Endless Sphere knowledgebase system ( zeropress ) and funding drive

neptronix

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
18,608
Location
Utah, USA
What is Zeropress?

Zeropress is a high feature, high security, high performance, minimalist knowledgebase system that supports full WYSIWYG editing and has powerful yet easy categorization. it's designed for both ease of viewing and ease of use.

The navigation menu on the left works exactly like a file explorer ( drag and drop, right click ), and the editing on the right works almost exactly like a scaled down version of Microsoft Word. In our experience, an average computer user can understand how to use it in less than 5 minutes.

1717097831366.png

Zeropress viewing screen
1717097866654.png

Zeropress editing screen


What's ZP's mission at ES?

A knowledgebase is the most requested feature for the last decade since the technical demise of our wikimedia knowledgebase system in 2015.

We think that adding a knowledgebase back to ES would improve the utility of the forum significantly, helping rapidly educate new users, who are typically overwhelmed by the sheer amount of posts early in their ES journey.

Our goal is to have the best ebike knowledgebase on the whole internet, written and maintained by our most experienced members ( we are lucky to have a lot of big brains on ES! )

We did an evaluation of all knowledgebase software in 2020 for ES and came up empty handed again. We decided ZP would be the best software for Endless Sphere, because it already has some of the features ES needs, and it would be easier to build ES-specific features for; particularly a seamless integration which maintains the look and feel of the forum software and doesn't operate as a different site.

After exhausting other options, we determined it would be more cost effective to complete this software for ES' purposes than to bring existing software up to it's level.


Why did I build it?

In 2017, I looked at all the knowledgebase software available; all of it had poor categorization functionality, relied on code input instead of WYSIWYG, and was generally clunky. It wasn't end-user accessible, so that was a huge problem. After a decade of building websites with Wordpress tools, as well as systems in PHP, we thought, why isn't there a knowledgebase system that's as easy to use as Wordpress? Why can't we build that?

I built the first version in 2018, and gave it away for free to two companies, who still use it for their company knowledgebase today.
I started an IT company in 2020 and needed a knowledgebase system, so we adopted and gradually improved ZP from 2020-today.


What's it's future?

Zeropress is currently a closed-source ( because it's not polished enough ) system with 23 people using it. It gets great reviews from it's users, which has encouraged me to continue improving it.

The long term vision for Zeropress is for it to become an open source, easily self hostable mini-wikipedia, but also have a blog mode, so that it can be used in leiu of Wordpress for simple blogs. Long term, we aim to become the dominant software for small to medium sized knowledgebases and minimalistic blogs.

This funding round will tick off 75% of the work needed to make a self hostable, open source version.


How can i try it?

Visit https://endless-sphere.com/zp/
The username/password in the browser is:
User: zeropress
Pass: demo

Feel free to re-arrange things, make new articles, etc. The demo is reset to a default database every 3 hours.


Why am i asking for funding?

Software with a large amount of functionality and ease of use is difficult and expensive to build. My company has $12,000 of developer labor into the project over the years, and that was cheap, because 80% of the code ZP uses is either open source ( DD.js ) or purchased ( Jodit WYSIWYG editor ). Building it completely from scratch would have taken 2-3x longer.

We need an additional $7000 to build an ES integration and features ES needs, as well as add final polish.

Grin technologies agreed to match the donations from ES members, which means we need to raise $3500 of donations from ES users.


What is missing that we want to build:

- Fix various small bugs
- Rework UI to be more content focused ( less borders, more like Notion ), current look is dated
- Seamless integration into the ES forum, no separate login needed, same aesthetic.
- Fix bugs in categories drag and drop; indication of drag and drop targets is imperfect.
- Rework WYSIWYG editor toolbar to look better.
- Ability to drag and drop images into articles. ( copy/paste currently works )
- Commenting and article rating.
- Add an edit history that shows who edited what, and when, like wikipedia.
- Add modified by date and sort by modified date.
- Add path routing like wordpress, IE /?articleID=2134 becomes /upgrading-batteries
- Finish bandwidth/performance optimization ( massive room to improve here )
- Finish mobile mode ( currently janky )


How funding works:
Because we want to avoid doing impartial funding ( we would have to refund a lot of money if we don't hit the target ), here's our process:

- We take pledges in this thread and see if we can add up $4400 ( we're assuming ~10% of the pledges fall through )
- If we get enough pledges, we take donations to a paypal account. Once we hit the maximum pledge amount, we start building!

