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A forum that runs off WordPress « Community

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A forum that runs off WordPress

  1. I've been toying around with the idea of creating a forum that runs completely off WordPress. This makes it theme-able and allows you to use all of the WP functions within your forum. Plus, you can use any plugins you want alongside it because it would be based solely on WP.

    Here's something I put together this evening using WP 3.0's new custom post types:
    http://justintadlock.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/forum-idea.png

    It's just a basic front page like what you see here on the Theme Hybrid forums.

    Runs off of...

    It took only a few things to make this possible:

    • Custom post type called "Forum Topic."
    • Two custom taxonomies called "Topic Tags" and "Forums".
    • A custom page template for the front page of the forums.
    • Extra capabilities and roles added through my Members plugin:
      • Capabilities: Several for each taxonomy and the post type.
      • Roles: Forum Admin, Forum Moderator, Forum Member.

    What do you think?

    Right now, it's not a complete forum plugin. It's just the beginning.

    I don't know if I'll fully develop it, but I want to at least provide the code at some point for those looking to do something like this or dive into custom post types. I'm not even sure this is a one-man job.

    I just wanted to get everyone's thoughts on using a plugin like this as opposed to forum software.

  2. And, here's a single topic:
    http://justintadlock.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/forum-idea-2.png

  3. You win the prize for all time funniest dummy text. :)

    I love this concept and was actually playing around with something similar. Would Forum Members add and edit their topics through the WordPress Dashboard? I'd prefer front end posting and editing of forum topics.

  4. I don't really look for much in forums. The ability to post code that looks decent, and mark items as resolved is good. Also, a way to view all threads I've been a part of (subscribing to them might be useful as well, although I don't do this very much).

    Also, I'm with you on booting Jim Bob from the forums - he's ruining them for everyone.

  5. How about a child theme called "Jim Bob"? It could incorporate everything wrong about a WordPress theme into one delicious mess. Tables, inline CSS, green and orange….lots of green and orange. Actually, I could just release my first child theme.

    As far as forums go I would love a simple WordPress based forum that works with the members plug-in. What you have so far looks like a winner. While we are at it cut loose with that Kirby Junior theme as well.

  6. This seems like what I've always wanted out of bbPress. But that raises the question: How will these two be in regard to each other?

    I like the thought of the forum having its own post type. And if I could port php-fusion into it easily I would be ready to use it today :-)

  7. Great Idea - especialy for simple forums ...
    how is i t performance wise ?
    Aöongside with extendned Profiles this could be intresting for a project ....

  8. If this idea is still relevant, I think it should be possible to see unread forum posts since last visit (by bold type for instance).

    I would also like to see how the posting and replying would look. Because it would (as Jan Egbert states above) be necessary to post from the front-end.

  9. I think I'm going to go ahead with this project.

    The only thing I really see as a huge problem is that paged comments (i.e., forum topic posts) aren't working correctly. I'm hoping this gets fixed in 3.0 because we need pagination.

    I've pretty much coded most of the underlying structure of how things work. I just need to put it into plugin form and separate those elements from the theme. That way, themes can simply call the functions as opposed to having all the functionality within the theme.

    If this idea is still relevant, I think it should be possible to see unread forum posts since last visit (by bold type for instance).

    This can be handled by simple CSS from the theme. a:link vs. a:visited. Obviously, it can be more complex and tied directly to the user account. Might be an "add-on" plugin or added in a later version depending on the complexity.

    I would also like to see how the posting and replying would look. Because it would (as Jan Egbert states above) be necessary to post from the front-end.

    Here's a new topic form as it would look on the individual forum page:
    http://justintadlock.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/individual-forum.png

  10. This would work wonderfully well with the new 3.0 built in multi-site, wouldn't it? I mean, you've already got the one blog, and now, without any extra work save a plugin and MAYBE a theme tweak, you have a forum.

    I like this a lot. If you need testers, let me know.

