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Re: BP Album vs BP Gallery



@gregfielding I never said I was “against” BP Gallery, I said it was inappropriate to use a *commercial* plugin with only *one* contributor as a BP core plugin, which is our ultimate goal for the BP Album+ plugin.

No matter what claims are made about this and that being “free”, until Brajesh releases his plugin, properly documented, into the WordPress repository under a GPL license so others can reuse its code, it is a *commercial* plugin.

In terms of features, BP Gallery *currently* has much more functionality than BP Album+.

But over the next couple of months, we’re planning on adding a huge amount of functionality to the BP Album+ plugin, and as we get more people onboard, BP Album+ will probably quickly eclipse BP Gallery.

I’m not going to try and tell you what gallery you should use for your site, but I want to point out some key reasons why I’ve chosen to team up with another developer and write a free open source BuddyPress Photo album plugin (and give it away to the community!) versus just handing over $30 and using BP Gallery for all of my social networking sites:

1) The release date of BP Gallery has slipped six times over three months, and its status hasn’t been updated since Feb 06 2010. Brajesh announced he was releasing RC2 on March 11/12. Didn’t happen. And BP Gallery Stable on March 14/15. Didn’t happen.

2) Simultaneously with all of this, the guy’s released two themes, two other plugins, and has posted that he will be releasing a chat plugin and another BP theme by the end of March. He’s also handing out free subscription extensions to all of his members for not getting his plugins working on time.

That’s impressive. Much respect to Brajesh for sheer volume of work!

But it raises some scary questions:

a) If he’s sprinting to get fifteen different projects done simultaneously under penalty of losing all his members, how efficient, extendable, and secure is the code inside BP Gallery? Has it been checked by other programmers?

b) Brajesh makes his money by releasing several new plugins every month. What incentive does he have to keep *improving* his existing plugins versus writing new ones?

c) If a BuddyPress core update breaks his plugins (as *just happened* with Manoj Kumar’s original BP Album, prompting the development of our plugin) …how long is it going to take Brajesh to repair his dozens of plugins, and where will BP Gallery fit in that lineup?

d) What happens if Brajesh gets hired by Google and quits developing plugins? Who will keep them working with future BuddyPress updates and how will they learn such a huge codebase in time to avoid disaster?

And to the people that keep saying “Well he’s going to release BP Gallery as Open Source in a week or two”, consider this:

e) If you were a website owner that’s paid $30 a month for a site membership to get the BP Gallery plugin, and then patiently waited for 3 or 4 months for the developer to finish it (and don’t kid yourself, that’s what 90% of the site members are there for) …would YOU be happy if the developer finished the plugin, then released it for FREE to EVERYONE as open source?

I’ve been wrong before, but I’d say the odds of BP Gallery being released as free open source any time soon are slim to nil.

It’s a sad situation, because if Brajesh released BP Gallery to the plugin repository, we could continue development on it for him, integrate it with our app, and release a fantastic plugin that gives the community what they want; and he would have more time to work on his other plugins. But again, very unlikely to happen.


There is a solution to all of the above problems: build ONE application that is FREE OPEN SOURCE, maintained by MULTIPLE developers, and can be EASILY EXTENDED. It’s how Linux is developed. It’s how WordPress is developed. It’s How BuddyPress is developed.

And it’s how the BP Album+ plugin needs to be developed.


As for “Community Support” …. we’ve had 600 downloads in 48 hours and will probably hit 1,000 downloads before most people even see this.

Unless Brajesh is pulling $30,000 a month from his site (=1000 members) I’d say we’ve already beat BP Gallery in terms of installed user base.


@Modemlooper I’m going to turn this around on you and say “What if WordPress had no text editor, no file upload capability, no admin menu, and no comment functionality”. All of these are required elements to make a blog platform run, and that’s why they ship with WordPress. Twitter functionality, on the hand, is not a required element, and that’s why it’s implemented as a plugin. Likewise with BuddyPress, Forums, Profiles, User Activity, and… photo albums … are required elements of almost every social networking community. That’s why I want to stop screwing around with third-party plugins and help build something that’s good enough to ship with the core.

So there’s my thoughts!


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