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honestly, should i use buddypress for an important life-saving website?

  • Avatar of Dainismichel
    dainismichel
    Participant

    @dainismichel

    i just posted this as a personal update:

    “how do you all find anything at buddypress.org if browsing by “my topics” is broken and clicking on “Activity | Personal” also doesn’t work? in this case, my install of BuddyPress at http://www.curetinnitus.org seems to work better than the install here. raises my concern that if i do get BuddyPress working for my member site, that upon upgrading it, at some point, BuddyPress will just break.”

    i was really excited and happy when i found buddypress and i went through the whole WPMU install process. when BuddyPress could install on regular WP, that’s what i did.

    i have an important life-saving website here at http://www.curetinnitus.org. i regularly get emails that the site has saved someone’s life, helped, etc.

    it’s hard enough keeping that side of the work i’m doing online “alive.” it can be very draining and a lot of times, people don’t pay their dues, i let them in, i provide extra support via email — and even the therapists i’ve coordinated for curetinnitus.org do the same thing.

    what i’m saying is that the actual work i’m doing online is hard enough. and interestingly, i do a process called “profitable virtual and physical business integration” for clients that includes the design and implementation of a complete blog with social media and product integration — and now that i think of it — i have not installed buddypress on any of my client sites.

    now, even though a recent forum support request actually went well for me here at buddypress, i have even experienced folks here getting really mad at me and making personal remarks, when i am just trying to get the software to work, and when i have offered countless times to work with documentation, because i have 20 years experience in documentation and training.

    so my offer has been: show me how to get my website to work properly and i will document the procedures, make videos etc.

    buddypress has not taken me up on my offer, and with the functionality at buddypress.org working so poorly, it makes me wonder if i might not need to drop this neat idea of creating an online community using buddypress.

    i would love to.

    but what i need is: a profile page that members can create and other members can comment on, a sitewide activity stream, maybe 4 forum areas that have separate membership access levels (however it’s optional), and the other functionality is also optional.

    i mean, one way to go would be to leave buddypress installed because it looks like the only way i can create a sitewide activity stream — and just use buddypress for that (somehow blocking access to any other buddypres functionality).

    so, i’m asking: honestly, should i use buddypress for an important life-saving website?

    i’m also asking: is anyone here, i mean, some pretty basic functionality is broken here…at buddypress.org itself.

    best,
    dainis w michel

Viewing 18 replies - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • > …when i have offered countless times to work with documentation, because i have 20 years experience in documentation and training.
    So get involved. The documentation is on our codex website, which is a blog which *everyone* has access to edit. @karmatosed is spearheading efforts to improve the codex, along with Ray, Mercime, JJJ and others. Just pick up something and improve it, and let people know what you’re doing on the codex forums at http://codex.buddypress.org/team/ so that things can be kept coordinated.

    > i’m also asking: is anyone here, i mean, some pretty basic functionality is broken here…at buddypress.org itself.
    BuddyPress.org is not representative of the state of the software itself. John knows this site has problems and is working on it. For a demo of BuddyPress, download and install it, or check out http://testbp.org (which I’m sure you know about already).

    Posts like this come across as pretty rude, and are almost always not very constructive.

    > so, i’m asking: honestly, should i use buddypress for an important life-saving website?
    Why wouldn’t you use BuddyPress for an important, life-saving website?

    Avatar of Dainismichel
    dainismichel
    Participant

    @dainismichel

    interesting and fortunate that you’d be replying here Paul. in a text file, saved for another forum, i have the following about you closing a similar thread:

    Quote:
    i just saw that this thread http://buddypress.org/community/groups/requests-feedback/forum/topic/what-is-up-with-buddypress-org/ was closed by Paul Gibbs over at BuddyPress.

    the OP was, in my opinion, asking legit questions and expressing exactly the kind of request a community needs to respond to appropriately in order thrive.

    this is emotional, persona, and critical for me — so i also wrote and considered posting:

    “it almost makes me cry to see a BuddyPress admin behave in such a fashion.”

    the OP was asking about functionality. the OP was pointing out functionality that does not work. and you closed the thread on the person.

    i’ve worked with ace programmers before, who sometimes need emotional and interpersonal assistance to understand what “normal people” want and need. i get that. i’ve been able to be the kind of person who can help a programmer relate to “the rest of the people on a project” or at a company. mostly because as a documentation and training professional, i am often the interface between the programming team and the user base.

