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Introducing Global sitewide forums plugin for Buddypress

I am glad to announce the “Global forums Plugin” for buddypress today. It is available now  and this post is aimed to show you what this forum plugin is meant for and what it can do.

The global forum Plugin allows you to create sitewide forums(as you see in bbpress) which are not linked to any group. It works just like standalone forum with the exception of a few things(like template/plugins). Thanks to @Greg for bringing the idea of global forum in buddydev forum and here we have it.

features:

  • Standalone sitewide forums
  • Allows you to create subforums
  • Support for category forum*
  • Fully templatable
  • templatable admin section for forum management
  • Full tag support(add tag/delete tag)
  • And most of the thing which you expect from bbpress is available.

Let me show an example from my dev system.

Forum Front End:-

Forum Home

Here is the home screen for the global forum

So, the home screen is just like a normal standalone forum where you get the list of all the forums/subforums and the latest discussion topics.

If you are an admin/mod you can see the tab which says admin. I will go into details of admin section later.

Users can create new topic from forum home or from any of the child forum screen.

Single Topic Page

Here is a thread/single topic view

You can post new reply/manage topic from here.You can make a topic sticky/unsticky, close it/open it and many more from any of the topic page. From the topic page, you can also add/delete tags.

Edit Topic:-

let us see the edit topic screen

Sub forum layout

If you go to a particular sub forum, It will list all the child forums of that forum and the most recent discussions in that forum as shown below

Tag Page

For each of the tag, we get a tag page which lists all the topics containing  that tag as shown below

Search Page

And here is an example of the forum search result page

Forum Administrations:-

Now let us have a look at the admin screens. When you click on Admin tab at the top, you will be presented with the admin dashboard which shows a concise view of forum stats and let you perform various admin task. here goes the dashboard.

Admin Dashboard

From the admin screen, you can create new forum/manage forums, manage users and perform some other task.

Forum Management

here is a screenshot of Manage Forums

Forum Management page allows you to edit/delete/add new forum.

Edit forum:-

You can edit a forum title/description/parents from Manage forum. Click on Edit forum under the forum name and you will be presented with a screen like this

Delete Forum

If you decided to delete a forum, you can always move the topics to some other forum or just opt to delete entire forum andtopic.

here is the forum delete screen

Create  Forum

You can add new forum from manage forum page or  from the  Create forum page as shown below

User Management:-

You can manage users from the user management page. you can ban a user, promote to mod/promote to admin and demote to normal users. Banning will stop the user from creating topic/posting replies. Here is a shot from my dev. You can see the banned user has a distinct color code.

Limitations of Global forum:-

  • Currently you can not manage users in Bulk(i.e Can not ban 10 users by checking the box, It is coming in next version)
  • Some of the features may not be perfect
  • Code is not organized well, I will be organizing them properly in next release which should be next week
  • And I forgot to include the rss feed support, so It may come tomorrow

Credit:-

  • Thanks to bbpress team for creating the wonderful peace of software
  • many thanks to Andy Peatling, I have used most of his code from bp-forums component
  • Thank to all of the members of Buddydev.com for their support for all the time
  • special thanks to Mercime, Greg, Chris, Patrick, Roy, Serafettin

Download and Installation:-

Date 11th July 2010:

Stable Version: http://buddydev.com/plugins/global-forums/

Check for new features here http://buddydev.com/buddypress/introducing-the-first-stable-version-of-global-forums-plugin/

Old version:-

1.0 beta 1:-  http://buddydev.com/http//buddydev.com/download/bp-global-forum.zip

Please have a look at the installation documentation here http://buddydev.com/documentation/installing-global-forum-plugin/

Please Note, This is a premium plugin and you can download it instantly after joining our premium club. Just click access buddydev premium link on the top and you will be redirected to the joining page. It costs just $30 for 3 months and It gives you complete access to all of our plugins, support forums .

Bug reports

http://buddydev.com/bt/index.php/global-forums/

What’s upcoming:-

Well, since I am almost done with global forums, I will be putting the bp-chat(yes, I had promised long ago, but could not put online because of some personal issues, sorry for that) by 11th (Most probably tonight/tomorrow). And remember Bp-chat will be free. So, please make sure to check back on 11th.

Happy social networking with Buddypress :) and do not forget to leave you comments/suggestion for the improvement of the plugin.

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59 Responses to Introducing Global sitewide forums plugin for Buddypress

  • @Brajesh

    WOW! Tomorrow’s going to be SO much fun getting this up and running.

    Thank you very much Brajesh!

  • Cool stuff! We can finally try BP 1.2! ;)

    Question: What happens to group forums if you use the global forum?

