How to improve the site?


  • administrators

    Hi,

    I've now been looking around, having discussions and wondering about things, and have now come to some form of understanding on what should be done with the site.

    The things I've read on the wiki about the "ideas that have been put down for the future of the site":https://qt-project.org/wiki/Ideas_for_DevNet_2 pretty much ring true to me.

    Looking at the infrastructure there are a number of actions that need to be investigated and taken:

    • Moving the wiki to the MediaWiki that is currently running at "wiki.qt-project.org":http://wiki.qt-project.org (yes, I was just as surprised as anyone to find it there. It is locked at the moment, but it's there)
    • Cleaning the current userbase, there are user ids that have not been used in a long time. Cleaning needs to happen to make other actions possible
    • Moving the userbase to the Atlassian tools that are running and in use for bugreports and codereview
    • Moving the static pages like the documentation to another CMS (WordPress comes to mind with it's large and active developer base)
    • Moving the forums to another platform (if WordPress for the static part, then bbPress would be a natural choise, but that needs a discussion) This task is actually pretty big, because we need to preserve the history. Also this needs to happen at the same time as the userbase move, or it needs to be co-ordinated with it.

    As you can see the theme here is moving away from expression engine. The current install is pretty hacked in every corner, and with the original developers gone, there are things that can not be updated without a prohibitive amount of work. That is part of the reason I have been closing old bugs, with the current platform there is fairly little that can be done easily.

    Having task specific tools for each part of the site (wiki, static pages, forum) should also provide a better possibility for anyone to advance to maintain some aspect of the site (compare with the current problems in giving out moderator rights)

    Of course I can't just do this straight away, I need to convince people inside Digia that this change is necessary, and worth the effort. But I do believe that things need to be changed in order to make the services here on qt-project.org more accessible to everyone.

    So consider this a task list that I'll start to chew on.

    If you see anything that should be changed, added, not touched, removed, please say so. I'll write a wiki page and start to detail what tasks are necessary to make all this happen.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Hi,

    The plan looks very good !

    One thing I see that might be useful is some way to check our own thread history. Currently (unless I missed something) when using the link to my written post, once read, it's gone from the list. Thus a tool that would allow to look through it, sort it etc… could be a plus. I am thinking of the case of a thread that stalled (e.g. a bug found and reported) and some times later a new information could be added (e.g. bug fixed). Founding the thread again is generally hard.



  • [quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1392061570"]Hi,

    • Moving the userbase to the Atlassian tools that are running and in use for bugreports and codereview[/quote]

    What does this mean if you have an account for the forums and for bug reports? Is it possible to merge the two accounts?


  • administrators

    [quote author="steno" date="1392069035"][quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1392061570"]Hi,

    • Moving the userbase to the Atlassian tools that are running and in use for bugreports and codereview[/quote]
      What does this mean if you have an account for the forums and for bug reports? Is it possible to merge the two accounts?
      [/quote]

    That is the idea. I know we have some problem cases (me for example) who have a different user names on the systems, but as far as I see e-mail addresses are used as keys, which should take care of the issue. Of course it will cause some work, but all the steps in the list cause work, that's what I'm here for ;)



  • I think that the username is used a login .. not the email (on Gerrit you are allowed to have more than one email configured)


  • administrators

    True, but to me it looks like both are used as keys. You can't create a new account if the e-mail you try to give is in use.



  • I quickly read the proposed actions and it seems that the idea of the roadmap is to completely abandon the current infrastructure of the site and migrate to a combination of popular open-source projects (mediaWiki, Wordpress, etc.), isn't it?


  • administrators

    [quote author="leon.anavi" date="1392122973"]I quickly read the proposed actions and it seems that the idea of the roadmap is to completely abandon the current infrastructure of the site and migrate to a combination of popular open-source projects (mediaWiki, Wordpress, etc.), isn't it?[/quote]
    Basically yes, I would like to move away from expression engine as it is slowing down or hampering what can be done to and on the site.


  • Moderators

    Seems like a lot of work. I do wish you luck, Tero. If there is anything where we simple folk can help, please ask :-)

    An improvement that comes to my mind is to extend the docmarks feature to the wiki. But I understand it is a minor feature and it is pointless to do it now: we need to wait for the transfer to MediaWiki to be completed before doing that.


  • administrators

    It is a lot of work, but needs to be done. Luckily it can be broken down to smaller chunks. The list is a first big breakdown of how to cut the whole thing open.

