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Friends and Groups for BuddyPress 1.3

  • Avatar of John James Jacoby
    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    Andy and I kicked around an idea for BuddyPress 1.3, and it’s time to get some developer feedback. It has to do with deprecating the friends component entirely, and using the groups API to mimic the behavior of “friending” people, which is basically just grouping people together anyhow.

    Join the discussion here and feel free to reply to this forum topic with non-developer opinions on the idea if you’re not comfortable contributing on a developer type level.

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 71 total)
  • Avatar of John James Jacoby
    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    If this was the direction we’d go, it would probably be something like:

    1. Deprecate “Friends” component code into a separate downloadable plugin that can still be used exactly like it is now, just not part of the core anymore.

    2. Merge friends functionality into private “user” groups so that developers can choose to ditch the “friends” model if they want, rename it to “homies” or “classmates” or whatever, or keep it if they’d like to. (Boone is right on this one; the skin on top of this additional group functionality would make “friends” look and work pretty much identical to how it does now.)

    3. “Friends” would replaced with the core ability to “follow” peoples activity, and for your activity to be followed by others. (Andy and I have also tossed around the idea of when people follow each other, that an automatic friendship is assumed.)

    Thanks again everyone for joining in on this with your opinions. Our goal is to keep each component as flexible and adaptable as possible, while avoiding code bloat and also trying to avoid duplicating similar features that could just be one flexible component.

    You’re all awesome. :D

    Avatar of Bowe
    Bowe
    Participant

    @bowromir

    I really like the idea of “following” people and making lists (friends/co-workers/family) which you can use to filter the activity stream (just like Twitter). But have you thought about how you would like to display this? This new “follow/friends” stream should on a seperate page or on your profile homepage (normal visitors only see your activity stream, you see the stream of all the people you follow)

    This way you would visit your profile homepage to get an update of all your friends activity and the network homepage to see what’s happening on the entire network. Basically you would have a “user home” and a “network home”. I think this would be a very good idea and with the inclusion of widgets for both homepages it would be very cool

    I’m currently working on my website and made two examples of how I would like to see it done:

    User homepage

    http://www.bp-tricks.com/wp-content/uploads/my_friendsv1.jpg

    Network homepage

    http://www.bp-tricks.com/wp-content/uploads/homepage.jpg

    Consistent layout but different content: sitewide and personal!

    ps: Merry Christmas everyone!

    Avatar of Peterverkooijen
    peterverkooijen
    Participant

    @peterverkooijen

    …also trying to avoid duplicating similar features that could just be one flexible component.

    That’s why I would also consider deprecating/downplaying forum integration in favor of group blogs, microblogging, threaded comments. Consolidate social organization in Buddypress around blogs and groups. That would really set Buddypress apart.

    Avatar of Arx Poetica
    Arx Poetica
    Participant

    @arxpoetica

    I think this is a no-brainer *as long as it doesn’t make life more difficult for the average user.* :D

    Avatar of Matt Kern
    Matt Kern
    Participant

    @mattkern

    Yes, lets please leave friending (and gifts!) to the complete meltdown that is Ning.

    Instead of friends, let’s go the twitter route and be able to group people by lists or even with tags. That is useful.

    Friending is a complete waste of bandwidth.

    Avatar of abcde666
    abcde666
    Participant

    @erich73

    you mean removing the “Friending somebody” stuff and instead make only “Following somebody” ?

    Yeah, why not ?

    In the end, the people at a social network are usually not my “real” friends…..

    I actually only have 2 or 3 “real” friends in life – how many real friends do you have ?

    Thinking about this, gives me the conclusion that the idea of JJJ and Andy is the right one.

    Lets replicate real life, instead of creating artificial behaviour……

    Avatar of teebes
    teebes
    Participant

    @teebes

    I love the idea of as an admin, creating a relationship between profile fields (not necessarily required ones) and groups. In fact, I was scouring around my new 1.2 install hoping this feature was already live :) I see it as a good way to get folks involved in their specific demographic while always having the ability to leave the group if they want.

    I see this as an option when defining a group, keeping the current public/private options intact, just adding another criteria or ‘group profile rule’.