    it’s hard to see such a cool concept (BuddyPress) harming itself and its community through such interpersonally and professionally unfortunate behavior.

    what i mean is: the users are here for functionality. why would you consider their seeking and asking about functionality rude?

    for me, if i provide any product or service, paid or otherwise, discussion about the product’s performance itself is never ever rude. it cannot be. they actually need to use the product or service. it’s rude to say something “sucks” when you have not used it, for example.

    from a user’s perspective, it can be seen as rude to “sell” someone on free software that is supposed to do particular stuff, and then upon install, it doesn’t. then, they are told they are rude if they ask questions that would lead them to be able to configure the software. and quite possibly, they are demeaned based on their programming ability. then they are told to go pay, but they simply can’t find anyone with the skill set to help them. and their posts asking for help or explanations are just closed on them. add to that that the support forum for the product itself does not function in a manner effective enough that one could use it for a live community. so, if i installed BuddyPress and it worked the way this forum does, i’d have to “fix” BuddyPress for my install. Fortunately, my current install works better than what we see here, but the current functionality of the live forum does not inspire confidence.

    in the end, possibly thousands of peoples’ “neat ideas” of creating websites for tinnitus help, autism help, juggling, parenting, a hobby, something really important, something really fun, a business — well they DIE.

    there is a very good chance that i may continue to use BuddyPress for a life saving website, but my response to

    “Why wouldn’t you use BuddyPress for an important, life-saving website?”

    is — because an admin over there not only closed this thread http://buddypress.org/community/groups/requests-feedback/forum/topic/what-is-up-with-buddypress-org/ but found it rude and “not constructive.”

    my deal with documentation is as follows: show me how to do something, and i will show others via articles, videos, etc. but if i am not shown, then i might not be able to create the docs. sometimes i need a “code snippet,” and for some reason, the coders just won’t give up the code. paid, unpaid, does not matter. won’t share their code. it’s my ball and you can’t play with it and you are rude if you want the reply button to work properly. who are you to say what is proper? rudey-pants, go learn how to code.

    but the person is just like “hey, man, i love you, i love this software, i just want the reply button to work and post the comments on the original post as well as in the activity stream”

    i already improved buddypress documentation once. however, i am an end user advocate, and if i were buddypress, i would literally ask my users what sucks about buddypress. i would ferret out each and every pain and address the issues. i would create procedures that allow dedicated people to implement functional websites and i would understand that people get frustrated after 80 hours of working on making something work as promised.

    also, i would make a clear free-line and rate-sheet distinction so that people can pay for stuff if needed.

    so there would be more money flowing, excellent community functionality, and saying “this doesn’t work” would not be considered rude. ever.

    i do not advocate the use of language like “this and this sucks…” and it was not the OP who began such discourse. i am the founder of http://www.verbalyoga.com (the site is not up yet), i have clear understanding of what is verbally abusive and what is not.

    and well — with all of that being said — BuddyPress seems like a very emotionally volatile product and community. pressing “update” can take an entire site down, and if you seek help — you run the risk of being called “rude” and having your posts closed on you before being responded to courteously, before being offered a paid or unpaid solution, before being given an explanation.

    that is not fair and it is dangerous for a life-saving website.

    non-programmers are people too
    people who don’t know their way around buddypress are people too
    non-coders are people too

    of course, structured correctly, i could help you guys make heaploads of money. but maybe you don’t need money and are way over $250/hour and it does not matter what anyone throws at you.

    improving your free-line (the software, the forum, the documentation) is all essential. in my opinion, i highly recommend you look at how BuddyPress treats sincere business owners, web-concept developers, low to high level tech folks, etc., especially when you feel criticized.

    that’s the best i can do for you right now, and it’s a lot.

    sincerely,
    dainis w michel

    How anyone could find “hey did you know blah blah is broken on your site” offensive is baffling to me! It has nothing to do with being a programmer or not. It’s like someone pointing out that your shoe is untied or fly is open. The civil response is “thank you for telling me”.
    I have in the past though worked with people who were so sensitive about any criticism whatsoever that they did not want their “issue tracking system” called anything like that or “bug tracking” or “defect tracking” etc. I think they wanted it to be something like “topics for conversation”. Having users confronted with a white screen is not a defect, it’s a topic for conversation ;-)
    I hope it all works out. buddyPress seems to have some real potential.
    joe

