Jump to content

Sky Slate Blueberry Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate
Photo

The future of AutoHotkey.com


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic
Chris
  • Administrators
  • 10727 posts
  • Last active: Sep 14 2014 06:10 PM
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2004
I've seen some of the recent discussions about the future of the AutoHotkey.com website. That got me thinking about my role, and I soon realized that I'm not interested in doing much more than maintaining the site and its server (daily backups, etc.). Therefore it seems best to start looking for someone else to take over the site.

I think the main requirement is that such a person be trustworthy. This is of course mostly subjective. All I can do is rely on the advice of the community and my own judgment.

My other main wish (though not a strict requirement) is that the site avoid becoming financially oriented. So I'd prefer to avoid heavy advertising on the site, especially in community-contributed content like the forum. I'd also prefer that the version(s) of AutoHotkey that are prominently featured on AutoHotkey.com not be donationware (i.e. encouraging users to donate as part of the download or installation process).

A final wish, which is definitely not a requirement, is that the "public face" of the site stay oriented more toward non-programmers. I'd like to minimize the number of new visitors who turn away due to a perception that the learning curve is too steep to achieve things like simple automation tasks.

So those are my wishes, which I hope aren't so restrictive as to discourage someone who would otherwise do a great job for the site's visitors and its community.

Concerning the logistics of the transfer: the ownership of the site doesn't necessarily have to go to a single person. Two or three people with different interests and skills might provide a better future for the site by sharing the burden.

There is no hurry for this process. Assuming anyone steps forward with a strong interest, I'd like to allow at least three weeks before making any final decision. This will give more time for visitors to see this topic, give their input, and decide whether they're interested in playing a role.

The transfer of the site would probably include, at a minimum, full access to the site's content and the software it runs on the server. Whether the site stays hosted on the current server is open for discussion (the hosting is currently provided for free by an AutoHotkey user).

As for transfer of the domain name, I'm not sure about that. Ideally, the domain name would be controlled by a very trustworthy organization to avoid the possibility that a single owner suddenly becomes unable to maintain it. I don't know if there is such an organization (if you know or you're willing to look into it, please let me know). If not, either the domain could be transferred to the new owner(s) or I could keep it as a precaution against it someday falling into the wrong hands. Alternatively, there could be a backup person who has access to the domain name in case of emergencies.

Thanks for listening. Feel free to post any comments here or privately.

Zod
  • Members
  • 214 posts
  • Last active: Jan 26 2012 08:02 PM
  • Joined: 06 Jul 2011
I think we are all saddened by this. I think many are grateful to your years of achieving your lasting goals in the face of sometimes great opposition. You have been missed for some time. and while some of your choices have been argued over sometimes quite passionately. I think no one seriously felt animosity for the heavy burden of those choices. They have always been seems as yours alone. If at any time any of my participation in these discussions as Tank have lead you to think that I disagreed with the direction and spirit of your stated goals. Then i am deeply sorry. My current career and well being of my family is a direct result of your years of effort towards those exact goals. That said i have always supported the idea of advancing AHK into deeper uses. Hopefully in an easy to learn fashion. Sadly many of the places that AHK is needed does not support unskilled developers well. these 2 things have seemed artificially to be at opposite sides of the pond. That last metaphor i hope is not the reason for this choice. There is hope for some more intuitive MSAA based Automation so very close. Incorporating those one day may bridge the very big divide between needed technical skill and the often needed technical kinds of automation. allowing a much more user friendly approach for all. Not just for folks like me. While over the years we have veered out of control sometimes towards objects, arrays, classes and other more perverse low level programmer based development. I truly see it being a means to an end and a return to some simplification. perhaps even non programmer friendliness. Its not far off i think. I hope whomever you release control to holds tight to your stated ideals even when there is disagreement. So far those Ideal have driven this little community well.

