Future of new ODK web site?


(Yaw Anokwa) #21

Thanks for pushing this forward, Waylon! Unfortunately, I'll be on a plane at the winning time, but I'll try to listen in and participate via chat.

In case I'm not able to do that, my strong preference continues to be a static website launched in late January. Before that site launches, I think the working group's mandate should be describing the high-level goals for the website, the target audience, the information architecture, and a rough overview of the process of contribution and maintenance.

I think the 1.0 content from the Wordpress site and the 2.0 content from the Drupal site are great places to start with the content, but a good website is more than just content. I think the goals, audience, architecture, and contributions have to be nailed down first or I worry we will lose momentum and goodwill. I'm glad to volunteer to help define goals, audience, etc.

I am excited about all the interest in participation, and to harness that energy, I propose we have participants on the call document their relevant experience in the meeting notes.


(Michael Downey) #22

+1. This is important stuff that will frame the overall design goals of the site.

We can discuss alignment on this point more during today's meeting as well as here, afterwards. Agree that we should have something drafted up, but I'm not sure it has to be "nailed down" so much as "version 1" for which we continue to evolve and get improved feedback, adjustments, etc. Much like open source development itself, little on the web is ever truly set in stone. :wink:


(Waylon Brunette) #23

Thank you to everyone who was able to make the first call about the future of the ODK website.

@downey was gracious enough to take notes available at:
https://pad.dial.community/p/odk-website-kickoff

The recording of the call is also available:

If you were unable to make the first call be sure to fill out your availability for the second call!


(Waylon Brunette) #24

Since we were unable to find a common time for a call that worked for everyone, I wanted to schedule a time for a second call that will work for people who were unable to make the previous call. The agenda for the call will be exactly the same.

If you are interested in participating in the website working group please indicate times in the poll you could join a call. The thread will be updated late on Saturday, December 23th with the official meeting time that worked for people. Preference on picking the second call’s time will be given to an individual’s schedule who 1) filled out the first poll but was unable to make the first call, and 2) people who have expressed interest on joining a website working group previously on this thread. After those two factors majority will rule.

The goal of the call is to gather information and opinions for ODK’s Project Management Committee (PMC) from people who are willing to volunteer to be part of a website working group :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:. Topics will include:

  • Who is interested in a joining a website working group and what kind of time availability and commitment can people make in the short-term and long-term. (People will be busy with other things at different times)
  • Thoughts on how to facilitate launching a revised website in January.
  • Experiences/Feelings/Preferences for different web platforms.
  • Preferences between a CMS (content management system) website or a static-content website.
  • Thoughts on starting with the Drupal site and letting the community take a longer time to migrate to a CMS or static-content site.
  • Thoughts on moving directly to a static-content site in January

Please fill out the poll to help chose the time for the second call. You can select as many times that work for you as you like.

0 voters

BACKGROUND:
After much discussion, the PMC has decided to move forward with the replacement of the ODK website during its December 12 meeting. The website has become out of date and some functional content has already been shifted away from the current website (e.g., docs.opendatakit.org, new entries for the “help for hire” page and blog content are now on ODK Forum). Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the new docs site and the ODK forum!

As stated previously in this thread, as part of its work toward the September 2017 transition deadline, UW-CSE prepared a working Drupal-powered website that could go live as an “alpha” website giving the ODK community a starting point to establish a website update process. The September 2017 transition deadline has now passed and a few extra months have also rolled by.

While the PMC has not reached an agreement on what the final form of the website should be, the outcome so far is the PMC would like: 1) the website replaced quickly and 2) the community involved. The PMC is hoping to start a website working group for the long term, but first the PMC would like to hold a meeting to hear from people who want to volunteer to be part of the working group. The aim is to gather the working group’s feedback so it can be incorporated into short term planning and decision making. The two options the PMC discussed at the meeting were either moving directly to a static-content site in January or starting with the Drupal site and letting the community take a longer time to migrate to a CMS or static-content site. The discussed target for the website switch is sometime in January.

The PMC realizes it is a busy time of year with the holidays, but the PMC would like to start gathering community input from potential community members who want to be involved in the website transition and are willing to participate in a website working group. Particularly, the PMC would like to gain insight into what their feelings/preferences are for platforms, time availability, thoughts on a one or two step transition, etc.


(Clint Tseng) #25

In case I can't make the second call either, here are my two very cheap cents. Two points, which both point at the same general approach.