    The docmark feature needs to be looked at, I agree. There's an issue with it, that the documentation team can't use docmarks on the documentation as they are CC licensed and that isn't compatible with the documentation license. It's one more thing to work out at some point.



  • [quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1392124538"][quote author="leon.anavi" date="1392122973"]I quickly read the proposed actions and it seems that the idea of the roadmap is to completely abandon the current infrastructure of the site and migrate to a combination of popular open-source projects (mediaWiki, Wordpress, etc.), isn't it?[/quote]
    Basically yes, I would like to move away from expression engine as it is slowing down or hampering what can be done to and on the site.[/quote]

    Wow... this engine of Qt Project has been developed already for several years and as far as remember it was in beta until a year ago. I am sure that the cost to migrating to other platforms and keeping all data will be expensive in terms of times. Is it that bad? Is it worth doing this?

    Btw are there any plans of publishing the source code of the web site as an open-source project?


  • Moderators

    User accounts
    Migrating the user base to Atlassian would help lower the barrier for users to submit bug reports and patches, which would be a boon to the community. (I know of some users who refused to submit bug reports because they didn't want to make yet another account).

    However, how will that work with the other new platforms? Is it easy to integrate the Atlassian authentication with MediaWiki/WordPress/etc.?

    Would an SSO system or OpenID make integration easier?

    Content management
    I like WordPress' management features, but I'm not sure that bbPress is a good fit for the Q&A format of this forum.

    We are sorely missing the ability to mark accepted solutions, and to acknowledge helpful posts. This forum is quite polluted with posts that ask users to edit their posts to add the "[SOLVED]" string to their titles.

    (Somewhat-related wishlist: It would be great if accepted solutions and "upvotes" could count towards a user's rank in this community -- this would be fairer than the current system which rewards quantity but not quality)

    Community involvement
    Some other ideas for increasing the "interactiveness" of the community, and helping users contribute to the project:

    • New licence agreement for doc note (and wiki?) writers, to allow merging into the official documentation
    • Simplify the beginners' guide to using Gerrit. The current pages look really intimidating! (I started drawing a flowchart some time ago but didn't finish it. I'll look for it again.)

  • administrators

    [quote author="JKSH" date="1392133211"]User accounts
    Migrating the user base to Atlassian would help lower the barrier for users to submit bug reports and patches, which would be a boon to the community. (I know of some users who refused to submit bug reports because they didn't want to make yet another account).

    However, how will that work with the other new platforms? Is it easy to integrate the Atlassian authentication with MediaWiki/WordPress/etc.?

    Would an SSO system or OpenID make integration easier?
    [/quote]
    The Atlassian tools seem to make integration simple (I should go and look in detail before I make silver bullet statements). The MediaWiki instance in wiki.qt-project.org is already using it, you can login with your jira account (editing is switched off though).

    Every separate service still has a login screen so it's not proper full SSO, but the login details are the same for all services. Going to full SSO is in my opinion too hard and more work than we can handle.

    Adding OpenId to the mix should be possible on some level, and I'm keeping that in mind, just not as the first priority.
    [quote author="JKSH" date="1392133211"]
    Content management
    I like WordPress' management features, but I'm not sure that bbPress is a good fit for the Q&A format of this forum.

    We are sorely missing the ability to mark accepted solutions, and to acknowledge helpful posts. This forum is quite polluted with posts that ask users to edit their posts to add the "[SOLVED]" string to their titles.

    (Somewhat-related wishlist: It would be great if accepted solutions and "upvotes" could count towards a user's rank in this community -- this would be fairer than the current system which rewards quantity but not quality)[/quote]
    My first instinct was to look at something that worked with WordPress, but on second thought, there is no need to keep the different pieces on the same platform.

    phpBB seems to have all the necessary bells and whistles, has an Atlassian authentication plugin, has a very active contributor base and has responsive design built in. Or does someone know of something more suitable? (I would like to stay in the open source domain, it makes life simpler)

    On the related wish, I think the current point system should be restructured. As I posted on the ambassador program reboot, I see the need for more varied ambassadors. And to have some structure on which to base ambassador nominations, it would make sense to have more than just one single metric.

