XenForo mastered the forum software. Now is time to go beyond with a road map.

Matt M

Director Development at Invision Community
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Apr 28, 2005
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213
I'd argue it's as easy as pie to publish a road map but hard as hell to deliver on it and probably suicide from a business point of view.

I don't want road maps I want stuff that makes my forums work the way I want them to work.
It’s a double edged sword. I would also say that 99.9% of our customers would never read it.
 

sbjsbj

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Feb 9, 2015
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We are innovating many things. Just last week we changed up completely our office tea bag and biscuit storage system which culminated in a 4% increase in tea making speed. And if you’re not impressed by that, then I don’t know what to tell you.
Being from the country who drinks by far the most tea in the world, if you just would have had a roadmap about this, I could have given you some tips about tea and how to make it properly. My home city literally produces tea and when it comes to tea, we know all about it.

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Cheers

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zappaDPJ

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In my view you just can't beat a Turkish coffee and by coincidence I had one yesterday after the best Turkish meal I've had in years :)
 

sbjsbj

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In my view you just can't beat a Turkish coffee and by coincidence I had one yesterday after the best Turkish meal I've had in years :)
Since the thread got derailed, we might as well talk about food. Turkish coffee is great, but you can't drink it 6-10 times a day like tea. What meal did you have if I may ask?
 

zappaDPJ

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What meal did you have if I may ask?
I shared a mixed mezes to start; Halloumi, Falafel & Hummus, Calamari & Tartar Sauce, Sigara Boregi, Mititi Kofte & Spicy Sausage served with Turkish Bread. My main meal consisted of Grilled Salmon, Rice and Salad, and I had Baklava with Pistachio Ice cream to finish.
 

Matt M

Director Development at Invision Community
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
213
I actually prefer coffee. And not even great quality coffee. I know people who spit at anything less than organically produced Ethiopian blended beans that have been pre-digested by the lesser spotted Elephant and I'm like "this instant coffee from Aldi is really good".
 

MagicalAzareal

Magical Developer
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Apr 25, 2019
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561
I like tea better than coffee, coffee has a tendency of giving me insomnia.
Usually some sort of black tea.
 

we_are_borg

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Roadmaps can be difficult but on the other hand a business is not looking out for the interest of the customer or developer. A customer can shove money out for an add-on only to see it become core in next version, same with a developer they invest time and money only to see that the add-on they made is now core. For the customer its easy to solve communicate when new version comes and when something is going to be released in next version tell them. As for developers place them under NDA if they want information that there add-on is going to be core, NDA is until next release no NDA no information.
 

sanction9

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
216
I think XF is coasting since version 1.2.
Well, I have to confess that I also wondered if it might be a typo. I mean, this is a conversation that's been had many times, really, and most of us have accepted that 2.0, which was arguably their biggest milestone since 1.2, was mainly about making things better for developers. And there were also some fairly substantial updates with 2.0: maybe not as substantial as the 1.2 additions in some people's opinion, but I'd say all of that together shows that they weren't exactly being lazy. Personally, I'm going to give them until at least the end of the year before I make some kind of summary judgement on just how well I think XF2 turned out for us. By the end of November, it will have been two years - hard to believe! - and I would think that they'd be revealing some juicy details by that point. I hope.
 

sanction9

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Feb 19, 2015
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I can't speak for Xenforo, but it's really hard to provide a road map.

We definitely have one internally, and things move around all the time. We've had stuff on the 4.5 roadmap moved to 5, and stuff on 5 moved to 4.5. Things are are OMG MUST HAVES eventually become "meh" so they get removed or pushed back. Sometimes a good idea turns into a bit of a coding nightmare and is pushed back.

Releasing a public roadmap would probably just cause angst when things are taken off or pushed back.

"But I was waiting for feature X and now it's not going to happen?"
Oh yeah, and then there would be the occasional angry, "I only bought the software because I read x was about to be added! Can I get a refund?"

EDIT: Also, before long there will be a new EU "Directive" that basically says companies must refund you or extend licenses for unfulfilled promises. ;)
 
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Lisa

Chaotically Proportional
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Jan 6, 2004
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I've honestly never understood the obsession with wanting roadmaps.
 

we_are_borg

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I've honestly never understood the obsession with wanting roadmaps.
Roadmaps can be great and save your users from spending unnecessary money in development of add-ons. Roadmaps are hard to make granted but in software development you all ready have an internal roadmap else development would become hard. A roadmap can be as simple as 2019: we will bring feature a, b, c, d and z. But what you’ll see most with forum companies that there more afraid of competition getting the impression what you are doing. For me its like they are developing that is better then sliced bread, that might have been true 10 years ago but with Social Media these days there just a a drop in an ocean.
 

Russ

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Oct 20, 2011
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I know Chris D mentioned they wanted to be more transparent with suggestions so I look forward to that. It could even be something simple like:

https://feedback.clickup.com/feature-requests

Where statuses (prefixes) are added such as planned/under review/in progress. The whole notion of it gives the competition an idea of what you're going to be implementing is a valid point to an extent. That being said... saying "in progress" on a suggestion like this: https://xenforo.com/community/threads/forums-in-read-only-mode-when-closed.3152/ isn't anything ground-breaking (I linked that one as it's the top suggestion right now for XF). Leave the big and creative ideas unannounced.
 

sbjsbj

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Feb 9, 2015
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If we want to talk about transparency with suggestions and how it could be implemented, I have one example of how it might look like.
A filter system paired with prefixes.

+ a upvoting system would be nice to the thread list which I don't have in my example but just imagine one.

So I agree with you Russ.

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Joel R

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Nov 24, 2013
Messages
775
I think people are overstating the amount of competition (and copying) between specific companies.

I can tell you, categorically, that at least in the IPS world, the IPS developers could care less about the roadmaps of other forum developers. The only time something comes up from another platform is when a client requests something.

IPS collects data from a variety of sources to help determine what to develop and when to develop it, and none of them have to do with competitors:
1. IPS ran a marketing survey in the early days of v4 that asked clients a broad set of questions to obtain their feedback. The answers were used to guide the lifecycle of v4's development over the years in broad strokes.
2. IPS offers multiple levels of hosting services, from cloud hosting to managed enterprise (which is on a completely different infrastructure.). This allows IPS to see the full stack and gives them immediate feedback of the real world impact of certain settings.
3. IPS regularly participates in feedback from the normal feedback forums, the technical support forums for Marketplace contributors, and support tickets.
4. And like any other company, IPS knows company data. For example, the Gallery is one of the most popular add-ons.

Any similarities that you see in between platforms is due to the broader context of the modern web. Users want reactions. Users want rich embeds. Users want faster search. Users want push notifications. Users want responsive design. These design principles are true not just of forums, but of general expectations.

As each platform matures, you should (hopefully) start to see greater differences between them.
 

palhanow

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Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
138
I'm happy to see where this thread is going.

I love to read different opinions about some context.

Who knows who we are helping with this?
 
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