User contribution

General discussion of development ideas and the approaches taken in the 3.x branch of phpBB. The next feature release of phpBB 3 will be 3.3/Proteus.
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ameeck
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Re: User contribution

Post by ameeck »

As code reader said, Open Development is not democracy. It is a way for public and the teams apart from developers to participate with their ideas. Developers have the final word about implementing features, after all, they are the ones creating the products.

What I meant by unrepresentative votes is easily illustrated on your example of 6 000 votes. That is far from a representative amount of users. Imagine I dropped an announcement in one of the larger discussion boards (1M+ users) I am present on and tell people that they can vote for a popular feature on that board that would be useless for other boards on the internet. Would you take the potential 20k votes from that board as something you would base your decision on? What about other boards? What would happen to suggestions that do not concern a common user and talk about some core architectural features. Should admins or only users be able to vote? If so, how to make the difference, etc. etc.

On the other hand, providing discussion space here allows everyone to make a qualified vote. There will be much less of them, but I don't think the developers of phpBB with their experience in software development will lack judgment which would not allow reasonable decisions.

If you want to help get more people to this forum, try leading them and instructing them to make serious proposals or replies in existing topics, which will be much further than a simple yes or no.
Please think before you post.

bobtheman
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Re: User contribution

Post by bobtheman »

ameeck wrote:As code reader said, Open Development is not democracy. It is a way for public and the teams apart from developers to participate with their ideas. Developers have the final word about implementing features, after all, they are the ones creating the products.
I somewhat agree here, but you're still forgetting that the community as a whole are the people that use the end product, Members help in the development process also "or at least they should" by testing beta/alpha releases, submitting bug reports, etc etc. Even though like in your example there may be 2 million users from a specific board requesting a specific feature that may suite them but not the entire community as a whole.... they one are still a majority "assuming they win the "vote" ", and this doesn't mean it has to go into core. The phpbb dev team can, and i hope will, have plugins/addons that they develop and maintain.

If the phpbb dev team acts in disregard of the communities wishes, then the community will despair. I know your not arguing that this is what should be done or what is happening but the lack of community involvement is depressing. This is an opportunity to improve, how can you find harm in that. I say ask the community if they would like to express there voice and opinion on future development, im betting they are more than willing. If there are 6k votes to implement a feature like quick connect, im positive that there would be discussion of why the community wishes to have it developed and best of all would be willing to help. If for some reason 6k members vote to include something without valid reasoning, then ask, or express your concerns of why not. But to disregard the entire process is ludicrous.

also, just because there are 6 million votes to add OpenID support doest mean it has to be included or developed, but there needs to be a line of communication between the devs and end users/members of why the dev team decided against it with valid reasoning. This is a chance though, if the dev team goes against the communities wishes then it could and will have an effect. IMO the opinions of why not should be discussed before a final yay or nay is determined.

code reader
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Re: User contribution

Post by code reader »

bobtheman wrote: that the community as a whole are the people that use the end product,
i do not agree. in the context of open source, the community are those who participate in the process.
the people who use the product are the "users" not the community.
bobtheman wrote:If the phpbb dev team acts in disregard of the communities wishes
there is no reason to think that the only two possible attitudes are full democracy (voting) vs. disregard.

the participation in open development is an active process.
your opinion and views gain weight with your contributions.
contributions can be bug reports, patches, code reviewes, RFC, good arguments on other people's RFCs etc.
pressing a vote button does not figure here.

of course, the voice and opinion of a long-time member with positive contributions under their belt is weighed differently than that of a newcomer:
one earns respect over time and contributions.

it is not like a newcomer will be ignored, it's that there are people in the community whose opinion is respected *more*.

respecting someone's opinion does not necessarily mean i will agree with them every time, but it *does* mean i will read what they have to say more carefully.

either way, arguments of the type of "i want feature X" do not carry much weight: you have to explain why this feature is a good thing, why it should be part of the core, deal with concerns of others who think it would be a bad or just unnecessary thing etc.
a huge plus would be giving a general sketch of how the implementation looks like.
even better would be a functional patch.




peace.

bobtheman
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Re: User contribution

Post by bobtheman »

seems to be a vacuum ...

either way someone is making a final decision with or without an overall "vote"
letting the community "vote" is a way to improve by expanding thought and increasing statistical information for dev purposes
The process of "voting" would pose zero threat to any concreteism agenda if the results are ignored
Communities like to express ideas and thoughts, especially when its presented in a easy to use fashion like voting.
Before a vote can be made, first a topic of discussion has to be presented. Its up to the community .. including the dev team to introduce supporting or opposing viewpoints.

a member with zero "weight" due to longevity/friendships/contributions can present a proposal/idea and have mass majority acceptance including the dev teams approval. Your weight argument i understand but it serves no purpose overall.

a post regarding a New Idea IMO can usually be debated effectively with an overall consensus of its pros and cons within 100 replys, yet the area51 forums has 52k + registered members. Not every member should, nor will join into a discussion to continuously beat a dead horse and restate the already spoken. But they will vote.

