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.

3 Responses

  • I have previous experience of using dedicated bulletin board scripts like phpbb, mybb etc. for discussion forums, but understood their lack of further extensibility. Nearly 6 months ago I started using wordpress for various projects and not much to say was very impress with its features (also used joomla previously, but not impressed at all) and decided that in future all my project will be on wordpress and not any other scripts. So during the planning for this project of Kolkatatalk.com I was searching for a good forum plugin for the wordpress platform with social network feature (has prior experience with buddypress and I’m really depressed ) ; searched and found few good and popular forum plugin for wordpress and also came to know about WP Symposium from an article by Sarah Gooding at wpmu.org. Compared nearly all popular forum plugins but in respect of feel and look of WP Symposium all other seem to be very ugly. So I decided to start the project with WP Symposium. I’m impressed with its support and frequent updates from the developer himself, Simon Goodchild. Also as I got the chance to test some alfa,beta version of WPS due to the issue with ajax, I got to realise how much dedicated Simon is about WPS. With no second thought I would recommend all wordpress user to use WP Symposium for the discussion board part of their website and social network feature. And also request wordpress newbies to have a look at WPS Roadmap.

    Today with the version of 0.1.30, WPS is a ready suit. But I’m in a dieing need of a Rich Text Toolbar. So I will wait for Simon to look at the implementation of a Rich text toolbar to WPS.

    One more thing I would like to mention about wpsymposium.com website is its theme. Such a clean and nice looking theme is seldom found. I was so impressed with its look that I intent to replicate it for Kolkatatalk.com, so I tested top list popular themes in wordpress directory, found few good themes but mostly all had issues with WPS, except the default Twenty Ten. So thought to use 2010 Weaver, as this theme has stability of the default Twenty Ten with a lot of extended feature (editing theme css manually is too hectic for me), and at last I am able to give kolkatatalk.com a look which is nearly though not exactly similar to wpsymposium.com.

    I would like to mention an issue about wordpress theme header uploader, that images with transparency effect like image format of png or gif when uploaded with wordpress header image uploader, the transparency information get stripped off and the transparent area turns black, which looks bad, its same with all image uploader related to wordpress, including WPS’s profile photo, except wordpress Media uploader, which keep the transparency effect intact.

    Hats off to Simon Goodchild.

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