The summer is coming to a close in a couple of days, so I’ve decided to wrap things up with an introduction to GlitterGallery!
We’re making the designer next door happier. GlitterGallery hopes to do to open source designers, what GitHub did to the developer community. Forget losing design work, or having to scrape through endless emails to understand feedback. If you’re a designer, GlitterGallery is where you’ll be spending all your time in the near future. Welcome to the new office!
The effort was started by a couple of designers from the Fedora design team (one of them being my mentor, Emily Dirsh). Before I joined this summer, you could create projects and add files to them. These files would be checked into git repositories in the background. There were some limitations with the way the project was developed until then, that wouldn’t let us add many features to it. I spent most of my summer trying fixing that, and I’ve been adding more features ever since!
Anyway, coming to the features 😛 . We’re polishing the interface right now, so you’ll have to wait a while till these hacky screenshots get prettier 😉
So to start with, you can create SVG images on the fly. Just start a new project, and let our in-house SVG-editor help you create awesomeness. Already have them on your local? We’ve got you covered – just upload! In the backend, we work in a very similar fashion to GitHub (in fact, we use the same git library). So every time you create/upload a new image, you’ll see a new addition to your project’s commit history (yes you can see them all!).
We’re also letting you edit the SVG images you create within the app itself (as you might have guessed by now, we don’t want you to leave once you’re logged in 😉 ). Soon enough, we’ll provide support for you to track down a particular commit and start working off the changes you had then.
You no longer have to upload images on imgur and link up over mailing lists (phew 😛 ). Just make sure people have the right link, and they can comment on your work! You don’t have to limit feedback to individual images – comments are also allowed on entire projects, commits and glitterposts.
Glitterposts? Well, we thought it would be quite silly if you had to go elsewhere to write blog entries about how well-received your designs were. As a result, we’re letting you write your own blog posts on GlitterGallery! 😉 Although I’ll have to admit that isn’t as polished as it can get. It’s a very simple blogging system right now, but we’re sure that isn’t going to be the case for too long 🙂
There’s lots of work in progress at the moment. Just to give you an idea about what to expect by the end of this year, we’re currently investing time on perfecting how the fork/pull request mechanism works. You’ll be able to fork and contribute to any project, just like you can on GitHub. Once that’s done, we’ll shift all our energies to make the whole thing more social – we’ll let you follow your favorite pixel hackers, add badges, get inspired and more!
Another important feature that’s work in progress is the integration with SparkleShare (an open source alternative to dropbox). With that set right, you don’t have to bother syncing your desktop repo with the one on GlitterGallery. Make changes to the local, and it’s auto synced with us. Make changes on GlitterGallery, and it’s auto synced with your local 😉
If you’d like to contribute in any way (doesn’t matter if you think you don’t know much – we’re eager to help you learn), just shout out to @emichan and @SarupBanskota on Twitter. You can use the same to ask questions or to just say hello. There’s more ways you can communicate, all of that is outlined on the wiki. A good place to report problems is the issues page – if something fails, or if you have a new feature request, that’s where you should list them out!
It’s interesting to note that when I started out, I had absolutely no idea what the heck this Rails phenomenon was all about. Now I do! – I’ve picked it up fairly quickly, and in about two months of time, Glittery can do a decent job helping designers. Of course, it isn’t fully featured in any way yet, but I’m sure that isn’t going to be too long. Well, we did hit a roadblock once, and that sort of slowed us down, but now that things are fixed, we’re moving really fast!
For at least one thousand students from around the world, this has been one heck of a summer. Google Summer of Code is going to wrap up in a couple of days and I’m sure all student participants would have put in a good deal of work into their respective projects. Personally, I had a great time – it’s an awesome feeling to get lots of code accepted into a futuristic project, make connections and grow rich all at the same time. I’d like to thank everyone who helped me out – Emily and the team at Fedora, Yeswanth and Anirudh, Sumana from Wikimedia, Aswin, family and friends who supported me in various ways throughout the summer. And oh, Google. Thanks a lot guys!
Alright, thanks again for reading, and cheers to the awesome summer! 🙂
You can try an instance of GlitterGallery at glittery-banas.rhcloud.com.