Prioritization

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KevC
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Re: Prioritization

Post by KevC » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:20 pm

I get the feeling this is going nowhere.

Spam protection is built in and works fine if you use it the right way. If a board is being hit then come and ask us how to make it better and we'll gladly tell you.

The donation thing won't happen. So that's it really.
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Re: Prioritization

Post by Xerographica » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:36 am

KevC wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:20 pm
I get the feeling this is going nowhere.

Spam protection is built in and works fine if you use it the right way. If a board is being hit then come and ask us how to make it better and we'll gladly tell you.

The donation thing won't happen. So that's it really.
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Re: Prioritization

Post by KevC » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:41 am

Not sure what you're getting at.

You posted a couple of issues. They have been answered. What more do you want? Antispam works and donor driven changes aren't going to happen. That's it.
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Re: Prioritization

Post by Xerographica » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:38 pm

KevC wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:41 am
Not sure what you're getting at.

You posted a couple of issues. They have been answered. What more do you want? Antispam works and donor driven changes aren't going to happen. That's it.
I want to understand why donor driven changes aren't going to happen. My guess is that they aren't going to happen because you, and others, don't understand basic economics like I don't understand basic programming. Actually I do understand basic programming. But your inability/reluctance to answer a relatively simple economics question provides evidence that you don't understand basic economics.

Personally I have no problem realizing that there are some programming questions that I'm not qualified to answer. I recognize where my knowledge falls short when it comes to programming. Do you recognize where your knowledge falls short when it comes to economics? Do you have a problem realizing that there are some economic questions, such as donor driven changes, that you're not qualified to answer?

Our society is primarily based on a division of labor. This means that some people are experts in programming while others are experts in economics. It's pretty rarely the case that someone is an expert in both things. A division of labor logically means that, when economists have a question about programming, they ask programmers. And when programmers have a question about economics, they ask economists.

Donor driven changes is a question about economics. You answered it but so far it seems pretty clear that you aren't qualified to do so. And it's a problem that you don't recognize your lack of expertise in economics.

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Re: Prioritization

Post by Mick » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:48 pm

For a person who really doesn’t understand what you’re on about please explain. The phpBB code and all it’s developments are free, are you saying phpBB.com is missing out on a business opportunity, assuming that phpBB.com wants to make money? That being the case what’s your plan?
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Re: Prioritization

Post by david63 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:54 pm

Having studied economics, albeit many years ago, I would suggest that what you are talking about has nothing whatsoever to do with economics - it is more to do with capitalism.

Of the two topics that you have contributed to both, to me at least, appear to be all about money and it is, again in my opinion, incompatible with phpBB.

As Kev has said donor sponsorship is not going to happen any time soon, if ever, on phpBB.

I suppose your next "brilliant" suggestion will be that users should "donate" in order to get support - those that pay the most get the highest level of support, those who pay the minimum get a lower level of support and those who do not pay anything will be lucky if they get any support at all.

Anyway I have had enough of this and I am out of it from now.
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Re: Prioritization

Post by JoshyPHP » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:53 pm

I believe the original suggestion is to let users put their money where their mouth is:
Xerographica wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:03 pm
My suggestion is to give phpBB donors the opportunity to use their donated dollars to help prioritize development. This way people would have the opportunity to effectively signal how high a priority something should be.
For instance, people could pledge money towards the implementations of specific features from the Ideas forum. Anybody can say "Wouldn't X be a neat idea?" but it doesn't make anything happen. On the other hand, "I pledge $20 to make X happen, who's with me?" carries a lot more weight and if enough users are willing to commit then eventually a developer will take it on. I'm ~90% certain there used to be a platform for crowdfunding specific features in open source software but I don't know whether it still exists.
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Re: Prioritization

Post by stevemaury » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:28 pm

And where will the money go? To that developer? Who will support the feature? Do they get some money too? If it requires style changes, does the stylist get money too? And who decides?
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Re: Prioritization

