Improve the Status box on the top of Activity page/Profile page

The users at present find greater and better engagement to a site through this box - the minimum they expect they can do through it are
- posting an image/images/adding album
- posting a link with site thumbnails preview
- posting an event
- sharing their location
- @mention/with ... and #tags
Real world social nets like FB or G+ or social scripts like Jomsocial, EasySocial, phpfox etc all have this basic minimum.
Argument can be done what is basic to me, is not basic to another but the world is moving fast and this is how everyone else is proceeding. From user's perspective as well as UI friendliness this is actually useful, helpful and addictive-ly easy. Please be kind to see a demo of what I mean here -

Elgg status box seems to be out of date though plugins like HypeWall enhance it but that plugin misses many things including link previews that intelligently shows thumbs of yahoo com (for example) but shows and posts video thumbs when its a youtube link. "Event" plugin is there but it does not add so easily (as in the demo link above) the form to the status box. Integration. Ease of Use. Meet the widespread and wide-based user expectation.

Can we have this in the next release please? Is there any github issue for it? Can it be created ? Thanks.

  • Love the distribution idea @steve_clay. Pick the pieces you want and click build.

    The others may be pretty but they don't have the Elgg engine, built to be social from day one.

    and if you need that status box at the top of the river come grab a copy of the latest twitter bootstrap theme.

    and no bitchin, everyone is doing their very best and, oh yeah, it's free....


  • I guess the short answer to my proposal is "NO"

    That's okay it was just discussion. Maybe we should not waste more time and energy here and move on.


    @twentyfiveautumn - I am sorry I am unable to understand you. Things in core is what I aim for, any outside plugin or theme may stop getting developed now or in future

    @Steve Clay

    I think the answer to all this is I think the answer to all this is distributions ala Drupal.

    I am not even asking for anything like that big distro list of Drupal. Just improve the Wire or the Activity/Profile page Top Textbox so that it is user-friendly and shows that we are moving ahead with time. Being not able to post an image or a Link with thumbnail preview or a Location and possibly an Event is what is possibly considered oldish and out-of-date. Is everyone okay with just posting plain text there ? Sure the list can get long and sure that you can extend things by plugin, but should the default be just text ?? If that is okay with the Devs and community then ........

    PS : I saw the issue on github just now. Thanks so much @Steve Clay.



    am using Hypewall for several sites, works like a charm.

    That's great. I am speaking about the bugs and missing features I need (many users need). I am speaking about the latest hypeWall and latest Elgg combo - please see the github issue list - if you have solution please post patches/PR/forked version. Thanks.

    What similar software to Elgg are you referring too ?

    I am speaking about the frontend. You need to come out of your Developer or geek soul and be in my shoes. Infact I have heard many Devs occasionally do that, may be you too - so pardon me if I am sounding demanding and rude. Please.
    Similarity is : what we get at the front-end. There are plenty that are similar. You need to download them and test in localhost. Maybe they are not what Elgg is at the backend. Maybe they do not have as much plugins - but Elgg also had few in the very early days. Elgg may be or is an excellent building with great architecture and wonderful things inside but we/you need a nice functional door to enter that. Not all of us have the power or money to break the wall and build that door - so we look for a ready-made one - this door refers to that nice one-form-many-input-possible textbox :)

    So far as similar software, according to my thoughts above, these are:

    Drupal commons, Buddypress, Oxwall, Boonex, Boonex trident and Phpfox  [ really doing nice work - please test ]  [ really doing nice work - please test ]
    There is actually more but the list can get unnecessarily long for your patience. If anyone really  wants to do a front-end comparison and testing on localhost and/or test site I can post the full list. Some of this are just upcoming, so have less or few plugins but show a good promise and good code.

    Thanks a lot for all your input.


  • @ dranii, thanks for bringing up this important discussion about beautifying elgg from outside in order to keep up with modern time.

    I am writing this comment from my cellphone and I have been following this discussion by using my cellphone and I felt happy to share my thoughts.

    I looked at the list of websites that you provided and was glad to test most of them and found 
    Easier to work with on elgg engine. Soon a theme like humhub for elgg will be available on elgg for download. However, I will try to update the older version of Facebook theme for elgg to keep up with the current Facebook timeline and pages.

