Re: BP Album vs BP Gallery
Paid or “membership based” plugins are fine, but NOT for a core component of BuddyPress.
Core components are: Activity Streams, Blogs, Forums, Friends, Groups, Private Messaging, Profiles, and… Photos.
These components are the key elements of *any* social networking site and have to be *tightly* integrated with the core to deliver a quality user experience. That means that the component doesn’t just “plug in” to Buddypress… it’s part of BuddyPress and changes are made to the BuddyPress core if necessary to make it work better with the plugin.
You *cannot* have a core component based on a commercial plugin. In has to be free as in freedom *and* free as in beer, *and* open source. And you definitely can’t have development run by a “one man band” …because time and time again the developer goes away, an update breaks the plugin, and we’re all screwed.
This is not from me. This is from Automattic.
What I’m trying to get going between myself, @francescolaffi, and hopefully a few other contributors (once we’ve got a solid framework implemented) is a canonical photo plugin that will eventually be merged into BuddyPress. It will have to be dependable, extendable, and secure, and give BuddyPress users the functionality they want. In a nutshell: Facebook Photos.
If others want to *extend* the canonical plugin, it will have a wide range of hooks and be exceptionally well documented -making their job much easier. So if somebody wants to make a commercial add-on that gives it image editing capabilities, automatic face recognition, streaming video, or something beyond what the average user needs, then they can do that, find customers, and be paid for their efforts.
I’m not trying to build a plugin that does everything. I want to build a high quality gallery plugin that satisfies 95% of the users out there and becomes the standard.