Extensions/website

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Introduction

This is a summary of the comments to the website repository:
Extension repository based on DRUPAL framework: http://extensions.services.openoffice.org
(The password has been removed: skunkworks - skrowknuks)
Hosted and started at OSU OSL: http://oooapps.osuosl.org
Discussion at website@extensions.openoffice.org, irc://irc.freenode.net/ooo-ext

Todo's / Discussion / Comments

UI

  • (JSC) UI, the look and feel and branding, align it a little bit more to the existing OpenOffice.org pages.
    • (mathias.michel) ext website logo may be the standard OOo logo with something more to tell it's about extensions ( the atom structure, "ext" string hovering...) An the other side, the design of the OOo website is so austere, we may carry on some colour or design improvment to be appealing.
    • (JSC) sure the design of the OO.org website can be improved but that is a different topic and we will focus on the extensions repository and should keep it aligned with the current theme of OO.org
    • (mathias.michel) Frustrating but right Marketing team may propose an option to be consistent with design choice (string or icon, or the .oxt icon or anything they think relevant to say we talk about extensions).
    • (MMP) The logo "OO.o ext" is hard to decipher. We decided to use "oxt" as the suffix for extensions. Very techy, indeed.
    • (TBO) The logo should not contain the abbreviations.
    • (MMP) Pleasing color scheme. I like it.
    • (MMP) Good legibility of text
    • (MMP) User Experience Expert Evaluation: Extensions Repository July 2007

Items / Blocks / Planet link

  • (JSC) The "story" section, what exactly do we expect here? Who the content, it's an important and prominent place on the main site? Does it make more sense to view the latest or highest rated extensions here?
    • (TBO) The storys about new extensions could also be made in a blog and needn't be on the extension site.
      • (TBO) 14.05.2007: Replaced storys by the latest 3 extensions
  • (JSC) does the link to Planet OpenOffice.org provide any useful information for ens users? is it really of interest for users who simply search for some nice extensions.
    • (mathias.michel) Planet may be replaced by the latest and best rated ext. Story section content may be examples of use of extensions, News about OOo. We may also include description of new extensions to highlight their interest, beside the list.
    • (TBO) There could be a link to the planet, but there is no need to get the headings of it;(TBO) I removed planet on 08.05.2007

Filter / Applications / Categories

  • (JSC) Filter options for extensions
    • (JSC) By Applications -> we should probably include Charts
      • (TBO) Added charts, but image is missing - Anyone has one? TBO 16.05.2007 It's not an application icon, just got an document icon.
  • (MMP) Categories. Where shoud I put (eg.) a presenter screen for Impress? http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/adding_a_presenter_view_to This does not fit into the list of existing categories.
    • (JSC) By Category -> we should probably find a better set of categories. Does category mean type of extension like Add-ons, Calc Add-ins, Filter, Templates, Macro Libraries, ... or what does it mean.
      • (TBO) As an experiment I changed the handling of Categories
  1. On submitting an extension you are able to provide 'tags'
  2. In the menu the categories are presented as weighted tags.
  • (TBO) The control is pretty smart if javascript is enabled but realy dumb if JS is disabled :-( TODO suggested:
    • (Andrew Jensen) It seems a better choice, IMO, to offer a pull down with a set of pre-defined, possibly generated list with new entries added, and then allow the author to add additional categories for her extension. - Or just provide a list without free form field.
    • (Verena Ruff)Support more separators: ,;:-...
  • (MMP) I like that you can filter for modules (e.g. extension that are only applicable to a certain module).
    • (MMP) And do not offer a module filter until there are real extension for that module (e.g. where is a real Math extension?)
  • (MMP) Introduce a general OOo icon to look for all extensions, once you are drilled down to a specific module. TBO 16.05.2007
  • (MMP) http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/taxonomy_menu/4
    • Can you sort the apps by significance? Start with Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, remove Math until there is a real Math extension. I expect to have extensions for Chart at some point. And (as mentioned above) a general category for Gallery schemes and templates makes sense.
  • (TBO) There could be another Category listing: what license does the extension belong to? http://www.opensource.org/licenses/category (TBO 10.05.2007)
    • (TBO)The name for a not listed license can be set by everybody, the link to the license text needs to be added by an administrator-by design reasons of drupal.
      • (TBO) 14.05.2007 Found a better one; There exists a module for licenses; For adding a jet unknown license a questionary should be submitted - which needs to get created.
  • (Verena Ruff) What about a new feature: an extension wishlist. If a user looks for an extension whith some specific features and doesn't find a proper one, then the user could post a message somewhere and explain what he was looking for and a programmer could pick up that task.
    • (JSC)of course such an channel can be useful, but i am not sure if the repository is the right place. I would expect it more on the mailing lists.But to lower any barriers we can think about it because for the mailing lists you have to subscribe.

