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The road to BuddyPress blocks

Published on November 8th, 2019 by imath

Hi everyone!

First, we’d like to thank all the people who contributed to the poll we shared on our development updates blog and into a topic of one of our forums a month ago. It was really important for us to have your expectations about the content the plugin should provide to the WordPress Block Editor.

It’s now time for us to share with you the results of this poll and tell you how we plan to work on BuddyPress blocks for the next release(s) of your favorite community engine!

Read more →

Test BuddyPress 5.1.0-beta1 thanks to our new BP Beta Tester plugin

Published on November 5th, 2019 by imath

Hi BuddyPress contributors!

We will soon publish a maintenance release (5.1.0) to fix some issues that arose since BuddyPress 5.0.0 “Le Gusto”. A detailed changelog will be part of our official release notes, but, until then, you can check out this report on Trac for the full list of fixes.

Today we’re publishing a very specific beta release for version 5.1.0 as it has two goals:

  • Let you make sure the fixes have no side effects on your community site’s configuration.
  • Test in real conditions the plugin we’ve been working on and which should greatly simplify the way you betatest BuddyPress.

Meet BP Beta Tester

Once installed it will help you to upgrade your website to the latest Beta or Release candidate. You will also be able to downgrade to the latest stable release once you finished your Beta tests.

Once activated, go to the home page of your Dashboard (Network Dashboard if your are using WordPress Multisite) to find the BP Beta Tester sub menu of the Dashboard menu. From this page, you’ll be able to install the 5.1.0-beta1 release clicking on the tab “Upgrade to 5.1.0-beta1”.

You can always downgrade to the latest stable version of BuddyPress using the corresponding tab of the page’s header.

The development version of this plugin is hosted on GitHub: you can contribute to it pulling requests or reporting issues. We plan to submit this plugin on the WordPress.org Plugins directory so that it’s easier to install.

Download BP Beta Tester or Download BuddyPress 5.1.0-beta1.

Happy testing 😉

BuddyPress 5.0.0 “Le Gusto”

Published on September 28th, 2019 by imath

Here’s our latest major release featuring the BuddyPress REST API !!

We are very excited to announce the BuddyPress community the immediate availability of BuddyPress 5.0.0 code-named “Le Gusto“. You can get it clicking on the above button, downloading it from our WordPress.org plugin repository or checking it out from our subversion repository.

NB: if you’re upgrading from a previous version of BuddyPress, please make sure to back-up your WordPress database and files before proceeding.

You can view all the changes we made in 5.0.0 thanks to our full release note. Below are the key features we want to get your attention on.

The BP REST API opens a new era for BuddyPress!

You can now enjoy REST API endpoints for members, groups, activities, private messages, screen notifications and extended profiles.

BuddyPress endpoints provide machine-readable external access to your WordPress site with a clear, standards-driven interface, paving the way for new and innovative methods of interacting with your community through plugins, themes, apps, and beyond.

The BP REST API opens great new opportunities to improve the way you play with the BuddyPress component features: we couldn’t resist to start building on top of it introducing…

A new interface for managing group members.

Screen Capture of the new Group Mange Members UI

Group administrators will love our new interface for managing group membership. Whether you’re working as a group admin on the front-end Manage tab, or as the site admin on the Dashboard, the new REST API-based tools are faster, easier to use, and more consistent.

The BP REST API is fully documented

The development team worked hard on the features but also took the time to write the documentation about how to use it and how to extend it. BuddyPress developers, let’s start building great stuff for our end users: take a look at the BP REST API developer reference.

Improved Group invites and membership requests

Thanks to the new BP Invitations API, Group invites and membership requests are now managed in a more consistent way. The BP Invitations API abstracts how these two actions are handled and allows developers to use them for any object on your site (e.g., Sites of a WordPress network).

Read more about the BP Invitations API.

Help our support volunteers help you.

Knowing your WordPress and BuddyPress configuration is very important when one of our beloved support volunteers tries to help you fix an issue. That’s why we added a BuddyPress section to the Site Health Info Administration screen.

Screen capture of the BuddyPress section of the Site Health screen.

The panel is displayed at the bottom of the screen. It includes the BuddyPress version, active components, active template pack, and a list of other component-specific settings information.

Improved integrations with WordPress

BP Nouveau Template Pack

In BuddyPress 5.0.0, the BP Nouveau template pack looks better than ever with the Twenty Nineteen theme.

Nouveau now uses the same password control as the one used in WordPress Core, for better consistency between BuddyPress and WordPress spaces.

