BuddyPress Alternative WP Symposium is Fast Approaching a Release Candidate

Last month we introduced you to WP Symposium – an exciting BuddyPress Alternative for social networking on the WordPress platform. I’m happy to report that development on the project has been more rapid than previously projected and a release candidate is coming very soon.

Since we last checked in on the project the wall and chat functions are coming along nicely. WP Symposium’s current capabilities include forum, wall, member directory, private mail, notification bar, chat windows, profile page, widgets, and more.

Here’s an update on what is tentatively coming soon:

January 2011:

  • more AJAX functions (wall works great for example, forum etc, will soon as well)
  • further improvements to live chat windows (still working out a few bugs)
  • continue to move to a release candidate, then stable release

February 2011:

  • Photo albums/uploads
  • More widgets

March 2011:

  • Groups
  • More widgets

In our previous post we outlined some of the key differences between BuddyPress and WP Symposium. One of the most important is that WP Symposium doesn’t require it’s own theme. Rather, it works within your current WordPress theme. Users will be able to select and add only the components that they require without having to make loads of CSS and markup changes in order to make “fit” into their WordPress themes.

The developer is also putting a strong emphasis on users not having to use CSS to edit the style of the components. The styles options page includes easy-to-use color selection tools for customizing the plugin’s output:

We’re excited to see how fast WP Symposium is progressing, as it provides WordPress users with more options for implementing social networking on their websites. You can get involved by downloading the plugin in its current form from the WordPress repository. Stay up to date with the WP Symposium project on Facebook or subscribe to the WP Symposium blog.