Things Sorely Needed Immediately

I have been here for a few months and thought i should chip in with some comments. (Am not a coder but i get around)

1. Bug Tracker? For a company which relies on development i do not see a bug tracking application. Please point it out to me if i missed something.

2. Product Road Map with a time line - this is the single most irritating thing ever. How can developers not have a road map when people are paying for the stuff they produce. If your developers can't meet the schedule then fix that problem and not avoid it by not having a timeline. Even opensource projects which are free generally have a timeline. Here you have people paying for stuff wishing and hoping that a feature might be added someday instead of knowing clearly whether it would be added or not.

Note- This need not be a long winding roadmap, just the immediate next few weeks or months should be enough. Simply don't leave the users blind.

3. Documentation for plugins and themes on a proper subsite. Most people read online instead of readme.txt

4. Better Themes. Face it all the themes here really suck for year 2012. If people wanted frameworks on which they can build there are better options. But you cannot advertise great themes when the themes really look like they were designed in 2001. I doubt anyone ever pays you for your themes. And you cannot say they will come when they will come. Have a timeline and work towards it. If you cannot have a timeline then you are not doing a good job developing.

Why not release a theme every two months and the plugins maybe a little slower. People then know what they should look forward to.

  • Lorange

    Well... I have to say that I totally agree with #2:

    Product Road Map with a time line - this is the single most irritating thing ever. How can developers not have a road map when people are paying for the stuff they produce. If your developers can't meet the schedule then fix that problem and not avoid it by not having a timeline.

    I thought that your new customer feedback forum would help me get a better idea of your upcoming plans, but this is not the case. For example, we have been told several times that the Aaron's Multisite Per-Blog Registrations plugin (see here) will be made available here. But time is passing.. passing... and nothing happens. I see other plugins being released that I had never heard about (for example the User reports plugin that was probably developed for Edublogs) and have no idea if you're still planning to release this Multisite Per-Blog Registrations or not.

    A timeline would help me a lot.

    Sorry for my limited English.

  • camparoo

    sachingopalakrishnan – actually I disagree with this entirely! I do know why you want it, but the idea is a bad one in the long run. I used to work for an employer that demanded results no matter how bad the coding, no matter how poor the actual functionality. The production time was king. And I do get why this was key with him - he had specific clients and specific timelines he had to follow. We produced a lot of really nice visually awesome shit <-- as in really crap content that met the deadlines required. It worked, but it was poor back-end design-wise.

    With WPMU DEV, the coding shouldn't have time constraints. This site encourages everyone to contribute, so the code should be spot-on. Many people will actually learn how to code using the content they find here, so this site should have the sweetest, most simple and friendly code on the planet. I am not saying it does, but it should.

    I can't possibly guess how other people code, but when I am rushed, I tend to get sloppy and take easy solutions rather than the right ones. Since I went freelance, I refuse to do that kind of work. The last client that pushed me to work faster than the timeline I offered, I fired. I'd rather turn down jobs that I know will result in crap. I want to produce really excellent work that I know is bullet-proof.

    And any time-line is just a guess anyway. New issues and such come up all the time. To code around an ever-evolving and extremely complex unit like WordPress requires coding while being in flux.

    I don't want a time-line. I want the best solutions to the problems at hand being taken care of in the best possible manner. If, however, y'all were kind enough to provide a list of potential upgrades in the works as potential ideas, with a disclosure that there was no time-line and no guarantees of product upgrade with this specific amenity EVER being available, well, at least I, and others like me, would see our suggestions in the works, and would get the idea that y'all are at the very least making an effort.

    Some of us are cool with failed attempts. Better you try and fail than don't try at all, and if many of the folks at WPMU DEV are testing and sharing content, context, ideas, and suggestions - I bet your ability to program effectively will improve a great deal!

  • gecko123

    @camparoo And best solutions are available only without a timeline? I suggest we all look at successful design/architecture companies in the world. I said design/architecture because its creative + technical, how many do you think don't ever have a timeline? You think Apple has a timeline? e.g. A suggested rumoured launch date?

    You set your own timeline, i don't say i will set yours but you got to commit to it. Whats the point of a paid setup if you cannot commit to anything and where there is no accountability. Without a roadmap you are directionless. your dates can alway be set tentative.

    It seems to me they develop for some project and then release it to us customers. Then they develop again when it catches their whim and fancy and/or when an external client insists on a feature.

  • aecnu

    Greetings sachingopalakrishnan,

    Thank you for your feedback and input, it is greatly appreciated.

    1. Bug Tracker? For a company which relies on development i do not see a bug tracking application. Please point it out to me if i missed something.

    We do have a bug tracker though it is for internal use only via Asana.

    2. Product Road Map with a time line - this is the single most irritating thing ever. How can developers not have a road map when people are paying for the stuff they produce. If your developers can't meet the schedule then fix that problem and not avoid it by not having a timeline. Even opensource projects which are free generally have a timeline. Here you have people paying for stuff wishing and hoping that a feature might be added someday instead of knowing clearly whether it would be added or not.

