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Talkyard Roadmap 2018-11-26

By KajMagnus @KajMagnus2018-11-26 08:17:58.753Z2020-03-01 08:10:09.726Z

New roadmap, year 2020, here:

OLD roadmap below:

Here's what's what Was next for Talkyard. Feedback & change suggestions are welcome; you can add a comment below.

If you compare with the previous roadmap you'll notice that things have taken longer than planned — and that's one reason why I'll focus on making it simpler for open source people, or maybe paid freelancers, to contribute to Talkyard and speed up development.

Now (within 2 weeks)

  • Done: Subscribe to categories. Then, can listen to conversations / questions related to to one's own team only, if each team = 1 category.

  • Done: Make blog comments hopefully work with all tacker blockers out there, e.g. iOS and Privacy Badger. (Via cookieless guest login, for embedded blog comments.)

Somewhat soon (1 month)

  • Done for now:   Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Traefik, Caddyserver friendliness. Making it simple to deploy custom changes to one's own server. See:

  • Done for now: Make it simpler for people to build Talkyard and contribute features.

Later (3 months)

  • Done: (June 2019) Custom groups, and inheriting one's groups settings. So you, if you're an admin, can configure settings for many people, at one place (i.e. their group settings). 3 weeks?

  • Doing now: (Mars, June 2019) Export & import site to JSON (so can migrate to one's own server, + Disqus comments import, + import ( = create) categories via API). Later: include uploaded images etc.

  • Done for now: Fix onboarding problem: When a site owner logs in to his/her new site, it's often unclear to him/her what to do next. Add a UI tour that guides the new admin through the main important parts of the UI. Also, add a brief guide, for all new members, e.g. explain personal notifications, switching between the categories and the topics list, and searching for answers. 1 week?

  • Basic theming. User friendly way to edit colors and make one's Talkyard site look like a part of one's website. 1 week? Slightly started.

  • Configurable categories for blog-comments topics. (Needed for sites with both coments for blog posts, and a forum.)
    Update: (2019-08-06): This should now be fairly simple — I'm adding "external ids" for categories, and blog comments will by default be placed in whichever category has the external id embedded_comments. Also see [COMCATS] in the Talkyard source code.

  • Cooperating on drafts: Will notifications get sent, if moving a topic from an unlisted category, to a visible category, to "publish" it?

  • Done: (May 2019) Solve the too-many-connections problem happening if one opens many brower tabs. (Solved by subscribing to events via a single connection, from a service worker.)

  • Done: (June 2019) Q&A friendliness step 2: Auto search for answers, whilst typing a new question title. 1 week?

Even later ... partly doing now (Aug 2019), see below

  • Anonymous questions. Studets want to ask embarassing questions. Employees want to post crazy innovative ideas.

  • Done, Aug 2019: Invite to group: When inviting a bunch of people via email, hav them auto added to the group you want. E.g. a Students 2019 group.

  • Q&A friendliness step 1: Expand the search field, so can just start typing, to search. Show search results in dropdown, so won't need to jump to results page. 1 week?

  • Invite friend button, in each topic. So people can quick-invite their friends and grow the community.

  • Sub categories. 2 weeks? — now partly done (Aug 2019). Maybe 1 more week?

  • Re-implement tags: change to ids, so can be renamed. Sort by tags in topic list. 2 weeks?

  • Top navigation menu composer, and a hamburger dropdown menu, for items that don't fit on screen. And as forum title, optionally use an image / logo + Alt text [uolve]. 1 week?

  • Doing now: (Aug 2019) ... mostly Done, Feb 2020, but only JSON export:
    Export site to JSON + uploaded images etc (so can migrate to one's own server). 2 weeks? Edit: This got prioritized, work started already.

  • Doing now: (Aug 2019) ... Done: Import Disqus comments. import WordPress comments? (for people who use Talkyard for blog comments) 2 weeks?