Extension submission / Releasing

  • (JSC) Mandatory and optional submission data, e.g. home page, follow-up page, description, version number, update URL, screenshots, ...
    • (mathias.michel) Name, version and description are mandatory. Everything else should be optional. If a not-so-standard user reaches a small goal of achieving an extenstion which fit his needs, and he proposes it tro the community, we should not ask hilm to also set a webpage, a FAQ, etc... But instead we may have a mailing-list or a forum to help those authors and whoever wants it to support end-users of such extensions. It is our interest.
      • (JSC) The mailing lists are already in place dev@exteniosn.openoffice.org and users@extensons.openoffice.org
  • (MMP) User creation went smoothly. However, I do not understand why I should get a user account.
    • (JSC) you will need the user account only if you want to contribute an extension. noprmal end users won't need it.
  • (MMP) Some extensions have special system requirements. Like OOo 2.3 and higher, or Windows only. Would be great if such info is a) provided and b) can be filtered like category or application
  • (MMP) If I submit an extension,... I am asked to enter the locale. Well, what is this? I have an extension with an English AND German user interface.
    • (JSC) should probably be a list of supported locales. Extensions should always have a default locale (ideally English). so if no appropriate locale is availble the English one is used.
      • (TBO) This one caused some sleepless nights ;-) -> The locale you select on top of an extension submission controls under which locale the extension will be shown on the extension website! This is for presenting extension descriptions for several languages; If it should be shown in all languages select <any>
  • (MMP) Is it fair that I can rate my own extensions??
  • (MMP) I do not understand the "Releases" feature. Do I have to upload the extension for each release?
    • (JSC) if the binary oxt is hosted in the repository, yes. Otherwise you have to provide the info about the new version and your provided download URL should link to the new version.
  • (MMP) Product screenshot. It would be great to show a thumbnail of the screenshot on the extension page. (TBO) 14.05.2007
    • (Mathias Michel) clicking on the thumbnail does not open the full picture
      • (Georg Link) if JS is activated: a specific window, if no JS: just a normal target="_blank" .
    • (Mathias Michel) And thumbnail should be a bigger to be meaningul IMO: at least 150 pixels for the wide side of the picture : http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/swd TBO 31.05.2007
    • (Mathias Michel)We may also displayed it not as a block like now, but in the flow as the block starter, TBO 31.05.2007

Extension/Website language

  • (TBO)you see only extensions that reflect your current language setting
  • (TBO)There is a difference in language of content and UI language of the website, which you select with the language selection in teh left menu.
The website is enabled to show the content in different languages.
For this you can define for every content you create under which language it should be shown.
If you create content, the setting from your user settings is selected as an default.
If you browse the website, the language from your browser is used, until you login, then the language you selected in your user settings is used.
To make your content available to every language, select the locale <any> on submitting an extension.
If you don't see enough extensions, switch the locale in your browser to english ;-)
This one should go into an extension submission guide. 
  • (JSC)we should make it as an requirement, that at least an English description for the website is provided. The reason is to use English as a fallback language. Anyway i would keep it rather simple.
  • (JSC)I think it would be good practise to have English as supported language in an extension as well. Maybe we should define this as an requirement as well.
  • (TBO) TODO: propose how the website should work for different languages

Help topics

  • (MMP) Install Guide for Extensions. Starting with OOo 2.2 the file type ".oxt" is registered. This means that you can simply double-click an oxt-extension to install it.

