Andrew Boon

Since the year 2000 our team is working with social networking software, online communities, online dating, communication apps and everything around.

Personally, I am very passionate about social software and the potential for the positive impact it may bring. I love talking to idea-people and helping to launch meaningful online community projects. I am here at all the time, so feel free to start a conversation, or talk to me in the messenger. If you prefer the old-fashioned e-mail route - it's for myself and for the team.

We are upgrading servers and updating UNA.IO to RC10 right now. The site may go offline for about an hour.

Saturday tease...

Better have a good rest this weekend (and make some backups just in case) — next week is going to be white hot.


UNA Vlog #9 - Zarconia takeover, Start Guide advancement, features in RC10, and, finally... JOT. 


We are working on the Start Guide now, and the current iteration is available here - UNA Start Guide.

As you may see the content is only just being added, but the general outline of what will be included is already there, in the menu blocks. 

Now, the Start Guide is not meant to be a comprehensive Documentation repository. For that, we have UNA Documentation Wiki on GitHub.  Instead, the Start Guide gives a very brief overview of the steps that a webmaster needs to consider at the before and during the initial site launch, including links to relevant documentation articles, discussions, tutorials, etc. 

So, we ask anyone willing to help to send us their content for this guide - we will review and add all relevant contributions. 

Another way to help is to suggest any new steps or topics that you feel must be present in the guide like this.

Please, leave your feedback and contributions in the comments below. We plan to make this guide awesome and gradually enrich it with videos, screenshots, gifs, etc.

After the Start Guide, we plan to create an Operator Guide (for managing and adjusting a live site), Developer Guide for all development resources and tips, User Guide for end-users and a Business Guide for site owners, marketers and decision makers.    

The Start Guide is the main priority as we are preparing for inflow of newcomers when Boonex landing pages start active promotion of the UNA platform. 


Hey UNA community! This is an open question to everyone. 

What if we added categories for other social software platforms and apps here on UNA.IO - in discussions, posts, and Market? And also if we created Channels accordingly?

First, we want to support and transition Dolphin clients. Some would like to stay with Dolphin and some would have hybrid sites. Second, UNA itself is an integration platform and may be used alongside with Rocket.Chat, Wordpress, existing Drupal or Joomla installation, etc. Often webmasters switch back and forth, try integrated setups or focus on just one simple app. 

So, ideally we’d like to see UNA used as an integration platform, compatible with the Data Transfer Project and storing the user data, but allowing you to seamlessly try different software combinations, integrated via the Studio and UNA APIs. 

This would basically mean that we’d run this site more like a community of social website operators in general - not just one platform support ecosystem. We make friends here, connect with developers and webmasters with similar ambitions - we may as well be a more liberal about the platform choice. UNA following tools and Channels should allow for separation between interest subsets. 

How do you feel about opening the house to strangers?


UNA Vlog #8. Working on the Start Guide, Boonex Servers transition, the Sender app and more.

UNA Code Frequency graph (weekly):


Following the recent announcement from Zarconia, we made a decision to initiate Boonex-to-UNA transition plan earlier than planned. We will still continue supporting and maintaining Boonex and the classic Dolphin.Pro sites, as well as issuing Dolphin.Pro updates, but will actively recommend everyone to transition existing sites and launch new sites using UNA. 

More details here - 

This place is going to blow up next week! 


Sheesh! What a week (and a weekend, and the start of the new week) it has been! The new Notifications settings rolling in, the server wipe debacle, even stronger push from the Boonex community and a whole lot more. It's Wednesday here and I've just finished the Vlog #7... Forgive the preoccupied look - it's the sign that everything is moving really fast. :D


This is an existential question a software developer has to answer nearly every day. Should we create a setting or just do something the way we see is right and if someone doesn't like it - so be it. 

In theory, it is preferable to make - everybody wins and there's always a "yes" answer to every question. In practice, making everything customisable inadvertently leads to bloated architecture, compromising and in some cases - even more limitations than a one-sided choice would cause. 

