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Author Topic: The future of SMF  (Read 304169 times)

maxg

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #120 on: February 18, 2013, 02:05:13 PM »
I'm glad to see this discussion going, shows me and the public interest in the thoughts and consideration of the folks here, to me it a good thing. Civil discussion, and although some things I know need to be kept between the Dev's and team, that thoughts and ideas are being shared with the public. I feel there maybe some miss understandings here but all seems to be on the right trail.
To me I was raised with the idea that the Job is number one before the family, because with no job, you can not support your family (you guys).

Here it would appear the User is the Job and the Family is the Admins/Dev's/Team and although they are very close in relevance, without user's you have no Family or purpose, so the User's opinions/desires, should be considered at least in the mix. I know know you can not please everyone at all and in allot of cases, but they must be considered.

Not to belittle the Dev's and Team, the final decision should be/is yours to make.

There are many using SMF, and will continue to do so, so that means it's up to you all to get together and move forward, and there is no question my mined that there is a need for SMF and I keep repeating myself, but I have yet to find anything better thus far.. I would suggest that it be only moved toward completion with the newer web related requirements and the same security concerns as before and, ask the user's what they think, not the mod makers and the theme creators, but rather the User, for a while and see what comes up, I think most all you know what the other wants, so i would recommend not getting stuck on that, just for a while!

I like and I have said it before the 2.1 Alpha... and I'm sure what ever you guys get together on and make the, plug-in , mod or add-on or what ever can be dealt with, I'm 64 years old and I'm learning new stuff all the time.

Hope this helps! if I should shut up just let me know!

regards,
Maxx


Offline Arantor

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #121 on: February 18, 2013, 02:22:06 PM »
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I don't consider you a "toy" project. I do consider wedge to be a kick-off project that has no large community or need for a lrage amount of community support.
and "real product" means that, yes, you have an alpha... but it was a limited release to a select few. You do not have widespread distribution and you do not have a need to support thousands of people using your software.

It doesn't change the fact it's still a real product. Just because it's not in public release doesn't change that fact.

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You DO NOT try to "consider everyone else" (you, being devs in general, not you specifically).
Based on what you have said, you (and this is the direct you)actually believe that the team members should have **LESS** input than the community.

Oh you're good at wilfully misinterpreting, aren't you?

That isn't what I said. I believe the team should have an equal footing to the community. Not more, not less. They're part of the community. They're not this separate entity from it, unlike the current SMF model.

We're all part of this 'community'. What makes your say any more important than a newly registered member?

The only thing that gives *me* any say about it is when I get down and chip away at the rock face. Until that happens, I have no more say than anyone else. That's what being a member of the community means.

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As for why devs should accept input from team members? Well maybe because we're all on the same team and all have invested ALOT into SMF. With the exception of you... I would guess that I have probably put as much time into providing support and other "background" stuff for SMF as any developer has spent on coding, in recent years (unknown and the other early developers are excluded in that comparison).  You're right... I didn't code anything.

So you've invested a lot of time. That's hugely commendable. But does it give you the right to claim you have more say than someone who just started using the software?

Does it have an adverse effect where you're so used to it that you'll discourage change of any fashion because it's worked well thus far and so presumably doesn't need change?

Supporting a project is admirable, hugely so, and it's important - and don't let me encourage thoughts to the contrary. However, why is someone who has made a huge investment of time and energy more important to the project than someone who hasn't (yet, but might do so)?

More importantly, why is their opinion more significant?

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That's why I don't tell the developers how to code. However, even if the team does not actually put code in, the devs should accept input form them, since we're all a team and the others are the ones who have to support and document what the devs code.

Be careful with your words. You might not have told them how to code something. But you may have had an influence with how it should function - which isn't always in code terms. Similarly, you might have set out that things need to be done (or not done), which is influencing what is done if not how it is done.

Some of this is for the greater good, and yes, developers will often have to do things that are sucky to get the good stuff done. That's the nature of that particular beast. However, I have seen cases of ideas being shot down because they are not necessarily in line with the 'original vision' of SMF.

For example, a portal. I really can see the necessity of a portal becoming a core feature in the next few years, if not sooner. The world - and the web - is changing. Forums are harder to start running these days. But SMF is 'just a forum'. All the time it is just a forum, it's going to sink. There will be a change in the next few years too away from social networking as it stands, and forums might benefit, but those best placed to do so are the ones that offer more than just forum functionality. Even IPS is making IP.Board a *non core feature* going forward. Yup, that's right, IPB won't have a forum by default, it will be an add-on to the core.

It's like calling things unconstitutional because of some perceived bias, but society is not the same society it was 200 years ago.

