I’m extremely pleased to announce (after weeks of keeping mum until the official word was released!) that I’ll be co-mentoring several projects for Google Summer of Code and WordPress. For those of you who don’t know, GSoC is an initiative by Google to support summer coding projects by undergraduate and graduate students working on various established open-source projects. WordPress has 15 projects this year, several of which are related to BuddyPress. As a mentor on two of the projects, I’ll be helping to hone the project scopes, do code reviews, and in general lend a hand where I can to my two mentees. Here they are:
Francesco Laffi has a two-part project. 1) He’ll be working on a rich media component for BP, building on his already popular BP Album. 2) He’ll be constructing a reporting/moderation plugin for BP group forums, which will allow the general user base to play a role in moderating good and bad content within a community. I’ll be co-mentoring Francesco with Andy Peatling, the lead dev for BuddyPress.
Read more about Francesco’s proposal, in his own words.
Stas Sușcov will be working on BuddyPress in educational contexts. The germ of his idea is to take ScholarPress Courseware (with its scheduling, bibliography, and assignment tools), combine it with a nice gradebook (maybe something like KB Gradebook), and put it inside a BuddyPress shell. I’ll be co-mentoring Stas’s project with Jeremy Boggs, developer of Scholarpress.
Read more about Stas’s proposal, in his own words.
I am very excited to get started working with these great students!
As promised in my last post, I’ve reworked the Import from Ning WordPress plugin so that it is BuddyPress-aware. That means that, if you run the plugin on a blog where BuddyPress is activated, additional steps will be added to the import process, allowing you to automatically import whichever profile fields and data you’d like from the Ning export.
I also got rid of the pesky copy-and-paste requirement in favor of a direct .csv file upload.
Check out the plugin at its new homepage.
Today Ning announced that it would be ending its free social networking service. I tweeted something to the effect that this event is a wake-up call: When you use closed-source, third-party hosted solutions for something as valuable as community connections, you are leaving yourself open to the whims and sways of corporate boards. It’s not that Ning is evil or anything – it goes without saying that they need to make a profit – but their priorities are importantly different from those of their users. In the same way that Ning moves from a freemium model to a paid model, Facebook could start selling your crap, Twitter could crash, Tumblr could go out of business, etc.
All this is a good argument to be using software solutions that are more under your control. Like – drumroll – WordPress and BuddyPress.
Enough moralizing. I whipped together a plugin this afternoon called Import From Ning that will allow you to get a CSV export of your Ning community’s member list (the only content that Ning has a handy export feature for, alas) and use it to import members into a WordPress installation.
As of right now, it does not have any BuddyPress-specific functionality. But the data that it does import – display name, username, email address – are enough to populate at least the beginnings of a BuddyPress profile. The next thing to add is the auto-import of certain profile fields. I might try to do this tomorrow. The plugin is based on DDImportUsers – thanks!
- Download the zip file and unzip into your WP plugins directory
- Look for the Import from Ning menu under Dashboard > Users (unless you’re running a recent trunk version of BuddyPress, in which case it will be under the BuddyPress menu)
- Follow the instructions on that page
Download the plugin here.
My BuddyPress function Invite Anyone has always been misleadingly named. It expanded on BuddyPress’s default setup, which only allows members to send group invitations to people who they’re friends with, by allowing individuals to send invitations to anyone in the entire installation. This only qualifies as inviting anyone on a, er, very austere ontology of personhood. The new version of Invite Anyone, version 0.4, adds a new tab to BuddyPress profile tabs that allows invitation both to groups and to the site in general via email. It’s a big update, both in terms of features and in terms of sheer code (pretty sure the number of lines of code is close to triple what it was before).
And now you know what I did on my spring break.
If you know what’s good for you, you will Check It Out.