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  • @rossagrant; Long time no visit – been very busy – but noticed your post. This is something that’s beginning to worry me, as our site is at the jump-off point, and I see this happen every time I click Load More on this site. As I said to a colleague yesterday; if this happens to our site once the activity stream really fills up… well, I don’t even want to think about it!

    Any ideas on this folks? Is it a known bug? Does it occur only after a certain number of stream posts/replies exist?

    @jmarino; We saw ‘unexpected results’ when using a page cache with BuddyPress. As BP is generating new content with each post and response, page caching appears to make a dog’s breakfast of things. :)

    @nuprn1; Yep, that works, and saves a little db space too. However, I discovered today that your Block Activity plugin causes Group creation to fail at the final stage, though as I said in a note to you, it could be a theme clash for all I know.

    I think it’s useful to have the details still in the db, and so do friends. Enabling the is_admin() part then allows us to see all activity. It’d be nicer wrapped in a plugin with Admin string adding, and I may recode your other if and when I have some time. During a long, dark winter night, probably. Anyway, useful code, and thanks again.

    @rogercoathup; Yep, I hacked the core previously due to lack of time to recode things, but upgraded to the latest BP today and found a number of issues (for me) were fixed. So only one small core hack now. Our site is fine with the &middots in the strings, which you can see at if you’re curious.

    On a (kind of) similar note, I think the functions.php idea works well, with filters, etc. We wanted the last logged-in time shown only to logged-in members, and this seems to have done the trick fine (one for activity streams, one for the profile page);

    function hide_activity($content) {
    if ( !is_user_logged_in() ) {
    $content=’Please log-in to view last visit time.’;
    return $content;
    add_filter(‘bp_member_last_active’, ‘hide_activity’, $last_activity);
    add_filter(‘bp_last_activity’, ‘hide_activity’, $last_activity);

    Hi @rogercoathup; I removed the View link from the activity stream by putting the following in the theme’s functions.php file;

    add_filter(‘bp_activity_permalink’, create_function(‘$a’, “return null;”));

    To remove it from the Profile page required a core hack, which I keep separate so I can restore/overwrite if need be. (I could be wrong about that, as I’m just getting into BP’s actions, filters, etc).

    Since getting into BP a few weeks ago I’ve found a lot of things somewhat convoluted, but from reading around the forums here it seems the next version will have some restructuring, and easier theming. There’s a thread somewhere inviting people to test it.

    Hi @antonrsa; I’ve been looking into this myself, but have given up on it for now as very time-consuming to research and do properly. Being as it’s all browser based (not my usual bread and butter), there are lots of ways using JavaScript, and a Google search will provide links to free code that’s not difficult to use, In the main. I found that it’s far from foolproof though, and then a friend suggested that cutting user posts down might give them reason to stay away. I’m bowing to their wisdom and leaving it be for the time being.

    One thing I do want to do, and am researching right now, is make posts in groups stay in the groups and not clog up the main activity stream. I’ve filtered minor things out thanks to help from @nprn1, but want to see the main stream further, erm, streamlined. Once a site gets busy it could be a nightmare for Mr & Mrs P.C. Phobic. If I crack it I’ll post the function in case it helps anyone.

    @kevbow; Not sure if this is any help, but @r-a-y‘s oEmbed does a good job with various video formats, turning plain links into embedded videos. You can see it working at one of @erich‘s sites; Works really well, and is simple enough for technophobic site members!

    All you do is unzip the theme, then copy it into your /wp-content/themes/ folder and activate it in WordPress. Very easy. You can play with it by editing the files, and activate the default theme if you make a mess.

    Hi @enginlofca; You can just change the CSS files to alter text sizes, but if you want a theme which provides smaller fonts while still emphasising member posts you’re welcome to a copy of ours. It’s very like Facebook without being a total copy, and is available at

    @alanchrishughes; It’s not difficult to create a child theme. I’ll try to put it in newbie terms as I’ve become increasingly aware that a) lots of WP and BP newbies seek help here, and b) we’re all newbies until we know something, at which point it becomes “easy and why didn’t I think of that before”..!