Mickers
  • Members
  • 1235 posts
  • Last active: Jul 10 2014 07:17 PM
  • Joined: 11 Oct 2010
The effort you have put into Ahk and the site is very much appreciated. I can only hope that a person or group can be found that will put into it as much as you have. :wink:

ripper121
  • Guests
  • Last active:
  • Joined: --
Thx Chris. I hope that AHK never die :)

Carcophan
  • Members
  • 1578 posts
  • Last active: Nov 27 2013 06:46 PM
  • Joined: 24 Dec 2008
I have no doubt that whomever the torch is passed to, will handle the site with the respect we all have gotten used to over the years.

I would like to continue to see no advertisements, and would also like to avoid donation-wares. It doesn't make sense to me at this point to hand it over, and allow for monetization. That could have been done years ago, and am glad it wasn't.

In a perfect world, the active members and even semi-active members would unify and go down two important paths at once.
1. Over simplification and documentation with examples for new people. This will help long-time members from ‘burning out’ answering the same mundane topics several times over. A few people have tried a few different things, but together we would be much more successful that working separately.
2. The expansion and evolution of the language and AHK brand. Several people have created branches of the language and its future depends on the very hard work of just a few key people. Out of the 27,394 registered users, 20-35 are really the key contributors and sustainers. Again with the ‘working together’. This is being done with AHKL and AHK2, but still a vast minority is responsible for AHK’s future.


AHK will always have a place in my heart. Even if I were to switch to an iPad full time and ditched the PC, the creativity, community and possibilities found here are astonishing. Nowhere else on the interwebs have I found such a community, such a clean and simple site, and such amazing possibilities.

Change is good. Change is needed. Change can be scary and dangerous too.

Gmail. CNN. CNET. YouTube. AHK. Everything else is a Google search. I visit this site because I enjoy it and it has become a part of my life.


Thank you for everything Chris.

AlertBot
  • Guests
  • Last active:
  • Joined: --
Chris: Thank you for AutoHotkey and maintaining the community for so long.
I hope you will find someone with the same level of commitment to privacy, freedom of opinion and technical expertise to keep the site running smoothly.

Chris
  • Administrators
  • 10727 posts
  • Last active: Sep 14 2014 06:10 PM
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2004
In case others have things to say about allowing guests to post, I've moved the posts about that to a new topic: <!-- w -->www.autohotkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=81782<!-- w -->

sumon
  • Moderators
  • 1314 posts
  • Last active: Jul 06 2014 06:26 PM
  • Joined: 18 May 2010

I've seen some of the recent discussions about the future of the AutoHotkey.com website. That got me thinking about my role, and I soon realized that I'm not interested in doing much more than maintaining the site and its server (daily backups, etc.). Therefore it seems best to start looking for someone else to take over the site.


This came as a surprise, but is very understandable - considering you've been feeling that way for quite a while, and given proper explanations for it aswell. You have my full respect and gratitude both for the original AutoHotkey (Oh my! :shock:) and plentiful work and encouragement for this wonderful community - much of it before I was even using AutoHotkey!

In general, I hope whoever picks the site up will help improve and modernize AutoHotkey.com in a manner that is fitting to the spirit of AutoHotkey, which I think resonates within the community as a whole. A friendly language, friendly community. One of the best automation languages, the #1 hotkey language, and an awesome scripting & general programming language which empowers users and creates value and good stuffs!

I also hope that it will be improved in a way that both maintains and revitalizes the current community, users & end users - aswell as brings in even more beginners and guides them toward the helpful tool that is AutoHotkey. Hopefully also you, Chris, will enjoy seeing what AutoHotkey evolves into.

Because it is evolving...

I think the main requirement is that such a person be trustworthy. This is of course mostly subjective. All I can do is rely on the advice of the community and my own judgment.

My other main wish (though not a strict requirement) is that the site avoid becoming financially oriented. So I'd prefer to avoid heavy advertising on the site, especially in community-contributed content like the forum. I'd also prefer that the version(s) of AutoHotkey that are prominently featured on AutoHotkey.com not be donationware (i.e. encouraging users to donate as part of the download or installation process).