    Avatar of Dainismichel
    dainismichel
    Participant

    @dainismichel

    well, one thing is actually fielding the comments. i mean, hey, ya wanna call them “topics for conversation,” i’m more than happy to do so. just give me some lead in time and a few missed shots and i’ll come around. i’ll even run your community for you and educate your entire user population on the way the programming team likes to be communicated with. “bugs” “topics for conversation” “f-ups” “doinks” “things that aren’t my fault” “stuff that’s broken for whatever reason” — it does not matter.

    the point is fielding the comments and having a healthy cycle of discourse and development. we have to understand: buddypress is not doing that now. it’s not a healthy environment for business owners, so we have to deal with it.

    i’d love to see BuddyPress turn the corner on this issue. i’d love to use BuddyPress on my commercial sites. i don’t know how to replace the BuddyPress activity stream, and i’d appreciate it if there were a list of comparable plugins right here on this thread. but again, that may be perceived as threatening. but it’s not — not for healthy business people.

    healthy business people go: here you go, here are our competitors, here is how we are different and better in these categories.

    but this is “free” software and well, the community does seem very very sensitive. not just sensitive in an emotional way, but sensitive in a: how dare you want your site to work, you are rude, now your site is broken so what nah nah nah kind of way.

    i really commend Paul Gibbs for asking the question “Why wouldn’t you use BuddyPress for an important, life-saving website?”

    — it means he inquired. and now we are responding. not because we are rude, but because he asked. these are our best answers, and hey, it ain’t so bad is it?

    i kind of feel like i’m trying to “rescue” buddypress or something, and in a sense i am, cuz i want buddypress to work properly, and i can’t find an alternative.

    hey, thanks for this thread and for your participation :-)

    Avatar of @modemlooper
    @modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    I want to point out that BuddyPress works out of the box but if you start changing things and adding plugins this has nothing to do with the core development team. So to blame them that your custom install doesn’t work is not fair. Everyone on this support forum offering help is on a volunteer basis and as they say, “you get what you pay for”. ;)

    As for this site, I’d rather the default theme be activated and the live updating that’s been going on for over 2 months stop. I can’t find my topics to help with support. Pretty much gave up on anything that isn’t on the first page.

    Avatar of kkradel
    kkradel
    Participant

    @kkradel

    While I work (sometimes) in Web Development as a QA Engineer, and work all other hours on growing my own site, it isn’t that I don’t want to work on documentation for someone else’s project, it’s that I have absolutely no time to take on a part of someone else’s project. Nor, do I feel I should have to. I too have often been perplexed by attitude towards users on this board – when I have gotten usable help or pointers, it’s almost always been from Ray, bless his heart. But if this product (albeit a free one) is released without adequate testing, or time commitment from the developers to document and assure the quality of the plugin, then word, eventually, if it hasn’t already, is going to get around.

    I worry about a plugin that *only* works out of the box on one WP theme and not even a well designed theme at that. There is no way that I would re-install my site around an out of the box theme. I’m sure there are a lot of potential buddypress users who think the same way, and wouldn’t even attempt to do what I have done (am trying to do) with my site.

    Once I get the buddypress bit working with the site, I’m not going to upgrade. Buddypress needs to be edited in too many places to make it work. I might do a test run with 2.0 when the forums and WP upgrade, but if it doesn’t work easily enough, I’m going to stay with the set up I have.

    Getting what we pay for? What happened to a sense of pride and satisfaction about delivering great product and treating users with respect rather than disdain?

    Avatar of kkradel
    kkradel
    Participant

    @kkradel

    While I work (sometimes) in Web Development as a QA Engineer, and work all other hours on growing my own site, it isn’t that I don’t want to work on documentation for someone else’s project, it’s that I have absolutely no time to take on a part of someone else’s project. Nor, do I feel I should have to. I too have often been perplexed by attitude towards users on this board – when I have gotten usable help or pointers, it’s almost always been from Ray, bless his heart. But if this product (albeit a free one) is released without adequate testing, or time commitment from the developers to document and assure the quality of the plugin, then word, eventually, if it hasn’t already, is going to get around.

    I worry about a plugin that *only* works out of the box on one WP theme and not even a well designed theme at that. There is no way that I would re-install my site around an out of the box theme. I’m sure there are a lot of potential buddypress users who think the same way, and wouldn’t even attempt to do what I have done (am trying to do) with my site.