Download of extension

  • (JSC) specify the exact workflow or behaviour for the downloads. For example extension packages hosted in the repository or on an external page (probably commercial extensions)
    • (JSC) i think it is important to allow commercial extensions here as well to provide one and only one entry point for OpenOffice.org extensions. We should be open for all kind of useful stuff. The user can decide if an extensions is worth the money or not. But it makes definitely sense to include them here as well to help OpenOffice users to find the best solution/tools or whatever for their work environment. TBO 24.05.2007 added various download options, se below
      • (mathias.michel) +1
    • (mathias.michel) Hosting downloads ensure us to have at least one copuy of the extension. If the same not-so-stanbdard user hosts the file on his free webspace service, links to it. One year later, he closes his space, and no more package... We may propose to host download without enforcing it. Infrastructure should be there, of course. If not, maybe mirrors of OOo distrib will accept to host extensions repository ?
  • (TBO) Since one main fokus is to download extensions, the download link should be more prominent, e.g. by a big button 'get extension' TBO 24.05.2007 Now there is a big button ;-) it is borrowed from OOo main site - maybe we create an own one?
Options for extension download:
The result depends on which values are provided:
a) The 'old' one: upload the file.
   -> Download button results in getting the file.
b) If no file is uploaded, provide a URL in the field 'Download URL:' that points to an extension.
   -> Download button results in getting the file from the URL.
c) If no file is uploaded (a) and the URL from b) is empty, you can point to an external page, from where the
   extension can be downloaded, put the URL into the field:'Download from page / Open follow up page URL:'
   -> Download button results in opening the page provided by the URL.
d) To open a web page during the download:
   If you've already choosen a) or b) and put an URL into the field c) 'Download from page / Open follow up page URL:'.
   -> Download button results in getting the file and opening the page provided by the URL. (This only works if javascript is enabled)
e) If nothing is provided, the download button is there and leads to page where it says sorry, that no download is available.
As a fallback, in case any redirect doesn't work, there is always a link to click at.
The download button already works from an extension page, but not on the release pages - TODO ;-)
  • (mathias.michel)On a 1024*768 screen, the green button seems too large, since it overlaps right border of the release block (slightly, but it does : about 4 pixels)

User settings

  • (MMP) My profile page should contain a list of extensions that I have contributed (makes it easy for me to update the info for an extension). And a list of extensions that I have downloaded (and I want to see if there is an update available).(TBO) 14.05.2007

Misc

  • (MMP) Do you provide a list of all members?
    • (TBO) for what reason?

Issues

If you would like to help, take a look onto the setup of the site: Extensions/website/setup

Registered user / Anonymous user

  • (JSC) after login the link All on the left side results in a page error
    • (MMP) Hey, now I can browse the extensions by application! Do I have to log in to see this part of the site? Why not offer this to all visitors?!
    • (Verena Ruff) Application category or all only contain newer entries, not all (old) ones.
      • (TBO)To me this seems like a browser issue. On some browsers I used it works, one some partially, others completely not (Safari).
      • (TBO)The permissions that can be set in drupal for not logged in users are all ok and it should work.
        • (TBO) 14.05.2007 This depends on which locale is set in your browser. Since most extensions are submitted for english, you don't see them, if you browse with a german locale to the website.
  1. To make your extension visible to all, select the ,locale <any> on submission (Or change it later)
  2. You are also able to select your locale in the user settings
  3. If you come by as an not logged in user, the website asks the browser which locale should be used.
  • (MMP) If I am not logged in, I still have the link to Submit an extension. The page could provide some info like, "In order to submit an extension you have to create a user account first."
    • (TBO) Currently disabled, but the link should be created as MMP suggests.
  • (TBO) Mail sender for registration mail is me@localhost.com 08.05.2007 (TBO) I put it temporary to me to see what trafic it contains;
  • (Andrew Jensen) So, I got to test the 'forgot your password' function. Worked great with one minor glitch - the screen that asked me for my username or email address came up in French?

