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Buddypress.org shutting down


  • coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    Hey Guys,

    Is buddypress approaching EOL?
    seems like no one is home in this official support forum
    seems like theres always spam now on this
    seems like there are now more “MEMBERS” plugins like buddyboss that compete with buddypress

    Should we start looking at alternatives?

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 32 total)

  • Brajesh Singh
    Participant

    @sbrajesh

    Hi,
    BuddyPress.org is not shutting down. The next version of BuddyPress will be available on 15th.
    You can follow the development here
    https://github.com/buddypress/BuddyPress

    and for the upcoming REST API here
    https://github.com/buddypress/BP-REST

    BuddyBoss’s fork is mega bundle of BuddyPress and a few other plugins(bbpress, bp-profile search, and a few others) with minor enhancements. It does not seem their fork will survive on its own(been following their updates from the first release till now) if the BuddyPress development ceases. Consider it as a distribution that bundles some needed functionality together than a real fork(atleast until now).

    There have been many community plugin available in past(ultimate members, user ultra and I can recall 4-5 others) which have been doing well. There will be even more.

    The choice should be based on your needs. Using a commercially supported plugin provides better support which BuddyPress lacks currently. If support is important, BuddyPress may not be the best choice.

    Other than that, no membership plugin has a vast eco system than BuddyPress(It has 500+ addons on wordpress plugin repo).

    Hope it clarifies and helps you decide.

    Regards
    Brajesh


    BuddyBoss
    Participant

    @buddyboss

    Hey,

    Michael from BuddyBoss chiming in here. I can’t speak for BuddyPress, but I do want to clarify some of what was mentioned about BuddyBoss.

    It does not seem their fork will survive on its own(been following their updates from the first release till now) if the BuddyPress development ceases

    This is definitely not the case. Right now if BuddyPress development ceased, it would have no impact at all on what we’re doing. We are no longer pulling code from BuddyPress since forking (besides security patches) and our development team is substantially larger than the core team of developers at BuddyPress. Also our developers are all paid, full time staff, so we are able to build features very rapidly. And we will eventually open up the plugin to allow others to contribute to it. We’re not going anywhere.

    Other than that, no membership plugin has a vast eco system than BuddyPress(It has 500+ addons on wordpress plugin repo).

    BuddyBoss Platform has the same ecosystem. We have taken great care to make it backwards compatible to BuddyPress and to make sure that any existing BuddyPress plugin works out of the box with BuddyBoss. And if it doesn’t, you can submit a support ticket and we’ll patch it so it works.


    Brajesh Singh
    Participant

    @sbrajesh

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for sharing your views here.

    Since the forking of BuddyPress, can you please provide what kind of new feature other than merging your own/others plugin into the bundle have your team added. Also, is there any future plan available for the platform?

    It is nice to know that you plan to open the platform for contribution in future. I have tried your releases and I am still wondering what prevented you/your team from contributing to BuddyPress? Did you try to contribute or was there some other reason for fork?

    It will help understand the decision better.

    Thank you
    Brajesh


    coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    @buddyboss I LOVE what you do! and i have one social and boss installed on some of my sites.. I’m considering trying the new platform – but I’m very hesitant for many reasons..

    Anyway keep doing what you are doing. You guys are doing great!!!!!


    coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    @sbrajesh WHOA! Im a big fan!!! There is no site I launch that doesnt have at LEAST one of your plugins or buddydev!!!!! Im often troll your site sniffing around and mining for tidbits of very useful buddypress insight.


    Brajesh Singh
    Participant

    @sbrajesh

    @coolhunt
    Thank you for the kind words. I am honoured 🙂


    coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    Im sorry to say that despite of the “updates” — BP is an extreme bear to wrestle..