Post by JoshyPHP » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:39 pm

The feature gets implemented to specs and whoever implemented it share the bounty. If the specs require a style change, share the bounty. Whoever takes on the task decide between themselves how they share the work and pay. You can have something of a grace period after delivery where bugs in the implementation must be fixed as part of the contract at no charge. Afterward, bugs get fixed by whoever feels like donating their time, which is the current system. You can place bounties on specific bugs too.
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Re: Prioritization

Post by warmweer » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:48 pm

stevemaury wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:28 pm
And where will the money go? To that developer? Who will support the feature? Do they get some money too? If it requires style changes, does the stylist get money too? And who decides?
All goes to the specialist who was/is qualified to solve the phpBB problem which apparently is an economic problem. ;)
BTW my reaction in this topic is pure sarcasm - the arguments about specialisation and expertise are just too overpowering for me (in fact I probably shouldn't even be allowed to write in English)
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Re: Prioritization

Post by Xerographica » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:14 am

JoshyPHP has a pretty good grasp on the general concept.

Mick, I have no problem with phpBB being free. My problem is with development being determined by voting. Just because a lot of people vote for something doesn't necessarily mean that it's truly important. This music video on Youtube has received over 5 million votes (thumbs up). Obviously a lot of people like it. But this doesn't mean that it's really important to them. I doubt that most of the people who like this video would decide that it was more important to them than a can of soda. Basically, the interest is really wide, but it isn't very deep. Of course this is just my guess!

The point is that it's a problem when we can't see interest depth. It means that too much time and talent will be wasted on developing things that aren't truly important. If phpBB replaced voting with donating, then we would see and know the breadth and depth of interest. The broader and deeper the interest is in some idea/project, the higher a priority it should be.

Stevemaury, the main point of the money is to reveal interest breadth and depth. Let's say that spam protection is really important to you. You'd paypal $20 dollars to phpBB and indicate that it's for spam protection. PhpBB would update its idea list. This list would be sorted by the total amount of money that had been donated to each idea. So by donating $20 dollars to spam protection you'd move it higher on the list. Unless of course it was already at the top of the list. PhpBB would take a reasonable cut of the $20 dollars to help pay for things like administration and advertising. The rest of the money would be passed on to the developers who helped improve phpBB's spam protection. Although I'm not exactly sure how this last part would work.

I see somebody recently replied to a thread I started a couple of years ago. It took a lot of work (for me) but I kinda succeeded at creating a very ghetto micropayments version of phpBB. I wanted to do some more work on it but the thought of battling the code dissuaded me.

Early this year I developed something similar but super basic... Classtopia's Best Entries. My friend teaches 5th grade and that's their blog. The students can use donations to their "Communications Dept" to help determine the order of the blog entries. The information is stored on a Google sheet and I wrote the javascript to display it on their blog. You can still see all their blog entries sorted chronologically but you also have the option to see their best entries.

I think it would be a really great idea if there was a super basic version of phpBB that 5th graders could use to learn how to code. But perhaps even the simplest possible version would still be too advanced for 5th graders? Would it be simple enough for 8th graders?

Anyways, it should be easy for us to use donations to help determine the social importance of different ideas.

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Re: Prioritization

Post by Ibedejo » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:05 pm

Money-driven development of extensions may be something that can be considered - but this can be done already.
Money-driven development of the core of phpBB is a totally different thing bearing totally different consequences and implications.

The former is for the benefit and in the interest of those who need a certain feature but without negative impact for those who don't.
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Xerographica wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:14 am
Anyways, it should be easy for us to use donations to help determine the social importance of different ideas.
Who would then determine what "social importance" is? I'm sorry, but this is shortsighted - to say the least.

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Re: Prioritization

Post by warmweer » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:07 pm

Xerographica wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:14 am
...
Anyways, it should be easy for us to use donations to help determine the social importance of different ideas.
Baloney!
The social importance of a social security system is beyond doubt but according to your reasoning it's probably worthless.
Similarly large donations could (and probably would introduce some serious skew.
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Re: Prioritization

Post by Xerographica » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:39 pm

warmweer wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:07 pm
Xerographica wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:14 am
...
Anyways, it should be easy for us to use donations to help determine the social importance of different ideas.
Baloney!
The social importance of a social security system is beyond doubt but according to your reasoning it's probably worthless.
By my reasoning I can't somehow "divine" just how important social security is to each and every person. Same thing with donuts and laptops. With private goods you can only benefit from them if you spend your money on them. It's a different story with public goods. The amount of money that people voluntarily contribute to Linux will be less than their true perception of its importance. As a result, the quality and quantity of freely available operating systems will be less than people truly want it to be.

