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Author Topic: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?  (Read 81404 times)

Offline KGIII

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #60 on: March 26, 2007, 10:22:58 PM »
But if it's being ignored, what's the point?

I don't think it is being ignored, just not acted on rapidly enough or in a manner that you approve of. Though I don't think that you should give up. Discussions take time, actions take time, and change takes time. If, as has been projected, the system will collapse then, if nothing else, that will force change.
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Offline Sarke

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2007, 12:22:49 AM »
I don't think it is being ignored, just not acted on rapidly enough or in a manner that you approve of.

For something to not be considered ignored, I think an SMF staff member should acknowledge the suggestion as either worth considering, or give an idea of why it's not.  No reply = ignored, at least to me.

What do you consider no reply if not ignored?

EDIT: Same goes for reporting bugs.  A simple "we know", "we'll look into it", or "it's not a bug, you're a retard" is all that's required.  After a few bug reports that are ignored, you start wondering if it's doing any good and you just stop trying to be helpful.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 12:35:18 AM by Sarke »
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Offline Joshua Dickerson

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2007, 12:45:43 AM »
Sorry Sarke, is there something that was ignored in this thread? I try to keep close tabs on this thread but often times I read it and have other things to do. I want to make sure I choose my words carefully, so I don't always post right after reading. Feel free to quote anything that you want to reiterate.
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Offline KGIII

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2007, 12:53:19 AM »
I think groundup expressed it quite well. Just because there is nothing posted in a reply doesn't mean that your thoughts aren't being seen and given consideration.
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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #64 on: March 27, 2007, 12:56:11 AM »
Okay. I suggested that a list of in the queue hacks be made available (not for download, just the name and description). This way I can avoid spending time on a hack that has already been written and has been in the queue for a month. What is the argument against such a simple change?

Offline Joshua Dickerson

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #65 on: March 27, 2007, 01:03:35 AM »
I've discussed this with some of the team members and we MAY be releasing a list of unapproved packages.
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Offline Hambil

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #66 on: March 27, 2007, 01:12:25 AM »
I've discussed this with some of the team members and we MAY be releasing a list of unapproved packages.
That's good news. Thanks :)

Offline Sarke

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #67 on: March 27, 2007, 01:26:10 AM »
Sorry Sarke, is there something that was ignored in this thread?

I'm speaking in general.  It's pretty much 50-50 when I suggest something or report a bug that it is just ignored.

But on this issue, I think the following were never addressed by a SMF staff member:

- community (open or modmakers) beta testing of mods (there's a few pages in this topic about that)
- showing the status of the mod (such as "newly received", "under review")
- showing it's place in line (basically how many unapproved mods are ahead of it) to give everyone an idea of how long the wait is (both for the mod makers sake, and people waiting to use it).

Some of the above I have suggested more than once, and not just this topic (the earliest a few months ago).


And then of course there is the issue of communication...

I think groundup expressed it quite well. Just because there is nothing posted in a reply doesn't mean that your thoughts aren't being seen and given consideration.

Sorry, but that's a very ignorant way of looking at it.  No offense meant, but you have this amazing community willing to help, and you think it's ok to just not acknowledge it?  That's very bad practice, in most things. 

A good example of what is going on would be a classroom of children.  Say the teacher writes a math problem on the board, and asked the class what the answer is.  Most children probably know it so they raise their hands.  If the teacher just ignores them and starts explaining the answer straight away, the next time fewer children will raise their hands.  I bet if you just do this for an hour, at the end of the hour none of the children will raise their hands.

Ignoring help is a very good way of having it ignore you.  People will simply stop bothering to try to help if it's not being acknowledged.  A simple short reply can give people an idea that they're help is actually doing something, and that they're making a difference, and that will lead to enthusiasm.  You are trying to make people support you financially as well, right?  ;)


My point is that it's so easy to water this enthusiasm, but not watering it will slowly kill it.  Ever since I discovered SMF and made the switch I've tried to get involved with the community; I wrote a few mods, help some people with their problems (very rewarding, they know how to acknowledge help btw).  But as soon as I try to help the SMF team all I get is a cold shoulder most of the time, and it's very frustrating.


