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IPS4 Feature Plan


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Lindy,

Makes sense, got it.  How about just something as a guide?  My specific issue and wait is and has been the Pages/Blocks functionality. Some things have been done to improve flexibility in Pages and I appreciate that.  Some of it still is buggy or is not working and I have posted a few questions or posted in the bug tracker. 

Seems there have been some concepts in the past to get more of the primary features from IP.Content back into service.  If you guys are not going to put a lot of support into Pages as a primary part of the software going forward, then ok, if it needs to wait for 3 months until other portions of the software are finished or more stable, ok, but right now many have been waiting for months.

Would you consider a question window where you ask users to post their ideas for functionality in a bounded area.  I suggest PAGES, Ha!  Then once the suggestion window closed your team would take the discussion off-line, determine what you would like to and can support, then post some future plan for Pages, or Gallery, eCommerce, Facebook or other linked application, or whatever as part of a features release; vice a patch, security fix, or some nuts and bolts of the system release that you need to get out there along the path of your normal software development cycle?  

I just think this would give you some time as a dev team to bound the discussion, bound the outcome, and prepare for a meaningful and thought out feature release.  We as users could see it coming; and of course, we would be SOOOO PATIENT.

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3 minutes ago, CheersnGears said:

I think my concern about the feature plan is the fear that things get lost in the shuffle.  If they're still on the feature plan, then that means someone somewhere at IPS is still thinking about them.

I'm not really concerned as long as we get topics like https://community.invisionpower.com/topic/421364-ips-for-the-next-few-months

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16 minutes ago, ipsrocks said:

I'm not really concerned as long as we get topics like https://community.invisionpower.com/topic/421364-ips-for-the-next-few-months

As nice as that is, it lacks detail.   I reported something that was missing back in March and it was put on the Feature plan.  I poked the thread again the other day and Lindy popped in to say it was still on the way, which I appreciate.

But there were a bunch of things on the feature plan that now we can no longer track.

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Don't let whiners ruin it for everyone it was a great function. I really liked the progress ladder and understood when it said it was in Planning, it was far off but it was great to see where the software was going. Content Highlights and Physical Products Marketplace were the most interesting to me.

When members say you promised something, and you guys stop giving road maps, that's punishing the whole class. Maybe get that Group Moderation function that was on the FP going and let us take care of them for you. :p

No matter the structure it's great to see what's coming and also planned, so hopefully we'll see more of that by what you posted. Thanks for always keeping it real.

Edited by chilihead
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On 11/12/2015, 10:26:02, opentype said:

The fix is described in the error message. You need to revert that template, either the way it is described the in the error message, or you just find that specific template in the theme template editor and click “Revert”. 

I'm using the stock template, wouldn't reverting it break something else?

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3 hours ago, NoGi said:

I'm using the stock template, wouldn't reverting it break something else?

I don’t know what modifications you had in that template. But you can just make a copy of the code before you click revert and if something gets lost from your manual changes you can add them back after reverting. That’s the recommended way to handle this. 

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@Lindy - first, thanks for taking the time to write that up. I'm a customer of 5 years or more, and this is what I think. 

I appreciate IPS4 was a complete rethink. But what you didn't do was rename it. When folk upgrade from IPS 3.4 to IPS 4.0 they expect just that - an upgrade. That means features improve or are added, not removed.Part of the problem with IPS4 has been people installing it and then realising that, hang on, that thing their community relies on isn't there any more. I'm not going to rehash those, there are plenty of topics. You mention in that topic I just linked to that this was a 'streamlining' - but as far as I'm aware there was never any prominent announcement made that, hey, we have this new IPS4, and we think it's pretty cool, but be aware that we took a lot of stuff out, and here's a list of that stuff. 

So instead of IPS taking the time to once provide a list of what has been streamlined away, you have every single user finding out themselves, the hard way. 

Frankly the impression I have is that the streamlining was less about improving the experience, and more about getting 4.0 out the door as soon as possible, and that now if people complain enough, things will get put back in. It took a bunch of people posting over this issue, but we got a fix in place - still not as good as 3.4, but something. 

