[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These RFCs were either rejected or have been replaced by an alternative proposal.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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imkingdavid
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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by imkingdavid »

bolverk wrote:
DarkBeing wrote:but will try to explain it as far as I understand it (someone correct me if I am wrong).
Ok, since you did ask. :P
What I think you do not understand is that if a user's problem with phpBB is determined to be related to a third party style the phpBB support staff are not required to provide support to help fix it. Than can choose to try and help but there is nothing compelling them to do so and they will typically pass you off to the style author. It's like when you install aftermarket (equivalent to third party styles/mods) parts on your automobile (your board), the part causes your automobile to break which then in turn voids your automobile warranty from the manufacturer (in this case phpBB.com) :)

btw, I replied to your previous post above in an effort not to bump needlessly.
That is more like it.

The phpBB Support team is expected to officially support ss2 while it is included in the core package. If it is not, they *can* choose to ignore it and send the person to the style author/maintainer.

But just because phpBB isn't officially supporting it, doesn't mean that they will not support it at all, or that they will lock all topics about it.
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EXreaction
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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by EXreaction »

Nobody is required to support anything.

Even if subsilver2 is included in 3.1 you only get support for it from the goodness of our hearts, just the same as you only get support for anything in phpBB out of the goodness of our hearts.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by bolverk »

EXreaction wrote:Nobody is required to support anything.
Since when? Last I knew the *Official* phpBB Group policy is that they provide support for anything they release. Don't confuse volunteer community participation in support with official Support Team duties. You also have many terms and conditions under which this support will be provided and by setting and publicizing these policies you are requiring that support be an official service you provide as a project. phpBB requires that support be provided for officially supported packages per it's own mandate. :P

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by naderman »

First I would like to answer some of the issues bolverk brought up with the process of how these decisions are made. We use this process of RFCs because phpBB development is driven by the ideas and wishes of a few, those who actually do the work. It's a project run by a comparably small group of people in their free time and they work on the issues that feel most important to them. RFCs allow other people to suggest ideas to those who might end up implementing them and they allow others to bring up problems or thoughts the originator of the RFC might have overlooked. RFCs are not meant to be used to collect data on the opinions of all phpBB users.

Statistical data can be helpful, but often it leaves questions unanswered. For example even if we knew exactly how many prosilver and subsilver users there were, we still would not know why those people use prosilver or subsilver. We would know just as much about whether a prosilver based subsilver style would satisfy most subsilver2 users, as we know now. We should think about what the consequences of our decisions are for all those people who do not participate in this process but in the end decisions here are made based on subjective reasoning and the interests of whoever is here to raise their opinion. This process is flawed but we will have to live with that.

Decisions can always be changed or rethought, I regret that Josh made such a bold statement about this decision being unchangeable, which it is not.

Now, some facts relevant to the decision:
  • nn- reported subsilver is definitely supported by 48% and likely by another 2%, so half of all MODS currently posted. (as of March 19th, 2010)
  • nn- also states: Among modifications targeting 3.0.[67], subsilver support is around 61%.
  • Some modifications add support for subsilver after their initial release (per changelogs), presumably due to demand.
  • bolverk states, that the top downloaded styles are based on subsilver2
  • bolverk states more than 50% of the styles in the database are based on subsilver2
  • bolverk states, SS based custom third party style downloads outnumber PS based custom third party style downloads on .com by ~100,000
  • bolverk states, on phpBB third party resource site phpbb3stylesdotnet, of the top ten most downloaded styles nine are SS-based styles. They are #1-#8 & #10.
In favour of removing subsilver2:
  • Users
    • cherokee red
    • idiotnesia
    • evil3
    • Dog Cow
    • VSE+
    • naderman
    • ToonArmy
    • Desdenova
    • Unknown Bliss
    • Rotsblok
    • imkingdavid
    • House
    • onehundredandtwo
    • Ashley.S.
    • keith10456
    • Wickedlad
    • Mark1200
    • DarkBeing
    • therat
    • Tom
    • mtrs
    • noth
    • Christian 2.0
    • A_Jelly_Doughnut
  • Reasons given (some are very subjective)
    • Saves (unquantifiable) work for developers
    • Saves work for MOD authors, who want to make their MOD available to a majority of phpBB users, if all or most styles are based on a common template
    • There is a style looking like subsilver2 based on prosilver, one like it could be shipped with Ascraeus as subsilver3
    • A third party could maintain subsilver2 for Ascraeus, for those already using subsilver2 with Olympus
    • New styles get based on legacy subsilver2 which was never meant to be the official phpBB3 style, but was only shipped with phpBB because it was already there
    • CSS based design is more flexible and should be the case for all styles shipped with phpBB
    • Prosilver takes some getting used to, that's a big reason why people pick subsilver, if it didn't come by default, they would soon realise that prosilver is superior
In favour of keeping subsilver2:
  • Users
    • donny
    • FeyFre
    • bolverk
    • swanny007
    • bliTz413
  • Reasons given (some are very subjective)
    • subsilver2 has many users, they would have problems updating
    • many styles use subsilver2 as a basis
    • If a third party provided subsilver2, no official support would be guaranteed
    • There are performance problems with prosilver, that need to be fixed, if subsilver2 is not available as an alternative anymore
Reasons that have been mentioned in favour of both sides, and seem to be a question of subjective experience or taste:
  • Some people dislike how prosilver looks, some dislike how subsilver2 looks
  • Some people think prosilver is easier and cleaner to work with (especially for MOD authors) and others think subsilver2 is much easier to modify
In this summary I have ignored one small part of the discussion in this topic. It was suggested that MODs are irrelevant to this decision. But MODs are a big part of how phpBB works. A huge amount of people modify their boards according to their needs. We need to take this fact into account for every decision we make. If we deliver a style with phpBB we need to think about the experience users of that style will have with MODs. The key here is, we need to think about it, so we can still decide that the secondary style does not require the same amount of attention or somesuch. Anyway we cannot ignore the fact that MODs are of importance to everyone using phpBB.

