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What are we missing?

citizen428 profile image Michael Kohl ・1 min read

These are exciting times for the Foremverse as we're slowly opening up to more communities. What features is the software currently missing that would stop you from starting a community right now (e.g. alternative authentication methods, internationalization support, other "post types" except for blog posts, etc.)?

Discussion (34)

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graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (She/Her/Hers) • Edited

I was actually going to write a post about a feature I'd like to see!

I think it will be important for Forem to support cross-forem liquid tags — I believe the link tag, specifically, should be modified to work with any forem. I noticed this when writing a post here about podcasts — I couldn't embed any episodes or links from DEV.

Looking forward to seeing the other responses 🙂

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pp profile image
Paweł Ludwiczak

I think that's a great idea!

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vaidehijoshi profile image
Vaidehi Joshi

This is a rad idea, +1

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zoedreams profile image
Kara Rawson

great idea. I would like to see the ability to create your own tags, with associated render scripts which can be searched and added to your personal stack of tags. thoughts?

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl Author

I like the idea, but I think it's somewhat aspirational for the time being since we render Liquid tags via the Rails backend. This means the custom code would execute within the app server, which has certain security implications.

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lee profile image
Lee

The big 4 growth accelerators, in the following order:

Authentication (Facebook, Google & Apple)
A non-Dev editor (that my mum could use for styling and inline image, gif upload)
Simplified video uploader with support for other Forems
Buffer replacement

Bonus items!
I think the work happening with the configurable profile model is great, can't wait for that.

Make the ability to add rich content more prominent / stand alone (rather than just 'write post' maybe it's 'share content' or something like that).

Using gifs as article cover images is really important for me as my community is much more visual in its engagement, so maybe we can up the restrictions on the size of the cover and the frame rate allowed when using gifs (maybe we can do this with a siteconfig) and make it clearer that they can be used as a cover image.

🤓

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl Author

Awesome, thanks Lee!

Make the ability to add rich content more prominent / stand alone (rather than just 'write post' maybe it's 'share content' or something like that).

That's exactly what I had in mind when I said other "post types" except for blog posts 👍

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lisasy profile image
Lisa Sy

I think the switch from "Write post" to something different and more inclusive of other content types.

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rhymes profile image
rhymes • Edited

I think the key to having GIFs as cover images is to convert them to MP4s and serve those :)

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lee profile image
Lee

What wait the cover images support mp4? 😃

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

No, they don't. I mean, I think the goal to have GIFs as cover images passes through uploading GIFs, converting them to MP4 and embedding videos. It would also solve a few other problems like size and security:

Optimize uploaded GIFs #3638

Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.

Uploaded GIFs for use in articles are not optimized and therefore can be very large and slow for users to download.

Describe the solution you'd like

Since dev.to is using Cloudinary for its assets, there is the opportunity to easily apply lossy compression to GIFs to reduce GIF file sizes by 20-50% (without too large a hit on quality): cloudinary.com/blog/lossy_compress...

If quality should not be sacrificed, then there is also the possibility to use the HTML5 <video> element and display GIFs as automatically looping videos. Fortunately, Cloudinary also allows GIF assets to be requests as videos where Cloudinary will convert the .gif file to a .mp4 (or any other supported video format): cloudinary.com/blog/reduce_size_of...

Twitter actually converts all their GIFs to mp4 files and this helps reduce the GIF size by around 95%!

This may be difficult to implement considering the markdown asset would need to be converted to an HTML <video> element. Also, browser support will need to be considered to make sure autolooping videos work everywhere.

Additional context

When running performance audits with Lighthouse, the audits usually point towards the following resource when suggesting ways to optimize GIF assets: developers.google.com/web/fundamen...

I've also recently written a blog post regarding the switch of GIFs to videos and also analyze dev.to's implementation of GIFs in the article: robertcooper.me/stop-using-gifs

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lee profile image
Lee

Ah great, looks like from recent comments, this in progress!

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afrodevgirl profile image
Alexis Moody

For us, the International Quidditch Association, organizations are more important than individual authors or even tags. A typical quidditch community member will be looking for content about their local community first, then national, and finally international. After they've seen local content they may seek out specialized content based on topic (or tag) like drills, equipment tutorials, sport analysis, post game/tournament highlights, etc. There are some "power" users who's priorities would be reversed (they care about specialized content over community news/discussion). But that use case is atypical for the vast majority of people in the community. There are also a number of "affinity" groups throughout the community like LGBTQ+ players, BIPOC players, a variety of other hobby groups, and more. Essentially I would like to see organizations be elevated to a similar level as tags in the main feed. This would enable community members to see updates/posts from all of their organizations along with new content within a followed tag.