    1) SUPPORT of any sort seems to be very lacking
    2) The usability (ui/ux) is sketchy –> its one of the reasons BP adoption is klunky (it takes too much work)
    3) the “THEME” (look & feel) is awful
    4) Theres SPAM on the support forum
    5) Documentation is getting sketchier & sketchier
    6) Between Buddypress, The Built-in wordpress-user/author mechanism AND “wordpress.com user-system” –its just confusing
    7) The Buddypress plugin ecosystem is a big gamble (most dont work right)
    8) WP community ALWAYS preaches to have as little plugins as possible – but get getting buddypress to be usable takes at least a dozen

    ***SUPPORT OF ANY SORT IS LACKING*****


    BuddyBoss
    Participant

    @buddyboss

    Hey Brajesh!

    Sure, happy to provide some additional feedback.

    I have tried your releases and I am still wondering what prevented you/your team from contributing to BuddyPress? Did you try to contribute or was there some other reason for fork?

    There are a lot of reasons we decided to go our own way. The primary one is that at a very fundamental level, BuddyPress was not providing the experience our customers are looking for and was really holding us back in our ability to provide the features and usability they ask us for. We have many thousands of customers and do a large amount of custom development, and there are so many things they ask for and wish were different in BuddyPress. BuddyPress development moves very slowly, and the types of changes we have implemented and will continue to implement require major changes to BuddyPress, in a way that can only be done by forking the plugin. We do theme development and mobile app development, and it’s not good that the foundation we rely on for everything is not under our control, and actually has barely changed at all over the past 5 years. We need to control its direction completely to achieve what we are trying to do. We are making mobile apps and other things, and want complete vertical integration between everything to provide an amazing experience.

    is there any future plan available for the platform?

    We have a multi-year plan for features we want to add. We also build mobile apps that replicate BuddyPress functionality into a synchronized app, and we will continue to grow there over time. Now that we control our core platform we can move much faster.

    The features we add are determined primarily by our customers. So the order in which things are added will depend to a large degree on what people ask for, and which requests have the highest volume of requests. We have a big support team responding to and noting requests.

    One major area of focus right now is performance. With each release you will see the product get faster. BuddyPress falls apart when it has too many users. We plan to fix that.

    Since the forking of BuddyPress, can you please provide what kind of new feature other than merging your own/others plugin into the bundle have your team added.

    Sure, this is going to be a very long list. I am just listing the high level items, as we have done so many smaller changes throughout.

    Layout

    We have our new BuddyBoss Theme which is much more advanced than any BuddyPress theme. It is only possible because we forked BuddyPress and are able to change the templates as necessary to accomplish our designs. Because we control our platform now, we can be sure that every single feature added is always styled in a consistent way, and with a unified admin experience. It much more powerful, and simultaneously, simpler and lighter than anything we could provide before.

    Profile Fields > Proper “Name” fields

    BuddyPress has just one name field, which drives customers crazy. They want professional networks with First/Last Name, or private networks with just nickname. BuddyBoss Platform has dedicated name fields for First Name, Last Name, Nickname. The site admin can control how to display names sitewide using this. In BuddyPress it is actually impossible just to display First Name + Last Name in the profile and activity feed, something that 50% of customers want. In BuddyBoss it is very customizable. We also let users change their Nickname (handle) any time.

    Profile Fields > Repeater Fields

    This is a request we have gotten for years, and could never provide; the ability to have repeater fields (Jobs, Experience, etc) so you can make a profile like LinkedIn. That’s out of the box now.

    Activity

    We have completely overhauled activity feeds. Instead of separated tabs, which is super confusing, it’s one unified activity feed. And within the feed, we have added a bunch of features:

    – Emoji
    – Animated GIFs
    – Likes
    – Follow
    – Link previews
    – Media
    – Ability to add any custom post type into the feed (via the Settings)
    – Ability to enable/disable any default BP activity type (via the Settings)

    Messages

    We have completely overhauled Messages. In BuddyPress, messages is a really poor experience. It uses a Gmail convention with subject and content, which makes little sense on a social network. We changed it into a single threaded message, just like Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and every other messenger works. This allows us to create a really amazing messaging experience (go play with our demo). Also we can extend this later into live chat, and messenger in our apps. Those features could not be built using BuddyPress messenger as it uses a Gmail style messenger. Imagine if Facebook messenger worked like Gmail, it would be awful.