  • WordPress blog comments plugin. 1 week? 2 weeks? Complicated to create auto tests.

  • Embedded forum categories. Blog comments can already be embedded in an iframe, and in some cases, it can be useful to embed a lst of topics in a certain category, too, on a page over at the main website. 2 weeks? Here's a topic about this.

  • Assign topics to one or more people. (Issue tracker style.) 1 week?

  • Rich text WYSIWYG editor. Non-tech people think Markdown+preview is confusing. Use ProseMirror — it can switch between Markdown+preview and rich-text-WYSIWYG. The WYSIWYG probably be made available step by step: first a simple version that doesn't support @mentions, for example. 1 month?

  • Single Sign-On for embedded comments. (Single Sign-On for forum: Mostly done, the basic things work.) 2 weeks?

  • More API endpoints: On request.

  • Support file uploads to Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage. 2 weeks?

  • Email replies. So can be used as a mailing list. 3 weeks?

  • More granular notifications: Get notified if a problem gets solved / feature gets implemented — rather than about every comment posted.

  • Integrate with everything, via Zapier. So can get e.g. notifications to Slack. 2 weeks?

  • Done, Jan 2020: Icons that shows if one has a draft saved, for a certain post. And auto-show one's drafts, so one can just continue typing. 1 week?

  • Trust levels: Make the Trusted, Regular and Core Member trust levels work. Make the Unwanted vote have effect (those who post [comments that the staff and core members consider Unwanted] won't become Trusted members). 3 weeks?

  • Add NSFW image filter, use Google's Vision API? Integrate with Perspective API to detect toxic comments? 1 week?

  • LDAP, SAML, Okta etc login: 1 or 2 months? (need to replace the auth system, and can be tricky to setup automatic tests)

  • Optionally upvote topics directly in topic list, for those who want Reddit and HackerNews like communities. 2 weeks?

  • Optionally show reply text input box directly — that's more inviting, than having to click Reply first. 1 week?

  • 10 replies
  1. S
      2018-11-30 22:22:12.187Z

      What about the 'upvoting' feature we had discussed before? I still think it's good to have it for better engagement and ranking the popularity of threads. Would seriously appreciate that as well as the implementation of "Rich text WYSIWYG editor". Also, any ideas on improving the sidebar? The current sidebar looks extremely dull and outdated. Better design with icons and more functionality would do extremely good in my opinion.
      Thanks Kaj!

      1. Ok I added back those (you'll see them just above your post). Yes I too think those can create more engagement, for some types of communities. (Works really well for Reddit at least :- )) At the same time, they should probably be optional. Maybe one don't want to create too much engagement, in a work place, for example :- ) (I mean, people visiting the company's forum, instead of ... working :- P hmm)

        I think the sidebar you linked in the screenshot, looks nice, and ... What makes it look nice? One thing could be that there's no vertical scrollbar, in the screenshot. The vertical scrollbar in Talykard, is the browser's built-in scrollbar, and it doesn't look super nice, it doesn't? But apart from that. Maybe, the screenshot looks nice, because of the a bit larger font? and more whitespace? And nice looking icons, hmm yes you mentioned icons. Maybe I could show the topic type icons, in the sidebar, too (if there's enough space). B.t.w. what's the name of the app where the screenshot is from?

        ... More functionality? What do you have in mind? :- ) Maybe that's something I have in mind to place in the right hand side bar. That's where you'll be able to see your starred topics, online users, etc. The left sidebar is instead for quick jumping between topics.

        1. IOlti N @Itlox
            2018-12-01 20:33:39.371Z2018-12-02 20:27:30.522Z

            You can move the infos from the right sidebar to the left one. One sidebar to rule them all.

