Just 10 days after the release of release candidate 5, John James Jacoby announced the release of the first stable version of the bbPress WordPress plugin.
Previously bbPress was a stand alone script. It could integrate with WordPress well by using the same user tables from your existing WordPress installation though it was still a stand alone script; therefore you had to modify the design separately. The first beta release of bbPress 2.0 was released around 4 months ago. The stable version was initially expected to land at the end of June however it was delayed for a few months. The rate at which new versions have been released over the last month has been encouraging though.
With 2.0 you simply need to activate the bbPress plugin to have a fully functional forum on your existing WordPress website. One of my main criticisms during beta development has been the the lack of documentation to help users so I was pleased to read that over the next few weeks they will be adding a codex that documents how you can get the most out of the script.
I will be looking into the plugin in great detail over the next week and will be aiming to release a guide that walks you through installation, upgrading, theming and modification. If the script is as good as I hope it is, I will be using it to add the discussion forums back to WP Mods. In the mean time, I encourage you all to Download bbPress and give it a try :)
BuddyPress 1.5 was also released yesterday. The default theme has been improved, a new installation wizard has been added and the profile fields interface has been improved. A huge list of other errors have been addressed too.
More information about both releases can be found at the links below :)