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Feature Request Tracker?


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We can't possibly reply to every single suggestion ever made. Even if you posted the suggestions in a tracker instead of a forum, this situation simply would not change.

We read every suggestion in this forum, but naturally not every suggestion (good or bad) will necessarily make it into the product. It's not possible, nor feasible, nor desirable. As such, there is no way (tracker or forum) that you will ever be able to see when a feature will be implemented. We don't publish a road map - we blog about items we've already finished in our blog so you can know what to expect in the next release.

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That creates quite an uncertain situation for users, where all they can do is pray that their request is honoured.




As has been mentioned in the forums before, we only blog about features once they are complete. So, while that does give a certain "uncertain" aspect, it also gives a 100% certain aspect that something is being included. As Brandon and others have said, the developers do indeed read every single feedback topic. However, if they spent time replying to every single topic, they would never get anything done.:)
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That creates quite an uncertain situation for users, where all they can do is pray that their request is honoured.




What if someone came and said "I want a teletubby random image generator in IPB"?

Everyone has their own needs and wants, but the needs and wants of one individual user may not match what the majority of our customers want/need in the software. As such, it's simply not realistic for us to implement every single suggestion ever made. It is also not realistic to reply to every suggestion with a yay or nay response. It may not be right for the product at the time the idea is posted, but maybe it will fit better with our vision in the future, for instance.

I'm relatively certain almost no software manufacturers actually reply to every single suggestion to indicate if a suggestion will be included or not, and when. It's just not realistic. Leave your feedback, we WILL see it, and if it's appropriate for the product, it may get included. :) That is just how suggestions work.
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What if someone came and said "I want a teletubby random image generator in IPB"?



Have someone mark the request as rejected? Note that someone doesn't have to be / shouldn't be a developer in most cases.

Everyone has their own needs and wants, but the needs and wants of one individual user may not match what the majority of our customers want/need in the software. As such, it's simply not realistic for us to implement every single suggestion ever made. It is also not realistic to reply to every suggestion with a yay or nay response. It may not be right for the product at the time the idea is posted, but maybe it will fit better with our vision in the future, for instance.



I'm not asking you to implement every single idea posted.

I'm relatively certain almost no software manufacturers actually reply to every single suggestion to indicate if a suggestion will be included or not, and when. It's just not realistic. Leave your feedback, we WILL see it, and if it's appropriate for the product, it may get included. :) That is just how suggestions work.



What if the suggestion isn't entirely clear to you and you decide it shouldn't be implemented based on this wrong view, while if you had the right view you'd make another decision? Without feedback, users won't know what's happening.

I'm relatively certain almost no software manufacturers actually reply to every single suggestion


You might've heard of Microsoft. They've got a feedback platform (Connect) and they do respond.
Might've heard of MySQL / Sun / Oracle. They've got one too.
Should I continue?
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You might've heard of Microsoft. They've got a feedback platform (Connect) and they do respond.


Might've heard of MySQL / Sun / Oracle. They've got one too.


Should I continue?


Those are huge corporations with thousands of employees, that's a bit different of an environment than IPS.
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And I'm still relatively certain they don't respond to every single suggestion made, either. We have a feedback forum here, where I respond to a good deal of suggestions. If something isn't clear, but has the possibility of being a good idea, I (or someone else) does indeed respond asking for clarification, or discussing the idea to firm it out.

Feedback provided to us is far from ignored. I apologize that we cannot respond to every single suggestion made, but we do read them and take the feedback into consideration nevertheless. Moving to any other system is not going to change this general process or change how feedback is used by us.

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You might've heard of Microsoft. They've got a feedback platform (Connect) and they do respond.




Not enrirely accurate. I have reported a few bugs to Connect and there was no acknowledgment to many of them.

In fact wrt MS Outlook 2010, I had to resort to paying for a support call to report a bug which, when finally acknowledged, I received a refund.
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As such, there is no way (tracker or forum) that you will ever be able to see when a feature will be implemented.


