[geeklog-devel] Input From PJ of Groklaw

Tony Bibbs tony at tonybibbs.com
Fri Aug 20 10:53:34 EDT 2004

I recently was made aware of some issues Groklaw was having.  Seems as 
though Stories and commennts come up missing sporadically.  I contacted 
PJ and she says she's been working with Rakaz (she calls him MathFox). 
on the issues. If anybody sees Rakaz in IRC they should bring this up 
and see how we might help.  Also, any changes related to performance 
that we have made we should share with Groklaw immediate so they might 
modify their existing code (vinny I think I saw CVS commits from you in 
particular related to performance and comments).

Aside from that PJ had a number of feature requests so I'm putting them 
here so that they will be considered in either of the branches:

1) PJ likes to have a couple versions of the same page loaded.  In one 
she uses to view the article, in the othe she edits it.  She'd like away 
to do this in one page.
2) Comment moderation has been mentioned numerous times.  However, her 
request is that admins would be able to moderate the comments.  I think 
that is a bit more realistic (and useful).
3) She would like to mark bad comments as hidden (basic trolling).  
Naturally they would show up for the admin but not the regular users.
4) She would like quotations, blocks of text in an article, to 
optionally have a slightly darker shading than the rest of the page, so 
it would be clearly a quotation, without having to use quotation marks. 
Blaine can we borrow the forum code for this?
5) She'd like pagination of commments.  This is a good idea as it would 
help performance.
6) She'd like users to edit their own comments and even delete them if 
no one has responded to it yet.
7) Similar to #1 she wants to be able to edit and review a static page 
in one sweep.
8) Add the ability to convert a PDF to plain text (great idea to 
compliment our new PDF generation)
9) This one is hard to rearticulate so I'm quoting her exactly: "It 
would be nice if there could be a work area, where everyone could work 
on a document together, which I could let certain groups have access 
to.  It's the single hardest part of Groklaw, the difficulty of working 
together fast when we're all over the world.  I know I could do it now 
if I give everyone the power, but for security reasons, it has to be a 
walled off area, so they can't wander about.  My readers know how to do 
everything, and sometimes we get volunteers with an agenda, so I need to 
be careful.  When we do audio transcripts, for example, we typically 
break it up into mp3s and then everyone gets sent one. It would be 
pleasant to be able to have folks just come and grab what they want and 
have a place to input the result on Groklaw, instead of it all being 
funneled through me."

Obviously some of these we've seen before.  Some we haven't.  I think 
quite a few are low hanging fruit and others would take quite a bit of 
work.  Nonetheless, I think we should consider these.  I know in a truly 
democratic system (which this isn't necessarily) we give all users the 
same say but I think we would be wise to at least address a few of these 
ideas as I'd hate to see Groklaw change platforms.  To be clear, 
changing platforms wasn't mentioned in the message she sent me but I 
can't imagine it wasn't thought off considering they have content 

Also, this may be a good time to try recruiting more help off of 
geeklog.net.  I was surprised at the help I got for Auth_Enterprise by 
nagging people there.  I think if we create a request for help and list 
some of these request (along with any prexisting issues on the project 
site) and drop Groklaw's name we might get more help because....well, 
nobody really wants to see SCO win this thing and helping, even if in 
this indirect way, would probably motivate people.

Thoughts, questions or concerns?


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