  1. Gradual migration. The minor changes that have been done so far to opendatakit.org already throw me quite a bit when looking for content. The changes will be positive in the long run, and the docs site is looking pretty great already, but I can't be the only one that remembers and relies upon clicking some specific set of links to find just the right reference I'm looking for, and in general change is disruptive to workflow and productivity. To this end, I would strongly advise against a radical switchover to a different information architecture which itself is expected to then evolve over time (presumably from barebones to functional) and advocate for approaches that permit a natural evolution from the present website to our eventual goal.
  2. Open and simple. We already have a model for content contribution. This model matches that of the rest of our tools. No, not everybody knows how to operate Git, but the tools are getting better and friendlier, and it does not require additional accounts with special privileges and yet more tools. Proposed changes and issue tickets are plainly visible to any member of the public, and issue tickets may be filed with no technical expertise. My experience with Drupal is that no two Drupals are the same, and in particular that every Drupal is fragile and sensitive depending on the particular mix of plugins and architecture put into it. The imposition of explicit editor and moderator castes is a barrier to contribution, and it is much more obvious on the docs site that I may contribute and how to do so than on the prototype. The prototype is, of course, improvable in this regard, but only to the extent that I may be pointed at an account registration page and then fed into a complex CMS administration panel.

Thus: my humble suggestion is to export the present site as plain HTML, set up infrastructure resembling docs.opendatakit.org as much as possible, find a way to bridge the two, and move forward incrementally after defining goals, doing user and community research.


(Michael Downey) #26

Thanks @clint for your feedback and hope we can get more insight from you as the project moves forward. At the risk of over-simplifying, I'd say that we heard echoes of your concerns in the real-time meeting as well.

As to your Point #1 on find-ability of information -- we haven't discussed practical resolutions to the problem, but for one such approach, I'm generally a fan of things like the Google Site Search. For example, if you go to http://search.openmrs.org/ and type install in the box next to the purple button, you'll see the results filterable across the various sites (web site, wiki, forums, etc.) that project has. So maybe something like this will be useful for ODK as the body of knowledge grows.

Also (for everyone's info) we are going to be working to set up more dedicated communication channels & approaches for the group over the next several days, so stay tuned for updates on how to stay informed of our work plans and progress.

Thanks again to everyone who's volunteered to help on this exciting project. (And to those who are still interested in jumping in!) :trophy:


Where should we put developer docs?
(Michael Downey) #27

Hey folks! A few of you may have noticed that we now have a new forum category -- #contributions:website -- for discussing our work.

We also have a forum "group" that we can use to mention & send notifications to team volunteers. Click @website-wg to see the current "members" of the group. (Basically right now, it's the folks that were able to join us at the meeting earlier this week.) If you are still interested in volunteering, let me know and we can add you to the group!

Over the next couple weeks, we'll be making plans for how we can best work together to prioritize activities and get stuff done. Keep watching this space for news, including the next "real time" meeting hosted by @W_Brunette for folks that missed the one this week.

I realize many of you will be busy with end-of-year holiday activities, so look for communications to really pick up after the 1st of January. But in the meanwhile, please continue to add your ideas and concerns here in the #contributions:website category!


(Waylon Brunette) #28

The winning time for the SECOND call about the future of the ODK website is :fireworks::tada::confetti_ball: Thursday, December 28th 17:00 UTC (9am PST) convert to your local time :tada::confetti_ball::sparkler:

The second call’s agenda will be the same as the first call.

We will be using Open Data Kit’s Uber Conference system:
Link: https://www.uberconference.com/opendatakit

The goal of the call is to gather information and opinions for ODK’s Project Management Committee (PMC) from people who are willing to volunteer to be part of a website working group :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:. Topics will include:

  • Who is interested in a joining a website working group and what kind of time availability and commitment can people make in the short-term and long-term. (People will be busy with other things at different times)
  • Thoughts on how to facilitate launching a revised website in January.
  • Experiences/Feelings/Preferences for different web platforms.
  • Preferences between a CMS (content management system) website or a static-content website.
  • Thoughts on starting with the Drupal site and letting the community take a longer time to migrate to a CMS or static-content site.
  • Thoughts on moving directly to a static-content site in January

(Waylon Brunette) #29

Thank you to everyone who was able to make the second call about the future of the ODK website!

@ln graciously took notes

The recording of the call is also available:

If you would like to leave suggestions about the website there is a new category #contributions:website where people can post ideas or comments about the future of the website.

While the first round of information gathering meetings have completed, there will be more meetings in the future. If you want to be involved in the website refresh please join the @website-wg.