Toward Telescope 2.0

Last winter I worked with an excellent group of students to develop and release Telescope 1.0.  This year I'm gearing up for another round of development, shipping a 2.0 Release with a new group of equally gifted students.

I'm not 100% clear what our goals are yet for the 2.0 release.  To begin, we've got more than a hundred issues filed and a whole bunch of PRs to merge from last term.  After that, I want to focus on finishing our port from Gatsby to Next.js and start thinking about stability, maintainability, performance, and developer experience.  Ideally by 2.0 we'll get to the point where the project is mostly "done" and just something we use and maintain, without having to require so much attenion.

In terms of fixes and features I know I want to see happen:

  • Migrate User data and Feed storage out of Redis and into to better database
  • Fix our Redis data corruption when we lose power on production
  • Migrate away from the Wiki Feed List as the source of truth, and use the Feeds from the database
  • Modify our Authentication/Authorization system to allow token based authentication
  • Figure out how to integrate user GitHub activity and contributions (PRs)
  • Prototype having Twitch Streams, YouTube Live, and other "Telescope Podcast" experiences.  I think this idea is great, but I'm still waiting to see if the students agree.  Not everyone is comfortable to stream their work. Maybe we'll do it, maybe not.
  • Make the app installable as a Progressive Web App (PWA) on mobile
  • Improve the Admin dashboard(s) experience
  • Better Admin tools for content (user, feed, post) management
  • Analytics
  • Build out our error/log reporting that we started with Kibana
  • Improve UX for adding new feeds (e.g., automatic RSS feed discovery from blog URL)
  • Improve accessibility
  • Improve developer experience
  • More and better automated tests
  • Improve docs
  • Refactor and Simplify backend code
  • Split code into separate pieces and properly Dockerize: REST API, deployment server, feed processer, frontend
  • Continue building on the improvements we've started with Search (e.g., autocomplete for author names)
  • Swag?  We have talked about having shirts, mugs, and stickers in the past, but it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe for the 2.0?

These are just some of the ideas that I can think of, and I'm sure the students and community will have other priorities too.  I've asked them to blog about their ideas this week, so watch for updates.

If you want to join us as we work on shipping Telescope 2.0, please get involved.

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