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Engineering Philosophy (draft)

This page documents the principles leading our engineering choices. It's an extreme WIP.

Keep costs low

  • As little required "paid software" in the critical path as possible. Ideally none.
    • This is also helpful for people running their own separate instances.
  • The higher the costs, the higher the risk of a single point of failure when it comes to funding.
  • A paid solution can be used in the short term under the following conditions:
    • There's a clear path out of it that doesn't involve rewriting the whole codebase.
    • Can be opted out of for people running separate instances.

Make collaboration easy

  • Create approachable "entry paths" for customization/expansions collaborators can try to tackle.
  • Write exhaustive guides to collaboration. Make them beginner friendly.
  • Do not burn people out. Do not burn people out. Do not burn people out.
    • If the project can't succeed without people tethering on the verge of burn out, the project isn't succeeding.
  • Aspirationally try to encourage more coders in fandom by organizing events, networking and offering a safe space to get their feet wet in.
    • This should be a learning environment for those willing to put in the work!
  • Accomodate collaborators at all levels of ability and availability.
    • A diverse set of collaborators makes the product better. Regardless, we want this project to be a tide that lifts everyone up.

Think for the long term

  • We dont need to build for scale right away, but we shouldnt be caught off guard by accidental success.
  • Maintainability is extremely important for a project like this.
  • Build on open standards and platforms
    • No relying on app stores or platform that can legally deny us their use.
      • This means open source projects only in the critical path.

Always consider accessibility

It's important that Boba be accessible to all. This should include neurodiverse, disabled, queer and all genre of people at all income levels, of all faith, races, sizes, identities and interests.

In the kickstart phase it might not always be possible to prioritize everyone's needs (e.g. making Boba work on low-end devices/connections at this stage would require architectural work we dont have resources for). With that said, "cutting corners" should always be a conscious choice, and should always be done with an eye towards facilitating that type of work when the right time (which should be actively sought) comes.