    Avatar of Bowe
    Bowe
    Participant

    @bowromir

    @Teebes: you can already do what you want with auto group join: http://brentandmary.net/2009/10/24/bn-auto-join-group-plugin/

    I’m planning to do the same for my site. Based on certain profile fields they are put in different groups after signup!

    Avatar of teebes
    teebes
    Participant

    @teebes

    @Bowe: Very cool. Thanks so much for the link, downloading it now!

    Avatar of abcde666
    abcde666
    Participant

    @erich73

    Having the option of setting certain “Friends-List” to be “public, private or hidden” would be great. So I can set a certain “Group of Friends” to be hidden from other “Group of Friends”.

    Not sure if Jeffs “Privacy-Plugin” is capable of doing this ?

    Avatar of Xevo
    Xevo
    Participant

    @xevo

    At least leave the friending as an option please, first wire is taken away and now friends? I believe friends are a core element of a good social network, unless rebuilding twitter you don’t have to follow someone (@matt kern), build a plugin if you want such a feature.

    @ Erich73

    Lets replicate real life, instead of creating artificial behaviour.

    Social networking isn’t real life! Are we working towards making everyone lazy bastards who don’t even step away from their computer? Besides, in real life you call people friends/colleagues/partners when you don’t even know them that well, so is that really that different? In fact you can find out more about a person through a social network then you can by just talking to them.

    You meet people through friends and meet even more through those friends, isn’t that what a social network is for?

    If friending gets taken out in 1.3, then I’ll stay with Buddypress 1.2.

    Avatar of abcde666
    abcde666
    Participant

    @erich73

    I agree.

    I would definitely not want the feature of “friending” with somebody to disappear. This feature is essential.

    Ususally I am very happy when I do get a friendship-invitation, and this is a very important psychological factor as well.

    First you need to “friending” with somebody, only after that you are able to “sort” your friends into different “Friend Groups” (like putting friends into different folders e.g. family, work, girlfriends, etc.) and also being able to make those “Friend Groups” either public, private or hidden.

    Whether you “follow” your friends or whether you follow other people (who are not your “friends”), is a totally different story and a different feature.

    Not sure why JJJ wants to remove the “friending feature” in favour of the “following-feature”…. ?

    Can we not have both ?

    Avatar of MrMaz
    MrMaz
    Participant

    @mrmaz

    I agree with Erich73, why not both? Just in general I don’t like the idea of any features being taken away. That makes BP feel more like a software package that you have to constantly adapt to instead of a framework that you can adapt to your needs. I don’t want to have to worry about features I like vanishing, regardless of how useful/less they may seem to others.

    Avatar of Matt Kern
    Matt Kern
    Participant

    @mattkern

    I can see how it might be good tokeep friending, but give the option not to use it. I hate it when Ning takes away features. maybe that should be a last resort.

    @Xevo you made my point in your post when you said ‘friends/colleagues/partners”. It is much more useful to be able to group the people you want to keep in touch with.

    I belong to some pretty large Ning sites and I have hundreds of “friends” there with no way of using sub categories to really define who these people are.

    Someone else pointed out also, you don’t necessarily want to use the word “friend” on a business network.

    Avatar of abcde666
    abcde666
    Participant

    @erich73

    looks like we came to a good conclusion ?

    Avatar of Bowe
    Bowe
    Participant

    @bowromir

    Most important thing for me would be the option to categorize your friends and filter the activity stream based on those categories..Looks like all types of sites could benefit from this, at least I haven’t seen people who were against that feature :)

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    I agree with MrMaz’s assessment above. We should be thinking about extending the BuddyPress framework and not deprecating major components at this time.

    The ability to assign more than one type of “friend” was something I proposed 10 months ago but was somehow deleted as a future enhancement by an anonymous person. That may have been an automatic “deletion” as it was around the time that the phrase “future enhancement” was replaced with “future release.” But, I would have thought that the ticket would have simply been switched to that new milestone indicator.

    http://trac.buddypress.org/ticket/582

    My suggestion in the link above is what jjj refers to in this comment on his Trac ticket linked to in this thread’s OP:

    It would solve Jeff Sayre’s user relationship issue too…

    The best solution to accomplish my suggestion is to extend the Friends Component and model the data in a one to many relationship. Simply relegating friends to another type of group does not accomplish the goal.