Case in point - presentation of comments. First, we have to decide if we should show the latest first or newest first.  Second, threaded or flat. Third, to paginate or load-up. Forth, how deep to nest. Fifth, how many to preload in cards. Sixth, how many to load on-page. Seventh, how much to show if the comment is too long. Eighth, what attachments to allow and how to treat them in preloaded comments. Ninth, what author info and actions to allow. Tenth, how to permalink - to anchors or to dedicated pages. The list goes on and on and on. 

Now, different webmasters have different ideas on what is the "right" way to display comments. So, we do have to have some degree of customisation... but how far should we go? Mind you, every tiny setting creates an additional computational load to the hosting server, requires some form of documentation and leads to inevitable support overhead. It's a tough call, every single time. 

Most of the time we treat UNA as a customisable platform and try to make all features configurable. For many aspiring community startups, it translates into a steep learning curve though, and we can't help but think that if we took a more opinionated approach we could offer a really sleek, robust solution that does fewer things, but in an exceptionally good way. 

Luckily, the platform architecture allows for various approaches and so we will indeed bring a "just works" layer in a form of a UNA App to try and see if it would solve the initial adoption hardships and streamline deployment for projects that don't need very specific design. It will be a "Just One Thing" product and the first preview is due in a matter of days. Stay tuned!

... or jump to: 2017, 2016
My Discussions
Very good! Thank you Chris — we will add it to the Start Guide, perhaps as part of the new sec…
by Andrew Boon
Chris - I'd say that your 2 cents is worth a lot more than 2 cents! 
by Mark Purser
Ok I will
by Harvliet Dalgety
It would also be a good thing to have a more global view of the situation, I find that the view in t…
by Baloo
Full Name:
Andrew Boon


My Posts
My Albums

Keep it real!

Videos discussing common questions and challenges that we face, and how we make decisions based on a simple principle - keeping it real.  What looks good "on-paper" may not be the same as what works best in real-life situations. Through our experience of building social networking software for over 17 years, we've learned a lot about "the big questions". In this series, I talk about these in details, in a causal manner, while driving around and doing daily chores. Keeping it real.  #keepitreal
Native App vs Responsive Web AppMIT vs GPL, BSD and Custom licensesScale Anxiety. Worrying about scale before launching your community.Hidden costs of custom modifications.

Quick tests, examples and greetings.

This album is for short videos or fill-in images used as examples elsewhere. 
Example for video inserting


Various #tutorials, mostly #video, all for UNA. 
Changing UNA texts in PolyglotEditing data items in Forms (i.e. changing categories)Site deployment and initial setup on UNA Cloud

Random Musings

Sharing everything we do, plan and think. In a not-too-formal way. 
Saying Hi and showing our faces.
My Polls

What is your favourite template? Please share your reasons in comments. 

Which one do you think is better - comments with cards...Or comments without cards, but with a highlight on-hover...Please comment with reasons for your choice. Thank you!

We are adopting the "THEME-BASED PRODUCT ROAD MAPS" method for UNA development. Vote for your #1 choice of THEME to help us define priority. We plan to focus on each theme for a month over the next...

What kind of text #editor (if any) do you think should be used in a #Messenger?

No editor, just plain text.
19 votes (47.5%)
Pure contentEditable standard browser tools.
7 votes (17.5%)
Pure Markdown or BBcode
3 votes (7.5%)
Editor based on contentEditable with WYSIWYG-style interface.
7 votes (17.5%)
WYSIWYG editor.
4 votes (10%)

What is your preferred shape of #profile #pictures?  Please, elaborate on your choice in comments.

33 votes (58.93%)
9 votes (16.07%)
Rounded Square
14 votes (25%)

What general #direction do you think UNA #development should be focused on in the next 2-3 months?

User experience improvement
16 votes (45.71%)
Performance and loading speed
4 votes (11.43%)
More features and apps
13 votes (37.14%)
Studio settings improvements
1 votes (2.86%)
Easier on-boarding & configuration workflow
1 votes (2.86%)
Other (leave comment)
0 votes (0%)

Which method of #communication is most popular on your site?

Discussions (asynchronous; public or group; committed subject).
6 votes (16.22%)
Conversations (asynchronous; private or group; variable subject).
5 votes (13.51%)
Messenger (synchronous or delayed; private, group or public; spontaneous or no subject).
22 votes (59.46%)
Comments (asynchronous; public; committed subject).
4 votes (10.81%)