Well, I can understand your Apple style policy, but you should understand your customers too. We don't know what to expect. Sometimes it's a matter of money. I need some features I have in IPB 2 now and do not have in IPB 3. Bad news is we still don't have such big number of mods for IPB 3 like for IPB 2 and most of the 2.x mod developers didn't upgrade their mods for IPB 3. Now, to migrate to IPB 3 I have two options: to spend about $1000 for customizing my IPB 3 or to wait new IPB 3.x version, that possibly will have some new features I need. The problem is I know nothing about new features and I have only wait and pray. Will IPB 3.2 have gallery posting tool or I need to hire programmers to write it for me? I don't know. This makes me nervous. :unsure:
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That is not entirely true. :) You do know what to expect, because we extensively blog about upcoming changes. We simply have a policy of NOT talking about changes until we feel they are ready to be discussed (usually this means until they are done). We don't like to promise changes and then, for some unknown reason, not be able to deliver.

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Just to point out - the ideas and suggestions are very much appreciated :) We do read them all, and reply to most (3 different staff have posted in this topic ;)) and personally I enjoy doing so.

The main problem with a "tracker" though is we don't know off the top of our heads if a suggestion will be added or when. We plan each new version when it's scheduled for a new version and decide the feature list then as a team. Sometimes I'll hate an idea but all the other devs love it - no one developer has the call to "file" a suggestion.

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That is not entirely true. :) You do know what to expect, because we extensively blog about upcoming changes.



I'm not reading every single blog just to keep track of one feature request.

Take for example shortening. I've no idea whether it'll be in the next release.

The main problem with a "tracker" though is we don't know off the top of our heads if a suggestion will be added or when. We plan each new version when it's scheduled for a new version and decide the feature list then as a team. Sometimes I'll hate an idea but all the other devs love it - no one developer has the call to "file" a suggestion.



Isn't that an argument pro instead of against a tracker? ;)
A tracker does not mean that you suddenly have to implement all requests in the next release.
It mostly means that everyone can keep track of an issue. In fact, a tracker isn't that different from a normal topic.
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I'm not reading every single blog just to keep track of one feature request.



Take for example [url=

shortening[/url]. I've no idea whether it'll be in the next release.




I think you must agree, however, that this is your prerogative. We are providing the information. Whether you choose to read it or not is up to you. You are able to subscribe to our blog so that you are notified when new entries are posted, at which time you could choose whether or not to read them. It's all up to you in the end.

If we had a feature tracker you'd have the same dilemma. You would have to choose (or not) whether to follow the tracker to be notified of updates, and/or visit the tracker to see what is being updated.
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If we had a feature tracker you'd have the same dilemma. You would have to choose (or not) whether to follow the tracker to be notified of updates, and/or visit the tracker to see what is being updated.



No, that's the big difference. You can subscribe to the items that interest you so you get only notified if something interesting happens.
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  • Management

We are not going to do a "feature request tracker" :)

We have this feedback forum which has served is very well for nearly a decade. From this we not only get feature suggestions but we are also able to discuss ideas with those presenting ideas to get a better feel for the suggestion and if it's something we really should do. Sure sometimes our staff does not reply to a suggestion topic but they are all read. Our policy is not to confirm a feature request until it is done and we post about it in our company blog. This method works very well because then everyone knows when they see something in the blog it's not a vague promise or roadmap: it's a completed feature.

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What if someone came and said "I want a teletubby random image generator in IPB"?




