Early next month, GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 6.0 will be released. Before that, later this week you can expect the first Beta version for testing. The new plugin version will include significant changes over previous releases.
Version 6.0 will include some massive changes in the way plugin features are handled, some parts of the plugin will be rewritten, and this version is the first step in the full rewrite of the plugin. I decided against full rewrite at this time, because GD bbPress Toolbox Pro is a huge plugin, and it will be better to do this in stages.
So, this version will do the following:
- Big parts of the plugin now use namespaces to organize code and autoloader
- Plugin settings have been reorganized
- Several individual settings panels are merged into the main settings.
- The previously used Modules panel is now gone.
- The plugin introduces a new concept of ‘Features’
- Most of the plugin features are rewritten as ‘Features’
- Features are smaller and better focused
- Working with features will be easier than before
- Each feature can be disabled and configured
- Main Features panel is easy to use
- Version 6.0 will have more than 30 features.
- All features are namespaced and autoloaded
- During the update, the in will migrate old settings to the format
- All files on frontend use new Enqueue class
- All files on the admin side use new Enqueue class
- Files are registered before they are actually used
- All admin side CSS files have been rewritten using SCSS
- All admin side JS files have been highly improved
- Frontend used font with icons have been rebuilt and expanded
- There are more admin side improvements
- A lot of plugin features include better descriptions and more information
- Several no longer needed admin side menus are gone
- Metaboxes for forums, topics, and replies have been improved
- And, there are several new features included
- Topic and Forum info widgets can show new layout with icons
- Topics and replies can have hierarchical URL’s including forum in the URL
- Breadcrumbs rich snippet support using JSON-LD format
- Topics can use DiscussionForumPosting rich snippet
- Freshness function can use a shorter format to display dates
- The plugin can show an icon for the closed topics in the list
After 6.0 is released, the process of updating the plugin core will continue with version 6.1 to 6.4, planned for this year, and early next year. Each of these versions will target one of the remaining plugin areas to update, and everything should culminate with version 7.0, next year in May when the whole plugin transition will be finished. All these versions will also include new features. The provisional roadmap has been updated, for now only showing the major focus for each planned release.
Let me know what you think, and what suggestions you have for the future releases. There are already many forum suggested features that will be incorporated into this upcoming 6.0 version and the next few versions after that.