P.S. I understand progress takes time, but I at least want to know that some sort of progress is being made.
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Offline Joshua Dickerson

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #68 on: March 27, 2007, 01:41:01 AM »
Sarke, I doubt we are going to show a status or showing it's place in line (it doesn't always go exactly in sequential order) of the customization. Although, we may release them as unapproved customizations. Like I said, we MAY. There is still some more discussion that needs to be done on the team boards. If it hasn't been addressed, it is simply because we overlooked it.

I really like to see this enthusiasm. I think your criticism shows that you really like to help.
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Offline Sarke

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #69 on: March 27, 2007, 01:57:59 AM »
Thank you.  That's all I really needed ("we're discussing it").
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Offline KGIII

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #70 on: March 27, 2007, 02:27:28 AM »
I still fail (maybe it is just me) to see how a lack of a response is ignoring. What you see as ignorance on my part I see as impatience and a sense of entitlement on your part. I could see, say, if the thread was just locked and deleted and no response was ever given that that would be ignoring. I, for one, tend to trust the people who are making these choices (I am not one of these choice makers - I am just an observer) as they have managed to make it work so far.

It would be more informative for someone from the customization team to come and say, "Thank you for your suggestions, we will be taking them under consideration and will respond when we have watched this thread reach its conclusions and reached our own." However, I'd rather that they work on approving the mods in the queue, working on the documentation for the mod guidelines, and supporting their many personal mods.

I think that the customization team has one of the most difficult job of all of the volunteers as many of them serve double duty in supporting their own as well as debugging the heaps of code that are passed onto them. (I think support is the busiest but, well, that's just 'cause I am one so I am biased.) Then, when they post with a subject as volatile as this one seems to be, they must consider what they say carefully because people tend to read what they want to read and not what was written.

Keep in mind that I am not on the customization team which is why I hesitated to speak at all and, even then, I did so mostly just to ensure that it was clear that we all go through the approval process in one form or another. However, seeing as I have opted to continue speaking I want you to first remember that I am a support team member, not a customization team member. This post reflects not what is, what will be, or anything other than my own views and observations.

With that being said:

Quote
- community (open or modmakers) beta testing of mods (there's a few pages in this topic about that)
- showing the status of the mod (such as "newly received", "under review")
- showing it's place in line (basically how many unapproved mods are ahead of it) to give everyone an idea of how long the wait is (both for the mod makers sake, and people waiting to use it).

In order:

1. I STRONGLY disagree with that. I have, over the years, offered support in a variety of places and for a variety of companies. I disagree, very much, with all forms of open beta testing because the reality is that a high percentage of the people who utilize beta software WILL do so with the intent of having something new and don't understand the risks involved nor have the inclination/ability to offer quality feedback/bug reports. While there are many who are fully qualified, more than willing, and would do this - and do this well - the ends do not justify the means. This is not meant to point to any one specific person and say that they shouldn't be allowed near a beta but rather is an observation based on many years of beta testing and support provisioning.

(Bear with me on this - we will return to this idea. I actually have a point.)

2. I'd agree with that entirely, sort of... Right now the process is rather closed and I think that this may be, in part, due to it being a team effort. A more open display of progress with a description of the progress would be a good step in my opinion. I would suspect that if the status is to be shown that it would be, again, permissions based. For a variety of reasons - such as security issues - I would like to see something similar but, instead, a "reviewer" type of section that lets the mod author know (and is seen only by the mod author) what the status is and what the discussion is. Doing this would be problematic perhaps or at least would need to be done by someone far more skillful than I.

3. I am not sure I agree. While a larger mod may take a long time to go through the process there could be multiple smaller modifications that passed. Being "third in line" and then seeing a half dozen other mods get approved before yours would be disheartening I suspect. It would be even more disheartening if there had been no communication to let you know where things stood. I am not sure I disagree with the idea itself. On this I am undecided.

I will digress a moment:

One might say that they should be done in the order that they come, I respectfully disagree. I think they should be done in the order that best suits the skillsets people doing the work and fits their schedule best.

Having said all of that... I did mention that I would have a point. I do, if you have made it this far into this post then perhaps you will read this.

