August 2021 status: Forms hackathon and a new social media account

This month the team has been operating at reduced capacity as we took turns taking much needed breaks. There is less than usual to report on so this status update will be a short one. Rest assured however that lots of things are in preparation for the near future.

We released CryptPad version 4.10.0 with some inital improvements to Forms.

Forms hackathon

August was the time for the yearly XWiki seminar (held mostly virtually again this year). During the traditional hackathon sprint we worked on presenting Form responses in a more appealing and useful way, using basic bar charts.

Experiments with Charts.css

We experimented with Charts.css at first, and were impressed. In the end there were too many tweaks necessary to make it work with CryptPad styles, so we ended up re-implementing our own minimal table-based bar charts. These are now used on the response page to show a timeline of responses and visualise question results.

The new graphs on the Form response page

We will re-use these charts where relevant on the rest of the platform. For example the admin panel now shows a graph of instance performance.

There is a lot more coming to Forms. We are currently working on a host of new features and improvements to address issues and requests raised during our research over the summer. All of this will be covered in next month’s post (hopefully), for now I will leave you with this teaser:

@cryptpad_design on Pixelfed

As you may have noticed, the image above is embedded from the @cryptpad_design account on Pixelfed. This is a new experiment in communicating about the design work that goes into CrytpPad. Pixelfed is part of the fediverse, so you can follow from accounts on Mastodon, Pleroma, etc (there is also an RSS feed). Followers will get sneak previews of upcoming features, random screenshots, and highlights of FOSS design tools. Subscribe if that sounds interesting to you.

This wraps up our news for this month. The team is busy with Forms v2 and there will be lots to talk about in the near future. In the meantime, our research survey about document import/export is still open for feedback to inform our future work improving document conversions.