Ask me anything - within reason

Alpha1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,002
Then again, I've never been a fan of Reddit
Do you keep up to date with Reddit's evolvement, considering its massive marketshare in forum discussions?

For example: Personally I see a similar evolvement that also took place with mediawiki: At first its an esoteric clunky interface that has a steep learning curve, but due to it concept and google ranking popularity grows. Then the interface changes so that the clunkiness and learning curve is reduced more and more until it surpasses UXD of traditional forums. With mediawiki we have seen that with the implementation of their WYSIWYG editor and various other UI and with Reddit we see it mainly with their mobile App and general interface.

How do you see the evolvement of Reddit functionality and the impact it has on forums?
https://www.statista.com/statistics/443332/reddit-monthly-visitors/
 

The Sandman

Administrator
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
29,131
Reposting for another member:

XF related:

1. Do you think in the near future we could see a 4th developer for XF or maybe a 5th one?
2. What do you think about the current developer scene around XF? As many as you expected? Less? Good variety? Not much variety? etc.
3. Why do you think there are less and less free addons for XF2? Do you think this is a healthy environment?
4. What part of XF2 is the best part in your opinion?
5. What part of XF2 is the worst part in your opinion?
6. Do you have a roadmap internally for XF2?
7. How do you communicate with Kier and Mike for technical things? PMs? Emails? Whatsapp? etc.

Personal life related:

1. Do you have a backup plan if XF ever lets you go or the company shuts down?
2. Are you happy with your life? Do you have some burden or worries about the future?
3. What do you think about Brexit, did you vote for yes or no?
4. Would you leave your country to work abroad?
5. Can you recommend one life-hack to us?
6. Do you watch football (soccer) and if so what is your team?
7. What is your go-to happy song you listen to?
 

Tracy Perry

Opinionated asshat
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
4,988
OK... here's one (with the discussion about Push alerts that is ongoing).
Would you be willing to "donate" your Xen Pushover code to the XenForo development so that ability could be rolled into XenForo natively?
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
Do you keep up to date with Reddit's evolvement, considering its massive marketshare in forum discussions?

For example: Personally I see a similar evolvement that also took place with mediawiki: At first its an esoteric clunky interface that has a steep learning curve, but due to it concept and google ranking popularity grows. Then the interface changes so that the clunkiness and learning curve is reduced more and more until it surpasses UXD of traditional forums. With mediawiki we have seen that with the implementation of their WYSIWYG editor and various other UI and with Reddit we see it mainly with their mobile App and general interface.

How do you see the evolvement of Reddit functionality and the impact it has on forums?
https://www.statista.com/statistics/443332/reddit-monthly-visitors/
I don't particularly feel that the UX of Reddit is superior to forums, although I agree it has improved in the right direction in recent years. In terms of learning curve, I think that forums generally and Reddit are on a par with each other.

Thing is, how much do people really want forums to change the overall user experience? During development of XF2 at one point on the demo forum, we wanted to have a greater focus on surfacing new posts (I guess like Reddit) rather than people landing on a fairly clunky list of forums. We made that the default. It lasted no more than a few days before we felt compelled to change it back. Not saying there isn't more to do here but I feel like if the forum formula was to change too much then it could alienate existing users and admins.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,524
have XF ever thought of the following to gain more activity in forums. When i read a few forum posts the once that are read are mixed with posts that i haven't read why not show posts that have not been read on top of the page (below announcements and sticky).
 

Alpha1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,002
During development of XF2 at one point on the demo forum, we wanted to have a greater focus on surfacing new posts (I guess like Reddit) rather than people landing on a fairly clunky list of forums. We made that the default. It lasted no more than a few days before we felt compelled to change it back. Not saying there isn't more to do here but I feel like if the forum formula was to change too much then it could alienate existing users and admins.
In my experience once you offer a visually structured/organized & autorefreshing 'new unread content' stream, then in no time the forum index will be barely used anymore.
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
1. Do you think in the near future we could see a 4th developer for XF or maybe a 5th one?
We do need to extend the development team.

