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ocPortal version NEXT (9?) discussion

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Community saint

Discussion of what features you would like to see in the next version of ocPortal

Yes, I know it's kind of early to be bringing this up but, since you mentioned it in another thread ;),  I was wondering if you have made any decision on the type and scope of the version 9 upgrade. Do you have grand plans or are you going to let new projects and sponsorship largely determine what is addressed? Do you anticipate this as a quick turnaround release or something more like the v8 timeframe?

I am hoping that the CSS will be on the list and plan on sponsoring some of these (once the Multi-categorization feature – 0000063: Multi-categorisation - ocPortal feature tracker is fully-sponsored). Among the features in the tracker that caught my eye were:

0000292: Scrap standard boxes - ocPortal feature tracker (Fletch has already provided partial support for this)
0000058: Remove panel_width option - ocPortal feature tracker
0000366: Drop legacy support - ocPortal feature tracker

And for a bigger project:
0000423: Performance improvements: frontend technologies - ocPortal feature tracker

I won't be able to fully sponsor all of these, but with some community support, we could get these all done which I think would be a benefit when trying to customize sites.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by BobSLiked by mythus)  
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#84071
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There is no release plan at this point, nor is there a plan to write a release plan yet ;). I don't want anyone to really plan for v9 coming, and instead concentrate on specific improvements they may want making, as patches (all of which are available immediately in git, and also being posted to the tracker). When a lot has happened, and if my schedule is free, and if the economic outlook is properly improved, then plans will then be made. Personally I've been far too over-stretched, and regretted more than a few gaffs as a result of it (particularly the notification bugs in v8 that have bited a few times).

I think one lesson with v8, is that even though  most of it was sponsored, it has still been done on a shoestring budget really. We have to give some pretty amazing deals while getting things done to our high standard, so it's more of a project of passion for the core team than something we can bring in new full time people for. Likely this will continue unless we're able to bring some larger organisations into the fold – in the ideal world I would like to:
  • rearchitect some of the internals (particular for better revision control, and a faster interface for managing everything)
  • get a major redesign effort going
  • get thousands more unit tests written to avoid introducing new bugs on what is now a huge code base
But that requires huge amounts of resources (resources comparable to what large organisations already spend, lol - i.e. 5 or 6 figures), so until we can bring them in it is necessary to think about it one patch at a time. So I don't want to make any big commitments before we're ready, and instead we will focus on achievable goals that don't lead the small team to being over-committed and making mistakes or being unreliable. Once my schedule is free again I plan to spend time on bringing in larger clients before trying a heroic effort to get stuff done on unrealistic budgets - so it's about building a solid stable reliable platform, with the right resourcing, than pushing ahead too early and screwing stuff up.


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Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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Community saint

I didn't really think I get you to bite, so what you shared is more than expected (although not far from what I anticipated). I think this approach is a sensible one given the realities of the world economy.

I do like the idea of having "focus areas" so I will be pitching for CSS cleanup. I think this will make ocPortal more manageable even though it lacks the feature-rich attention grabber element of some other tracker items.

But clearly, we can expect v9 to be similar to v8 in that is will be driven by your development projects and whatever community sponsorship we can muster. As times are difficult for business, so too are they for people, but I do hope that we can keep the community sponsorship moving ocPortal forward. Given that support credits can now be purchased in smaller quantities to aid sponsorship, I hope everyone singles out at least one item in the tracker and provides at least one credit to that item. At approximately $10, this would be a low-cost way for everyone to see that ocPortal continues to evolve. Of course, I am hoping that some of this sponsorship centers on the CSS changes (or the multi-categorization feature) I mentioned above so that this vital area can be addressed and improved.

Bob

EDIT: $30 corrected to $10


Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
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Version nine. NINE. Are you trying to kill Chris? Version eight isn't even out the door yet…  :lol:  :P


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Posted
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#84078
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Community saint

Well, he mentioned it first ;):
I think I probably forgot to encode this properly. When I'm done with v8 fixes I'll switch back into v9 (working number ) and update the patch
View topic: Sponsorship for feature tracker item #301 (Provide a grid layout option for main_cc_embed) - ocPortal.com

I prefer to think of it as keeping him motivated. Besides, it will be interesting to see what others have to say.