BuddyPress Blocks now have their own category into the Block Editor.

Developers building tools for the Block Editor can now add their blocks to the BuddyPress category. This change provides a foundation for organizing custom BuddyPress blocks.

Read more about this feature in this development note.

Screen capture of the comment Matt made about BuddyPress 4.0.0

PS: we know, just like Matt, you’re eager to enjoy high quality community blocks: now we have the BP REST API and this new Blocks category available in BuddyPress Core, get ready to be amazed for our next release. Fasten your seatbelts: BuddyPress blocks are arriving!

BuddyPress Le Gusto

5.0.0 is code-named “Le Gusto” after the well known Pizza restaurant in Fortaleza, Brazil. It’s the perfect place to meet with friends and start tasting new flavors like @espellcaste’s favorite one: the “Pizza de Camarão”.

Muito Obrigado

As usual, this BuddyPress release is only possible thanks to the contributions of the community. Special thanks to the following folks who contributed code and testing to the release: baconbro, Boone B Gorges (boonebgorges), boop (joncadams), Brajesh Singh (sbrajesh), David Cavins (dcavins), Eric Lewis (ericlewis), geminorum, gingerbooch, Ivinco, Jake Spurlock (whyisjake), Jarret (JarretC), John James Jacoby (johnjamesjacoby), klawton, Kristian Yngve (kristianngve), Maniou, Marcus (netweblogic), Mathieu Viet (imath), Mithun Biswas, modemlooper, Paul Gibbs (DJPaul), r-a-y, razor90, Renato Alves (espellcaste), Slava Abakumov (slaFFik), Stephen Edgar (netweb), truchot, Venutius, wegosi, and of course you for using BuddyPress 😉

Feedbacks welcome!

Receiving your feedback and suggestions for future versions of BuddyPress genuinely motivates and encourages our contributors. Please share your feedback about this version of BuddyPress in the comments area of this post. And of course, if you’ve found a bug: please tell us about it into our Support forums.

BuddyPress 5.0.0 Release Candidate 2

Published on September 26th, 2019 by imath

Hi!

The second release candidate for BuddyPress 5.0.0 is now available for an ultimate round of testing!

Since the first release candidate, we’ve improved the way BP REST API Controllers are loaded inside BuddyPress component classes.

This is an important milestone as we progress toward the BuddyPress 5.0.0 final release date. “Release Candidate” means that we think the new version is ready for release, but with more than 200,000 active installs, hundreds of BuddyPress plugins and Thousands of WordPress themes, it’s possible something was missed. BuddPress 5.0.0 is scheduled to be released on Monday, September 30, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.0.0 yet, now is the time!

PS: as usual you alternatively get a copy via our Subversion repository.

A detailed changelog will be part of our official release note, but you can get a quick overview by reading the post about the 5.0.0 Beta1 release.

If you think you’ve found a bug, please let us know reporting it on the support forums and/or on our development tracker.

Thanks in advance for giving this second release candidate a test drive!

An online community learning hub to deepen studies during IRL meetings

Published on September 24th, 2019 by imath
This is a guest post by Tanner Moushey, Founder and Lead Engineer of StudyChurch. He is a BP REST API early adopter and we thought his achievments implementing Headless BuddyPress was a great source of inspirations for the BuddyPress community. Many thanks to him for taking the time to share with us about this case study.

Peer reviewed by @imath

StudyChurch is an ambitious startup seeking to make a mark in the church product marketplace. With a unique approach to online interaction, StudyChurch combines elements of engagement and learning in a way that is both simple and intuitive for the end user.

Background

I began working on StudyChurch as a side project in 2015. It started as a proof of concept and an excuse to dive deeply into BuddyPress. I wanted to leverage the group and activity components that BuddyPress provides and combine that with a custom study module that I created with a custom post type, BackboneJS, and the WordPress REST API. Answers to study questions were stored in WordPress Comments and synced to a custom BuddyPress activity type which was then used to create the discussion interface. Each question had an activity component under it to show off the other group answers and corresponding discussions.

I finished the first draft of the project after several months and before too long I had groups signing up to use the system. I continued to make minor modifications over the next few years but kept running into complaints about speed and the user interface.

When I was approached in 2018 by a publisher that wanted to use StudyChurch on a larger scale it sounded like a great opportunity to rebuild.

Implementing Headless BuddyPress

One of the big changes that I wanted to make in the rebuild was to switch to a JavaScript front end. I wanted something that was going to allow us to make numerous asynchronous data requests without using Ajax, which can be slow and difficult to maintain over a large project. I decided on VueJS and started building out the API to handle the data that was previously controlled by the BuddyPress templates.

