WordPress Team Considers Incorporating Stalled bbPress as a Canonical Plugin
As many of you know, bbPress has been in transition lately. Some have wondered if it might become an abandoned project. Significant changes are on the horizon that may make it simpler than ever to integrate bbPress with WordPress. Whether you prefer bbPress as a separate platform or fully integrated as a WP plugin, one thing is certain – WordPress is not letting bbPress fall off the face of the earth. You can rest easy.
Recently, the WordPress Core Commit Team announced that it will be extending its official umbrella to what are currently known as ‘canonical plugins.’ These are defined by the Team as:
“…plugins that are community developed (multiple developers, not just one person) and address the most popular functionality requests with superlative execution. These plugins would be GPL and live in the WordPress.org repo, and would be developed in close connection with WordPress core. There would be a very strong relationship between core and these plugins that ensured that a) the plugin code would be secure and the best possible example of coding standards, and b) that new versions of WordPress would be tested against these plugins prior to release to ensure compatibility.”
bbPress is in consideration to be one of these canonical plugins that will fall under the leadership of the WordPress community.
What Does This Mean for WPMU?
Depending on when the WP and WPMU merge occurs, relative to when bbPress becomes a WP plugin, the main differences developers would be dealing with are forum structure and theming architecture. It’s not yet clear whether there will be a standalone version of bbPress, as many sites use now, in addition to the WordPress plugin. The most compelling reason to use bbPress is its ability to integrate with WordPress, as it does already. However, there are some users who embrace the bbPress platform outside of a WordPress installation.
According to the logs for the 12/9/2009 IRC meetup for the new bbPress, if the plugin option is pursued then Matt and his team will consider the implementation of bbPress shortcodes within WordPress, which would ensure that bbPress has access to more features available in the WordPress core. This may also simplify the bbPress theming process to utilize WordPress themes with forum-specific page templates. The IRC meetup included discussion about centralizing the documentation and the creation of a task force to organize the bbPress community.
It is reassuring to know that the bbPress platform will continue to be developed, albeit with a different direction. It’s about to become more accessible to a wider range of users. So, keep on building with bbPress, contribute to the community, and don’t hesitate to put in your thoughts over at bbpress.org. If you want to get involved in the changes coming to bbPress, you can get linked up here. What do you think about the future of bbPress? Do you prefer it as a stand alone option or do you welcome its integration as a WordPress plugin?