denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Poor [site community profile] dw_suggestions. It hasn't been as dead as it looks (I've been moving things directly into the issue tracker all along for little changes that don't need discussion), but the queue got out of hand again despite my best intentions, and then (of course) it became A Thing where I couldn't just do one or two things from the middle without first handling all the stuff that had been waiting forever with profuse apologies so I just looked at the whole thing and went "ugh" and went away to go put my limited work time elsewhere. *

* My native slacker avoidant tendencies have been sharply exascerbated over the past few years due to chronic pain, depression issues, and untreated-up-until-now ADHD... yes, this is why news posts have also been few and far between in the past year and a half.

Anyway, HOORAY FOR MEDS (seriously, hooray for meds), and I will be working to catch up on the queue over the next few days/weeks. This means:

* There will be some old entries posted to the comm for discussion. When they're posted, please remember that the person who made the suggestion may have done so a very long time ago and wasn't necessarily expecting it to be posted now, or that things may have changed on DW or elsewhere on the internet since the suggestion was made. If there are any suggestions where things have changed on DW since it was originally written, I'll leave a note in a comment on the suggestion. Please read comments before voting and/or leaving a comment of your own!

* If you submitted a suggestion a while ago and it wasn't ever posted or rejected, you will be getting a posting or rejection notice sometime within the next few days. I'm sorry it's taken so long.

* Many suggestions have been sitting in the queue because they won't work for one reason or another, but they really deserve a thoughtful, detailed response explaining why it wouldn't be possible or why we've considered it or something like it in the past and decided that we didn't want to do it. A big part of why I got behind was that I do like to give those thoughtful, detailed responses when I reject a suggestion -- if you took the time to write the suggestion, you deserve me taking the time to explain to you why it wouldn't work -- and that takes a lot of time, brain, and typing that I haven't reliably been able to summon recently. In the interests of cleaning out the backlog and getting current on things, though, I'm going to give myself permission to be a little less carefully detailed and thoughtful when I reject the older suggestions. If my explanations are too simple or you want to know more detail, you can email me at (Just include the rejection notice so I can be reminded what I wrote -- I'm writing a bunch of them today!)

tl;dr: SUGGESTIONS QUEUE BEING CLEANED OUT. SITE ADMIN VERY SORRY. SITE ADMIN MEDICATING BRAIN PROBLEMS NOW. (Site admin has given up on body problems ever getting totally fixed, but at least has drugs for that, too.)


Jul. 11th, 2015 12:56 am
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
As people have probably noticed, [site community profile] dw_suggestions has been really quiet for a while. I've been having health problems (over and above the usual) for a while now and have had to really prioritize my DW work to get it in the time that I had available, and the suggestions queue perpetually fell down to the bottom of the list. (And then of course it got to the point where I was so behind that catching up required way more work than if I'd just done it at the time, which is always the way.)

At any rate, I have now caught up on the queue, and I'll do what I can to try to stay on top of it better. I'm really sorry.


Sep. 2nd, 2011 07:55 am
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Some [site community profile] dw_suggestions stats, since it's been a while:

Total submitted suggestions: 964
Total processed suggestions: 908
Total not-yet-processed suggestions: 55
Total invalid suggestions (duplicate, already-exists, process suggestions, etc): 52
Total valid suggestions: 856
Total rejected suggestions: 174
Total accepted (moved-into-Bugzilla) suggestions: 612 (71.5% of valid suggestions)
Total implemented suggestions: 222 (26% of valid suggestions)
Total moved-into-Bugzilla, not yet implemented suggestions: 336 (39.2% of valid suggestions)

(Some of those numbers may be off, by anywhere from a little to a lot, because try as I might, once something goes into Bugzilla it doesn't always get properly updated back in the Suggestions comm. If anybody wanted to help me locate "missing suggestions" -- things that were suggested through here and not properly tagged in Bugzilla, or things that were resolved in Bugzilla but the tag not updated here -- that would be awesome.)

The month of September is the Suggestions Hackathon, where patches to all bugs that originated from a suggestion will earn the developer a "points bounty". This should result in a plethora of suggestiony goodness!

Thank you to everyone who's submitted a suggestion so far (even -- especially! -- if your suggestion wasn't accepted for implementation), and thank you to everyone who regularly evaluates, comments, improves upon, and votes upon suggestions to the community. I love the way that DW is built by many voices, and I love all the improvements, from tiny to massive, that have originated here.
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
[site community profile] dw_suggestions: A User's Guide

So, you want to learn more about the [site community profile] dw_suggestions process! This entry will be made the "sticky entry" in the [site community profile] dw_suggestions community (replacing the existing one, which was starting to show its age) to serve as an introduction to the Suggestions process, Dreamwidth development, and just what the heck people should be keeping in mind while they're discussing things here.

