What Not to Expect in BuddyPress 1.9

What Not to Expect in BuddyPress 1.9

The latest update to BuddyPress is almost ready for release… But any major features are MIA.

Back in August we looked at the features announced for version 1.9such as a new template pack and custom post type enhancements. So in putting together this post, which was going to be about the plugin’s features, I went back through Trac to see how work progressed on those updates.

Where is development on BuddyPress going?

All of them, other than better two-way sync of activity comments and a general Codex cleanup and refresh, have been shelved.

Is it Worth Updating to BuddyPress 1.9?

So what exactly are the major changes we can look forward to in BuddyPress 1.9?

Well, it’s hard to say really, though BuddyPress developer Boone Gorges has put a call out for testers to give attention to:

  • A new notification component, adding a notifications menu to user profiles
  • New Friends and Log In widgets
  • Dynamic BuddyPress links for nav menus created at Dashboard > Appearance > Menus
  • Improvements in the performance of BP_ENABLE_USERNAME_COMPATIBILITY_MODE
  • Improvements to the way scheduled posts are handled in the activity stream

So yes, there are some changes, just not what was announced back in August. And these changes aren’t so much major features as they are minor updates.

The general release is expected to ship “in a few weeks”, well past the planned November 7 launch date. The beta, which is now available for testing, was originally planned for release in early October.

BuddyPress logo
Version 1.7 and theme compatibility marked big changes for BuddyPress, but it’s not clear what vision there is for the plugin’s future.

A quick glance at Trac shows Gorges has put a lot of work into this release. The beginning of the 1.9 development cycle coincided with lead developer John James Jacoby leaving Automattic for a new gig as Director of Web Engineering at 10up, so it looks like he’s taken a back seat as far as work on BuddyPress goes.

So where is BuddyPress going? There’s no clear roadmap for future versions and few developers are working on the project. Since theme compatibility was introduced as a major update in version 1.7, there doesn’t appear to be any big drive to make major improvements to the plugins, which still lacks ease of use straight out of the box.

Will version 2.0 mark a shift in vision for BuddyPress? Let’s hope so.

To test version 1.9, get a copy via Subversion or download it directly.

If you find a problem or bug or just have a suggestion, head to BuddyPress’ development home or the BuddyPress support forums.

Do you use BuddyPress? What features would you like to see in BuddyPress? Tell us in the comments below.