The state of the template pack

As most know by now, the template pack isn’t going to be part of 2.0. Whilst this is a little sad, it’s for the best. It wasn’t ready and there is no point releasing something that isn’t going to be amazing.

That all said, the focus for the template pack should move onto 2.1. I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about this and plan on during April to do something a little different. I will personally work on a fork experimenting with some layouts and interfaces. I feel the project was the casualty of both taking a long time and momentum. I want to take stock and create a fork to play with ‘what could be’.

This will be a short time and will be an attempt to be more brave about this project. The aim is to push and come up with a solution for the navigation and other areas we had to settle for. It won’t be to commit it all, I will post what I create to get feedback and opinions. I think at this stage the project needs this singular focus and experimentation just for a few short weeks.

I will be doing this all on a Github branch called lab on the project here:
https://github.com/karmatosed/buddypress-templates/tree/lab

Perhaps one of the biggest areas that will need hands come the push into 2.1 will be the messages area. I am keen we work on the layout we dropped due to issues. I am optimistic with renewed strength and new development hands we can deal with this. I think this is something we shouldn’t settle for not doing.

Whilst it’s disheartening when we don’t reach a goal, I feel that this template pack will be stronger for this process. Those that have worked on it, thank you. Those that want to work on it for 2.1 – yay thank you and welcome.

As far as ‘what happens next’ goes. I think in a few weeks I will post a summary of my experimentation. We still have the Github project, that won’t go away. Anyone is welcome to work on anything there and test, refine in meantime. We will after that look at the next steps. I’m very keen we get this early into core during 2.1.

#weekly-updates

Lets get messages sorted

I’ve caught up with yesterday’s devchat and to me it seems that messages are not something fully understood or making sense to all. This I also apologise if has been my fault. As always I have been and am around on Skype or IRC if you need to chat about things. I’m creating this post to hopefully set that straight.

Lets start with what everyone should know and that’s the main wireframe here (I’ve removed the member panel to keep us focused on what we’re doing as that has gone now).

The points I think it’s good to work on are these:

  • Lets not redo or create a new wireframe layout (note I say new). Now is not the time and we already have one. This was decided on a while ago and important we don’t deviate at least. I’m keen we don’t go back to the drawing board, whilst it’s amazing that people are thinking about layouts, now is not the time to start afresh when we have a design.
  • The above said, if the design is unworkable or causing us issues, we should review including it. We are rather late in the game as it is with this because of delays.
  • If we do drop it, I am not and haven’t ever suggested we just leave default. My suggestion has always been we do a minimal refresh just not the layout. I would not be suggesting we bring any default CSS over – that’s not what has happened in any area.

Hopefully this has cleared up things. I am keen to move things forward, with that in mind I suggest the following:

  • Please ask here any questions and we can get them answered. If not here, lets get them answered in the meeting.
  • I’m a little bit concerned we’re not talking / interacting as effectively as possible. The dev chat was the first I heard about needing more wireframes. I’m keen we all keep communicating but with solutions. We have talked around things a lot now is the time for action.
  • If we do not have a beta by Wednesday’s dev chat on 5th March.
  • I will create a minimal patch that if we do not have something by Wednesday it goes up. This will make sure messages happens but not be all singing and dancing and a simpler layout.
  • Request here any wireframes and we can make sure they get done. Anything unclear can have a wireframe made up. To this point I have made a few more here:

Message creation:

Replying to a message:

I’m excited we can get something happening but also cautious we do not overcommit and not get this released.

Template team update for this week

  • We are now on track with the coding sprint as of Monday.
  • A flurry of commits happened over the weekend.
  • The major overhaul weekend task was to bring back the ids and classes to stop breaking scripting. This was quite an overhaul but worth doing.
  • I am waiting from @hnla to hear about if you are going to take on messages – hope you are. (You have Trisha offering to help with that team which is great).
  • We have most basic styling in – the sprint now moves onto styling, padding and making it look less thrown on a page 🙂

Next week:

  • Motor motor motor as speed through the code sprint fortnight.
  • We could do with more hands on the sprint as we push on with issues – we are still at the template end though. As always if you want to do an issue or help please add note on github issues:
    https://github.com/karmatosed/buddypress-templates

I’m going to start this week’s updates with…

I’m going to start this week’s updates with mine.

