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Meet us at the playground: Bonfire Social beta launch

post image Published on 25 Jun 2022 by Bonfire Builders beta social

Today, the Bonfire team is asking for your help with beta testing. Bonfire still needs a lot of work - be it bugs, federation, missing features, configurability and user experience - but that's the point: we decided to launch the playground at this gnarly stage with the specific intention of moving toward the 1.0 release as a community. We think the best way to rapidly improve Bonfire and its modularity is to test it and discuss it together!

By setting up a workflow within the playground instance to report issues or share feedback, both devs and non-devs alike will be able to input their ideas and co-design our 1.0 release in an open and inclusive way.

Watch the video walkthrough #

Sign up to the Bonfire playground #

If you would like to test the user experience of Bonfire, please sign up on the instance at

When you come across a bug or something that could work better/different (for example, an option within Settings to set the default boundary for all new posts), you will have the opportunity to easily share it to the Bonfire team from within the app. Simply click on the "share feedback" button after signing in to the playground instance: this will start a thread mentioning @BonfireBuilders and adding #bonfire_feedback as a hashtag. Please feel free to report anything you see which is unexpected, even if you're not sure what it 'should' be like! You can also look up existing posts tagged with #bonfire_feedback to participate in discussions started by others.

We will be monitoring and participating in these discussions with zeal! Discussions about new features and extensions will shape our open roadmap, and bugs or technical implementation discussions will be found in the issue tracker.

What is in scope for this beta? #

If you haven't yet read our updates from this week, please check out these posts where we show how Bonfire is not just another microblog, and what you can expect from the beta.

A note on federation #

Federation is a key part of Bonfire and is included by default with all fresh installs. However, please note that federation will be disabled on the playground instance. This is for three reasons:

  1. We don't want to spam the fediverse with too many test posts or meta discussions.
  2. The playground instance isn't meant to be your main home on the Fediverse. We want to encourage decentralisation in this regard.
  3. We need more testing and tweaking to ensure federation works as expected with all the federated apps out there.

Having said that, we also want to test and improve the federation functionality, so if you've got the ability to set up your own instance of Bonfire, we would very much appreciate it! Please check out the docs and get in touch.

Upcoming events #

In addition to discussions on the Bonfire playground instance, we're planning:

  • Ask us anything sessions - opportunities to ask the Bonfire team any questions you might have.
  • Install parties - peer support for people looking to set up and test their own Bonfire instances.
  • Build parties - peer support for builders looking to set up a development environment, along with some pair programming sessions.

Sign up for updates below if you want to be notified of any of these. Of course, we're also reachable by @ mentioning the @BonfireBuilders account within the Bonfire playground instance, or sending an email.

Beta launch FAQ #

  • Do I need any technical skills to get involved in the beta testing?
    If you would like to test Bonfire as a user rather than as an administrator then the skills required are the same as for any social network. However, if you would like to install your own instance, you will need to be familiar with the command line and general knowledge on operating a web server (configuring DNS, etc).
  • If I want to be involved, how much time do I need to set aside for beta testing?
    We would appreciate any and all help with beta testing. You may be able to spend 15 minutes looking around and sharing your thoughts on anything that doesn't work as expected. You might be able to experiment with the Bonfire playground over a number of days or weeks, and give us more in-depth feedback. Whatever works for you, works for us. After all, given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow!
  • What happens if I come across inappropriate content while involved in user testing?
    As part of the sign-up process, all users will be asked to agree to a Code of Conduct. The Bonfire team has spent time and effort in crafting this document, and expect it to be followed in all spaces operated by us. Of course, feedback on improving future versions of the code of conduct is welcome. Please follow the guildelines for reporting issues should you come across anything which contravenes the Code of Conduct.

Our general FAQ section can be found on the Bonfire website.

Subscribe to updates #

If you would like to keep informed about what's happening in and around the Bonfire ecosystem, please follow us on the fediverse and/or enter your email below to subscribe to occasional updates.

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