Let us begin our magical mystery tour.

dw_suggestions: A User's Guide )

And that is Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About [site community profile] dw_suggestions But Were Too Shy To Ask Or Just Kept Forgetting To Bring Up! Any further questions?
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
A few miscellaneous notes in the Suggestions world:

First, after a few recent code changes, it is now possible for all members of a paid/premium paid/seed community to subscribe to all comments to the community. We'd originally prevented people from actually joining [site community profile] dw_suggestions because we were using members-only posts for some administrivia, but since we also enabled an admins-only security level in communities, we can now use that instead. With [personal profile] rb's help, I've gone back and moved all the old administrivia posts to use admins-only instead of members-only, and with the last code push, the suggestions generator will use admins-only security for the autogenerated posts that each suggestion prompts, so (long story short), you can now all become members of [site community profile] dw_suggestions to subscribe to all comments if you'd like.

If you want to do this, first join the community, then track the community. If you're a member, the "Someone comments in [site community profile] dw_suggestions, on any entry" tracking subscription will be visible.

Caution: it's a highly spammy option. (I had to create a separate filter for it in my email.) You'll subsequently have [site community profile] dw_suggestions as a posting option, but please don't use it; all posts should still go through the Suggestions Generator. I will continue to reject posts that are posted to the comm directly. (Using the suggestions generator not only auto-adds the spiffy poll, it creates an admin entry that contains a post-to-Bugzilla link that helps me out immensely.)

Next, a reminder, for those who are new to the [site community profile] dw_suggestions process: Both the polls in each suggestion entry and the discussion in comments to each entry aren't a sort of majority-wins idea. When going over suggestions to see which ones should be added to our bug tracker, I use both the polls and the discussion as a guideline for how much people want (or don't want) a suggested feature or change, but it's not the only thing I use. So, you should be honest in both your poll votes and in your comments, but if either isn't slanting the way you'd prefer, it's not necessarily a sign that the suggestion will or won't get implemented.

You might want to check back over the admin tag for some other discussions about how the process works, including discussion on options (and why they're not always a good thing) and how we prioritize things.

And finally, some stats:

Total submitted suggestions: 702
Total processed suggestions: 638
Total not-yet-processed suggestions: 64
Total rejected suggestions: 131 (20% of processed, 18% of total)
Total accepted (moved-into-Bugzilla) suggestions: 435 (68% of processed, 61% of total)
Total implemented suggestions: 157 (24% of processed, 22% of total, 36% of accepted)
Total moved-into-Bugzilla, not yet implemented suggestions: 278 (43% of processed, 39% of total)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
I was doing some administrative work in the community this morning, and I figured I would run some numbers while I was at it!

Total submitted suggestions: 614
Total processed suggestions: 506
Total not-yet-processed suggestions: 108
Total rejected suggestions: 116 (18% of total, 22% of processed)
Total moved-into-Bugzilla suggestions: 344 (56% of total, 67% of processed)
Total implemented suggestions: 126 (21% of total, 25% of processed)
Total moved-into-Bugzilla, not yet implemented suggestions: 218 (36% of total, 43% of processed)

Thanks to everybody who's submitted a suggestion so far! And thanks, especially, to those of you who spend time reading, thinking about, and commenting on suggestions to make them as good as they can be before we move them over to Bugzilla for implementation. Part of why I love using Dreamwidth so much is all the little improvements that we've been making for usability, and a lot of those either came through Suggestions or were influenced by something that someone suggested. We are totally doing an awesome job. :)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
One of the most frequent things I see in [site community profile] dw_suggestions is a pattern that goes like this:

User A, making the suggestion: I don't like this behavior foo, and I think it should do bar instead.

User B: I rely on this behavior foo, and if it did bar, it would break my use of the site.

User A: Okay, so, I'd like to refine my suggestion to instead propose an option so people who want foo can have foo, and people who want bar can have bar.

(Or, the compact version: user A, knowing that their friends use foo but they want bar, proposes a suggestion that jumps straight to the option.)

Those suggestions are less likely to get accepted for implementation. Very, very, very much less likely to get accepted for implementation. Why? From a user interface design standpoint, generally speaking, options are bad. They force someone to make a choice, and nine times out of ten, those choices aren't necessary.

Why more options are usually bad UI )
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
So, now that we've been running [site community profile] dw_suggestions for a while, and have gotten (and implemented!) some great suggestions out of it, I thought I'd post an admin entry to explain the life cycle of a suggestion, plus what all the tags starting with "bugzilla:" mean.

