Some exciting news on the BuddyPress front – the first beta release of BuddyPress will be on December 15th.

In an ideal world it would have been great to put out a final release before Christmas, but there was simply too much left to do before the feature freeze on the 15th. There needs to be a solid period of testing in the beta phase before a first final version can be released into the wild.

The plugins will all be released as standalone versions with their own beta and final release. It doesn’t make any sense to package all the plugins together as a “1.0” version as they all work on their own and won’t rely on each other to run.

The only possible issue I see with individual plugin releases is confusion with BuddyPress plugin version numbers. For example, in the future if you upgrade to “BP XProfile 1.5”, this may require “BP Core 1.4” or greater. Users will need to upgrade both plugins to get things working and that could cause confusion.

I’d like to see a system built that will display all the versions of components you are running and also check for incompatibilities. For example, if you installed a new version the friends component, which needed a new version of the core, it would tell you this upon install. That would clear up a lot of potential problems around installation and upgrades.

It’ll be exciting to see what people do with this thing. Head over to http://testbp.org to give it a try.