The Future Of bbPress Lies Within WordPress

About a week ago, Matt Mullenweg published a post over on the newly designed bbPress blog that hints to the platforms future. The topic of discussion was WordPress integration, and what better way to do that than to build an awesome bbPress plugin?

One, it’s an embarrassing pain in the butt to do now. One of the most frequent questions here on our forums. You have to jump through endless loops, and end up with something worse than most of the WP plugins for forums.

Two, we get the benefit of all the WordPress plugins and themes, which vastly outnumber our current options. Want private messaging? Use the BuddyPress plugin for it. Want OpenID? Stats? Sitemaps? There’s a plugin for that. Social network and profile features, in particular, are useful to the future of discussion forums and it’d be silly of us to duplicate that effort.

One of the more interesting points addressed in the post was Matt’s admittance that having BackPress and bbPress together turned out to be a hindrance more than a convenience, not to mention a performance hit.

Full, seamless integration with WordPress is something I’ve discussed for years. (Remember my dream of having each comment section being a mini-bbPress forum, complete with threads?) We’ve just taken a number of unfortunate detours (BackPress) on the way there.

This is an exciting development and I’ll be looking forward to seeing how mini-bbPress forums within the comments actually pans out. I’ve always thought that blog posts are just like forum threads except that the blog author gets to control the initial conversation. Forums on the other hand allow the community to create conversations. So if Matt can find a way to balance the two together, more power to him!

By the way, there are a few vocal people within the bbPress community that are pretty upset by the news that bbPress will be turned into a plugin but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives, as outlined by Matt in the post. However, thanks to the license and the open source nature surrounding the software, anyone will be able to take the core of bbPress, rename it, and continue providing updates as stand alone software. However, Matt did post this within a forum thread that addresses bbPress the plugin and the stand alone product:

Non-plugin bbPress development is going to continue until we have a perfect importer so people will be able to bring their content out of the legacy codebase.

No need to freak out as it will take some time to create that importer. Just make sure if you’re using bbPress to keep an eye on the development blog along with the forums for updates.

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  1. About mini bbPress. On some sites I’ve been to certain blog post gets a thread in the forum for more in depth discussions. That would be a nice feature. Perhaps a combo of sorts.


  2. The most tantalizing part of Matt’s statements above for me would definitely be

    …and profile features, in particular, are useful to the future of discussion forums

    Any mention of profile features makes me giddy. I’ve just come off a large project and the one thing lacking on my install is extended profile fields. Over the past year, I’ve investigated and tested several different plugins that attempt to let the admin create and manage custom profile fields, and then tried to integrate those into the registration form. None of them panned out. I am hoping that if the bbPress plugin sees the light of day, then it will include (or lead to) an easier path to creating custom profile fields and integrating them with the registration process.


  3. @Adam W. Warner – Have you tried using BuddyPress exclusively for XProfile? That should get that job done rather nicely.


  4. @John James Jacoby,

    No I hadn’t thought of that, thanks for the reminder on Extended Profiles! I’ll do some experimenting and see what I can come up with!


  5. I just recently set up my first WordPress / bbPress integration. I have to say, it wasn’t the smoothest process. I would really love to see bbPress become a plugin and I’m glad to see it is starting to get off the ground. I can see so much potential in bbPress, but it just isn’t there yet.


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