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EXreaction
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Re: User contribution

Post by EXreaction »

As has been said before, what the majority of a number of voting people want isn't necessarily what's best for the software. It's easy to get a large number of people to sign up just to vote for the one thing you want.

The important thing is not the core features, but that nearly any feature you want being installable by simply uploading some files and clicking an install button in the plugins management page (with no file edits either manually or by the mod). Having to modify code is the biggest problem with the software for administrators.

bobtheman
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Re: User contribution

Post by bobtheman »

EXreaction wrote:As has been said before, what the majority of a number of voting people want isn't necessarily what's best for the software. It's easy to get a large number of people to sign up just to vote for the one thing you want.

The important thing is not the core features, but that nearly any feature you want being installable by simply uploading some files and clicking an install button in the plugins management page (with no file edits either manually or by the mod). Having to modify code is the biggest problem with the software for administrators.
for phpbb4 the goal for plugin/addon/expendable feature management "from what i understand" wouldn't require uploading files .. you can simply browse features and install all from the acp on the pmp "assuming these features are in the phpbb plugin repository" .... do i understand this correctly? maybe i misunderstood your reply?

I understand what you are saying about the coloration between votes and core components, which is why i brought up the point of phpbb developed and maintained plugins and the fact that if the dev team thinks a feature shouldn't be included in core they can express that during the voting process, and of course have the ability to make the final decision regarding inclusion.

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EXreaction
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Re: User contribution

Post by EXreaction »

Yes, there will likely be some built in browser for the plugin database which can install them automatically, but you'll also be able to upload the files to install them as well. The built in plugin browser would simply do the download for you and move it to the correct location to be installed.

bobtheman
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Re: User contribution

Post by bobtheman »

ok yeah, interesting ....

just for clarification, your overall consensus is against the user voting process and suggestion box idea. correct?

Im for this idea, i dont think it should or will take precedence in the development path of phpbb but will defiantly be a valuable asset when making future decisions.. and communities like to suggest ideas and vote on them its a natural process.

** It seems we have touched on a large portion of the questions and concerns regarding this idea, anyone for or against the suggestion after reading the replys it would be nice to have an overall picture of who is in agreement or against this idea. Please reply with a brief statement regarding your opinion and any other questions you may have.

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EXreaction
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Re: User contribution

Post by EXreaction »

I like the idea of having a well laid out section for voting and suggesting features, but I don't think that we should say that we will accept feature requests into the core (or even as an included plugin with the core system that comes disabled) just because of the number of votes for something (and we should make clear that we won't make decisions based upon the number of votes if that is the decision).

Ideas that fit in well with what we believe should be in a forum system can be picked out from the suggestions to be included with the core (hopefully as a plugin) and for those we do not believe should be with the base system can either be released separately by the development team (or any person in particular) if they like the idea as a plugin or they can be picked up by a mod author.

Votes will probably be more beneficial to mod authors if they like to build things that are not necessarily useful for themselves as they can judge what the community has the higher demand for (on which the skew some feature requests may get may not be as significant of a problem as what it could be if it were decided to include features into the core just by votes).

The development team has looked into a more formal feature request section in the past and I believe they are still for the idea, but the line has to be drawn carefully else we run into problems with duplication of feature requests (which is not only bad for organization but really doesn't make anyone happy to see people just throwing things out with spending at least a little time to search and see if it was requested before), (what I'd call) non-professional requests from people who just request things without putting forth some effort to have good reasoning or need for the feature, and what may appear to others as bias or stubbornness by the development team (whether it is true or not...good example, Quick Reply which was requested regularly and was treated almost as taboo by the teams). Both users and the developers need to take appropriate responsibility and handle the feature requests carefully as it's easy for either group to unintentionally cause problems.

Rotsblok
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Re: User contribution

Post by Rotsblok »

And one has to keep in mind what the goal is of phpBB..

Meaning most users want stuff added to it, which doesn't comply to the goal of phpBB.. (think about a photo gallery, blog system etc).. Even though one has loads of trust in the "users of community" or what ever you call themm.. But tbh the community is a slow and unwilling creature.. Meaning no matter how many times you tell them your goal.. they still keep going back in circles.. (repeatable asking for features that were previously turned down).. And it is not the fault of the community but it simply cannot keep in mind what the goal is of phpBB.. And i you don't believe me.. just start a simple topic of what you miss in phpBB.. Most ppl forget it is "just" a forum solution.. it is not a complete and ready to use site.. Even though that phpBB group has taken on the responsiblity of testing and accepting mods.. they didnt have to do that (if you keep in mind that the ultimate goal of phpBB is to provide a good forum solution).

So in a way the dev team is there to keep the goal in mind and sanitise the ideas of which is usefull and which is not for the ultimate goal...

If someone is to bring up the implamentation of the QR.. well that is requested of approx.. 5 years.. And the dev team had an idea that it wouldnt be inline of what phpBB is.. Although it is now a "Core" product, it is still something very basic. and in a way a compromise between the requested and the idea...
ø = 1.618033988749895...
Everything has ø in it

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