Tuesday, 8 January 2008

RippleRap - Next Steps

Now that things have settled back down after New York, Le Web and TiddlyYuletide, we're now focusing on packaging RippleRap up for general consumption. The edition used at Le Web is now a historical artifact (and for now it can still be downloaded from the official site, complete with notes from Le Web), but we'd like to try and make it as easy as possible for people to either modify RippleRap for their own conference situation, or use the components within RippleRap for other purposes.

So we've been thinking about the best way of doing this, and would like to share our plans to gather in feedback. Note that, at this stage, we're focusing on how best to expose the product, not on how it should be improved (that time will come!). We're trying to figure out how the open source community would like us to share our work in general; this will set a precedent for all future releases, not just RippleRap.

Our suggestion is that RippleRap.com will be the place where one goes for:
  • A written "how to" for developers
  • A written "how to" for conference organisers
  • Links to new and modified components on the subversion repository (each component will be documented in due course)
  • A link to the server side code (location to be confirmed, and implementation guidelines included in "how to" for developers)
  • A link to a new 'ripplerap' component on the TiddlyWiki.org bug tracker, which will serve as a bug report / feature request mechanism
  • A link to a complete copy of RippleRap, without any data (ready to populate with conference agenda, etc.)
Is there anything we're forgotten that you'd like, or something you'd like done differently?

One other question is whether future RippleRap discussions should take place on the TiddlyWiki Google group, or if we should create a new RippleRap Google group. My personal view is that we should stick with the TiddlyWiki group, because some of the current and future components may be of use to the wider TiddlyWiki community. We can always re-open the debate at a later stage if the noise becomes too loud. But please let me know if you have strong views to the contrary and we'll take them under advisement!


proppy said...

What about packaging and distributing RippleRap as a TiddlyWiki plugin ?

Saq said...

I'm quite keen to see how RippleRap proceeds from here, and it is nice to see such a well planned approach being taken for it.

An illustrated introduction to the concept behind RippleRap, as well as a live demo might prove very useful.

As for the groups issue, I would recommend using the TiddlyWiki groups unless the volume of RippleRap related messages becomes an issue. I do suggest however that programming related discussions be confined to the TiddlyWikiDev group. It might be nice idea to prefix subjects of messages related solely to RippleRap with the project name too.

Good luck with this guys, and be sure to let the community know if we can be of any help.

Daniel Baird said...

Stick to the normal TW group for now I reckon. Easy enough to start a new group if you need to later.

Also, from ripplerap.com:
RippleRap is a social conferencing tool, which you can use to:
* Manage your conference notes - offline!
* Share your notes with other delegates
* Make phone calls from the web
..seems like one of these things is not like the others. Maybe integration of BT's SDK stuff into TW should be a separate project, at least from a development point of view? Even if it's always included in the standard package of RippleRap.

Anonymous said...


any open source conferences on the horizon?

How about offering a modified ripple rap to the conference itself as part of the conference "tool set" ?

Maybe include the digg/stumbleupon/reddit links on the ripplerap main page ...

FND said...

I second what Saq has said.

The introduction issue is especially important, as (potential) users should not have to figure out the basic concepts for themselves.

What's the general idea for RippleRap - is it to be an independent adaptation (AKA "vertical"), or will there be a set of plugins to "transform" regular TiddlyWikis? (This sort of relates both to exposure and improvement/implementation - so feel free to defer that issue for now.)

By the way: Since you mentioned RippleRap setting a precedent for future releases, I was wondering whether each product will have its own, independent domain.
I think it would be much better to use sub-domains on Osmosoft.com instead, linked to from the main Osmosoft site. That might give users (or visitors) a better overview of what's available, and would also establish Osmosoft's identity and profile.

Phil Whitehouse said...

Thanks everyone for your most valuable feedback - really appreciated! Here are our responses.

Proppy > We're going to package RippleRap not only as a single, empty html file, but also we'll produce a development page which explains and points to every new, properly documented plugin. So hopefully this will meet everyone's needs.

Saq > We like the idea of the illustration and the live demo, will try and fit that in (though probably not for Monday). And if anyone in the community wants to take this on we'd welcome contributions!

Saq & Daniel > Your comments re: the TiddlyWiki group have been noted. We'll try our best to be good citizens.

Daniel > Good point well made re: Mojo. As this has since met our objective of showcasing BT's DSK at Le Web, we'll now strip this out for the first formal release.

Anonymous > We are planning to showcase RippleRap at BlogTalk, which is taking place in Cork, Ireland on 3/4 March 2008. In addition, Balaji Sowmyanarayanan (http://labsji.wordpress.com) is planning to use RippleRap at Proto.in (http://www.proto.in/proto2008/), a large conference taking place in Chennai, India on 18/19 January 2008.

Anonymous > RippleRap.com will help help conference organisers to create and maintain their own RippleRap infrastructures with the correct agenda, etc. It will look like a toolkit, with everything that's needed and clear instructions how to use it.

Anonymous > And we love your "digg/stumbleupon/reddit" idea, we'll consider this when we're planning the roadmap after the first release! Good contender for a general plugin, which could have value across many different TiddlyWikis, not just RippleRap.

FND > We've tried to make it as easy as possible for newbies to get started, by including browser detect code and configuring the user experience accordingly. We'd welcome feedback on this, maybe there's even an argument that something like this should find it's way into the TW core, given how significant a barrier first time saving can be...

FND > The idea with RippleRap (and future Osmosoft creations) is that it will be treated as an independent product, but with the components always being generalised where possible so they can be employed elsewhere.

FND > Each product will have it's own domain name to make it easy to find. We also want to make it clear that, although Osmosoft created this product and run the website, the product itself belongs to the community. Usual licence arrangements apply (we'll be moving ownership across to Una Mesa soon). It also gives us the opportunity to use the full URL for archives e.g. http://leweb3.ripplerap.com - but I haven't discussed that internally yet! Naturally, there will be links to product such as RippleRap from Osmosoft.com.

Thanks again everyone for your input, your comments are always welcome!