You can see the new plugin in action here - http://themehybrid.com/board/topics
I read Tadlock’s post with interest and I think it sucks that bbPress is moving in a direction that doesn’t suit him. Kudos to him for creating a solution that works best for his situation.
As far as bbPress goes, I have a couple of things to say about the project. It seems like it’s a developers playground built and maintained by developers. (What open source software project isn’t?) I think this is a bad route for it to go because it will always have a very low userbase if it’s a developers playground.
Look at the results of the bbPress 2014 user survey - http://wptavern.com/bbpress-2014-survey-results-show-users-are-still-disappointed-with-lack-of-features and let me know what your conclusions are.
I’ll tell you what mine are. A few people who took the survey had comments like this:
Needs a lot more focus on adding front end features both for users and
mods/admins. There is a serious lack of traditional forum features that
people expect to have, and it really holds bbPress back.
I don’t think bbPress will ever be developed to compete or be on the same stage as modern forum software. It’s in its own little world for developers that like things with no cruft or so called bloat. If bbPress development continues down the road of pleasing developers over users, what’s the point in even using it? Take a look at the following image.
In fact, look at the answers that make up the majority of the question. I for one am not surprised at all by those results. I’ve attended at least one BuddyCamp where I specifically asked about bbPress and the general consensus was that it’s a simple forum solution to WordPress without all the cruft. Well, missing all the cruft has bbPress becoming software not even considered for running or managing a community.
Ultimately, I’d like to see bbPress move towards that middle ground of being most of what folks are looking for out of the box with a great user experience and an easy way to participate in the third-party eco-system surrounding it. What that middle ground is, is highly debatable. However, I think it’s disappointing that so many people won’t even consider bbPress an option due to the lack of features out of the box.
I don’t have all the answers. At the same time, I don’t like the direction bbPress is heading. I’m beginning to think becoming a plugin instead of stand alone software was a big mistake. I was all for it merging with WordPress because I thought it would substantially increase the user base and mind share by piggybacking on WordPress. I don’t think that’s happened and if anything, has made things more confusing for the average user. Not to mention some of the drawbacks to bbPress are due to WordPress.
At any rate, curious to hear thoughts from current, former, or prospecting bbPress users.