    • Thanks for the comment.
      It has no effect on group forums, they will behave as they did earlier.
      You can keep them enabled, or keep them disabled. There is no co relation between group forum and global forums.

      The only thing is common that these both share same install of bbpress but in different way.

      • Sorry I’m Polish, and speak little English, and not by mistake copied the text

        Hi, I have a few questions about global forum:
        Is installing a global forum, forum groups will work? and that if we create a topic in the forum the group is whether this topic will appear in the global forum.

        The second question is whether the global forum moderators have the ability to add to all registered users on the system buddypress.

        • Yes, the forum groups will work without any issue.

          The topics in group forum/global forum are segregated.

          All the existing users of a site are automatically added to the global forum, a moderator can ban them though.

  • Amazing!

    Thanks a lot Brajesh for this great plugin :)

  • Hello Brajesh. :) It’s nice work! Thank you so much.

    I downloaded plugin and i translated it.
    Turkish Translation: http://www.buportal.com/ekler/tr_TR.po

    I uploaded plugin but i see “blank page” after activation in all site.

    I activated wp debug mode. And there are errors.

    Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /home/buportal/domains/buportal.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/bp-global-forums/global-forum.php on line 57

    Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /home/buportal/domains/buportal.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/bp-global-forums/global-forum.php on line 57

    Notice: Trying to get property of non-object in /home/buportal/domains/buportal.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/bp-global-forums/global-forum.php on line 57

    Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/buportal/domains/buportal.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/bp-global-forums/global-forum.php:57) in /home/buportal/domains/buportal.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-core/bp-core-signup.php on line 2

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare bb_get_current_user() (previously declared in /home/buportal/domains/buportal.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/bp-global-forums/includes/gf-forums-bbpress.php:123) in /home/buportal/domains/buportal.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/buddypress/bp-forums/bp-forums-bbpress.php on line 120

    • I get the same black page issue :(

      • Try forcing php5 by adding a line of code in your htaccess-file in the root directory of your WordPress installation. It helped me … I pasted the following code on the first line of the htaccess file:

        AddHandler x-httpd-php5 .php

        Beware that the htaccess file begins with a full stop (.) and is therefore invisible when copied to your Mac’s harddisk. You can temporarily remove the full stop using an ftp client, copy the file to your HD, insert the line of code and upload htaccess, than adding a full stop at the beginning again. Good luck!

        If the blank page problem perists, It may be a conflict with some other plugin.

  • Congratulations Brajesh I’m liking it a lot! There are lots CSS hooks to create different styles for the Global Forum pages, cool :-)

    I installed the plugin, got to front page and saw the Global Forums link in my navigation. Going to Global Forums > Admin the first time, I got a white screen in front but I was able to go to wp-admin and I logged out — remembered the trick from BP Gallery, don’t know if it’s related or not but it worked :-)

    Logged back in again and was able to navigate to Global Forums > Admin and Create New Forums and sub-forums.

  • @Brajesh

    Absofreakinlutely fantastic plugin, my friend… thank you very much for this!

    A few little bugs here and there:

    1 – Files create-forum.php, delete-forum.php and edit-forum.php all had an empty <?php tag at the end which created errors. Delete them and all is well for those functions.

    2 – "Categories are forums where new topics cannot be created." I think they should, however, show the total number of topics and posts in all sub-category forums. Additionally, although clicking a "category" forum title link does display the sub-category forums, there is also a "Sorry, there were no forum topics found" message. That's confusing.

    3 – This one's weird: any Global Forum topic I create also shows up in the Group Forums Directory, and the link looks like this:
    http://example.com/forums/forum/forum/topic/the-topic-name/
    Obviously, that link goes nowhere… and the topic has no business being there in the first place ;-)

    The rest is fun and games with css.

    Thanks again Brajesh! :-)

  • @Brajesh

    Me again… with more little bugs.

    1 – The “Manage Users” screen doesn’t seem to function. Any search I perform using either my name or my username returns a “No users found” message.

    2 – On the “Right Now” screen of the admin section, I’m informed that there are 11 users in my new forums. Umm… there’s just me.

    :-(

  • This looks great Brajesh…I’m excited to get in there and play around with this!

  • will results show in your unified search? Or do we need to tweak that?

  • How can we incorporate the bbpress attachments plugin? I think that would be very useful here. Do the forum posts show up in the activity page?

    • Yes, That’s on my list. If you have other suggestions, please do let me know, I will be glad to port them for global forum.
      Currently the forum post does not show, In stable version coming by weekend now(It’s delayed), you will have complete control whether you want the post to show in the activity stream or not.

  • Brajesh,

    After activating the plugin – all my pages are blank and I have to manually disable the plugin to get everything back to normal. Any thoughts on how to correct this?

