Get Ready! 2.4.0 will introduce important changes in Groups homes

Important changes to how BuddyPress is loading the Groups component single items home pages have been committed to trunk and will be included in our next major release: 2.4.0.

Here are the most important things you absolutely need to know, of course, you can read the full story on this ticket: #6388.

To better understand the moves we are doing, let’s do a “Before & After” about Groups homes.

So far (soon “before” by the time 2.4.0 is released)

When the Group’s home page loads, BuddyPress is first looking if a front.php template (Themes can use it to customize all the Groups home pages) exists in the active_theme/buddypress/groups/single folder (1). If it doesn’t find it, BuddyPress is checking if the Activity component is active before loading the buddypress/groups/single/activity.php template (2). If the activity component is not active, then BuddyPress will load the buddypress/groups/single/members.php template (3).

(2) is the most common case and everything works fine! the activity template is the home page of the Group and Group members can share activities into the Group.

Now let’s see (3) in action:

The activity component is inactive. Group's home displays the members of the Group.

The Activity component is inactive. Group’s home displays the members of the Group.

In this case, all Groups will display the members of the Group twice: into the Group’s home and under the Members sub navigation.

(1) is a bit more problematic.

Where is the activity sub navigation?

Where is the activity sub navigation?

If your theme is including a front.php template, then all Groups homes are displaying this custom template, but they all loose the activity feature😦

Soon (once 2.4.0 is released)

During the 2.4.0 dev cycle, we’ve been working on cases (1) and (3) and we are very happy to announce that 2.4.0 will not only fix them but also open new customization possibilities for the Group’s home page.

Here’s the Group’s home when the Activity component is not active (3 – fixed).

We do not display the Members sub navigation if the Activity component is not active.

We do not display the Members sub navigation if the Activity component is not active.

 

Here’s the Group’s home when the active theme includes a custom front.php template (1 – fixed).

Group members can enjoy a custom front page and the Activity feature :)

Group members can enjoy a custom front page and the Activity feature🙂

There’s more!

We’ve also added a new Template Hierarchy for the front.php template.

Now, you can have a different home page according to some of the Group properties. For example, you can “restrict” a specific front page according to the Group’s ID, or its slug using the following namings for your front template: front-id-{ID}.php or front-slug-{slug}.php.

You can also choose to “restrict” a front page according to the Group’s status (public/private/hidden) using this kind of naming: front-status-{status}.php

Have a look at the delicious Group’s home @mercime & i have built on our test drive🙂

Example of use for the front-id-{ID}.php template

Example of use for the front-id-{ID}.php template

Important changes in some Group’s conditional tags

Plugin developers and theme designers, please note the following changes :

  1. Like before, bp_is_group_home() is true when on the home page of the group (eg: site.url/groups/single-group/).
  2. From now on: bp_is_group_activity() is true when the activity page of the Group is displayed. It can be the home page of the group or its activity page (eg: site.url/groups/single-group/activity).
  3. From now on: bp_is_group_members() is true when the members page of the group is displayed. It can be the home page of the group or its members page (eg: site.url/groups/single-group/members).

This is really very very important: if you need to add some features inside the Activity page of the Group you will use bp_is_group_activity(). I strongly recommend that you check your plugins and themes to see if you were using bp_is_group_home() to know if the Group Activities were displayed. In this case, as soon as 2.4.0 is released, i strongly advise you to use bp_is_group_activity() instead.

Changes in 2 templates

If you are a theme designer or if you’ve overridden one or both of the following templates, please note you’ll need to update them once 2.4.0 is released (even if we made sure these improvements are back compatible with your “old” templates).

Finally, don’t forget to test that everything works fine for you during the 2.4.0 beta period🙂