How do i pledge?
Simply reply with "I pledge $100" or whatever amount you're able to.



How do i donate?
Visit our funding page at ko-fi. You can donate with a credit card, paypal, or venmo.

https://ko-fi.com/es_kb_fundraiser


What if i have questions?

Feel free to ask them in the thread! I'll sort out the mess between pledges and questions.
 
Last edited:
I'll pledge $100
later floyd
 
Last edited:
Cool, 5% of the way there already :)
 
Having trouble understanding this? Would your Zeropress software be something like wikipedia.org ?

I enter wikipedia into wikipedia.org See its called a Wiki and they use this software

MediaWiki

Think it's free?

Would your $8000 software be better then all the other existing software that does the same thing?
 
Having trouble understanding this? Would your Zeropress software be something like wikipedia.org ?

No. it's designed with a different mentality, scale, and user. Zeropress is a response to all the pain points we experienced with wikimedia software.

Here's how it compares:

ZeropressWikimedia
Designed forSmall to mid size information base with selective user trust, ease of useGalactic size information base with high user trust
How does the user navigate the information?Automatically generated File > folder hierarchy, blog view, search. Great for information binging.Search ( poor results, so use Google search as bandaid ), not good for information binging.
Ease of editing articlesGreat, works like Microsoft Word, average user can figure it out in minutes w/o instruction, complete HTML including images and formatting can be copy/pasted into it, very easy to move existing content into it.Very bad, requires learning proprietary markup language, the manual for editing content has 21 chapters.
Ease/quality of categorizationSimple, works like Windows File explorer, users already familiar with it, makes it very easy to keep things well categorized, beats every system evaluated in this aspect.Extremely poor, does not generate automatic index, requires cross linking of articles in article content, easy to break links, index must be maintained by hand, which results in non-usable indexes on most installations.
Integration possibilityDesigned from the start to integrate into existing software and operate as a function of that software seamlessly.Poor, no way to make it not function as a separate site, not economical to fully integrate into site.
Customization possibilityExtremely good thanks to short and simple code, and also we control the codebase.The codebase is 100x larger, modifications are not economical to perform. Modifications must be patched into successive versions.
Up front cost for ES users$4000Free
Open/closed sourceClosed, open source once completeOpen source
Supported by2 programmers that are passionate about building the best knowledgebase software possible at a small web development shop.A massive organization that has millions of dollars of funding and programmers
Maintenance requirementsNone, designed for zero maintenance so that install survives technically unskilled website operators' mistakes or negligence.High, constant updates required to maintain security, was hacked/exploited twice while we used it at ES.
Resource requirementsExtremely low, less than our forum software, underpinned by the fastest framework for PHP.Very high, many multiples more than our forum software, expensive to host at scale.
SecurityVery good, implements most OWASP recommendations, underlying approach immune to most exploits that have hit wikimedia.Average, repeated history of object injection as a result of underlying philosophy; systemic issues that could not be solved without a complete rewrite.
How easy is the code to work on?Very easy, ~5000 lines of code excluding it's 3 dependencies.Very hard, code counting tool fails trying to count it ( indicates over 250,000 lines of code ), huge amount of dependencies
How easy is the database to maintain?Insanely easy, currently only 1 database table, will have 2 or 3 total once the software is v2.0Bad, 49 database tables

Would your $8000 software be better then all the other existing software that does the same thing?