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This is where you (and the others) seem to have a falling down stroke and blind-spot. input != command.

Except I, and the others, are the ones who are on the receiving end of it. We're the ones at the rock face. And ultimately if you want us to build things, it's going to be on our terms. Not adhering to that caveat is what is costing SMF so dearly.

We build things in a certain way. We should be involving the community in discussion of features. But end of the day we're the ones building it. You can't force us to accept input. If we don't want your input, that's our call, not yours to make.

For example, say there's a security issue. Are we (developers) going to involve you (non developers) in discussion of how that security feature should be resolved? Unless it impacts on other things, the answer should be no. This same practice should really hold true for everything else.

Take today. I just implemented a new feature in Wedge to avoid language edits touching the language files. Did I consult anyone about it? Did I ask for input? Yes - on a minor side issue, which in hindsight wasn't even an issue. I assessed the needs, and I came up with a solution that addresses the needs I perceive - and I don't need anyone else telling me what is required, nor do I need anyone telling me that it isn't necessary because what is there is 'good enough'. (Clearly it isn't, otherwise I wouldn't have thought to do what I did.)

But I didn't open it up to the community for discussion for the most part. It didn't warrant it. I certainly didn't invite technical discussion on implementation (though I have raised one issue with Nao for his take because it impacts something else he's working on)... and I'm fine with that. I relied on my judgement.

If you feel you have to coerce someone into taking input, you're probably doing it wrong. (And I'm well aware that holds true for me too.)

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You can definitely get a lot done that way... until suddenly you make a full release and are more busy providing support than you are coding. (much of the time that you spent coding wedge, you also spent AWAY from here... not a criticism, just an observation)

What does that have to do with anything? It just meant I changed how I decided to use my free time. I'm not just some resource that can be exploited. Nor are any other volunteer developers.

I would also note that I remain here, offering support, because it serves my needs to do so. The fact it also serves SMF's needs is a side matter.



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I'm still around but every time I open my mouth, everyone else puts on the "oh no, her again... more drama" chip before actually listen to my words.

I try to listen to your words before I come to a decision about how to reply. I do think I don't communicate myself properly sometimes.

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Besides, all the things said here has already been told elsewhere, it is so damn easy to attract new devs or at least show signs of movement... how many time has passed since the license change and 90% of the PHP community out there still doesn't know that SMF is now a truly open source software... unbelievable...

It has been 20 months since the licence change. Most of the wider community doesn't care anyway. SMF is considered very much a second class citizen in even in the forum world, licence changes notwithstanding.

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Do I still care, yes I do.

There are a lot of people who care. My comment, somewhat flippant, was more that I feel like I'm the only one outwards trying to fight this battle because everyone else (whether they care or not) has accepted defeat and put it behind them.

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Does it hurt to see absolutely no signs of movement here? yes it does. The only "changes" I saw so far is Joshua been a dev now and the "open source" title next to the "Simple Machines Forum - Free" text in the <title> HTML tag. both of them are just cosmetic changes since Joshua has always been involved with development even though he only pops out from time to time.

I won't even get into some of the comments I could make.

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As a plain mortal with no team access, I have no idea what are the plans for future SMF development.

Bingo!

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I have plans to take a look and re-factor the dump database feature but how am I suppose to start with it if I have absolutely no idea on whats next after 2.1?

How do you and I know that 2.1 won't yet include a major change that affects what you're doing?

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I still has the (now vague) idea on refactoring the modsite here but how can I even suggest things when the team just sits there on their shell just waiting for stuff to happen?

There is an interesting analogy to be made there. It is, then, an exercise for the reader.



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There are many using SMF, and will continue to do so, so that means it's up to you all to get together and move forward

I do not ever see that happening. All of the major contributors have fled to other projects.
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

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Offline PhuriousGeorge

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #122 on: February 18, 2013, 05:59:22 PM »
But, apart from the direction that the ol' software takes, do many, really, give a stuff about the rest of it?
The problem is exactly that.
Make a second account, without team access, take a look around and tell me where you can find any (relevant and up-to-date) information about where the project is going.

I haven't gotten through the entire thread yet, but I felt I had to at least cheer you for this! I'm a recent convert to SMF and I'll be completely and say I was and still am concerened, but morecurious about where this team/project/corp is going.

Now I did a ton of research on *free* forum software and with the time invested, I decided to go with SMF based on stability. That being said, I had to dig quite a bit at many different sites to gett a good feeling about the software because from what I could see from the access given within this site, I have no idea what's going on. I then joined the Charter group for various reasons, one of them, hoping for a bit more insight to what's going on. I haven't had the chance to thouroughly check the Charter forum, but from initial impressions, there wasn't much, if any, additional news/insight there.

