BP Album vs BP Gallery
I brought this up on another thread but it seems worth if its own discussion.
Can anyone who had used/tried both give an argument as to why we should use the new BP Album plugin versus Brajesh’s BP Gallery? (other than Brajesh’s $30 membership fee)
I’ve started my community with BP Gallery and it seems to be working well. It supports, video, music, and photo media and seems to integrate flawlessly with BP 1.2+.
If I’m going to jump to BP Album, I want to do it now, before too many members upload things.
From what I can tell, BP Gallery seems more complete and polished, but perhaps BP Album will have more support within this community, meaning it could be a better product in a month or two and it might play nicer with other related plugins yet to be developed.
What are you guys using and why?
I’m personally going for BP Gallery from Brajesh.. I have a lot of faith in this plugin and since it’s such an important aspect of my community I can’t take any chances when it comes to support of the plugin. I’m happy to pay 30$ for support and a guarantee of continued support, and so far the plugin is shaping up amazingly. I like BP Album (installed it today on my local server) but I rather have a more fully featured media plugin, and BP Gallery does exactly that
The great thing about open source is anyone can extend it. These are just two plugins in development. Expect many more. I have both and they are very different. Gallery is still being developed so to even comapre it is not a good idea.
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.
I totally agree with foxly. As I pronounced in another thread –
I understand developers want/ need their infrastructure and efforts paid. But it’s also in opposition to the open source idea founded with BP. A “small” webmaster like me, caring exclusively for private websites not about earning any monetary benefits, has to think twice about if he can afford a “premium membership”. Furthermore, which provider should be chosen? buddydev.com? premium.wpmudev.org? etc.
I agree with you both, but Brajesh already said that BP-Gallery will be released for the public after the initial testing stages.. His initivave was not release a commercial plugin perse, and the 30$ gives you access to some of his plugins and the Gallery beta + support. So there is no “paywall” for this plugin in the future
that was my understanding as well.
Are you against BP Gallery because it’s not yet free? Or because you think BP Album is a superior product?
I am imagining that there are a lot of you who are in the same situation as me with a newer-but-growing community. I would expect that migrating from BP Gallery to BP Album down the road will be tough. That’s why I was looking to see if there was one that had the general backing of the community.
At this point, does anyone feel that BP Album is a better product to launch in a live community?
Album or Gallery to me is nothing like what I imagine core media functionality would be like. I envision the ability to upload media directly into the activity stream.
Also, all functionality can not be in core otherwise plugin development would die and we would be stuck with cookie cutter (ning) sites. What if the top 20 most popular plug ins were already built into wordpress. Would the community have grown so large?
@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!
Just got pointed to this thread, so I thought, I need to chime in .
I am happy to see the BP Album+ coming as a successor of Manoj’s Bp-Picture album, I am not very happy with the criticism here for the gallery, and I thought, I will express it here.
First of all, I don’t want to go into the details of opensource philosophy, but what about RedHat Enterprise in case of Linux. People prefer them because Redhad has more reliability over it’s free alternative(e.g centOs and others). Let the choice is in the hands of End users, and GPL does not restrict to charge for code/distribution.
For your questions:-
1.Being free/opensource does not guarantee quality, what are the measures of quality, let me know, I will be glad to allow someone who want to do quality analysis have access to the code and post his/her review here.
I have no objections, if you say, gallery is paid and you will avoid using it, but Gallery has much better code quality than most of the plugin available free. And I am ready to go through any quality analysis process to make sure, what I say is correct. I will urge, do not predict anything, if you have not seen the code.
If you know, buddypress 1.2 had scheduled release date of 2nd week of Dec, but it was released after 15th Feb, so the core project got delayed for 2 months from it’s original schedule date. and You know, any project which depended on it, got delayed too, and to add that, from Rc1 to RC2 transition for buddypress broke many things. How about that ? The Rc2 is coming tonight for your info.
3. No of contributor: How many contributors buddypress had before the joining of JJJ, only one, and He was Andy, so how do you felt at that time ?
4. GPL::- Have you seen the license for Gallery:- IT is GPL and will remain that, so If I leave development(which is not going to happen in near future), anyone can go ahead and do that. I choose GPL to allow others to use it in case something happened wrong with me, otherwise I might have opted for more restrictive license. I will advise to read terms at my site, it specifically says, until and unless mentioned, everything available there is GPL. Each and every component available/coming are/will be released under GPL only.
