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Is IPB 4.0 at least feature-locked at this point?


djpretzel
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From the closed "OMG WHEN IS IPS 4.0 DAMMIT!?!" thread:

As this topic is just going around in circles at this point, and there are numerous other topics open about the same subject, I don't feel there's much value to leaving this open any longer. We've veered off the "pre-sales question" train into "when will 4.0 be released". If there are any further questions about the capabilities of our software, please don't hesitate to open a new topic and ask!

:smile:

As for 4.0: we are extremely excited about the new version and want to release it just as badly as you want us to release it. That said, we won't rush the new version. Stability and security are far more important to us than hitting an artificial deadline. We will keep you updated via our blog as we have always done.

So people keep asking about deadlines, same old questions, ad infinitum. That's fine, predictable, annoying, etc.

You in turn keep responding "When it's ready!!" which - for the specific reasons mentioned above, i.e. stability and security, along with a certain amount of style - is absolutely the correct response. Wash, rinse, repeat... All very well and good, and as said, to be expected.

Here's where you lose me... here's my problem... I continue to see posts that are hedging/unclear around certain areas of actual functionality, which basically sound like they're in TBD status for not only the implementation details, but whether the functionality will even "make the cut" at all. As some of us in the software business know, you should only make even VAGUE guesses about release schedules once requirements have been pinned down and you've got a working specification.

Have they? Do you?

I'd feel much more at ease with the whole "stability and security are far more important than hitting an artificial deadline" response if I felt like there was a concrete requirements/spec that DEFINED exactly what IPS 4.0 *is*. The fact that staff responses continue to describe functionality in terms of ifs and maybes makes it sound very disorganized, and almost as if there ISN'T a final requirements/specifications document, and it's all still in flux...

If IPS 4.0 is indeed feature-locked, the only reason NOT to publish the actual featureset - or at least describe it to us in more detail - is if you think you might have to end up cutting/abandoning certain elements BECAUSE of the very same so-called "artificial" deadlines you're claiming aren't important...

There's a "cake-and-eat-it-too" aspect to this that I hope I'm conveying... I think it's time to get FAR more specific about the final IPS 4.0 featureset, because if it's still in flux, and you don't have a hard-and-fast internal definition of what, exactly, IPS 4.0 really IS, then the estimate extensions aren't really about "stability" OR "security," are they? They're about design and requirements analysis, a phase that should have been complete for a long time now, and suggesting otherwise is a little dishonest.

Any of that make sense? Am I getting something wrong?

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I doubt they want to tell us "Yes, this feature is in our design spec" and then have us find out they had to cut it for 4.1. Software is never finished. People have to make the call at some point due to business needs. It's a fine balance between hitting a deadline to hit a deadline and cutting non-critical features to get your product out.

I'm personally fed up with needing a third party plugin for WordPress / Invision Power Board integration and am awaiting news on IP Content to see if I should hire a freelancer to move us onto an IPS solution.

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Yes, we have specifications.

We don't publish them because they're extremely dull, long and technical, and we much prefer to announce features with screenshots and explanations about why it's the most awesome thing ever. When we can do that for a given feature is impacted by various factors, and we try to avoid disclosing details until then.

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Yes, we have specifications.

We don't publish them because they're extremely dull, long and technical, and we much prefer to announce features with screenshots and explanations about why it's the most awesome thing ever. When we can do that for a given feature is impacted by various factors, and we try to avoid disclosing details until then.

I do appreciate the response, don't get me wrong, but how will you know that IPS 4.0 is actually ready, then? I'm not sure you really answered my actual question as to whether IPS 4.0 is considered feature-locked at this point in time... what I'm trying to get at is whether this is a moving target, or whether the focus is now genuinely on stability and security, and not design/requirements...

FWIW, I'd much prefer the dull, long, technical stuff, preferably in addition to the awesome layman's stuff...

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It depends on your definition of feature locked.

As already stated, we have specifications, yes. Actual documents that outline what features will be in a particular application. Do we subsequently consider the application "feature locked"? Yes, for the most part - but if something really important comes up, we will adapt and re-evaluate as needed. And, frankly, we are not prepared to simply release our internal feature specifications for each application.

Basically, as an internet company in an ever-changing landscape we find it far better to be adaptable than to declare something "locked" and consider it absolutely unchangeable. I would say for all areas that we internally consider "finished" (which isn't really finished as there is unit testing, functionality testing, security testing, profiling and so on that we perform multiple times at different stages, but I mean core development stages are done with), we have not gone back and added new functionality to date for the most part - but it doesn't mean we absolutely won't, and subsequently I avoid using the term "feature locked" personally.

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It's also worth noting that 4.0 isn't one thing - we treat the core, each application, and every surrounding product/service (spam, chat, converters, etc.) as a separate project within the overall development. Each has it's own spec and timeline, so while one app is being scaffolded by a developer, another app is finished and being polished, while converters are being developed, while our 4.0 services architecture is built. So is 4.0 feature locked? Yes, for the most part - but there's not a singular point in time where things are set. Different projects within 4.0 are at different stages of completion.

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Yes, we have specifications.

We don't publish them because they're extremely dull, long and technical, and we much prefer to announce features with screenshots and explanations about why it's the most awesome thing ever. When we can do that for a given feature is impacted by various factors, and we try to avoid disclosing details until then.

Can we get a hold of them if we want to read something "Dull, Long and Technical"?

Let's say for arguments sake; that I've ran out of stuff to read that'll put me to sleep, and I fancy something technical, something I work with daily. I've learnt a lot from these types of documents.

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IMO, you have the freedom to express your ideas, but you really can't insist on how a company utilizes its own resources like you're doing now with requesting a spec sheet of features. As far as a release date, I suggest checking back every few weeks or so for any possible updates. There isn't much else you could do if you're wanting to use 4.0.

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Yes, we have specifications.

We don't publish them because they're extremely dull, long and technical, and we much prefer to announce features with screenshots and explanations about why it's the most awesome thing ever. When we can do that for a given feature is impacted by various factors, and we try to avoid disclosing details until then.

Is it possible to make a blog how you go from an idea to actual specifications to the end result, while its dull to read a technical specification but reading about how it came to be that is interesting. Lets say the new style system you blogged about it and showed stuff, can there a be look behind the scene blog, it would also be nice to see a feature that can't be put in the first release and have to wait and a feature that is never going to appear. While we see only the success there must be failures to and we all learn from them IPB and customers i would love to see behind the scene blog.

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