More news!

Suggestions and comments about the ReactOS website

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dizt3mp3r
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More news!

Post by dizt3mp3r »

The site needs more news, you should aim for there to be something new on the FP each and every time a visitor returns. The bugs fixed was always interesting and made for a dynamic FP, bring them back.

Let your senior chaps post news by mail. Give them an email address where everything they send is posted to the site. It would allow devs and senior contributors to fire off a line or two any time they liked. It can be mediated by the webdev who can publish/unpublish at will. Have this stuff alluded to by a dynamic link on the FP, call it a blog, whatever you like but get the mechanism in place to handle dynamic content and put it on the FP.
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tomleem
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Re: More news!

Post by tomleem »

I think this is a good idea. It shows activity and that it is not dormant. It would not have to be major news. It could be something small or minor. :ugeek:
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bernarddt
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Re: More news!

Post by bernarddt »

I agree that it will help if more development news can get to the frontpage. Because we have very long durations between releases are long (years).

But it should be seperate from main news because Z98's news is a bit more formal and specific.

Cant we have a type of twitter feed that devs can post to that shows up on the frontpage? That will also encourage short but sweet posts. And the dev can link to a bugpage or SVN page for details.

Z98
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Re: More news!

Post by Z98 »

This all presumes the developers are interested in tweeting or etc.

bernarddt
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Re: More news!

Post by bernarddt »

Z98 wrote:This all presumes the developers are interested in tweeting or etc.
Also agree!

Why I think this may be plausible is because, if a developer finally got to fix something or add something, I'm thinking that he may be interested to "tell the world". Normally I will rave about something when I finally got it to work, or came around to doing it, especially on pet projects (not daily work where it is expected). But there is a difference in writing a news article and writing a quick "I did it!" "status update" on twitter.

The short posts on twitter will encourage them to do a quick post (I'm hoping). Not spend an hour writing a news article about it. This may also encourage updates around fixes that is not that major.

Also using twitter may open ReactOS up to a bit of trending. Especially when someone post a fix to a big annoyance or major update.

hbelusca
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Re: More news!

Post by hbelusca »

Well, I understand the remark of Z98 as a "Devs have other things to think about / to do besides spending their time tweeting that they fix this and that...", but I may misunderstand him.

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dizt3mp3r
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Re: More news!

Post by dizt3mp3r »

Z98 - remember that some of the success of the project will be derived from the enthusiasm of the supporters and how much they can then donate in time/effort/cash &c. A simple email a week from each dev would supply a steady stream of information and updates. This would give the impression of Reactos being a lot more 'alive' than it currently seems. The outside world can't all join the chatroom and some of the forum is a tadge stodgy. The website is the centre of Reactos for the world in general. The world is a negative place and a lot of negative people expect Reactos to fail. One or two regular lines would be a really good way of showing that Reactos is alive and vibrantly kicking.

It would be an easy thing to do and the devs would benefit in both the short and long terms. It really is a no-brainer this one.
I understand that getting non-talkers to talk can be an issue though... ;)

Z98 - I do like the missives you put out. More like that required but one or two lines would do at a pinch.
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bernarddt
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Re: More news!

Post by bernarddt »

Here is another suggestion... will it not be possible to bring the IRC chat to the website? I don't know if any good opensource tools exist that can do that. But I for instance log in from different PC's (work, home, friends, sisters & parents). So I don't really want to install IRC on all of the pcs. So would it not be possible to add some type of java/flash/html5 widget to the site that can be used to chat on the IRC channel?

Even if you create a new channel that is open to the public website, but don't contaminate the current channel? Or if it can be tied into the login of the website, that will at least stop spammers.

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Re: More news!

Post by gonzoMD »

bernarddt wrote:Here is another suggestion... will it not be possible to bring the IRC chat to the website? I don't know if any good opensource tools exist that can do that. But I for instance log in from different PC's (work, home, friends, sisters & parents). So I don't really want to install IRC on all of the pcs. So would it not be possible to add some type of java/flash/html5 widget to the site that can be used to chat on the IRC channel?

Even if you create a new channel that is open to the public website, but don't contaminate the current channel? Or if it can be tied into the login of the website, that will at least stop spammers.
http://webchat.freenode.net/ is your friend.

