plots2: the Public Lab 2.0 website

This is an information page for the **now-complete rewrite** of the Public Lab website on a new platform, with a whole new look. The new website (which you are using already!) replaced the Drupal-based []( ([on Github]( which is now redirected, and the old codebase shut down) with []( This project is specifically intended to address many issues with the legacy website, which we'd outgrown in many ways. The new website: * boasts more usable, friendly, but also more powerful interfaces * simplifies and refine common tasks like posting research notes and filtering spam * enables faster development (based on Ruby on Rails and Twitter's Bootstrap frameworks) * completely revises and streamlines "following" other contributors or specific keywords, with email alerts * works on tablets, smartphones, and in recent versions of Internet Explorer The new site uses almost all of the same URL paths as the legacy site -- all old URLs should remain functional. ##Support The new site will continue to evolve and be refined -- and just like the old site, it may have bugs! Please report these to, or enter them here: ##Features These are now divided into 8 categories which we [tracked on Github]( * Look and feel * Finding stuff * Authoring and editing * Everyday use * New and growing users * Legacy features * Power users and admins A smattering of exciting features is listed here; also see the [gallery at the bottom of this page](#gallery) * new simpler/faster [note posting form]( * vastly improved [advanced search]( * fast and easy auto-complete search * faster, nicer wiki revision interface]( * revamped integrated [subscriptions interface]( (you must be logged in) * events and mailing list info for [place pages]( * recent notes, wiki pages, and active contributors per topic [in page sidebar]( * easy [tag-based pages]( * "follow" and "star" for each page * new simplified/improved [wiki editing form]( * sorting and prioritization of notes and pages by popularity metric ##Timeline **Nov-Dec 2012** * review of web survey and additional brainstorming & refinement of plan * build out of read-only site * variations on sidebar design, different navigation paradigms, advanced search and site-wide look & feel * pilot log-in system **Jan-Feb 2013** * subscription management and test email system * drag & drop file upload testing * integration of Google Groups * commenting tests **Mar-Apr 2013** * initial tests of research note and wiki posting * registration testing * SpectralWorkbench and MapKnitter integration with post templates * **probable Beta site launch for wider public testing** * archive display and interface design _(we are here, and more or less on schedule!)_ **Apr-May 2013** * beta testing, bug fixing, final feature adds * heavy push for "trying the new version" through alerts on old site * reviewing feedback and if all goes well, switching over to the new site * spam filtration interface * staged "helpful hints" system which grows with a user * optimizations and scaling, slashdot-proofing **June 2013** * shutdown of old site (fingers crossed!) * slow migration to native database ##Alpha tester group Many of the more adventuresome and patient of you have joined the "alpha user group" (so named although we've now moved to beta). We ask folks in this group to: * subscribe to the "plots-alpha" Google Group (below on this page) to be part of ongoing discussion and brainstorming * respond to occasional requests for input, such as jotting down your thoughts on a new page design or process * check how specific pages render in specific browsers & devices, and upload screenshots * try out new interfaces and provide constructive criticism We try to keep these sorts of requests to once per week or so at a maximum. The benefit of joining the alpha user group is that you'll have a greater say in how the new Public Lab site is designed and implemented -- so if you're opinionated about or dissatisfied with the current site, please join! > [Read more detail about the alpha testing program and sign up](/wiki/plots2-alpha) **Sign up for the alpha tester list here:** Visit this group Thanks for your patience with the current site and here's looking forward to a newly refreshed website! ##Bug reporting Report bugs on Github (or email and we'll enter the bug for you) at: ##Gallery **Place page sidebars with list subscription & upcoming events** **Autocomplete search, sorted by type** **Like/follow buttons on most content** **Completely new simplified authoring forms with preview and easy formatting** **Fast and easy spam moderation** **Recent contributors on a given topic** **Integrated subscription management** ###Migration These are the needed steps to migrate the entire old site off and make the new site the default. We are planning to do this at the end of May or start of June 2013. 1. Pull new openid code to 2. Set to point to drndl server 3. Batch migrate users to new openid auth, test * test users who do not have an account on * test users who do have an account on * test completely new users to 4. Repeat above tests with users 5. Set openid client to point to, confirm that it works, test #3 again 6. Redirect* to* 7. Point to [using nginx redirects]( 8. Change Google Analytics codes for PublicLab to point to stats 9. Hold onto your pants and await load issues and bugs (time passes) 10. (Someday) copy (rsync) media (images, attachments) to and close up old site **This is complete! Hooray!**...

Learn more »