Bob
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by sholzy)  
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#84079
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Nine means Nein, pour l'instant :lol:


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Robbie Goacher)  
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#84088
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Community saint

I don't even want to think about v9 until around v8.2.3.

Steve
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Posted
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#84089
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Community saint

sholzy said

I don't even want to think about v9 until around v8.2.3.

Or 20:45?

 :o

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#84090
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Community saint

sholzy said

I don't even want to think about v9 until around v8.2.3.
Well, I am just assuming that we will see 8.0.x as bug fixes. If we see even an 8.1, that would allow for some new feature requests being included, so we might as well let Chris know what we think is important and then work to fund these features. As I've said, I would like to see the CSS cleaned up as I think that is a win for everyone, but I think there are other projects worthy of sponsorship – even some one and two-hour projects that seek to make ocPortal more frictionless.

In the end, I think it is clear that we have an opportunity to be a driving force in how ocPortal is developed and I hope we can all pitch in to help move ocP forward.

Bob
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Posted
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#84091
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Community saint

Fletch said

sholzy said

I don't even want to think about v9 until around v8.2.3.

Or 20:45?

 :o
Exactly! No point in watching the stars until the sun sets.

Steve
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Posted
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#84092
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Community saint

BobS said

sholzy said

I don't even want to think about v9 until around v8.2.3.
Well, I am just assuming that we will see 8.0.x as bug fixes. If we see even an 8.1, that would allow for some new feature requests being included, so we might as well let Chris know what we think is important and then work to fund these features. As I've said, I would like to see the CSS cleaned up as I think that is a win for everyone, but I think there are other projects worthy of sponsorship – even some one and two-hour projects that seek to make ocPortal more frictionless.

In the end, I think it is clear that we have an opportunity to be a driving force in how ocPortal is developed and I hope we can all pitch in to help move ocP forward.

Bob

My point is, I have no interest in v9 until I've used v8 for awhile to see what I do and don't like. Give me time to digest the latest and greatest in v8 and see how well it works for my situation before asking me to help improve upon it.  :)

Please continue being a cheerleader, just don't expect me to be at the pep rally until later in the season.  :P

Steve
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Posted
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#84093
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Community saint

Actually, this is what we know is likely to be in the next non-bugfix release (likely depending on database changes:

0000290: Spammer database - ocPortal feature tracker (complete)
0000234: Rename catalogue templates - ocPortal feature tracker (complete)
0000301: Provide a grid layout option for main_cc_embed - ocPortal feature tracker (partially completed)
0000309: Allow dynamic user filtering of catalog and gallery display - ocPortal feature tracker (not yet started)

The items marked "complete" or "partially complete" are already available in git, and patch files and tars are available in the tracker.

Chris has already said that he will turn his attention to completing item 301 (in the thread where v9 was first mentioned by him  lol) as soon as he gets out of v8 code.

Item 309 is not yet coded but is fully-sponsored so it will likely make the cut for version 8.1 or whatever Chris chooses to call it.

I really want to get multi-categorization (0000063: Multi-categorisation - ocPortal feature tracker) sponsored for inclusion in the next release or two.

I'd also really like to see the CSS changes in the tracker implemented in the next couple of releases.

Bob
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by sholzy)  
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#84096
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Community saint

sholzy-

I just set aside your set of pom-poms for the future.   ;)

Bob
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Posted
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#84099
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Community saint

BobS said

sholzy-

I just set aside your set of pom-poms for the future.   ;)

Bob

 :thumbs:

Steve
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Posted
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#84100
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Community saint

There are a few items in the tracker I'm interested in seeing completed. I just wish I had the ability to help sponsor.  :(

Steve
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Posted
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#84102
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Community saint

sholzy said

There are a few items in the tracker I'm interested in seeing completed. I just wish I had the ability to help sponsor.  :(
Well, you certainly stepped up and helped to provide Chris with needed background information on the anti-spammer add-on. I'm sure you will find ways to contribute when you have the opportunity.

I just like to remind people that the cost of sponsoring has dropped from the former $90 buy-in to as little as a $10 purchase for a single support credit. 1 support credit is much but I put all of this in the context of the community. If everyone who could would sponsor 1 support credit on a 1 or two hour project, we could get two or three of them done easily.