6.Code Quality: You are most welcome to check the code, and see where the gallery code compares to any of the plugin available for Buddypress.
7.As far other programmer are concerned, a few most respected programmers of the buddypress community have access to the plugin(I am not going to mention their name), may be they can chime in if they want.
8.Extendability:- Currently, gallery supports user galleries,group galleries, and has well written filters,action to hook gallery with any component, be it events/blogs or what ever new component which has a presense of its own. I agree I have not provided a user documentation, where is the documentation for other well written plugins for Buddypress ? Can you point me to a few? and I assure, I will provide the documentation before the final release. Documentation will come after the stable is out.
9. Supporting Plugin: Is there any one paid plugin/free plugin/themes on Buddydev which is not supported, point me, I will change my statement here.
10. Why do you think BP Gallery to be released as opensource is nill, It is currently released as opensource but paid. You should rather correct and ask what are the probability of getting it released as free(It is already opensource, and there are so many differences between free/opensource).
I have mentioned it again and again, It will be released as FREE on/before bp 1.3, and I have mentioned it to all the members/ here in the community too. So, you should still be happy to know, I will release it as free before bp 1.3.
I am not pulling $30,000, at all, and neither I am pulling $3000 per month, it is much lower. and there are very few paid members, there are thousands of free members there. If I had to charge, I would have rather charged much higher not the mere $30.
Please do not make it as an issue, I wish the development of BP Album+ all the best and If you need any assistance, do Let me know, I will be glad to help you as I have done these things for gallery.
It will be better if we concentrated on the purpose of this thread.
@foxly: I honestly don’t understand why you feel the need to be so overly critical to someone else his work without being properly informed. For me it’s quite obvious that we’re all working on the same goal here; Making BuddyPress better.
You claim to do this for the community but somehow you are throwing with number of downloads and are telling how much better your just released (first?) plugin is then BP-Gallery.. Brajesh has been helping people on BP.org for many monhts, and has released nummerous themes and plugins for free, so I think that your direct attack on his efforts and motives is pretty uncalled for to say the least..
ps: I don’t want DJPaul to ban me, so I will stay out of this thread from now on
Thanks for jumping in to clarify the issue a bit. FWIW, I’m a $30 member and an happy to pay. I use several of your plugins in my community and have been happy with their performance and with your communication and responses on your site.
I would hope that a small membership fee wouldn’t result in a plugin getting shunned by the rest of the community.
Each plugin has its strong points. In light of the above exchange, has anyone made a firm decision to build their community with one instead of the other?
My bias is to stick with BP Gallery, because I’m already using it, it works, and I’ve been impressed with Brajesh. I don’t see a reason to change…but given the excitement here for BP Album, I want to make sure I’m not missing something
How did you get gallery to work? the thumbnail are still broken on my site
@brajesh Singh – Thank you for joining the discussion. The first thing I want you to know is that I’m not criticizing *you* I’m criticizing *the situation*. From what I’ve heard of you, you’re a very skilled developer, and getting as much software written as quickly as you have is an impressive achievement.
Look guys, here are the issues:
Up until 3 days ago, there was only one working photo plugin for BuddyPress: BP Gallery. It was a paid plugin, and I think we can all agree it was having some development challenges.
Running down the list and calling them out point-by-point was definitely mean; but I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true.
I want to make it clear that I am NOT saying Brajesh is a bad developer – he’s probably an excellent developer; in fact, the problems that have happened with BP Gallery eventually happen to virtually *every* major plugin developed by a one-man operation.
That’s why BuddyPress needs a community-developed photo album plugin that doesn’t depend on just one contributor.
We build it as a team, each put our best effort into it, and make something that’s really, really good.
If Brajesh, or any other developer, would like to contribute code and ideas to the project, they are welcome and encouraged. This is not about proving that X is a better developer than Y or any of that nonsense. This is about getting the best possible BP photo application built as quickly as possible, and ensuring it runs securely and reliably for a long time to come.
@bowe – Point taken, and I’ll try to be nicer in the future. I am not attacking Brajesh’s efforts or contributions to the community. He has earned his place. I’m saying that if the community needs a BP Photo plugin, then working together as a team to build it is a lot better than relying on the efforts of a single developer; especially one with a lot of other projects on the go.
@gregfielding – Also, another thing to consider is that if lots of users want to switch back and forth between plugins, we could probably write a function that imports data from BP Gallery … or *exports* data *to* it.