    As @hnla says, a child theme overrides the core default theme. All this means it that if you create a clone copy of the default theme into your /content/themes/ folder, then make some minor changes so that BP knows it’s a different theme and will let you install it. Once done, all files and functions in it are used rather than the default theme’s, and these are what you edit.

    Clone the entire default theme folder from /buddypress/bp-themes/bp-default/ into /content/themes/my-theme (or whatever name). Ie., copy and rename the bp-default folder. Then edit its style.css file and change the settings in the head to something different. Our new theme’s style.css looks like this;

    Theme Name: Facelook
    Theme URI:
    Description: A modified version of Avenue B2’s Fishbook.
    Version: 1.0
    Author: Avenue B2 & LincMe Admin Team
    Template: bp-default
    Tags: buddypress, blue, white, fixed-width, two-columns


    As you can see, it still uses bp-default as its template, but everything else is different, so BP will allow it to be installed as a new theme. (There’s no default CSS or admin-bar CSS import because I dumped the bar, and just put all of the CSS in the one file). Note: It’s important to keep the ‘buddypress’ tag in there, or BP throws the teddy.

    Any files you change in the new my-theme folder and sub-folders will cause changes, and anything you remove will fall back to the bp-default theme’s style and methods as @hnla said. Obviously, if you only need to change a couple of files then you can remove the rest, and the default theme will take care of those parts for you.

    Some of us, me included, have variously whined or shouted about the way BP themes work, and yes, finding stuff in files can be difficult to begin with. Once you find the bits you want it’s easy though, and if you make a pig’s ear of something you can always copy the default file back over your cloned one and start afresh.

    You may know most or all of this, but it’s for newbies who may shake their heads at the thought of creating a new child theme. Some folks have done gorgeous new BP themes, and added fancy extras in there too. We’ve gone for plain and Facebook-ish for various reasons, and if it’s of any help to you, you’re welcome to a copy. Just email me at any name at our domain. And stick at it – it gets better as you go along! ;)

    @alierkurt; I found your post here whilst taking a break from, well, breaking things in BP. ;)

    Not sure what you mean though. Why would members need to post in a group they haven’t joined? I’d have thought that’s the basic idea; you join one to post in it (and read too, if it’s hidden).

    @Dennis_H; Laughing here. BP is a great tool, for all the slagging-off the poor developers get! They have the patience of saints. :)

    @Dennis_H; Have to laugh! BP has made me cranky as hell during the past couple of weeks, as nothing is easy with it. I actually trashed all the downloaded files, plugins, etc., THREE times in a hissy fit! The thing is, it’s the only way at present to have a working social network with member groups, which is essential for what we need. Our site will be advertised locally very soon, and so will be a real world example. I’m sure there must be others too (did I see a ‘Featured sites’ link somewhere..?)

    @DJPaul; Cheers, will do.

    I’ve just uploaded our Facelook theme to the WP site (which it says will appear on here too sometime). For anyone thinking, “Oh no, not another Facebook clone”, you could change the colours, etc., easily enough. The main aim is lots of space for content, and simplification for ordinary site visitors (ie., non-techies). It’s a port of Fishbook by Avenue B2, and after a lot of time and effort, we think it works really well.

    If you’d like it right now (as someone else did) just email or msg me. Oh, and it looks very nice with Featured Members, Recently Active Members, and Groups widgets. And thanks to @nuprn1 for the advice on how to properly hide the silly View link with a function. :)

    @alanchrishughes; Ah, sorry. I wasn’t implying that you were criticising the BP developers, more that I’ve criticised the project and product, which is easy to do when you’re not involved in it. (And sometimes when you are, too!)

    @peterverkooijen; It’s all good, and once we’ve had a few ruffled feathers we can get down to sharing really useful ideas, eh? I don’t think you’re “wrong”, any more than I think I’m “right”. We probably see more the same way than not. As for BP as a project, sadly, it’s perhaps too late to go back to great design principles. A bit like a snowball rolling downhill. Most software projects are like that. Once started, you either roll with it or stop and admire the view. From where it’s easy to say, “Look at that damned thing, storming downhill like that!”

