[geeklog-devel] GSoC: Core Notification

Vincent Furia vfuria at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 16:22:18 EDT 2010

I'm going to summarize what we're looking for in the "Core Notification
Support" GSoC project. I think the wiki page is leading people to the wrong
idea about what we're looking for in this project. I'll try to update the
wiki page to make it more clear this weekend.

For a specific example of what we're looking for, check out the the forum on
geeklog.net <http://www.geeklog.net/forum>. From there you can subscribe to
an entire Forum or a specific topic. Once subscribed, you can remove your
subscriptions from a central area that is well organized. You also have the
ability to configure how frequently you receive notifications in the Forum's
user settings.

What we want to see with the "Core Notification Support" project is that
idea generalized to support the entire site, including plugins. In this
manner you can register to be informed whenever a new story is posted (or
one in a specific topic), you can subscribe to a story and get notification
if its updated or comments are added, etc. Once you have created these
subscriptions you should be able to modify them in one location. You should
be able to adjust how you receive the notification (daily, per event, or
once until you visit the site again).

This implies some subdivisions of this project:

1. Notification Subscription. A user needs to be able to subscribe to
certain events (e.g. new comment, new story, update, etc). An API needs to
be created to support this.

2. Notification Indication. When an event occurs (e.g. a new story posting,
a new comment left, an error occurs, etc), the thing generating the event
needs an API to let the Core Notifier [1] know that the event occurred.

3. Event Handling. The Core Notifier, once it get an indication an event
occurred, needs to figure out a who needs to be notified and how they want
to be notified (e.g. when a story is created, it should send an immediate
email to those subscribed to "all stories" and to the topic it belongs to).

4. Sending Notifications. At a minimum this is sending email notifications
[2]. It'd be nice to see a pluggable architecture that allowed additional or
alternative notification methods to exist. Some ideas are SMS notifications,
notifications in an RSS feed, on-line notifications (similar to facebook
notifications while on the site), etc.

I hope this clarifies the requirements on the wiki page. Again I'll try to
update that this weekend. If you have questions, please let me know. For
those who already submitted proposals, I'm working on reviews.


[1] Core Notifier is a horrible name, please feel free to come up with
something better. :)
[2] A nice to haves for email notifications is a site wide speed-limit for
sending emails. Many Hosts limit the number of emails sent per hour.
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