make so many BP users happy. I bet most of the potential BP users don’t even meet near the suggested hardware requirements to use a full featured final version with video uploading / converting….

    Avatar of Quint
    Quint
    Participant

    @qrahaman

    Well,

    I disagree. I think foxly and his team should stick with existing requirements and deliverables and keep making headway on them. Their roadmap looks great to me. If Buddypress users really need video/photo/audio/document album upload features etc right now, then use BP Gallery by Buddydev. It works well and Brajesh does a great job of supporting his plugins.

    Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    Already am using that plugin, but only because BP Media is doing it wrong.

    And a roadmap is open for change, as it were that couple months ago that BP Media was only gonna do the same as Brajesh’s plugin does at the moment. Wonder what will change in the future, new “Bp Media: Blog component”?

    Avatar of @modemlooper
    @modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    I think they are fine, its their plugin and can develop it however they see fit. BUT i do agree on a modular approach when having many features.

    Now that premium theme companies are picking up BuddyPress expect a lot more plugins getting developed. I’ve seen a few tweets from some quality WordPress developers showing interest in creating plugins. i’m sure there will be more media plugins coming.

    I’m actually thinking of creating one because I need mobile upload capabilities.

    Avatar of Mike Pratt
    Mike Pratt
    Participant

    @mikepratt

    From my perspective, there so much information presented on the code project site, I have trouble figuring out when the large gap between what is in the .1.8 release and the current build. @foxly, please don’t take that as a criticism of your work/efforts. I am just trying to plan development. As it stands, what seems to be planned for the formal release of the current build is what I need versus .1.8 so that’s an important date. I can’t find much clarity on that in the docs.

    On a minor note, is there significance to the version number scheme e.g. .1.8 being nowhere close to 1.0 or is that just semantics?

    Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    @modemlooper I’m interested to seeing a mobile uploader, haven’t seen that before. Also, would be great to see more competition.

    @mikepratt You can’t compare the stable plugin (bp album) with the plugin they’re building right now (bp media). It’s different in so many ways. BP Album adds photo upload/gallery capabilities, while BP Media adds (claimed by the developers) “production grade social media hosting capabilities”. See the difference?

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    Most of the BP-Media dev team is sitting in online chat right now discussing this thread, and the best one-liner so far is “We do it for the haters”.

    Just thought we’d share that little piece of developer humor with you guys…. ;)

    ^F^

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    Starting at the top:

    1) No amount of complaining, threatening, or destructive criticism will help get BP-Media finished faster …and that’s really what people doing all of these things actually want, isn’t it?

    Instead of wasting your energy being negative, why not put a post on the forum saying “I’m really good at “A”, “B”, and “C”, can you give me a job to do that will help get BP-Media finished faster”. You do *not* have to be an expert-level developer to contribute useful work.

    Examples of non-coder tasks:

    “Install the nightly build version of BP-Media on your test site. Take screen shots of every screen in the ‘Page Modules’ section. Create a page on the BP-Media Google Code wiki showing the plugin screens and explaining how they work. Post to the BP-Media forum on buddypress.org and get feedback from the forum users on whether or not they like how this section of the plugin works”.

    “Imagine you are a human using a website that has BP-Media installed on it. You have a profile on Facebook. You have several albums of photos on Facebook, some of which are public, and some of which are restricted to different friends. You are currently viewing the “add media” screen on BP-Media within your BuddyPress profile.

    Using a pencil and paper, draw a series of screens that show how a user would “drag” albums of photos from Facebook BP-Media, and from BP-Media to Facebook. Your solution has to include mechanisms for warning the user if they try to add private photos to public albums, and it also has to handle the user trying to add unsupported media types to different albums. For example, BP-Media can be set-up to let users upload PDF files to their albums, but Facebook cannot handle PDF files.

    Scan or take digital photos of your drawings, and upload them to the BP-Media Google Code wiki”

    ***Neither of these tasks have been completed, or even added to our project tracker, because no non-coders have expressed a serious interest in helping with the project***

    ^F^

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    @xevo @vatoloco2 @modemlooper @mikepratt @qrahaman

    2) There seems to be some disappointment regarding the amount of time we’ve spent coding BP-Media versus what the plugin does when you run it on your server. That’s okay. It was planned for, and expected.

    So let’s talk about deliverables, dependencies, parametric design, management overhead, and project scope …which are the engineering terms for what many of you are complaining about.

    Say you want to fry an egg for your mom. Everybody knows how to fry an egg. You just put a frying pan on the stove, throw in an egg, cook it till its done, and serve it to your mom.

    The “deliverable” is the fried egg. The “dependencies” are the frying pan, which is needed to cook the egg, and the stove, which is needed to heat the frying pan.

    People frying eggs today have access to the vast amount of experience gained from frying millions of eggs in the past, and can use that experience to estimate how changing parameters will affect the deliverables. How long to cook two eggs instead of one? About the same amount of time. How long to cook an egg really hard? About 50% longer than usual. Frying an egg is a “parametric” problem.

