It is here; the first Beta release for the upcoming GD bbPress Toolbox Pro 7.0 is available for download and testing. This is, by far, the biggest ever update to this plugin, and it is a huge step forward in terms of features, performance, and usability.
This version brings many core changes, several new Features, conversion of Online and Activity Tracking into Features, improved performance, a new core shared library, improved interface, improved styling, and many more changes, tweaks, and bug fixes.
This is a Beta release, and it might contain bugs or unfinished features! Do not use it on live websites! This version is made for testing purposes on staging or development websites only. This version requires PHP 7.3 or newer, WordPress 5.5 or newer, and bbPress 2.6.2 or newer. This Beta version doesn’t contain any translations!
It is important to note that this is the first Dev4Press plugin that will officially require PHP 7.3 as a minimum support version, and it is tested with all current stable PHP versions, including PHP 8.1.13 and PHP 8.2.0.
Beta #1 only lacks one feature that will be ready for Beta #2 (end of next week), and that is an additional widget for plugin’s dashboard. Outside of that, all planned features are implemented. Three new features are available as a Beta/Lab Features, and they will most likely be shipped as Beta features even with the stable 7.0 release, and all 3 will be disabled by default:
- Booster: This is a very interesting new feature that aims to expand and replace some of the default bbPress database queries, replace postmeta data for queries, and instead use its own database tables with indexed data. These tables can be created and recreated anytime and will be updated when the data in bbPress is updated. This allows proper joins in the queries on indexed data instead of the metadata that is not indexable and very slow. This feature will take at least a few more months of testing to be sure that it covers all the scenarios, especially updating the index. And until then, Booster will recreate Index tables each day to be sure all changes are taken into account.
- Mark As Read: This features adds a button for each forum and forums index to mark that (or all) forum(s) as read. This feature works along with the Activity Tracking feature. Depending on testing, it may remain in Beta, especially because of the Mark as Read button placement in the bbPress templates.
- Markdown: This feature adds a Markdown parser for content in bbPress, allowing users to use markdown to write topics and replies. This feature is not recommended for use with the TinyMCE editor because it generates heavy HTML markup, making the Markdown parsing problematic. But, if you use a normal editor or BBCodes Toolbar editor, Markdown will work great. So far, this is a very stable feature, and it will most likely not be a Beta feature when 7.0 is released.
Activity Tracking and Online Tracking are new features converted from the old format, marking all features conversion complete. Best way to get started, is the new Features panel with the filter and search available on top.
Over the next two weeks, I plan to fix bugs reported during the Beta testing phase, finish the missing dashboard widget, test the Booster some more, and maybe convert a few more things to work with Booster.
The plugin’s changelog is updated with the changes included, and other information pages will be updated in the coming weeks for the stable release (currently planned for January 17, 2023). Beta #2 will be released on January 5, 2023.
If you notice any problems, find issues with the missing settings, or have errors displayed or logged, please open a new topic in the support forum, describe the issue, and include, if possible, screenshots or error log files. Also, if you notice any issues related to PHP 8.x versions, make sure to include exactly which PHP version you are using.