The BuddyPress 2014 Survey results are in and are now posted on github with graphs to visually represent the data collected from 338 developers in 52 countries. The survey provided an opportunity for participants to post feature requests as well as identify important areas for improvement.
When prioritizing new development for 2014, the team will be looking at the top 10 categories of BuddyPress feature requests discovered through the survey:
- Group enhancements
- New Media component
- Activity Stream improvements
- A BuddyPress theme
- Membership add-ons
- xProfiles additions
- Improved Documentation
- Easy configuration of Profile/Group navigations
- Performance improvements
- More Privacy options
When reporting the survey results, @mercime confirmed that BuddyPress will be adopting the WordPress features-as-plugins model in order to get more people involved in the frontend and backend requirements.
BuddyPress Media Component and Attachment API
The first new feature to be developed as a plugin will be the Media Component. BuddyPress core developer Mathieu Viet, better known as @imath, has begun work on the enhancement and plans to set it up on the BuddyPress github account soon.
“The idea is also to build a BuddyPress attachment API so that plugins can use it for their components,” Viet said during a recent BuddyPress development meeting. Further down the road, the media component may be used to manage all attachments for other components, i.e. avatars for profiles and groups, files for messages, albums for members, etc. In this case attachments would refer to uploads that have BP metadata attached.
Both John James Jacoby and Boone Gorges agreed that @imath’s implementation ideas for the component are quite promising and worth moving forward. “The basic idea is awesome and could be pretty transformative for BuddyPress,” Gorges commented.
Gorges suggested that this feature would be an ideal candidate for developing a core component as a plugin for the purpose of increasing collaboration. “Then we could get it in people’s hands, get them testing in different environments, and we could iterate quickly,” Gorges said. “If it looks like it’ll be a fairly long dev period, we can even do like MP6 and release it as a wordpress.org plugin to get lots of testers.”
The WordPress core has greatly benefited from using the features-as-plugins development model, which helped four major features land in the 3.8 release. We’ll be tracking BuddyPress feature plugins as they emerge throughout 2014. The development survey indicated that 65 respondents from 31 countries are eager to contribute to BuddyPress in some way. Hopefully, the core team will be able to successfully use the features-as-plugins model to make it easier for new testers and contributors to get involved.