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BP Privacy v1.0-RC1 is now available!

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Please read Important Notice section below.

After more than 1500 hours of work, 7300 code and comment lines, and creation of a 38-page manual, BP Privacy release candidate one is now available for download and testing. It is a release candidate, not to be used in a production site. It requires at least PHP 5.2.x and is developed and tested to work with WordPress 3.0.5 and BuddyPress 1.2.7. It also requires a modern Web browser and you and your users must have javascript enabled.

After much debate, I decided to place BP Privacy in the WordPress Plugin Repository as that is the easiest place for the community to access it. Placing it elsewhere might result in it being quickly forgotten.

Please be advised that as of this post and release, I am no longer developing or supporting this plugin. Therefore, with this release ends my BuddyPress Privacy journey. BP Privacy is now in the hands of the community. It is up to someone, or preferably a team of developers, to fork BP Privacy, reshape it to their vision, and help it grow to meet the community’s needs.

This means that if you have issues with the plugin your only recourse is to read the BuddyPress Privacy Manual (start with the Site Administrator’s Guide section) or hire a developer. I am not for hire so please do not contact me. Also, I will not be answering any emails about BP Privacy, including requests for suggestions on competent developers to hire. Please use the BuddyPress Support forums instead.

Visit this link to download BP Privacy!

Important Notice:

August 8, 2012

Even after releasing this 3rd-party candidate BuddyPress component 18 months ago, I still receive one to two requests per week for support with this plugin or asking me to update it. In many places including the plugin’s repository page and within the plugin’s readme.txt file I was very clear and explicit providing the following notification:

WARNING:
This plugin is a release candidate version to be used only in a development sandbox and not in a production environment. Use at your own risk. This plugin is also not being developed or supported anymore by the author. It is released to the BuddyPress community for it to be adopted and further developed.

BP Privacy was not designed to work with the newest versions of WordPress or BuddyPress. The plugin’s readme.txt file clearly states that it works only with WordPress 3.0.5 and BuddyPress 1.2.7. It also clearly states that it was a release candidate not to be used in a production (live) environment. Furthermore, it states that the plugin will not be supported any longer and is released to the open source community so that others could take over the project, use which pieces they saw fit, and develop their own BuddyPress Privacy solution. To date, no one has or is doing that. Please feel free to take on the task.

I am closing comments to this thread as it is no longer productive.

Even More Details

For a detailed history of BP Privacy, read my article, BP Privacy: History and Lessons Learned from Developing a Major BuddyPress Component.

BP Privacy’s Future

The current version of this plugin was to be released as v1.0 but I have reverted the version numbering to pre-release status. Therefore it should be treated as a pre-release version and not used in a production environment.

Before installing and using this plugin, you should fully and carefully read the plugin’s readme.txt file, the disclaimer.txt file, and the BuddyPress Privacy Manual that comes bundled with the plugin.

Also, please see the future.txt file which contains the roadmap features for BP Privacy’s further development. The items listed under v1.0-RC2 were originally planned for multiple version releases–some under v1.0.x and some under v1.1. These features have been gathered under v1.0-RC2 to suggest that they should be developed, fully tested, and rolled out before someone else (or some team) releases a production-ready fork of this plugin. It will take that long for a developer or team of developers to sufficiently understand the inner workings of this plugin before they can claim that their forked-version is production ready.

Enjoy and best of luck!

Note: Comments are turned on but I will not be allowing any comments asking for support as I am not providing support. I also will not be allowing through any negative comments. This is not a public forum.

Article Comments

  1. Gossy Uk says:

    You have a great work Jeff that will never be forgotten. All the best and successes in your other endeavours

  2. Boone Gorges says:

    Jeff – On behalf of the many BP users who are going to get a lot of benefit out of your work, thank you. I understand a lot of the trials and frustrations you’ve had, but I’m hopeful that at least some of the frustration will be eased by the fact that so many will use and enjoy your plugin.