    Media

    We added a native Media component for photos and albums, which provides a really amazing interface. It’s not just a fork of our old media plugin, it’s a total overhaul and is much nicer than anything out there for BuddyPress. And we will extend it over time for videos and other media.

    Private Network

    Out of the box, with one click you can make the whole site private from outsiders. This is a feature that more than 50% of BuddyPress users are doing but need to hunt for 3rd party plugins to figure out how to add. Our implementation is highly customizable also, in terms of what is public vs private.

    Network Search

    We added a new component for searching all content across the social network, with live results as you type. It’s not just a fork of our old BP Global Search plugin, it is a complete overhaul and is a much nicer experience.

    User Invites

    We added an invites system, to allow users to invite others into the network by email.

    Profile Types

    We added a built in interface for creating and managing Profile types, and many additional related options.

    Group Types

    We added a built in interface for creating and managing Group types, and many additional related options.

    Group Hierarchies

    We added a built in interface for creating and managing Group hierarchies, so you can have parent and child group relationships.

    Email Layouts

    Emails in BuddyPress look really bad. This is something we have had to hack up in the past on virtually every client site to give them something usable. Now, in BuddyBoss they look really beautiful out of the box, and are more customizable with logo options etc.

    Default Data

    This comes up constantly, people want to quickly add a bunch of default data into the site for testing. Now they can do it with the click of a button.

    And… that’s just the high level stuff. We have fixed usability issues all over the place and added minor options throughout. And don’t forget that we have been live to the public for less than 2 months. There is much more to come and we are moving fast. Revisit this in a year from now, and the list will be endless.


    BuddyBoss
    Participant

    @buddyboss

    WP community ALWAYS preaches to have as little plugins as possible – but get getting buddypress to be usable takes at least a dozen

    That’s one of our primary goals, to fix this. We want our platform to have every feature you could need in a social network out of the box, in a unified experience both frontend and backend, and all optimized to work together. That’s the direction we are moving towards.


    BuddyBoss
    Participant

    @buddyboss

    @coolhunt Thanks for the kind words also 🙂

    @sbrajesh I am also a fan of yours I should mention, we have followed what you’re doing and used your plugins on many client projects before.


    Brajesh Singh
    Participant

    @sbrajesh

    Hi Michael,
    Thank you for sharing the insight and the goals. It helped.

    I agree with your business objectives and the fork makes sense for your customer.

    I am sure looking forward to see how your team speeds up BuddyPress. It should be easy for the community to port that to BuddyPress core.

    I have been an admirer of your designs. Wish you and your team all the best!

    @coolhunt,
    I agree with you on the issues with BuddyPress. I hope that things will change in future.
    Please do note that number of plugins is not an issue(even if it is 50 or 100). It is a misconception propagated by few. It is the quality of the plugins. Number of plugins don’t have much effect on speed. Keeping it to the minimum helps you remain secure( low number means lower chance of having an insecure plugin) and easy management of the plugins.

    Regards
    Brajesh


    coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    Looking at https://buddypress.org/support/view/no-replies/

    – its startling to look at the raw amount of un-responded post.
    – over 200 post un-responded
    – over 200 posts thats at least 2+ weeks old.. some are MONTHS old..

    if you look at WP.org / plugins that are similar in live installs the response from the developer is far more active and helpful.


    Boone Gorges
    Keymaster

    @boonebgorges

    BuddyPress is not approaching EOL. As @sbrajesh noted above, BP is coming up on a 5.0 release that’ll include, among other improvements, REST API endpoints for our major content types. The development team believes this is going to be an important step in making BuddyPress more powerful as a foundation for community development.

    I acknowledge that the amount of activity on the project has not been consistent over the last year or two. The BuddyPress project – the development of the plugin itself as well as the manning of these support forums – is 100% volunteer driven. BuddyPress is not a business, and as such, no one is paid by BP to work on BP. The central group of volunteers who work on BP development and support is pretty small, which means it’s quite sensitive to fluctuation in activity; if just one or two active members get busy with other work for a while, it can have a significant effect on the pace of the project. In contrast, Michael and Brajesh are both correct when they note that businesses with paid employees are able to devote a much more concentrated and consistent amount of effort to their products.

