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Roadmap and documentation - improvements please
  • Hi

    Last year you talked about a more open development model. We've seen some great initiatives on that front, but it is safe to say that there are significant problems with the current state of public Newscoop documentation. I hope you will be able to address those in the near future.

    First of all, it is very hard to get a clear idea of where Newscoop is headed. We have the new release schedule with faster feature rollout - but what features are in the pipeline? What is the short- medium- and longterm plans for the platform? Are we going to maintenance mode until Superdesk matures?
    You introduce massive architectural changes (say the switch to Symphony) with little to no public information. I'm not saying the changes you make are bad, but if you hope to engage more outside developers - make the outside as informed as yourself.


    Now the Newscoop manual is decent, but on the Newscoop help pages you have a link to the 4.2 manual, which is confusing and honestly symptomatic of the lack of overall plan apparent with the documentation.
    The forums are a pain to use - the signal-to-noise is very bad, and on mobile it is almost unusably chaotic.
    The Wiki - do you maintain that? The roadmap page for Newscoop is old and empty for instance, the Developer Docs - Getting Started - Newbie guide is for version 3.5 etc. etc.
    The dev pages tells me 4.4 will "improve featured article lists" but what/how? It isn't clear there's a task I can follow or a description - and nothing about longer term.
    Then there's the dev-blogs. And the blogs.
    Github has its own issue lists, which provide a bit of insight.
    And lastly Transifex gives an idea about upcoming features, but only barely - and as a translator I get no context or explanation to help the translation along. The Article Edit Screen Plugin for example introduced "Editor" for me to translate, but is this a "person who edits" or "field for editing"? Tracking that down requires prohibitive amounts of time... I have a fulltime job and family on the side ;)


    I hope you can take this as constructive criticism. A central information hub, updated!!!, with a roadmap (short/medium/long term) and an overview of all other information sources and how to use them.
    Probably not a small task, but let's put it this way... I singlehandedly contributed a complete translation (it's fallen behind a few percent, but I'll catch up :p ), yet I spent more time trying to find relevant information than actually contributing anything - and I have no idea where I should contribute relevant information back to the community. That's a silly waste of time, and it would strongly benefit the entire project if you invested the necesary resources in keeping the community informed.