Building a custom API with the BuddyPress REST API

I’d done quite a bit of work extending the WordPress REST API on previous projects and was excited to discover the BuddyPress REST API that extended it. This took care of a lot of the structure and allowed me to focus my time on building out our custom modules and functionality. Anytime I ran into something that needed to be more flexible, I’d submit a patch to the BuddyPress REST API repository and would get a prompt resolution.

Now that we are able to post and retrieve data through the API, the user interactive elements on the site are noticeably faster and the overall load on the server is much less. Not only that, but we are ready for a native app once we get to that point.

Creating a VueJS front end

Building a completely JavaScript front end for BuddyPress was fun challenge. I underestimated how many different components I’d need to build out since I wasn’t able to rely on the BuddyPress default templates, but the end result was well worth the effort.With VueJS we were able to leverage a lot of prebuilt UI packages (like Element) to do a lot of the heavy lifting for us. Since we were no longer tied to the BuddyPress template engine, we were able to get creative with how we displayed information and handled user interactions. The end result was a clean, fast, and user friendly interface that was simple and straightforward to use.

I made a few modifications to allow WordPress and BuddyPress recognize our front end app and use it for BuddyPress components. I solved this with a pretty simple hook into the template include filter and included our template instead of the default. A few custom rewrite rules handled any non-BuddyPress url structures I needed to support and I soon had a fully functional and detached front end.

Conclusion

StudyChurch is now a powerful, robust social network ready for scale. We are still working on improving the system and adding new features which are now easier and faster to implement with the new structure.

We’ve received some great feedback from users who find the app fast and intuitive. We are hoping to build out a native app in the near future.

I’m so thankful for the work done by all of the volunteers who’ve put so much time into WordPress, BuddyPress, and now the BuddyPress REST API. I think there are going to be many more projects like StudyChurch in the near future that will leverage these great tools to build amazing and helpful solutions.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments on what we’ve done with StudyChurch. Also, you are welcome to browse our code base on GitHub.

You can read more about StudyChurch and other projects we work on at iwitnessdesign.com.

A new place to learn how to build on top of BuddyPress!

Published on September 20th, 2019 by imath

Hi!

We’re very excited to officially announce the launch of a new development resources site on the BuddyPress.org network.

Today we are inaugurating developer.buddypress.org with a complete handbook documenting the BP REST API. This API will be introduced into our next major version which is scheduled on September 30, 2019. We thought you’d be interested to have a tool to help you discover the BuddyPress REST endpoints and their parameters to start playing with them (You’ll need BuddyPress 5.0.0-RC1 to have even more fun with it!).

Using the BP REST API Handbook

The main part of the handbook is the « Developer Endpoint Reference ». We grouped these endpoints according to the component they belongs to.

Each page of the reference is firstly introducing the component and describing the data schema of items contained into the REST responses. Then for each verb (or method), you’ll find the available arguments, their definition and an example of use with the bp.apiRequest() JavaScript function. Below is a screenshot of the method to get a specific Activity.

The future of this development resources hub

You can have a good idea of what’s coming next into this developer oriented site looking at its current landing page. We will first work on building the full PHP Code Reference for BuddyPress: functions, classes and hooks.

Then, we haven’t planned anything yet ☺ and we’re very opened to ideas and of course contributions about the « how » step and the « do » one.

About the editing workflow

Unlike the BuddyPress Codex, it’s not possible for everyone to directly edit the content of the BP REST API Handbook or the future PHP Code Reference.

But you can always report issues or suggest improvements using our Bug Tracker making sure to select the « BuddyPress.org sites » option of the components dropdown of your ticket.

Props

The first version of the development resources hub was built thanks to the involvement of these contributors:

Boone B Gorges (boonebgorges), John James Jacoby (johnjamesjacoby)Mathieu Viet (imath), Michael Beckwith (tw2113)Renato Alves (espellcaste)Stephen Edgar (netweb).

Many thanks to them 😉

BuddyPress 5.0.0 Release Candidate

Published on September 16th, 2019 by imath

Hello!

The first release candidate for BuddyPress 5.0.0 is now available for a last round of testing!

This is an important milestone as we progress toward the BuddyPress 5.0.0 final release date. “Release Candidate” means that we think the new version is ready for release, but with more than 200,000 active installs, hundreds of BuddyPress plugins and Thousands of WordPress themes, it’s possible something was missed. BuddPress 5.0.0 is scheduled to be released on Monday, September 30, but we need your help to get there—if you haven’t tried 5.0.0 yet, now is the time!