The problem with public goods is pretty basic economics. I'm really not making this up. You're welcome to read about it on Wikipedia. But, given that Wikipedia itself is a public good, its entry about public goods isn't that great. One of the most highly cited papers on the topic is The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure by the Nobel economist Paul Samuelson. It's freely available online... so funnily enough the paper itself is a public good.

If phpBB gave people the opportunity to use their donations to help determine the social importance of different ideas it wouldn't solve the free-rider problem. But it would solve the immense problem of development being driven by popularity rather than by value.
warmweer wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:07 pm
Similarly large donations could (and probably would introduce some serious skew.
I'm not necessarily saying that people should be prevented from voting on ideas. I'm just saying that it should also be really easy for people to spend their money on them. This would allow us to simultaneously and directly compare what is most important to voters and what is most important to donors. Now, if it turns out that the priorities of voters are the same as, or better than, the priorities of spenders... well... wow. The implications would be incredible.

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Re: Prioritization

Post by Xerographica » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:24 pm

Ibedejo wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:05 pm
Money-driven development of extensions may be something that can be considered - but this can be done already.
Money-driven development of the core of phpBB is a totally different thing bearing totally different consequences and implications.

The former is for the benefit and in the interest of those who need a certain feature but without negative impact for those who don't.
The latteser ... you may start reflecting on this.
The point is for phpBB to accurately reflect people's needs for a forum. My premise is that voting is far less accurate than spending at indicating what people's needs actually are. If my premise is correct, it would mean that phpBB currently does not accurately reflect people's needs for a forum. Donation-driven development would most likely require some significant changes to phpBB. Of course I can't come close to accurately predicting what these changes might be since I can't "divine" what people's needs for a forum truly are. But I accept it as a fact that phpBB should correctly conform to people's actual needs for a forum. As people's needs change, so should phpBB.

My guess is that in some cases people will want phpBB to do mutually exclusive things. The logical result will be spin-offs. In evolutionary terms... the logical result will be speciation. In economic terms... the diversity of the supply will reflect the diversity of the demand. A more diverse supply will result in faster forum evolution as a greater amount of different systems are simultaneously tested.
Ibedejo wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:05 pm
Xerographica wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:14 am
Anyways, it should be easy for us to use donations to help determine the social importance of different ideas.
Who would then determine what "social importance" is? I'm sorry, but this is shortsighted - to say the least.
Every member of society should have the opportunity to help determine the social importance of phpBB and its parts. For me smilies aren't very important, I rarely use them. Maybe I'd be willing to vote for them. Why not? It wouldn't cost me anything to do so. But would I be willing to spend a dollar on them? Not really, because this would mean that I'd have one less dollar that I could spend on spam protection.

Determining the actual and real social importance of smilies would involve giving each member of society the opportunity to spend their money on them. Because of the free-rider problem, the result wouldn't be globally reliable (ie compared to donuts)... but it would be locally reliable (ie compared to spam protection). If a lot more money was spent on spam protection than smilies... then we could be fairly confident that spam protection is a lot more socially important than smilies are.

Of course it might not seem like we need donations to tell us that spam protection is more socially important than smilies. We all already know this to be true. Except, somebody did use their time and brainpower, albeit probably not a lot, to code smilies into phpBB. It's a given that this time and brainpower could have been used for other things like spam protection.

Smilies on their own obviously wouldn't make a serious dent in the supply of spam protection. But all the little frivolous things can add up to make a big dent in the truly important things. Of course I can't "divine" the social importance of each and every part that makes up phpBB. Hence the need for each and every person to have the opportunity to decide how they divide their donations among phpBB's different parts.

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