keith10456 wrote:In reference to feature requests, RFCs, where they should be posted (here or Area51), etc., I think the initial RFC should be posted in Area51.
Area51 is where development discussions take place, so they should be posted there.
True, but I view RFCs (Requests For Comments
) more as requirements gathering than development. RFCs flesh out the high-level design of what
the feature does; development actually implements the how
part (how it works in the phpBB framework).
That's why my proposal had RFCs start here, where lots of people could comment
on them, and only move to Area 51 once the requirement was accepted (and development would start).
keith10456 wrote:After comments, etc. is received, at the dev team's discretion (based on posted feedback, the direction of phpBB, etc), then the dev team should post a poll (or something similar) here for the community to vote on. This will give the dev team a better idea of how the community feel about the respective feature.
A poll isn't the right way to do it, though, because all features aren't equally easy to implement. A better way is what I call (for lack of a better term) the "funding metaphor". Assume every user is given $100 and presented with a menu of potential features, each with their own cost between $1 and $100 (representing the difficulty of implementing that feature). Each user gets to allocate their $100 toward a group of features costing no more than $100. That's how people vote.
Deciding which features to implement is a little trickier. You can look at which features got the most money and keep picking features that got progressively less money until no more will fit in the $100, or you can look at which features got the most votes and keep picking features that got progressively fewer votes until no more will fit in the $100.
Here's a simple example based on no reality whatsoever. The menu is:
- Hooks $50
- Events $75
- Calendar $40
- User blogs $25
- Subscribers have option to be notified of every post $5
- Subscription notices have option to include text of post $5
- Only topic starter and authorized groups can view a topic $10
I vote for items 2, 5, 6 and 7 for a total of $95. You vote for items 1, 3, 5, and 6 for a total of $100.
By votes, 5 and 6 would definitely be implemented because they got the most votes (2 each), leaving $90 to be allocated. Item 4 won't be implemented because it didn't get any votes. Now it gets trickier. Because the other features 1, 2, 3 and 7 only got one vote each, how do we pick those?
We could go by choosing the most expensive (the hardest to fit in) first, thus choosing 2 (leaving $15), then 7 (leaving $5 and mothing else). So that gives us 2, 5, 6 and 7.
We could also lean toward choosing the most features that fit, meaning 7 (leaving $80), then 3 (leaving leaving $40). Now, nothing else that got votes and hasn't already been chosen will fit, so we'd pick 4 just because it could fit (leaving $15 and nothing more). (Presumably, in the real world, nothing would get zero votes, but I liked this example.) So that gives us 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Going by total dollars, we'd pick 2 (leaving $25), then 5 and 6 (leaving $15) -- they got $10 total, just like 7, but the tie goes to the number of votes -- then 7 (leaving $5). So that gives us 2, 5, 6 and 7 (coincidentally just like the first alternative going by votes).
Nobody is stopping "joe admin" from registering at Area51 and posting a RFC topic. Anyone is welcome to register and post a RFC for whatever they feel will benefit the community as a whole. Such topics as "I want this feature. kthxbye!" is not a proper RFC. There are plenty of examples of what an proper RFC looks like. If you feel something should be added, by all means, start a topic. The worst the development team can say is "Thanks, but no thanks!".
What's stopping them is 1) finding out about Area 51 in the first place, 2) the hassle of registering yet another account when they already have one here and 3) being intimidated at the more "development-like" attitude there. Area 51 isn't so much a place for casual admins (who may still have requirements for phpBB) as it is a place for developers and those interested in development talk.
As for Keith's comment about getting lots of duplicate RFCs, I've already addressed that. First, moderators can merge them together (or link to the existing one and lock the new one). Second, we get numerous duplicate discussion and support topics, but that hasn't brought things to a standstill.
We could even provide an RFC template (similar to the Support Request Template) that people would have to fill out before posting an RFC (regardless of where RFCs are started). That "pain" of filling that out might cause people to search for existing RFCs first instead of just starting another topic. Topics without an appropriate RFC template at the start could be locked until the OP sent a moderator the template.