    While it’s disappointing that the BuddyBoss team’s improvements haven’t been integrated into BP, I completely understand the reasons why their team has opted to fork rather than contribute. Personnel issues aside, the pace of development of a widely-used open source project, developed in a decentralized way with loose management, is necessarily going to be slower and more conservative than a private product. And it makes sense that a business owner would want 100% control over the direction of their core products. I respect the BuddyBoss folks and wish them the best of luck with their platform.

    All this being said, I continue to believe that BuddyPress is the best community solution of its type, particularly for those users who need maximum flexibility and customizability. My limited experience with BP’s direct competitors in the WP market is that they work nicely for their central use case, but it’s extremely difficult to modify the default behavior.

    As someone who’s been involved in BP for a long time and cares a great deal about the project, I must extend thanks to the folks in this thread who are here, demonstrating their concern for the well-being of BuddyPress 🙂


    BuddyBoss
    Participant

    @buddyboss

    @boonebgorges I hope BuddyPress continues to grow and improve. We based our whole business around BuddyPress for many years for a reason. I know it has taken a tremendous amount of work to get the plugin as far as it’s come, and we are grateful considering you guys have done all of this voluntarily. I can tell you from experience that even when you are paying a support team, it is still very difficult to stay on top of all the support requests, so to do it for free at any capacity should be appreciated.


    coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    Im not a programmer
    so .. can i at least clear out spam?
    or work on documentation or something?

    To Be Fair. (and Im not trying to be a jerk)

    *I* think that waving the “Its free” flag as a blanket defense is what BREAKS the goodwill on both side.. (of course no one should ever take each other for granted)

    But.. OPEN-SOURCE – FREE –IS—INDEED–an– Actual business model.

    Again not to be a jerk (but *ITS FREE* is not a shield) — again, lets face it.. WP makes money off there software.. the FREE part is a component that makes the system work.. (im not gonna bore you with the nuance – Hacknernews does a better job at it)

    Anyway.. I respect everyone that are in the BP team and all of the contributors — but i think we can do it better — I really dont want to see the promise of BP and its potential fizzle away..

    and in my opinion — waving the the *Its Free* banner when someone says something – is what breaks the “FOSS” ecosystem…

    -Frankly.. Although there are upcoming updates… the pattern of BP reminds me of other projects — maybe something like ‘O2’ – Breathe/p2?

    I guess — It still feels like BP is at its last leg… (?)


    coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    @boonebgorges I really appreciate you.. especially your work with CUNY Commons & PressForward
    and my post – by no means – is intended to provoke or diminish your work and contributions to the community at-large.

    I personally appreciate your work and always look forward to anything put out.


    Mathieu Viet
    Moderator

    @imath

    Hi @coolhunt

    Everybody is welcome to contribute to BuddyPress, here are possible ways to do so https://codex.buddypress.org/participate-and-contribute/

    Writing documentation, helping others in support forums or translating BuddyPress in other languages are examples of contributions which does not require development skills.


    coolhunt
    Participant

    @coolhunt

    Hi @imath

    Im a big fan! specially your work on BOWE-CODES

    As for your suggestion as currently outlined on https://codex.buddypress.org/participate-and-contribute/ **IMHO –> I think is part of the problem..

    1) I think the way the documentation works is a little confusing and are often no longer relevant
    The documentation process of how its outlined, the submission process et al is not moving at the speed of the internet.. maybe a “stack exchange” style approach might work?

    2) Helping out in the forums seems ideal -but- I feel the forum mechanism is also a little outdated

    3) The nature of BP makes it a little hard to dial in how to respond to inquiries – simply because its not obvious to the hobbyist like myself to determine if its a template/theme issue, plugin issue or other various possible conflicts..