Now from this I'll draw the conclusion that the decision in general is supported by a sufficient amount of people involved in phpBB development but that we have to come up with a sensible plan for how users of subsilver2 or subsilver2 based styles can update to 3.1. Meaning we should try and focus everything on prosilver in the future, but find acceptable way to continue to run your board with subsilver2 or a style based on it if you have already been using it with 3.0.

So I can imagine two solutions: We can either continue to maintain subsilver2 in the regular source tree but only provide it in the styles database like a third party style. Or we can maintain subsilver2 separately and rely on the help of others. Either we should ensure that subsilver2 support is not redirected to some third party, but that it is treated like the default style support wise. In that regard I would like to remind everyone that we do not give any guarantees for the product itself or support anyway. We should just make sure users relying on subsilver2 do not run into any big trouble just for doing so.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by wGEric »

Tableless layouts are and will be easier to work with with future versions of HTML, CSS and Javascript. As the "standard" for usability on the web changes, tables make it harder to keep up with that standard. In some areas phpBB is behind in ways to perform certain tasks and make the UI easier to use.

My vote is to get rid of subsilver2 and stick with prosilver. IMO it is a necessity if phpBB is going to stay current.
Eric

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by bolverk »

naderman wrote:For example even if we knew exactly how many prosilver and subsilver users there were, we still would not know why those people use prosilver or subsilver. We would know just as much about whether a prosilver based subsilver style would satisfy most subsilver2 users, as we know now.
But you know enough now (that SS is a more popular style base than PS) to know how much impact your action will have on your user base. That should be enough to tell you the decision is premature and the negative impact on your user base is too great at this point in time. You do not need to know why they prefer SS in order to know the impact of dropping it now. You can delve into the why later as you try to shift that paradigm.
naderman wrote:In this summary I have ignored one small part of the discussion in this topic. It was suggested that MODs are irrelevant to this decision. But MODs are a big part of how phpBB works. A huge amount of people modify their boards according to their needs. We need to take this fact into account for every decision we make. If we deliver a style with phpBB we need to think about the experience users of that style will have with MODs.
It was more than suggested, it was proven. The fact is you provide no official support for MOD's so how any MOD would affect a users style is the MOD author's responsibility not yours. Caveat emptor. Approval for acceptance into the phpBB MOD DB also does not require SS support, if provided at all it is voluntarily. These two facts make MOD's and their ability to be supported in SS completely irrelevant to this decision, no matter how much you want to continue to use them to prop up the decision you made.
wGEric wrote:As the "standard" for usability on the web changes, tables make it harder to keep up with that standard.
I didn't see anyone disputing that anywhere and I myself loathe tables used for layout of non-tabular data. That is not the issue. The issue is do the wishes/needs of your user base matter to you or not? I think the only issue here is timing. Is this the appropriate time to whack SS? All data points say now is not the appropriate time. PS is not ready, the impacted user base is not ready, third party style authors are not ready. You support browsers that are not standards compliant simply because of the market share they hold (i.e. how popular they are) so why should continuing support for SS be treated any differently? Wait until it's popularity wanes a tad thus reducing the impact on your user base. Use the time in between to improve PS to the point that it becomes the "goto" style and then getting rid of SS will be much less painful for both you and your users.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by naderman »

Moved the off topic part of your post here (my fault for starting that discussion in this topic): viewtopic.php?f=99&t=33516&p=211569#p211569
bolverk wrote:It was more than suggested, it was proven. The fact is you provide no official support for MOD's so how any MOD would affect a users style is the MOD author's responsibility not yours. Caveat emptor. Approval for acceptance into the phpBB MOD DB also does not require SS support, if provided at all it is voluntarily. These two facts make MOD's and their ability to be supported in SS completely irrelevant to this decision, no matter how much you want to continue to use them to prop up the decision you made.
Totally irrelevant. People install MODs, thus we have to consider users with MODs. What our support policy is, does not have anything to do with this.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by naderman »

bolverk wrote:
naderman wrote:For example even if we knew exactly how many prosilver and subsilver users there were, we still would not know why those people use prosilver or subsilver. We would know just as much about whether a prosilver based subsilver style would satisfy most subsilver2 users, as we know now.
But you know enough now (that SS is a more popular style base than PS) to know how much impact your action will have on your user base. That should be enough to tell you the decision is premature and the negative impact on your user base is too great at this point in time. You do not need to know why they prefer SS in order to know the impact of dropping it now. You can delve into the why later as you try to shift that paradigm.
It is very relevant. If everyone using subsilver2 is just waiting for a faster prosilver. Then maybe we should drop subsilver2 and make prosilver faster and everyone will be happy. Just because a majority uses something now, doesn't mean that it has to stay.

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by Christy »

naderman wrote:It is very relevant. If everyone using subsilver2 is just waiting for a faster prosilver. Then maybe we should drop subsilver2 and make prosilver faster and everyone will be happy. Just because a majority uses something now, doesn't mean that it has to stay.
Hello,

When you say "Faster" what exactly do you mean? That if you focus on Prosilver it will be faster in some way? What does that mean?

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Re: [RFC|Accepted] Removal of subsilver2

Post by naderman »

It was a hypothetical example. Some people complained about prosilver being slow.

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