Perhaps a permissions based method of giving access to unapproved mods would suit? Instead of it being a process with added man-hour overhead a simple option, within each members profile, that is disabled by default that granted permissions to download unapproved modifications would be an avenue that someone might take into consideration. Checking this box would (of course) come with a clear warning and the unapproved/not-yet-reviewed mods would still be listed as such but then could be downloaded by willing members.

Some problems I see with this would be, well... "I just downloaded ____ which was an unapproved modification. I want to report or get support for ____." Where would that be posted? Would this require a new child board? Would the mod authors want this? Would they want to support this? Have you seen some of what makes it into the queue? Anyone can upload.... Would people post in the right areas? I feel that things of that nature make this a rather complex subject.

As you can see, I do not agree with all of what you say. That is, hopefully, okay with you because the idea of communication is exchanging ideas and it is obvious that you feel strongly about your views it is also obvious that you truly want to ensure that SMF continues to grow.

At risk of sounding arrogant (which is not something I am entitled to) I would add that in the past, a number of years ago, those ideas might have been simple enough to just plain work. I will not say "unfortunately..." I lack a better word though. Ah... "As the situation currently stands..." That will work. As the situation currently stands there are people who install a variety of scripts from within their control panel with the help of software such as Fantastico. This has increased the exposure and has resulted in many wonderful changes and great people taking an interest. It has, at the same time, also enabled people who do not have the skillset that you have to participate and, as such, would make for some potentially troublesome times for those users who, honestly, did not know better. (Err... I hope I worded that well enough.)

*sighs*

While I was typing this a couple of new posts were made it seems. I shall post it anyhow. I hope that you aren't offended by anything in this post but I think that discussions aren't about agreeing on everything but rather exchanging ideas until everyone understands as best as they are able. I suspect that that is why they are discussions and not lectures.

*fixed grammar*
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 02:32:08 AM by KGIII »
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Offline Hambil

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #71 on: March 27, 2007, 02:41:40 AM »
I suggested that you open up the approval process to proven mod authors. In other words - by the very fact that I wrote a mod that followed the guidelines and got approved, I am qualified to review and test other's mods.

The specifics can be argued - e.g. How many mods does it take to become part of the approval team? What other criteria must be met? Should we allow for subjectivity on the part of the people deciding who gets to be a reviewer? Etc...

The point is, there are plenty of *proven* mod authors who would be more than willing to help out with approving mods. There is virtually no reason I can see to deny them from doing so.  

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #72 on: March 27, 2007, 03:18:59 AM »
The only reason I can see to deny that would be added complexity and overhead. Right now those people who are able and willing to test are generally watched and then invited to become apprentices and then team members if they seem active enough and interested enough.

Please remember my goal is not to argue but to understand.

I would also add that you, specifically you, would likely be qualified for that task or at least to weed out the ones that don't cut the mustard. (Err... So to speak.)

Yet... Hmm... *ponders*

My first mod took MONTHS (well two or so I think) to get approved. It went through without a hitch and there weren't any problems at all. At that time I wasn't privy to seeing the topics created for it. My second one is the one that I actually had to change - I had to go back and make sure that I changed the ID so that it didn't have spaces. However, I was able to see that post and so I went in and fixed it and that was the only issue so it got approved quickly. I think my idea is that there are checks and balances and that a team approach works - maybe not as speedy as one might hope or the likes... But it generally does a good enough job which doesn't mean that it shouldn't or couldn't be changed but, rather, that I suspect any changes will have to come slowly and with very good discussion such as we are seeing in this topic.

For the sake of my own comprehension...

What would you personally use as the criteria for selecting who is and who isn't a "proven mod author" and is thus judged capable? (Beyond the team membership process that is in place already?)
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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #73 on: March 27, 2007, 03:26:26 AM »
For the sake of my own comprehension...

What would you personally use as the criteria for selecting who is and who isn't a "proven mod author" and is thus judged capable? (Beyond the team membership process that is in place already?)
Not everyone wants to be a member of the team. I don't. Being selected as a member of the SMF team should be an honor, that one is willing to commit real effort and time too. I have my own goals in life, and am already fairly well extended. I doubt you would ever see me achieve a participation level here worthy of becoming a team member.