Life cycle of a suggestion )
What the tags mean )
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Several people have suggested some form of prioritization for their responses on [site community profile] dw_suggestions polls, such as "I like this idea, but as a low priority", or "I like this idea, but not before (insert favorite suggestion here)", or "I like this idea, but only if it doesn't take away from doing other stuff". I've also seen that kind of response being given in comments a lot -- "I like this idea, but we should only do it after reading filters", or "after cross-site friends page reading", or "after we fix (favorite issue)".

That isn't -- or shouldn't be -- a consideration in most cases, unless the thing you're mentioning is actually a direct technical ancestor to the suggestion being made. (For instance, if someone suggests a way to make finding a pretty journal style easier, it'd be a legitimate response to say "I like this, but only after we add some more journal styles; I don't think it's quite necessary yet".) The reason for this is the way that DW development works.

Basically, every project requires a certain skillset, which will be more or less unique to that particular project. Some projects require heavy backend/database knowledge, while some projects require heavy frontend design skills, while some projects need someone who's really good with Javascript. There's also a question of how hard something is: a lot of the time, a suggestion that people view as minor or low-priority is really easy to implement and would only take ten minutes of time for a fairly inexperienced developer, while a suggestion that's major or dearly wanted is harder to implement and would take an experienced developer several weeks. (Which is the case with reading filters: because the reading page is the most-accessed page on the site, changes to how it's rendered need to be planned and tested very carefully by someone with a lot of experience handling load and traffic issues, as a mistake there could bring the site to its knees.)

We have a few people who have the experience to tackle the really in-depth, technically-complex issues. Unfortunately, they're in very high demand, and they don't have as much time as they might like to devote to doing a lot of DW development work. There's also the problem that big, heavy projects like that make the most progress when you have solid blocks of time to devote to them -- something that might take someone twenty hours over two days could turn out to take up to 40 hours over two weeks, because of all the time it takes to get back up to speed after you stop and start again.

This means that the development of big stuff can look like it's going really slowly, while in reality, there are people working crazy-mad effort behind the scenes.

We aren't just limited to those people's efforts, though. We're blessed with a number of really enthusiastic, really dedicated newer contributors, who are really interested in contributing to the site even if they don't necessarily have the technical skills necessary to handle the big projects. The development time taken to (for instance) change the position of something on the page, or add a new section of text, or add a link somewhere, doesn't take away from the development of the big projects, because the people who are working on them are totally different.

The people who are working on the 'little' projects wouldn't be working on the big projects if they weren't working on the little ones; they generally (myself included!) wouldn't be able to find anything to work on at all. And it actually helps us to have a wide range of 'little' projects for them to pick up and work on, too, because everyone who's working on the big stuff started out working on the little stuff and gained experience that way.

So when you're evaluating suggestions in [site community profile] dw_suggestions, please only evaluate the merits of the proposed addition or enhancement compared to itself, not compared to another suggestion or compared to your favorite proposed feature or bugfix.

Having a wide range of smaller projects for newer people to pick up helps us immensely, because new developers generally get lured in by a small project that really speaks to them or their use of the site, and the more of those we have, the greater the chance that a new contributor can find something they really want to do. And having a wide range of more complex projects means that as those newcomers gain experience, they have a greater range of things they can move "up the experience ladder" with until they have enough experience and skill to do the big huge sweeping stuff.

(And please don't hesitate to suggest something because you think it's so tiny that there's plenty of other important stuff to get to first! Suggest it anyway. We will get to everything that's logged as a bug sooner or later, and the sooner you suggest it, the greater the chance is that someone new will see your particular suggestion and go "I can do that right now!")
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Got a suggestion to make Dreamwidth a better place? We've finally got a better thing to do with it than just leaving it as a comment to a [site community profile] dw_suggestions post.

You can now Make a Suggestion. When you fill out that form, it will post an entry into this community's moderation queue. When it's posted, it'll include a simple poll so you can register your opinion quickly, and you'll be able to talk it over in the comments to the post.

Having a suggestion get positive responses doesn't guarantee that it'll be implemented, but we've made it easy to migrate your suggestions into our bugtracking database, and if your suggestion gets chosen for migration, it will eventually get added. I'll be putting through a test suggestion in a few minutes so you can all see what suggestions will look like!
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise
Soon (for certain values of 'soon'), there will be a "suggestions generator", where you fill out forms and it will post an entry to this community for you, for discussion and the like.

Until then, if you've got something you'd like to suggest for Dreamwidth, you can leave it as a comment here! You can review our development roadmap explanation first, since it includes a lot of our upcoming big projects.

The Suggestions Generator is now live! Please fill out that form instead.


Dreamwidth Suggestions

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