As far as I can tell, I’m not the only one who has pretty much given up on bbPress, WordPress’s long promised forum app. Simple:Press is a nice alternative that installs as a WordPress plugin and lets the user configure a forum within a WordPress site.
Be warned, though — Simple Press is fairly complex to set up and has hundreds of options. For the most part that’s simply inevitable with a full-featured forum, but be warned you’ll need to spend some time with the admin interface and customizing a page template to make it look nice.
On the other hand, it’s worth it as it already does out of the box pretty much everything that bbPress may do someday if it ever really gets the attention it needs. I’ve got a test setup here, though I’m still trying to decide if I really need a forum here.
For the first time in about a month, there’s been an update on the status of the bbPress 1.0 alpha series, with Sam Bauers reporting in the bbPress blog that the first alpha should be out sometime in the next few weeks.
What really got my attention, however, was this,
An alpha version of bbPress’ new export/import format and tools has also landed in trunk thanks to our Google Summer of Code student Dan Larkin. You can read a little more about that at the BBXF website.
BBXF is an attempt by the bbPress folks to create a common standard XML format for importing and exporting forum data. According to the BBXF website,
The simple premise is that web forum data should be easily transportable between web forum systems. So when installing web forum software, an administrator won’t have to fear vendor “lock in”, and can feel confident that if their first choice doesn’t work out, they can easily move their data to another web forum platform.
There was finally some activity on the bbPress front the other day, with an announcement that bbPress 1.0 alphas would be coming over the next few weeks. WordPress 2.6 broke the account integration between WordPress and bbPress 0.9x, and hopefully the 1.0 version will restore that as well as put bbPress back on track.