    Once I get the buddypress bit working with the site, I’m not going to upgrade. Buddypress needs to be edited in too many places to make it work. I might do a test run with 2.0 when the forums and WP upgrade, but if it doesn’t work easily enough, I’m going to stay with the set up I have.

    Getting what we pay for? What happened to a sense of pride and satisfaction about delivering great product and treating users with respect rather than disdain?

    Avatar of CJ Kruger
    CJ Kruger
    Participant

    @cj-kruger

    There are free alternatives. Drupal and joomla amongst others. Just remember that beggers can’t be choose’s – no one is forcing you to run wp/bp..

    Regarding buddypress bugs and such – joomla has something like 6000 core bugs.

    Avatar of CJ Kruger
    CJ Kruger
    Participant

    @cj-kruger

    There are free alternatives. Drupal and joomla amongst others. Just remember that beggers can’t be choose’s – no one is forcing you to run wp/bp..

    Regarding buddypress bugs and such – joomla has something like 6000 core bugs.

    Avatar of @modemlooper
    @modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    Like I said, it’s free. Free to use or not. Do not make your lack of knowledge on how to extend a free product someone elses problem. I answer on average 5-10 support requests every day. I take offense that you think nobody gets help but they do when volunteers can help.

    Avatar of @modemlooper
    @modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    Like I said, it’s free. Free to use or not. Do not make your lack of knowledge on how to extend a free product someone elses problem. I answer on average 5-10 support requests every day. I take offense that you think nobody gets help but they do when volunteers can help.

    Sorry, but I believe you have missed the point of the original post. Please read this entire post before responding. It’s a little long, but not that long.
    Neither the original poster, nor I, had any complaints about the operation of installations we had made ourselves. What was being asked, was whether there should be concern due to the obvious problems on the buddypress website itself, not our own installations.
    We, the user community, have no way of knowing, other than by asking, if the problems on this site are due to use of an old version of BuddyPress, use of an unreleased version of BuddyPress, use of a broken theme for BuddyPress, or perhaps even maybe they have nothing to do with BuddyPress at all. However, problems that show up on this site beg the question as to whether or not as yet unseen problems might show up on our installations. So, when we ask… “why do I get a white screen when I click on page 2 of the buddypress support forum” this should not be considered a criticism of BuddyPress or it’s developers… it’s merely a question.
    We, the user community, would like to have some idea of what we’re getting into. I personally feel fairly comfortable with getting into the guts of most php applications, but I do not have the ability to get into the guts of the implementation of this site so there is no way for me to answer my own question.
    For those that are responsible for implementation of the site, I still don’t see any reason whatsoever for offense just because someone points out a defect and asks regarding its cause. If the people responsible for the implementation of this site are too busy to look into it, fine. I can completely relate to that. If the site is built on an obsolete platform that is not worth troubleshooting, fine. I can completely relate to that as well. If the site is built on a platform that is in development and as yet incomplete or unstable, fine. I have no problem accepting that. What I do have difficulty with is being told that merely pointing out the defective behavior on this site, and being told that it is offensive to ask about it.
    So have I made myself understood that I am not complaining about BuddyPress software, I am just asking what it is that is causing the buddypress.org website to behave in obviously undesirable and perhaps unexpected ways.
    joe

    Sorry, but I believe you have missed the point of the original post. Please read this entire post before responding. It’s a little long, but not that long.
    Neither the original poster, nor I, had any complaints about the operation of installations we had made ourselves. What was being asked, was whether there should be concern due to the obvious problems on the buddypress website itself, not our own installations.
    We, the user community, have no way of knowing, other than by asking, if the problems on this site are due to use of an old version of BuddyPress, use of an unreleased version of BuddyPress, use of a broken theme for BuddyPress, or perhaps even maybe they have nothing to do with BuddyPress at all. However, problems that show up on this site beg the question as to whether or not as yet unseen problems might show up on our installations. So, when we ask… “why do I get a white screen when I click on page 2 of the buddypress support forum” this should not be considered a criticism of BuddyPress or it’s developers… it’s merely a question.
    We, the user community, would like to have some idea of what we’re getting into. I personally feel fairly comfortable with getting into the guts of most php applications, but I do not have the ability to get into the guts of the implementation of this site so there is no way for me to answer my own question.
    For those that are responsible for implementation of the site, I still don’t see any reason whatsoever for offense just because someone points out a defect and asks regarding its cause. If the people responsible for the implementation of this site are too busy to look into it, fine. I can completely relate to that. If the site is built on an obsolete platform that is not worth troubleshooting, fine. I can completely relate to that as well. If the site is built on a platform that is in development and as yet incomplete or unstable, fine. I have no problem accepting that. What I do have difficulty with is being told that merely pointing out the defective behavior on this site, and being told that it is offensive to ask about it.
    So have I made myself understood that I am not complaining about BuddyPress software, I am just asking what it is that is causing the buddypress.org website to behave in obviously undesirable and perhaps unexpected ways.
    joe

