callumacrae wrote:I've proposed this before, and the development team aren't interested. If it were accepted, I would be very happy to send the patch myself. I definately think that it should be included (although possibly disabled by default).
I just did a search for "mobile" on area51 to see where you got this impression. I have been unable to find any posts by a development team member rejecting the idea of a mobile style for phpbb. Thus I think you may have a somewhat incorrect understanding of the situation.
Development team does not have a large amount of time to spend. We all have jobs and non-phpbb things we have to do. We have the accepted RFCs in 3.1, which already are more than enough to keep us busy until 3.1 gets released, and hopefully that happens sooner than later. Any proposals that are not on the list of accepted 3.1 RFCs don't get as much attention simply because we don't have enough time. Hopefully this explains why there have not been an outpouring of support for the mobile style from developers.
I think it's safe to say that developers won't be starting a mobile style for phpbb until 3.2 at the earliest, and possibly not until 3.3, 3.4 or 4.0. The only way a mobile style will appear earlier than that is if someone contributes it, or most of it.
As a maintainer, I'm quite certain that when someone proposes a change or an addition the proposer would benefit from it. My job is to make sure that the change or addition will not break everything for everyone else. Thus maintainers concentrate on possible drawbacks of changes. Sometimes this might create an impression of negativity, but really we are just trying to build the best product we can.
As a potential contributor, therefore, you (referring to anyone considering working on any contribution, mobile style included) want to make sure you don't spend too much time working on something that will turn out to be entirely unacceptable to the dev team. This is why we have the RFC process. You can post an RFC as broad or as detailed as you want. If there are no objections from development team to your RFC, that means there are no obvious obstacles to eventually getting it accepted into phpbb. I would suggest starting with a broad RFC and refining it with time to be more specific, and maybe starting working on some code. You can explicitly ask "Are there any objections to this?" every now and then (and it is sometimes important to distinguish between objections from developers, who have the commit bit, and non-developers who do not -- the non-developers are not the ones merging or not merging code into phpbb).
There is some difference between a core feature and a modification (or an addon/plugin/extension). If you want this mobile style to be a core feature you need to think about what that would require. Maybe prototype some code. Is it just another style? Do you need changes in the code to support the style? Do these changes negatively affect other, non-mobile styles? Can these changes be made independently of the style, such that they may be incorporated into 3.1 or even 3.0 without the style being part of phpbb in these versions?
Two of the larger features in 3.1, cron and template engine, took a significant amount of time. Cron (https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/pull/62
) - 9 months from the start to when it was merged. Template engine (https://github.com/phpbb/phpbb3/pull/171
) is going on 5 months. Both involved collaboration of multiple developers, and would have stalled if a single person was working on them. Both had a "responsible party" (which was not always the same person throughout the entire life of a feature) - the person who would push the proposal forward, solicit feedback, work on it as time permitted, etc. I don't know what would be involved in the mobile style, but my guess would be it would end up being one of the larger features. If so whoever decides to work on it needs to be realistic about how long it's likely to take, but also actually move it forward within our process. The sooner you start the sooner it will be done.