A final wish, which is definitely not a requirement, is that the "public face" of the site stay oriented more toward non-programmers. I'd like to minimize the number of new visitors who turn away due to a perception that the learning curve is too steep to achieve things like simple automation tasks.

So those are my wishes [...]


Trustworthy person, non-profit, beginner-friendly. I totally agree on all these points, and hope to see the website improved (with focus on user friendliness) as soon as possible, can't wait! :)

Thanks for listening. Feel free to post any comments here or privately.



Thanks for posting.

I'll return with more comments & suggestions a bit later (tomorrow?).

sumon
  • Moderators
  • 1314 posts
  • Last active: Jul 06 2014 06:26 PM
  • Joined: 18 May 2010

I've seen some of the recent discussions about the future of the AutoHotkey.com website. [...] it seems best to start looking for someone else to take over the site.


Here we go, I'm going to speak up and publicly volunteer for this quite important task. I see it as a huge opportunity both for me and the future of AutoHotkey and its' community - I will proceed to explain why. But first...

Me & AHK

In the spring of 2010, I was studying my first year of engineering (Technical Design) at Luleå Tekniska Universitet, Sweden. The course was human-machine-interaction design, and I managed to steer the project group towards investigating something I find extremely interesting - the human-computer-interaction, namely via the keyboard interface. The project goal was to find out how different laptop keyboard layouts affected user interaction, and if hotkeys could be used to improve human-machine interaction via the keyboard interface... I think you can see where this is going.

Prior to programming my first, very simple, script for AutoHotkey - I had only limited programming experience. AutoHotkey was my first programming language, but not my last. During the summer, I used AutoHotkey to automate a few tasks in my job, which was then at the university IT Servicedesk. I started to learn a bit more.

Half a year later, I was finding my motivation for engineering (& physical design) decline, and my motivation for digital design to increase. I was thinking about solving the world problems (no, really :roll:) and came up with a concept that I now call Appifyer - A concept which builds on launching tiny applications (apps) fast with hotkeys, and aids and promotes the installation & usage of these applications. I started to use AutoHotkey to program a series of these small applications, and tried to make them "user ready" - brand them, name them, debug them, pack them, etc. The suite of apps includes the following (and can also be insta-installed with Appifyer, and found at <!-- m -->http://appifyer.com/apps/<!-- m --> ...):

bitlyButler - Link shortening
Colorette - Color picker
Go! - Instant search
Pastej - Powerful pasting
Spotifyer - Music hotkeys & notifications
Zizorz - Screen Clipping Tool
Zizorz has theresince become really popular (which is nice), and during my most app-productive time I could make over an app a week. I also learned how to program better, step by step. I still occasionally write ugly AHK code, but I'm learning... :)

Anyway, now I'm mostly still working on Appifyer, with some other side projects as I come up with some idea I want to give a try. AHK is great!

IT entrepreneur (& webdev)

My vision and goal for the future is connected with the ideas I described earlier - to improve human-machine-interaction through innovation & design in the IT area.

Nowadays I am on a (>1 AND < ∞) years' break from university studies, and have been working for soon a year as IT support/tech, while on my spare time (amongst other things, such as music, gaming, gymming) doing some web development & hobby entrepreneurship. So far, no huge "hits", but I've got a few things going that could become popular.

I know basic PHP, pretty decent CSS & HTML, and pretty alright JavaScript/jQuery too. I'm learning, as with all things.

As for my Curriculum Vitae of web design, <!-- m -->http://teamproperty.net<!-- m --> is a clan site I made (along with a graphics designer) and maintain for my Starcraft II clan. I'm currently working on a few other projects too, including a corporate website for my employer.