    Anyway.. Im suggesting that perhaps BP.org should be change the approach to the community.. idk maybe something like a how CUNY Commons approached it? idk.. it maybe helpful to have an FAQ thats crossed linked to a forum discussion — it might also be helpful to change -or- update how the forum is organized? *it might also be helpful to somehow incentivize for-paid organizations like @buddyboss & @buddydev (I think a paradign shift is needed)

    Theres a lot of great nuggets of information thats either SILO’d in private-for-paid-organizations, or buried somewhere in stackexchange, or somewhere in the internet (how do we herd-those-cats)

    Suggestion: What if BP allows private companies to ‘sponsor’ this forum and what the companies will provide is basic quick easy answers and BP in return can have a VERIFIED badge on their profile and that company a section on a forum that is something like “ASK Company XYZ”

    anyway.. idk.. I just feel that we’ve been doing the same thing for so many years and we arent getting any better at supporting the community

    cheers


    Mathieu Viet
    Moderator

    @imath

    Thanks a lot for your interesting suggestions @coolhunt. I agree we need to talk about how we can improve BuddyPress documentation and about how to find help to start using/resolve issues.

    We are currently working on the next major version of BuddyPress (5.0.0). As soon as it’s released, I’ll start a discussion about it from our Development news blog.

    PS: really happy you like the work accomplished in Bowe Codes (although it would benefit from some improvements, but that’s another topic 😉 )


    Georgio
    Participant

    @georgio-1

    This is a very interesting subject. I am using buddypress for different projects since 2014. I would like to express my point of view, not as a developer (my development skills are limited) but as business coach.
    If I see buddypress as a project, I think that there is a problem with the goal. Buddypress provides a networking solution and its orientation is supposed to be user experience enhancement.
    It seems that the team is oriented towards the technical side of the project. So they make technical improvements that may be important but the final user will never see and doesn’t care about. For ex. with the latest version, I saw a modification of the password verification system while at the same time members cannot block annoying users with this messaging system, they cannot upload a photo using the “whats-new” form and there is no reporting system to keep your network clean.
    There is no media component which is important for a social network. No likes, no sharing, no global searchtool etc
    You have to install a lot of plugins and frequently fight with conflicts. Plugins should exist for special features not for basic ones.

    If I had to manage buddypress as a project I would invite buddypress users on this site to give feedback on what features they consider important to be implemented. Then I would make an agenda to implement them using code from existing plugins.

    Since 2014 I saw only two things that enhance user experience: autolinks and a better theme.

    I hope that my point of view helps to define a project orientation that, in my opinion, is not very clear now.


    Mathieu Viet
    Moderator

    @imath

    Hi @georgio-1

    Thanks for your opinion and inputs.

    1. There will be a media component in 6.0.0 🙂
    2. We will ask for users input soon about their ideas of BuddyPress blocks (that’s a first step)
    3. We will think about how to satisfy developers building on top of BuddyPress as well as end users.


    hochingj
    Participant

    @hochingj

    @buddyboss Why didn’t you contribute to the buddypress code instead of creating competition off of thousands of hours of donated development for this free plugin?


    John James Jacoby
    Keymaster

    @johnjamesjacoby

    Hey everyone. Thank you for the insightful conversation. This is exactly what forums and communities are for, and is a great example of why it is so important to have them.

    This question has come up just about every 180 days for the past 10 years, for both bbPress and BuddyPress. I usually don’t chime in on them, because they almost always go through the same motions:

    1. Some people are worried
    2. Some people don’t like the core functionality
    3. Some people think it’s too difficult
    4. Some people think it’s not powerful enough
    5. Development team defends the project
    6. Unhappy people trash the project
    7. Nobody really feels much better
    8. People get bored and the topic fades away
    9. Someone bumps it back up every once in a while

    I’m replying here and now, because I agree a lot with everything everyone has said here, even if I don’t like or agree with how it’s said.

    There are a lot of things about BuddyPress not to like. There has been a lot of added complexity over the years that has made it more difficult to understand and to work with. Building a community website with it takes a long time and requires a lot of experience to do well, and that’s even before the community has activity, membership, or growth.