With that said, I am qualified to review mods, and more than willing to do so when I have time. Two dozen like me, giving time here and there when they have it, could make a real difference.

As to how to judge someone capable - you are basically already doing it. By the time you review a mod or two from an author you have a pretty good feel for their level of skill. Since the approval process can be moderated (e.g. I could review and submit my review to the team, and they could do with it as they see fit), there is little risk.

Honestly, I just want to help with whatever resources and skills I have, but the current all in or nothing policy really doesn't allow me to do that.

Offline Sarke

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #74 on: March 27, 2007, 03:30:16 AM »
I still fail (maybe it is just me) to see how a lack of a response is ignoring.

It's perceived to be ignored.  It might not be, it might very well be discussed by the SMF staff, but to the user who doesn't know this it looks like it's ignored.  They are left in the dark.  Like I said, water this enthusiasm, don't let it wither.


What you see as ignorance on my part I see as impatience and a sense of entitlement on your part.

I wouldn't call it impatience.  Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not demanding results right now, I just wish to know if the ball is rolling or not.  I hope you understand my perspective, since IMO I have been patienent and I've waited for a couple of months for replies to some suggestions. 

I also don't feel I'm entitled to anything, but if I do try to help I would hope to get some sort of reply.  If you help someone and they don't acknowledge it, I'm sure you would feel like that person is rude.  Besides, it is for YOUR sake that I'm pointing this out, because it's about taking care of the community.


I, for one, tend to trust the people who are making these choices (I am not one of these choice makers - I am just an observer) as they have managed to make it work so far.

I trust them too, they managed pretty well before I got here.  :P  However, I'm sure you've suggested some thing once or twice before, and imagine if those things were not replied to.  You still trust these people, but you'd probably feel left out and less enthusiastic.


It would be more informative for someone from the customization team to come and say, "Thank you for your suggestions, we will be taking them under consideration and will respond when we have watched this thread reach its conclusions and reached our own." However, I'd rather that they work on approving the mods in the queue, working on the documentation for the mod guidelines, and supporting their many personal mods.

The time it takes to reply is but a fraction of what it takes to read and consider the suggestions.  Especially for the ones being discussed by the team, with the amount of time that goes into that issue, it is a simple matter to reply with a short message saying they're looking into it.


Keep in mind that I am not on the customization team which is why I hesitated to speak at all and, even then, I did so mostly just to ensure that it was clear that we all go through the approval process in one form or another. However, seeing as I have opted to continue speaking I want you to first remember that I am a support team member, not a customization team member. This post reflects not what is, what will be, or anything other than my own views and observations.

I didn't mean that you have to reply with your thoughts on the suggestions, but you could say "the staff are discussing these things".


One might say that they should be done in the order that they come, I respectfully disagree. I think they should be done in the order that best suits the skillsets people doing the work and fits their schedule best.

Some Customizers have stated that the reason for some of the delays are because they are all done in order, and there might be a complex mod holding up the rest.  STill, I don't really care how you do it as long as it's in some sort of fair way.  My point about the "showing it's place in line" would be to give everyone an idea of where the mod is at.  Round it to the nearest 10 if you must (e.g. "This mod is in the top 20 being reviewed").  It would show some sort of progress, and that would help the people who on an almost daily basis complaining about why their mod hasn't been approved yet.


Having said all of that... I did mention that I would have a point. I do, if you have made it this far into this post then perhaps you will read this.

Still going...


Perhaps a permissions based method of giving access to unapproved mods would suit? Instead of it being a process with added man-hour overhead a simple option, within each members profile, that is disabled by default that granted permissions to download unapproved modifications would be an avenue that someone might take into consideration. Checking this box would (of course) come with a clear warning and the unapproved/not-yet-reviewed mods would still be listed as such but then could be downloaded by willing members.

Some problems I see with this would be, well... "I just downloaded ____ which was an unapproved modification. I want to report or get support for ____." Where would that be posted? Would this require a new child board? Would the mod authors want this? Would they want to support this? Have you seen some of what makes it into the queue? Anyone can upload.... Would people post in the right areas? I feel that things of that nature make this a rather complex subject.

Like I and some others (most recently Hambil) mentioned already, make the approved mod authors into a new usergroup and give them a sub-board where they can talk about and test these unapproved mods.


