Microcosm, the open-source front-end

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  • The dev sandbox during the Alpha can be found here:

    The open-source front-end code can be found over here:

    Documentation on the API can be found here:

    If you require an API key, just let myself or blueprints know.

    The front-end stack is:

    • Language = Python
    • Framework = Django
    • HTML = HTML5 otherwise known as HTML
    • CSS = Bootstrap 3
    • JavaScript = jQuery

    We do welcome pull requests and bug fixes.

  • And issues are being tracked here:

    Even if you are not a developer, and cannot help... we really appreciate bug reports.

  • And the API gives you two utility URLs to help develop against the stack:

    A dump of your request (if you're sending stuff and it's not working, and you wonder what the server thinks it's receiving):

    Performance statistics of the API endpoints:

    The latter should help give you an idea of what you can reasonably expect the performance of the API to be like. This will help you especially if you're designing for mobile as each call will cost you.

    The timing numbers on there are the server numbers, and do not include the HTTP roundtrip from your client to the server.

  • This will help you especially if you're designing for mobile as each call will cost you.

    Assuming this is cost as in time, rather than a cost-per-call API?

  • Assuming this is cost as in time, rather than a cost-per-call API?

    Yes. Cost for the time and latency.

    I've also enabled HEAD requests and will soon put e-tags on those so that it's possible to compare headers and determine whether the body has changed.

  • sandbox is down.. and not sure the login was working when I last tried.

  • Both looking ok to me... was it https://sandbox.microco.sm/ you tried?

  • The http version of that is fine too.

  • yup still down for me

    502 Bad Gateway


  • yup still down for me

    502 Bad Gateway


    Ahah, I'm seeing it too now. I'd hazard a guess at it being a problem with networking between microweb and the API (they are on separate VMs) since it's intermittent, so I'll take a closer look.

    Thanks for the report.

    (and just as I typed this it came back up. Time for some more monitoring.)

  • You can now sign in to any Microcosm site using Gmail.


    You click the login button, put in a gmail address, and that's it.

    The advantage of this is that you get the ease of logging in with an account you already have, but Google cannot track the fact that you logged in to any specific site... they only know you logged into Persona.

  • [strike]How does it work with 2 step auth?[/strike]

    So if I'm already logged in, it doesn't even ask for a P/W, which is awesome I guess :)

  • Perfectly.

    If you weren't already logged into Google it would do so normally, but the assumption (and it's a good one) is that most people are already logged into their email and chat... so the combination of Gmail + Persona ends up being a single-click thing.

  • yup still down for me

    502 Bad Gateway


    Just to follow up on this, we now have monitoring that checks the site every minute to determine if anything's wrong. It's only been running for a couple of weeks, but looks healthy so far.

    As we go on I'm going to be instrumenting all of our services so we can determine if any are playing up, for how long, and whether it cascades to any other part of the platform.

    (For the curious, we're using http://riemann.io/ to wire this all together and produce alerts and reports).

  • The list views have now been compressed quite a bit to require less scrolling. You might need to press Ctrl + F5 to see all the changes.

  • I know that there's a sandbox environment, the link at the start of this thread, but is there also a front page for Microco.sm that links to working forums? The site as it is doesn't point to any current discussion threads. Sorry if I'm being dense.

  • Any updates from the world of Microcosm?

  • You don't get the investor updates?

    The key learning from launching and getting customers: We built a great tool for the users of forums, but not so great a tool for the people who build and run the forums.

    Meaning we're having a harder time selling it than we realised we would, and that most of our sales leads are telling us that we're only solving half of their problem.

    Of the leads that want forums, forums are just one part of what they want. They also want a "home page" for the site and a blog. Those are the core requests that everyone wants.

    And then customers also want some mix of galleries, polls, selling tickets for events, membership management (paid dues to the site/club for access to private areas), etc.

    Which is good, because they are already identifying transactional based stuff that they want. But bad, because we don't have that stuff today.

    We do have most of what is being asked on our roadmap, because we always intended to put galleries in forums (think of the Current Projects on here), and polls, classifieds, Q&A, etc.

    Effectively our positioning is wrong. We solved problems that end users had regarding how easy it should be to interact with, use on mobile, etc. And those solutions have led to much better engagement through Microcosm than on other software.

    But... we haven't solved the needs of the site admins who are the ultimate decision makers.

    So we're going to have to look at how to bring a basic blog and homepage so that we can win convert more of these sales leads.

    At the same time as all of that... we need to look at fundraising, and the best way to do that is to import LFGSS. So that's actually our #1 priority, but we've seen that some parts of the export and import system are causing us to re-work existing stuff to make it work.

    We're in a time of a lot of work, and not much in the way of resource, so it's just about getting on with it.

  • Thanks David.

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Microcosm, the open-source front-end

Posted by Avatar for Velocio @Velocio