    Note- This need not be a long winding roadmap, just the immediate next few weeks or months should be enough. Simply don't leave the users blind.

    This is intentional WPMU Dev protocol to not have a timeline, that way the members do not complain or feel let down when things do not happen on schedule as was found in the past.

    Members themselves by their gripping and pushing caused the timeline and projections to be forever canned in history.

    You mentioned look at the other companies. Well one of the main things I have noticed is that most of the people have no original ideas at all, copying someone else and hoping to ride on their coattails.

    Look at the really successful companies indeed. They came up with an original idea and made it happen or lost their butt, but at least they were not trying to copy every one else devaluing the rest and in some cases devaluing the original.

    3. Documentation for plugins and themes on a proper subsite. Most people read online instead of readme.txt

    Actually the truth be known, most do not read no matter what format it comes in. I have proof of this every single day even when it is clearly and plainly written.

    We have been working on better documentation, but considering that just a year ago no documentation existed ... we are doing pretty good.

    4. Better Themes. Face it all the themes here really suck for year 2012. If people wanted frameworks on which they can build there are better options. But you cannot advertise great themes when the themes really look like they were designed in 2001. I doubt anyone ever pays you for your themes. And you cannot say they will come when they will come. Have a timeline and work towards it. If you cannot have a timeline then you are not doing a good job developing.

    Why not release a theme every two months and the plugins maybe a little slower. People then know what they should look forward to.

    This one I have to agree to some extent, but I certainly think most of the frameworks truly stink. Genesis, Thesis, and the worst of them all Salutations. I can show many plugins here that have had to have "special" coding to work in these frameworks with Salutations by far being the worst of the worst and virtually impossible.

    Why should we have to code specifically for these themes if the theme itself is so great?

    However, themes are a dime a dozen and the massive amount of people creating and selling them are many times more then those doing what we here at WPMU Dev are doing - plugins

    This is my opinion why WPMU Dev never really created a lot of themes or concentrated on themes, I can join a theme membership for that though on the other hand I can agree that it would make things much easier if we created our own themes because then plugin integration would tend to be a lot smoother.

    There is my two cents ... lol

    Cheers, Joe

  • Jason

    We need a roadmap, not a timeline.

    Timelines are a big letdown every time, create pressure on devs, and are not good for things this sized. It may work for Apple and Microsoft, but they chop heads off if there's not results and to them people are easily replaceable.

    Let's keep this a groovy place, but let's get a little more focus on transparency.

    I use/love Asana, have for a long time. it's great, however, it offers no transparency into what's going on to the customers.

    We don't need to know everything, we just need to know where we are going. No one likes to fly completely blind. Surprises are nice, but sprinkle them in, don't overload us with new plugin we weren't expecting or requesting.

  • gecko123

    It may work for Apple and Microsoft, but they chop heads off if there's not results and to them people are easily replaceable.

    Not really, great developers are rarely replaceable. And there is no hard and fast rule, say third quarter instead of October. But you should know when you are planning to develop and cannot be indefinitely.

    No need to have plugins no one asked for. But code plugins which people keep asking for. Your feature request section should be more serious and not a whim and fancy model. Retire a few unused plugins once in a while so that you dont have to support it. Get rid of useless themes. Woo does this part really well. They have got the managing customers part almost spot on.

    As i said before, people should know what they should look forward for.

  • Alexander

    @sachingopalakrishnan

    You could just look at it this way:

    You're paying for a collection of existing products and a reliable support staff who can address any problems with these products, even if it means pulling the developer off their current projects to come help.

    Why try holding WPMU DEV to some kind of release schedule, when they never even promised anything else? We have to who knows how many thousands of lines of well thought out code, and hundreds of individual products. New releases are just above and beyond what we're paying for, and it makes more sense to me to just be thankful at that instead of feeling entitled to something.

  • Mark Wallace

    @aecnu

    Members themselves by their gripping and pushing caused the timeline and projections to be forever canned in history.

    careful my friend! I dove into a Piranha pool with a similar statement directed at myself! lol Better break out the disclosure. :slight_smile:

    It may work for Apple and Microsoft, but they chop heads off if there's not results and to them people are easily replaceable.

    Microsoft is one of the worst companies about rushing a release. Although they have gotten better, the Windows ME will forever be in my mind. "Release it now and fix it later" Please its still broken, lol

  • gecko123

    @rohmann

    Why try holding WPMU DEV to some kind of release schedule, when they never even promised anything else?

    In a subscription model future releases and increase in feature set/updates in current releases to meet the changing times is implied.

    This is no charity here, we all pay for a certain consideration in kind, in this case being plugins and themes. "Amazing themes for marketpress!!" excuse me??

  • gecko123

    Well mostly i expect professionalism and if we are to choose any plugin i expect some kind of look into the future to know whether i chose the right platform or not.

    I cannot be stuck with a platform with no changes in development over the years. Any business would like some visibility because indirectly we make promises to my customers on future viability/advantage of sticking with me. These are business realities.

    I will be hard pressed to choose marketpress or any other plugin against an unclear roadmap and timeline.

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.