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl Author

Great feedback Alexis and an interesting use case, thank you!

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afrodevgirl profile image
Alexis Moody

Happy to help!

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lee profile image
Lee

Mega interesting. One of the first questions someone asked me about my community was “how do you localise it?”

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albowapp profile image
albow

A proper WYSIWYG editor for the post. An lot of enthusiast communities have no expertise formatting or posting using markdown.

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lisasy profile image
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rafi993 profile image
Rafi • Edited

Really good keyboard support (Global keyboard shortcuts to go to different sections of the page and do different things and also keyboard shortcuts specific to the page you are in).

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl Author

Good one. As a Vimium user, I never thought about this, because I get keyboard-driven navigation on all pages.

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lisasy profile image
Lisa Sy

Vim 🙌

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rafi993 profile image
Rafi • Edited

I created a really simple chrome extension github.com/Rafi993/Dev.to-global-k... for global navigation.

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link2twenty profile image
Andrew Bone

You may be able to weigh in a little on these 😊

Update existing keyboard shortcuts #10878

Currently there are a few different keyboard shortcuts in Forem and they've been built a few different ways. It would be good to now unify these under the new approach (#10713)

Describe the solution you'd like

Code should be changed to the new solution

Describe alternatives you've considered

We leave the old code as legacy until it breaks

Additional context

#10713 is waiting to be merged this issue is just a place to store code that needs updating

feat: Add a key shortcuts modal #10879

#10713 added a keyboard shortcut hook, and the migration for the current keyboard shortcuts to use the new hook has started. See #10878

Describe the solution you'd like

As suggested in #10713, the new hook could be used to populate a keyboard shortcut modal like GitHub's one:

Screen Shot 2020-10-16 at 08 54 53

The key ? would pop up that modal.

The details of the implementation have to be discussed. Using the hook to populate a keyboard shortcut store means that the modal would be different on a per-page basis depending on which shortcuts are used on the current page.

Also, they can't be added in there randomly. The shortcuts would need categorization, so the hook will probably need an update in order to receive the shortcuts categories.

Describe alternatives you've considered

It would be easier to just build a static modal, although less maintainable.

Additional context

#10468 #10713 #10878

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huddlespith profile image
Amy

If you use the dark mode you can't see the logo well at all

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

Do you mean DEV's or Forem.dev's ? Cold you open an issue on GitHub about this? Thank you!

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huddlespith profile image
Amy

The ability to create custom UX theme for our own forums (not for all users all the time, but if I were to create a forem, I could make a set of themes for that forem)

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lisasy profile image
Lisa Sy

Very cool. What kinds of themes do you imagine making? We've been discussing this a lot internally. I had some fun ideas, like a Windows-95 theme or a rainbow theme :P

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huddlespith profile image
Amy

A Safari extension for those of us who value our RAM 😆

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TechSquidTV

I would love to see more options with the reply section here, some basic formatting options and helpers. I'm not sure if markdown is supported yet, about to try that right now in this post.

Post reply enhancements

  • The ability to paste images directly into a response
  • Emoji menu bar (maybe custom emoji?)
  • Basic formatting tools.

Markdown is supported, great!

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl Author

Good point, the comment editor could potentially benefit from a facelift like the post one received.

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anujdeshpande profile image
Anuj Deshpande

Easy to use deploy instructions. We tried to follow the guides, but they are focused on self hosting for development - not for starting a community 😅

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl Author

Good feedback. Do you have a list of things that the docs didn't explain well for this use case by any chance?

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anujdeshpande profile image
Anuj Deshpande

Sure!

  • current documentation doesn’t give a clear idea what all things are needed to do a self hosted production deploy. It's great for getting things setup to the point that you see something in the browser I guess.
  • we tried to setup prod variant of the docker compose file but then the code has some hard dependencies on 3rd party tools which didn’t let the rails service start correctly
  • we also tried to host dev version as prod (bad idea, I know :) but then it resulted into “HTTP Origin” related issues
  • Also, if you try the admin dashboard as part of the setup process, - makerville.io/ - in the logs we see something weird where it says a particular value isn't what it's supposed to be, but it actually is. So there's that.

Since i have your attention now, I am going to sneak in another question here quickly - do you know by when this you are expecting to make things available widely? I'd love to be part of an early program if that's possible as well! The reason I ask is that we were hoping to have this ready in time for our first ever conf - conference.makerville.io/ - it's scheduled for the tail end of January.

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl Author

First off, thanks a lot for taking the time for writing such a detailed reply. We are aware of the issue you mention and are continously working on fixing/improving things.

Regarding your second question: if you haven't done so already, please fill in this form:

airtable.com/shrdBbyD9eosMNQef

It will reach the right people™ who are better able to help you with this than I am 😀