Moving Forward

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Moving Forward

it depends on what get raised.

one thought is to get on through adding a few more functions within the next month or so, adding some info pages, and from there calling this site public. would then, start inviting people on a direct personal level, rather than blanket promotion.

Who do we want to invite?

Of course we want to invite people (and groups!) to come and make this a living space – and certainly for now that should be through personal contacts. The capabilities of the site are not yet up to what we'd need for a wider promotion.

But hopefully the process of getting there can be speeded up if we can get, specifically, more developers involved.

first, let's invite ourselves

yes, blanket promotion right now is not what i was hoping for. at what point any considering this idea feel wider promotion is an option may differ or be up for dialogue.

for one, i have posted this framework built with drupal as a test of some current features, requesting feedback on developing it. some might say no to that initial decision, drupal has such and such limitations, and this sort of effort should be built with ruby on rails, or something. in which case, there is a process of bringing in people to do that, and probably doesn’t make sense to do it here.

if some want to continue with the development of this framework, then i think there are multiple paths forward with it. and for me, some of that means deciding on some stages of promotion, or invitation vs the level development.

let me assume for a moment, there is some interest in development of this site. there are a number of things i intend to add, many things i can change or add. there are also things will hit a wall with and need help for. as of yet, many of the folks who have currently showed some interest have likely not even clicked through or tried out any of what is currently available. and there are currently very few suggestions in the forums available, for improvement.

so, the larger part of me feels that instead of putting effort into asking for help from developers, that effort could first go into identifying what it is ‘you’ would like to see available. and, there might be an ideal set of functionalities as well as an initial launch point for invitation that doesn’t meet that ideal, but has some priorities to pursue over time.

to re-iterate: can we test this framework, and post in the site suggestions forum to develop a list of things i can and can’t do that leads to an invitation of use?

Moving Forward

I keep thinking about how many progressive organizations there are here in Seattle alone. Many are fairly small and part of national or international organizations like Rising Tide or the International Socialist Organization. Tonight ISO has a meeting where they are discussing how to create a larger movement. I meant to go and couldn't leave work in time but I keep thinking that an event like the Left Forum in New York could possibly help produce more collaboration and coordination between groups. And maybe it could be a launch for Liquid Solidarity. Maybe the event could take place in several locations with some talks or panel discussions being streamed in? I am not sure how feasible something like that is - just brainstorming.

slow growth approach?

hi B, i have had similar kinds of thoughts. it feels like events like the Left Forum or that huge climate march in NY bring people together, then they all go home and continue doing what they were doing. it’s not as if there’s no connections being maintained but there does seem to be something missing. perhaps this site can get to the level to be offered as a useful tool build lasting connections beyond that kind of short-term coalition building. or perhaps it part of its purpose is to draw people interested in building some comprehensive set of tools rooted online.

i’m inclined to not start with huge expectations, but continue to have these conversations and start building in what can be useful in the immediate future to simply build that conversation.

in that sense, i’d say, some of us are here already using some of what is available, so we’ve already launched. i have about a dozen little things to focus on implementing, which i will be working on again in a couple days, things that shouldn’t take more than a couple weeks. and i hope to start having some conversations about introuduction text, ‘about’ words that will be useful when inviting a new person. at that point, i think we could start inviting more people on a personal level, who aren’t currently familiar with any of the background for the general idea. a kind of next little launch.

perhaps we can just keep moving through some phases and launching over and over, seeking quality of interaction and continue to re-ask what we need through that slow growth.

Regarding bringing in more developers

If we start pushing the structure of the website, minus the content to github we might be able to encourage more people to get involved.

workflows

thanks Fred

i think it would be good to develop a workflow for site development, and using git for a development environment that can be updated into a live site maybe a good place to get to.

as of now i’ve been working on this structure alone on a local server and decided to make live with the idea of testing some of what is currently established, and also, in case someone else has been working toward a plan for a different structure that might nullify further work on this one. since there seems to be some interest in working with what has been started, it raises considerations for how some of this gets done. in part, i simply have more to do on what i’ve been doing, but if there’s someone specific that someone wants to invite to aid the effort on the tech side, please say so.

part of the workflow, i think will also eventually need to include at least a semi-formal method of considering feedback by non-developers, but at this time i invite all to post specifics in the forums, from which i can work with, and can also develop a list of what i can’t accomplish. separate some things, make some priorities etc.

Fred, is using Git with Drupal and hosting that with Github something you are experienced with or want to lead an effort on? can you also elaborate on what you mean about it encouraging more people to get involved? do you just mean it would be easier to invite a developer if there is a structured work environment?

