Collaboration platform for Ubports (and beyond)

  • Hi, posted this here also:, since for me all font is BOLD in the forums and don't see the formatting (it is not website problem, but some bug in Ubuntu or chromium)

  • Hello,
    I have this idea in mind, for many years, which I am personally very excited about. Now I wonder it may help Ubports, and I want to ask your opinion about it. First I will describe what it is, then talk how to create it and why. I hope we may make it happen together, If many like it as well.

    Basically, I am exited about collaboration and think how better people can do it on the Internet to achieve their dreams, and a lot more. Let’s delve into this.

    I. Visuals
    II. Core ideas
    III. The how?
    IV. The why?
    V. The challanges
    VI. The questions

    Let's look at some visuals first.


    Its like a project management system, but designed for Open communities to flourish and without a manager per say.

    Core ideas

    • All action is spread into projects (aka. Teams). In the picture, we can see the project tree, its in the sidebar, containing all the projects within community in one place.
    • Documentation is the part of every project, describing how work happens within this team. And this info is nearby, nowhere else to search for. (This section can also be called “Results” (to write agreed things) or can be called “Wiki”, and may have various possible layouts)
    • Activity is where the action happens. Activity has different statuses (new idea <-> discussion <-> task, and complete/rejected/postponed). Activity can have different forms, such as “Comments”, “Votes”, “Live chat” and other integrations, but at first - only comment-like activities.
    • Access control. Activities or projects can be private to the team, or open to community, or to the public, or can be private to a person (e.g. an unfinished draft for example). But all of this - in the single list to see and find. (Plus, of course, project has administrators who can do moderation)
    • Profile. Usual stuff, like the place for a person to present himself or not. As well as, to see how activities are evolving he is subscribed to.
    • Subscription. People can subscribe to what’s important to them by marking a star. And other regular features like optional e-mail notification. As well as, simple dashboard to see his subscribed activities in a single place.
    • Organization. Unity 8 ecosystem is large, so multiple organizations (in this case, we can called it “focus groups”) should have a separate projects (aka. teams) tree.
    • Many other nice features for the future (read later at section “The why?”).

    The How

    1. Open idea is published - 1st week. I publish the idea, and omg - I don’t know anything else, there are so many questions: Is it good? What is good and what is not? Does the management (hello:) like to use it? Basically, if this project gets approval and support (intention to use it), and if there is people interested to work on it too, we can go to the second step.
    2. Open development plans are prepared - 2nd week. The following week I can prepare development plan and publish it on GitHub about design choices I thought about in years. One idea is for code to be modular, so social network (idea, described later) could be simply improved/extended by anyone. In this preparation I would continue do research, make plans, re-do many mock-ups and prepare some code. After the initial design, I would ask for a lot of feedback by community and Node experts, and we improve the draft (This is important, since I am not a proffesional in Node. I come from (warning!:) the PHP background, but have some fresh&valuable 400h Node.JS experience and done research about it).
    3. Open development to create our first stable version – a month? If we come this far to this stage, we have everything we need to develop. Ideally, rapidly in a shorter period of time, spreading the work by a lot of helping hands. The initial guesswork :) shows, that first version can take 400 hours to develop. Being at this stage, I would give my total focus and dedication for this project until we have our first stable version (I would hope Node.JS team will consist of many professionals and since design is modular for many people to help, could we do it in a month?: ) (yea, its probably too optimistic, though that is the goal nonetheless. This would be more clear after 2nd step)

    The why?

