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Opened 4 years ago

Closed 3 years ago

#5351 closed enhancement (fixed)

bp-forums retirement

Reported by: johnjamesjacoby Owned by: johnjamesjacoby
Milestone: 2.1 Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version:
Component: Forums Keywords:


bbPress 2.x now completely handles BuddyPress integration on it's own. Around 95% of our 2014 survey respondents (that use forums) use bbPress 2.x. It's time to consider what retiring the bp-forums component looks like.

BP Forums is several years stagnant, and has been almost completely hidden from the UI for the past 12 straight months.

The biggest win for removing bp-forums completely is finally getting rid of the Subversion externals. They are tedious to setup and maintain for each repository. bbPress also has a Subversion external to BackPress, which also has a Subversion external to the po/mo library. Chopping all of this out of BuddyPress completely will be quite liberating.

A few ideas:

Leave the code in BuddyPress forever

We've been fortunate so far and haven't needed to be as strictly committed to backwards compatibility as WordPress has. But, it won't always be that way, and we're quickly approaching our users having the expectation of stability first.

If we go this route, we just hide the UI and pretend like the code doesn't exist anymore. I don't really like this idea, as it doesn't solve our Subversion external problem.

Move BP Forums into the Backwards Compat Plugin

Back from the dead:

This plugin was always intended to act as a shim for components that eventually get retired, so it's a logical choice. One problem with this approach is we'll need to update that plugin somewhat, to make it work at all with our new component selection UI, and also resurrects our old Wire and Status components, which I personally sometimes miss; leaving them under the rug means I forget how cool they were. :)

Move BP Forums into a new 2.0 shim plugin

This lets us shed any other extra weight we think would make sense to remove from BuddyPress proper, mainly any deprecated functions files from several versions ago.

Change History (11)

#1 @johnjamesjacoby
4 years ago

  • Owner set to johnjamesjacoby
  • Status changed from new to assigned

#2 @sooskriszta
4 years ago

(I know this is Trac, not forums, but still..) Yay!

#3 @DJPaul
4 years ago

Another idea: create a file with every bbPress function stubbed that's only loaded when the bbpress_init hook fires. Avoids fatal errors, lets us remove the bbPress external.

#4 @boonebgorges
4 years ago

This lets us shed any other extra weight we think would make sense to remove from BuddyPress proper, mainly any deprecated functions files from several versions ago.

I don't think there's any pressing need to do this sort of general "clean up".

As for bp-forums, my personal vote is to leave it as is. Many sites are still using it. We already totally hide the UI for any site that is not already using it. The only annoyances are the Subversion issues (which are minor, and only affect the small handful of people who handle BP releases) and the increased size of the BP zip download. The latter point is not insignificant, but IMHO is not worth sinking tons of time into solving.

If we must do something, I feel really strongly that we do it in a way that causes as little disruption as possible for the (many, many) existing sites using bp-forums. I think this means more than just documentation of the change. Something like, say, moving bp-forums + bbPress to a stub plugin, and then attempting to install it automatically when a site using bp-forums upgrades to BP 2.0. This kind of thing would handle the majority of cases gracefully.

Last edited 4 years ago by boonebgorges (previous) (diff)

This ticket was mentioned in IRC in #buddypress-dev by jjj. View the logs.

4 years ago

#6 @snark
4 years ago

If I understand correctly what is being discussed, it would be the potential end to BP Forums (& Groups too?), replaced by bbPress Forums, like you have the option to do know with Site Wide formums. Is that correct? If so, I am all for it and don't mind making the switch, but here is what I'd like to see:

1) Be able to keep the old BP Forums in a "read-only" mode. Since my BuddyPress site ( has thousands of Forum entries, I would love to keep all that for future reference and SEO content, just move it perhaps to an "old forum" directory.
2) Is it possible to give BuddyPress the functionality to turn off the addition of new topics and replies to all Forum posts, but still leave the posts up for read-only reference?
3) Our users have long been confused by Groups vs. Forums and the Activity Stream vs. Forums, so I'd actually prefer to move to a simplified, single bbPress sitewide forum, but again, I just don't want to lose all that content.


#7 @johnjamesjacoby
4 years ago

Not exactly correct.

Our goal is to motivate site admins to install the latest version of the bbPress plugin and migrate old BP Forums content using bbPress's built in migration tool. The bbPress plugin offers 1 to 1 functionality with BP Forums, and adds even more functionality and features not present in the old version of bbPress.

To more directly answer your questions:

  1. No read-only mode. Data would be completely converted over.
  2. In bbPress 2.x, forums can be closed to new topics, and topics and closed to new replies, essentially duplicating the read-only experience you're looking for.
  3. You are not alone; this is a common pain point, likely due to how equal all components are by default in BuddyPress. Members aren't directed towards the posting method with the greatest return value, so they float around not knowing what to do or why, only hoping to get a response from one of several different divisions of the site. My advice here, like you mentioned, is to turn off the functionality that you feel is non-essential to your community, and not turn it back on until it's large enough to require that division.

#8 @r-a-y
4 years ago

  • Milestone changed from 2.0 to 2.1

As discussed in last week's dev chat, bumping this to 2.1.

#9 @DJPaul
3 years ago

  • Keywords dev-feedback added
  • Type changed from defect (bug) to enhancement

I want to mark this ticket as resolved now that we're only adding bbPress 1 to BuddyPress release packages, but want a second opinion first. I this what we have is a good solution for now, and if in the future we have the appetite or desire to remove bbPress 1 from those release packages, we can revisit.

#10 @boonebgorges
3 years ago

DJPaul - I'm happy with that. Removing the bp-forums directory from the codebase is a nice thought from an aesthetic point of view, but it raises many problems. I think the current state of things is good enough for the foreseeable future.

#11 @DJPaul
3 years ago

  • Keywords dev-feedback removed
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from assigned to closed
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