Git and Github

I have a little experience with git, and github, but it is something you would have to push from your local server to github. After that I would be happy to do any follow up that is necessary. As far as why it will help bring more people into the mix, it will let everyone see what is being built, let anyone capable or interested build out on the structure and test new functionality independently, allow us to develop multiple branches of the site, and test them out and share them.

decisions decisions

Fred, i think part of that means establishing a process by which things get updated. there is a decision making process that could be worked toward that may not necessarily involve developers, and also a decision making process for developers when it comes to implementing updates.

we have nothing official at this point for the first. who is responsible for making decisions on what changes get made to the site structure? how do we collect new ideas and process and prioritize that?

for the second, some of it just comes down to tech talk in response to a priority that has been decided on. but there are responsibilities invloved when it comes to updating to the live version.

i am more inclined to start working toward how decisions get made on what changes should occur, first. while i’ve asked for feedback and some time to finish some basic things i’ve working with, i don’t intend that is the lasting process. but, it takes some thinking through to get to another phase.

whether the site is being developed by volunteers on github, or there’s fundraised money that just pays a developer, that process still has to be established to make decisions.

Fred, you mentioned having some experience with git and github. can you elaborate? and i’m not entirely sure what you mean about letting anyone capable or interested develop multiple branches. doesn’t there need to be some kind of process for access?

here’s some links to articles on github with drupal i’ve scanned over in the past.

https://www.lullabot.com/articles/managing-projects-with-github

http://codekarate.com/blog/adding-git-existing-drupal-project

http://codekarate.com/blog/introduction-git-part-1 (of 5)

perhaps one idea could be to invite developers based on the need for github or github-with-drupal experience. or maybe you Fred have some of the process in mind or want to at least explore how some of this could work. what you think?

process

Alex respectfully, I think you might be underestimating all that github has to offer. You make good points concerning decision making and changes to the live site which I completely agree with, and hopefully we can flush those out. But that is far from all that github does and not really what I am thinking about it doing for us now.

It can be used as a tool to build out functionality on forked branches apart from the master code. You can set what you push to github to be editable by invitation only and by establishing the master branch as a protected branch, limit any changes that can be made. Even without all of that it would require you to pull the code back onto your hosts server for it to change the site so this really is not an issue concerning changes to the site, or a decision making process toward deciding on those changes. And to any degree that it might concern that, it would simply be providing more choices to decide from. Again let me stress this in no way would change your control over the site, or any eventual decision making process, but rather it would make it easier for other people to help you, myself included, to offer potential improvements and bug fixes without having to change the live site.

As of now in order for anyone to see under the hood you would need to grant them administrative powers, and even then they could not experiment with any structural changes, without changing the site. Using github allows for the sites structure to be seen, and alternative branches forked from the master branch, experimental changes made to demo sites, or even basic improvements or bug fixes and these can be reviewed and checked and tested in separate local environments. We would even be able to demo new functionality over video chats, on a local server.

But whatever you think is best is cool.

processing process

hey Fred, thanks for this. first off no, whatever i just ‘think is best’ is hopefully not the process. there are no numerical goals toward convention that prohibit building decision making structures here. as of now, if participators don’t engage in that conversation i will, go ahead and make decisions based on what feedback is there and ideas i already have in mind. obviously i do have some investment, so a current role, and i’m also in it for the long haul. but what my roles actually are, and for what durations depends on that engagement and what comes of it.

since the CWP engagement seemed to have died down a bit, and hadn’t really conjured a direction for actually building a site, i’ve gone a little lone wolf to try to get some of the basic pieces together. since some of my thoughts on this date back to 2012, i’ve moved forward with the idea it could be local at the least, but perhaps an acceptable building block for the CWP project as well. i posted live a little premature to what i wanted to get done after you sent out the email invite for a meeting, Fred. so, now that we’re here, it’s going to take a bit of feedback for me to understand what people want to do with this.

so, sincerely, thank you for your elaboration. i hope you can understand that if your words are short, i simply don’t know what you have in mind. and since current levels of feedback in the forums are limited, i don’t know what anyone is thinking or what they’ve even looked at. so, i AM making a case that if people want to establish some roles or decision making processes, there needs to be that engagement. it’s ok if it’s a slow process, and of course, i will make a case for my current trajectory, but i don’t expect i’ve got it all figured out. i seek the collaboration to expand the possibilities or change my mind. kind of the whole point.

so, that said, also understand i have zero experience using github. so, apologies if it seems i’m diminishing the potential of the use. my intention was to gain some elaboration on how we are to go about this, and what you may have in mind, and what role you would like to take in such a thing. or otherwise, it may sound like i just need to put all that together myself.

one thing i do have experience in, are projects that start with a good idea, and energy put in to set the stage for the idea, but little attention to who takes on various responsibilites, which ultimately results in poor outcomes. so i’m hoping to open that conversation as we talk about these things, but hopefully not also making it over-complicated either. baby steps i suppose, but i guess a baby cognitive of the fact it’s taking steps.