Apparently so because we spent weeks evaluating open source knowledgebases/wikis trying to avoid building custom software. Most of this software was on par with, or worse than using the Wikimedia engine. The closest contender was wiki.js. We were extremely disappointed at the quality of this category of software, even including commercial software options.

We wish we spent those weeks investing in Zeropress' codebase instead!
 
Last edited:
Okie, we have $350 pledged so far.
I've just pledged $1000 towards the project to buy the expensive component we need.

This reduces the total amount we need to raise by $500.

That makes the project 10% funded so far.
 
Dunno how I missed this.

Easy to miss, since it's just a thread. I just now found a way to nag people about it across the whole site, so it's not missed :mrgreen:
 
Thanks to those who pledged so far. We got $450.

If we can get $2000 together we could get a cut down version of my plan. What i'm most concerned is that we get a knowledgebase that's good. At least we have the fundamentals in place & meeting the specific needs of ES is possible on this small budget.

What i wanted to fund - deluxe version that kicks ass

- Fix various small bugs
- Rework UI to be more content focused ( less borders, more like Notion ), current look is dated
- Seamless integration into the ES forum, no separate login needed, same aesthetic.
- Fix bugs in categories drag and drop; indication of drag and drop targets is imperfect.
- Rework WYSIWYG editor toolbar to look better.
- Ability to drag and drop images into articles. ( copy/paste currently works )
- Commenting and article rating.
- Add an edit history that shows who edited what, and when, like wikipedia.
- Add modified by date and sort by modified date.
- Add path routing like wordpress, IE /?articleID=2134 becomes /upgrading-batteries
- Finish bandwidth/performance optimization ( massive room to improve here )
- Finish mobile mode ( currently janky )
Cut down version that's good but not awe-inspiring

- Fix various small bugs
- Rework UI to be more content focused ( less borders, more like Notion ), current look is dated
- Seamless integration into the ES forum, no separate login needed, slightly different aesthetic.
- Improve drag and drop indication when recategorizing articles
- Add an edit history that shows who edited what, and when, like wikipedia.
- Add modified by date and sort by modified date.
- Finish bandwidth/performance optimization ( massive room to improve here )
- Finish mobile mode ( currently janky )
- Article rating/voting.

If we can meet the minimum $2000, then we can start coding the non deluxe version and have it ready by fall. During winter, i plan to put some manpower into it and then return those features to the ES version.
 
I will also pledge $50

I found a lot of usefull things in here which saved me money and time.
 
I will pledge $50.
 
We're up to $626 USD. That's >25% of what we need. Thanks for your pledges so far!

All the features in this round would benefit the open source version we want to release. There do exist some organizations who fund open source, and we would be a high bang for the buck item for them because the software is mostly complete already.

Let's continue to see what we can get in pledges. I will write formal proposal aimed at these organizations on my own time to see if we can expand the size of the crowdfunding pot.
 
Last edited:
I pledge $25

Note: Though I have done cross border purchases via paypal, a recent transfer towards Michael Elliott alias amberwolf (after he disappeared from ES, in an attempt to reach him via PayPal message) failed with a statement that they identified a risk preventing payment completion. So not sure whether I will be able to make it.
 
I pledge $25

Note: Though I have done cross border purchases via paypal, a recent transfer towards Michael Elliott alias amberwolf (after he disappeared from ES, in an attempt to reach him via PayPal message) failed with a statement that they identified a risk preventing payment completion. So not sure whether I will be able to make it.

Thank you!

Interesting, i plan to use a service other than paypal for the actual collection. Paypal has been a disaster lately.
 
I will write formal proposal aimed at these organizations on my own time to see if we can expand the size of the crowdfunding pot.
If not yet on your radar & if you feel appropriate, consider Linux Foundation (www.linuxfoundation.org) as well, IIUC, funding is not their first priority, but it would give more visibility to the project indirectly helping it
 
Thank you, on the list of avenues to consider!
 
Back
Top