Launching Roadmap

After having had a 2 hours long Skype conversation with Cherian, I figured that to start blogging about the tech development is a much better way of documenting everything, especially in comparison to the doc I used to maintain up to today (it has no history, at least for you, it's very unstructured). The following lines are a supposed to brief you about where we are standing right now. The reason why I make this is (a) to give you, the team, an overview over the technical roadmap and (b) to provide you with more transparency over the technical aspects, so that all of you can better follow my line of decisions. If you're busy just skip this part and read on from the boldface line "Team".

As we've decided some weeks ago, reaching quasi-launchability is scheduled for Easter. What I personally have in mind when thinking of this date is that I hope that development of entirely new features can, after this point, at least for a while, be paused, so that I'm able to focus on things like applying to university and the rest my own life. This hope is pretty illusionary of course, because once we're online there will literally be tons of new tasks, but this doesn't mean that it's not a good idea to keep this goal in mind.
So, this is what I expect as the things that need to happen till the end of next week:

  • completion of the plugins for NGO's/Blogger's and "Action's" profiles, which means that both (or all three) of them have individual content types and well-styled ct.single/ct.sidebar templates. (details to be discussed on Skype)
  • Cherian and I thought that we should offer our users some sort of "Action Control Center", which will basically be nothing but the search function, or as Cherian has drafted it: action.centre.jpg
    I think that our primary goal is to combine the sexyness of today's web with political content. Extrapolating this ambition to the website means providing a stack of tools which help to intuitively navigate ones way through the plethora of items in our database. Applying this recipe to the website's search function means that it should finally, among other things, know AJAX (just as Google instant search) and have a very neat, intuitive, somewhat appstore-like user interface; it should be a very unique and quick way of offering deep, informative insights into our "European Sphere". (In this context I must say how I really like the "European Salon" formulation) This nice thing is something that is surely not gonna be possible for me to implement until Easter, but it's at least scheduled. On day 0, the search function might rather still be rather basic.
  • Another thing that needs to be done prior to the launch are dynamic (auto-up-to-date) overview pages of all the blogger and NGO-profiles that currently exist on the site, to allow our visitors getting a quick overview of our contributors/content/whatever.
  • High priority: an about page!
  • a 404 templage
  • The megamenu having that hover-effect where column 3 changes on dependance of the mouse movement over column 2.
  • Rather important: make up our minds about the content structuring on the front page
  • A nice footer, with feedback/contact form and licensing info for instance

Among the things that would be nice to have asap after the launch (among others) are:

  • Giving the accounts the option to edit their profiles on their own
  • print stylesheets
  • Debate profiles? Similar to this.

There are two questions that require your consultation:

  • What is to happen on the frontpage? How should it be structured, rather feed-like or should it only compose of features?
  • We need an about text asap. As Cherian pointed out, once we're contacting bloggers with email accounts we should have something like this online.

I also announce that we are soon going to migrate our site from the servers of to, probably within the next couple of weeks. The decision to change our hosting provider is a consequence of my conception the alternative to the current one is simply better capable to meet our needs regarding data security, the support's sophisticatedness also freedom for me as the developer. The cool thing about the product is that you can chose your own price, minimum 1€ per month, I'd pay them 5 (that's the average, and their product really is awesome), if you have any obligations against this please say it. (But one is able to alter the price every month anyway)

Please give me feedback about whether you think this way of briefing you is good or bad, and why so. I like it, but of course this very public channel isn't really suited to all kinds of information. Let's discuss the two above questions and this later today, Ivan, Fabian, Florent.

Cheers! :)

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