Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (59 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] (was: Re: Proposal: Reforming openSUSE Membership To Better Reflect Our Ethos)
  • From: Stasiek <LetCP@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 04:20:55 -0500
  • Message-id: <>
Second of all Connect sucks, we all know it, and all will admit it.
It's written in PHP, and every bit of PHP I dealt with I just have
rewritten to something that at least works.

We all know that connect sucks, but that's not really PHP's fault ;-)
Connect is "just" an old system and didn't get enough maintenance, and
I'm afraid that a lack of maintenance causes problems in all programming

Oh, and I'll scare you a bit more - our wikis run with MediaWiki, which
is written in PHP - and works ;-)

I know that well, but PHP is the best excuse for making something new
and different ;)

I propose something more
useful and streamlined for connect, let's say connect++ (going with
old cool++ marketing). Instead of making some fake social media
wannabe, let's make useful centralized hub for openSUSE
infrastructure. And in ruby, because that seems way more popular and
common around here.
It would be useful to connect: OBS, bugzilla, mailing lists, news,
paste, whatever people will need, want or care about (by adding
plugins). Let's make it also custom for every person, so they can
just have widgets they need.
Actually that is not my idea, that is idea dating back to old openSUSE
days with myopensuse, which was never fully realized.
I made mock-up of this in 5 minutes:

I noticed the fixed link in the follow-up mail, but I like that one
nevertheless ;-)

It was made by Karol Krenaki, he made GRUB and Postfix logo among others.
This is a part of scene from picture, which is supposed to show how good
PLD Linux Distribution is (it's in Polish so idk why I'm even including it)

Let me start with a warning: This mail will be a mix of "reality
sometimes hurts" and my usual strict review style (which can scare
people, even if they rarely admit it ;-) so please read it until the
end before you get mad at me ;-)

Oh no, you are wrong on this one. Second opinion after mine is the best,
especially coming from a person that has been using this for quite some
time, and knows exactly what is needed.

There's nothing wrong with the ideas in your mockup. Doing the mockup
was easy, but I should probably warn you that collecting all this data
on one platform might be harder than you think. Bugzilla, OBS,
mailinglists, paste.o.o, ... don't have a common interface you could
use, so you'll need separate implementations for each system.

I know that much, it's the worst part :P

Actually we had a system to centralize notifications - The idea behind it was good, but in practise it's
much easier if each service includes notification management and sends
out its notification mails or offers RSS feeds itsself. Therefore hermes
was shut down to avoid that level of indirection.
Also, not all services used hermes for their notifications (for example,
bugzilla never did), so it only centralized notifications from a few

All this doesn't mean I'll stop you or anybody else from implementing
your proposal (quite the opposite), I just want to make clear that it
will be more interesting[tm] than it might look, and will need constant
maintenance if one of the services changes the way you use to collect
the data.

Which is why I dropped majority of my ideas yesterday, more on that later.

Personally, I already have most of your proposal implemented by using
mail notifications everywhere.
I fetch my mails anyway, and reading some more mails (which get filtered
into lots of folders) is easier than going to a website. Even if that
website has everything in one place, I still have to go there, and
"recent $foo" means things will scroll out if someone doesn't check them
for a while. A "more from $foo" link will help a bit, but I'm quite sure
I don't want to read the mailinglists via a connect replacement ;-)

(That sounds like somebody needs some UX refinement of archive on lists-o-o)

Maybe people who are more used to Facebook etc. have a different opinion
on this and think that mail is an ancient way to stay up to date ;-) so
as I already said - if you want to implement this, I won't stop you, and
I'm sure there are people who will like that page.

In a way, it makes more sense than adding friends and making groups on
which nobody ever interacts. That kind of things should be left to
Matrix/IRC or whatever.

IMHO the usecase is more "phonebook" and not "interaction" (where IRC
and mail are indeed better), see below for details.

Although one more useful thing could be integrated into this,
profiles, as much of a gimmick it was to make yourself an openSUSE
business card and public profile, it was one of the best
functionalities of Connect ;)

The current usage of connect.o.o is (quick summary, I hope I didn't miss
- membership management (can be simplified if everybody likes the
reforming proposal, but is still needed)

- profile pages aka "phonebook" - this can mostly be replaced with user
pages in the wiki.
However, I wouldn't put my phone / mobile number on a public wiki
page. That's where connect's option to share some things only with a
specific group of people is helpful. (I'm not sure if we really need
this feature and if it's worth the effort, I'm just pointing out that
I'd miss it.)

- groups - can be useful to find people with similar interests etc.
(replaceable for example by using groups on the wiki user pages)
and also to share personal information (again, phone numbers etc.)
only with specific people

- polls - but as we learned in last year's elections, this feature is
more or less broken on connect.o.o.

- travel support - AFAIK that's already a separate app, so splitting it
out to a different server shouldn't be too hard (note the "AFAIK" -
I don't know all the technical details)

To sum it up:
The two must-have features we currently have in connect are

- membership management

- travel support

Everything else - both the existing features on connect.o.o and your
proposal - would "only" be nice to have ;-)

Sorry if this mail sounds discouraging or negative - this is not my
intention, and in a way, I hate myself for writing a mail where I need
to mention that. However, I'd also consider it unfair not to explain
that some things are harder than they might look. So, sorry- reality
sometimes isn't too encouraging ;-)

It doesn't sound discouraging or negative, it's something I thought about
extensively. What really is connect, and this email certainly helps with that.

Let me say one thing right off the bat, I hate idea of Wiki pages on that. It
just doesn't make much sense.

I looked at my idea again, and started searching through connect to better
understand the subject. I stumbled across mention of users-o-o (thanks Richard
for not updating your profile since 2011). I like that idea more (although I
would call that people-o-o, because users is too disconnected from idea of
humans being behind it).

I looked at other projects as well, and found Fedora's badges
(, but that is just needless
competition (it's not something we should aim for with the project). Parts of
it I like however, it will be something I will most certainly incorporate in
design of the page, because badges look cool, and current member text, not so

From my understanding profiles are just a way to show off, and show some info
about the user, get a business card.
That took an hour too long :/

My idea of profiles is about contributions (all kinds of contributions). From
Github and OBS feeds can be easily downloaded to include those. If however
contributions are not code and can't be verified this way, make it happen with
users typing in (I know, ew, typing, not automated) their own contributions as
they seem fit. I would actually make main site of people-o-o be something like but with people ;)

Add team (art team, marketing team, obs, yast, whatever) badges to the
profiles, forget about groups, let people add description with markdown, make
it an interactive experience so they will come back and tweak them. Member
would also be a badge, because some of them could be added only by higher ups ;)

Sharing with specific group of people, well, that also could be done with
badges, and even expanded, sharing info with only people sharing specific badge

Polls are gonna go away, there is no point, and as we learned there is already
other system for members to choose board.

So what about connect? Well, that should be a site where people can learn how
they can connect with other people, something like list of IRC channels and
Matrix rooms, Reddit, Twitter, whatever (we got wiki page for that even, I
would expand on this because it's hard to find useful stuff there without

I don't understand travel however, could you expand on what you mean?

​LCP [Stasiek]
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