    And of course, I’m also disappointed that you won’t be actively working with BuddyPress in the near future. Remember that there’s always a place for you in the BP community. I look forward to following your many future successes!

    Boone

    • Jeff Sayre says:

      Thanks, Boone. I do hope that BP Privacy, in some incarnation, continues its existence. I also take solace in the fact that it will offer a much-needed service to the community.

      I will be monitoring BuddyPress going forward and wish the community nothing but great success!

  3. [...] Sayre announced today that BP Privacy v1.0-RC1 is now available. Many in the BuddyPress community have been long awaiting this functionality, as privacy is [...]

  4. Dr. Barstein says:

    what I totally do not understand: why didn´t you choose a framework that has a solid foundation for privacy and security with e.g. rbac build in right from the beginning? I also do not understand how BP developers can start something nowadays without rbac and strict privacy conceptionally built in, but if you knew about this, why didn´t you just choose one of the mature web frameworks for building your privacy related stuff? Was it just an interesting challenge? In the same time you would have 10o new websites with e.g. Django or Rails.

  5. Alex says:

    you are a mad mad man. :-) and the world will love you for it.

    • Jeff Sayre says:

      Alex –

      I see you found the article announcing BP Privacy. If you have any news of your experience using it, positive or negative, please report it on the forums of the official BP Privacy group. Note, I am not spending time reading those forums so I will not be replying to reports. But, it should help the community figure out what needs to be done to address any issues that come up.

  6. Jeff Sayre says:

    It has been three weeks since I released BP Privacy 1.0-RC1. Although there have been one thousand downloads of the plugin (based on stats from the WP Plugin Repo), so far there has been zero expressed interest in adopting this plugin—by adopt, I mean a team of developers taking over BP Privacy to carry the project into the future. Therefore, I currently have little faith that it will be maintained going forward.

    I know that a few people have commented in other places that they have found a few bugs here and there, but since they have not bothered to take the time to provide details on the official BP Privacy group forums (such as their setup and how to replicate the bugs), it is not clear if they are just trying to negatively attack the project–as has been done by a select but small group of people over the past few months–or if they have found legitimate bugs.

    A number of people have commented that BP Privacy works as advertised under the versions of WP and BP that it is designed to operate under. However it may be the case that there are a few odd setups that do in fact cause issues. But it is not possible to troubleshoot those legitimate bug-like instances if they do not take the time to clearly report their issues.

    For example, it might be that for those experiencing real issues, that they have not properly setup BP Privacy. As proper installation details are in the readme.txt file, and they are relatively straight forward, it is somewhat surprising (but not impossible, of course) that those using it under the proper supported versions would have problems. Of course, 3rd-party theme and plugin conflicts are always a possibility. I provided quite an extensive troubleshooting section in the Manual that comes with BP Privacy but my guess is that most people will choose not to bother reading the manual and instead either simply complain or at best post a request for help without first utilizing the resources already provided.

    Also, a few people may be trying to use the special privacy template functions without actually having installed the special privacy templates. The readme.txt file is very clear as to what needs to be done in order to use the Site Lockdown options that are available in BP Privacy’s Admin Settings panel. Please see this post on the plugin’s group forums for more details. As is also indicated in the readme.txt file, BP Privacy does not require any templates to work right out of the box—other than those that come with BuddyPress. However, if you want to use the special privacy functions, that will require the installation of the special privacy templates. But these special privacy templates do not have anything to do with offering privacy filtering. They are just convenient solutions offered to site owners to give them some simple lockdown options for their communities.

    Although I have not personally tested it, and the plugin was not coded to be compatible with, I imagine that BP Privacy should work fine under WP 3.1 and BP 1.2.8 as long as the necessary changes that Boone discusses here are made.

    I’ve made it very clear that this is a release candidate, not to be used in a production site. I fully expected there to be some bugs that have yet to be caught. After all, no software release is bug free. Even WordPress (which has been out for 7-plus years and BuddyPress, almost 2 years) still have many bugs with some of them being major. That is inevitable.