    1. Ubports have a big passionate community, whom, I have read in chats, has such a wealth of exciting ideas (but those gets lost in the chat for most to see) and, plus, there are many people who want to be involved more, in some some way. Maybe take those ideas from the chat and put them in the system (designed for that) for these ideas evolve in light of broader community collaboration?
    2. I guess almost all of us dream about UbPorts succeeding in a big big way. I do. It would be great. I seen ideas such as, selling used phone hardware, for example. Can this lead us to the “Community business”? That would be fun :D​
    3. Unports community is not only big, but growing and there is a lot of potential members, who don’t know about us yet. Even though community has this a huge task at hand developing Unity8 phone, plus, even though, Canonical had a large team working for this, I think, adding structure to the enthusiasm so many of us share, we may match previous teams and maybe more.
    4. If we start, we can so develop Open Source platform for Open Communities in the long run, so, for all other communities to use. I am very interested if & how it could be adopted by non-software communities, like NGOs, public sector, various clubs and movements, and maybe something that don’t exist yet. There are a lot of question to be answered, since this is a new product and things are unclear. But its sounds so exciting…:)
    5. Sorry if there happens to be and inspiration overload already (for me its is), but one more thing (about the original idea and the distant dream) – it is to develop a social network of communities and people, focused on collaboration to improve our common good, not only in software but in everything. Also, the new thing I am wondering, what will happen in the age of A.I.? Can this network provide meaningful opportunities in the age of A.I., where scarcity of jobs is the thing? Maybe this open Idea is the step that could lead us there and put our two cents to the task to help solving this problem.

    The challenges

    • Previous misunderstandings in the history of ubports (I have read), as well as in broader community at large etc. shows how big of the challenge is open community (like, decision making things especially). It’s a challenge. And somethings are utopia. So the huge goal would be to install all necessary safeguards & functionality in the DNA of the platform itself, to make it as safe, motivating and comfortable place for organizations and people to collaborate as there is possible to make. By the end of the day, its the organization that chooses the degree of how much to open up in this platform. And the goal is to provide a way to open up as much as it does work. Since that is theee goal.
    • Other thing: How good we see an idea is, and how much is there motivation to do it.

    The questions
    ​Very interested what you think about this. Also there is new telegram group open to join, in the case things take off to create this.

  • yea you hace a point

    I. Visuals ---> good question
    II. Core ideas---> see core devices
    III. The how?
    IV. The why?
    V. The challanges
    VI. The questions ---> see here in the forum

    my first impression is...running upbort similary as a company runs? with projectplans gantcharts headoffice ....i had a bad feeling to go this far. ubport is comunity- driven/ freedom of choice. if you implement controll-structures, you must deal with more and more buerocratic static rules. the gap between new-commers and 'gantchart-experts' would higher.
    more documentation means more people working on the documentation and not on the code. if we etablish a structure that fanboys (me as example) work on it and not the code-experts thats fine. i have the fear /frightened that this goes in a direction where people evolve create more and more mostly static ,structures and the time /space for creativ coding goes backwards. that a lot of peoples force the few codeexpets to work more and more in a static wikipedia-verse enviroment and there time for creativ coding goes backwards. how we prevent this happend ? i worry that in the end poeple like flohack write more red-tape-paperstuff and had no more time for coding....

  • Very true:) bureaucracy is the last thing we want. The idea is to make things simple, so the newcomer could get going really fast. This is the goal of this.

    The main idea of documentation is to "describe how work happens within this team" and to "to write agreed things (results)" for fast reference. Documentation should be short.

    Yes, we could create a bussiness, but the challange is - it creates beurocracy. But there are people, who perfectly like to deal with law, book-keeping and such (In the picture, there is a project for that) So those who don't like it, would be free not deal with it.

  • my fear is the following loop.
    if i would etablish a controllstructure with the goal to engage more red-tape-liking people....more and more controllstructures of these kinds are growing over the years. the endline of this is more paperstuff / buerocracy. there muste be a controllstructure to prevent such uncontrolled growth of buerocracy. if the collaboration plan include that...than is fine :)

  • @mike
    so the chicken-egg problem. prevent to much controllstructures with a controllstruckture ;)

  • This platform is the structure in itself and it does create structure for natural collaboration to achieve great things.

    Usually, everything is controlled by management and bureaucracy in our world, so things could work and organizations could achieve, otherwise people would not know what to do.