    I'm not opposed to a single metric as such, but I would like to see more than one number (for example "this":http://maemo.org/profile/view/tekojo/ from my previous life). Making that happen with several different systems isn't easy, but it could be a goal. For a start I'll be quite happy to go and look at several different pages.
    [quote author="JKSH" date="1392133211"]
    Community involvement
    Some other ideas for increasing the "interactiveness" of the community, and helping users contribute to the project:

    • New licence agreement for doc note (and wiki?) writers, to allow merging into the official documentation
    • Simplify the beginners' guide to using Gerrit. The current pages look really intimidating! (I started drawing a flowchart some time ago but didn't finish it. I'll look for it again.)[/quote]
      On the first one yes. It is frustrating that there are contributions that are not ending up where they should go.

    I haven't looked at the local Gerrit guide. Gerrit isn't so complicated... Maybe I should go and take a look.


  • Moderators

    Tero,
    you seem to take a bite which you really something to chew on.
    since you are asking for suggestions and you are planning to change the platform, it might be a good idea to look back onto JIRA, because not all were bug reports.

    One thing is still cumbersome for the current platform are picture, screen shots and stuff. Some means apparently do work while others don't. One method working is placing the pictures on dropbox. However, I am not sure if all the pictures are still in my dropbox. The result is that some of the posts become useless. So I would see 2 things. Firstly, another solution working for everybody. An embedded screenshot is the best solution when you are trying understand somebody's problem. Three, four links in a row are mostly useless. Secondly, posts with dead links are useless too. They need to be removed.

    Another thing are some connections to versions. The community moves on and problems are getting solved and are no longer present. However, it is typically very hard to recognize if the problem is still relevant or not. So close ties to JIRA are probably good for the forum.


  • administrators

    koahnig, I appreciate the direct approach.
    I agree not everything on Jira was a bug, but they were really old. I would like to have as fresh a start as possible.

    As we stand now, we really don't have a lot of manpower to throw at the site, so I would like to go to standard, best of breed open source platforms for the site (MediaWiki, phpBB, WordPress... really the big tools that have strong developer bases and are known to be solid and stable). Platforms that people here in the community might be familiar with even to the level of helping out in the backends.

    I agree about the pictures. The community is big enough to find inappropriate pictures and remove them (I want something where the community can moderate more).

    Versions on questions would make a lot of sense. Most questions are with regard to the latest release, but I see a lot of small corrections and questions about for example 4.8 still. Easy way to tag the thread would probably work?

    I would at some point like to see jira and the forum use the same userbase, that way opening a bug would be simpler than it is now. Also I hope it would get more people involved with bugs.


  • Moderators

    Tero, direct approach is certainly the best thing. I may envision the problems of the bug list growing out of sensible size over the time. Therefore, crawling through this list entry by entry and trying to separate suggestions and bugs is probably a nightmare. Especially when suggestion are not properly flagged as suggestions. Taking this into account it would be probably the best to write a post with a short explanation and ask for reentry in this forum.

    [quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1392318885"]
    I agree about the pictures. The community is big enough to find inappropriate pictures and remove them (I want something where the community can moderate more).
    [/quote]
    As you might have seen my post from of the year you know that there are at the moment not a lot of moderators active in the forum. AFAIK those non-Digia guys are Andre and myself. However, when new moderators are active, it is typically very fast to spot and remove inappropriate pictures. I can remember times when spam did not last than half an hour. When the forum becomes as vital, there will be no problem.

    [quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1392318885"]
    Versions on questions would make a lot of sense. Most questions are with regard to the latest release, but I see a lot of small corrections and questions about for example 4.8 still. Easy way to tag the thread would probably work?[/quote]
    Completely agree, An easy way to give versions for Qt libs and tools, but also the actual OS and memory model might be good. Certainly the list should be too complex, because it would useless then.

    [quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1392318885"]
    I would at some point like to see jira and the forum use the same userbase, that way opening a bug would be simpler than it is now. Also I hope it would get more people involved with bugs.[/quote]

    For most people it is not obvious that a post with their problem is not equal to a bug report. Some of them are not happy to use another account on jira.

    When coming to wishes. Any overview of an entered topic has a simple list of entries based on criteria. However, especially over time the number of votes to make posts as most relevant has grown out of use. When the old concept remains a date for first and last contribution to the thread in the list would really helpful. Clicking through 20 or 40 threads just to when started is frustrating.