    Avatar of @modemlooper
    @modemlooper
    Moderator

    @modemlooper

    No, BuddyPress works fine and will into the future and bug fixes are never ending. This site is developed live, hence it being broken. Don’t use this site as a reflection of the state of the software.

    Avatar of enderpal444
    enderpal444
    Participant

    @enderpal444

    When web development stops being polite…and starts getting real.

    Good read guys.

    Avatar of CJ Kruger
    CJ Kruger
    Participant

    @cj-kruger

    As modemlooper said, buddypress.org is not a reflection of buddyress itself. If you want to test out the current/stable release – there is testbp.org specifically for that purpose.

    Avatar of Dainismichel
    dainismichel
    Participant

    @dainismichel

    i can offer a bit more information here, and i’m impressed that buddypress has kept this thread alive. it’s clear that this thread has a lot of value for the survival of bp in it, and it’s also clear, at least to me, that there are a good number of caring people trying, essentially, to help bp “survive.”

    if you download free software, does that make you a beggar?

    if you get a 2nd muffin free at a coffee shop, how would you feel if the shopkeeper said “beggars can’t be choosers” and just gave you a second muffin with a bite already taken out of it? then said: hey man, if you don’t like it, bake your own, no one forcing you to eat your free muffin you know.

    what we’ve bought into, and what bp has “sold” to us, is: “social networking in a box.” we, as a culture, have experienced how awesome it is when people get together and work for the common good. we see your slogans “all the features you love in 6 minutes flat,” and we go “rock on!” power to the people, way to go buddypress! it’s the information revolution waaahooo!

    it’s a big promise bp is making, and i’d like to know if you really look at downloaders of bp as “beggars.” do you really?

    many “buy into” the bp promise and are more than willing to help in any way they know how, as long as they get help with the parts that they don’t know how to do.

    that one is pretty critical: many are more than willing to help in any way they know how, as long as they get help with what they don’t know how to do.

    for example: i paid for my artistic education as a documentation and training professional and an “end user advocate” (which you can tell eh?).

    as a result, i have documented extremely complex software, have dug deep into code, have consulted on code commenting procedures — and i’ve also put together guides for non-english speaking factory workers to put together electronics (so basically a picture-based guide).

    so, here i am, and basically, with 20 years off and on hard-core tech documentation experience, i can say: i can dern near explain anything to anyone in a clear and understandable way. but, in order to do so, i need something called a “subject matter expert.”

    and that, in this situation, would be “you guys.”

    i have repeated multiple times: i am happy to document, but i need to be shown.

    the benefit to me: functioning websites. the benefit to you: great documentation. what you give me: code, procedures, and a consistently functional and kind environment in which to receive answers to my questions (which will likely all be about functionality).

    the benefit to the community: more and more people install bp and can actually use it.

    the “BuddyPress Story” web-wide has been “i had high hopes and spent sleepless nights because i wanted to create a site for [passionX, missionY, businessZ, businessIdeaN] and basically, eventually, i gave up.”

    the failing that i see here on the part of buddypress is:
    not giving its community access to the “parts of the puzzle” that individuals don’t know how to do in exchange for the parts of the puzzle they do know how to do.

    do you honestly find it appropriate to call someone who downloads free software a “beggar?”

    what criteria must a person fill in order not to be a “beggar” in the bp community?

    that’s all i can contribute for today.

    Avatar of Hugo
    Hugo
    Moderator

    @hnla

    Closing this thread @newpress I’m starting to get a wee bit annoyed now :) Please do not open old threads for no good reason.

Viewing 18 replies - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)

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