AutoHotkey.com is not a "small" site, and it has been and will be important to alot of people. So, in that sense I want to emphasize that being the web master of AutoHotkey.com is not an easy task. But as the site is now, it's hardly "complicated". It's a forum, and it's content (some form of decent backend for the documentation, I hope...). It's not rocket science, and I consider myself to be sufficiently competent to not only make a few changes to AutoHotkey.com, but to improve it over time, leading a community effort.

I also don't think this is "a few hours when I have time", like with other projects. I consider this a part time, non-profit voluntary work. Doing what I enjoy, doing it for & with a community I really like - and gaining a potentially nice addition to my CV aswell as a hopefully much improved AutoHotkey.com site to the boot!

Like Carcophan said:

I visit this site because I enjoy it and it has become a part of my life.



In conclusion

Thank you Chris for all that you have done so far, it's nice having you still stick around too! I chose to make my offer public because I believe it's an important thing for the community, so I want transparency. Also, feel free to criticize (or support, of course) me either in public or private.

As for the three main requirements by Chris:

Trustworthyness: I am not anonymous, and I have high moral standards. I have personal interest in improving the site, driven by my interest for AHK, web design & entrepreneurship. Therefore, I believe you can trust me.
Avoid financial orientation: Although I don't earn a huge salary as an IT tech, money has never been the main issue. This is a philosophical point-of-view of mine. Although I will not outrule any possibility of f.ex. discrete & well placed ads, I can promise to keep the clean face of AutoHotkey.com and maintain a nonprofit-oriented approach.
User friendly "public face": As for maintaining (or improving) the orientation of AutoHotkey.com to appeal to beginners, I couldn't agree more. There's no reason to make something seem more difficult than it is - rather the opposite, it's better to intuitively and pedagogically guide the user in such a way that everything seems simple - from the first visit, through the full experience. It's a good goal, that I share.
I may also add that envisioning an improved AutoHotkey.com is not a problem to me. The question is - how much change do we want, and how much change is anticipated that our future visitors & members would want? The main design goal is the ease-of-use, and to keep the general idea, but modernize looks, service integration & service focus.

But that, my friends, is probably discussion for another topic.

PS. I see community cooperation as a very good thing, and am also willing to work in a team - if there seems to be more "able-bodied men".

computerspazzz
  • Members
  • 22 posts
  • Last active: Mar 19 2012 08:33 PM
  • Joined: 25 May 2010
If it matters, it sounds like sumon has what it takes. I also do php and html, but not much else for websites. I use ahk allot and develop allot of things specializing in the automation of other programs. I would very much like to see the site continue in a healthy manner. I would be willing to help out whoever is chosen if there is need. I am currently unemployed so usually have some spare time here and there ;) I am not interested in taking over the project myself however, just willing to help if the need arises, or to be part of a development team to support the continuation of the site.

  • Guests
  • Last active:
  • Joined: --

As for transfer of the domain name ... I could keep it as a precaution against it someday falling into the wrong hands.

+1

Chris
  • Administrators
  • 10727 posts
  • Last active: Sep 14 2014 06:10 PM
  • Joined: 02 Mar 2004
To everyone who has replied so far (publicly or privately), thanks for your willingness! The responses are a lot more than I'd hoped for!

So far, the two main volunteers are:

(1) Sumon: As he proposed higher above, he's willing to become the main developer of the site and lead a community effort toward improving it. One of his passions is to "improve human-machine-interaction through innovation & design", something most of us would agree fits right in with the spirit of AutoHotkey. He also says, "The main design goal is the ease-of-use, and to keep the general idea, but modernize looks, service integration & service focus." The site could certainly use some of that! Sumon is also willing to be part of a team, perhaps a strong right-hand man to the main owner.

(2) Polyethene: He was probably the first to contact me. His involvement with AutoHotkey goes back almost to its beginning. He has contributed in countless ways such as AutoHotkey.net, the forum's code sections, and the IRC channel. He is interested in becoming the main owner of the site. His expertise extends into many areas, especially in keeping the site reliable and fast, and even improving its reliability and speed over time. He's also quite skilled in server-side software and integration (forum, wiki, CMS, etc.). As for the content of the site, one of his goals is to expand and encourage AutoHotkey's presence in social media such as Facebook and YouTube.

