The year is off to a fast start, and January is already past without you realizing it. So it’s high time we shared our plans for 2015.
Before, let’s talk about our priorities. We have to choose wisely where to apply our effort, and here’s how we look at it. There are things that can grow to take care of themselves in the community (like any particular plugins, themes, translations and utilities) and those that require our full attention (like general direction, standards and critical platform functionality). Thus, for the next big iteration of the product (and the project) we identified key directions and objectives for this year.
CMS, interface changes
Content management has always been an underdeveloped part of Oxwall. We’ve been busy with making Oxwall better in social aspects (it’s a social network product after all), but because of that some basic tools that any website requires (like CMS) went overlooked. Having received fair criticism for that, we’ve developed our vision for content management in Oxwall’s next iteration. Together with that we refine existing interfaces and rethink some basic assumptions in the product, and how they match real life usage patterns.
This is going to be a series of releases spreading the new paradigm across the product and leaving plenty of time for user and developer adoption. Details will be gradually introduced in our Dev Diary column and beta release announcements.
Pocket version of Oxwall has been around for some time but it still lacks important features. We will be working on that front since a lot of people now use phones instead of desktops/tablets, even if Oxwall is not especially accommodating for that. We laid solid foundation for the small screen version of Oxwall but haven’t been active on feature development side yet. This will change.
To reiterate, we think that the “pocket” version of Oxwall (the one adapted for phones) differs from the desktop/tablet primarily by usage patterns, let alone obvious input/output characteristics. That’s why we made a decision to essentially build two products instead of one, so now we have to catch up in the mobile part.
Documentation, test coverage
More news coming to the Oxwall developers camp. This year we finally start covering code with tests and we’ll be working on better documentation. Right now third party developers mostly rely on the existing plugins to build their own ones. To create systematic approach to developing plugins we have to step up our game in the essential technical aspects. These works are to be launched together with the new development cycle.
All in all, we are looking into a very busy year of creating value for users and grow Oxwall as the product and the project. Although we are a small team and our capabilities are limited, we expect 2015 to be the year of making the biggest difference for users in a long time. Thanks for creating with us!