Mon 7 Jul 2014 3:19AM

Create a UI task force

PC Pablo Cúbico Public Seen by 172


I'm seeing some UI proposals and discussions going on, and also, some new contributors (as myself) willing to dive deeply into UI stuff.

As a good user experience requires consistency, I think we could create a UI task force for the guys who are contributing with UI code (e.g.: Fla, Goob, Stefan, me, a new guy Blase on github), and potentially any UI newcomer.

What's a task force? Well, for now, just a logical grouping, an idea, but we can maybe start with a wiki page, and perhaps also a Loomio group for UI discussions. Just thinking out loud here.

I think we could use these kind of tools as a more focused common space to settle decisions and conventions as:

  • Coding conventions
  • Framework decisions (Bootstrap porting, etc)
  • Diaspora UI standards
  • Goals
  • UI coding help
  • Reporting current status (who is doing what)
  • Getting to know each other
  • Share our expertise with each other
  • Create findable documents and stuff regarding UI code
  • Review UI issues and track status of all the UI stuff on Github
  • Try to help the core contributors on reviewing and getting some work off their shoulders
  • Recruit potentially new contributors

And so on, to make all UI contributors be on the same page.

I would propose to do that using only current tools, as introducing (at least in my experience) new ones often lead to abandoned sharing places.

Of course, no task force should be a closed one, everything should be shared publicly with all members to discuss. But ultimately, having devoted coders/contributors on a more focused program will lead to stronger arguments and discussions.

I think this idea could be extended to other groups (security, etc) as long as the Diaspora contributor pool keeps growing, but as I'm a UI guy, I'm limiting this proposal to this one only.

Please comment and share your thoughts!


goob Mon 7 Jul 2014 10:31AM

Hi Pablo,

I think task forces (or working groups) are an excellent idea when it comes to large tasks which are important, of which UI is one. However, I've suggested them in the past for several other crucially important and large-scale tasks (improving federation, creating account migration, XMPP chat integration), and none has ever been set up. Diaspora's volunteer base seems at the moment to still be in a fluid state in which not enough people are able or willing to commit to joining such a group. I say this only to warn you that it's quite possible this will happen with your proposal, although in my opinion it's a good proposal.

By the way, it's kind of you to include me in your list of contributors, but when it comes to contributing code, I'm strictly an amateur. I could help with some design ideas, but am unlikely to be able to be a very productive member of the group!


Sean Tilley Mon 7 Jul 2014 4:04PM

I would think that perhaps some of the people working on UI such as @steffenvanbergerem might be interested. I'd definitely be interested in helping out as well.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: for now, our biggest concern with UI is getting everything moved over to Bootstrap. That will help us work with one common style framework, and we'll be able to more readily refactor the interface.


goob Mon 7 Jul 2014 5:39PM

Well, yeh, I thought that some of the people interested in federation, XMPP and so on would have wanted to join those working groups too...

But hopefully this one will have more success!


Pablo Cúbico Mon 7 Jul 2014 6:12PM

I get it, and I was expecting that kind of response, but at least for some UI stuff, I think we should get at least some minor organization, maybe a wiki page named "UI Task Force / UI Team / UI People", whatever.

I can propose myself to maintain such a page updated, but I don't like proposing myself for anything, since I feel like I'm stepping over people with longer history and merit.


Steffen van Bergerem Mon 7 Jul 2014 11:02PM

@hola great idea! We already had some discussion about the ui stuff here: https://www.loomio.org/d/4vG7NMBS/restructure-ui-code

Having a wiki page with the decisions and conventions you mentioned could be great for both UI developers and newcomers.

A UI developer meeting on the IRC might be a good idea to get to know each other and share some ideas.

@goob IMO your comments are very important for UI development.


Pablo Cúbico Sat 12 Jul 2014 12:57PM

@steffenvanbergerem @goob Great! If you agree, I can go ahead and create/maintain a wiki page for the UI stuff over the weekend, to reflect the current status of all UI development, and set up a weekly review to update it, by checking issues, PR's, and asking devs what's going on.


Ivan Gabriel Morén Sat 12 Jul 2014 3:27PM

I'm in!


goob Sat 12 Jul 2014 4:58PM

@hola If you'd like to do that, I can't see a problem with it.

I'm just wondering what would be the best title for the page. 'Design/UI scheme'? '... principles'? it needs to reflect that the page is also to keep track of current UI development - my mind is drawing a blank on titles, I'm afraid. Hopefully you can think of something far better!

By the way, if you don't know how to create new pages on our wiki (it's not very obvious), just append the proposed page title to the URL and you'll get a 'this page doesn't exist' placeholder. You can create the page from there.


Theatre-X Tue 22 Jul 2014 7:32PM

I would love to join the Diaspora UI task group. I'm just not that great at Rails yet. But I can give it a try :)


Theatre-X Tue 22 Jul 2014 7:41PM

If anything, I'm a better tester/bug hunter than programmer. :) I love trying to break s***:



Błażej Pankowiak Thu 7 Aug 2014 10:44AM

I miss the old list of contributors. The one with hackers and designers. It was around when I was learning Rails and now, when I'm ready to contribute it's impossible to find you guys. Separate IRC channel would be a great start, so we could at least chat there.

By the way I'm blase@diasp.de and I want more friends ;) I'm also a huge fan of what's going on here!


Flaburgan Wed 17 Sep 2014 3:46PM

Okay #4466 is going well, let's focus on that first.

About the wiki page:

that the page is also to keep track of current UI development

That's not a good idea imo. Let's track progress and code on github, we can use meta issue for that. We can still create a wiki page to summarize best practices ;)


Eric Dorman Fri 26 Sep 2014 10:26PM

Yeah I am just learning Rails and have only been doing it for about 4 weeks or so, but if you guys need help I could try to see if I can do the work well enough.