BuddyPress 1.8 Released With Better Theming Capabilities

Di Fara Pizza, Brooklyn, NY
The BuddyPress core team promised a short release cycle for 1.8 and they have delivered! BuddyPress 1.8 was released today and cheers were heard around the world. Dancing and pizza-feasting will probably continue into the night.

The 1.8 release is dubbed “Di Fara” after a famous Brooklyn pizza joint where each pizza pie is handmade by its owner, Dom DeMarco.

A few months ago we previewed the new features that are included in BuddyPress 1.8. The most exciting features highlighted in the release blog today include:

Better theme integration

BuddyPress 1.8 was a major effort in de-theming and making the stylesheets more minimal so that BuddyPress fits better into your WordPress theme.

BP’s packaged styles have been streamlined, so that the styling for things like buttons, text, and form elements are inherited more elegantly from your active theme

Template hierarchy

Good news for BuddyPress theme developers! Top-level BuddyPress templates can now take advantage of WordPress’ standard Template Hierarchy. That means that it is now much easier to allow certain components to have a single column, right/left sidebar or any other kind of specialized layout that you define in a template. Extensive documentation for this new feature can be found in the BuddyPress codex.

Developer Goodies

New developer goodies included in 1.8 will make it much easier to extend BuddyPress in the future, as outlined in the release announcement from Boone Gorges:

  • Complete re-write of Groups Extension API – bugs fixed, new configuration options, and a more streamlined process for plugin devs
  • Activity and groups loops now support filtering by ‘meta_query’, using syntax familiar from WP_Query.
  • Group member directories now powered by the new BP_Group_Member_Query, which extends the flexible tools of BP_User_Query to the Groups component.
  • Automated testing is now built into the trunk and stable Subversion versions of BuddyPress, complete with flexible tools for testing BP-dependent plugins.

Essentially, theming and extending BuddyPress is now much easier for those who are already familiar with how WordPress does things. I smell a few tutorials coming up in the near future. No wait… that’s just pizza. We’ll help get you started with BuddyPress 1.8 with a few tips and tricks. Make sure you’re subscribed and follow WPMU DEV on Twitter.

All of the changes and updates included in BuddyPress 1.8 can be found on its codex page. Many thanks to the core developers and all the volunteers in the community who have worked on this release.

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