Let's work together to improve Etherpad

MyPads plugin to manage groups, personal accounts and private pads

About

Almost everyone is using or has already used Etherpad, the famous and free/libre online editor featuring real-time collaborative editing. But there is a missing feature in the new version which is highly desired by the community: a personal account for creating and managing groups and private pads.
This campaign, initiated and supported by Framasoft, aims to fund the development of a plugin to fulfill these requirements.

Note 1: You can make a donation of one of the predefined amounts. You can also enter any amount you wish, either with or without reward, by pushing the big blue "Contribute" button on the top right.
Note 2: This campaign is also available in French.

Etherpad is a highly successful collaborative and real-time online text editor. It is free/libre, which means everyone can use it, improve it and install it on their own server. This is what Framasoft did in 2011 with the Framapad project.

The original version of Etherpad offered the very useful "private groups" feature, which allowed administrators and managers of pads created within a group. But this version of Etherpad was limited, unstable and resource-consuming. Etherpad developers have since done a lot of work to completely rewrite the application and produce a much lighter, more functional, and more usable version. But it was too complicated to implement private groups in this new version right away. This was postponed to a later date. At the moment, we are still stuck at this point. Unless we decide to implement this feature as a plugin in the new version, along with additional improvements.

This is the very purpose of this funding campaign, which also wishes to emphasize that free does not mean free of charge and that one can develop free/libre software with crowdfunding.

What are the fund for?

Funding will only be used to develop and maintain the "MyPads"  plugin.

The main reasons the new Etherpad is still lacking this highly desired plugin are the design complexity, and the time required for development, estimated at 200 hours (excluding maintenance).

What will "MyPads" offer?

  • Your user account: your login will let you find/list the pads you have created (cure the what-was-the-address-of-this-f******g-pad symptom).
  • Pad groups: these groups (you can create as many as desired) may be
    • shared with other users (who may be defined as ordinary users or group administrators)
    • listed, allowing you to find all the groups of which you are creator/administrator or member
    • archived, making all their pads read-only
    • protected, allowing the group's pads to be made public (directly accessible to all Internet users), private (accessible only to users defined by the group admins) or password-protected  (accessible only by a password you create yourself)
  • Each group pad can be configured separately.

Technically, it will be an Etherpad plugin developed in node.js, installable like any other plugin, via the administration interface. The license (free/libre, of course) will be the same as Etherpad's: Apache 2.0.

Funding will be allocated as follows:

  • €6,500 for the development of the plugin (for a total of 200 hrs)
  • €1,700 for annual maintenance by the developer (for a total of 40 hrs)
  • €1,000 for project management by Framasoft: specification, production monitoring, planning, creation and facilitation of the Ulule campaign, communication (and evangelization ;) ), implementation and performance of its counterparties, etc.
  • €800 for management fee of the crowdfunding platform

Note : the main Etherpad's developer, John McLear, has supplied a quote evaluated at €70,000. We have studied other quotes in the €10,000 range, but if the total cost (all fees included) amounts to John McLear's evaluation, we'll call on his services.

About the project owner

The project is supported by Framasoft, a French NGO dedicated to educating the public about free culture and free/libre software.

Framapad is part of the Framasoft network, along with twenty other projects. Since it went online in 2011, about 200,000 public pads and 20,000 private pads have been created on Framapad. About 12,000 are currently created each month. Many private, public, and community organizations in the areas of education and social economy use or have used Framapad.

With Framapad, Framasoft wished to provide a free and open-source online service to enhance collaborative work, aligned with the values of free and libre software. It is also one small step towards decentralizing the Web, since anyone can install Etherpad on their own servers. We also mean to offer an alternative to Google Docs in a trusted environment, more respectful of personal data and privacy.

Etherpad contributes to the success of Framasoft since Framapad is one of its most active and dynamic projects. By coordinating this campaign, we wish to give back to Etherpad what it has offered us, and involve our users in our approach. We are calling on everyone committed to Free and Open-Source Software values to contribute.

Thanks in advance. The "MyPads" plugin is not free of charge to develop, but once funded it will remain free forever.
If this first campaign is successful, it could encourage us to come back and support other software… free software, of course ;)

 

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