    @alanchrishughes; No, heck no, I don’t work on BuddyPress and never have. The folks who do have obviously worked long and hard on it, and in their defence I should say that it’s all too easy to be critical about someone else’s work. If this were my software project it would never have got this far the way it is. However, it isn’t. I don’t have the time to commit to working on it, so I can only be an armchair critic. Frankly, no matter what your experience, shouting from an armchair has its limitations, and makes you no friends.

    Regarding the forum/group options, I think BuddyPress needs remodelling and recoding, but that probably won’t happen – snowball downhill, etc. It should be really small in terms of code, with add-on modules for groups, forums, etc., as you wish to use them. As I said, have a user entity, then create modules and functions for users to, erm, use. It seems to me to have been designed back-asswards, but you know, what can I say..?

    @peterverkooijen; Ok, I came across sarcastic back there. Apologies. Discussion is always useful, but not when we let ego get in the way.

    Your comment about “Mushy holistic talk” made me smile. Where did those terms creep in? Perhaps “New Age Software: it does nothing, but it feels good!” might be the key here, umm..? Actually, while I do have a ‘holistic’ side to me, I’m a software developer who began using computers 28 years ago. I’ve lead projects in the Banking and Avionics industries, and trained post-graduate software engineers for some time. The avionics software we created was superb, cost millions, and is used by major avionics firms to build aircraft and helicopters you might have flown in. The best bit is that not one of them fell out of the sky due to engineering software errors (yay for us), and a major helicopter company put on a personal display for us to show that it all worked. Scary, but fun!

    So yes, I know huge software projects inside out, and you can take it from me that my comments on things here are not just the ramblings of a wannabe.

    BuddyPress should have been designed, in my experience, from the user up. In other words, first create the user and his/her data, and provide basic functions. Next, think about what the user might want to do. So, provide groups of users, activity streams, etc., and let the user decide what they show and don’t show. That’s just basic reality modelling. If you want forums and other such freestyle public groups, then provide those too. But it all comes down to the basic user, and what he/she wishes to be public.

    Regarding your points about what social networks are or aren’t, I think you’re letting your own definitions become over-important. The USER decides what the social network is to THEM by specifying their profile and posting privileges. After all, don’t you decide in the real world what you share with people, and when, and under what particular circumstances? Same thing online. If not, then real world people may shun your social network.

    @arxpoetica; Don’t worry. Leaving people out of the loop means they failed. You had fun on your own anyway. They lost. I won, too! :)

    @peterverkooijen said; “Talk about dropping rigidity and opening up to an amazing new flexibility and power is pure nonsense”. Ah Peter, without visionaries such as yourself, how would we ever have got to where we are..?! Growing out of rigid definitions into new flexibility is where the virtual world is heading, like it or not. Everything you see online now will be long dead in five years, and all the concepts you hold dear buried deep. Might as well get used to it.

    BuddyPress is a mess, as I see it. It isn’t really anything, and at the same time it’s too much. If I want a community conversation stream, along with simple WordPress themes, etc., there’s Mingle. If I want a forum on my site that’s easy too; there’s BBPress, Mingle Forum, etc. If I want member groups regardless of these, there’s, erm… there’s… well, BuddyPress does that, kind of, in a big and over-complicated way.

    BuddyPress should be about making social contacts. The name’s a bit of a clue, right? In other words, friends and contacts with grouping of such, contact streams, and strong privacy for users so they determine who sees what they post. On top of that, as it’s a social tool; community moderation/banning, and reporting to site admins in a simple and obvious way. Oh, and of course, easy to see notifications such as friend/contact requests, etc. Who thought it was a good idea to *include* forums in all of this, and relate them to groups?! Each entity and its associated operations should be separate and self-sustaining. Basic OOP.

    It just doesn’t do anything easily, does it? And the hype on the download pages about plugins to do whatever you like is just hype, really. Oh, it ‘kind of’ does everything you want, but only kind of. You have to jump through hoops, and even then you’re fighting with a forum which tries to be a group trying to hold conversation streams together.

