Dear contributors, BP Plugin & BP Theme developers,

BuddyPress 12.0.0-beta1 is finally available for testing! 🏄‍♀️ 🏖

  • Please note the plugin is still in development, so we recommend running this beta release on a testing site.
  • Please note BuddyPress 12.0.0 will require at least WordPress 5.8.

You can test BuddyPress 12.0.0-beta1 in 4 ways :

The current target for final release is: October 30, 2023. Considering the major change we’re introducing with this release, we decided to plan for a 3 months beta testing period to:

  • leave enough time for BuddyPress plugin & theme authors to adapt their code to our new BP Rewrites API.
  • Update our existing add-ons to demonstrate the changes needed for optimum 12.0 compatibility (e.g., BP Attachments & BP Search Block)
  • Explain how the new code affects ways to extend BuddyPress from now on, and document as much as we can the progressive BuddyPress reboot that we’re starting with 12.0.0.
  • Identify potential issues or improvements for this release and the BP Classic add-on which neutralizes the BP Rewrites API and ensures 12.0.0 backwards compatibility with plugins & themes that are not ready yet for this API.

More than ever in BuddyPress history, testing for bugs is the key to a safe upgrade. It’s the main reason we actually package beta/RC versions. 👉 Please, with the goal of making this a smooth transition for our end-users, give us a bit of your time to ensure your specific theme or plugin works with this pre-release. If you find something weird, please report it on BuddyPress Trac, post a reply to this support topic or get in touch with us on our Slack channel.

One massive change & around 60 other changes to expect in 12.0.0

You can check out this report on Trac for the full list of them. Below are the ones we believe will require your attention a lot and improve your BuddyPress experience in the most significant way.

✍️ The BP Rewrites API (the massive change!)

BP 12 is replacing the transmission in the car

@dcavins on April 17, 2023.

This is a 10-year-old issue we are solving in BuddyPress 12.0.0, initializing a reboot was the right opportunity to finally comply with the WordPress way of generating rules to analyze requested URLs and route the visitor to the right site content: the WP Rewrite API. If we’ve tried to minimize as much as we could the needed changes for BuddyPress plugins and themes, 2 constraints couldn’t be worked around:

  • WordPress fully analyzes a URL later in the load process than our Legacy URL parser does its job
  • Supporting plain permalinks & customizable slugs required us to completely rethink the way we build BuddyPress URLs

That being said, the impressive benefits will outweigh the small efforts we all need to accomplish in the coming 3 months:

  • Site Administrators will now have a full control over all BuddyPress-generated URLs. They can choose slugs (or portions of URLs) that reflect their community, maybe using localized language or special terms that are more meaningful to their members. All also means, the URLs generated by 3rd party BuddyPress Add-ons using the BP Rewrites API.
  • BuddyPress will be fully compatible with plain URL permalinks.
  • Parsing BuddyPress URLs is faster, more reliable, extensible, testable and fully compliant with WordPress best practices.
  • We now have a solid foundation to dream bigger!

🔐 A new community visibility level: members only

We’ve heard from BuddyPress end-users that being able to easily restrict access to their community is a necessary feature. And thanks to the BP Rewrites API, we are able to reach this standard. With this first iteration, a site admin can now choose whether the community is fully public or is only accessible by logged-in members. In future versions, we hope to add granularity to this choice, so that community administrators can choose to highlight their members but share activities only inside the community “gates” for example. 

🧙‍♂️ More than 80 deprecated functions & 2 removals

12.0.0 deprecates more functions than any of our previous releases (The 1.5 version, which was the previous “leader”, deprecated 40 functions). 26 of these deprecated functions was actually moved into the BP Classic plugin as they were specific to our legacy way of building, parsing and analyzing URLs.

The BP Default theme and our BP Legacy widgets have also moved to BP Classic, the future is blocks!

This is important: you really need to test BuddyPress 12.0.0 to get ready for it!

🤝 Props @dcavins for his review & great improvements about this announcement post.

🕹 Happy testing! Thanks for your help!

Thanks to BuddyPress: get together safely, in your own way, in WordPress.