Followers for Elgg 1.8 v1.0.1

Release Notes

Removed "following" tab from all content filter menus.  Now only appearing on /activity/* pages.

  • You say it's not a hack of "friends", but I tested your plugin and it seems to do exactly the same thing. I do not really understand the difference?
    I read the code and it adds a new relationship 'follower' between two users, just as is already 'friend' (line 333 engine / lib / users.php)

    To view 'followers' instead of 'friends', just change it in the language file. What does this plugin in addition ? Just a widget 'followers'?

  • Hi,

    What I mean by "not a hack of friends" is that it is not using the friends data model while calling it followers.  It is using it's own data model: a new "follower" relationship, just as you pointed out.  The implementation is completely independent.

    As for the difference, just think about it from a non-technical perspective.  You are saying very different things when you call someone a "friend" and when you "follow" them.  It's bad to conflate these two concepts, so I built a separate plugin for following that can now take advantage of those semantic differences.

  • "contacts" on my systems....who needs friends?


  • Overriding the language strings from 'friends' to 'followers' is not a hack. Elgg's friends implementation is actually follower-based misnamed as 'friends'.

  • @Cash, I stand by my explanation.  Elgg supports restricting content to friends only.  That means I have private, privileged information that I only want to share with people I trust to some degree.  This cannot simply be translated to followers.  Therefore, I prefer to think about Elgg's current implementation of friendship not as misnamed, but just incomplete.  If it forced reciprocity and required confirmation, there would be no confusion whatsoever.

  • @Evan, I agree with you on this one. I believe friends should require confirmation and reciprocity. Following is a different type of fruit... I.e., I would not care if someone followed me, however, I would care if someone called me their friend, "contact, colleague, best-mate," etc. Just my two pennies.

  • @Evan, however, will it be possible to show this information (profile) while utilizing your facebook theme?

  • The facebook theme doesn't support widgets at the moment, but I'd like it to.

  • On the use of hack: we encourage people to override language strings through plugins rather than "hack" the core files. Calling a plugin that overrides the language strings a hack creates confusion.

    Your primary concern is over the use of "friends" for access. This was added in Elgg 1.5. Until then, "friends" were just used for filtering content. For that implementation, the followers implementation made sense (though still misnamed as friends). It was the addition of the access level that blurred a misnamed followers implementation with a feature that better fits a friends model.

  • Apologies for the loose use of the term.  Otherwise, it seems we're agreed that there's a problem.

  • That's what I thought, this plugin adds a new relationship and that's all. I said therefore it was sufficient to change the translation. But your plugin provides a second type of relationship and I understand why now.

    You're right, there are different type of relationship:
    a strong link: the link between a person and his family, true friends in real life whose relationship is long established.
    a weak link: the link with a person met at a dinner, an evening at work ... which we want to keep the link for the exchange of diverse interests.

    I agree with You. It's bad to conflate this two concepts. Facebook does. Twitter less.

    Thank you for this plugin!

  • How can I have both friends and followers on a same install on 1.7.x? I was looking at the friends plugin but it turns out it is just a widget thing. Where is the actual friends plugin so that I could... rename to followers but keeping the friends too?? Does it make sense?

  • @RJC:

    Can use both together ...
    Different relationships amigo !
    "Friends" is somewhere there inside the Elgg Core
    Followers =>
    add_entity_relationship(elgg_get_logged_in_user_guid(), 'follower', $object_guid)
    While Friends is =>
    add_entity_relationship($user_guid, "friend", $friend_guid)
    -- So if you gonna combine or merge the two ! expect some messing around with code and code.
    Why do you want to make them appear the same in the UI ?


  • @Dhrup I think I was high. Anyways, I'll use vazco backwards and try if this one works. I read the developer's blog and elgg 1.7.x needs a follower feature.

  • @Dhrup Well, tried using vazco, it did let me enable it, however it doesn't work. Well, not merging actually, but have a friends plugin and a followers plugin, both separated from each other, with nothing to do with each other.


    @evan any plans on porting to 1.7.x? if have plans, any way that I can contribute? 

  • ehh ! ;-o amigo -- you still exactly say whacha trying to achieve with those 2 PlugIns ? ;-O

  • lol 

    Friends - Can comment on pictures, files, etc

    Followers - Just sit and watch, can't comment. 

  • Sooo - the Friends Plugin itself does not count for what you want ?
    You confuzed me wby taqlking also about Frends...
    I've got an outline "Followers" 1.7.10 PlugIn kinda coded here ;-)
    to handle the relationship 'follower' --
    gotta research what else / other logic will be needed to
    "sit and watch.." --> entities ;-o
    --- probably needs some page handler/ page setup hooks.

  • @Dhrup well, like this. 



    See your message board, can write, can send PM (not asking that, just to explain myself), can comment on my blogs, files, pictures, etc.



    Only see my profile with no widgets, no message board. Can see my pictures but not able to comment on those. Same for blogs, can see them, yet can't comment on those. You got an outline? Wow you are like "/" (Root) hehe =)

    Also, followers will be like going to someones profile, pictures, blogs, like if you were not logged in, in which case you can't comment on anything.

  • Hi,

    I have installed the plugin, but when a I tried to access to the activity stream It showed me the following error message:"Deprecated in 1.0: Use elgg_register_menu_item() to register for the title menu"


    Can anyone help me, please? I'm eager to learn.

  • Can you report this to github, rsaneas? This plugin was built for 1.8b1 and it sounds like you're on 1.8b2. Nothing to fret about, but the plugin will need to be updated before it will work on 1.8 final.

  • Great work. Followers and Friends are conceptually different as you have created it to be. Nice plugin. I just want to extend the view to my sidebars. What is the specific page i can extend to.

  • thi won't work on

    any solutions ?

    thanks in advance

  • This is compatible with Elgg 1.7 ?

Evan Winslow

Software Engineer at Google. Elgg enthusiast. I wrote the Javascript and CSS frameworks for 1.8.


  • Category: Communication
  • License: GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2
  • Updated: 2014-11-17
  • Downloads: 4742
  • Recommendations: 23

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