    I’m interested in productive discussion about social networking sites and their take-up and impact, though not here as I feel it’s not the right place. For one thing, the developers and those who kiss up don’t like to hear how their baby was malformed from the start. If anyone is interested in finding solutions to creating truly interactive social networks in the easiest and most stable way possible at present, please email any-name-you-like at our domain. :)

    @jeffsayre; I’m too cheesed off and tired to bother right now. Installing the latest BP locked me out of WP somehow, and even creating a new MD5 password and resetting it via phpMyAdmin isn’t getting me back in. Disabling BP by removing the folder gives me the white screen of death. I swear, I’m close to saying to people, “You want to talk online? Go use and leave me be!” :)

    @johnjamesjacoby et al; OMG NO! I just very carefully installed BP 1.2.5 locally on xampp; perfect. I did the same, very carefully, on my server. Now the site works, but ALL of my log-ins are dead, and it won’t send me an emergency log-in by email because it doesn’t recognise a darned thing! :(

    @peterverkooijen; I don’t think mixing in anonymous users defeats the point at all. Why should it? Don’t you talk to people you don’t know almost every day? Don’t people comment in passing about things, often making people smile? If software systems model the real world of human interactions, then I’d say that anonymity is quite normal. Perhaps you may still be stuck within the limitations of the terms you’re using? It’s not about “cramming everything in”, it’s about opening up to wider possibilities, and much, much easier ways of doing things which mean more to ordinary people rather than just those excited by technology (ie., us!)

    Edit: In fact, you’ve just hit the nail right on the head. Rigid definitions lead to rigid mappings between rigidly defined data sources and the rigidly defined interface used to show their content. The future of CMS/Blog/Forum/Networking software is to drop the rigidity and open up to an amazing new flexibility and power. Not yet. But soon.

    Ice-cream sundaes! Oh yes! :) Actually, that’s one direction Drupal has been going (not the ice-cream, sadly), which is the eventual simplification of data storage. The biggest problem now, I think, is that developers map their views to data, and vice-versa. Drupal stores everything and anything as a ‘node’. So a node can contain one word, a site link, a story, a page, images, files, or any combination of all by having nodes within nodes. Its Views module then allows you to say how nodes are displayed; as blocks (widgets), pages, in tables, rows, any kind of custom layout.

    What I’m visualising at present is a way of doing things like BP’s activity stream, where data is any kind of node you like, and you decide whether nodes can overflow or are cut (eg., large images), displayed all at once or shown as a bite (eg., stories/pages and small excerpts with ‘read more…’) etc. You then just decide whether each site page appears as a single page, a list of related nodes kinda bloggish, a list of related nodes a-la activity stream, etc. A couple of clicks could create a stream, a shopping page, or whatever you wish. Users then have BP style filtering links, so they can view everything the view shows, just friend’s contributions, just their groups, etc. Off-site information can be pulled in via links as well, and displayed as the same kind of node (similar data, just a different source). Wrap all that around an individual member with a profile and roles/permissions, and you have the most powerful and adaptable social network there is.

    As I say, you can do that with Drupal, but gawd is it time consuming for a large project. I like the way WordPress is going, and if BuddyPress follows suit in the simple and easy to use stakes, the two combined will be amazing.

    @peterverkooijen; Good points about the focus of a social network being on the member, while a forum is focussed more around the information. I think @alanchrishughes has a point too though, about non-techies being put off by having to register.many people are still terrified that if they enter their name and email address then you’ll have access to their bank account – seriously!

    I’ve built a number of sites in Drupal, which is very powerful indeed, and doesn’t suffer so much from update issues. It gives such fine control of everything that it’s amazing, and for those who haven’t tried it, you can basically build your own custom CMS with it. It takes so long to do though. We tried Elgg, which is kinda cool out of the box, and does a lot of social network things really well. However, its interface is naff (in my opinion) and theming is not easy. Worse still, adding extra pages to build a custom site means lots of coding, instead of WP’s simple click-to-add. We’re going to need that for custom background (paying) advert pages, and hopefully a lot of them as time goes on. Also, Elgg has almost no member control, roles, etc., and wile the Elgg team feel that’s not important, we strongly disagree. People do not behave nicely just because they signed up to a social network!

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with a social network which allows unregistered users to comment with CAPTCHA, along with well defined and easy to use groups for members to join, and good role management and strong privacy for those who require it. That way, just as in the real world, you can have private places and high streets, with members themselves controlling who does what. For me, at least, that’s all a social network need be.

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