[RFC|Rejected] Removal of subsilver2

These RFCs were either rejected or have been replaced by an alternative proposal. They will not be included in phpBB.
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Erik Frèrejean
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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by Erik Frèrejean » Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:38 pm

nn- wrote:So, after the news spilled onto the user forums and a number of users (i.e., not developers) became outraged at the decision that affects them yet they didn't even know was made, would the management consider discussing decisions affecting users on forums that users actually visit?
I'm sorry but the most likely removal of SubSilver2 was announced back in September 2008 and I can't recall any major concerns posted back then. I'm (as a user) stunned that all hell breaks lose after this change was accepted/made. Yes the RCF was here but the change doesn't come unexpected. IMHO if these concerns are as big as they appear now they should have been raised when this change was announced for the first time.
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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by bolverk » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:01 am

EXreaction wrote: I find it very likely that someone (possibly from on the teams) will release the subsilver2 style as it is (only updated) in the customisation database.
Again not the point. Once it becomes a third party style and not *Official* it loses the only guarantee of support it had and becomes vulnerable to the all too common practice of abandonment. Is this unknown tbd "someone" going to promise to support it throughout the life of 3.x (like people expected of phpBB) and then get tired of the "thorn in their side" and walk away?

There is always the flip side of the coin that I doubt you've considered as well, that your prediction comes true and someone ports it to 3.1 and the style becomes even more popular than it is today (and it already hands down beats the pants off PS based on the stats) - you really want the most popular base style for your application to not be *yours*? That would be priceless! LOLOLOL! That's one way to start modularizing phpBB. :D
Erik Frèrejean wrote:I'm sorry but the most likely removal of SubSilver2 was announced back in September 2008 and I can't recall any major concerns posted back then.
Well I'm sorry too but the blog post you linked was:
1) Almost two years old
2) Nothing more than pipe dreams circa 2008 for the next major phpBB release about as far from the regular users reality as we are from Pluto

In case you didn't realize it, people generally don't worry about things that haven't happened yet and they are even less likely to worry about them if they don't even know they are a possibility.
Erik Frèrejean wrote:Yes the RCF was here but the change doesn't come unexpected.
It most certainly does come as unexpected to those who didn't know about its possibility. :P It will also come as unexpected to those who still don't know about it and likely won't until after the fact.
Erik Frèrejean wrote:IMHO if these concerns are as big as they appear now they should have been raised when this change was announced for the first time.
Again, pretty hard to raise concerns over something you are not aware of. And no, it is not those users fault that they were unaware it is the projects fault. For a change with such a large potential impact on the user base you made almost no effort to advertise the discussion outside of the small development community. In fact you went out of your way to not make the "regular phpBB user" aware of what was going on with regard to 3.1 proposed changes. Start with this post and read through to this answer and you will see how true my last statement is. :shock:

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by Oleg » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:39 am

Erik Frèrejean wrote:
nn- wrote:So, after the news spilled onto the user forums and a number of users (i.e., not developers) became outraged at the decision that affects them yet they didn't even know was made, would the management consider discussing decisions affecting users on forums that users actually visit?
I'm sorry but the most likely removal of SubSilver2 was announced back in September 2008 and I can't recall any major concerns posted back then.
OK, I'll bite. I scanned through the announcement in question to see where subsilver removal was announced. I was unable to find anything relevant. I had to search the page to find it:
Conclusion

... subsilver2 will most likely be dropped though. ...
On my screen (1920x1200 resolution) that quote is located at the bottom of browser page 4. For most people I would guess it would be on 6-8th page down. Do you seriously claim that a note like that is an official announcement of an important change (for certain users, it's very important)? Not to mention that the change materialized two years after this so-called "announcement" as already stated.

For the record, I did not object to the proposal because personally I do not use subsilver-based styles. I evaluated several but did not end up installing any. Thus I did not feel that my opinion was relevant to the discussion. I did however supply hard statistics that other users requested.

The tenacity with which some team members cling to straw men to rationalize taken decisions is, quite frankly, sickening. Here's what actually happened: a phpbb developer got tired of subsilver and proposed its removal on development board. Most of the population on development board, who apparently are either developers or power users, had not been using subsilver (since for power users and developers stylesheets are easier to work with than tables). They either agreed or abstained. Subsilver was removed, after which users were notified of the deed with no opportunity to protest the decision as "it had been already made". A number of users actually found subsilver easier to use though, a point of view apparently overlooked by development forum membership.

Now that we've said it how it really is, there are two possible solutions going forward:

1. Development team admits they haven't considered the overlooked point of view and reinstates the discussion about removal of subsilver, requests a subsilver maintainer, or even reinstates subsilver to please the users who want it.

2. Development team says they don't care what users think or want. Developers are tired of subsilver and it's not coming back no matter what. If anyone wants to use it it's up to them to make it work.

Option #2 is generally valid. Nobody can make anybody do anything, especially in free software. What you can't do however is claim that you're building a product for users and then ignore your users' opinions. That is called lying.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by swanny007 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:45 am

I've been using phpBB since way back, May 2001 was my first install (now has 500K+ posts).

I use subsilver2 on all my forums. Personally I don't like the look of prosilver. I would definitely be unhappy if subsilver2 was dropped.

With that said, I don't totally understand why you want to get rid of it, but if you can replace it with a similar-looking style, then great. In fact, I've taken subsilver2 and made my own custom theme just for my site. So if you drop subsilver2, I'm going to spend a ton of time tweaking and reformatting it to fit my site again... not looking forward to that at all.

