The first beta for BuddyPress 2.0 is now ready for testing!

BuddyPress 2.0 is shaping up to be a very exciting upgrade, and is currently on track for our an on-time release in mid-April. But we need your help! If you are a plugin or theme developer, or if you are running a BuddyPress site and you have a development/sandbox environment available, please download the 2.0-beta1 zip or get a copy via Subversion, and put it through its paces.

We’ll have more details about the changes in our official release documents, but in the meantime, here’s a quick overview of some of the largest changes that need attention. (For a complete list, see this report). First, user-facing stuff:

  • We have a number of new administrative tools:
    • User Extended Profile data is now editable at Dashboard > [Network Admin >] Users
    • Non-Multisite installations can now perform spam actions from Dashboard > Users
    • Dashboard > Tools > BuddyPress contains a number of tools for correcting data that occasionally gets out of sync on BP installs
  • In addition, signups/registrations have been completely overhauled. There is now a subsection on Dashboard > [Network Admin >] Users for handling Pending users, where you can resend activation emails, perform manual activations, and more. The way BP integrates with WP’s signup system under the hood has also been rewritten; on non-Multisite, we now mimic WPMS’s wp_signups functionality. We think this is a much more flexible, consistent system for all users of BuddyPress. These new workflows need the particular attention of people who are currently administrators on BP sites with open registration – you will best understand the pain points that these changes are meant to address.
  • Blog-related activity comments now sync back to the source blog. That is, a reply in the activity stream to a “Boone posted a new blog post” item will create a corresponding comment on the blog post itself.

There have been extensive changes under the hood, including large performance increases and new developer tools:

  • Activity actions – strings in the activity stream like “Boone and Ray are now friends” – are no longer (only) stored statically in the database, but are generated dynamically at runtime. This should alleviate several longtime headaches related to data staleness and multilingual sites. But it has also resulted in a number of changes related to the pre-caching of activity-related data. Watch in the upcoming days for a discussion of what plugin developers will need to know about the new system (short version – plugins that insert activity items will continue to work as before, but should be good citizens and update to the new technique). See #3856 for background.
  • There’s a brand new API for registering xprofile field types, and our own field types have been completely rewritten to use it. See #5220.
  • User last_activity data has been moved from the usermeta table to the activity table. This ought to result in very sizable performance improvements for larger sites. Plugin developers should verify that their plugins are working correctly with these changes. See this post on bpdevel for more background and specifics.
  • Major improvements have taken place with respect to object caching throughout BuddyPress. If you use Memcached, APC, or some other persistent object caching backend on your BuddyPress site, please consider testing this beta.
  • Metadata functions have been completely rewritten to leverage WP’s core metadata API. See #4551 and especially #5399 for what plugin devs will need to know about backward compatibility.

If you think you’ve found a bug, please report it to the support forums or our development tracker. And remember, this is beta software – we don’t recommend that you run it on a production site. Thanks in advance for your help – onward we march to 2.0!