[Crowd-Funding] Groups Add-On

I spoke with @hgtonight about this, but his quoted price to develop this is a bit out of reach for my wallet. What I'd like to know is if there are enough Users / Developers / Forum Admins interested in a feature like this to crowd-source this as an Add-On, with the end product being Pay What You Want to the developer for future Vanilla users. Or, perhaps if one developer bears the brunt of the work, they get rights to sell / use as they desire with an agreement that original supporters get access to the code / updates.

I'd really love something akin to the hosted Vanilla Groups Addon: https://blog.vanillaforums.com/news/getting-started-with-vanillas-groups/

Wish I could just buy that option as an Addon.

Ideally, a user (based on Permissions set in Dashboard) could Create Group. This would take them to a page where they could input Group Name, Group Description, Group Avatar, Group Cover Photo, Group Settings (Looking for Members or Closed for New Membership). Groups are then also assigned a Discussion Category that would fall under a parent Category (Group Discussions).

Then, once their Group is created, they are taken to their new Group Page. A Group Page (taking a cue from the Vanilla app linked above) would have the Group Description (maybe groups have categories/types also?), list of members, announcements and list of Group discussions.

On a Group's Page, you can request membership. Membership would permit viewing/posting in discussions.

Groups can have Moderators / Leaders who control / admin the content. They can change group details (name, description, avatar, cover photo, settings), approve membership and assign new moderators, and are also set to moderator for the group's discussion categories.

All Groups would be listed on a Page within the Vanilla Forum ("Groups") that can be maybe sorted via their category, description, number of members, activity, and most importantly "Looking for new Members / Closed for membership".

A future Plugin that would be awesome would be Group Event listings with member signups, but this could be a plugin later developed.

Is there any interest in this (as a supporter / developer)? If so, do you have ideas for organizing a crowd-funded experiment? Perhaps a Kickstarter or Patreon account?

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Comments

  • R_JR_J Cheerleader & Troubleshooter Munich Moderator

    I tend t start a lot of projects and I have even started something like that but
    a) I'm slow
    b) I'm unprofessional
    c) I tend to never finish my bigger plugins
    d) I do not see any use in a groups feature - it was the technical challenge why I started it

    But if anyone is interested in a start, I can publish that little bit. By now it is only an "add" view which save routine is not yet packed into the model, because it is unfinished. But hey! it looks similar to the add category view (that's what it will internally mimic - being something similar to categories), even with this great way to change the UrlCode and it has a "Invite users" lookup field - 2 things I'm a little proud of... :blush:

    But as I said before: it will take me 1 month and then I will forget about that 80% finished piece of code. But if it will ever be available, you can surely pay me money.

    Just out of curiosity: have you donated money to the developer that created the most important plugin for your board? And just if the answer is no: why not?


  • phreakphreak VanillaAPP - White label iOS and Android App MVP

    @PFAFF: I'll be in. I have been in talks several times for this but basically i haven't found any allies here for a contribution and a developer that could get motivated enough. I think it would be a good and attractive Add On for the OS community. Right now my users organize themselves in threads (and misuse them as groups, i really love the creativity of users!), it is working, but also hindering growth in a sense.

    Can you PM me what sum are we targeting. Also we should make sure that after the release we have some funding to continue the development and have some bugs or nice little plugins ironed out (user profile > "this user is member in these groups...").


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  • @R_J, I'm not sure what the most important plugin for my board is yet, but I'm working on a humble donation to @hgtonight for his plugin support and assistance with other matters. I've gotta run through the proper channels (we're a startup non-profit with practically no income - yet). But, I've tried to make a habit of donating to developers in the past with my old SMF forum.

    @phreak, I'll PM you the target sum that was given to me, but we'll need much more than the two of us to get there! I agree about future plugins / support. But, I'd like to get the basic idea off the ground first. One step at a time.

  • There is nothing wrong with crowd funding in principle. It is a question of how many serious parties there are.
    It is up to you to seek funding rather than the developer per say in this case.

    From a developer pov people are very keen at the beginning but that doesn't necessarily pan out putting money up front or in escrow.

    I'm sure if the target is reached (considering whatever fee), I sure @hgtonight would have no problem taking it on (if he is not busy).