Edit: I went and did some more reading on the thread. I see the fact that it uses tables is one downside. That's true. Personally all I really want is a more "vanilla" looking template with the member info on the left like subsilver2 provides. I don't really care about the tables / css / etc. as long as I can have a look similar to subsilver2. The prosilver theme is too "blue" for me. Everything is a different shade of blue, and not all my sites use blue. I want a simple, clean, white/gray theme that's easily customized to add red, green, whatever color I want as an accent color... without resorting to mods and custom templates preferably.

Hope that makes sense. There's my $.02 ;-)

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by bolverk » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:28 am

nn- wrote: 1. Development team admits they haven't considered the overlooked point of view and reinstates the discussion about removal of subsilver
What concerns me more is that they did not consider any data and as far as I can tell it never occurred to them to collect it. The frequency with which they rely on statistically biased opinion polls (and not even actual polls but just unstructured topics) to determine the future development direction is very disappointing. At this stage of the software development industry the only place left for actual emotion based feedback is the UI/UX field where you want to know what the user "feels" as they navigate through the interface. Everything else should be based on available numerical data whenever possible. I would love to see some data mining of the various support forums and the bug tracker become part of the development process and start driving CI of the software rather than relying on the isolated whims of individuals who are looking to improve the software for only one person, themselves.

Reinstating the discussion isn't going to add much value when the discussion participants are not a representative sampling of the user base. The results of such a discussion would still be skewed and thus flawed. These RFC topics here on area51 and the general feedback topics typically posted over on .com in phpBB Discussion are what as known as non-probability sampling, the "easiest" method of sampling but also the most prone to error. The results you get from such subset sampling cannot be extrapolated out with any confidence to the general user base which is exactly what you do.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by DarkBeing » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:14 am

marian0810 wrote: As great as that would be, it's not really the point. Lots and lots of board owners will get in trouble without the automatic updater or being able to ask questions about their style on phpbb.com that will actually get an answer.
The problem not being able to use the automatic updater exists already now for those board with heavy customised styles. Thats why they use the manual edits which are posted on the forum. I do not see any problem here as members have already mentioned to continue to support SS2.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by DarkBeing » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:35 am

bolverk wrote:.......
What surprises me is that it apears to me that you do not understand what I wrote. Maybe it is because my mothertongue is not English. If you carefully reread my reply you will notice that I did not „tell“ you anything but gave a suggestion.

Back on topic.
You said it yourself, the inclusion of SS2 was just an inclusion. It was never the default style and no one was „forced“ to use it. People made their decision to use it, knowing this. The team now made the decision to take out the included addon. Would it affect boards owners? You bet, as does every change on the phpBB software. Some more some less.
If an admin installs a style he knows the risk that that style may not be supported in the next version. Either he looks for another style or updates it by himself. Which is not difficult as the manual style updates are posted on the phpbb forum.

Btw. Talks about prosilvers flaws where already going on before the decission to drop SS2 was made.
Btw2. Numbers are only a minor fact as most boardowners want a certain look. How it is done doesn't matter, being it PS or SS2 based.

EDIT: Corrected some spelling (hopefully).

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by marian0810 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:00 am

DarkBeing wrote:The problem not being able to use the automatic updater exists already now for those board with heavy customised styles.
No it doesn't. I have a heavily modded board and heavily customised themes and the updater always works fine.
If a board is customised so much that it can't use the automatic updater anymore then the owner probably has enough knowledge to do it manually but most people don't.
Thats why they use the manual edits which are posted on the forum. I do not see any problem here as members have already mentioned to continue to support SS2.
But if it's not officially supported the same thing will happen that is happening with phpBB2 now: if a topic is started with a question about ss2 it will be immediately closed because ss2 isn't supported. Members who are willing to help won't get a chance to.
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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by DarkBeing » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:45 am

No it doesn't. I have a heavily modded board and heavily customised themes and the updater always works fine.
If a board is customised so much that it can't use the automatic updater anymore then the owner probably has enough knowledge to do it manually but most people don't.
Well, I have to admitt it works better and better. Still there are boardowners who experience problems with the auotmatic updater and ask for the manual edits. Most of the time I do the edits manually out of habit and because a couple of files are to much changed. Besides the amout of time maybe, there is no difficulty in copy/paste. Not long ago people were complaing about the automatic updater and wanted manual edits back. Nowadays manual edits seem to be a nightmare.
But if it's not officially supported the same thing will happen that is happening with phpBB2 now: if a topic is started with a question about ss2 it will be immediately closed because ss2 isn't supported. Members who are willing to help won't get a chance to.
Where did you read that? Why should the phpbb team close a topic about a style that community members release and support? Members have already stated that they will continue to support the style on the phpbb forums. If one member or a group goes ahead, releases SS2 and submits it to the style database, why should anyone close the support topic for that style? We are talking about a style and not the software package. But maybe a team member could give a definitiv answer to this. In short make it a comunity project for example, if the way that style is coded is that important for some users.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by marian0810 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:22 pm

DarkBeing wrote:Where did you read that?
I didn't, I'm just assuming that it will go the same way as phpBB2. Plenty of members were willing to keep that supported too, but that didn't help much.
But maybe a team member could give a definitiv answer to this.
That would be nice ;)

For the record: I'm not worried about my own forum at all. IF the speed issues of prosilver are solved I'll probably switch to prosilver and learn how to restyle it. It will be a ton of work but I'm a quick learner :D If not, we'll keep using subsilver2 and won't have any problems with it.
There are however thousands of board owners using subsilver2 now that never come to phpbb.com. They download the software, update it every now and then and that's it. They're only interested in the subject of their board, not the technical things, and have no idea what's about to happen or how to solve it :?

Also I was a bit annoyed about the way this was decided. And I happen to love working with tables 8-)
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