more specific on github, i simply do not know what considerations need to be made. so in asking about access, i’m not sure if there are security implications to be considered, and i don’t know much about how you separate the ability to make updates. and of course, on a non-tech side, i want to put it in early to keep in mind developing a process of who should have different levels of ability. i don’t know much about best practices in general, and haven’t even looked in depth on what needs to happen just to push to github and start this process. but, i think it’s wise to start getting there. you are correct, even in the most simple setup, it’s not going to make sense to need to make changes on a live site by giving admin access. need all that revision control business. i know my way around a lot of drupal at this point, but workflow for a live site, not yet.

due to the fact i still have some things i do want to get done first, i can’t immediately dedicate time to exploring the basic Github setup myself just yet. but, if you know what needs to happen or want to learn, i would defer most of that process to you. i could make files available to you, and perhaps you could walk me through some things and learn some things together. interest in that direction?

direction

I would love to. I will put together a kind of list of steps and corresponding resources for getting the code up onto github securely in whatever time frame is best. And you and I can go through them and I can help you with anything that is not working and verify that we do everything securely. Again in any time frame we decide on.

It is a slow process, but it all looks good, and I am certainly excited. I think it just takes time with a new environment, a new process of communication to familiarize ourselves with. We will find our rhythm though. I think a good way to get to some of that will be if we can get a talk together. As an opportunity to share ideas of what is wanted out of the site, and to your point consider what we see ourselves undertaking during this adventure and just to get a feel for each other.

On another note if you would like we could schedule a talk just covering our current efforts in drupal, see if we can answer any of each others questions, or provide each other with any insights or ideas just from a development perspective.

agree and splinter web development topic

agree and splinter web development topic

cool, thanks again Fred! agree with all your saying and adding a bit. i’m going to suggest that one, we can use a different thread for more specific talks on the drupal and github aspects of development. in that way, it keeps this thread open for more general conversation on what moving forward means to anyone that wants to weigh in. and if and when that other thread moves to more topics that need to splinter it may even need to move to a container specifically on web development, but i’ll just keep it in the Strategy forum, within the Launch Plan container, for now. started that here: http://liquidsolidarity.org/content/drupal-development

as for timeframe, the current changes i mean to make, i don’t expect will take TOO much time. mostly i just want to smooth a couple minor things and add a couple useful things… things i think will make it easier for someone new coming on, particularly those not necessarily looking at it from a development side. i’ve been mostly off touching any of that for the past couple weeks, instead engaging with a few conversations and taking care of personal stuff. but i’m aiming at about two to three weeks for those basics. (and a little bit of that includes rewriting the original Beta test intro, as well as adding in a few instructions within Content Type forms)

that should give some time to start getting some notes together for a transfer. any more on that, i would defer to the splintered Drupal Development topic, including discussion on a meeting specific for development. cool?

slow process and meetings

i agree on allowing time, developing the communication and familiarization. that’s part of the reason i questioned the immediate need for a meeting, as sometimes it takes allowing people to simply explore in their own manner and timeframe. if a number of people had immediately said they wanted a meeting then of course i’m in. perhaps we’ve gotten closer to the the time a meeting makes sense. while i often prefer to take my time to consider responses to many things, and hope to see more activity in the forums, i think that serves a certain set of purposes, while meetings may serve another. for that matter, posting a blog one thinks is appropriate to the direction they are seeking is part of another set of approaches coming from our diverse nature in this exploration.

as a meeting goes, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but i think it can help gain a sense of unity when working with a small group like this. it’s a direct connection that helps build our sense of being on board with something, where we can brainstorm a little bit, too, which then may lead to the need for more in depth conversations in the forums. so it all goes back and forth with approaches with different things to gain. bare in mind, these are just my open thoughts from my own perspective.

i’ve had a face-to-face meeting with a handful of locals, so i’ve gained some things from that as well. i mean, in part, i originally thought people might just post a bunch of dummy content just to test what is working or not. but, that comes from my own thought process looking out and considering the development side in my own little world, and is not necessarily what others are inclined to do. so, sharing directly helps shake me from the perpective i’ve developed by working in my own little world ;)

and i can ask them if they’d want to, if available, do an online meeting so it can help connect with some of the ol’ CWP group as well, which would be good. i moved the online meetings topic to this Strategy forum and removed the CWP forum (still found at http://liquidsolidarity.org/content/online-meetings ), as really this should all be part of the same, i think, unless we need other forums for multiple topics within.

as of now, i’ve not tried to play much of a role to send out messages to tell everybody what they should do or cheerlead, other than elaborating within forums. it’s there and available. if someone wants to push for a meeting and give some time slot options, that’s awesome. just introduce in the online meetings forum, anyone, on how you would like to go about it. or suggest a process otherwise. lot’s to talk about and look forward to shaping this into something useful. all ideas welcome.