    Another aspect is that someone has to be the main client or spokesperson otherwise it is a nightmare to deal with people with different idea. The spec has to be very clear before you crowd fund and the quote agreed, if you exceed your target then additions could be discussed, but realistically dealing with one organiser is easier.

    grep is your friend.

    hgtonightPFAFFAaronWebstey
  • Those are great points, @x00. I'm thinking I'd need about 10 folks to contribute to this to get it off the ground, which seems daunting, but who knows? I think we'd all have to agree on a set of features and then once that feature set is agreed upon set the price firm and pony up the cash. We'll see about interest first.

  • phreakphreak VanillaAPP - White label iOS and Android App MVP
    edited August 2015

    @PFAFF: I support this project with 10% up 15% percent of the needed budget. We have many good developers here but it's fair enough that if we can crowdfund this application i would like hgtonight to do the job. With Yaga he delivered an amazing example of code and usability and a large piece of software.

    If of course the Vanilla team could free the groups application for the OS scene dreamingIsAllowed, that would also drive many new users to Vanilla. But as more than once statet by them: They keep it only for the hosted version mainly because they suspect an overload of support here once it would be released to OS.


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  • PFAFFPFAFF
    edited August 2015

    I'm also willing to go in for 10-15% if we can get another 8 or so people in for it.

    I've actually already contacted Vanilla about buying a stand-alone plugin for Groups, but no dice.

  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    I had a feeling (possibly wrong one) that some of the hosted plugins/features slowly trickle down to the open source when new Vanilla versions become public. If so, is there a timetable for when the groups feature will become available?

  • I am doubtful.

  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭
    edited March 2016

    @rbrahmson wrote:

    I had a feeling (possibly wrong one) that some of the hosted plugins/features slowly trickle down to the open source when new Vanilla versions become public. If so, is there a timetable for when the groups feature will become available?

    @linc - could you chime in on this?

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    @rbrahmson said:
    I had a feeling (possibly wrong one) that some of the hosted plugins/features slowly trickle down to the open source when new Vanilla versions become public.

    This has happened for a few things, yes.

    In the case of Groups, most forums don't need this. Only Very Large Forums need the Groups feature. Very Large Forums are unlikely to not have the hosted version of Vanilla.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

    rbrahmson
  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    @hgtonight said:

    This has happened for a few things, yes.

    In the case of Groups, most forums don't need this. Only Very Large Forums need the Groups feature. Very Large Forums are unlikely to not have the hosted version of Vanilla.

    That means that there would not be any business lost by making that feature part of the open source software,so let's hope someone from Vanilla sees this comment.

    AaronWebstey
  • I don't have a very large forum, but feel like the Groups feature would suit my needs. Unfortunately, I don't need the hosted version as I host myself and can't just outright buy the Groups add-on (I would).

  • features

    1. Add groups in dashboard (Name / Description / Picture)
    2. Groups list / request join
    3. Discussion list each
    4. Wall each
    5. Members, owners, request list each
    6. Request new groups / approval

    grep is your friend.

    rbrahmsonphreakPFAFF
  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    @x00 - that's great news, thanks! I'm not sure I recognize among your feature list an "invite by existing member" option (and whether the invite is limited to existing forum members or outsiders [by email] as well).

  • There isn't such a feature.

    Group have owners, and anyone can request join as a member of the forum.

    grep is your friend.

  • Whoa! That's awesome @x00!

  • rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭
    edited March 2016

    @x00 said:
    There isn't such a feature.

    Group have owners, and anyone can request join as a member of the forum.

    @x00 - well, regardless you have my many thanks for developing this plugin. May I ask that you include some fire events (I trust your judgement on where...) so that others would be able to expand it with an invite function?

    The way I look at it (aka my personal opinion) it is much more likely that users would join a forum out of a specific invite to join a conversation by someone they know than a generic request by an administrator to join a general forum and search it to find something of interest.

  • It will be released MIT, so I can accept pull requests.

    It was developed originally for a specific need.

    Groups are something within a forum like a private "circle".

    You could use the Target parameter of the registration Url to point to join a group. Currently it would have to be approved by an owner.

    grep is your friend.

    rbrahmson
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