Feature proposal: Editing of posts

There is a bounty on this issue. My previous comment contains a link to it!

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Just adding this as some kind of update for people who read this discussion but don’t follow the issue on github:

@SuperTux88 implemented the first step of the edit feature in January - that is, adding editable entities on protocol level. This doesn’t add this functionality to diaspora* yet, but it is needed to make it possible to add it to diaspora in the future.

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Apparently the post stopped being updated. But the issue seems to be gone. I just made a new thread, and could edit it after. That is all I can say.

Discourse is not diaspora*.

So? I cannot understand the reason of what you said.

This thread is about post editing in diaspora, not in discourse.

With the many new users coming from G+, posts edition is again very asked. I closed the other discussion on discourse in favor of this one and would like to resume the situation, so I’ll be able to link to this post from diaspora* when users ask about the status of the feature.

We have a draft spec of what could be the feature.

It would be nice to know the status of this document: is everybody okay with what is described there?

The protocol work has already be done by @supertux88 (thanks again!).

What we need now is to imagine a nice UX, and then to implement the back-end and the front-end inside diaspora*. The current core team is not working on it, so we’re waiting for someone to set up here. If you’re volunteer please comment here.

Is this issue typical for the development speed at Diaspora?

I’m new, just came over with the big Google+ migration, and I’m seriously considering joining development. I see a lot of missing features that I think shouldn’t be too hard to fix (although of course I’m ignoring protocol issues in my newbie ignorance). I find it hard to believe that in all this time, this still hasn’t been fixed.

If the protocol work has already been done (for me that would be the hard part), then should I pick this up as my first issue to fix?

I’m eager to contribute, but this lack of progress seems like it would be really discouraging. Is Diaspora so hard to change? Are so few people working on features like this? A lot of people seem to want it, and have wanted it for years.


I could point you at 10 year and older bugs from Google, and features I’d wanted at G+ from the start which never materialised.

Diaspora started with some excellent features, several of which I’ve long wanted at Google. It’s also lacking others.

It’s somewhat constrained by its requirement to interact with a defined protocol and a set of other platforms, including how to deal with unsupported or partially supported interactions. All with a volunteer team based on consensus and being willing to do the work, and in an environment with numerous other challenges (take a look at the history of Diaspora and its founders / personnel).

So, whilst I’d prefer that editing of posts might have occurred in something less than 8 years, I’m encouraged that progress is being made. The past can’t be changed, the future is change. Let’s try to see that it’s in the right directions.


@mcv, the lack of progress in certain areas is purely a matter of (a lack of) resources. Google has billions of dollars and thousands of paid developers to throw at software; since the project was handed to its community in 2012, diaspora* has been built and maintained purely by volunteers working in their spare time. The core of developers who have continued working on diaspora* over a period of years – rather than making a few PRs and then disappearing, perhaps with a feature half-developed and abandoned – has remained small. This has, sadly, meant that some much-needed features have not been developed.

The foremost thing that is needed is for someone who wants a feature and who has the necessary skills to step forward and say ‘I’ll make this’, and then go ahead and work on it until completion. If you’d like to be one of those people, that would be fantastic. You can be assured of as much support as the core team is able to give you; although, given the voluntary nature of all work on diaspora*, it can sometimes take a long time to properly review a complex PR.

I hope you’ll want to join the team!

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I’m not talking about comparing Diaspora to Google. Google has its own issues. I’m just concerned about the health of the project, and the community’s ability to maintain and develop this project.

Well, I decided to dig through the code for this to see if I can fix this. I’m planning to follow the example of deleting a post, since that is in many ways similar (needing to send updates on existing content). But it’s also a test to see how maintainable this code is. If this is going to be a painful journey full of headaches, it’s unlikely I’m going to spend a lot of energy on Diaspora.

I suppose I could use someone to point me to the right bits of code. The javascript keeps talking about this.model.destroy which I can’t find anywhere (is it from some library?). A quick rundown of how updates are sent to and received from other pods would probably be helpful too.

Maybe an intermediary step could be like on comment? This would require to dig to the entire stack from federation to front-end, so you will become familiar to everything, but without the need of discussions and choices: the UX is pretty simple.

Like for edition, the federation part is already done, and the back-end also already have some code. Here is the github issue if you are interested.

Also, be aware that diaspora* will very soon have a docker image to set up the dev environment, which saves a few hours.

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Could be. On the other hand, based on that discussion on github, likes apparently have a massive impact on the database, and maybe a different DB solution is required. It might not be that easy after all.

Yeah getting the likes on comments working again would be awesome. The writings I’ve been seeing is that we think the performance problem from before has been resolved. What I can’t recall or may have missed is if anyone ran scaling tests to prove it or if the redesign makes its resolution patently obvious.

Likes had a massive impact on the database until they were removed, but that was several years ago and much in the core code has changed since then. It’s therefore possible that likes as currently implemented wouldn’t have the same impact. Let’s ask @supertux88, @jhass and @denschub (who know the code the best) what thoughts they have about the current situation regarding likes on comments.

I didn’t realize @flaburgan had sketched out what has to be done to get the likes off the ground again in terms of confirming the performance behavior has been fixed… https://github.com/diaspora/diaspora/issues/2999#issuecomment-375084489

YES, editing a post should be allowed. I have read the arguments against (to avoid leaving comments done to a previous text or post, that later was changed). But his is simple to be solved: Diaspora could automatically include a comment below like many fora and other discussion sites do: "edited …(date)…, …(hour)… and “voilá!”.

Please, people, don’t add to this or other discussions just to say “You must do this.”

@Gonzalo_VC, if you read this discussion you’d see that the decision to implement editing of posts was taken a long time ago. The arguments against were in a far earlier stage of discussion.

Once that decision was taken, a lot of work was then needed to make it happen. One of diaspora*s core team implemented support for post editing in the federation code, so it is now possible to build the feature. What is needed is for one or more members of diaspora*'s community to decide that this feature is important enough to them to create it.

It is simple to describe in a few words what a feature should do, but to actually implement this in code in a workable and reliable way – NOT simple! There’s a lot more to it than ‘voilà!’


Dear all, thank you for working on this. I really appreciate it; this would be a great function. Just to add my views of how this should work: i really like the edit function on Linkedin: you are able to edit it (the button in Diaspora could be just besides the delete/garbage button) and after you have edited the message, a small tiny message appears below the message saying that it has been edited.
hope that helps,

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I am locking this post for now, as people apparently are unwilling to read. If you plan on working on this, and have some questions that you deem fit for this thread, please reach out to any team member, either here on Discourse via a private message, or on IRC. We will happily unlock this thread in that case.

There are 70 replies worth of disucssions and decisions on how this feature should look like, how it should feel like, and what the technical implementation needs to be. So far, noone has completed that work, and that’s the state of the issue. There is no need for further comments here, besides future discussions on technical issues.