Development for BuddyPress 2.8 kicked off during last week’s meeting and the target release date was set for January 25. In line with the project’s recent change of course, the upcoming release will be another one focused on developers and site builders.
Long time contributor Slava Abakumov is leading 2.8 with a focus on reducing the 650+ tickets in BuddyPress Trac by 50%. He will coordinate contributors in working on a UI for developer features that were added in the 2.6 and 2.7 releases, which introduced an API for Group Types. Abakumov wants to dive deeper into security and plans to perform a security audit of the plugin.
The BuddyPress core team will shape development for 2017 based on feedback from this year’s survey, which opened November 1. It includes 36 questions aimed at site builders and developers, as opposed to previous years where the survey was open to users and anyone connected with the software.
The project’s change of direction is evident in the questions this year, which are decidedly developer-focused. According to the BuddyPress core team, these questions were prepared for the project’s primary audience of site builders and developers, “an explicit recognition of what BuddyPress has become, and how people use it.”
In addition to the usual demographical questions, respondents are asked about their PHP versions, site setups, and local development environments. A new question asks when developers test their sites and extensions against upcoming releases. The survey also asks which template files developers customize when creating themes (with no option to indicate that you’re not a theme developer). Participants are asked to weigh in on BuddyPress’ problem areas and to give feedback on the most frequent feature requests they receive from community members and clients.
In 2013 the survey received 178 responses, 338 responses in 2014, and 211 in 2015. Given that the target audience is much narrower in 2016, the number of participants may decline again. However, the core team hopes responses will be more concentrated with the kind of information they find useful. The survey will be open through November 20, 2016 and results will be posted before the end of the year.