[Inactive] AutoHotkey Nova > Project & discussion
The plan I have is to work in what I call a circular design pattern, where we can iterate through the full project process (from planning to evaluation) a couple of times, with the focus shifting from the earlier stages to the later stages, each time a new iteration begins. See above. The bolded parts are the parts that are extra important to get full community feedback from.
I'm currently working on the analysis of the current site aswell as the status of other services that may be integrated - such as the pastebin, user repository, documentation, etc. See below for "current functions", in order of site appearance.
[*:221v9w92]Support (-> Forum, -> Wiki)
[*:221v9w92]Keyboard, mouse & joystick reference
[*:221v9w92]Scripts ("about" scripts)
[*:221v9w92]Variables & Expressions
[*:221v9w92]Script showcase (samples)
[*:221v9w92]Notes for AutoIt v2 Users[*:221v9w92]Forum
[*:221v9w92]File Manager & user "sites"
[*:221v9w92]Docs for AHK_L
Other potential services
[*:221v9w92]Interactive tutorial (like a "course")
[*:221v9w92]Social media integration (Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, G+)
[*:221v9w92]User repository/personal sites
[*:221v9w92]Library (& functions?) repository
Please contribute with any type of ideas: small or large comments or suggestions. We're currently in phase 2/3.
Is currently updated constantly without restriction, these are some brainstorming sketches for generating new ideas...
Main suggestion: #3: "Claire future v2" (v1)
#1: "Three columns" (improved)
#2: "Cute & simple"
#4: Original/current design
#5: by MacroMan
#6: by Trueski
Should we consider alternatives to phpBB? I know there are several competitors. Perhaps another forum software has a better feature set for us.
We will be updating to phpBB3 soon.
Well, first we should ask ourselves what we need & want from a forum (maybe there are addons that would be helpful). I dunno if the upgrade process is more difficult, anyone has info about this? Personally I prefer MyBB over PHPBB, but both of'em can "work".
Also, fragman wrote this in the announcement, and I just wanna put it here for reference.
I would like to suggest a well-ordered list with categories of the most popular/useful libraries, possibly as wiki pages. As a long-time user I have seen many threads on the forum and know what to search for, but when I started I found it difficult to find the functions and libraries that I needed.
Such a list should also be prominently linked on the main page so it is easy to find. Its usefulness will be very much determined by the content, so the decision what to include and what not to include must be carefully evaluated.
I think the current examples featured on the page are pretty old and outdated and serve more as a showcase than as a library/function collection. The Wiki contains a collection of some scripts, but it doesn't look very complete and the choice appears random. There are some very useful libraries like lib_json or internet functions, but also pretty simple scripts like degree/radian conversion that can be written in a minute and don't need to appear in such a list.
I agree. It's something like this I have in mind with "Script repository/showroom" and "Library (& functions?) repository". It'd be nice to be able to feature top-X useful libraries too, and maybe a featured library package or two.
I'd personally prefer something like Ruby has with RubyGems: a small command line utility that installs libraries. I'm currently working on something like that (see "marmoreal" on github), but I can't promise it'll be finished any time soon :? . The base on this is a XML file containing lib descriptions - this could possibly used for generating a lib / script listing either?
maybe a featured library package or two.
One incridibly minor thing which has often annoyed me: on the search page, instead of choosing a forum to search in (or all), can we get some checkboxes to include some subforums but not others?
And in-topic search would be cool, too.
I'd personally prefer AHK.net to be more integrated - maybe each forum user automatically gets an account there, and maybe an "upload" button in the forum / on the "new post" page? Might be less important / already considered, a more similar layout for AHK.com and AHK.net?
The bonus might be you can use that section of the forum as an index for an installer.
Of course you can have endless debates about should v should not be considered good enough to include. Lets not forget <!-- m -->http://salt.autohotkey.com<!-- m --> perhaps some of that work can be rescued.
Some people use their .net account as a showcase of their work, not just a place to upload a script to include in a post.