As you can see, I do not agree with all of what you say. That is, hopefully, okay with you because the idea of communication is exchanging ideas and it is obvious that you feel strongly about your views it is also obvious that you truly want to ensure that SMF continues to grow.

I DO feel strongly about SMF because that's what it's about.  It's all good if you don't agree, as long as you let me know.  If I'm left in the dark I will just give up after a while.  And you taking time to write such a long reply shows that you care about the feedback we're all giving you, and that really helps as well because it grows the enthusiasm I was talking about.


At risk of sounding arrogant (which is not something I am entitled to) I would add that in the past, a number of years ago, those ideas might have been simple enough to just plain work. I will not say "unfortunately..." I lack a better word though. Ah... "As the situation currently stands..." That will work. As the situation currently stands there are people who install a variety of scripts from within their control panel with the help of software such as Fantastico. This has increased the exposure and has resulted in many wonderful changes and great people taking an interest. It has, at the same time, also enabled people who do not have the skillset that you have to participate and, as such, would make for some potentially troublesome times for those users who, honestly, did not know better. (Err... I hope I worded that well enough.)

Tell me about it.  Just a few days ago I had to help a guy install one of my mods, and in doing so I noticed that he had left the "Edit account settings" permission open to new members. 

Get back to the point, those are very valid concerns.  However, they're not so big we can't figure out a way for it to work. 


While I was typing this a couple of new posts were made it seems. I shall post it anyhow. I hope that you aren't offended by anything in this post but I think that discussions aren't about agreeing on everything but rather exchanging ideas until everyone understands as best as they are able. I suspect that that is why they are discussions and not lectures.

Exchanging ideas and forums go hand in hand. :)
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Offline KGIII

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2007, 04:33:09 AM »
I will go further to add that I have absolutely no doubt that you have the best interests in mind. I will also be brutally honest and say that I don't know of (or see) a solution that is 100% effective. The idea of an additional membergroup actually may seem like little overhead but, really, can be a lot to do if it isn't automated and when we add ego to that ("Why wasn't I made a member of the beta testing group yet?") it becomes potentially explosive I suspect.

I am not going to quote your entire post, I will just respond. I think we've reached a level where we can communicate. I agree. Perception is key. Unfortunately you saw this as ignoring. You were quite happy (seemingly) when you saw that groundup took the time to say it was being looked into. With about 1000 users online and nearly 1 million posts... Well... It is a lot. For anyone.

I am not privy to the team leader boards nor would I assume responsibility for such but I will say that this thread has grabbed the attention of quite a few people and, again, I urge you to keep giving feedback - it is not being ignored so much as being contemplated I suspect. I am still fairly new to the team, one thing I will say is that it is impressively democratic. Democracy (not to be confused with the United States of America's Republic) takes time.

Hmm... One thing I have is loyalty until I see a major ethical violation so, really, I am not going to say anything bad about the team or software unless I know it to be the truth. The closest you will come to seeing me say such is what you will see here: "I would agree that greater transparency to the issues raised in this thread and more dissemination of information would have (would be?) valuable to ensure that the interested parties are able to communicate clearly with a good understanding of the objectives." Which, frankly, is why I urged you to continue your dialog. I also would not consider that a negative statement as anyone expecting perfection from people (which is what open source really is) is expecting too much for too little. I give you kudos for rolling your sleeves up and getting your hands dirty.

I will say that I am completely certain that, unless I am mistaken and I generally am good at understanding people, your goals are the same as the rest of ours. We all want to do everything we can (it is insane how much passion OSS can generate) to ensure the betterment and survival of SMF. Personally, I lurked a long time and then started posting to help where I could and have since felt obligated to repay my debt - meaning that I have learned a billion times more than I have shared. Again, this is a huge forum, rest assured that very little goes unnoticed. Compare, if you will, the number of zero reply support topics to the over-all total. ;) They get noticed... Find one post over a day old that hasn't been read. (I don't think that is possible.) Remember the human aspect.

Now, on to more stuff seeing as you don't mind my novels...