            1. Actually I like having two sidebars. On laptop and desktop, makes ok use of the available space ... (Hmm, this actually makes me think about a layout for wide screens, where one has a column just to the right of [the topic one is reading], that lists other topics in the same category :- ) then one could super-quick-switch, between topics in the current category. And there could be a column that lists all categories, too. Super quick navigation, on wide screens. ... Maybe I can create a mockup. ... For power users only (would be disabled by default). )

            2. In reply toKajMagnus:
                2018-12-25 02:55:26.559Z

                Yeah, making it optional definitely sounds like a good idea. I can't remember where I got that sorry. But I'm sure there are many samples with a great sidebar design. I don't have clear ideas for better functionality, but one thing to improve is definitely the design. The ones you have outlined sounds good and having icons for each section would certainly make it look better. Right now, it just doesn't stand out and seems more like a waste of space if anything. Thanks!

            3. D
              In reply toKajMagnus:
              Comment deleted
              1. You've installed talkyard-prod-one as per the default instructions? Then your database files should be here: /opt/talkyard/data/rdb
                and you can just delete all files there, to "reset" the database. That is, delete the whole database. A new one will get created.

                Like so:

                sudo -i
                cd /opt/talkyard/
                docker-compose down  # stop Talkyard, takes maybe 15 seconds
                rm -fr data/search   # delete a search engine database
                rm -fr data/cache    # delete a Redis cache
                rm -fr data/uploads  # delete uploaded files
                rm -fr data/rdb      # delete database
                docker-compose up    # start Talkyard again. Will recreate the databases

                All your data will be lost; don't do this on the wrong server, or if there's any data you want to keep.

                Would you say you also need a way to restore all user interface (UI) settings to their original values? What's the reason for this? (you'll be experimenting, and want to undo all changes ... if I were to guess?)

                Can I ask, what will soft4earth be about?

                1. Comment deleted
                  1. KajMagnus @KajMagnus2019-01-19 18:18:32.399Z2019-01-19 18:24:44.278Z

                    Wow sorry me too for this late reply ... a week passed so fast.

                    I installed it my localhost and testing for different Q&A platform ideas, or adding some contents for looks like realistic, so shorty maybe need to reset settings often

                    Maybe there could be different UI themes. There'd be a default theme. And when you change something, you create a new theme, and edit it. And, to undo all your changes, you just start using the default theme instead. Then no need to reset / undo anything :- )
                    (and if you wanted to, you could delete your experimental themes later on)

                    I'm looking to make the configure-colors/fonts/nav-menu more user friendly soon, and then I'll try to keep the above things in mind.

                    Thanks for explaining soft4earrth. Now I better understand the name — I first didn't realize that "soft" was for "software" :- )

                    Yes please if you'd like to email me more deails, that'd be interesting. My email is kajmagnus at I like the things you have in mind, e.g. eco-friendliness, solutions for disabled people (? what did you have in mind here more specifically ?), .... software (?) for renewable energy? Maybe also ... Software for reducing energy consumption :- ) I stumbled upon a startup that writes software for optimizing energy usage in buildings (like, large apartment houses), and they could save lots of energy, by doing simple changes in the building.

                    About contributing, and Scala: Ok yes Talkyard is written in Scala as you seem to have noticed. And ... For the moment, contributing, is maybe not so simple — probably you'll run into some confusion. Which means ... One way for you to contribute, is to just try to get started, and let me know what problems and confusion you run into, and then I can focus on doing sth about that first :- )

              2. D
                In reply toKajMagnus:
                D @dave
                  2019-11-21 06:23:11.728Z

                  Is a user reputation system anywhere on the roadmap?

                  1. I answered here:

                    (Short summary: Not in the nearest future. It'd be nice, though, with better notifications about when one's posts get Like voted — I'm wondering if "light weight" gamification / positive feedback, can go a long way? Looking at how much people care about Facebook Like:s)

                  2. Progress
                  3. Now changing the roadmap a bit: Prioritizing and starting with "Export site to JSON" and importing to one's self hosted server.

                    1. @KajMagnus closed this topic 2020-03-01 08:10:41.884Z.