Automattic released a statement Tuesday through its subsidiary website BuddyPress.org that the next Beta version of the internal, open source communication tool that allows university students, private organizers and dedicated network users to publish and share ideas, is now available for download.
BuddyPress 1.7 Beta 2 can now be downloaded and experimented with at the user’s convenience. Building on a strong first beta version, the new release includes a large number of improvements and bug fixes that have been identified by beta testers over the last several weeks.
New Beta Improvements
Many of the improvements that have been implemented for the latest Beta of BuddyPress revolve around theme compatibility and admin screens. This is of significance because of the importance surrounding proper theme performance for BuddyPress users worldwide. Due to the large amount of premium WordPress themes currently in circulation, developers aim to make new software updates compatible with as many WordPress functions as possible in order to avoid complications and faulty modules once an official release is out.
Individuals and companies who would like to take a look at the entire changelog to see precisely which changes have been made between Beta versions 1 and 2 can click on the following link to go directly to the BuddyPress Trac Report.
How BuddyPress Works
BuddyPress, according to its official About Page, “was conceived in 2008 while working to add social networking features to a WordPress MU powered site. The first official stable release was in May 2009. The platform has grown and morphed considerably since then, into the dynamic, easily extensible package you see today. Just like its parent project WordPress, BuddyPress is a completely open source endeavor. Everything from the core code, to the documentation, themes and plugin extensions are all built by the BuddyPress community. This means anyone can help the project by contributing their time and knowledge.”
The platform is highly used among those who wish to communicate via a closed network among peers or friends; much like Facebook or Twitter. College students and professors can easily share progress on homework tasks, as can companies and their employees. It is somewhat similar in nature to the functionality of the new WordPress Schools package, but can also be used more like a social network.
BuddyPress can be customized to make use of only the tools you need for your network. It “provides a range of features that work right out of the box. However, you might decide that you only want to make use of a couple of features to start with. This is really simple using BuddyPress as you can turn off the features you don’t want with a click of a button. When you disable features, your site’s theme will auto adjust, showing only the menu items, pages and buttons for the features you have enabled.”
How To Install BuddyPress
BuddyPress is free to use and comes with its own Plugins such as BuddyMobile, Live Chat, BeBop and Pet Manager. All you have to do to install the platform onto your website is download and activate it. If you would like to try out the latest version of BuddyPress, you can Download BuddyPress Version 1.7 Beta 2 here. If you would prefer to run the certified version that has already been proven by many current users, try downloading BuddyPress Version 1.6.4.
BuddyCamp Miami 2013
The first American BuddyCamp Conference is scheduled to take place on April 5th in the city of Miami, Florida. It will coincide with the official WordCamp Miami and will be more of a mini-camp for those who wish to collaborate on various BuddyPress projects and share ideas.
The event will be held at the University of Miami, Life Science & Technology Park. Those who would like to obtain tickets to the conference should visit the WordCamp Miami 2013 Tickets Page.