Debato - update blog 4 - Additional commenting features
Further improvements have been made on debato.org. New features have been added and existing functionality has been expanded with the aim of providing a pleasant user experience and to promote discussions on the Steem blockchain.
Due to a lot of work next to debato, only little planned changes were pushed through. But changes that were made however are significant enough to share in this new update blog. A few new features had a higher urgency to be implemented if debato wants to be a capable discussion platform. You can read about these changes in this blogpost. Progress with planned changes will continue soon!
What is debato?
You can find debato at https://debato.org
Debato is an online platform that accommodates online debates on topics big an small. We are all passionate about certain topics and inevitably it can happen that a difference in opinion leads to conversations that resemble a bottomless pit of arguments and acquisitions. This results in many people not even getting involved or finding it a waste of time to formulate their points of view. By filtering the thoughtful arguments and by structuring arguments and sub-discussions, debato allows anyone to share their thoughts and points of view in a clear way. And why stop there? Because debato is built on the decentralized Steem blockchain, writing thoughtful and interesting arguments or discussions gets rewarded as well.
More advanced functionalities in the comment section. Initially the comment section was envisioned as a place to leave a comment on the primary discussion. Over the past few weeks this has proven insufficient and more functionalities are needed to further elaborate on one another's comments without having to state arguments. This should increase the efficiency of the discussion.
Comments can be upvoted as well Since comments were initially ment as basic reactions on the discussion, no upvote functionality was implemented. With the more advanced features regarding these comments, upvoting is enabled as well.
Showing users who upvoted Besides seeing the number of upvotes received, you can now see who upvoted the argument/comment when you hover over the value. It is a great way to increase the community feeling.
Default images and placeholders - When a user did not specify an image as the cover for his argument it was just left blank. This quickly led to an ugly and unfinished looking front page when the 'new' tab is opened by default. To mitigate this, a default image is created to show for discussions that had no custom thumbnail. The same is done for profile images. If none is selected, a default image will be shown. This improves the overal visual quality of debato. The banner was also updated and features a more pleasant styling.
Users without profile image can now access their profile as well - Previously, an error when the profile image was loaded prevented the remaining part of the script to be executed. The link to their profile was therefor not loaded. With the introduction of default images this is resolved.
Improving community standards. With the addition of a code of conduct and the planning of contribution guidelines and license we hope to improve the community standards of debato. This will create a clear framework of other to collaborate in.
long term plans
A system of points (using Smart Media Tokens (SMT)) for rewarding authors and popular discussions/arguments. A system like this can give interesting incentives for users to start controversial discussions and formulate their opinions thoughtfully.
A leader board/ranking system to provide additional incentives for engaging with thoughtful comments and debate. Having a leader board were users can view there position according to others might provide an additional motivation to be engaged in debates.
Display statistics about a discussion (distribution of age, gender, location... on the different sides of the topic). In the long term this might prove interesting to see how other variables correlate with certain points of view. Of course this would imply that users give up certain personal information. If wanted, this can also be encouraged by offering points in a point system. Whether this conflicts with the original idea that anyone can be anonymous on the blockchain can be debated.
Displaying the structure of the discussion you are currently viewing. Interactively showing where you are in the vast tree structure of debates. As discussions get complex and with a lot of sub discussions it is important that a user can navigate in and between topics. Discussions will develop a tree structure with arguments and sub arguments and climbing this tree should be made clear and convenient.
short term plans
- An 'about' page that introduces new users to the workings and goals of debato. This is a must have for any site where anyone can find the mission statement of the site and basic instructions on how to use it.
- A value indicator to show how much your vote is worth when sliding the Voting Power slider. I think this is very useful to adjust the voting power you vote with on debato.
- Storing draft discussions. Storing drafts on your browser can be useful when working on an elaborate discussion context. The user then does not need to finish the discussion directly and can revisit it later
- An upload function for the discussion thumbnail. Currently you have to enter a image URL to be used as thumbnail. Making it possible to upload an image directly from your computer can be a useful tool for people who want to use images they own already.
- Showing when an argument or discussion is edited. With the new feature of editing arguments and discussions it is also important to be able to see when a post was edited. Viewing the edit history can be interesting to understand comments on it that seem out of place.
- Adding button animations and disabling buttons when first clicked To provide an additional feedback when a button is pressed, animations will be added and the button will be visually disabled as well. This to increase the 'satisfaction' of pressing a button and to reduce the odds of a user pressing multiple times to reduce chance of failure.
How can you contribute?
As a developer, this is my first major project. So I don't mind feedback on issues such as inefficient/improper syntax or spelling mistakes.
suggesting features that are of great value to the project and not already mentioned in the planned changes, here or on GitHub.
Existing steemJS functions do not allow for complex queries. you can, for example, get the posts of a certain user, but then you can't specify a tag. This is currently resolved by loading the maximum amount of posts (100) and filtering those further. But this is not the best way when scaling up the project. Another option is to use steemSQL but this is only viable when the project has grown to a certain extend where it can support a 20 SBD per month subscription fee. Until then, other alternatives for more advanced querying of posts are more then welcome.
Some people experience issues when they go to debato via https://www.debato.org. An message appears saying 'Your connection is not private'. URL's with just 'https://' work fine and URL's with 'www.' work well. If there is anyone with more experience that can point out where it goes wrong?
If you can think of anything else, feel free!
written by @samve