UI Refresh (http://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4953):
New message styling.
@hugo has some more ‘detheming’ that was missed he’s going to commit.

New templates (http://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4952):
I added some mockups: http://buddypress.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4952#comment:7
I also updated the dropmark board to show the wireframes Turtleshell was using (more as a record)
This week we move into refining and commenting.

Ticket sprint call to action

There are lots of tickets marked for ‘Future Release’ and these need to be worked through.

With that in mind, lets have a ticket sprint on Monday 11th March starting at 7pm UTC and lasting a few hours. I suggest we all meet in the irc #buddypress-dev room (irc.freenode.net) and take from there.

The plan will be:

1. Select a ticket
2. Test against 1.7 beta (most recent available as of Monday) – does it still exist? Or is there not even enough information to test?
3. Leave it as future release if it does still exist.
4. If it doesn’t still happen then comment on the ticket you can’t replicate in 1.7 beta and resolve it as fixed.
5. If you do not have enough information to test comment on the ticket asking for more details.
6. Otherwise, if you have more information from testing update it or leave the ticket alone.

Note: Also keep an eye out for duplicates during this process as pointed out by @Boone

Anyone is welcome and the idea is you would pick a ticket and then assess if fixed already or needs more information. I hope others get involved as be great to see if we can clean down this section a bit.

There will be a developer chat today at…

There will be a developer chat today at 19:00 UTC in irc (irc.freenode.net #buddypress-dev).

UI update

The UI project for BuddyPress has moved on a fair bit over the past few weeks. We now have a final set of wireframes and are moving into development based on those wireframes. This is really great news. So, here are the final wireframes.

Streams / entries:

Profile:

Members directory/directory grid (not decided if groups yet):

Messages:

At this point we’re now moving into code and the first area has been members:
http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/members-directory-code/

The idea is to work on this area and refine to create a ‘template’ of sorts to then move into the next areas. A second version of the code for members is due over the weekend with no styling elements at all. At this stage it was agreed in the dev chat to leave it all up to theme aside from positioning.

Wireframe update from developer chat

This week several people couldn’t make it so the dev chat was a little shorter than previous weeks. I’m going to do a little summary though of the current state of wireframes based on this chat and the forums this week. The summary post for the events in wireframes this past week is here: https://bpdevel.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/this-weeks-wireframe-update/ and this was the starting point for conversation.

Several new wireframes were added right in the last day before the dev chat so those have been added to that list.

A few points from the dev chat are worth mentioning as we move into a more focused / refinement phase of the wireframes:

  • There is a new idea in the mix for right aligning of profiles.

http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/profile-wireframes-take-two/#post-138015
There was a feeling this would simplify things a lot more for smaller widths which would be of benefit. The ‘more…’ was thought to possibly be a bit confusing. There were also voices that didn’t like this different approach to navigation.

  • Custom headers/backgrounds for groups and profiles probably are plugin territory at least right now.
  • The break points we need to consider for responsive design were mentioned: 1382, 992, 768, 600, 480. There was also raised the point we should where possible be mobile first for the design.
  • Icons being used to show / hide on mobile menus was well received as an option for the navigation when on the smallest devices.

If you want to catch up on the developer chat please do so here: https://irclogs.wordpress.org/chanlog.php?channel=buddypress-dev&day=2012-09-05&sort=asc

My suggestion for moving forward this week would be leave the wireframe posts open for people to submit and debate the points. After that probably over the weekend / early next week I am going to try and bring together those thoughts into a set of wireframes that hopefully take the strongest contenders we have. New wireframes may not be needed in all cases – hopefully we have clear winners without any adjustments in a few areas. If anything does need adjusting the only adjustment will be based on agreed feedback.