How? You too - please give your feedback. I requested that they share what they felt was the criteria for determining what a mod author would need to undergo to permit them permission to review unapproved mods and offer feedback. How can this be done AND how can this be done without placing an additional burden on an already overwhelmed team? Not just that but - again - the human aspect. How do you tell someone that, "I am sorry, you do not meet the criteria?" Not only how do you tell them that - but how do you tell them that AND still leave them feeling encouraged and wanting to contribute? How do you provision support?

Digression: Thankfully your method won't add to my load, I consider my 'job' a labor - a labor of love but I still think of it as work. Happily. I signed on, agreed to apprentice, agreed to take the badge. With that came a responsibility to provide timely and accurate assistance as best as I am able. It is not my main priority. It is, however, a very important priority to me. You can't see my insane drivel posts but I tend to term it not love (we fall out of love) but lust. *grins* You seem to have the same lust. I lust the software, community, and the education that you all give me. I pay for it with support.

Enough digression...

This response isn't in order... *sighs* Anyhow - yes... They are done in order. At least my OBSERVATION is that they are. The approval process isn't "start one, finish one." Instead it is:

This is the mod.
This is what I see.
Do you see anything else?
Contact the author?
Response was?

Now, during that process, they can't stop and wait. Thus one large mod holds up others or gets in the way if it has issues. I guess the word that is confusing is "order."

IMPORTANT: My observation is that they are done in order for the most part BUT remember that it takes longer to build a mansion than it does to build a shack. This means that the order isn't time-based or even always submission date though oldest seem to be attended to first. This means that when a big mod that has issues comes into play that things slow down for other long/large mods will end up waiting as human resources (which is what OSS is all about) are consumed working on the existing issues AND that time-zone differences, language barriers, etc all play a part in this.

In short - it is quite complicated and making it more simple AND effective is a noble goal (I laud your attempts and heart - truly) but there are so many additional aspects that I think we are all not seeing. I am not sure but I absolutely hope that I am able to be objective enough to give you just what I see without clouding it with bias. It is a difficult process. The cohesiveness of the community is needed lest, as you say, it go without water and die.

Ah the frail human ego... Anyhow...

I would ask that we all remember that, at this time, this is still powered by SMF. Automating the group to ensure that only qualified people were admitted to the beta section would take even more time. Yeah... This is all run with SMF as the backbone.

I have given this consideration and I would like it if you would consider my proposal which, frankly, is just as likely to be impossible as any other proposal.

My current thinking is as I said. I would, if I had a choice and the capacity, create an advanced section in the members (here) profile where, if they wanted, they could go agree to hold SMF free from liability and agree to post support requests/bug reports/feedback posts where they belong. I would make it so that they had to actually type something in that way it was something that couldn't be done by accident. Even then I would ensure that, unless they alter the package manager, the only way to download beta or unapproved mods would be to do so manually. After accepting the agreement and ticking the box they would have access to beta mods. When a mod is uploaded (this needs work) a post is created in a child board that is only able to be seen by that membergroup. Posts concerning that modification are only to be placed there, all others will be deleted, repeated violations would (of course) result in potential banning.

The problem I see with this is not all people speak the language. Mods are required to be in English and yet still get uploaded in all sorts of languages - I am not sure that they are all even real languages. I don't want to point at anyone nor be offensive but, well, you should see some of what gets uploaded. In order for this to work there would have to be someone willing to say, "Yes. Yes if this gets abused we will ban this member and we will give the time to this project." That - that right there - is a kicker... Who, that is already a team member and able/willing to assume such a powerful role, is going to take on that additional work?

It is a much more complex issue than even I thought at first. Heck, I initially posted just to correct a misunderstanding to ensure you that I am a team member but I am subject to the approval process and (probably) even more heavily judged than non-team members. (I pride myself on the lack of posts about my mods - I want 'em to just work and not need support.)

I want to wrap this up... I have, well, time issues and this is important to me but support is my job and this isn't my area. I will return to post more and to read but this particular post is getting long. I disagree (and can tell you that some of your ideas will not happen but that is conversation and finding a solution that benefits all) with some of what you say but I do not disagree with your ideals. It is amazing how SMF reaches out and just grabs you... One minute you are busy paying attention to something else and you grab SMF just to try something new and, the next thing you know, sooner or later you are here posting posts like someone who is obsessed. I call it lust. Love seems to fail many, lust drives the most sane to do the absurd.