2. What do you think about the current developer scene around XF? As many as you expected? Less? Good variety? Not much variety? etc.
We could do with more regular third-party developers but I don't think there's a poor variety or anything like that. It's a good platform to develop for and we now have at least some documentation to help get people started so I think the number of developers will increase over time.

3. Why do you think there are less and less free addons for XF2? Do you think this is a healthy environment?
Developers should probably, and the successful ones tend to, make a name for themselves by starting with smaller, free add-ons and then working on larger projects. Developers should probably also consider making use of "Free" or "Lite" versions of larger, paid add-ons.

4. What part of XF2 is the best part in your opinion?
Too many to choose, really. But the underlying framework is what really makes the difference. We will prove this over time, but the XF2 framework will really help us expedite development of new features and add-ons in the future.

5. What part of XF2 is the worst part in your opinion?
I don't really have a "worst part" as such. But I will tell you the thing I like to work on, the least. And perhaps people might be able to guess what it is before I say it. I hate working with importers. The importer framework in XF2 is very strong and has really improved since XF1, but I think it's as improved as it can be and I still hate working with it. This might show, seeing as we still haven't yet ported all of the existing importers to it. We'll get there, but they're currently a lower priority vs. everything else we want to do right now. Luckily there's still a migration path via XF 1.5 but that won't be a permanent solution.

6. Do you have a roadmap internally for XF2?
We have a massive list of things we wanted to do, things we want to do, and things we need to discuss for the future.

I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but we eventually want to track suggestions better and be more clear about which we may be considering in the nearer term.

7. How do you communicate with Kier and Mike for technical things? PMs? Emails? Whatsapp? etc.
All of the XF staff communicate on Slack. The dev team has a private dev channel where the day to day dev stuff is discussed. We occasionally use voice chat too, but rarely.

1. Do you have a backup plan if XF ever lets you go or the company shuts down?
I do not, nor do I fee like such a plan is needed. Of course, anything is possible, but if it happens, I’ll be ok.
2. Are you happy with your life? Do you have some burden or worries about the future?
Yes, generally happy but we’ve had a hard few months at home. My wife has been poorly twice with several hospital visits for two different things. I’ve not been around much the last week. We recently found out my wife was pregnant with our second child. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out and she’s had to have an operation to remove the pregnancy last weekend. We’ll get through it and hopefully we’ll have better luck next time.

3. What do you think about Brexit, did you vote for yes or no?
I voted to remain but it is what it is.

4. Would you leave your country to work abroad?
Got lots of family here and we're fairly happy where we so probably not.

5. Can you recommend one life-hack to us?
Fairly silly one, but I use it quite often as my daughter loves strawberries, but only if the "green bits" are removed :)
20.jpg

6. Do you watch football (soccer) and if so what is your team?
I am not a hardcore follower of football, though I become a lot more interested in it every two years with the World Cup and European Championships. Really enjoyed the World Cup this year.

7. What is your go-to happy song you listen to?
I don't have a particular favourite song and I have a fairly eclectic taste in music. However, my current favourite song is:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lullaby-single/1346207355?app=music&ign-mpt=uo=4
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
OK... here's one (with the discussion about Push alerts that is ongoing).
Would you be willing to "donate" your Xen Pushover code to the XenForo development so that ability could be rolled into XenForo natively?
If I thought it was a good enough solution for push notifications, then certainly. But it isn't. You can't expect every single forum user to download (and purchase!) a third party app for such things.
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
have XF ever thought of the following to gain more activity in forums. When i read a few forum posts the once that are read are mixed with posts that i haven't read why not show posts that have not been read on top of the page (below announcements and sticky).
I think that could be confusing. Also what you're proposing is basically what the "New posts" page is, but it includes all unread content from all forums.
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
In my experience once you offer a visually structured/organized & autorefreshing 'new unread content' stream, then in no time the forum index will be barely used anymore.
Small sample size, but the below is ironically representative of the crux of the problem:
upload_2018-8-15_22-4-54.png
 