If there was a systematic process where you listed every feature of 3.4 and decided whether or not it would make it to 4.x - brilliant. Can we see it please? And as I've said, we'd love some clarity about what's gone for good and what's maybe coming back. 

That's one issue - how the removal of existing features has been handled. The other related issue is information about what's coming up.

Give it to us. Put as many disclaimers and 'might not happen' warnings on it as you want. Those of us who are grown-ups understand things change, stuff turns out to be harder than expected, priorities shift. Just share with us your honest best guess on what's going to happen. As was said about 'coming soon' when that info was made available -

"Even more interesting is our Coming Soon section that shows things coming up in the next month or so. It's a great way to keep track of what is in the immediate future so you can plan your community development. "

That's absolutely true. And we'd like to be able to plan more than a month in advance.

How you handle the folk who aren't grown-ups is up to you. Ignore 'em, ban 'em, get an intern to placate 'em. Your call. 

One last point. For folk that write community software, the company's community management is notably weak. I don't see useful tutorials written up by members being highlighted and archived. I don't see how users can contribute to documentation. I don't see we can even comment on documentation [edit: wait, we can! sorry!]. That 'month in review' series of blog posts seems to have gone nowhere. Get someone on board who's read their Richard Millington, their Patrick O'Keefe, their Kraut and Resnick. A huge amount of potential here is being wasted. 

 

Edited by rgf100
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On 11/16/2015, 3:52:07, opentype said:

I don’t know what modifications you had in that template. But you can just make a copy of the code before you click revert and if something gets lost from your manual changes you can add them back after reverting. That’s the recommended way to handle this. 

I've made no modification to my stock template and had used the guide here to create the feature plan which worked of copies. I'm still new to this so will try what you suggested on my test install and see if anything breaks.

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On 11/16/2015, 11:52:02, rgf100 said:

So instead of IPS taking the time to once provide a list of what has been streamlined away, you have every single user finding out themselves, the hard way. 

I think @Lindy & co. have been doing a great job lately, BUT... I think the calls for a single, definitive "difference list" of functionality lost/reduced from 3 to 4 have been quite numerous. They've been shot down, time after time, at length, by IPS staff. Surely the amount of confusion NOT having such a list has caused, the number of duplicate threads & time involved in responding to them, and the relatively large number of voices expressing frustration over the absence of such a list has proven the point, at this juncture: this was an oversight, it would have helped GREATLY, and it would STILL help.

I'm on your side, IPS, but this one seems pretty slam-dunk...

Edited by djpretzel
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On 11/16/2015, 3:52:07, opentype said:

I don’t know what modifications you had in that template. But you can just make a copy of the code before you click revert and if something gets lost from your manual changes you can add them back after reverting. That’s the recommended way to handle this. 

OK, as I suspected it's all default stuff so no option to revert on the global theme or am I missing something obvious? Would it be something to do with the way the page is setup?

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4 hours ago, djpretzel said:

I think the calls for a single, definitive "difference list" of functionality lost/reduced from 3 to 4 have been quite numerous. They've been shot down, time after time, at length, by IPS staff. Surely the amount of confusion NOT having such a list has caused, the number of duplicate threads & time involved in responding to them, and the relatively large number of voices expressing frustration over the absence of such a list has proven the point, at this juncture: this was an oversight, it would have helped GREATLY, and it would STILL help.

I haven't seen any of those shooting-downs, but I find if very easy to believe there wasn't any systematic approach to this - that 4.0 was written without that degree of reference to 3.4. Take block filters. First Marcher gets a bug report closed without comment - no 'we removed these because...'. Then once it's apparent a few people have actually noticed, we get asked which ones we want first - not 'we're bringing back this and this, as we've seen these are the only ones that actually get used'. 