I reiterate... Do not stop posting or giving up, do not sharing ideas, and do not think you are being ignored. (Maybe work on politics a little *grins* but, really, your ideals seem to match what seems to be what most people who are really interested want.)
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Offline Sarke

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #76 on: March 27, 2007, 06:09:55 AM »
I don't think hand picking beta testers would be necessary.  Just make it automatic, like mod authors that have a certain number of approved mods.  Or you can make it total time of approved mods.  Either way, mod authors have already demonstrated the necessary understanding and the willingness to contribute to the community.

As for support, it's a beta.  They only purpose for a beta is to find the flaws, so anyone asking for support didn't read the disclaimer (there should be a disclaimer obviously).  If a person who has written more than a couple of mods downloads a mod clearly marked BETA, and installs it into a live environment, then it's their own damn fault if something goes wrong.

We're just dumbing down the world here if we start putting padding on all the corners.  You can only do so much to protect people from themselves, and frankly if we go overboard like this then they'll never learn to be cautious and will eventually get hurt worse.  Sorry, but even idiots understand big red signs, and if they for some reason don't they need to learn.

This is a good example of bureaucracy.  It's like outlawing breadknives because someone might cut their finger.  There will always be idiots, and if they're not cutting their fingers off with breadknives, they're sticking them in the lightsocket.  But the world still needs breadknives, and the world still needs lightsockets.  Don't let a handful of idiots stand in the way of progress.


P.S.  My politics are just fine.  It's the people outside of city hall with the signs that get the politicians' attention. ;)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 06:31:14 AM by Sarke »
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Offline KGIII

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #77 on: March 27, 2007, 06:27:01 AM »
Then keep waving the sign and don't give up when they don't answer right away. ;)

I have to sleep but I will respond in the morning probably. I will mark this as unread but I'd like to have you set the criteria you would select for saying who is able to see beta mods or not per my request. You, yes you, define what is a few, what is enough, etc... AND how it would work for support or feedback reports.
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Offline Hambil

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #78 on: March 27, 2007, 06:44:04 AM »
First, I would create a checklist - based off the coding guidelines.

Second, I would base membership in the beta group on three things:
  • Member has opted-in via a checkbox in their profile
  • Member has x number of approved mods (3 sounds like a good talking point)
  • Member has x number of mod downloads (1000 for a talking point)

Third, I would make mods waiting approval visible to all, but only downloadable by the beta group (and the people who can already down them, obviously).

Fourth, I would modify the mod approval process to allow for an approval by the beta group that sets the mod status to 'approved/rejected and waiting review', or some such. In order to set that status a beta group member must fill out the checklist mentioned at the top of my post. A form should probably be created based on the checklist, rather than have it free-form.

Fifth, official SMF teams can review the submitted forms, tweak their wording, and approve or reject them. Emails are automatically sent to the reviewer, and the mod author based on the content of the checklist/form.

The concept is not that different than paralegals for lawyers.

Offline Rudolf

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Re: Why does my customization (mod/theme) take so long to be reviewed?
« Reply #79 on: March 27, 2007, 06:48:22 AM »
Just make it automatic, like mod authors that have a certain number of approved mods.
Once I had a suggestion for a tweak and someone suggested me to write a mod for it.
It was a one line change. I refused it. (luckily for you the next release should have the tweak)

So would you give more credit to  a person who wrote 5 mods that change a couple of lines in some template files changing the appeareance, or for a person with one mod that adds an non-existing feature (where one has to work from the database, through the source code uo until the template). So which one is more entitled to review mods?

I don't want to seem vainglorious but I saw some people who released mods that I wouldn't trust blindly. I also saw happening (and it's perfectly ok) that people released mods based on someone else's code. I mean there are folks who understood more or less the pckaging process, took some source code someone provided (and the logic behind) and released the mod. Should they be entitled to even review other mods?

My point is that the selection for mod "reviewers"  and/or "approvers" has to be pretty much like the selection of team members - man-handled. There's no automatic way to decide. 
I will update all my mods in the next few weeks. Thanks for your patience.

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