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Subject: Re: New Forum Proposal

Re: New Forum Proposal

From: Paul Louden <paulthenerd_at_gmail.com>
Date: 2006-06-02

My reasons for those sections are fairly simple.
I quite literally read every post that happens in the forums every day. In
fact, I've read I believe every post on our forums since sometime in
January. During that time I've seen many, many people report bugs that are
already on flyspray because they don't know about flyspray, or even report
bugs already discussed in a different forum (if it's a general bug, and
they're on an iPod, and they report it in the iPod forum even though it's
much discussed elsewhere.)

I feel the benefit of this actually ties in with an idea I have for bug
reporting: I don't know if flyspray will allow this (though I can't imagine
that it'd be that difficult to add). A forum link association with each
Flyspray entry. If not added to flyspray itself, then simply request that
when someone reports a bug there that has already been discussed somewhat in
the forums, they post a link to the thread.

The forum has a much larger community than the relatively small subset that
properly posts and expands upon bugs in flyspray. If someone reports a bug
in the bug forum, once it's been discussed and confirmed (or if it can't be
confirmed but cannot be disproved, or if there's any uncertainty) then we
ask them to post it to flyspray, and change the topic of the post to the bug
report #. That way any developer can theoretically quickly go from reading a
report on flyspray to seeing what the community knows about it (assuming
they've properly put a link in their bug description) or see which bugs
discussed on the forums have not yet been reported to flyspray.

Of course this would require a bit more attentiveness on the part of myself,
and probably require some permissions to be adapted slightly so that the
developers group can change thread Topics in the Bugs forum in a similar way
to how they can edit bug reports when necessary on flyspray, but I think in
the end it will greatly improve the communication between developers and the
community.

Many people read the forums seeking help with a problem they're having.
Discussing bugs there will help people find temporary workarounds as well as
bringing together more easily several people that have the bug. And when
someone seeking a quick-fix sees a developer saying "We haven't identified
the cause yet, and could use more information regarding exactly what
circumstances this happens with" maybe more people will comment. Flyspray
just doesn't have the "discussion" connotation that the forums do, but I do
very VERY strongly feel that it's important that all bugs actually show up
there.

As for the feature requests section, again the idea is discussion. Someon on
Flyspray says "Hey, it'd be neat if Rockbox does X." Developers look at the
feature requests for flyspray and generally say "It can't be done" or "I'm
too busy with important things." New people or bored people do occasionally
look at the flyspray feature requests, especially when referred there after
asking "What can I do to add to Rockbox?" On the other hand, if there's a
discussion forum around the topic, someone can say "It'd be nead if Rockbox
does X" and someone else can say "Yeah, I think that'd be really cool. In
fact, if I recall there's an open source program that does Y, which is close
enough to X to adapt." And then person three says "Hey, that's a good idea.
I've got some C experience. I've never really thought about contributing
before, but this should be pretty easy since I know about Y and the program
that does it." Etc.

Again, feel free to disagree with any of my points. I do want any and all
criticisms of my forum suggestion. I'll defend them primarily for the sake
of making sure my reasons for suggesting them are clear, but I'm not so
firmly attached that I won't toss them out in the view of something better,
or a good reason why my ideas are bad. :)

On 6/2/06, Will Robertson <aliask@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hi Paul.
> I think the forums probably could do with a clean up, and most of the
> stuff you have suggested rings true, but I think the fact that you've
> designated sections to bug reporting and feature requests are not needed.
> I feel that it makes the bugs/feature requests far harder to track, as
> you'd have two places to keep track of everything - I'd bet that people
> would either put the bug only in Flyspray or only in the forums, rarely
> both.
> Perhaps if we kept the categories for bugs and feature requests, but only
> have a locked thread linking users to Flyspray should be created to help
> point users wishing to report a bug in the right direction.
>
> Just my thoughts, feel free to reject them as harshly as you please :)
>
> Will.
>
Received on Fri Jun 2 15:00:24 2006


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