It’s all about what the users want.
I say kudos to the developers of both plugins. And, to each according to online community’s requirements and site developer’s preferences as well.
I prefer BP Gallery plugin even in its RC1 version and I am using it in private membership site. As for people “shunning” a free outstanding plugin, I really doubt it. Right now, users can upload to group and individual albums and I’m waiting for the BP Gallery shortcode for user’s and group blogs, plus ability to upload albums in blog posts to appear in BP activity stream and sitewide gallery directory.
Get off your high horse. I find it weird that you would be dissing the BP Gallery plugin which has not been released as stable yet and which the developer has mentioned will be released as free after it’s been tested by paid members and cleaned up further by Brajesh. You are insulting both Brajesh and those who chose to support Brajesh in the development of BP Gallery just for your own self-serving promotion.
What’s weirder is that you’re getting all huffed up about the delay of BP Gallery releases when I among others who shelled out at least $30 to aid in development do understand the causes for the delays and are not vitriolic like you have been in this forum.
If you’re raising hell about BP Gallery to generate attention because you’re getting involved in BP Album and want to promote it, then you’re going about it the long way. As it is, shooting from the mouth in this forum just gives an impression of a totally unprofessional developer. Free speech and all that, your comments above leave something to be desired as you don’t even have the facts correct as Bowe mentioned above.
As for Brajesh releasing it free to the community after stable version is out – I’m all for it.
Do not presume to ascribe to all members what your negative preferences would have been.
@brajesh – way to go man.
@modemlooper – you’re on WP 2.9.2 and not WPMU 2.9.2 right? You have GD library enabled?
Don’t want to jump in on an argument, but do want to say that because BP Album+ is available for free download now, it is simple for theme developers to integrate into custom BuddyPress themes.
With BP Gallery being a paid download for now, I’d reckon not as many theme developers will support it as they might not have access to the template files?
@mercime – I’m not insulting anybody. I’m asking some tough questions about what this community is doing to get a high quality, free BuddyPress photo album plugin out, and that seems to be making some people in here a bit uncomfortable.
Hopefully, uncomfortable enough that people start building things.
Namely, a plugin.
What all of the people posting “BP Gallery is Free, etc, etc, it will be released free when we have a stable version” are missing, is that if Brajesh would just upload his code to the SVN *right now*, we could all jump on it and help him finish building and testing the plugin.
Look, I have nothing to gain financially by building a BuddyPress photo plugin. I just want this problem solved so I have a stable, reliable plugin to use on my websites, that doesn’t depend on just one person to keep it going.
@thekmen – good point.
@thekmen. BP Gallery has its own template files that are BP 1.2 compatible and thus, working well with child themes of BP 1.2 bp-default theme.
What BuddyDev members have downloaded right now for testing, bug reporting and UI suggestions were the beta version and then the RC1 version of BP Gallery plugin. Since RC1 has been working well in my development install, I have taken a calculated risk to install it in existing site even if Brajesh has warned re using it in live installs. RC2 version will be released soon and after some more testing, debugging and improvements, BP Gallery stable version will be released.
hope you wont mind my earlier post .
Please take a look at my response to Travel-Junkie’s query here
If I release the plugin as it is now, for free, I am not sure I will be able to support the plugin as there will be a helluva lot of questions each and everyday until the plugin is mature enough. We are dealing with media and I know what sort of issues can come as of my experience from now. That’s why I always said It will be available as free as soon as the people think it’s mature enough.
Again, I support you guys developing album+, It was a need here and hopefully, when gallery stable is released I am going to point the people to album+ for a lighter/fee alternative as it seems now.
As a developer I agree and understand gregfielding and foxly. It is though for developers to promote an open and active development enviroment along side paid subscriptions. Developers are far and between in regards to BuddyPress in comparison with the demand from users in the forums for features. Just look at how many post come with “What I would like in BuddyPress”, however contribution to third party plugins is ever so often.
It would be good for developers to contribute to each other and stimulate open source. Subscription fees don’t allow that, because another developer is not going to shell out money. So just merely to argue the point between paid and non-paid. Paid works fine for demand and users, but on the flip side it damages open source development and developer collaboration.
However, I do think in the last few months more developers have joined the bp community, which is good.
Paid subscription also doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Nothing in regards to Brajesh intent or skill or longevity that I know off, but I have been burned before by paying for software and never getting support and the product being abandoned. However, if the team is good, then it can also mean better quality, but free open source can be just as good or better or worse. It is no measure.
