The bbPress plugin project began in 2010 (and was one of our top 20 WordPress stories of 2010) and organized by the freshly-Automattic-ized John James Jacoby, of BuddyPress fame. The Google Code-in that WordPress participated in ended yesterday, but resulted in a big push forward for the bbPress project. Gautam Gupta, a 15 year old student and Code-in participant, has been a major contributor to the project the last couple of months.
The plugin project involved a complete rewrite of the standalone version of bbPress. Core functionality was duplicated in the form of a WordPress plugin, but a number of features not present in standalone bbPress have made their way into the plugin. Forums, topics, and replies are built as custom post types. Splitting and merging topics, forum widgets, and revision/modification logs are just a few. The new bbPress plugin comes with a bundled Twenty Ten child theme that adds necessary template files to run the forum. These same template files (a handful at the moment, though that could change) can be added to your theme to make it compatible with bbPress.
See the gallery below for screenshots of the plugin in its current state.
bbPress in its current state gallery
According to Gupta, both he and Jacoby expect a beta of the bbPress plugin in the next month. The bbPress trac shows only a couple dozen more tickets, although the plugin will need a lot of testing before the final version is ready.
Gupta found out about bbPress the way many of us did: he was looking for a simple forum solution. He used standalone bbPress first and began building plugins for that platform, before finding out about the plugin project and beginning to contribute there. Gupta ended up ranked fifth among all Google Code-in participants, with 112 overall points and 34 completed tasks. He spoke highly of the experience, particularly proud to be one of the few to work on bbPress:
The experience of participating in Google Code-in has been a lot lot great and knowledge-giving. After all, when do you get a chance to be mentored by such cool developers like John James Jacoby, lead dev of bbPress and BuddyPress, and you getting rewards for what you do. While completing the Code-in tasks, I got to know a lot more about WordPress and bbPress (I’m that much familiar with bbPress now that you’d point me to a bug and I’d tell you why it’s happening the next second – boasting, I know :P).
You can follow Gupta on Twitter at @_GautamGupta_. Why not send him a pat on the back for all of the work on bbPress the last month or two?