    Furthermore, if any dependency in the chain is missing “I don’t have a frying pan to cook the egg”, it can easily be solved by driving to the nearest store and buying a frying pan.

    So even starting with no stove, no frying pan, and maybe even no kitchen, I can give you a reasonably accurate time and cost estimate for practically any combination of egg-frying you could possibly think of.

    When people talk about “how easy it is to write software” and “huge websites being built in a weekend”, this is the type of design they’re talking about (often without realizing it).

    And then there’s the Apple iPod.

    All things considered, using an iPod is about as complicated as frying an egg. It also has a dramatically smaller range of inputs (about 20 file types) and only two outputs (audio and video).

    There are two main reasons why the iPod took millions of dollars and years of effort to create, despite having the overall UI complexity of a kitchen stove:

    a) It has an enormous dependency chain. There are probably 300 different things …from the USB connection to the host computer, to the lithium-polymer battery, to the headphone wires… that *all* have to work before audio files put into the iPod come out as audio in the headphones.

    b) It was effectively the first of its kind. While there were a few other primitive MP3 players on the market at the time, Apple had to invent the “essence” of what makes an iPod an iPod, and they had to build huge parts of the dependency chain from scratch.

    Its hard to believe the iPod’s been around for over ten years now. Concepts pioneered in the iPod are now taken for granted and used everywhere.

    Building BP-Media is a lot more like designing an iPod than frying an egg.

    Although there’s tons of open-source software out there that we’ve been able to use to avoid having to write a lot of code, we’ve still had to write huge dependency trees from scratch (like our database class) and design completely new paradigms (like our Page, Album, Media, and Network modules). This work is ongoing and makes it very difficult to give accurate timeline estimates.

    In a “typical” software development operation, a significant portion of the development team’s time would be spent building “mock-ups” that would make the plugin appear to work in the user’s browser but wouldn’t actually do anything on the server. These “mock-ups” would be used to demo the plugin to the marketing team and executives, and would then be discarded. This is called “management overhead”.

    We’ve chosen to focus our development resources on building-out the dependency chain instead of producing “mock-ups” because we think its a better use of our time. We do realize this has created the appearance of little progress being made despite enormous amounts of code being written.

    ^F^

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    @xevo @vatoloco2 @modemlooper @mikepratt @qrahaman

    3) There seems to be a consensus that we should try to reduce BP-Media’s feature set in an attempt to get a beta version released faster.

    The simple answer is “we’re already using that strategy, and have been since day one”. A more accurate answer is that some parts of the plugin are optional, and others are not.

    In order to figure-out which parts of the plugin were required, we had to wireframe the plugin with all of the optional parts, then look for common dependencies between the optional parts. For example, to determine the required parts of the “Network Modules” paradigm, we first had to come up with pretty much every possible network module (Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, etc), then create a data model that could handle the requirements of all these modules.

    If you’ve downloaded the nightly build and are flipping through the admin screens, you’ll see left-overs from this design step. Its important to understand that we’re not planning on delaying a beta release while we write seven different network modules.

    ^F^

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    @mikepratt

    To see our current development plan, release schedule, etc, visit our project tracker.

    https://www.pivotaltracker.com/projects/169903

    Note that you have to click on the “Backlog” and “Icebox” tabs to view the entire project.

    ^F^

    Avatar of Quint
    Quint
    Participant

    @qrahaman

    @foxly,

    Nice write up! Just for the record, I have always been in your team’s corner. I do understand what your going through since I have run multimillion dollar software development projects which is why I said what you’re doing is just fine with me.

    But seriously, your write up should be required reading for everyone who joins the BP ecosystem.

    Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    @foxly
    First off, I dont feel like a hater, nor do most. Your writing the plugin of own free will for us, so either way Im thankfull that your willing to give up your time for writing something for the community.

    1) Helping on a plugin that keeps expanding and hasn’t been stable for months, is useless. Also, why would we (as community) help a plugin which the developers wont even listen to their (future) users? It’s your code, but it would be useless if no one used it, wouldn’t it?

    2) It’s only more like designing a iPod, because you made it so, adding all that functionality. And I don’t think your not doing enough, it’s rather that your doing/trying to much.

    3) Take another year for all I care, but remember with what idea the plugin started with, a “media”/”photo”/”gallery” plugin, not a extra layer functionalities. Like jquery ui is for jquery.

    Keep in mind, these are just my thoughts and I would like you to at least consider what I’m saying.

    Avatar of Mike Pratt
    Mike Pratt
    Participant

    @mikepratt

    @Xevo I understand that bp-album and bp-media have pretty much nothing to do with each other. I do feel it can be misleading to associate them as versions of each other. I would imagine that all ref to bp-album should be removed from the bp-media sites to avoid this confusion. That said, the development schedule @foxly linked to above shows that the first releas of bp-media will be 0.1.9, the next logical after 0.1.8 (which is pretty much a different product with a different name. Not to digress into naming conventions but the massive (and very well done) development plan only gets versions out to .3. Why it never comes close to a 1.0 is beyond me but also unimportant. At a minimum (and I may have missed this) it would be good to know if committing to bp-album is a safe thing to do once bp-media is released.

