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More Transparency - Introducing Minds Canary & Gitlab

MindsMar 19, 2019, 8:54:37 PM

Dear Minds,

We are very excited to announce two major updates that add even more transparency to Minds and empower you to help contribute to the development of the network.

Please take a few minutes to read about these changes and understand all of the new tools we have added to help you have a voice with the direction of Minds!

1. Minds Canary

In the early 20th century, coal miners would send canaries into the mines first as an early-warning signal for potential dangers ahead. Don't worry, we promise that there won’t be any poisonous gases.

As some of you may have already noticed, we recently deployed a new feature called “Minds Canary” (https://minds.com/canary). This feature was a direct response to feedback from our community for earlier access to experimental, leading edge functionality.

By opting-in to Minds Canary, you become eligible to receive all of the latest Minds updates before they are deployed to the entire site. This enables our community to help test out our newest features, report bugs and provide us with feedback so we can make sure that the updates are battle tested and ready to go when we deploy them to the full network.

As Minds Canary evolves, we plan to provide more clear communications on what has changed, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to help us test everything out and seamlessly provide feedback. For now, please continue to post in the Help & Support group to provide us with feedback, or if you are feeling brave, you can take it a step further and share thoughts with us directly in Gitlab.

2. What is Gitlab?

In addition to Minds Canary, we are also excited to announce that we have officially migrated all of our development and project management from Asana and Github (proprietary, closed-source services) to a free and open-source alternative, Gitlab. From our high-level roadmap all the way to the nitty gritty details about our Docker and Kubernetes environments, all of our development will be 100% public and out in the open.

We strongly believe that much of the scrutiny faced by Twitter, Facebook, Google and other proprietary services can be solved with radical transparency, which is why we have decided to open up our development and project management processes in the same way we have open sourced all of our code. We also want to continue to move away from all proprietary tools in favor of open source alternatives, and we encourage you to do the same!

This is a huge step to make Minds more transparent and provide options for you to help contribute to the development of the network. Not only can you keep an eye on what we are doing at the individual task level, but you can also now help us achieve our goals in a number of different ways.

Here are some ways that you can help contribute to the development of Minds:

Software Development

As an open source project, all of our code is available for our community to install on their local environments and submit merge requests to help fix bugs and develop new features. If you are a developer and are interested in contributing at this level, we encourage you to get in contact with us!

* How to Deploy Minds on Your Local Environment

* Current List of All Minds Development Tasks

Bug Reporting

Many of you are not developers, but fear not, there are plenty of other ways for you to contribute!

If you come across a bug, we now have a tool for you to report the bug directly from Minds to our Gitlab page using the Minds Help Desk (currently in Canary mode). You will be prompted to answer some questions about the bug you have encountered by submitting a form, and it will be automatically transferred to our Gitlab backlog for review.

Our team will then place these bugs into the proper sections of Gitlab. If you really want to get involved, we suggest creating a Gitlab account and using their tools to make the reports as detailed as possible (screenshots, console logs, videos, etc.).

If you wish to view a list of all of the confirmed bugs we have already logged, you may do so with the link below:

* Current List of Production Bugs

Bug Testing

In addition to reporting bugs, another valuable way to contribute is to help us test reported bugs and provide more details on how to replicate the bug. This process is referred to as “Bug Triage” and is a very important step in helping bugs get resolved as quickly as possible.

The goal is for our developers to spend less time figuring out how to replicate a bug, and more time fixing them. In order for a bug to be resolved quickly, the most important step is that our team is able to easily replicate. This way, we can understand exactly what is causing the incorrect behavior, isolate the specific code that needs adjustment and deploy the fix.

If you wish to help triage bugs, you can find all of the reported bugs that require more information here:

* Current List of Bugs Needing Triage


The last and easiest way to contribute to Minds is to vote! In Gitlab, you have the ability to vote on any feature request or on our high level roadmap goals. The more users who participate in voting, the better our team will be able to understand what we should be prioritizing. This step is very important so that we can make sure that we are always moving in the right direction with our development and time management.

Please keep in mind that you will need to create a Gitlab account in order to participate. Some of the terminology used on Gitlab can be a bit confusing at first, so here is a quick summary of the key terms you should know:

* Epic = high-level goals (our roadmap)

* Issue = specific task (bugs or feature requests)

* Milestone = our weekly sprints (assigned development tasks for each week)

Here are some helpful links for you to start voting on what to prioritize:

* Vote on Minds Feature Requests

* Vote on Minds Roadmap Goals

3. Summary

We realize this is a lot of information!

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to reach out to any of the Minds staff directly or through the Help & Support group. We are here to answer your questions, collect feedback, and most importantly continue to find ways to better collaborate with our community.

If you want to get involved, we hope you check all of this out and give us a “star” on our Gitlab page. Also, please keep in mind that this is a technical and professional environment for Minds development. Any abuse will not be tolerated and will result in a ban.

Many more exciting announcements coming soon!

PS - We recently pushed a massive upgrade to the app in Minds Canary mode (we will post a blog specifically on these changes soon). It includes a total overhaul of search, hashtag navigation, feed filtering, caching, discovery, suggested channels and more. If you want to test it out before it gets deployed to everyone, be sure to opt-in to become a Canary!

The Minds Team