    Therefore, people who are experiencing legitimate bugs need to take the time to carefully and clearly document them and let the community know how to reproduce them. It is equally important for people to take the time to clearly communicate what does work. I image that the most foundational, crucial aspects of BP Privacy are basically sound, that they have the fewest bugs. It is more than likely that some of the more esoteric, outlying, less mission critical aspects (like the special privacy templates) are where the highest percentage of bugs will be found.

    Note: There is one potential major issue with BuddyPress itself that I detail for developers within the “Creating a Unique Item ID When BuddyPress Does Not Offer One” section of the BuddyPress Privacy Manual (pp. 32-34).

    Without much feedback one way or the other, it is not possible to tell how BP Privacy is working for the masses. The community will simply kick the tires and move on if they see that people have down voted BP Privacy too many times. This is a shame as most of the bugs are probably superficial to fix and a lot of great work and code will end up rusting away because few people took the time to help the community support this orphaned project.

    This plugin is currently the only full-service privacy plugin available. The longer the community waits to adopt it, the harder it will be to bring it into compliance in the future. There are major changes coming to BuddyPress in version 1.3. A team should be working with BP trunk and BP Privacy right now to refactor its codebase so that the plugin continues to be compatible going forward.

    Note 2: Any team that is interested on adopting BP Privacy should read the future.txt file that ships with BP Privacy as it includes a long list of items that I felt a developer team should focus on in the next release cycle.

    The community has been crying for 18 months for a Privacy Component. It now has one. It is now up to the BuddyPress community, and its core developers, to decide how important Privacy is to the platform. If someone or some team does not soon adopt BP Privacy and continue its development, then the community will be back at square one. I hope that BP Privacy either gets adopted (in full or in part) or that another team offers up their vision of a BuddyPress privacy component. Do not let this major resource wither into oblivion!

    Finally, I will note that I have yet to hear any feedback about BP Privacy from any core BuddyPress developer. So perhaps that is an indication of the importance placed on privacy within BuddyPress.

  7. William says:

    How can I upgrade BuddyPress Privacy Component so as to work with BuddyPress 1.2.8?
    In BuddyPress 1.2.8 the admin dashboard settings panel are missing???

    • Jeff Sayre says:

      You need to read the resources already available!

      The answer is in my most recent post above. I also posted the answer almost three weeks ago in the BP Privacy group forum. It’s on the third page of the announcement thread.

      I have no idea if Boone’s changes are the only ones necessary to make BP Privacy fully functional with WP 3.1 and BP 1.2.8. I am not testing or developing it anymore. So, if you have more questions and issues, you will need to get a developer in the BuddyPress community to look into the issue. Since no developer has yet expressed interest in adopting the plugin and maintaining and improving it going forward, you should proceed with caution. Of course, I have clearly communicated that this plugin is to be used only in non-production sites.

  8. Hi,
    This plugin seems amazing, I do appreciate the time and effort you put in to creating it, this is exactly what I need for my website, but I am not that great of a developer to dig in and fix it, sounds like a lot of work.
    Hopefully it will at some point get fully integrated into buddypress.
    cheers.
    ajt

  9. Cesar Mr says:

    Hi, i have a HUGE PROBLEM!
    I enabled this plugin on a WordPress 3.2.1 and Buddypress 1.5.2 network…
    The plug-in doesn’t work, just simply as that, does no affect the privacy of any of my users, Please help me!

    • Jeff Sayre says:

      BP Privacy was not designed to work with the newest versions of WordPress or BuddyPress. The plugin’s readme.txt file clearly states that it works only with WordPress 3.0.5 and BuddyPress 1.2.7. Also, the readme.txt file clearly states this important fact:

      WARNING:
      This plugin is a release candidate version to be used only in a development sandbox and not in a production environment. Use at your own risk. This plugin is also not being developed or supported anymore by the author. It is released to the BuddyPress community for it to be adopted and further developed.

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