  11. I think I'm going to go ahead with this project.

    Fantastic, I also think the good momentum at bbPress that started a couple of months ago has fizzled.

    The only thing I really see as a huge problem is that paged comments (i.e., forum topic posts) aren't working correctly. I'm hoping this gets fixed in 3.0 because we need pagination.

    I kind of thought that the forum topic posts would be an equivalent to the post (custom of course).

    Here's a new topic form as it would look on the individual forum page:
    http://justintadlock.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/individual-forum.png

    Looks good, but doesn't it miss the ability to choose which forum it should be in? Or have you learned from all the topics that you have had to more from the Bliss part of ThemeHybrid :-)

    Other than that, I'm super psyched about this, and maybe this could be the start to the canonical plugin, that has been discussed a couple of times. Anyways, I'm up for testing as well.

  12. I kind of thought that the forum topic posts would be an equivalent to the post (custom of course).

    Each new forum topic would be a new "post" (custom post type of forum_topic). The replies would be comments.

    Looks good, but doesn't it miss the ability to choose which forum it should be in? Or have you learned from all the topics that you have had to more from the Bliss part of ThemeHybrid :-)

    On the individual forum page (screenshot view), it wouldn't because you're already in that forum. On other pages, it would.

    Notice there's no forum selection here:
    http://themehybrid.com/support/forum/hybrid-theme

  13. Ahh yes, got ya :-)

    Looking forward for the big bang.

  14. I am very interested in this project. I saw your tweet a couple months ago with the screenshot, and thought "Yes, this would be awesome!". I actually have a large site I'm building in 3.0-multisite that this would fit right in with. We were discussing using bbPress, but I'd much rather be able to use WordPress for all of it.

    You covered unread posts issue, but there are a couple others:

    1. How would you moderate the forum, i.e., move/edit/delete posts, moderate users (suspend/ban)? Would also need a "report post" link to flag an inappropriate post or reply for moderators.

    2. What about a profile template so that users aren't mucking around in the WordPress backend to edit their profiles?

  15. great idea, this would solve the facebook connect problem also. Care to share a taste of it on a subpage/domain of this site?

  16. I'll have to break these down a bit because they're all a bit different.

    How would you moderate the forum, i.e., move/edit/delete posts...

    We have to differentiate between "topics" (post_type) and "posts" (comment_type).

    Moderating topics is easy. You can set up moderators given custom post type capabilities that can control entire forum topics (forum_topic post type). Moving topics from forum to forum has to be set up via custom taxonomy capabilities (forum taxonomy).

    Moderating comments (i.e., forum posts) is a different story. Right now, WP basically only allows people with the moderate_comments capability to do this. This is a big problem if you don't want your moderators to have control over all comments. It's something that definitely needs to be addressed in WP.

    ...moderate users (suspend/ban)?

    This is already built into WP, but it needs to be extended a bit. There'll likely be some basic functionality within the forum system, but I'm pretty sure I'll also be recommending using my Members plugin. In fact, it's almost a requirement for setting up moderators, people that can post, etc.

    Would also need a "report post" link to flag an inappropriate post or reply for moderators.

    This would probably fall under the extra plugin territory.

    What about a profile template so that users aren't mucking around in the WordPress backend to edit their profiles?

    Extra plugin/theme territory. The Hybrid page templates pack has this.

    ---

    What I want to do is keep everything as light as possible, at least until the system is stable and well tested. I'm talking even lighter than bbPress. Then, allow themes/plugins to build upon it.

  17. One of the biggest issues to face is theme integration. There are so many things that require handling by the theme. I'm trying to extract as much as possible of this into the plugin though.

  18. Care to share a taste of it on a subpage/domain of this site?

    It's definitely not demo-ready yet.

  19. Could some of the comment handling be taken care of using Intense Debate? I've never used the plugin, but it seems as if it could fit this sort of application. It might ruin the 'simple' part too...

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