    • hi glowstixx
      Have you renamed the plugin to “global-forum” instead of bp-global-forum.
      It is required, otherwise there will be a name conflict with bp(In a function) and cause this issue.

      • I renamed the folder and get the same problem

        • Okay, I got a blank page after activating but it appears to be working if I navigate back to the main page

        • nope spoke to soon, i get a blank page when trying to go to wp-admin

        • The problem is loading order of bp and global forum, for now you may want to disable it as I will be releasing the stable this weekend where It will be handled in better manner.

  • Nice plugin. Thanks. I have group forums enabled, and if i have a private group, teh forum is private also, however, the groups froum posts show up in global forums under “latest discussions” and anyone can access it. so its not private anymore.

    am i doing something wrong?

    • No you are ot doing wrong. It was a bug with the global forum.
      I have fixed it on my dev. Will be posting the update tomorrow or day after tomorrow in the stable release.

      • nice, I look forward to the weekend, Thanks. Im just learning all of this (buddypress, plugins, wp, etc). but the global forum idea is a great touch. and would help people stay actively participating. thanks for this Brajesh

  • Hi, on what day is the stable release available? I’m looking to sign up to buddydev just for this plugin but the bugs that people are reporting are putting me off. Is the weekend still a go?

  • Hi Brajesh,

    When there are no search terms entered and user clicks search, the site wide search results show everything in the site (all users, all groups, all forum topics, etc).

    Can we show the user a message that he/she has to enter something to search or else we can disable search button until something is entered in the input field.

    Thanks

    • hi gwu
      Thanks for posting the issue.
      This plugin is coming in more sophisticated and better form this weekend.

      It will be fixing the bugs and improving the admin section+supporting feed etc.

      • Sorry, Brajesh.
        I wanted to post the above one on unified search which works on site wide entities

  • Hi, just installed the Plugin and I can´t access the admin seciton. Link to global forum shows nicely in my theme (cosmicbuddy), but there is no admin-section. Tried logout/login, but still not showing. How can I access the admin seciton? Is there a way to access it from the backend?

    • You mean the admin section of global forum.
      Have you moved the directory “gf” to cosmicbuddy.

      If you move the directory “gf” to cosmicbuddy, you will see the admin links.

      Please note, the template shipped with global forum is not compatible with cosmicbuddy theme(the template shipped is compatible with bp-default).
      I will be releasing a new version of global forum today late night or tomorrow and will be providing separate template for cosmic buddy.
      So, for now, you can use the default template(please do not use the default “gf” template with Cosmic Buddy on live site as It will show the page as broken).

  • Hi, I did move gf to cosmicbuddy, but sonce it is not compatible it won´t work. I just wait for the update, no problem :)

  • HI, copied “gf” bp-default, but still doesn´t show the admin section…could it be a problem with WP 3.0?

  • Does anyone know where the admin of the plugin is supposed to be?

    Thanks,
    Mark

    • hi Mark
      It is located in the front end.
      Are you using bp-default, then it should be shown to you if you are logged in as site admin.
      check this screenshot for the admin section
      http://buddydev.com/files/2010/06/edit-forum.png

      hope that helps.
      btw, I will advise to not use this plugin on live site as in next couple of hours I am going to publish the new version of it and you will have to upgrade again.

  • Please post changelog as well. Also Brajesh whats going on with the gallery plugin? Any updates there? Thanks.

    Very excited to get started with your forum code.

  • Not sure if this has been answered yet or not.. but where is the index.php file for global forums located? I need to edit it a little so it works correctly with my sidebar.

  • Hi Brajesh, I love this plugin. Thanks for the work you’ve done. Do you have a .po or .pot file at hand for translation? If yes, where do I put the .po and .mo files? Thanks in advance, Marcel

    • Hi Marcel,
      Thanks for the comment.You can put the language file in the global-forums/languages directory(you may have to create languages directory). I will put a po file within 1-2 days with the next release of this plugin.

      Thanks
      Brajesh

  • So this is like installing a new bbPress withing BuddyPress admin (i.e. fully integrated with database and uses the currently active BuddyPress theme) with the extra functions of using an extern bbPress installation?

    I’m pretty much sold, but I need to know that user will not have to register twice and that I will not have to make two separate themes, one for WordPress/BuddyPress and one for bbPress.

    • Hi Rukishou,
      Thanks for the comment. yes, the database and user is fully integrated, no need to register twice and no need to custom theme bbpress. and yes, you get almost all extra functions of using external bbpress.

      Thanks
      Brajesh

      • Awesome, thanks!

        Now I just have to figure out how to uninstall the bbPress I already installed through BuddyPress… Would deleting all bp_ tables in the database and remove the bb-config.php be enough?

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