PS: as usual you alternatively get a copy via our Subversion repository.

A detailed changelog will be part of our official release note, but you can get a quick overview by reading the post about the 5.0.0 Beta1 release.

Plugin and Theme Developers

Please test your plugins and themes against BuddyPress 5.0.0. If you find compatibility problems, please be sure to post to this specific support topic so we can figure those out before the final release.

Polyglots, we need you!

Do you speak a language other than English? Help us translate BuddyPress into many languages! This release also marks the string freeze point of the 5.0.0 release schedule.

If you think you’ve found a bug, please let us know reporting it on the support forums and/or on our development tracker.

Thanks in advance for giving the release candidate a test drive!

BuddyPress 5.0.0-beta2

Published on September 8th, 2019 by imath

Hello BuddyPress contributors!

5.0.0-beta2 is available for testing, you can download it here or get a copy via our Subversion repository. This is really important for us to have your feedback and testing help.

Since 5.0.0-beta1:

  • We’ve brought some improvements to string i18n into the BP REST API code.
  • We’ve also improved the JavaScript function we are making available in this release to ease your clients BP REST API Requests.

5.0.0 final release is approaching!

The Release Candidate (RC) is scheduled on September 16: at this time BuddyPress 5.0.0 will be in a string freeze. It means we won’t change i18n strings anymore for this release to leave enough time to our beloved polyglot contributors to translate BuddyPress into their native languages. If you’re a good english writer or copywriter you can still help us to polish the text we plan to use to inform about the 5.0.0 new features.

If you are still using our Legacy Template Pack and think it’s important to include a Twenty Nineteen companion stylesheet into this release, September 16 is also the deadline to make it happen. Please test, contribute and improve the patch attached to this ticket.

Let’s use the coming days to make sure your BuddyPress plugins or your theme or your specific WordPress configuration are ready for BuddyPress 5.0.0 : we need you to help us help you: please download and test 5.0.0-beta2!

5.0.0 is almost ready (Targeted release date is September 30, 2019), but please do not run this Beta 2 release in a production environment just yet. Let us know of any issues you find in the support forums and/or on our development tracker.

BuddyPress 5.0.0-beta1

Published on August 23rd, 2019 by imath

BuddyPress 5.0.0-beta1 is available for testing. You can download it here or get a copy via our Subversion repository. We’d love to have your feedback and testing help.

If your version of WordPress is <= 4.6, we remind you that BuddyPress 5.0.0 will require at least WordPress 4.7.

A detailed changelog will be part of our official release notes, but, until then, here’s a tasty list of some of our favorite changes. (Check out this report on Trac for the full list.)

BP REST API

A BuddyPress developers tool to build awesome community applications or improve the performance of their existing ones. It has been developed as a feature as a plugin from GitHub and we think it’s time to include it in BuddyPress Core.

To help you discover the great powers of this new API, we’re also introducing a new user interface to manage Group members (#8045).

BP Invitations API

This API opens very promising opportunities to BuddyPress developers willing to manage their custom objects invites or membership requests. We’re primarly using it to improve how we handle invitations and requests to join Groups (#6210).

BuddyPress Site Health section

Users requesting for support will soon be able to copy the information of this section to their clipboard to share them with us. This should help our beloved support forum contributors to explain/fix issues faster.

5.0.0 is almost ready (Targeted release date is September 30, 2019), but please do not run this Beta 1 release in a production environment just yet. Let us know of any issues you find in the support forums and/or on our development tracker.

Thanks everyone for all your contributions so far; please help us test and polish the 5.0.0 release so it can be as awesome as possible!

BuddyPress 4.4.0 Security and Maintenance release

Published on July 23rd, 2019 by imath

BuddyPress 4.4.0 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release. All BuddyPress installations are strongly encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible.

The 4.4.0 release addresses two security issues:

  • A privilege escalation vulnerability was fixed that could allow user who is not a friend with another user to send him a group invite even though this “another user” has selected to restrict group invites from friends only (This is specific to the BP Nouveau template). Discovered by Yuvraj Dighe.
  • An XSS vulnerability was fixed in the single Group’s RSS link meta for group names. Discovered by wxy7174.

These vulnerabilities were reported privately to the BuddyPress team, in accordance with WordPress’s security policies. Our thanks to the reporters for practicing coordinated disclosure.

BuddyPress 4.4.0 also fixes 2 bugs. For complete details, visit the 4.4.0 changelog.

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