[isf-wifidog] Wifidog UI and contributions Reply #1

Don Druce dondruce at sympatico.ca
Mer 5 Sep 19:20:56 EDT 2007


This is being written for the record only.  I am probably posting in the 
wrong forum, at the wrong time in the wrong manner to reply to this 
post, but I am doing my best - expect no more.  The message is being 
addressed to Jeff.

I disagree wtih your statement

/*"Yes, as Don so succinctly points out, MSF has complained via the ticket route that the "frozen" layout of the login page gives rise to errors by new users."*/

This ticket was not created in the name of MSF.  Any tickets from MSF will and should be as a result of a decision by MSF.  I created that ticket "alone" after observing login attempts during an explanation of how to join the MSF network given at a RIB meeting.  Even with explicit explanations and using a projector to demonstrate and explain, 50% of the members who attempted to connect failed.  When detailed observations were made and questions asked, it was determined that the main cause of the failures was the misinterpretation of the login page.  I then generated the ticket for two reasons, 1) to make this finding known  2) To provide me with information for possible future documentation.  

At that time, I had planned to create a few documents "_using a newcomers fresh point of view_".  I quickly discovered this must be done very delicately, with more tact than directness, if you wish to receive any sort of cooperation or information.  

Everyone one is busy, and these "deviations" from the normal procedurea 
are not taken lightly.  I have recorded email pointing this out rather 

I am totally content to wait until the developers find the time, and are 
so inclined, to include this "idea" in their development process.  In 
the meantime, I can be as patient as anyone.

It would not be an enormous task to generate a "few more trouble tickets 
or feature requests", but lets suppress this urge and wait until the 
existing ones are cleared before putting more on the burner.   As has 
been pointed out, Google is still there for us to use!


Benoit Grégoire wrote:
> On 5 September 2007, Jeff Schallenberg wrote:
>> On 9/4/07, Don Druce <dondruce at sympatico.ca> wrote:
>>> See http://dev.wifidog.org/ticket/343
>>> Yes, as Don so succinctly points out, MSF has complained via the ticket
>> route that the "frozen" layout of the login page gives rise to errors by
>> new users. MSF (Don and Jeff) have been harping on this simple layout
>> change on this list for 4 months now. And MSF is not the only WiFiDog
>> community member to recognize the need to improve the layout of the login
>> page - see http://wifi.izzipizza.com/login/ from Malaysia!
> Yes, about everyone (including me) recognizes the need for various UI 
> improvement (including layout).  The problem is that excluding me, the last 
> time someone commited or sent in a patch for a UI improvement was 16 months 
> ago.  That's not normal.
> Doing transparent db schema update or implementing something like the profile 
> system requires a lot of skills and experience.  I can't reasonably expect a 
> new contributors to just drop in implement something of that scale (Although 
> it CAN happen, David Bird's recent patch comes to mind)
> But, the skills to, for example fix the menus not dropping down on IE6 
> http://dev.wifidog.org/ticket/370) are much easier to come by.  Surely one of 
> the more than 220 people on this list can figure that one out without me 
> getting actively involved?
>> The ticket has not been addressed by the developers.
> True, but your sound surprised.  It's just one 88 open tickets (See 
> http://dev.wifidog.org/report/9).  Most of my work on wifidog is purely 
> volunteer, and there are only so many hours in a week.  While I'm astonished 
> that in the last few months I've closed tickets faster than people open them, 
> I'll never get through them all without more help.
> And for those who can't code, you can really help the project by:
> -Helping other people on the list or IRC
> -Contributing to the FAQ, or moving answers from the list or IRC to the FAQ
> *-Writing documentation*
> -Updating translations.  If you know how, you can also modify the way strings 
> are output to make translation easier (such as making use of plural form).
> -Opening tickets when you find an issue
> -Opening feature requests, including what you need the feature for.  Even if I 
> don't intend to work on it, I do read them all, and it helps me with 
> architecture and refactoring.  That way, when I change something I try to 
> make sure the job of the future developper that would implement the feature  
> easier.
> All of the above massively decrease my workload, and allow me to:
> -Focus on getting 1.0 out the door
> -Spend time supporting new developers, integrating their patches and otherwise 
> making their lives easier.
> -Fix tickets that would be very difficult to close by anyone but a core 
> developer.
>> MSF has improved the login page layout significantly
>> (http://auth.monteregiesansfil.org/login/)
>> by means of what Benoit calls "a dirty hack".
> Maybe I should define that.  When I talk about "dirty hack", in the wifidog 
> context, I usually mean a hardcoded local change in code or static templates 
> that either:  
> -Could not, or would not be merged in the mainline because it's not applicable 
> to every group and can't be turned off (if unsure, try to reach a consensus 
> on the list or IRC).
> -Could be achieved by one of the mechanism meant for customization.
> -Would be generally applicable, but either hasn't been contributed back, or 
> could have easily be made generic but hasn't.
> Is it more work to get things to work in a generic manner?  Yes, sometimes.  
> But that's how the project can move forward, become even more flexible, and 
> allow the various members of the community not to solve the same problems 
> over and over.
>> MSF would like to contribute this minor layout improvement to the WiFiDog
>> community.
> Excellent!
>> How can MSF do this on its own? Are there any tools to "cleanly" move the 
>> "Create a free account" button to the right area? The capability of editing
>> the static smarty template login.tpl has been inadvertently removed by the
>> development team.
> Rework the HTML to make it more flexible (making sure not to add any MSF 
> specific strings), modify the default Stylesheet so that it still works 
> correctly with the default theme, and send in a patch.
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