I'm going to bow out of this topic - I've made my points (probably repeated them). I reserve the right to bow back in  ;-)

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  • Management

I think there may be misunderstanding...  the "coming soon" will be reintroduced at some point in one form or another. Currently, there's not a lot coming soon for the rest of the year that would be of "oh wow" interest. The next month or so will be primarily dedicated exclusively to bug fixes, stability and polish. 4.2 will have some cool factors and minor things people have been asking for (we've not finalized that list), but will largely be focused on usability and UX. Then beyond that, we'll be getting hot and heavy into the big ticket items. Remember, development is largely a well oiled machine compared to IPB. Where something would take 2 weeks to implement in IPB, we can do it in 2 hours now and with automated testing and improved processes, this will only get better and more efficient over time.

As for the feature plan. A lot is new with IPS4, including the way we do things at IPS. Historically, we've been relatively closed but we've made great strides in improving transparency. I dare to say, for us, the feature plan may have been too much transparency, making it difficult to manage, so we need to work to strike a happier medium in which we can share some of our broader goals with you, yet not get enthralled in the details when they are subject to change on a near-daily basis. Yes, it can make it difficult to make plans for those big projects and I empathize with that. Likewise, that's just often how things outside of open source projects work. There's always a "risk" (if you want to call it that) that if you act now, a change may have a later impact. Buy an iPhone 6s now and the 7 may have sapphire glass, a 20mp camera, 3x as fast... or conversely, it could be virtually the same with a few token features. Apple's not going to tell you because 1) It builds excitement; it's a bit anti-climatic if you know everything that's happening six months in advance of release.  2) They may not even fully know and the goal posts can be moved within days of announcement... something that seemed like a great idea in concept and preliminary focus group testing may prove to be a production nightmare or introduce unforeseen issues and is changed at the last minute. 

There's a calculated method to our madness. We're not really able (or willing) to let you in on everything we do -- some things are a surprise, some things we want to keep to ourselves for competitive reasons and some things are just subject to change. As they get closer to deployment though, we're happy to share them in a coming soon-esque list. We'll also have blog entries along the way detailing cool new things we're working on as well as pro-tips and guides. 

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2 hours ago, Lindy said:

I think there may be misunderstanding...  the "coming soon" will be reintroduced at some point in one form or another. Currently, there's not a lot coming soon for the rest of the year that would be of "oh wow" interest. The next month or so will be primarily dedicated exclusively to bug fixes, stability and polish. 4.2 will have some cool factors and minor things people have been asking for (we've not finalized that list), but will largely be focused on usability and UX. Then beyond that, we'll be getting hot and heavy into the big ticket items. Remember, development is largely a well oiled machine compared to IPB. Where something would take 2 weeks to implement in IPB, we can do it in 2 hours now and with automated testing and improved processes, this will only get better and more efficient over time.

As for the feature plan. A lot is new with IPS4, including the way we do things at IPS. Historically, we've been relatively closed but we've made great strides in improving transparency. I dare to say, for us, the feature plan may have been too much transparency, making it difficult to manage, so we need to work to strike a happier medium in which we can share some of our broader goals with you, yet not get enthralled in the details when they are subject to change on a near-daily basis. Yes, it can make it difficult to make plans for those big projects and I empathize with that. Likewise, that's just often how things outside of open source projects work. There's always a "risk" (if you want to call it that) that if you act now, a change may have a later impact. Buy an iPhone 6s now and the 7 may have sapphire glass, a 20mp camera, 3x as fast... or conversely, it could be virtually the same with a few token features. Apple's not going to tell you because 1) It builds excitement; it's a bit anti-climatic if you know everything that's happening six months in advance of release.  2) They may not even fully know and the goal posts can be moved within days of announcement... something that seemed like a great idea in concept and preliminary focus group testing may prove to be a production nightmare or introduce unforeseen issues and is changed at the last minute. 

There's a calculated method to our madness. We're not really able (or willing) to let you in on everything we do -- some things are a surprise, some things we want to keep to ourselves for competitive reasons and some things are just subject to change. As they get closer to deployment though, we're happy to share them in a coming soon-esque list. We'll also have blog entries along the way detailing cool new things we're working on as well as pro-tips and guides. 