Not working link

  • (mathias.michel) Clicking on an extension in the highest rated section leads to a PHP Fatal Error.
    • (TBO) 14.05.2007 Couldn't reproduce - does it still exist?

Layout

  • (MMP) The extension home for USA Flag Collection (as an example).
    • I have my browser window at a width of 980. The link for "Release Notes" line-breaks. Now it looks like "Download notes" in the column Links, and "Release" stands alone to the right.
  • (MMP) Footer does not fit at 980 pixels width; the OSL logo hangs out. I suggest to design a full width footer. (TBO) 14.05.2007

Links

Categories

  • (MMP) Highest Rated. The list of highest rated extensions is not sorted by the rating yet. It is 4 stars - 3 stars - 1 star - 4 stars
  • (MMP) Please make the entire app icon clickable.10.05.2007 (TBO)

Extension submission / Releasing

  • (MMP)When I add a release, then the date is 1970-Jan-01. 10.05.2007 (TBO) This happens when no file is uploaded for the release. The date is now suppressed. TBO 31.05.2007 The date is now set on creating the release.
  • (MMP) When I try to download the release (remember, I did no upload), I get the home page at http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/files/ 24.05.2007 there is now a sorry message.
  • (Andrew Jensen) Explain the yellow star * on every page where it is used.
  • (Andrew Jensen) copyright section is hidden as default. tweak it to be opened TBO 31.05.2007
  • (Andrew Jensen) choose a better default license than 'all rights reserved'
  • (TBO) add more licenses to the copyright selection.
  • (TBO) explain where/how to ask for more licenses, if one is missing.
  • (TBO) Affiliation TODO: if selected, it should be shown for an extension instead/beside the username.

Rating of extensions

  • (Georg Link) I tried the Rating function. In IE it updates the Average rating, but in FX I get the following error:Fehler: missing ; before statement ...

Wiki

  • (TBO) clean up wiki, to point to the current accepted website project.

General Comments

  • (JSC) that we have a working extension repository in place with hopefully some nice extensions for the OpenOffice.org conference in September.
  • (JSC) the developers who will help to improve it in the future
  • (TBO) I would like to try to improve the site;
  • (TBO) Start using the site just for what it is intended for: hosting of extensions;
  • (TBO) The site should get an end user focus for downloading extensions.
  • (Laurent Godard) compare to the design and functions of https://addons.mozilla.org
  • (Georg Link) Offers help for: translating the extenstionwebsite into German and programming/setting up


Keep in mind / targets

(Corey Shields)

  • provide resources for the development of extensions (issue tracking) -> Already on OOo-issuetracker
  • allow users to easily find extensions of all types in an organized manner
  • let extensions be ranked and commented on by the community
  • provide a layer of moderation by a vetted community (a lesson learned from Mozilla and the constant flow of malware extensions)
  • Add a thumbnail for each extension, set those up to display in the browsing views

(Laurent Godard)

  • extensible metadata
  • keywords and classification
  • advanced search features
  • RSS feed
  • translations
  • thumbnails/screenshots (localized too)
  • generate the xml description for OOo the online update feature
  • a repository hosting the extensions or not (eg. commercial/non-free that rewards partially or totally OOo project)
  • the extension site should have 3-4 access modes:
    • standard: a user that downloads an extensions
    • submitter: an author that submit and manage a pool of extensions
    • translators: a user that is allowed to give translations on any description of an extension.
    • admin/rewiever: validates the extensions
  • the following architecture has already been proposed. The repository is cut in 3 levels (so a metadata for every extension)
    • Wild : by default submission - All explicit disclaimers
    • Reviewed : Tested bty a rewiever regarding basic flaws
    • Recommended : Often used and requested feature. has been widely tested

Meetings

http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Extensions/website/Minutes

Comments are from:

JSC - Juergen Schmidt
MMP - Matthias Mueller-Prove
TBO - Thorsten Bosbach (admin)
Corey Shields (admin)
Laurent Godard
Mathias Michel
Verena Ruff
Georg Link (admin)
Andrew Jensen
Alex Buchanan (admin)
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