John James Jacoby who is one of the core developers of BuddyPress has published a post on the BuddyPress development blog that talks about the future of bbPress and BuddyPress as he sees it. In fact, if you didn’t know it by now, John is leading the initiative in turning bbPress into a plugin versus stand-alone software.
Since BuddyPress 1.1, bbPress has come bundled in the package to help make the installation as smooth and easy as possible. Through a little bit of massaging we successfully integrated bbPress into a dedicated forum component to allow for group discussion, and we included a central discussion directory to help put all of these topics in one easy place. All of these ideas were great on paper but have had mixed feedback and results in practice. Making bbPress a standalone plugin will help allow for more customizable installations which is great news for anyone that’s currently using BuddyPress for the forum component, or has been holding off because of the complexity of it all.
Our goal with me giving some attention to the bbPress plugin project is to keep it tightly integrated with BuddyPress, but have them act totally independently or alone if necessary. This means in a future version of BuddyPress, bbPress will no longer come packaged in the download, and both plugins will be aware of each other being activated. When that happens, additional features will be available to you to help create the kind of community that you’d like to have, instead of forcing forums to be tucked away into BuddyPress discussion groups.
John ends the post by saying BuddyPress 1.2.6 is on its way out the door. It will contain a few bug fixes with perhaps an enhancement or two. As for BuddyPress 1.3, it should be shipped before the end of the year while bbPress 1.2 might be ready for testing around September 15th with a ship date of around the same time BuddyPress 1.3 is released.