    @foxly I’m not sure why you think we’re all haters? We have great respect and appreciation for the huge amount of work you and your team have taken on. We would ask that you don’t be dismissive of the large decisions we have to make. for example: do we go with a seemingly inferior media solution in the meantime while we wait for bp-album? Not an easy question to answer with the information available. Why? Well, the dev plan is extraordinarily thorough but there’s not even a hint of a planned alpha, beta and Rc release date. It’s not that we want to hold your feet to the fire but if it’s a year vs a month out then you can understand our decision making process changes. It’s not “Why haven’t you released yet” it’s “can you tell us a ball park on when you’d like to release so we can plan” hell, I’d be happy with a “we hope to release by Mar 1″ (random) and then if you miss, I can only imagine you’d have an entire Wiki giving good reason.

    One last clarifying question is the “Currently serving millions of users on 15,000 different websites” referring to bp-album or bp-media? The test implies bp-album but that doesn’t seem right. Is there documentation somewhere that lists what 0.1.8 can do? Most of the documentation now refers to what bp-media will do.

    Again, Thanks for all your work

    Avatar of Michael
    Michael
    Participant

    @fanquake

    @mikepratt Thought I might answer a few of your questions.

    Your correct when you say that Bp-Album and Bp-Media are unrelated, the two are completely different.

    In regards to version numbers, me and foxly have discussed them a bit, we are sticking with 0.1.9 for now but its possible that Bp-Media could be version 0.2.0, or possibly even 2.0.

    Once Bp-Media is released I don’t believe that we will be providing support for Bp-Album.

    “Currently serving millions of users on 15,000 different websites” is referring to Bp-Album, as Bp-Media doesn’t have a working release yet. Although you’ll have to ask Foxly about the figures.

    Avatar of Mike Pratt
    Mike Pratt
    Participant

    @mikepratt

    @FanQuake Thanks. That does help. Assuming you guys realize this is quite confusing on the site as presented.

    Any way I could get you to pick a quarter e.g. 2012Q2 in which bp-album might be be release (at least in beta)?

    Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    @mikepratt

    1) I think the “haters” thing is getting blown a bit out of proportion. It was a joke that came up in dev chat; see the beginning of the thread.

    2) We do realize the BP-Album / BP-Media naming convention can be confusing. The root cause of all this is we’re renaming the plugin to “BP-Media” to better reflect its capabilities. During the transition, there will be double-references throughout the site.

    3) I would estimate Q2 2012 as an alpha release date.

    4) The version numbering convention is that you put a “0″ as the first block until the release is no longer a beta. For example, 0.1.9 is a beta, 1.9 is a full production release.

    5) With regards to number of plugin users, there are currently about 15,000 active BP-Album installations as we can estimate from our wordpress.org downloads data. Even if each install has just 100 members, that’s 1.5 million users. Some large sites using BP-Album are approaching 10,000 users.

    @xevo

    `1) Helping on a plugin that keeps expanding and hasn’t been stable for months, is useless. Also, why would we (as community) help a plugin which the developers wont even listen to their (future) users? It’s your code, but it would be useless if no one used it, wouldn’t it?`

    a) We’re accountable to the people that invest time and resources in BP-Media. What have you contributed to BP-Media so far? Based on that measure, how much do you think we should change the course of a project which others have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and man-years of time in?

    b) We measure our success by how well BP-Media meets the needs of the stakeholders we’re designing it for, not the number of people using it.

    ’2) It’s only more like designing a iPod, because you made it so, adding all that functionality. And I don’t think your not doing enough, it’s rather that your doing/trying to much.’

    I’m really confused here, because your response means either:

    a) You haven’t read our developer roadmap and/or have failed to understand that there will be multiple releases between now and completion of all features, or,

    b) You’ve missed the fact we’re using huge amounts of placeholder content (which will be deleted before the plugin is released) in the admin UI.

    `3) Take another year for all I care, but remember with what idea the plugin started with, a “media”/”photo”/”gallery” plugin, not a extra layer functionalities. Like jquery ui is for jquery.`

    BP-Media implements the minimum feature set necessary for media sharing on a commercial BuddyPress website. Our team is working 80-hour weeks to get the plugin finished as quickly as possible.

    ^F^

    Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    I’ve heard enough, basically this plugin is not intentional anymore for what its predecessor was doing, which was out of the box media uploading for members.

    It’s unfortunate that the plugin has taken this course, would love to see someone take bp-album and expand it.

    Avatar of dcoschroeder
    dcoschroeder
    Member

    @dcoschroeder

    Sadly…I keep coming back to this website…hoping for some major breakthrough. Its been well over a year that I keep checking for that breakthrough. Midway through that period I found out that my wait was useless, because BP-Media won’t work on my web server anyways. So why do I keep coming back? Can’t hurt to hope, specially in a season like Christmas. However, Christmas is also a season of giving, so now I’m convincing my wife to get me a subscription so I can get Brajesh’s bp-gallery. I guess it has been stable and released for a long time. Very tired of this…yet why do I always come back here?

Viewing 24 replies - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)

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