So from a developer standpoint I agree with foxly and gregfielding, but from a user demand perspective I can understand you have needs and wont mind paying for it. It fills a need, but it doesn’t help the open source community, which is what we are.
Can they co-exist? Probably, but in a perfect world, duplication should be prevented and collaboration should be encouraged.
Ps. I wrote this just to share my thoughts, I have no intend to fuel either fire or take sides, just discussing the issue at hand.
Don’t really understand the discussion of this topic, either you take one or the other, whatever fits your needs. I myself am working on a non-profit project, so I’m going with BP Album+.
This is really something like picking between pepsi or cola.
@marius I also agree with this.. But there is a difference between a “paywall” and a closed beta for subscribers (which Brajesh is doing). He’s testing the plugin with a bunch of people who are willing to take the risk to become one of the early adapters. To support him in his efforts I decided to spend 30$ because I feel that the author of such a huge plugin should be rewarded, but that does not mean I want the plugin to remain for subscribers only and that’s not what’s happening, so I do not get the accusations of foxly, that was my point
@xevo: Coca Cola ftw!
here’s my 2 cent! i’m still undecided which gallery i’m going for. i’m even considering (read: have started) porting nextgen gallery over. i’ve also paid a subscription fee to brajesh to support him and to get a look at the code. at the moment i’m also doing some work on bp album. if the two developers want to incorporate the stuff i code is another matter.
bp gallery definately has won featurewise atm. plus there’s loads of ajax goodness going on. bp album on the other hand has two developers already, so it might grow quickly and overtake bp gallery at some point. saying that, brajesh might have other people working on bp gallery as well. who knows…
The one big thing bp album is lacking at the moment are multiple galleries. that’s like a showstopper right there, but i’m pretty certain they’ll be implemented. one thing i don’t like about bp gallery is it’s own implementation of error messages. they look and feel different than the bp ones, which makes for an inconsistent user experience. that’s just a minor point though and should be easy to fix.
the question shouldn’t be what plugin is better, but when am i gonna use what plugin. if you only need image galleries, then you won’t need the audio or video galleries bp gallery offers. Most sites wouldn’t want their users to upload videos anyways. takes up too much space and bandwidth. the way to handle that would be oembed galleries, now that’d be clever. or give site admins a choice.
we all got to make a living, so if brajesh wants to charge 30 bucks, then good for him. still means his code is gpl and once i have it i can do anything i want with it *evilsupervillainlaugh*. anyways, nuff said. getting tired from all this typing…
Heres the real truth to all of this,
I want a facebook style gallery. Thats what I want. So when the bp-just-like-facebook-gallery plugin comes out I will rejoice and work it on my site.
Until then I think both applications are severely lacking in comfort and usability. I have only seen a site with bp-Galleries on it and it has some serious issues that I think will eventually be resolved but its alot closer then the other.
I have yet to try bp-albums so I cant give an honest review but since I already know it doesnt have more than one album I know its out.
I’ve started with bp-Galleries because I need to start themeing but the big fear is the the core team will eventually adopt a codebase that is different then that I am using. Then when I have 1000 photos on a defunct plugin what the hell will I do?
So with that I think it hugely important the the core decide on a path to go with this. If Brajesh wants to Open his code to the community so we can all contribute I think he should. Because I’ll be honest I’m already hacking the hell out of it. But I’m not going to go too far because he will release again and break my work..
I want to hack it, I want to break it, then I want to make it sing. So because Brajesh SAYS he will open it, I will stick with BP-Galleries, but since its also GPL if it starts to delay or stagnate I hope we as a community take it out of the box and get more hands on the code. Once Brajesh drops the paywall and lets some other developers offer patches, Ideas, or help I think the plugin will jump leaps and bounds. It is GPL so anyone who has it could redistribute it for free, or for $40,000 its whatever you want to pay for it.. Yay Open Source!
Or it will be replaced. I had plans to work on a plugin for a project of mine, but its so back burnner right now I cant see tackling that until the summer at earliest. But I think Brajesh is in the right path so for now I’m sticking with him.
You are clearly both extremely talented, so here’s what you should do…
Join forces, get the photo plugin done and dusted, then turn your combined talents and efforts to the far more important issue of video embedding!
I’m available for hire as peace envoy if anyone is interested!
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