Word of what to expect from BuddyPress 1.7 has been trickling in, and while it’s not quite here yet there’s a lot to get excited about. Brand new users should pay attention, but longtime users may be the most excited by what’s on the way.
At last month’s WordPress NYC Meetup the lead developer of the BuddyPress project, Boone Gorges, led the group in a presentation showing off what can be expected in the next major version of the popular social plugin. Let’s take a look.
In this episode of our podcast David Bisset was kind enough to join me to discuss his upcoming event WordCamp Miami, BuddyPress, and other noteworthy WordPress news of the week. David even gets greedy and offers up somewhere around 3 or 4 WordPress picks for the week. Honestly, I lost count.
Version 1.6.2 of BuddyPress is now available, and fixes a couple of compatibility issues with WordPress 3.5. John James Jacoby says that if you are running BuddyPress 1.5 or 1.6 and also upgrading to WordPress 3.5 (who isn’t?) this one should be a safe and painless upgrade.
I’m happy to present episode number two of the WPCandy Roundtable Podcast, this time with the BuddyPress Core Team of John James Jacoby, Boone Gorges, and Paul Gibbs. They spoke for just over an hour about issues of interest to them within the BuddyPress community, and where things are going in the near future.
On the BuddyPress blog this week Boone Gorges pointed out that the BuddyPress plugin has crossed the million download mark on the WordPress.org plugin directory (1,004,479 at the time of this writing). BuddyPress’s first stable release was in May of 2009, just under three years ago this month.
BuddyPress can now boast what few plugins can, and joins the short list of plugin titans like Jetpack, Contact Form 7, and All in One SEO Pack. Okay, so it needs a few more downloads to truly rival those numbers, but it’s getting closer.
For the fans of BuddyPress out there (of which there are, it seems, a few) how long ago did you first start messing with BuddyPress? Were you an early adopter? Or, put another way, how many of those million downloads are you responsible for?
Believe it or not, I have never — ever — properly interview John James Jacoby, also know as JJJ or J-trip. John is the lead developer on the BuddyPress and bbPress projects, and has been working for Automattic since November 2010. In this interview we talk about the futures of both BuddyPress and bbPress, or “the bbs”, his slew of old jobs, and something called a Faquith.
You’ve been warned.
See the various listening options below, or have a listen straight away (The interview is approximately one hour long.):
In the announcement made on the BuddyPress.org blog Jacoby said:
You may not know it but we’ve had a codex here at BuddyPress.org since the early days. It’s mostly made life really difficult and forced everyone into the forums or to other sites for help. Today, I’m really happy to report that the core team has spent some time this weekend to finally refresh the BuddyPress Codex.
No official announcement was posted on the bbPress blog, but it was mentioned on Twitter.
BuddyPress 1.5.3 is now available as a fix for those running WordPress 3.3+—which should be all of you, you silly goofs. The list of changes in this version is relatively small. To name a few: an unused forum template was removed from the BuddyPress default theme, deprecated function warnings and PHP notices were cleared, and a toolbar-specific avatar issue was fixed as well. For the full list of changes, see the full 1.5.3 changelog. Glance at that if you need to, but really you should just go get yourself updated.
And in case you’re wondering, the confetti behind the logo above is there to celebrate compatibility. You have to enjoy the small victories, right?
Update: Not long after 1.5.3 was released came 18.104.22.168 that fixed a more serious bug with the way settings are saved. So, go update for that too.
Achievements, a BuddyPress plugin authored by Paul Gibbs, takes user loyalty to the next level. Gibbs announced he is rewriting the entire Achievement plugin from the ground up, and as part of that process he’s taking this opportunity to switch from his SVN version management over to GitHub. Achievements is currently in version 2.0 and Gibbs is focusing on version 3.0 in 2012.
The Achievements plugin already has a number of great user loyalty features such as a user logging in, writing a message to the activity stream, and a user creating a forum topic—all of which are rewardable actions.
Why are this plugin and Gibbs’ development efforts important to both the WordPress and BuddyPress communities? Because it’s bringing the core of WordPress and the social layer of BuddyPress to the next competitive level, making able to compete with big sites like Facebook and Friendster.
One feature I could see being added is the ability to reward users for playing a game, just like the big guys do. With a user loyalty plugin added on top of this WordPress social layer, what do you think you might be able to achieve with this kind of power?