I don’t know what you mean by “normal” question, but it appears you are referring directly to questions, and support requests for upgrades from Beta as well as questions/support requests for running Beta.
First you need to understand what you’re talking about.
You’re basing everything on the issue of supporting the phpBB 3 Betas. -- But as a web developer yourself, you should already know what Beta means... It means it is extremely unstable and is not really expected to work well. In many cases with many types of software, they just simply do not support the Beta software as it’s intended for testing
This is the route that phpBB chose to take with phpBB3, and I believe it was the correct decision. It would have caused rather major problems if phpBB had said that they would support the Beta stage of development.
Therefore *any* question that was asked regarding support for the Beta phase was instantly locked because as they stated time and time again, support was not offered for Beta.
This is not about giving quality answers, it’s about following up on the fact that phpBB said they would not support the Beta process, and they really did mean it.
Sure other sites supported certain aspects of running Beta, but that was really up to them, phpBB stated that there would be NO official support for phpBB 3 Beta. And they meant it.
However, this is talking about something that has happened over a year ago, the Beta phase is LONG LONG past us by now, we are on to phpBB 3.0.2, with 3.2 development in full swing, and nearly 7 months have passed since phpBB 3 gold was released. Obviously, anything since phpBB 3 RC1 is going to be fully supported, as the phpBB teams stated a long time ago, so any and all questions are answered, and certainly in a quality manor.
I don’t really think it strange that out of 322,000 registered users, only 50 replied to a single topic. First off, not everyone responds to, or even reads every topic, second, not every user downloads a MOD, or enough MODs to be active enough such as asking questions or posting, and thirdly, not even all of those users came to visit more than once. And they were mostly looking for support, not just
MODs. MODs is just one aspect to phpBB, it is not everything.
Why are localised sites so popular? well mainly because those people have a better time understanding... say, Dutch or German better than English, so they will naturally seek Dutch or German support. Even if they can speak English. The only reason those international support sites would not be popular is if:
- The Support on the localised site was horrible (non-existant or bad)
- There did not exist many phpBB communities in that language or country
Other than that, all of the international support sites should be fairly busy and active sites.
Users receive answers (and good answers) on phpBB.com just as much as they do on sites like .de or .nl -- go through and read the 3.0 support forums today to see what I mean. We process and answer hundreds of support requests and questions per day.
phpBB was never just *satisfied* with phpBB2, that is why phpBB3 was developed, that is why phpBB 3.2 is being developed, we don’t just build a software and say: “okay, that’s it... it’s good, it doesn’t need to be changed”. No, we are in a constant state of development. Not just for phpBB itself, but for the website, and the MOD Database, the MOD Validation process. This process is changing and has changed. Just look at the release of MODX 1.2 as a prime example.
It’s not that we believe that “something must be off”, but that we’re always looking for ways to improve and that we realise that nothing
is perfect. Therefore, we press on.
phpBB has a large MOD Community that is not on the phpBB Team, so to say that the only driving force is because the MOD Authors are on the team is not actually correct. -- One way that we can tell is that we do not have anywhere near the man power that is necessary for us to process the number of MOD Submissions that we receive. We (the MOD Team) need more MOD Validators, because there are so many submissions these days. -- But even with that, we are not satisfied, we still want to see more, we still want to improve.
I won’t try to deny that some MOD Authors perhaps feel that is “them against us”, a denial for some people is a big deal, and they take it personally. Sure, this is another area that we could improve, just with communication back with the MOD Author about what is going on, why and what to do. But the MOD was denied for a reason, not because we don’t like the community or MOD Author, we do... we love you guys. It is MOD Authors such as yourself that actually keeps us motivated to continue donating our time to phpBB.com
But on the same token, as I said before, there are only a few of us (validators) to quite a few MOD Authors, so sometimes it takes quite a long time for MODs to get validated. But that is something we’re trying to fix with some new steps we are taking to improve the speed of validation, increase communication, and decrease the number of repeated submissions before the MOD is approved to the MOD Database.
But if the MOD was denied, there was a valid reason for it, be it security, incorrect packaging, bugs, not working, MODX errors, or any number of other reasons.
I do understand what you mean in that “community” feeling, but as I think you will soon see, this is an issue that we do not take lightly at phpBB.com and there will be improvements.