Project

General

Profile

Support #9211

Auto-Role Setting in Forum Plugin Causing Some Confusion

Added by Luke Waltzer over 1 year ago. Updated about 1 year ago.

Status:
Reporter Feedback
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
Category name:
WordPress Plugins
Target version:
Start date:
2018-02-14
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

Two participants in the OER Faculty Fellows program have reported being confused why so many "Participants" users are registered on their sites.

Each of those faculty members is using the BBPress plugin, and our hypothesis is that the auto-role setting at wp-admin/options-general.php?page=bbpress, which is automatically selected, is adding anyone who visits the site as a participant.

This site, for instance, has nearly 300 participants -- https://freequeercuny.commons.gc.cuny.edu/. Here is one of the other sites: https://bmccsoc091.commons.gc.cuny.edu/.

We'd like to:

1. verify that it is the act of visiting a site that is adding someone as a participant, or whether there might be another issue
2. determine whether or not it is indeed the auto-role setting that is determining this
3. discuss whether it makes sense to toggle that setting to "off" as a default.

Laurie, Matt-- if I'm misreporting our discussions or missing any data, please correct!

Thx-

Screenshot_2018-02-28_16-03-37.png (49.5 KB) Screenshot_2018-02-28_16-03-37.png Boone Gorges, 2018-02-28 11:03 AM
9211.diff (2.46 KB) 9211.diff Boone Gorges, 2018-03-13 11:44 AM

History

#1 Updated by Matt Gold over 1 year ago

perfectly described. thanks so much for submitting, Luke

#2 Updated by Boone Gorges over 1 year ago

  • Status changed from New to Reporter Feedback

1. verify that it is the act of visiting a site that is adding someone as a participant, or whether there might be another issue
2. determine whether or not it is indeed the auto-role setting that is determining this

Visiting the site (while logged in) does indeed trigger the "participant" add, and yes, it's the auto-role setting that controls it.

3. discuss whether it makes sense to toggle that setting to "off" as a default.

Simply turning it off means that site admins will need to add users manually as "Participants" before they're able to use the forums on the site in question. Even if they're added as Authors etc, I believe that bbPress capabilities are managed separately. So we'd likely need some sort of alternative system: automatically grant Participant access to Authors, sync Participant status at the time of groupblog membership syncing, something like that.

Worth noting that this issue only arises when using bbPress on a secondary site. If you use the forums that are built into BP groups, and have linked your site with a group, then you don't need bbPress active on the site, and this issue goes away.

#3 Updated by Luke Waltzer over 1 year ago

Thanks, Boone-- this is all good to know.

I think the faculty in question are using sites without linked groups, as they were concerned about the additional overheard of a group. I'm adding Paul to the discussion, as he's doing something similar in a course he's teaching on the Commons and can help us think this through.

Extending Participant status to Authors seems like a good solution, but I'd be curious to know how many folks are running BBPress on sites rather than groups... that will help us determine whether its worth the dev time. Other thoughts? Even a warning flag in the User view when BBPress is active explaining why there are so many Participants would be beneficial...

#4 Updated by Boone Gorges over 1 year ago

I think the faculty in question are using sites without linked groups, as they were concerned about the additional overheard of a group.

I figured as much - I was just making sure the options were covered.

I'd be curious to know how many folks are running BBPress on sites rather than groups

32 secondary sites have bbPress active, at least one of which is obviously a test site. It's likely that the plugin is active but not in use on some of them. So the number is low.

I'm not opposed to doing some magic like the Participant->Author trick, but this kind of magic can also introduce some confusion, for example if you're an instructor whose students are merely Contributors, or in the rare case where someone wants the bbPress permissions on a site to be more restrictive than regular posting permissions. So we'd need documentation of one sort or another. A simple warning flag on users.php would be more straightforward, something we could probably do right away.

#5 Updated by Boone Gorges about 1 year ago

  • Target version set to Future release

What do others think - do we need to take some technical steps on this?

#6 Updated by Paul Hebert about 1 year ago

I didn't know, until I read Laurie's notes, that visitors were being logged as participants. Everyone who was in the list was a student of ours except for two--Boone and Luke. I figured you two had added yourselves since I'd had a request in to each of you for different things (being naive goes a long way).

All of that is to say... I don't know that it would have ever been a problem. I did turn off the setting after I read Laurie's report, though, so there's no way to find out unless I went back into setting (which I'm okay with, if for no other reason to experiment).

So maybe it's not a big deal? If a note is made on the plugin guide, it might be enough.

#7 Updated by Laurie Hurson about 1 year ago

I think labeling users.php to make faculty aware that the default is all commons-registered site visitors will be added as participants to the forum is a good first step for now. The mote could include the suggestion that faculty turn off this default after all students have been added to site.

This doesn't address the issue that while this feature is turned on, the professor can't actually control who posts to the forum on their site. For now however, the number of faculty using this plugin is low and have already had to mitigate this issue on their current sites. In the future, since we better understand the functionality of this plugin faculty can be informed in order to determine whether they want to use a forum on a site or group.

#8 Updated by Boone Gorges about 1 year ago

I've attached a screenshot of what a notice might look like. (I assume this is what Laurie means by "labeling users.php".) The notice only appears on users.php, and only shows up on sites that are running bbPress and have Auto Role checked. This wording can be changed as you'd like.

#9 Updated by Boone Gorges about 1 year ago

I'm posting a diff here so I don't lose track of work on this :-D

Also available in: Atom PDF