    Without a big huge obvious whale of an example community, and without a big huge corporate sponsor, it’s hard to see the penultimate standard for what BuddyPress can be used to achieve.

    Because BuddyPress.org and bbPress.org are part of the WordPress.org network of sites, and because WordPress.org doesn’t really use the social features that BuddyPress provides, even it isn’t that great of an example anymore.

    The folks at BuddyBoss have, no doubt, invested nearly the same ten years as the rest of us have, working hard to make something out of nothing, only with a different set of goals in mind, that now is taking them in an exciting new direction.

    Having met several members of the BuddyBoss family, and after spending more than a few hours hanging out with them through the years at various WordPress related events, it cuts deep to hear how negative their perspective is on BuddyPress, but I don’t disagree with them, or think they’re wrong.

    Ten years ago when everyone was excited about BuddyPress, wasn’t because of the technology or the tools or the potential. It was a pain in the butt to setup. It required a version of WordPress (MU) that didn’t even come with an installer. It did everything “the wrong way” and not “the WordPress way.”

    Everyone was excited because it looked cool.

    Source: Venturebeat

    While not an exact clone, BuddyPress 1.0 popularized the 3 column design layout that Slack, Discord, Teams, and Mattermost, and others have built empires on top of today. Since 2.0 and later, we listened to user feedback instead of our guts, and worked to make BuddyPress simpler to drop into any WordPress installation, but in doing so we sacrificed the opinionated design that made all of us curious about what we could build on top it ourselves.

    I believe BuddyPress is, still to this day, the single most important piece of software on the open web. It empowers anyone to foster free and open dialogue with the privacy and freedom of having their own website on their own hardware, while also being powerful enough to scale up and grow as a community of people garners momentum. And it empowers people like the folks at BuddyBoss to grow even beyond BuddyPress itself.

    BuddyPress also continues to be a faithful sister-project to WordPress, bbPress, and GlotPress, acting as a playground for just about anyone to jump in and start helping improve the software that over 11 million users on WordPress.org and 300k other installations rely on to power their activity streams, member profiles, and more.

    I personally have met or know a few hundred people that have amazing careers (in WordPress or elsewhere) because of the knowledge and insight that contributing to the BuddyPress project has trained them for. (This is one of the most valuable things about BuddyPress that you can’t write on the tin, in my opinion.)

    To the folks that feel like leaving BuddyPress behind, happy trails until we meet again. And I hope we meet more often than we have, because our diversity of experiences and opinions is how we forge great open source software together, and that’s hard to find when you’re always looking inward at the same project for this long.

    To the folks that love BuddyPress as much as I do, thanks for sticking around and helping out and being a part of this community here. The best is yet to come, with media attachments, database improvements, deeper WordPress Admin integration, and if wishes were fishes we’d revive a retro bp-sn-parent theme to bring some of that old excitement back again.

    Here’s a corny quote from a favorite movie of mine that feels fitting:

    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.


    hochingj
    Participant

    @hochingj

    With as much as @buddyboss depends on buddypress and with how much they charge, I sure hope they are doing the ethical thing and donating to the buddypress group that they are profiting off of.


    teeboy4real
    Participant

    @teeboy4real

    As a free software I just can’t explain how much I love the buddypress project and I would like to give some suggestions.

    1. Buddypress Community Fund (Donations)- It would be awesome if a donation fund can be set up to support the development of buddypress. This fund would be used to incentive developers who would like to support and improve the buddypress project there by increasing the speed of development and progress on buddypress.

    Personally buddypress has added tremendous value to me and I would not hesitate to contribute to this fund on a monthly basis. I also feel that among thousands of site’s that are running on buddypress, there would always be thousands of people ready to support buddypress development financially.

    2. I would really like the development team to have different roles so buddypress development can be improved on from multiple angles simultaneously. For example

    1. Buddypress Technical Team
    2. Buddypress Design Team
    3. Buddypress Support Team

    This are just my personal opinions and I would like to know what your feedback or opinions are on this suggestions. Thanks

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