BuddyPress 5.0 will include a way for developers to organize their blocks under a BuddyPress blocks category. Mathieu Viet shared a code example on the BuddyPress Dev Updates blog, demonstrating how to set the category property of a block to BuddyPress when registering a block type. The blocks registered with this category will appear under the BuddyPress panel in the block inserter.
As the block ecosystem expands, keeping things organized inside the block inserter is becoming more important. BuddyPress having its own designated category helps user find blocks faster, especially if they don’t know the exact block name to search for, or if they are just browsing to see what blocks are available. With the BP REST API set to land in the 5.0 release, blocks will be easier for BuddyPress developers to create.
BuddyPress 5.0.0-beta1 is expected to be released around August 15. Subsequent release dates are yet to be confirmed following feedback on the beta.
BuddyPress 5.0 is on track to introduce a new BP REST API, which has been in development as a feature plugin on GitHub since 2016. Contributors plan to merge the API with 14 endpoints for popular components like activity updates, groups, members, private messages, and extended profile fields. Another eight endpoints for blogs, friends, and other features, are planned to ship in BuddyPress 6.0.0.
The first major use of the BP REST API inside BuddyPress is a new group management interface that enables administrators to quickly search for specific members to promote, demote, ban, or remove. BuddyPress contributor Mathieu Viet shared a demo of what users can expect from the new interface on both the frontend and the backend.
Contributors are still discussing how to include the BP REST API into the BuddyPress plugin package, whether they should continue maintaining it on GitHub until all the endpoints are finished and include it during the BuddyPress plugin’s build process, or merge it into BuddyPress core and use Trac. GitHub is more convenient for development but some expressed concerns about fragmenting the history of the API’s development on two platforms.
BuddyPress lead developer Boone Gorges said in a recent dev chat that shipping the BP REST API without documentation is a blocker. Contributors are now working on a new documentation site. Since version 5.0.0 will be more of a developer-oriented release, Viet suggested contributors take the opportunity to set up developer.buddypress.org with similar resources as WordPress has on its DevHub project. He is looking for feedback on his proposal for automatically generating the documents from the REST schemas of the API’s endpoints and further customizing it for integration into the broader developer.buddypress.org site.
BuddyPress contributors are targeting August 15 for releasing 5.0.0 beta 1 and will discuss a date for RC further down the road. Regular dev chat meetings have resumed and are now happening every other Wednesday at 19:00 UTC in the #BuddyPress Slack channel.
The upcoming BuddyPress 5.0 release will add plugin-specific debug info to the new Site Health Info screen that is coming in WordPress 5.2.
Mathieu Viet, who contributed the patch, said the information could be very useful to help solve issues on the BuddyPress forums. The panel is displayed at the bottom of the screen. It includes the BuddyPress version, active components, active template pack, and a list of other component-specific settings information.
This is a good example of how plugins can hook into this screen to add specific debug information. Users who need support can copy the information from the screen and paste it into the support forums for faster assistance with their issues.
BuddyPress 5.0 is expected at the end of May and will ship with this new site health enhancement.