The Sandman

Administrator
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
29,131
Yes, generally happy but we’ve had a hard few months at home. My wife has been poorly twice with several hospital visits for two different things. I’ve not been around much the last week. We recently found out my wife was pregnant with our second child. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out and she’s had to have an operation to remove the pregnancy last weekend. We’ll get through it and hopefully we’ll have better luck next time.
So sorry to hear it Chris. :unsure: Please send her my best wishes.
 

Tracy Perry

Opinionated asshat
Joined
May 25, 2013
Messages
4,988
If I thought it was a good enough solution for push notifications, then certainly. But it isn't. You can't expect every single forum user to download (and purchase!) a third party app for such things.
I guess I should have clarified... I was thinking more along the lines for allowing moderators/staff to use so that they got instant alerts for reports, etc.
I realize for end users it's asking a lot to download a $5 app - but the nice thing about it is that if they did then they can use it on any XF site that offered it as it's not branded to one specific site.
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
I guess I should have clarified... I was thinking more along the lines for allowing moderators/staff to use so that they got instant alerts for reports, etc.
I realize for end users it's asking a lot to download a $5 app - but the nice thing about it is that if they did then they can use it on any XF site that offered it as it's not branded to one specific site.
Even then, hardly any moderators would want to pay $5 or whatever it is.

It’s not worth the time to implement when in reality push notifications should be free and standard for all.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,524
I think that could be confusing. Also what you're proposing is basically what the "New posts" page is, but it includes all unread content from all forums.
Why would it be confusing look at this image.

13D1F3FB-90FA-43DA-A6FE-6CF6D4ED189A.png

Why would unread post be at bottom or even on page two. Still to read to top and read to bottom this why people see new content in their face without scrolling.
 

Mouth

Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
195
During development of XF2 at one point on the demo forum, we wanted to have a greater focus on surfacing new posts (I guess like Reddit) rather than people landing on a fairly clunky list of forums. We made that the default. It lasted no more than a few days before we felt compelled to change it back. Not saying there isn't more to do here but I feel like if the forum formula was to change too much then it could alienate existing users and admins.
That's a shame. IMHO, this scenario is a perfect example of where an ACP option to enable it (and set the site default) and a user CP option to pick which they want. Then stats reporting to HQ, when both options activated in ACP, on which is the most popular choice from users. Allow XF and site admins to offer something that is on par with other community sites.

My wife has been poorly twice with several hospital visits for two different things. I’ve not been around much the last week. We recently found out my wife was pregnant with our second child. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out and she’s had to have an operation to remove the pregnancy last weekend. We’ll get through it and hopefully we’ll have better luck next time.
Very disappointing and sad for you. Good luck.
 

Alpha1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,002
But I will tell you the thing I like to work on, the least. And perhaps people might be able to guess what it is before I say it. I hate working with importers. The importer framework in XF2 is very strong and has really improved since XF1, but I think it's as improved as it can be and I still hate working with it.
I so hope that you are talking about the 2nd most popular suggestion. Being able to fetch API data from/to XF, if done right would open so many new doors that it could change XF use rigorously and amazingly. Ranging from connecting multiple installs, connecting other software(CMS, e-commerce, accounting, etc), fetching data feeds from external API's to fill in templates and custom fields, etc, etc.
https://xenforo.com/community/threads/full-native-restful-api-built-into-xenforo.48787/
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
How are you reading that into that comment? That was about the importer framework, nothing to do with a RESTful API.
 

Alpha1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,002
I should not be posting before coffee. lol The remark is quite ignorant and makes little sense as there is no way to use a RESTful API to import all forum data.
 
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