The State of esoTalk: Roadmap

14 November 2011

Today, esoTalk 1.0.0g1 was released. This version is very much a beta—it's unfinished, unstable, and buggy. Nevertheless, I'm glad to finally get the new version out into the open, especially in a state where things should be able to move forward quite quickly. This is where I'll hopefully see my months and months of hard work start to pay off!

So, what about this "moving forward"? What happens now? In simplest terms, development continues, until we get something feature-complete and stable, and we work towards building an infrastructure that encourages active development of plugins and skins. In more detail (and with loose time goals in parenthesis)…

Feature-Complete (End of November)

The version of esoTalk released today is missing a bunch of essential features. Atom Feeds, XML Sitemaps, Emoticons, CAPTCHA, and IE7 support are the main ones. It also need a thorough security review and many additional plugin hooks. Over the next month or so, I'll be aiming to implement all of this and have esoTalk in a relatively stable state, sans a few minor bugs and issues. Also high on my priority list will be writing extensive documentation and working on a few more plugins.

Ecosystem (Mid-December)

After esoTalk's development is wrapping up (and hopefully the community has come on board with helping out!) I'll begin working on developing an ecosystem for plugins, skins, and languages. This will encourage active development, enabling developers to easily distribute and update their esoTalk extensions. I also want to streamline the process for installing plugins, skins, and languages.

Stable Launch (January)

Once the above things come together, and the issues list calms down, I'll prepare for a stable launch of the esoTalk software. I'll do a bunch of promotion to try and spread the use of esoTalk and build up a nice, healthy community of our own. And then I'll party!

After that, I'll go down to my secret lair to begin work on a secret project. and compression from the web server, all without the overhead of PHP/CGI.