I think I am just eternally optimistic and firmly committed to seeing ocPortal through to a higher awareness. v8 provides new tools for bookings which will potentially attract a whole new group of users, which in turn, helps our community grow.

Bob
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Posted
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#84176
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Community saint

So I have changed the topic of this title to version NEXT to better indicate that this is just a place to discuss what people would like to see in the next version of ocPortal, whatever it is called.

I also encourage people to vote for the items in the tracker (Feature development tracker - ocPortal) that they would like to see addressed. It is important to identify what the community wants even if you cannot currently provide sponsorship. However, with the lowered threshold of buying a single credit (about $10), hopefully more people will be able to participate in sponsorship. If a number of people were to buy one or two credits to be used for one or two hour projects, we could get some of this small stuff done that cleans up ocPortal. So, please, vote for your favorite small project and/or discuss it here.

As mentioned above (after the multi-categorization feature is fully-funded, I am turning my attention to projects which clean up CSS, with the first being 0000292: Scrap standard boxes - ocPortal feature tracker (this alone should make the CSS easier to deal with). I am also looking for small one and two-hour projects which remove "friction" from ocPortal. These will hopefully benefit current users and attract new users by virtue of ocPortal looking a bit less daunting.

Bob
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Posted
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#84181
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Community saint

Looking through some projects that are two hours or under, I have found these which would make ocPortal easier to use and maintain.:

0000366: Drop legacy support - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - also cleans up CSS and JS)
0000129: Improve usage of main_multi_content block - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - simplifies templates by re-use of existing block code)
0000302: Field sortable option - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - separate search and sorting options for catalog fields)
0000403: Remove flow mode - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - remove dated interface and replace with overlays)
0000257: Merge similar templates - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - general cleanup)
0000256: Switch to utf-8 - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - standardize on UTF-8, hopefully eliminating database and translation issues)
0000261: Language names aren't native - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - better usability for visitors)
0000327: Remove default catalogues - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - helps to provide a basic installation without bloat)
0000319: Create 'minimalist' installation profile - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - helps to provide a basic installation without bloat)
0000326: Make comment count configurable - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - better usability for visitors)
0000251: Make date field optional - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - allow for optional date entry in join form, more flexible for users)
0000442: Link from points to liked content - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - provides better info access for members)
0000399: Improve catalogue index page - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - more design ease and flexibility)
0000411: Allow search by email address - ocPortal feature tracker (1 hour - easier moderation)
0000358: Remove 'NEXT_BROWSER_BROWSE_NEXT' - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - remove redundant code)
0000429: Alterable ratings - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - more flexibility for members when rating an item)
0000318: Transfer theme options (like fixed-width) to theme.ini - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - makes themes standalone with more flexibility for theme designers)
0000368: Combo box field type - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - better selection options for members)
0000039: Orderable config options - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - better presentation options for both admins and members)
0000061: Searching across multiple categories at once - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - better search options for visitors means happier members)
0000080: Rearchitect poll adding - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - improved forum polls presentation)
0000115: Link between action logs and edit/view screens - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - easier administration)
0000103: Field type changes - ocPortal feature tracker (2 hours - better presentation options for admins and members)

This list is pretty extensive but I did try to choose only items which are not specific to certain add-ons. All of these would add more power and/or reduce current inconveniences, and all of them could be easily funded by small shared sponsorships.

I'd love to see some discussion of the items on the above list and also would like to see people vote to help identify priorities.

These would also be good candidate projects for people with coding skills who would like to contribute that way instead of by sponsorship.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
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Community saint

One more thing I thought I should mention regarding sponsoring and buying support credits: now is a great time to buy support credits (especially if you are in the US) due to a very favorable exchange rate between the US dollar and the British pound sterling. I suspect this is also true for a number of other currencies.

Even if you are not ready to sponsor anything just yet, you might want to consider purchasing some support credits (a minimum of 9 unless you have sponsored an issue in the tracker) or at least start following the exchange rate against your local currency.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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I guess because we're officially in a double-dip recession now, man the lifeboats, our currency is sinking :lol:.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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