    This idea is aimed to reduce the management and bureaucracy, and increase natural collaboration. To make natural collaboration work well as well as management does & achieve great things.

    For example, bigger business is impossible with open source collaboration nowadays, but it could become possible.

  • @mindaugasdi
    sounds interesting
    where is the sanbox to test it ;)

  • yea, it would be great to test it already ;)

  • @mindaugasdi
    i think this would be a way to make the terms of rights thing transparent ( big storry copyright) there it would probably only go with a litte red-tape-buerocracy. gnu open source works only with respect for the other companys and there properitary code. in this case the collaboration-platform would bring more structure in this i feeling

  • Will try to answer Dalton's question:

    "1. The problems with the old system 2. Exactly how your system solves those problems"

    1. The problems

    Kinda don't like to see old system as a problem, but to see s new system as an opportunity :)
    But will qoute Florian :) : "One of the problems is, not everything is in the same place. Different domains, hard to remember, different placements of code between GH and LP (though now all is on github right), you need multiple credentials etc etc"

    And my problem was, that there was a barrier, one needs to spend a lot of time to know areas to contribute to. And if one don't have much time, so people, I imagine, just give up and go to do their thing (like me at the beginning), but they could stay, if they could do it faster, without having to learn ton how to navigate everything before hand and think of the ways to put their input.

    1. Now the opportunities:)

    Teams will benefit by:

    • making some of their activities open for wider community to contribute (as simple as changing the permission setting on activity)
    • maybe share all/most of their tasks open. This would solve a thing that now teams are pretty closed to the outside, so people cannot directly contribute to things happening.
    • And hey, its somewhat simplified "project management system", with all the benefits that come with it.

    New people will benefit by:

    • seeing all projects in one place, and choose projects of their interest fast.
    • learning about how to contribute to specific team in the short documentation nearby.
    • would create new activities, ask questions, make discussionsm, offer ideas and contribute to existing action to the team without a barrier in the organized way.
    • learning everything that has been done or what is happening now in the organized way (quicker learning)

    The thing is - most people do not have much time, to be full members, and could still contribute their expertize if they could find things to help, fast.

    Community will benefit:

    • have a lot more teams in different fields (like design, documentation, translations, maybe bussiness) for everyone to follow and contribute to. Its very simple to create a project (like translations) by admins, like creating a new post. People would just start contributing to their field of interest organinically and teams would form.

    Have not addressed things for developers, since not competent enough (know little about phone internals). Its for everyone to decide on their own how it would extend their workflow. Generally, I imagine it would be place for new people to talk to developers, and learn their workflow maybe. For example, there would be a project where people would learn how to test phones. Or Unity Interface project, where wider community could engage etc. One could say - forum does it now, but this platform - its a simplified project management system, does things in the different action oriented way. Just simply shorten the gap for end-users to engage with development of their phones.

    P.S. I'm thinking how to combine organized activities (which includes discussion / ideas / tasks) with live-chat, since live chat is also so great. Maybe telegram integration in the future (maybe with dynamically created groups), or maybe it can be perfectly separate, like forum is today. Or maybe just copy-paste summaries from chat of good ideas, since this system can hold on so much more threads (since old topics close).

    Now let's talk to prove or disprove:) these ideas. Since thats the goal this week.
    Personally, I go point by point now, and its seems self evidently its good. For example, I ask the question "Is it good for teams to have open activities to contribute to? Would they even want to open things up in the first place?", and the answer is - the teams choose what to open up. So, this is flexible in any case. So don't know what else to say:D Just how the idea seems to you?:) Or maybe you notice some problem in the idea to solve?:)

  • The week has passed, and we are going to the 2nd step - the design plan!

    The idea got little attention or eagerness to develop within ubports. But idea lives on. It received some good comments, and nobody said its bad. It gives me some confidence. I decided to work on to develop it. Everything will be done in the open. If you want to get in touch or follow the news, go to our new site

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