Closed Bug 862862 Opened 8 years ago Closed 8 years ago

Ship alpha version of "Thimble save" feature by May 23


(Webmaker Graveyard :: Thimble, defect)

Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: michiel, Assigned: laura)



(Whiteboard: [thimble:node])


(1 file)

This may not be anything special, since that's what Thimble can be used for already, but in combination with user logins and subdomains this will need UX
@ Pomax: discussed with Brett today: we'd love to have the Webmaker Super Mentors help beta test this new feature in the open online course launching May 2
* Let us know how they can help beta test?
The Mentor team is working on the template for hacktivity kits. Doesn't affect the UX requirement for this, but it's doubtful that you'll actually need to think about the templates themselves. 

We should launch the "save thimble project" and these features should be betatested during the MOOC (starting May 2nd).
See Also: → 862878
Laura I renamed this bug.  If you could paste even a work in progress of what a hacktivity kit looks like, would be useful.  We doing some backend work to enable identify machine tags in thimble that will surface (ie "hacktivity kit", "challenge")

So pasting here is useful. Renamed bug to reflect that and assigning to you.
Assignee: nobody → laura
Summary: Allow the making of projects and hacktivity kits in Thimble → Gather hacktivity Kit template from mentor team
We should likely work together on the tags - nomenclature and whatnot. I haven't had time to write a full brief, but we'll have different templates that are brought together through a kind of meta-template. They'll be different versions of the same template:

I've started that design brief here, but it's just chicken scratch at the moment:
* Laura: I'd love get in on helping to produce that nomenclature documentation. What's the next step? Is that pad ready for outside input yet?
* Brett: Laura did a lot of fantastic work on this last week. Not just in terms of producing these new templatess in Thimble, but also in terms of proposals to simplify our language and nomenclature for our teaching resources. 
* These include moving away from the term "Hacktivity Kits" towards something simpler and more multi-purpose
* Laura and I can work together to produce that simplified documentation
* We discussed this in Mentor Team call today
* Next steps: Mentor Team will deliver more polished documentation on our latest thinking around "Hacktivity Kits." Capturing thinking from last week's Mentor Work Sprint.
* Mentor team: please help hack this documentation here:
* Next step: polish and deliver as finalized blog post.
* Brett and Pomax: you have the prototypes above. Will that plus this documentation give what you need?
@Matt - jumping into the pad. 

@Brett and Pomax: iterated prototypes (cleaned things up a bit more, so you can understand the thinking):
Hackable Templates

    Profile Template:

    Goals Template:

    Activity template:

    Resource template:

    Kit Assembly Template: 

Kit Examples:

    Kit as multiple pages sample:

    Kit on a single page sample:

    Kit as a PDF:

Resource Examples:

    Cheatsheet hack:

    Hack of the Cheatsheet hack:
So I think all of these examples would be tagged as "kit" in the meta tags (see bug #862832 for this work) and then the title actually describes the activity, right?

Or is it actually better to name these something else, like "resource" - since I see that not all of the templates you are providing, Laura, describe activities. Some are resources like Add ons or 3rd party services.

In any case, I'd like us to limit our June 15th scope to one type of tag that we'll surface at /teach, and let the title and the description be the main discovery mechanism.
btw these are awesome - would be helpful for Pomax and Scott to use one of these in testing.

Let's use:
A kit is actually a COMPILATION of the other things:

    Goals = the skills and/or competencies an activity aims to teach, listed for a mentor to quickly answer "If I teach this KIT, what will my learners learn". 

    Activities = participatory collaborative actions in the physical world, generally led by a mentor. These are learning-focused activities, and will generally include a Make. Sometimes the "make" is abstract (i.e. knowledge). 

    Resources = Supplemental materials to help a mentor run an activity. cheat sheets, event guides, How Tos, flow charts, assessment rubrics, etc.
    Kit = Goals, activities and resources all together.

Documentation is here: - Matt and I just did a quick cowork on this, and it's looking pretty good.

Ideally there would be at least 3 tags (kit, activity, resource). No need to tag "goals" because they'd always be associated with one of the other things, mainly "kits". Possible? Annoying? You grok why?
* @ Brett: re: using ONE meta-tag or category to surface all mentor-relevant makes good sense. Understood. 
* "KIT" is indeed probably the best word for now -- but we will get back to you on that once we grok the larger taxonomy plan for as a whole.
* @ Laura: we can probably find a way to get what you're after as well. We may just be tripping over the difference between a "meta-tag" versus a "tag", or category vs. tag, etc. Let's re-visit that later.
* sorry, typo in my comment above. should have read: "using ONE meta-tag or category to surface all mentor-relevant makes is good sense. Understood."
* @ Brett and Pomax: one question we have is around a *specific* piece of Thimble functionality we're after. It will impact our ability to do all our teaching kits in Thimble. 
* Specific piece of Thimble functionality we're looking for: SAVE. Ability to publish a Thimble page, then come back to it, edit it, save it, and have the changes occur *within the same URL*
* this is similar workflow to what already exists in Popcorn Maker, for example -- the ability to edit your projects and have them update at the same URL
* our understanding is that this feature will not be shipped until June 15. Is that correct?
* is there a chance to scoped-down version, release candidate or beta version that we could start testing with Mentors by May 23? (this is when mentor course participants will start actively hacking on content -- so that's a relevant date for us.) 
* Scoped down version: ANY user can edit a Thimble page (through foo/edit) and publish changes *to the same URL*
* @ Laura: note that Thimble version 2.0 exists on staging here:
* I believe it has the functionality you're talking about. so the question is: what, if anything, might we be able to provide a select group of Webmaker mentor beta testers by May 23?
@ Brett and Pomax -- correct me if I'm wrong. Jbuck just shared that link with me.
@Matt - so just had this conversation with Humph.  Essentially, we can't push thimble to production until launch since it will have really big dependencies on other pieces, namely login and MakeAPI.  We don't have plans to push to production till then.

