What has the Bebop project delivered?

Posted on November 1st, 2012 by Joss Winn

At the beginning of the project, we set out to deliver the following:

  • Documented Use Case of BuddyPress in an educational environment, including Lessons Learned and a technical implementation plan.
  • Documented development of the BuddyPress plugin(s) to integrate third-party APIs into a BuddyPress profile.
  • A BuddyPress theme which is compatible with the above plugin(s).
  • Documentation on the implementation of OAuth at the University of Lincoln. cf. our open source OAuth Server (https://github.com/alexbilbie/CodeIgniter-OAuth-2.0-Server and http://sso.lincoln.ac.uk)
  • Technical design documentation for the aggregation of staff profile data at Lincoln, which demonstrates our use of MongoDB for data warehousing of people data from disparate systems.

Let’s take these one by one…

  • The BuddyPress use case is written up here and in the early days of introducing BuddyPress at Lincoln, Joss blogged about our use of BuddyPress over on his personal blog.
  • Throughout the project, Dale has been blogging the development of the BuddyPress plugin. The plugin was publicly released at the end of August and has been downloaded around 450 times by the end of the project. Documentation has been provided for both users and developers. We have also released the code to our BuddyPress profile editor, which provides other institutions with a starting point to develop their own bespoke BuddyPress profile editor.
  • Bebop was developed so that it will work with any BuddyPress theme that is based on the default BP theme. At Lincoln, we have our own custom theme for BuddyPress, which is a ‘child theme’ of the default theme and it works well. So, we have not delivered a compatible theme for BuddyPress, but rather we have ensured widespread compatibility of our plugin with existing themes.
  • Since the Bebop project began, we have also been funded by JISC to do work around the use of OAuth for SSO. You can expect to find much more information on OAuth on the Linkey project website over the next few months. The use of OAuth in the Bebop project is confined to the Twitter and Slideshare extensions, negotiating directly with their authenticated APIs. In this way, the Bebop plugin has no dependency on Lincoln’s Single Sign-On service.
  • Perhaps not a deliverable, but certainly an outcome: One of the reasons why funded projects are important to us is they they also provide us with the time and capacity for specific areas of staff development and the Bebop project is a good example of this. Both Dale and Dave were new Developers to ICT when the Bebop project began, and through working on the project they have had to learn WordPress/BuddyPress development (which means our WP platform is better supported), developing with our Common Web Design presentation framework (which means they are able to contribute to a number of services, such as the Gateway and Directory), and consequently have been seconded to our HEA-funded OER project to implement a (WordPress) portal for OER at Lincoln and a dedicated (ePrints) repository for OERs.
  • We have documented our building of the university’s staff directory in another blog post. Bebop has furthered this development by enhancing it with teaching resources that are aggregated via the Bebop plugin and then re-published via RSS to the Staff Directory.


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