To date, I would say "oh-wow" with what you have produced in IPS4, in my opinion excellent job!.  However, it would be nice to see a focus on pushing out some of the guides, so clients can make the best use of IPS4 products on their site.  I know there are a lot of smart tech folks out there, using IPS4, who catch on quickly.  I am guessing there are an equal number, perhaps more, who are not so tech savvy, who have full time careers, who would desire to put the full technology of IPS4 to use on their site, without have to go through so much trial and error, before learning. 

I would also venture to say, once those users have a full set of guides to implement the full power of understanding IPS4 on their site, it would help sells go up.  Of course this is only one supportive client's opinion.  But, how better to put the polished touch on transparency for the end of the year?

Thank you.

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  • Management
9 hours ago, Ricw said:

To date, I would say "oh-wow" with what you have produced in IPS4, in my opinion excellent job!.  However, it would be nice to see a focus on pushing out some of the guides, so clients can make the best use of IPS4 products on their site.  I know there are a lot of smart tech folks out there, using IPS4, who catch on quickly.  I am guessing there are an equal number, perhaps more, who are not so tech savvy, who have full time careers, who would desire to put the full technology of IPS4 to use on their site, without have to go through so much trial and error, before learning. 

I would also venture to say, once those users have a full set of guides to implement the full power of understanding IPS4 on their site, it would help sells go up.  Of course this is only one supportive client's opinion.  But, how better to put the polished touch on transparency for the end of the year?

Thank you.

You have an excellent point and as it happens, that is being worked on as we speak. We've concluded "documentation" is boring and much like the owner's manual for your car, do you really need a page that tells you "climate control. this controls your climate" or "This is the topic screen. Click the "start topic" button to... start a topic."? No, but practical examples, guides and videos are very useful. We released a few and they were well received, so we've decided to gut the half-baked documentation section and instead introduce a Guides section. That is a project for the rest of the year and beyond as well. 

Guides_-_Invision_Power_Services_2015-11

There is also a section for each application as well as sections for advanced usage and developers. The guys are really doing a wonderful job with it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/5/2015, 5:43:01, Rikki said:

The Like thing is actually really simple because everything in IPS4 is modular. As long as the reputation template has the variable for the record, you can put it anywhere you like. So in the list template, I added:


{{if $row instanceof \IPS\Content\Reputation and settings.reputation_enabled}}
	<div class='ipsSpacer_top ipsSpacer_half ipsType_center'>
		{template="reputationMini" app="core" group="global" params="$row"}
	</div>
{{endif}}

And that's it - nothing else required.

@Rikki, this is the bit of code that doesn't work on 4.1.x and gives my issue:

On 11/12/2015, 9:50:00, NoGi said:

Does anyone running their own Feature Plan have a fix for this error which started with the 4.1.x upgrades?

5643d407d1b75_FeaturePlanbroken.thumb.PN

I can confirm that all my templates are stock standard (no option to revert on any of them). How do we get the like count display to work now?

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On 16.11.2015, 17:52:02, rgf100 said:

I appreciate IPS4 was a complete rethink. But what you didn't do was rename it. When folk upgrade from IPS 3.4 to IPS 4.0 they expect just that - an upgrade. That means features improve or are added, not removed.Part of the problem with IPS4 has been people installing it and then realising that, hang on, that thing their community relies on isn't there any more. I'm not going to rehash those, there are plenty of topics. You mention in that topic I just linked to that this was a 'streamlining' - but as far as I'm aware there was never any prominent announcement made that, hey, we have this new IPS4, and we think it's pretty cool, but be aware that we took a lot of stuff out, and here's a list of that stuff. 

So instead of IPS taking the time to once provide a list of what has been streamlined away, you have every single user finding out themselves, the hard way. 

Thanks so much for your post. That's exactly how I and my users felt.

I was surprised by:

  • More problems updating from IPB 3.x to 4.x than migrating from VBulletin to IPB before.
  • Many really needed and used things are gone without any prior notice. I had a strategy with some of the old features and spent a lot of work using them right.

I liked the new mobile friendly style and I can understand you reinvent it from the bottom, but my users had big problems with the update.

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