BuddyPress 2.1 “Patsy” is fresh out of the oven, named for a coal-oven pizzeria in East Harlem, NYC. Patsy’s is famous for its traditional New York style thin crust pizza and claims to have originated the practice of selling pizza by the slice.
New @mentions Interface
The name is fitting, because 2.1 is another slice of excellence from BuddyPress contributors. Building on the @mentions feature in the activity stream, this release introduces a totally revamped @mentions interface. As you begin to type the @ key, members will be autosuggested via a new suggestions panel. You’ll find that this feature also works nicely on mobile.
New URL Profile Field Type
This release also introduces a new profile field type that will have broad appeal to many BuddyPress communities. Site administrators can now select the URL field type, which will transform URLs of any format into links on the frontend of a user’s profile:
Automatic Translation Fetching
A survey conducted in 2013 showed that nearly 50% of BuddyPress sites are in languages other than English. The 2.1 release offers better support for translations, which will now download automatically to your WordPress installation. BuddyPress lead developer Boone Gorges credits volunteers from the polyglots team for making this release more translatable and more translated than ever.
BuddyPress 2.1 Highlights
In addition to the most visible new features, the 2.1 release adds many smaller improvements that make this version faster, more secure, and easier to use. A few of the highlights include:
- Set better passwords with the password strength meter on the registration and user settings pages
- Continued performance enhancements, particularly on the Members and Groups directories
- Members admin: Introduce “Extended Profile” tab on a user’s profile. This allows admins to edit various BuddyPress information about a user including profile fields, the user’s avatar and user status in the admin.
- Formally deprecated the BuddyBar
- Renamed “Avatar” to “Profile Photo”
- Better compatibility with themes that load their template content in advanced ways, like Stargazer
There’s also no small number of improvements under the hood for developers who are creating BuddyPress themes and plugins, as Gorges outlines in the release post. Check out the changelog for 2.1 to see the full list. Backup your site and update to BuddyPress 2.1 to take advantage of all the latest improvements.