  • Moderators

    [quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1392191739"]I haven't looked at the local Gerrit guide. Gerrit isn't so complicated... Maybe I should go and take a look.[/quote]I remember being frightened by this page: http://qt-project.org/wiki/Gerrit-Introduction

    However, it looks like a better one is in place: http://qt-project.org/wiki/Setting-up-Gerrit



  • I have recently moved to Wordpress on all of my current site development projects and have to agree that it is amazing. I've been using phpBB and MediWiki for a very long time and agree that you have made a set of solid coices. The only place where I don't use MediaWiki for a wiki interface is on Sourceforge with their highly restrictive memory limits. I haven't looked in to single sign on when using WordPress as the main CMS but it should be fairly easy to implement.


  • administrators

    Hi,
    And sorry for being silent for a while.

    I've been looking at options a bit, and find myself torn between phpbb and using bbpress inside wordpress. I set up a virtual machine to test what each platform can do, and wordpress with bbpress is really impressive in ease of use.

    MediaWiki has a very good catalog of plugins, I'm pretty sure it can use pretty much anything for accounts.

    I promise to set up the wiki pages this week, and post links here.



  • [quote author="Tero Kojo" date="1393829334"]
    MediaWiki has a very good catalog of plugins, I'm pretty sure it can use pretty much anything for accounts.[/quote]

    MediaWiki is my favorite wiki project :) I attended a "FOSDEM talk about comparison between MediaWiki, TWiki and XWiki":https://fosdem.org/2014/schedule/event/wikicomparison/attachments/slides/374/export/events/attachments/wikicomparison/slides/374/slides.pdf and the statistics showed that the community and the active developers of MediaWiki highly exceed any of the other projects. Additionally there are so many plugins for it, including several for gamification about contributions scores. So if you decide to change the wiki engine at Qt Project it will be definitely good idea to bet on MediaWiki :)



  • As you are already know, yesterday qt-project were under spam attack and and it took many hours until someone had cleared them. However some of them are still here.
    Tero Kojo@it may be helpful to appoint moderators from different time zones?
    I'm sure there will be many volunteers.



  • And we have new spam attack now :) .
    Few month ago i solved robot registration in forum by replacing captcha with logical questions.



  • Looks like the robots studied logic for last few months :-)


  • Moderators

    Regarding the spam attacks, I've come out of my dusty moderator corner (which I need to do more often) and have been helping clean up some as I find them.



  • [quote author="andreyc" date="1395291811"]Looks like the robots studied logic for last few months :-)[/quote]
    I forgot add "in my forum" (not DevNet). Logical filter still works :)


  • administrators

    Banned the spamming accounts.

    I'll take a look at the registration page.
    It does have filters in place to identify spammers, but apparently they don't catch everyone.

    Thank you everyone who cleaned the posts.
    Would you have suggestions for moderators from other time zones than Europe? We need better worldwide coverage.



  • I am in +5 time zone and can help with moderation every day between UTC 4:00 - 13:00 o'clock.


  • Moderators

    I nominate "sierdzio":http://qt-project.org/member/12548, even though is is from Europe. He is a veteran and a very helpful member in these forums.


  • administrators

    Noted.
    I added a few more moderators, from different time zones. We should be better covered now.

    Tero


  • Moderators

    [quote author="JKSH" date="1395319499"]I nominate "sierdzio":http://qt-project.org/member/12548, even though is is from Europe. He is a veteran and a very helpful member in these forums.[/quote]

    True, I'm in the boring Central European Time. Thanks for nomination and the new rights, I'll use them well.



  • As was already mentioned, the licenses for the docmarks and the Wiki content need to be brought into line with the documentation and example code licenses. It surprised me back in the day that the developer site was launched with a license mismatch - I don't think the developers properly considered how the documentation team would merge contributions from the site into the main docs.

    Unfortunately, it may be difficult to relicense existing content now, unless you get contributors to explicitly agree to it. I don't think it would be impossible - perhaps just a click to agree form, or get them to resubmit their work via the contribution model - but someone has to implement that.

    I'd encourage migration of existing Wiki content to MediaWiki. The ExpressionEngine thing might be OK to use now but using a different markup syntax is not a compelling feature these days. It wouldn't surprise me if MediaWiki had better support for anti-spam measures and access controls, too.


  • Moderators

    Just to throw another forum platform candidate into the mix: "Discourse":http://www.discourse.org/about/ is an ambitious project that redesigned forum software (which they call "discussion software") from the ground up. It's founded by the co-founder of StackOverflow and is "[i]nspired by the reputation/badge/governance ideas and concepts behind Stack Exchange", so I have high expectations for this product.

    It's very new though, and I'm not sure if it is interoperable enough yet with the other platforms that the Qt Project website will need.


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