Devtalk Roadmap Update

Hi everyone,

Time for a little update :nerd_face:

It’s now been two months since we launched and we’re pleased to report that we served another 300K pages, bringing us to 600K for the last two months. Just to put this in perspective, we served just over 1M pages in our entire first year on EF!!

We’ve also been making good progress on features and tuning while getting a feel for the direction of Devtalk - all of which is being shaped by how you’re using it :smiley:

Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to, followed by what we’re planning to do before we start to come out of beta.

We’ve…

  • Added an initial version of our book portals.
  • Added new icons for ‘info’ threads and ‘reviews’ (as well as a section for reviews).
  • Added a cross platform dev category and a section for ‘In The News’.
  • Added cross-posting of Elixir/BEAM threads on to the Elixir Forum. If this works well we’ll roll out availability to other language specific forums should they wish to try something similar.
  • Started on our diversity portal. When a thread is tagged with ‘diversity’ our bot will automatically post a message providing some details about how we treat threads about diversity and equality.
  • Created a bot to encourage inclusive language, activated by words like ‘guys’ and ‘bros’.

All this has been thanks to your feedback and how you’ve been using Devtalk :orange_heart:

So what’s next?

There are some fairly substantial features we’d like to add before coming out of beta:

  1. A bot to track and post language and framework news (suggested by @Eiji)
  2. The ability to allow people to subscribe to portals and get a snapshot by email
  3. Portals for the major languages
  4. Other items like adding GitHub stats, core team members, portal stewards, etc.

Language and Framework News Bot

Although a lot of the time this is something people will post themselves, it would be nice to have some kind of automation here if possible. Since many language related forums use Discourse, we can use its json API to do this with a consistent style and format.

The only problem is… not all language specific forums have a dedicated news section (like we do on the Elixir Forum) and on further review it also appears many of them are not as organised or categorised as well as they could be. We want to see all languages have the best chance of succeeding, so we are planning a write up about effective forum organisation and taxonomy as well as what we’ve put into practice or have found has worked well over at the Elixir Forum. Hopefully some of what we’ve learnt and utilised there will be able to help other languages too.

The ability to allow people to subscribe to portals and get a snapshot by email

We believe this is going to be a major distinguishing factor when being compared to other similar platforms. Looking at the last 10 years or so, not much has really changed when it comes to being kept up to date on tech projects by email - you have the various newsletters but they are almost always weekly and almost always restricted to content such as blog posts, talks, podcasts, lib updates etc - they don’t generally cover things like questions or perhaps more importantly, discussions, which, we think, are often of equal or even more interest; when it comes to the cutting edge, discussions are at the forefront but traditionally we’ve had to wait for them to be picked up by bloggers (which in turn get picked up by newsletters).

We may even use this aspect of Devtalk to award bloggers, screen-casters and general posters in our MOTMs too - i.e those who post content that subscribers appreciate. We’ll do this either by some sort of voting or rating system via the email snapshots themselves (though this will probably be added later).

Needless to say we really excited about the snapshot feature as it will add a whole new dimension to Devtalk :nerd:

Portals for the major languages

Once the above is done we can start adding more portals for languages and frameworks and begin expanding into other projects too… the first of which we just added; the Membrane Framework’s Portal :smiley:

Other bits n pieces

There are other things that need to be done too, such as adding GitHub stats, core team members and stewards to portals, etc.

We also believe in setting people up to succeed, so we’ll also be posting an announcement about what we look for in Moderators - so if joining our mod team (or being a portal steward) may be of interest to you keep your eyes peeled :eyes:

Well that wraps up this update - thank you all for helping shape and mould Devtalk - and we hope you’re as excited about some of these features as we are :blue_heart:

6 Likes

I can create a bot for forums, git releases and many other sources if you want. You would be able to focus on rest without a need to worry that some language does not have a discourse forum. :smiling_imp:

Hmm … Is it really needed? You can just add .rss to pretty much any url on discourse forum.

Just a small look at page sources:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS feed of &#39;Devtalk Roadmap Update&#39;" href="https://forum.devtalk.com/t/devtalk-roadmap-update/1316.rss" />
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Nice :smiley:

The forums bot shouldn’t be too much work as we already have part of this set up with the current forum notifier, but a bot for git releases and other sources for those not on GitHub would be handy! Let’s start a PM and see what we can come up with :+1:

The front-end/portals aren’t Discourse and I think people rarely use rss readers these days (I stopped years ago). I think most people prefer email alerts now :smiley: We actually have good experience with email - having sent out over 100M throughout the network I manage over the years.

I think the feature will be appealing because people will be able to subscribe to different portals depending on their interest level - so languages or frameworks they’re currently very interested in they could get daily updates, and others where they are not quite as interested either weekly or monthly. We could even go further and add instant updates for certain things too (but that won’t make it in the initial release) :sunglasses:

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Really, really depends … Many old people know “obviously” how to use facebook (especially games) and in case they need to reset password they could call tech support or even police in case facebook comes offline. :smiley:

When talking about e-mails there are 2 big nightmares:

  1. When something happens for example I was the one fighting with DDOS attacks on Joompla! and Wordpress - really don’t recommend :wink:
  2. Lots of limited features when talking about css and images - yes, also talking from my own experience

I’m not saying e-mail is bad or good for a forum purposes, but just for sure it’s also not like that every group of people have all the time e-mail client turned on. :slight_smile:

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Personally I prefer an RSS/Atom feed over just another newsletter…

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Maybe we can add an RSS version as well :smiley:

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