    Avatar of Bowe
    Bowe
    Participant

    @bowromir

    Mysterious Jeff.. Do we have a saboteur on our hands here? Maybe a NING user who felt the breath of BP breathing down it’s neck? Anyways your suggestion is exactly what we need and kudos for bringing this up 10 months ago :D

    Avatar of Jeff Sayre
    Jeff Sayre
    Participant

    @jeffsayre

    Haha, Bowe!

    It looks like I was adding more details to my post as you where posting your response. :)

    Avatar of abcde666
    abcde666
    Participant

    @erich73

    Hi Jeff,

    this is a great ticket of what is really needed for BP to move ahead.

    Thank you !

    FWIW, My views on this went into the trac ticket.

    Avatar of Windhamdavid
    Windhamdavid
    Participant

    @windhamdavid

    I spend the better half of the last hour reading these threads related to depreciating ‘friends’ and I’m sold on it. This is very insightful point (from the vantage of a behavioral psychologist). It makes ‘friends’ more powerful and oblique at the same time. Friends will consolidate perfectly into the more powerful groups api while opening up more dynamic (Not “less meaningful”) ‘friend’ models.

    Avatar of Peterverkooijen
    peterverkooijen
    Participant

    @peterverkooijen

    I can see how it might be good tokeep friending, but give the option not to use it. I hate it when Ning takes away features …

    Just in general I don’t like the idea of any features being taken away …

    If friending gets taken out in 1.3, then I’ll stay with Buddypress 1.2 …

    We should be thinking about extending the BuddyPress framework and not deprecating major components at this time …

    Not sure why JJJ wants to remove the “friending feature” in favour of the “following-feature”? Can we not have both ? …

    I am worried Buddypress will fall into the trap of trying to be everything to all people and will become a bloated mess. For my projects I need a coherent, reliable core before I need any more features – forums, events, galleries, enterprise features, ecommerce, …

    It’s great the developers are rethinking friending, how it can make more sense in the Buddypress context. If Buddypress can come up with a different approach, logically tied into groups and (micro)blogging, that could really set BP apart from Facebook, Ning, etc. Less is more!

    JJJ’s proposal already is the best of both world imho (yes, we can have both!):

    1. Deprecate “Friends” component code into a separate downloadable plugin that can still be used exactly like it is now, just not part of the core anymore.

    2. Merge friends functionality into private “user” groups so that developers can choose to ditch the “friends” model if they want …

    3. “Friends” would replaced with the core ability to “follow” peoples activity, and for your activity to be followed by others …

    This is also a next step in the evolution in web friending, from classic Friendster/Facebook -> Twitter following -> following/friending with more context in groups and blogging (not just based on 140 chars brain farts).

    Absolutely agree with Windhamdavid btw!

    Avatar of MrMaz
    MrMaz
    Participant

    @mrmaz

    Nobody has yet convinced me that the proposed deprecating of the friends component makes sense from a code point of view. I am not disagreeing that some people want/need a different visualization of how friending works, but you have to make the case that it will genuinely improve the codebase while providing backwards compatibility.

    There is a proposal to make this major shift in how a key component of the software functions without any supporting code to show that it will actually work.

    I know this project isn’t a democracy, but you can’t just say that not everyone is going to be happy all of the time and then steamroll them. A lot of people have invested a lot of their free time into BP, and if they get burned they could very well leave the community. I don’t think its worth the risk to lose smart people from an open source project only due to fear of too much code. Code is expensive to write. Free code is good.

    Avatar of Mike Pratt
    Mike Pratt
    Participant

    @mikepratt

    @Maz – I may be going out on a limb here, but reading thru all the text here and on trac, I’d be shocked if this proposal went anywhere. There’s nothing remotely close to any kind of support. Great debate, sure, but everyone in favor is really just looking for a twist on the “friends” interpretation…just as you say. My 2 cents.

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 71 total)

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