Front End Posting and Front End User Interfaces are now the major feature of most WordPress themes and commercial frameworks. Discussion about them is usually about some spiffy cool way to remove some ugly or confusing WP Admin Screen views, links, or screens from the logged in User's view.
Having used WordPress for site development since 2004 I am absolutely confident to proclaim that the next trend in Front End User Interfaces is Giving back some Power to the User.
Specifically, to allow Users to Use PLUGINS developed exclusively to Give Members Plugin Options for their content.
Front Ends for Member Posting and Modifying Posts must break out of the FORM environment which utterly negates the use of PLUGINS! A popular use of WordPress with themes and commercial Frameworks is to run a Multi-Member site. All Multi-Membership sites run on one WP install, at one URL, and allow Registered Members to make their own series of posts. In a Classified Listing site the Users are posting listings of Ads. In a Real Estate Listing site the Members create their own Real Estate or Rental Ads. Etc. Etc.
There are quite a few helpful Plugin developers who creating such goodies as Availability/Booking Calendars for Multiple Users. These plugins are rendered useless in all of the Popular Front End User Interfaces. Once the Administrator decides to use a Theme or Framework that prides itself on its nice Front End for Posts Management then such plugins are invalidated. The Administrator/Owner of a Real Estate website that allows Members to Post Rental listings cannot have "pretty" Front End forms for his or her Members while at the same time allowing them this Availability/Booking Calendar.
This is the case for all Front Ends over the past few years. Front Ends do not use the Wp Admin environment for Text Posting and Front Ends do not use the WP Admin environment that can recognize and display the Menus and sub-menus and links to Save Options for a logged in Author or Subscriber.
So, this popular way of making things pretty and simple for Members throws the baby out with the bathwater.
I ask that WPMUDEV become the first company in the world to change the Paradigm of Word Press Front Ends.
Create a User Front End that does 2 things by default:
1. Extend or tap into the WP Admin Text Editor such that when an Author or Subscriber is logged in to Create or Edit a Post inside their membership account they will find the Extra Tools that many Member plugins install so that their shortcode can be generated and embedded into that Post.
2. Detect any installed Plugins meant to be used and managed by this logged in User in their current default Role. Then transform (rewrite) the Plugin menu links into a tabbed interface that retrieves every function for the User. NOW a logged in Author will see the Booking Calendar plugin that the Admin installed so that all logged in Members who need multiple Availability calendars can "manage_options".
I use the Availability Calendar as an example of the TYPE of plugin written for Members. There are many other types of Plugins that Developers have created specifically for the Use of members to modify or add on to the content of their individual posts. These all work perfectly inside of Twenty Twelve.
But Front Ends in all Themes and all Frameworks around the world are stripping away these plugins as the price of admission to the ease of using a glorified Form method to post text and images.
Please raise the Bar, WPMUDEV!
Take Front Ends out of the musty cave environment and expand the definition and capabilities of FRONT END POSTING.