Blog post week 2019-48: a podcasting task force and an anniversary

What has happened since last time?

We're now in Fork Awesome!

Thanks to a request from @DeadSuperHero, our logo will be included in the next version of the Fork Awesome icon font.

We're using Fork Awesome on various of the Funkwhale websites, and we'd like to use the occasion to send a huge "thank you!" to the Fork Awesome community!

Development notes

Several small and medium fix and features were shipped over the past weeks, and will be included in the 0.22 release:

@mjourdan also opened a redesign proposal to harmonize the various artist, album, playlist and radio cards. The initial wireframes are really exciting, don't hesitate to have a look and share your feedback!

Podcasts and channels are on the way

The working group gathered last week for the first time, and we're now ready to start the design, implementation and testing work of the feature.

You can follow the progress or join the working group on the dedicated Matrix Channel or on the corresponding forum thread. We'll also have a weekly meeting on thurdsay or saturday (in alternance) at 17:00 UTC, until the feature is released.

The current focus is on collecting user stories and relevant art to feed the upcoming design process.

An anniversary

We've been using the "we" pronoun for a while here, but we'll make an exception today. Sometimes, things are personal, and there is no shame in that.

If you've been following the project for a while, you probably know that I, Eliot, usually write and publish these blog entries. But why?

Recurring publication on this blog started a year ago, in the form of a logbook. A year ago, I left my job to focus on Funkwhale, and commited to write a weekly blog entry. This quote from the first logbook describes my mindset at the time pretty well:

Transitioning from a traditional job - eventhough I worked remotely - with meetings, schedules, (brilliant) colleagues, external goals and all the daily routine to a completely different setting, well, it's scary, and exciting, at the same time.

Part of my efforts to keep this momemtum will go into a weekly log I intend to publish every friday. For you, this log will be the occasion to get news, facts and insights about what's actually going on for Funkwhale. As for myself, I hope it will be a - rather fun - way to structure my week and motivate myself.

The switch was planned for months, I mentionned it in september 2018 in a blog entry. Still, it was a deeply scary moment. On Friday, I was working for a company, although remotely. On Monday, I was on my own, without much structure, staring at my screen.

I was so afraid to loose my rythm, motivation and routine that I basically kept my previous job's schedule and replaced everything with Funkwhale-related tasks!

Another scary thing was the amount of work to do. In particular, I commited to work toward the following goals:

  • make the project more accessible to users and contributors
  • simplify the installation / maintainance / upgrade processes
  • enable financial and non-financial support to content creators that publish their work on Funkwhale
  • set up a proper structure around Funkwhale to receive donations, pay contributors (as myself), manage the community spaces, etc.
  • work on bigger features

I'd be lying if I said everything was still to do. The project already had a small but active community, and discussions on some of those topics was ongoing. In fact, I wouldn't have left my job if this community didn't exist.

Today, I need to acknowledge the work we've done together, as a community of individuals. I mean, look at this list, over the past year, we:

All this work, and everything else I forgot, is worth celebrating, really. We did that together folks!

On a personal level, whenever I read this evergrowing list, I don't feel scared anymore. This is one of the reasons I try to account for all the work we're doing, through blog posts or forum threads. I believe it fuels our motivation more than anything else.

I am intensely grateful to be able to work on this project I love, with people I love. Thank you, to each of everyone who is, has been or will be a member of the Funkwhale community. Thanks to your presence, support, feedback, ideas and kind words, I am leaving one the most intense and rewarding period in my life.

Everything isn't bright and shiny, though, and I also think it's important to acknowledge our failures and weaknesses.

The amount of changes our group went through means we lost some people on the way. As of today, we still have no sustainable funding to pay our contributors. I'm still the only one to handle most of the developpment and implementation work. Funkwhale is still harder to deploy, maintain and use than it should be.

Next year, I'll continue to work on the various roadmap items. But I'd also like to address some of these issues. In particular, I really want to make it possible for other people to contribute to the project and get paid for it. After all, there are no valid reasons I'm the only one to enjoy this.

Saying I'm looking forward to next year would be an understatement. I'm craving it. And even if it's only half good as 2019, 2020 will be amazing.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of it.

Eliot