Saturday, April 30, 2011

Diaspora: First Impression

Myles Braithwaite invited me to the first Disapora site, joindiaspora. Diaspora is still in alpha so one can't be too critical, but I think there is still a lot of work to be done before I would put a beta sticker on it.

For example, after I signed up I got another email that Myles wanted to share with me. When I followed the link in the email, it went straight to my joindiaspora home page, but Myles was not added to my contact list. Now what? Mousing over some items I found the notifications icon but it did not indicate that there were any items, so I ignored it. Later, after getting nowhere, I opened the notifications and there was Myles' offer to share. Much later again, I discovered that the notification indicator does work. So why it not work with the very first item?

Another example is the invite counter. I got ten invites so I asked five people to join. The dialog allowed sending to multiple people so I entered all five email addresses at once. Now the invite counter reads eight. Um, 10-5=8 now? Should I assume that some of the invites were not get sent? If so, which ones? It seems the only way to find out is to ask the invitees if they got it, which is kind of annoying.

My basic rule of programming is: fix the obvious problems first wherever possible. It seems the programmers behind Dispora have a different philosophy. Thankfully this only alpha software so I'll report back when things improve a little.

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