I realize that my forum is tiny compared to most, and I'm a small fish here, but I still have to go through most of the ropes a big board does in utilizing, configuring, tweaking & modding the software and would love to hear the plans, get excited, and possibly do what I can to help. I'm sure there's similar people out there as well.

TL;DR: You're spot-on emanuele. Overall, from what I've seen, there hasn't been any significant news/content regarding the software on these fourms and things seem a bit 'stale', which doesn't tend to generate excitement/attract new users/potential contributors.

EDIT: THANK GOODESS the captcha's gone. Omg that was a pain!

Offline Arantor

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #123 on: February 18, 2013, 06:04:18 PM »
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I haven't had the chance to thouroughly check the Charter forum, but from initial impressions, there wasn't much, if any, additional news/insight there.

That has largely been the case for a long time, as a more thorough examination of the board would indicate.

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would love to hear the plans, get excited, and possibly do what I can to help. I'm sure there's similar people out there as well.

I'm in a similar boat, even if I am in a funny position.

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TL;DR: You're spot-on emanuele. Overall, from what I've seen, there hasn't been any significant news/content regarding the software on these fourms and things seem a bit 'stale', which doesn't tend to generate excitement/attract new users/potential contributors

And he's on the dev team, one of the people at the rock face.
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

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Offline PhuriousGeorge

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #124 on: February 18, 2013, 06:34:02 PM »
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TL;DR: You're spot-on emanuele. Overall, from what I've seen, there hasn't been any significant news/content regarding the software on these fourms and things seem a bit 'stale', which doesn't tend to generate excitement/attract new users/potential contributors

And he's on the dev team, one of the people at the rock face.

Not sure the intent of this comment.

That being said, do I think emanuele, as a volunteer dev for this project 'owes' me insight into what he's doing, where he's going no, not exactly. I think that's what the team backing him & his fellows is there for.

I'm challenged with this myslef. While my forum userbase is tiny, the project(s) they support have had significant numbers of people. I, as the admin/dev/tester/customer support/etc have a really hard time communicating things and getting things done at the same time along with being a father and work. Just had an occurrance this weekend and I need to attempt to reconcile that once I return home (amazingly work doesn't block this site!). Again, as others have said in other words, I don't think any one person is at fault, it's an overall 'attitude' of the project that carries on to it's core assets.

To add to my previous post regarding initial impressions, again, cheers to emanuele and Labradoodle-360 for their quick assistance to a php noob like myself. I was very impressed by the assistance and dilligence in helping even a tiny board.

(I think that should be a new usergroup lol, screw 'big board' haha)

Offline Arantor

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2013, 06:38:58 PM »
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Not sure the intent of this comment.

The intent is that if the *developers* are saying there's a problem... there's a huge problem.

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I think that's what the team backing him & his fellows is there for.

Yup. This is one of the many issues that is boiling over. As can be seen, the team appears to consider the non-devs on the team about as important as the developers (and more important than the wider community in general), but they're not the ones apparently doing anything.

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I don't think any one person is at fault, it's an overall 'attitude' of the project that carries on to it's core assets.

Oh, definitely. One of the underlying problems is that every year to 18 months, someone is the 'bad person' behind the scenes, a troublemaker and causer of drama. That person leaves, or is pushed, and the cycle continues because the core problems never get fixed. It's been that way since before the time I was on the team and continued after I left (yes, I was one of the people branded a problem back in the day)
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

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Offline xrunner

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #126 on: February 18, 2013, 07:25:30 PM »
There will be a change in the next few years too away from social networking as it stands, and forums might benefit, ...

Interesting comment. Why do you think this will happen?

Offline Arantor

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #127 on: February 18, 2013, 07:32:06 PM »
Partly because Facebook et al is always a bit of a fad - like MySpace before it (and yes I know they're trying to 'reinvent themselves'), partly because I think there's going to come a point where people are going to get fed up of their privacy being eroded.

Here, I'm just some guy. My real name and age aren't hard to find but it's not everywhere.

I think as people get more aware of digital privacy, they're going to move away from one-size-fits-all places like Facebook.

As places to waste a bit of time and share news and even photos and so on with friends and family, it's a valid place. But for anything in a niche, no chance, that's where forums have always been strong, doubly so if the forum can provide facilities that Facebook et al can't.

Also note that stories like http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/05/pew_facebook_churn_story/ are becoming more and more common.
Don’t try to tell me that some power can corrupt a person. You haven’t had enough to know what it’s like.