+1

The general chat here has been correct, not every feature request can be read to and replied to and a feature tracker wouldn't change that. That said when i was working IP.Tracker we did talk about adding feature requests feature into it and the current iteration did get the framework ready for improvements towards that. Not sure where that is at now but this topic is probably better suited for the IP.Tracker suggestions forum.
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I think basically what op wants is for the tracker to be used so that everyone has prior knowledge of what will be in 3.2 because the staff will need to mark that suggestion as accepted or rejected. Ips, however, doesn't want to make it clear what they plan to do on 3.2 because they want to announce things only when they're certain it works or certain it will be in the final product which I suppose is better in the sense that they don't accept a suggestion and come back later to say they couldn't implement it. In marketing ips takes the "hype" path. That is to keep everything a secret and drop little hints or slowly reveal little tidbits to get people excited. Ips customers hate that and want to know everything now. Given that it's forum software we're talking about, I personally, don't like hype because I feel I need to know whats coming in future versions to adequately prepare myself. For example the two changes to ip board (editor and avatar/photo merge) will piss off my users for at least three weeks until they get over it. (the flack I got for status updates and reputation was ridiculous but they always get over it and start using it). I've already started mentioning on my site that "what would happen if photos and avatars are merged?" to gauge the reaction I should expect so I can plan how to deal with it. I intend to make a community discussion topic on it later down the road as well.

I notice that ips customers like to make suggestions that make things easier for them. Nothing wrong with that really. But let's look at the complaints on the moderating system. Personally I feel that instead of asking ips to form the software around your team one should form your team around the software. I have a policy that I should not rely on others, so I choose not to rely on ips(i mean ive made like three or four topics in the tech support that all went unresoolved recently and some have no posts :( )Instead I try to be proactive and be a good leader in my community and make due with what I am given. Ips policies are pretty annoying yeah. The staff are incredibly stubborn with the software and policies too. This thread demonstrates how they always try to stick to what they have and rarely change their minds(from what I've seen anyway). But for all we know they could fight internally all the time. But in public each staff member speaks in support of the current policies and defends it. There are no dissenters which I think is fantastic and probably really efficient for the ips team as they obviously have high respects for one another. So while we may not appreciate their marketing scheme I feel that they have no reason to change it. It's just frustrating for us but when you think about it, it's very beneficial for them.

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No, that's the big difference. You can subscribe to the items that interest you so you get only notified if something interesting happens.




You can "watch" individual topics too, so that you are notified when there are replies to the topics you watch. It's really, quite literally, no different whatsoever.


I notice that ips customers like to make suggestions that make things easier for them. Nothing wrong with that really. But let's look at the complaints on the moderating system. Personally I feel that instead of asking ips to form the software around your team one should form your team around the software. I have a policy that I should not rely on others, so I choose not to rely on ips(i mean ive made like three or four topics in the tech support that all went unresoolved recently and some have no posts :( )Instead I try to be proactive and be a good leader in my community and make due with what I am given. Ips policies are pretty annoying yeah. The staff are incredibly stubborn with the software and policies too. This thread demonstrates how they always try to stick to what they have and rarely change their minds(from what I've seen anyway). But for all we know they could fight internally all the time. But in public each staff member speaks in support of the current policies and defends it. There are no dissenters which I think is fantastic and probably really efficient for the ips team as they obviously have high respects for one another. So while we may not appreciate their marketing scheme I feel that they have no reason to change it. It's just frustrating for us but when you think about it, it's very beneficial for them.




I, personally, think your ascertations are unfair and incorrect. We make changes based on feedback we receive all the time. We have tried many different approaches over the years, from releasing information before something was ready to the approach we take now (discussing changes AFTER they are ready). We have found that everything works much smoother when you only discuss things that you are positive will happen. If you look at other software producers that release roadmaps and then are unable to meet them, you will find that this greatly upsets their customer base (just as it has upset ours in the past when this has happened). With all due respect, we've been doing this for many years and have tried many different approaches, and are simply using the one that best fits us as a company. We didn't just throw a dart at a board and said "we'll do this, and won't consider any other options". :)
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You can "watch" individual topics too, so that you are notified when there are replies to the topics you watch. It's really, quite literally, no different whatsoever.



But your 'response' is a blog post which my 'watch' wouldn't pick up. So that's not very useful.
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