Other people have also stepped forward to help with the site or even take a leadership role if called for:[*:3krkmrip]Jaco0646 has been and continues to be a patient and steadfast moderator and contributor. He's an integral part of what makes the forum a constructive and friendly place to visit. He stands ready to increase his role, or even take over complete responsibility for the site if called for.
[*:3krkmrip]Computerspazzz is ready to lend his PHP and HTML skills to anything the new owner(s) decide would be of benefit.
[*:3krkmrip]JSLover, a long-standing forum member and contributor, is interested in helping with a forum upgrade if/when the owners decide the time is right.So far, the above is how things are shaping up. This is not a final decision, and there's still room for others to step forward. So if you're interested, feel free.

One of the next steps is discussion among the people above, especially the two main volunteers, to see if it would be feasible to divide the responsibilities.

  • Guests
  • Last active:
  • Joined: --
@Sumon: no disrespect to your design/html skills but my suggestion would be to keep a new design very very basic / simple so it can easily be used for the AutoHotkey (_l v2) documentation as well.

Personally I think the Haskell homepage <!-- m -->http://www.haskell.org/<!-- m --> is a very good example:

[............intro block what is AutoHotkey ............]
|Learn AutoHotkey | Use AutoHotkey | Join the community |
|                 |                |                    |
|                 |                |                    |
|                 |                |                    |


sumon
  • Moderators
  • 1314 posts
  • Last active: Jul 06 2014 06:26 PM
  • Joined: 18 May 2010

As for transfer of the domain name ... I could keep it as a precaution against it someday falling into the wrong hands.

+1


Yes, I agree, I don't see a practical reason why the webmaster would need full access or ownership of the domain name.

If it matters, it sounds like sumon has what it takes. I also do php and html, but not much else for websites. [... I am] willing to help if the need arises, or to be part of a development team to support the continuation of the site.


Thanks, & that sounds great :)

@Sumon: no disrespect to your design/html skills but my suggestion would be [...]


That is not disrespectful at all, it's just a suggestion. I hope the design team (I would) will keep the design simple - and AHKv2 documentation should be featured and used, of course. We can discuss design suggestions more in-detail when there is a set team.

To everyone who has replied so far (publicly or privately), thanks for your willingness! The responses are a lot more than I'd hoped for!


I was really happy to see that Polyethene is volunteering, since I know he has done a very good job at AutoHotkey.net already. I also like that quite a few people contacted you privately, ready to step up responsibility and contribution. The more will to help - the better. I hope that even if all will not (and should not) be involved directly with f.ex. the web design - that this will still be a community effort. It's for the community, users & visitors.

One of the next steps is discussion among the people above, especially the two main volunteers, to see if it would be feasible to divide the responsibilities.


I'll be discussing it with Polyethene more in-detail the closer we get to getting to work. And like you said, there's no real rush (although from a dev point-of-view: "When can we get started?! ;)"... ), so I assume this is not the end of discussion. However: It's a great start!

amnesiac
  • Members
  • 124 posts
  • Last active: May 01 2014 03:04 AM
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2010
For quite a long time, there is something in my heart that makes me up and down. However, I don’t know what it is.
Now, I’ve come to see that, there are so many people giving themselves up to what I have been doing, among others, you are of great importance, both in spirit or in the real world.
Maybe, the situation is a good chance, of which I take a gloomy view, however, just as I’m in an effort to do anything with AHK (When reading the posts, an idea flashed over my mind that I might take over the website by joining hands with some amateurs. I do know that I have nothing on me except enthusiasm. )
Best wishes.

Add: Now the situation is not good that the website and the program (l.autohotkey.net) is breaked up. I propose that Lexikos would be as one of administrators, so he could update the information of new version and others at the website.