As for how we want to message this to the MOOCers, I think we need to have this conversation closer to the date.  What I told CLAW today was that we should encourage the first part of the MOOC to be about things that aren't dependent, and teach them to be conversant in Thimble/Popcorn Maker, and that we have a plan for how the best of what they make can be surfaced when we're ready.

@ Laura: "Goals" and "activities" aren't things we need Thimble to actually add to the meta data, I think they're just content you want folks to fill out on the page.  Could be something we look at down the road, but right now our MVP on isn't going to filter by those characteristics.  Make sense?  Keep it hacky and with as few dependencies as possible for now.
Brett: I was talking with Matt yesterday, and told him that while we won't be able to have anything in production by then, if we had a staging or beta environment that we felt confident in opening up to a wider audience we would be happy to open that up for them to use, assuming the data was portable to production. Some open questions there, but might help us to parallelize.
* Mentor team would be thrilled with anything -- no matter how hacky or temporary -- to use by May 23
* The participants in the MOOC are highly motivated users that will be receiving lots of hand-holding and instruction, so feel free to throw whatever caveats, user testing requests, etc you want at them :)
Jon and I were just discussing this by phone a few minutes ago.  I'd be interested in seeing an alpha version of our stuff be usable by folks by the 23rd, as long as we do this:

* Leave the current Thimble, Popcorn Maker, etc. in place as fallback.  If something blows up, you'd have the current stuff.

* Make sure people using the alpha stuff know that they are going to be in a construction site.  Things may break or change, though we wouldn't try to break anything

I think that in order for us to hit the June 15th date for the things we're building, a good chunk of it needs to be working by June 23 anyway.

I'd like to suggest we use this as a bit of a forcing function to get an alpha out, get real people using Webmaker2, and telling us what is broken so we can fix for the 15th.
Humph you mean :
"I think that in order for us to hit the June 15th date for the things we're building, a good chunk of it needs to be working by  MAY 23 anyway.", correct?
(In reply to Brett Gaylor from comment #20)
> Humph you mean :
> "I think that in order for us to hit the June 15th date for the things we're
> building, a good chunk of it needs to be working by  MAY 23 anyway.",
> correct?

Yeah, sorry, what you said.  I think May 23 is a reasonable horizon for a lot of this stuff to be working, with the knowledge that it won't all be.
Right.  I know that the MOOC starts next week, so that definitely seemed out of scope!  But if mentor folks can line up expectations around the 23rd, could be perfect opportunity for some beta testers.
* YAY! This sounds awesome guys. And will ensure the caveats David lists in comment 19 are clearly communicated to all concerned. 
* Brett: May 23 is indeed the date mentor team cares about -- not the MOOC start date on May 2. May 23 is when MOOC participants will start hacking on content. 
* This feels like win. Thanks guys. I will let the mentor team know.
* Updating the name of this bug to reflect what we talked about above
Summary: Gather hacktivity Kit template from mentor team → Ship alpha version of "Thimble save" feature by May 23
Assignee: laura → brett
We should probably just morph this bug to be about shipping an alpha by the 23rd.
@ Humph: didn't I just do this? :)
Matt, yeah, I meant for all of *, not just Thimble save.
How much of the required features do we at this point cover with the current "alpha" of thimble, on It can certainly do page/project saving, tags I believe are currently <meta> attributes added to the HTML <head>.
* Thanks Pomax!
* @ Laura: can you review and see if this meets your needs for the MOOC?
Assignee: brett → laura
I'm having problems. First I couldn't log in at all. (Using OSX, FF20). I closed the tab and then reopened. It then worked (slowly) and I saw two "Create your webmaker space" prompts. I filled in the first, which then disappeared, so I filled in the second. It returned "Cannot POST /user" (probably because the first went through). 

When I finally figured out I needed to refresh to get back to Thimble, I published this page: publishing took a long time.

Links don't seem to be working correctly – I can't get to my makes page, and I get a screen that looks like the attached when I keep clicking.
Assignee: laura → pomax
* Thanks for testing, Laura. Pomax, are these known issues? Anything me or others can do to help test further?
The first publication taking a long time is a known issue; we're running an HTML cleaning service on heroku, and heroku loves to put apps that aren't used for a minute to sleep, so it has to "boot up" the app, which can take anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds in my experience. We still need to move that service onto our own servers.

The styling in the screenshot looks like the browser didn't properly request new files from the servers. I don't know what the caching policy is, but making sure to clear cache before testing on mofostaging is fairly important. I saw this same thing yesterday even on my local testing simply because firefox conveniently didn't bother to download the new files, and just kept trying to use old, not-actually-existing files.

Can you force-clear your cache and try again? =/

(checking after clearing cache seems to look fine, and I can see my makes)
Assignee: pomax → laura
ok with cache clearing it works. If you change the title, it creates a new version – I wonder if that is something that will confuse people...How do we make that clear, that if you don't change your title, it saves over the last version, but if you do, it creates a new version?

How can we fix the caching problem? This will scare people off, even if we ask them to clear their caches (some of them won't do it/don't know how/etc).
cache clearing should only be an issue atm. because we're constantly updating the various tool bits, so people should not have to do this once it's on rather than

The title issue is a trickier one. We have a distinction atm between "remix" and "edit". If you load up a page by clicking on it in your list of "my makes", then it's an implicit edit operation, and you can change as mucha s you like without any complaint. If you instead open the page by viewing the normal page and clicking the "remix" button for it, you effectively create a new remix, and you'll be publishing a new page.
Closed: 8 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
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