Tue 17 Jun 2014 11:14PM

Feature update: editing content on Loomio

RDB Richard D. Bartlett Public Seen by 168

You spoke, we listened - “editing comments” has been the most upvoted card since we opened up the public Roadmap.

There has been a lot of discussion about this topic in the past, and sometimes it got a little heated. Listening to user feedback, we learned that people want to be able to correct typos and make clarifications, but they don’t to disturb the integrity of the content.

Taking all this into consideration, we’ve implemented some new features that will allow you to make changes to your content (comments, discussions and proposals), up until other users interact with it. You will always be able to see when content is edited, and all edits will be saved in a full revision history.

To allow for fixing typos, all users can now edit a comment after they post it, so long as it is the most recent comment in the discussion. Optionally, you can also configure your group to allow
for users to edit their comments at any time.

You can now edit your proposal title and description, until someone states their position. You can change the closing date at any time.

You can now choose whether or not users can edit the title and context of each other’s discussions.

While the wiki-like context panel (the description at the top of a discussion) is great for some groups, we’ve learned there are other groups where only coordinators should be able to do this.

With these new changes added, here’s a comprehensive list of user permissions:

Coordinators can:

  • Change the group settings.
  • Edit the title and context of any discussion.
  • Move discussions between groups.
  • Invite and approve new members.
  • Send an announcement email to all group members.
  • De-activate a group.
  • Add/remove other coordinators.
  • Delete discussions.
  • Delete comments.

Members can:

  • Delete their own comments.
  • Edit their own comments, until someone has replied.
  • Edit the title and description of proposals they start, until someone has stated their position.
  • Edit the closing date of proposals they start, until they close.
  • Edit the title and context of discussions they start at any time.
  • Start a subgroup, which they become the coordinator of.

Optionally, coordinators can allow group members to:

  • Invite and approve new members.
  • Edit their own comments at any time.
  • Edit the title or context of any discussion in the group.

And the group settings page now includes this section:

Key questions for you:

  • What should the defaults be for new groups?
  • Is the language and descriptions of these options clear and easy to understand?
  • What should the settings for this Loomio Community group be?

As always, we take an iterative approach, and you can count on future changes and improvements to all of this in the future. We’re looking forward to your feedback about how these new features work for you in your groups!


Michael Duane Mooring Tue 17 Jun 2014 11:33PM

+1 for Editing!!!
Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the net was a giant Wiki. (oops I read it wrong. Thank you for this awesome editing feature. lol Already putting it to good use!)


Ed Galligan Wed 18 Jun 2014 3:26PM

I see it's also possible to delete comments (was this feature there before?). Since edits have a history (paper-trail) and deleted comments don't, would it be possible to disable the deletion feature in group settings?


Chris Taklis Wed 18 Jun 2014 6:54PM

why i can't edit the proposal description?


Alanna Irving Wed 18 Jun 2014 10:11PM

@edgalligan the question about deleting comments is a good one, and related to this topic. We just started with one aspect of it. Would be interested in people's feedback about how deleting comments should fit into all this.

@christaklis good point - can you have a go answering this?

What should the settings for this Loomio Community group be?


Robert Guthrie Thu 19 Jun 2014 12:18AM

@christaklis - I don't know! I've been enthusiastically suggesting we have an option: 'Allow proposals to be edited anytime' (off by default) so that group admins can have more flexible proposals - suitable for less formal groups. I know that in my flat we would like to be able to edit proposals without hassle, to update the information or reflect the current consensus as the discussion grows.

Personally I don't think it would be a problem to allow groups to choose for themselves to allow proposals to be edited during voting.


Danyl Strype Thu 8 Oct 2015 8:57AM

I've been really appreciating being able to edit recent comments for typos and clarity, add URLs, fix my markdown experiments etc. Having an edit history on each comment is great. Thanks a lot to the Loomio crew for their work on these comment editing features.

However, despite what @richarddbartlett says above, it appears that comments in Loomio.org groups can be edited or deleted indefinitely. One group I've been involved in recently has demonstrated why this is a very bad idea. One set of group members has accused another member of making abusive comments, then editing or deleting them after the fact. It is time consuming to check whether accusations of comment sanitizing are true, or if in fact a member is being bullied with false accusations, and impossible in the case of accusations of comment deletion.

BTW If there is a more recent discussion on this, please point me in the right direction :)


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 8 Oct 2015 7:39PM

It's a group setting: so some groups allow members to edit comments indefinitely, and others only allow you to edit recent comments.

The experience you're describing sounds like the group is using a setting that doesn't suit them.


Robert Guthrie Thu 8 Oct 2015 7:09PM

Great point @strypey. I agree. Gosh it really seems like you have so much to offer, if you could do a little bit of coding features like this would not be out of your reach. How can we support you to pickup some development skills?


Danyl Strype Fri 9 Oct 2015 10:12AM

Thanks @robertguthrie :) Good question. The most ambitious thing I ever programmed so far was a text-only version of Battleship I coded in Python using IDLE. I was just starting to work on a simple AI for single-player games when I lost my work in a catastrophic backup failure :( Maybe you could direct me to some instructions for setting up your dev toolbox on GNU/Linux, and some simple, boring Loomio coding tasks nobody else wants to do? That way I could familiarize myself with Ruby, Rails, Angular, GIT(Hub) etc


Robert Guthrie Fri 9 Oct 2015 11:31PM

Have a look at the Loomio tech manual it's a first pass of pulling all the technical information we have together. I'm really keen to quickly fill it in and provide a handbook that has most things you need to know when working on the system.

You might want to start here: https://loomio.gitbooks.io/tech-manual/content/setup_development_environment.html ( https://loomio.gitbooks.io/tech-manual/content/setup_development_environment.html )

Email me [email protected] ( [email protected] ) with any feedback. One idea: It might help to build a page of general rails and angular articles.

And the manual itself is on github: https://github.com/loomio/tech-manual ( https://github.com/loomio/tech-manual )

But yea.. it's embarrassingly shabby right now, but I think it'll improve quickly.


Danyl Strype Sat 10 Oct 2015 7:18AM

Thanks @robertguthrie for this. I do like the idea of being able to scratch with own itches by realizing my own feature ideas in code. I'm out of the studio for the next week, and will be quite busy working on permaculture.org.nz stuff when I get back. If I'm honest, it won't happen overnight, but it will happen ;)


Alanna Irving Sat 10 Oct 2015 10:46AM

It might be a good idea to visually reveal a bit more what the settings of a group are. Right now, I think you can only even see what they are if you're a coordinator who has permission to edit them? I think we've done a good job sprinkling in clues about privacy settings (the lock icon etc) but users can't tell things like can they edit their comments, can they edit the context box, who can raise proposals, etc.


Danyl Strype Sun 11 Oct 2015 1:17PM

I agree @alanna, allowing non-coordinators to look through the group settings (but not edit them) would be helpful in training new coordinators, and holding coordinators accountable to the group for the way they've set up their Loomio experience. Perhaps there could even be a list of coordinators visible while you're browsing the settings (whether or not you're a coordinator yourself), and a button members can click to apply for coordinator privileges.