Big News For bbPress Users: A bbPress Plugin is Coming to WordPress

The past year has been one of great transition for the bbPress project, which for awhile seemed as though it might be abandoned. Recently, Andrew Nacin announced that John James Jacoby and Pete Mall will be heading up the development for a new bbPress plugin for WordPress.

This is great news for WordPress users who want to add a solid forum to their sites without a lot of work to integrate it. However, long-time users of bbPress as a standalone forum are uncomfortable with the idea of recycling the bbPress name for a completely new project. There’s been a bit of controversy surrounding the decision to make bbPress 1.2 a plugin for WordPress, but the standalone version will still be available for anyone to work with or fork as they please. The naming is really at the core of the controversy, as some believe keeping the same name may confuse the user base.

What’s new for bbPress as a Plugin?

Pete Mall outlines what they’re working on right now:

“We’ll be working on bbPress as a WordPress plugin leveraging custom post types in WordPress 3.0+. There will be a direct/easy way for you to import your bbPress standalone data into the new WordPress plugin.”

bbPress needs a lot of work to be able to run efficiently with all the new features that WordPress 3.0 has to offer. However, when it’s ready in plugin form, theming your bbPress forum will be much easier. The new plugin will also significantly expand the current bbPress user base.

So what does this mean?

In case it seems a little confusing, this is how it’s going to break down:
bbPress 1.1 (standalone) – Still in active development – Follow at: bbPress Development Blog
bbPress 1.2 (plugin) – Coming soon, probably a few months before it will be stable – Follow at: bbPress Plugin Development Blog

Meanwhile, Justin Tadlock is also building a forum plugin for WordPress based on custom post types. He hopes to release a beta in the next month. In the near future WordPress users will have a number of options when setting up a forum for their sites, and we love options.

Stay up to date with the bbPress plugin development here: http://bbpdevel.wordpress.com/. Contributors are welcome, so if you’re a bbPress fan and you want to help shape the new plugin, get in touch with the team.