Hey!

Hey, I've just begun browsing the website. Cool stuff. This kind of site would be a real pleasure to stumble on just prowling around the internet. If at all possible some kind of live talk would be of help to me.It would be nice to see the project through the angle of hearing everyone's voices and ideas all condensed into an hour or so. I think it would compliment the written format, and add a dose of vitality, kind of like the iconic fiesta adds vitality into the workings of civilization.

fiesta meeting plans

hey Sam, great to see you here! certainly some work to do to make it more understandable to those that might stumble on, but i’m excited about that too, as Fred also mentioned.

i like your “iconic fiesta” dose of vitality notion of meetings. i had a kind of analogy in my own head that meetings can sometimes be like protests. everyone comes out with their signs and personal reasons and work that got them there, and there’s a sense of solidarity that adds vitality to the cause. but, then we all must return back to that work and get down to details.

my personal suggestion is to add to the link also posted above http://liquidsolidarity.org/content/online-meetings to hash out the details of getting some meetings going. couple questions have been raised so far, but i think it may be helpful to collect up in that spot to make it happen, make some decisions.

http://www.solvingforpattern

http://www.solvingforpattern.org/2012/10/02/proxy-voting-liquid-democracy/

Interesting article, well at least in name. What is the decision making process? What ones do we like in general and in what group cultures or types of structures do they work well in? For LS: Could there be working groups or point persons for items like tech/development; outreach & orientation; or are any needed?

What is the best path to spontaneous growth?

There are indeed countless small and often quite informal groups almost everywhere. My hope is that if we can offer them an easy way to have an online meeting place where members can work together on developing plans and projects, this can become the seed of something that grows organically into a powerful tool for people who believe another world is possible.

What we have in LS may not yet have sufficient capabilities for online collaboration that would be needed to make it attractive and lead to natural growth. But it is at least a start that we can experiment with and compare with the aspirations of the Common Website Project.

What is the best way to get to a site that is so attractive that growth becomes a spontaneous process? One potential road is to keep improving LS. Is Drupal sufficiently flexible and powerful that this is a feasible path? Another is to start from almost scratch, using for example Rails.

In either case, we'll need more people who can actively participate in development.

growth

i wouldn’t say that Drupal is flexible enough to build-in everything i’d like to see, or imagine. but, i do think flexible enough to provide a very useful and attractive site, with the help of some custom php. what has been built so far uses existing modules only, with more options available as well. many of those modules lack a few small things that would make them much more useful for intended purposes, but there’s not always motivation by the maintainers of those modules. would like a css make-over as well.

partly i feel that Drupal offers initial accessibility to work with, but i envision something in a potential future that would be built from scratch. and in that trajectory, having a more developed version of Drupal LS, that is gaining participation opens a few possible paths. perhaps funding or volunteer efforts to build something from something like Rails, as well as refining the intent and decision-making structures from what emerges.

Drupal LS could be a building block, if only as a discussion place for development that offers enough flexibility to give example for development invitation. but, i also think it could be a better building block, if it can gain some traction of actual use by those seeking that kind of autonomous networking tool to connect groups and individuals seeking a better world, as i think that would open more doors on the way.

"Recreating" the IOPS website

In adding functionality to the website, it might be an idea to add enough so that the functionality currently provided by IOPS website can be mimicked or emulated. Improving the existing IOPS website is hopeless. If (a sufficiently large part of) IOPS decides to go on, they'll need something better. One approach might be for them to migrate here. I always envisioned them as one of the areas in the Common Website: see the blue area labelled “Iopsia” in the diagram in unit 12 of the original CWP document.

Development stages

i think much of the functionality is already pretty similar. the approach is slightly different, and i think there’s a couple things that could be added which the IOPS structure contains. for example, groups currently allow posting of topics, events and resources. an IOPS Project was based solely on forums. i’d like to add forums to groups to expand their functionality. but, i’d also like to expand LS Groups much further beyond that.

i imagine groups ultimately having a lot of flexibility, with the ability for admins to structure their home page to delight, share chosen content between specific groups, form sub-groups and alliances, create various roles within groups, organize resources, etc.

stages for changes should be defined. some initial work with drupal, more customized drupal and beyond, the general trajectory and guiding principles. so, we need some structure as creators and co-humans.

now selling: meeting call!

would you like to know more about the site's structure? i've actually been surprised by the lack of functionality requests in the forums. it was my hope some of the CWP ideas would guide numerous requests, seeking steps within this platform to head that direction. but, to date, there has been very little testing of the site by other users. so, me thinks we needs to get our flow going, school of fish, however that scales.