Z98
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Re: More news!

Post by Z98 »

What would be the difference between these one-liners and a commit message?

bernarddt
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Re: More news!

Post by bernarddt »

Z98 wrote:What would be the difference between these one-liners and a commit message?
Good question!

I think the messages would ultimately be almost the same. The difference would be that a dev may decide to type a bit more end-user friendly messages. Or they may expand their message to it's effect on the end user side. Where normally SVN commit messages assumes every reader will have common knowledge of the system.

Then there is also commits that will not have an message on the front-end, because they may not be any enhancements or fixes to anything, like code style changes, and general cleanup commits. Also if 2 commits follow each other closely, for the same purpose, then the dev will only type one message that sums up the effect of both.

If we use the twitter infrastructure, users will be able to follow them on their phones or twitter itself. And it would also allow for re-tweets and discussions around the commits, say it is an interesting, important or legacy fix, some users may like to say something about it on twitter again. Making ReactOS trend more regularly.

Remember that we feel there is not a active front-end for news or updates on the project progress, though there is progress on a daily basis, but you have to dig deep to get them. So we are suggesting ways that we can show to the visitor that the project is active, and there lots of people working their buts off. Not just to impress them, but I feel the devs need the acknowledgement of their continues work.

Also, the old site did have a SVN feed reader on the homepage. This one of the reason I started digging for where this activity lives. If it would be possible to for instance, just display the JIRA feed on the Dashboard on the ReactOS front-page, that would also be fine...

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Re: More news!

Post by Z98 »

We are aware of the lack of feeds. We tried adding them back in about a month ago and the site decided to throw up on us. As far as getting the developers to themselves write about their work, there's a reason I ended up as the newsletter writer. There's a very pervasive apathy amongst them when it comes to writing about their work, which is why they try to offload it to me. As they are all volunteers, they spend time on what interests them, and writing code is the focal point of those interests. Writing blogs and other such things has generally not been of much interest to them.

bernarddt
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Re: More news!

Post by bernarddt »

Z98 wrote: [...] As far as getting the developers to themselves write about their work, there's a reason I ended up as the newsletter writer. There's a very pervasive apathy amongst them when it comes to writing about their work, which is why they try to offload it to me.


Isn't this because writing "news" means elaborative (long) writing? It's almost like writing up documentation. And I can relate to their unwillingness to write such "articles".
Z98 wrote:As they are all volunteers, they spend time on what interests them, and writing code is the focal point of those interests. Writing blogs and other such things has generally not been of much interest to them.
I'm trying to suggest short announcements, the same way they would do when committing new work. And I don't expect them to go into depth. Just what they did, and if they know they fixed a bug, maybe the bug number or an explanation of the bug.

I'm expecting:
"Just fixed BUG-XYZ"
"Update function xyz in libX.sys. It may fix problem with sound card drivers causing BSOD"
"Implemented function z in libA.dll. Not sure if this will help anything."

In the end, maybe we should first use what we already have. Maybe use an iFrame and display either JIRA feeds or SVN (it's Git now?) feeds.

We can try to introduce this short announcements on commits later. I'm really fighting for an opportunity for devs to announce their successes, in a short way, so they should not spend more than 5minutes to write a sentence or 2, and only once they are finish with what they wanted to do. So if it takes 2 or 3 commits they should hold back on it.

bernarddt
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Re: More news!

Post by bernarddt »

Z98 wrote: [...] which is why they try to offload it to me. [...]
Have you ever thought of enrolling PurpleGurl? She is very active on the forum. Her English and grammar are very good. And she likes writing long responses (excellent for news). It would also seem like she uses a lot of sources in her responses. She just likes to start on-topic and then wander off-topic... ;)

@PurpleGurl: I don't hope this is offensive for you!

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dizt3mp3r
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Re: More news!

Post by dizt3mp3r »

Apathy - hmmmmm. This is why I suggested news by email, everyone knows how to email, everyone is happy emailing and it is easy to do, much easier than opening a word processor, thinking and writing. An email is a certain type of informal news and when devs can email the site there is very little excuse for not providing a word or two.

The only mechanism needs to be the approval mechanism, either approve each post (long winded) or approve a person to be able to post (easier)
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