I will then post this up on the forum and share the files. We can then between us over a few days hopefully agree (adding / refining as needed) a set of final wireframes to bring to everyone in the developer meeting next week.

If anyone has any objections to this please let me know.

This week’s wireframe update

This week has seen more activity on the wireframes so I’m just going to sum up that ahead of the developer meeting tomorrow. This post is a series of links and a snapshot of the activity in the wireframe discussions this week.

Profiles: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/profile-wireframes-take-two/
The starting point image was:

Moving on from this, several new profile screens were added:



Discussion revolved around would this be a good option to have a custom header per user or is this extra functionality that we may not want to have added into 1.7?
The wireframes also saw the possible move towards putting notifications in this section not messages.
On this blog it was suggested that customisation of profile could be useful such as a html / css option. https://bpdevel.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/developer-chat-ui-update/#comment-6443
More profile suggestions were also added here:

Member/group directory wireframes: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/member-directory-wireframes/
Some wireframes were added to this section:



The second version was mentioned as preferred. There was also a flag raised as to how close these could be if one of the layouts for profiles was picked. It was noted that as nothing was set in profiles it should be added as something to consider when it may be.
EDIT: Some more wireframes were added over night:

Menus: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/menu-wireframes/
Aside from a navigation menu option for mobiles, not much else was wire framed in this section. T

The conversation got quite involved in mobile menus and optimisation.
In another thread but also relating to this area, a jQuery tab solution was suggested at being produced and a screenshot added:

Streams: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/stream-wireframes/
There were 2 suggestions for streams submitted:

Potential issues were mentioned about sizes of images with buttons and also about hiding options under a select menu.

Messages: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/message-wireframes/
There were several things discussed and wireframes produced about messages.
https://p.twimg.com/A1igD9pCUAAV-dr.png:large

Potential issues were raised with segmenting and organising actions. Also it was raised the potential of moving out notifications.

If you’d like to get involved then please come along to the developer meeting Wednesday at 19:00 UTC, on IRC in Freenode; see the sidebar for connection details.

Developer chat UI update

Today’s developer chat saw each one of the wireframes so far submitted looked at along with each area that had wireframes.

There are a few take homes that people raised:

  • Mobile / responsive should be considreed and this will also make sure it’s theme independent when you consider all variations
  • With regards to the activity / streams – there was a consensus that a unified stream was better for the majority of cases. A split stream approach could be considered as an extra though but that was an edge case not for default component format.
  • The stream in the split screen was too spread out – a more frugile approah should happen with the stream and not an entire section for usernames for instnace.
  • Filtering was discussed but no clear path was found beyond the fact that multiple filtering can just create confusion.
  • The side menu was agreed to be the winner in layout. This brings up other complication in actual ‘doing’ but it’s the one that will as a default layout provide more flexibility.
  • Also in menus it was considered how they could be brought to be custom menus. This is going to be explored more and reported on by @Paulgibbs.
  • The notification icons are probably more something for 1.8 and beyond when a revision of the way that seciton works may / may not be carried out.
  • Profiles with a sidebar were the winning layout everyone agreed upon. There were varying degrees for how things were arrange and streams were laid out.
  • The message wireframe needed refinement. It was agreed there was too much space taken up with things like notifications.

That’s the summary of all points raised. As we’re still in the wireframe phase any other areas are also still open for wireframes. Anyone that wants to is invited to be part of this process. A thank you goes out to anyone that has contributed so far it’s seen a great response.

The plan is to carry this on both in the forums and through to more developer chats looking to refine the wireframes as this happens. To assist this process sperate topics have been created on BuddyPress.org where wireframes can be collected.

Member / group directory wireframes: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/member-directory-wireframes/

Stream wireframes: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/stream-wireframes/

Menu wireframes: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/menu-wireframes/

Profile wireframes: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/profile-wireframes/

Message wireframes: http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/message-wireframes/

Other wireframes: (a catch all): http://buddypress.org/community/groups/bp-default/forum/topic/other-wireframes/