    I know the world is moving away from desktops and favoring handheld devices but, hope elgg will catch-up with apps features in the near future.

  • Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your feedback. What happened to the Cover photo for Profile (and may be Group also) for Elgg 1.10.x   :)

    I have no problem with Elgg responsiveness in handheld media - my issue was about an easy, less-click, one-go approach to upload image to your album, post link thumbnails, declare your location and maybe post an Event directly from your status box.

    Tom, if you get time also take a look at  - they have done a nice job specially the themeing in the input box atop Activity and Profile page. Thanks.

  • @dranil

    You need to come out of your Developer or geek soul and be in my shoes.

    I am not so much of a geek as you might expect, but I will give you a geek answer anyway just to keep the image up :-)

    I saw some of the examples and they are beautiful and yes all on Elgg would like similar things. Why isn't it that happening ?

    Those dev's who try to work on functional and beautiful extentions use a lot of javascript/jquery and that is where the trouble starts. If you make a mistake with php in Elgg, most of the time you end up with a totally broken site and/or blue screen with horrible messages and you are immediately compelled to fix it.

    With javascript that is not the case, everything runs fine, sometimes you see a strange glitch.

    There are also a lot of interdependencies or lack of features to be managed with jquery which are hard over third party plugins. Jquery is great for browser compatibility but not so good for a framework unless the framework is very tough on using the latest versions. Otherwise developers start upgrading it themselves and then breaking backwards compatibility in other plugins and even sometimes in core.

    Therefore most of the bugs and TP plugins fighting each other are related to that and are hardly reported by users and therefore live on boiling the soup of creating a nightmare to fix.

    But those developers trying to make Elgg more beautiful end up with all that shit in other plugins and sometimes their own lack of testing.

    It doesn't answer your question on how to get Elgg more to these type of sites. Better testing and it really would help if the framework is not only focussing on php errors, but would also be more stringent to java or jquery issues and make visible errors to admins. And offcourse keep up with the latest versions of jquery in the framework.

    At least that is my experience. I cannot really help with at beautiful design, I simply lack the creative skills for that.

  • Thanks @Gerard.

    Is it always javascript ? I think (but I may be grossly wrong) idno/withknown does something similar ( in a little different way) with php and not much js

    Offtopic but how simple changes can increase member participation (that is what we all want at the end of the day)

    For a couple years, registered Airbnb users have been able to star the properties they browse, and save them to a list. But Gebbia’s team wondered whether just a few tweaks here and there could change engagement, so they changed that star to a heart. To their surprise, engagement went up by a whopping 30%.[->]

  • Things in core is what I aim for

    The other thing to consider with pushing all of your wants into core is that there is a limited number of core developers with a limited amount of time.  Increasing the feature set at the core level increases the amount of code and maintenance burden on the core developers, leading to slower overall development.

    If the focus at the core level is making things easier to develop, then the custom interfaces can be done by plugin devs to fit the exact needs of the sites they are managing.

    That's not to say we shouldn't do a better job of making nice things at the core level, but we need to be very selective as to what and why.  If we have an absolutely beautiful UI that's everything you want, but it's hard to customize that's not very good either.  It's great for you in your niche not having to do any work, but then elgg becomes a product with a narrow perspective moreso than a framework.

  • More than being just "beautiful" its about real usefulness and user-ease which in turn increases user (site members) participation. When more sites use Elgg, which is thus user-friendly and upto-date-with-times, more people get attracted towards the platform ( Elgg in this case). When more people gets attracted some of them are Devs or budding Devs so that the scenario of "limited number of core developers with a limited amount of time" changes - you get more Devs who can join core and collectively can contribute more and more time.

    A small step - but it takes things far beyond and far more positively in future :)

    but it's hard to customize that's not very good either.  It's great for you in your niche not having to do any work, but then elgg becomes a product with a narrow perspective moreso than a framework.

    Why it should be hard to customize? That is not what I proposed. It should be modular. Enable or disable it. There is no question of narrowing the perspective of framework - it aims to be better framework with better defined protocols for plugins to follow rather than random.
    "not having to do any work" is not true, imho - I still have to build content, user-base, seed contents and seed users and lot of related work. We look forward to Elgg so that it facilitates that not take away time from that, imho. Thanks again for all the input.

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