From working on stuff in the past, I know that PHPBB3 and MediaWiki can have user-account integration, and I think search integration. Make your forum account, and you are automatically registered on the wiki (and you can set permission levels via the forum rank as well)
Integrating .net accounts would be nice also, maybe look into building a custom section of the user account's page that allows people to manage their .net account from the forum's front-end. Also, have an option to link to the user's .net account in their avatar section (left of their post, where location is now)
@RubyGems/mamoreal: Sounds promising. As for libraries, I think compiling a standard "everyone should have this" along with some way of updating it - would be a good idea. I think that lib/function/script review/research team could be a good way for this.
@Search tool: This will for sure have to be investigated, searching is a really powerful feature that can help so much. Poly might have more to add on this topic.
@Avatars: I like avatars, but I think the consensus is a "no".
@AHK.net integration: It is already a spoken-out goal to integrate AHK.net and AHK.com. Maybe I should have mentioned it in the announcement.
@Single-Sign-On: It is very desirable. I've modified more than one custom (home made) CMS to base permissions off forum authentication, it's usually not difficult.
@Service integration (in general)
In fact - when I am speaking of "service integration" it's basically making it all feel like one connected site with multiple services. You know, when you go buy petrol at a petrol station, there's usually both candy, coffee and cereals for sale in the small store. It's not a café, it's not a kiosk - it's a petrol station. But they got all these services available. (Bad comparison?).
For example, adding a "my AHK" (file manager) link to the top of the forum. Or: If someone views a paste from the pastebin, there could be a "compile" button or "test code" button. Or: If someone uploads a new script in their repository, they should be able to create a forum topic about it at the same time, with automatic basic info (such as URL) retrieved from the repository. Or: Custom forum code could enable inline documentation quoting or script referencing - f.ex. if I'd type [help]ExitApp[/help] this'd be the result:
Terminates the script unconditionally.
ExitApp [, ExitCode]
New visitors visit the site for a shorter period of time (avg 2 minutes, compared to 6 min for revisitors), and a large number (~30%) visit the Downloads section (not surprising, considering this is a software site!). The bounce rate is overall pretty high, which means people leave after seeing only a page or two - mostly the start page & download page.
Main goals for newcomers: Make information-finding easy, but also allow room to be thrilled and explore the site and AutoHotkey more - bringing them forward to other content.
As for regular visitors & the active community, I realize the activity is actually not all that impressive, with only a few new forum threads visible each day. Most actively learning & scripting users will probably benefit from a better structured tutorial(s) & commands list, aswell as better services for script uploading, sharing, forum posting, etc. I believe that due to the "medium" activity level and also a tendency to not use the site for long scopes of time, sparks of activity should be content-driven. That is: Focus should not be on "Now bringing you AHK Cloud Compiling!" or "We implemented blogs for you!", but on subtle improvements that make working on the site & in the community easier in general. Subtle integration.
Main goals for regulars: Make AutoHotkey.com an even more fun & friendly experience. Encourage sharing and contributing scripts & opinions by integrating and improving site services. Provide an easy and fluid overview for dynamic content (in the forum of "latest forum topic", "following" scripts, on-site notifications (?) etc.).
I think we're now ready to move forward to the first iteration of step 4, concept development. This's a creative part, brainstorming etc - so crazy aswell as serious ideas are welcome. Sample sitemaps, rough designs, etc. Think of it as building a unique house out of the building blocks (site functions) that have already been mentioned. I'll be working on some of those and share a few when they are ready to be shared.
I think I can help with this. I have already created a draft of what can become the StdLib packaging format (and even have some test scripts for handling it here in my computer). I am open to suggestions.
As for libraries, I think compiling a standard "everyone should have this" along with some way of updating it - would be a good idea. I think that lib/function/script review/research team could be a good way for this.
If you are scared by the format, remember we have this little tool called AutoHotkey that can be used to automatize the packaging process