Re: Ethics, Two-Facedness, BuddyPress Forums + the BuddyPress.org Theme…
BuddyPress.org is the insider community. If you’re registered and paying attention, then you’re one of the cool kids.
There’s a few reasons why BuddyPress.org works and looks different than a usual BuddyPress installation does out of the box. I’ll do my best to explain them for you (and everyone else) but I can assure you, there’s nothing stopping anyone from mimicking this or infinite other kinds of hybrid installations.
1. This site uses the old and very yucky deep integration method with bbPress. Before BuddyPress 1.1 that was the only way to do it. With 1.1 Andy wrote an abstraction layer for bbPress to seamlessly bring its functionality into a WordPress installation.
2. The decision was made that forums made the most sense when linked directly to a group of users. Rogue forum categories without a group of users to attach them to, have taken a back seat for the time being. This has been the topic of debate for a while, but it won’t change for 1.2 and probably won’t change until bbPress as a whole gets a little more attention.
2. Because BuddyPress.org links directly with WordPress user and usermeta tables (which is why your 1 login works at all WP related sites), upgrading and shifting around over a million registered users isn’t a task to be taken lightly.
3. Since Buddypress 1.1 was released, BuddyPress.org hasn’t changed a single bit. Little to no attention has been paid to the inner workings of this site, and all efforts have been poured into the project itself in a very successful attempt to deliver a much more stable and solid project. Even group avatars on this site are still broken from the conversion.
4. The purpose of the support forums is to have a central community devoted to the questions and answers that a wide array of users have while installing, theme-ing, and in general just using BuddyPress. If you have needs that don’t fall within the core code then you’re stepping outside of core support and looking for custom development.
5. Many people on the forums (including myself) have stepped up and taken on side projects (pro bono or as paid clients.) A slew of plugins are available specifically to enhance parts of BuddyPress, but just like with WordPress if nothing currently exists that does what you need, you either need do it yourself or find someone to do it for you in a way that fits your budget.
6. BuddyPress 1.0 launched in April of 2009. It’s less than a year old and 2 major updates have already come through with even more to come in 2010. It’s still a baby compared to WordPress and bbPress, and I think Andy and myself will be the first people to say that it’s still capable of a lot more. Patches are always welcome, and in the past year the number of code committers has doubled (from 1 to 2 ) and the number of significantly contributing code patchers, bug reports, and trac tickets has just about doubled also.
So, if you’re unhappy, I can understand why. In a way BuddyPress.org sets an unrealistic expectation of a turn-key installation. If you feel you’ve been mislead in one way or another, that makes sense to me. Your opinion is valid, and when the site is updated to 1.2, I think you’ll be pleased.
In the meantime, if you choose not to use it that’s okay. If you choose to study the code and start submitting ideas and patches, that’s cool too. Whatever anyone decides to do, I don’t think anyone will be mad. We’re all buddies here, remember?