TL;DR: Diaspora is growing faster than before because it has become a community-run project; we are evaluating new tools and ways to better communicate. The ball on development is rolling.
For many, the opening up of the Diaspora project has meant a great deal of change. As we restructure ourselves to be a functional community that can be heard and represented, it’s important to keep in mind that a great deal of change is already happening. First and foremost, our community developers have provided an amazing response in getting organized to improve the code. Pull requests are on the rise as developers come together to discuss how to push Diaspora further.
One of the first changes that has already gone into effect is an overhaul to our Git Workflow, which includes the adoption of a stable and development branch on GitHub. However, we also realize a community is more than just developers. We’re working together with podmins, developers, and other community members on providing a useful set of changes in our project infrastructure. We’ve been focusing on repurposing our central project site to focus more on the community, with discussions going on here. We want it to focus not just on the code, or what the project is about, but also highlight the community that is behind all of it.
As a first step, we’ve officially adopted the use of a new tool called Loom.io; it’s a great Free Software startup dedicated to providing a platform for community decision-making. Our Diaspora Community group provides an opportunity to get everyone on the same page, and at the same time, be heard by making proposals and hosting discussions on where to go next. With this tool, we can establish a culture of consensus on how we approach decisions.* Additionally, on the social media side: as a basic service to developers that need help, we intend to promote the Pull Requests of developers that need assistance through our DiasporaHQ social media accounts, along with links to community discussions.
On the code front, a lot of exciting things are happening, too. Hans Fase is currently experimenting with putting Diaspora into an Ubuntu Package Repository. Currently, it exists as a proof-of-concept, with the goal of demonstrating how to easily package Diaspora as an installable Rails application. Raven24 is in the process of refactoring the Publisher to use Backbone.js, Huge improvements have come to Diaspora’s mobile site thanks to movilla, who has added much-needed buttons and polish. Last and not least, don’t forget to thank Mr_ZYX for keeping all of our gems and libraries up to date, and providing a pull request demonstrating ideas about how to improve our config system.
*Currently, Loom.io is invite-only due to it being in Alpha, but if you would like an invite to the Diaspora group and its subgroups, just get a hold of me. I’ll send them as quickly as I can get them, and approve your membership.