Building FOSS United Platform

FOSS United Platform

The FOSS United platform is a project to consolidate all of our intiatives to a single source. Our current actively running intiatives include city chapters, flagship and community events, student programme (FOSS Clubs), event grants, volunteering, OASIS etc.,

The problem

  • Processes for the events - CFP collection, RSVP, Ticketing, mailing etc happen centrally for now - with either me, Vishal or the interns helping to set them up in the platform - which isn’t a scalable model.

  • There is no proper documentation or visibility in fossunited.org for our city chapters or their activities.

  • Our community navigating through 3 different domains (fossunited.org, indiafoss.net and Mon School) - distinct signups in each is quite intensive.

  • Our way of managing talk proposal reviews on excel sheets too became too daunting when trying to scale.

The solution

  • The community and events specific to evangelising FOSS is our most active model. Our primary aim is to create a platform that gives power to the community to showcase themselves and self-organise their events without the intervention of the org team.

  • Merging fossunited.org and indiafoss.net to a single platform made it most apt.

  • The community members having profiles gives a note on more easier sign-ups for events, and more concrete log of their contributions to the community.

The stack

We’ve been working with Frappe since the start and it’s features seemed the most apt for us to work with, experiment and maintain. Hence it made the ideal FOSS stack that facilitated our scope.

Building the platform

@Harsh_Tandiya , @mangesh_x0 and I had been involved in the platform for a couple of months now, mentored by @NagariaHussain and @rushabh. We aim to release the first public alpha on Jan 2024.

Features planned for release

  • Public pages for city and student chapters featuring upcoming and past events
  • Public pages for events with associated processes aligned
  • Custom generated CFP and RSVP forms
  • Newsletter and event related mailing
  • A CFP Management and Reviewing module
  • A hackathon module to organise hackathons
  • Event admin portal views for event management.
  • FOSS Platform Profiles
  • Merch Store

We are also working on a unified design layout for the platform which is in progress and taken up by Ajzal and our design interns Jessica and Jeswin.

We invite the community for feedback and contributions as well. Do share your ideas, thoughts and suggestions as reply to this forum post. We are adopting a build in public strategy as any FOSS project.

GitHub link: GitHub - fossunited/fossunited: fossunited.org Platform

More updates to continue frequently…

6 Likes

A little context on CFP module.
CFP Reviewing is set to be handled on the platform itself, with all the functionalities to give a remark, vote/rating and also an option for anonymous CFP submissions as well.

  • Help we need:
    On that note, I would like to ask the community for suggestions on a set of rules that reviewers should follow while reviewing any proposal. These rules can be standard across events.

This includes pretty much everything.

Rushabh’s comment here can serve as a guideline for both speakers and reviewers.

Talks have to be informative and based on the work done by the speaker or expertise of the speaker the given talk. The talks should be about:

Introducing a FOSS project, or a new version of a popular project
Tutorial about using a FOSS project
Contributing to FOSS
Technology architecture
Engineering practice - tools,
productivity, debugging
Technology / FOSS licenses, policy
Story of a FOSS project / contributor

Speaker requirements:

FOSS contributor (OR)
Expert in the topic
1 Like

This gives a much needed context - but for the platform, we sort of need short bullets that serve as rubrics. Not just for talk proposal acceptance but for proposal rejection too.

Ideal would be: 4 to 5 short standard category explanations that reasons why a talk is accepted, and why same 4 to 5 for why a talk is rejected. A small example of the same - Reference link submitted not providing enough context.

@rushabh @knadh @realvinay @rahulporuri would love to hear your thoughts on this too

2 Likes

I had a quick look at the designs and staging, some quick thoughts:

  1. Designs are very very amateur - typography, layouts are all over the place (our current design is much better, let’s just use that?)
  2. Execution seems slow.

This needs some rescue effort. @NagariaHussain - should we take this up? Maybe Nishant (designer @ Frappe) can help with some basic designs?

1 Like

Yes, I agree. The designs need to be improved.

We didn’t have a proper designer in the team yet. But have Ajzal now - who started working a week ago, doing a bit of redesigning so that we have a cleaner UI.

But having Nishant as well would be great, we could move at a faster pace.

  • Judge the quality of the proposal first, not the proposer
  • If a proposal is vague/generic, consider the qualifications of the proposer e.g. has the proposer delivered earlier talks that were received well by the community, is the proposer a contributor to the FOSS project that he/she will be speaking about, etc
  • Attempt to provide subjective comments for every single proposal. Our community will improve if we are able to help the proposers improve their skills at putting together meaningful talk proposals
  • Comment on the proposal, not the proposer. Your subjective comments should not unnecessarily make remarks about the proposer themselves

The above is an incomplete list of suggestions based on my experience reviewing city meetup CFPs.

Please see Present — SciPy 2023 for a better list of suggestions/guidelines for reviewers for an international conference that is highly regarded.

5 Likes

I would agree that the platform project had been lacking our undivided attention due to multiple factors - post IndiaFOSS follow-ups, some of the important things to be documented for the CityFOSS tour, FOSS Hack and IndiaFOSS related decisions for next year, that needed thorough discussions before documenting and putting out to the community for feedback and suggestions. And these felt to be valid action items to go out too at the earliest, as it’s one of the crucial decisions for next year, along with a few other pending threads, that opened at IndiaFOSS itself - FOSS Awards, having a new venue for IndiaFOSS next year etc.,

Resetting our priorities for the platform was also needed, as the work time for IndiaFOSS, did crunch our time and base, and we had to pause all work on the platform.

But we are back on it, perhaps taking a wake-up call as well :smiley:, and as mentioned before, that we are on to ship the following features on Jan 2024 alpha release, our prime hope on New Year itself:

The membership portal however, won’t fit into the first release, but we can definitely plan it in the second release too, if the timeline of the membership project matches with it as well.

Since our collective effort is to integrate all the activities into one single platform, this would make sense for it as well.

3 Likes

100th Activity on the Github Repo!

Pretty cool.

3 Likes

Number of commits / activity is never a good measure of progress (outcomes are).

Any planned date for alpha / beta release?

1 Like

We were finalising the planned date today - considering the issues we have in this cycle - in progress/to-do stats.

We aim to finish/close the issues by 8th Jan, and take a few days buffer for an internal QA and fixing if needed - we will release it mid-Jan.

1 Like

Hello Folks,

We are expecting a delay in the platform launch as riya is on leave due to some personal issues.