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maxg

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #128 on: February 18, 2013, 07:54:53 PM »
+1, the Internet and social nets give people an impression they are safe and away from any harm, when predators of all kinds are lurking to harm someone in anyway they can, not to mention how many lost their careers over this stuff, losing ids, and and even people seeking revenge and doing others harm over a word or misunderstanding.
It was a great way advertising to those who love to play, but for me the Internet was always A tool and not meant to be a toy.

Forums are way more focused on Topics of interest! and that's a good thing. Your private life and everyone Else's this is just that Private.

And I heard this on the internet LOL!

regards,
maxx


Offline xrunner

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #129 on: February 18, 2013, 07:55:44 PM »
I think as people get more aware of digital privacy, they're going to move away from one-size-fits-all places like Facebook.

A family friend recently visited my mother and pleaded that we all get on Facebook to keep in touch. I had avoided it like the plague for years because of the identity thing, but I got sucked into it by the prevailing tidal forces.

To me it's way to gimmicky and has way too many bells and whistles staring you in the face. When I first signed up I was getting notice messages and emails out the a** every time somebody said something. I had to turn off a ton of notices, there are so many ways to get notified I'm still not sure I am comfortable with it all.

Also, I don't like a system where there are only "likes". There are no "dislikes". I don't approve of the type of environment where everybody only gets approvals - everybody gets a medal and an award artificial feel-good environment. Ick.

That reminds me, I need to go to my forum right now and smite somebody ...

Offline Antechinus

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #130 on: February 18, 2013, 08:34:09 PM »
[off-topic]

Just took a quick look at your site, for the hell* of it.

Anyway about links............I always do them by dropping the url tags into the post first, then backspace one space, drop in the = and the url, then forward space one and drop in the text I want.

Less convoluted (IMO) than the process described in that thread.

[/off-topic]


*metaphorical usage of term that strictly describes non-existent place

Offline xrunner

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #131 on: February 18, 2013, 08:42:31 PM »
[off-topic]

Just took a quick look at your site, for the hell* of it.

 ;)

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Anyway about links............I always do them by dropping the url tags into the post first, then backspace one space, drop in the = and the url, then forward space one and drop in the text I want.

Less convoluted (IMO) than the process described in that thread.

OK, I'll point her to your advice. Thanks.

[/off-topic]

Offline Biology Forums

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #132 on: March 30, 2013, 01:39:04 PM »
I'd like to see a built-in blog and gallery.

Offline Arantor

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #133 on: March 30, 2013, 01:41:58 PM »
Question: given your reluctance to move to SMF 2.0, let alone anything else, would it really be enough to entice you when SMF 1.1.x eventually goes end-of-life (which it will sooner or later)

Realistically I don't see it happening because SMF has always maintained its view that it is 'a forum and nothing but a forum'.
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kat

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #134 on: March 30, 2013, 04:40:35 PM »
Personally, I'd hate to see such bloat, in the core product.

An "Official" addon, perhaps. But, not in the core installation.

Offline Biology Forums

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #135 on: March 30, 2013, 05:41:21 PM »
Personally, I'd hate to see such bloat, in the core product.

An "Official" addon, perhaps. But, not in the core installation.

Yes, or an official add-on of some sort by the SMF team.

Offline Herman's Mixen

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #136 on: March 30, 2013, 05:46:08 PM »
Don't see that com ming as Kevin's MyIbPortal was back in the "old" day's anouncent as an offical-addon and never came out of the box.
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kat

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #137 on: March 30, 2013, 05:47:17 PM »
The way I see it, which may differ from most others, is that SMF should be lean and mean.

If I had the skills to be a developer, I'd make that basic install as small and as lean as I could. But, with that initial install, I'd have a "Question and answer" section.

"Do you want xxx installed?"

"Do you want yyy installed?"

If they want 'em, they get installed, with the forum. If they don't, they won't".

Obviously, there can't be too many options, or it'd just get too unwieldy.

Sadly, I don't have those skills. Nothing even approaching them. :(

Offline Arantor

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #138 on: March 30, 2013, 05:49:19 PM »
I don't see it happening. Such a thing would have to be written from scratch since none of the gallery authors are going to contribute their code to the project. I'm not sure what state the blog addons are in but I doubt that their authors will contribute them either. Both of these are huge undertakings.


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Obviously, there can't be too many options, or it'd just get too unwieldy.

That and a vast network of security, practicality and maintenance issues. And the people who go 'Where's my gallery' when they didn't tick for it to be installed in the first place.
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Offline Herman's Mixen

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Re: The future of SMF
« Reply #139 on: March 30, 2013, 05:51:54 PM »
I'll just breaking stuff out of my install, just the things i dont need... i will break some stuff but can fix it ;)
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