denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_dev2011-07-22 04:21 pm
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Mission: Feature Development (2011 Hackathon)

[personal profile] fu and I have been discussing a bit about what our concentration over the next few months should be, and so I would like to share this with y'all in case you're looking for some direction or inspiration on what bugs or projects you should be working on!

The past 6-9 months have been concentrating heavily on two things: a) backend cleanup and/or modernization to make interest payments on our technical debt, and b) extensive work on our style system, both in the form of new themes/new styles and improvement on the S2 backend as a whole. Don't get me wrong -- these are both great projects, and I love them to bits! (The former because it helps everyone down the line, making our codebase cleaner and more modern; the latter because we started at a distinct disadvantage in terms of available themes and styles, and the easier we make it for people to not only find a style or theme they like but to make themes and styles on their own, the better.) However, it's been a while since we've had any sort of concentrated push on frontend feature development and the overall user experience, and in order to make Dreamwidth a success, I think it's time for us as a team to band together and really make a push towards user-facing improvements.

To that end, I am declaring the major development focus during the remainder of 2011 to be "Mission: Feature Development". This doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) work on backend stuff, cleanup projects, code modernization, themes, styles, or S2 backend stuff if that's where your interests lie -- just that if you're looking for a project or a bug to pick up, and you're undecided about what you should work on, it would be most helpful to Dreamwidth-the-project if you picked up something user-facing or new-feature-development.

What sort of things do I mean when I say "user-facing or feature development?"

* Frontend usability tweaks to make the experience of interacting with DW more pleasant for the user -- things that are keyworded why-usability in Bugzilla.

* Accessibility improvements, to help DW be more usable by people who are using assistive technology or who need some sort of accomodation to make their experience of DW workable -- things that are keyworded why-accessibility in Bugzilla.

* New features for paid users, or things that have higher limits for paid users, or things that improve on paid features, or other things that will enhance the concept of a paid account -- things keyworded paiduser-enhancement in Bugzilla.

* Things that users have directly asked for or suggested, to improve their DW experience -- things that are keyworded from-suggestions in Bugzilla.

The idea, basically, is to spend the rest of the year in a heavy development push towards banging out new shiny things -- whether they're major or minor, huge new features or little tweaks to the user experience -- that will show people that we're improving the way they use the service and making things that extend the core function of DW in new and exciting ways.

If people would find it helpful, I can make lists of bugs that I think would fall into this category, for illustrative purposes! Also, as individual months go by, I'll be declaring "sub-projects" -- things I'd like to concentrate on in that particular month. (For instance, declaring one month to be a concentration on accessibility-improvement bugs, suggestions, etc.)

For August, I'd like to concentrate on usability improvements -- making it easier to get DW to do what people want it to do. To that end, any patch for a bug keyworded why-usability, from now to the end of August, will have a points bounty:

10 points for effort-minor
50 points for effort-medium
100 points for effort-major

Patch need not be committed before 31 August, just coded and submitted by then.

Let's kick some usability butt!
ashcomp: (Default)

[personal profile] ashcomp 2011-07-23 01:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I just clicked through to your post on technical debt. A considerable refinement on a concept that I've known for forty years as an old programmer: after you finish a project, you're finally qualified to do it right--you then know how it should have been done.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)

[personal profile] pauamma 2011-07-24 07:07 pm (UTC)(link)
"Prepare to throw one away. You will anyway." Fred Brooks, from memory.

[personal profile] feathertail 2011-07-24 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Are any of these bugs Javascript-oriented moreso than Perl? I ask because I'm learning Javascript and jQuery for a personal project, but I like Play Framework for server-side stuff ...

[personal profile] feathertail 2011-07-24 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, okay ... is there any way to filter bugs by the language involved? Although I guess the JS ones have appropriate descriptions. >.>

[personal profile] feathertail 2011-07-24 10:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Okay, thanks! I also posted a question to [site community profile] dw_volunteers about something I thought I could help with. >.>b
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2011-08-06 03:29 pm (UTC)(link)
My link-dump, hopefully more will follow:

Also, this is an awesome hackathon, I hope we'll get a lot of feaures and improvements out of it (I am planning some qualit time with smaller patches this weekend and with the Notes feature next or the one after)
Edited 2011-08-06 17:30 (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2011-08-06 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay! I was just thinking of asking you how Notes was getting on.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2011-08-07 09:14 am (UTC)(link)
Nice :)

And Gosh, I was wasted at 1:45, after a few hours of nothing but coding and some cooking - three typos in five words up there :D

*happily codes on*