Wedge can give a bad impression on first sight

snoopy-virtual

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Wedge can give a bad impression on first sight
« on June 13th, 2011, 07:15 PM »
This conversation started in SMF here (more or less):

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=366399.msg3071573#msg3071573

We went a little off-topic there and ended up talking between virtual_al and me about the differences between Wedge and SMF and the bad impression on first sight he has got of some things here.

I can understand exactly why he got that first impression, being somebody pretty new to SMF that had never heard about Wedge and all the things that happened in SMF in the last few years.

I think the topic is really important and I wouldn't like to leave it like that. I feel we need to analyse it thoroughly for 2 reasons:

1.- To change virtual_al's first impression.

2.- To see if we need to change anything in the way we are presenting ourselves to the people that have never heard of us before and/or any of the problems we may have had with SMF in the past.

Of course I didn't feel we should continue talking about this topic there inside SMF (I don't want any more kind PMs asking me to stop promoting competitors) so I asked virtual_al to open an account here and copy/paste all his opinions in a new topic so we could continue the conversation here.

Of course, as he just pointed out in a PM, he cannot do that:
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It's like knocking at somebody's door only to tell him that you're not impressed with his house :) In that case I would most certainly deserve a "then get the f*ck outta here, pal!"
I see your point virtual_al. You are right, it won't be polite.

I could just continue the conversation via PMs but, as I said before, I feel the topic is important, so I have opened it myself so we all can talk about it.

Let me see some of the points I would like to answer:
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I kept reading the Wedge FAQ and to be honest, I didn't quite understand what new features/benefits it offers (or will offer). Then I found another remark: "you can already find many of the Wedge features listed in the forum. You just need to go through all of the topics and thoroughly read all of Arantor's and Nao's posts, where they're often mentioned casually. Have fun". Well it's not "fun" at all...
That was here already when I joined last December.

In that time we didn't had yet a full List of Features. Most of the things were very much un-organized and to find out anything you had to search a lot through the site, reading posts here and there.

Just now there is a full List of Features. 108 features all in all, including 46 major additions. They're sorted by category here:

http://wedge.org/pub/feats/

They are well explained, with the status of each one and with the possibility to add a comment to any one of them to ask for any more explanation if needed.

I think somebody should change that part of the FAQs to add there the link to the List of Features.
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I don't even like the way they say they plan to release and manage updates. It very much sounds like "if you're not a geek who enjoys playing with your forum setup every month or so, Wedge is not for you".
I don't really understand how you got that impression. Of course I cannot see the FAQs with "fresh" eyes as I already know where everything is coming from, but if that's the first impression somebody new gets when reading the FAQs, I think somebody should re-write them.

For example, when it says we plan to do updates very often it's comparing it with the ridiculous speed of the updates in SMF. I don't even remember how many years ago they started to do SMF 2.0, but it definitely was not a few months ago, but a few years ago. And take a look at the amount of bugs sorted every month by the SMF team comparing it with the amount of bugs Nao and Arantor sort every month. (And don't forget to take a look at the list of bugs they were planning to sort in SMF 2.0 but they have postponed to sort them later because if not they would have need to wait another couple of years, so at the end they have released 2.0 final with a lot of bugs inside it).

So for me I get the impression it is saying something like "If you are the kind of guy who doesn't give a f**k if your software is always up-to-date and free of bugs or not, Wedge is not for you".

In my day-to-day work I see hundreds of computers with all kind of systems and configurations. Most of the computers they bring me is because they are not working properly and they want me to sort them. And the worst ones are always the computers where the owner never update the software.

So if you are a guy using XP service pack 1 (when SP3 has been out for years and sort a lot of important security bugs) still using Internet Explorer 6 (when IE9 has been out already for a while with a lot of bugs sorted and there are also better browsers as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc) with an antivirus out of date, etc, etc, don't come asking me for a miracle. I can update your computer, clean all the viruses, sort all the problems and leave your computer working properly, but if you don't change your mentality and update yourself the software more often (or bring me the computer once a month so I do it for you) you will have the same problems again after a few months.

It's the same with forums.

I saw last week a guy using SMF 1.1.6 because that's the version that was just out when he started the forum and has never bother to update it. Definitely Wedge is not at all for that kind of guy.

But you are not like that. In fact this conversation started just the next day after SMF released 2.0 final version and 1.1.14 because you were wondering if you should upgrade from 1.1.13 to 1.1.14 or to 2.0 and if all the mods you have are or not compatibles with those versions.

That's the kind of spirit we are expecting here.

And BTW, I would like to comment some more in this paragraph:
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... if you're not a geek who enjoys ...
The way Wedge started maybe that was true in a sense. At least when I joined last December we were very few of us and most of us geeks more or less fed-up with the way they were doing things in SMF and willing to find software that really will have all the kind of features we are expecting from this kind of software, but the way I see Wedge just now, it's not only for geeks.

In fact the latest things Arantor is working on will make very easy to update plug-ins (we call the mods here plug-ins for reasons that doesn't matter just now) or even to update the core of the forum without needing to worry about un-installing and re-installing plug-ins (as you need to do in SMF) or the amount of plug-ins you have.

Plug-ins will be compatible with almost any version of Wedge, so the plug-ins won't need to be updated every time there is a small change in the core of the software (as they need in SMF).

All the updates and plug-in installs will be fully automatic and you won't need to edit manually one single line of code (as you need to do so often in SMF) even if you are not using the default Theme.

Etc, etc, so noobs with no idea about coding will be able to update the core and install plug-ins with just a click.

Being like that, if upgrading your forum only takes you a few seconds and doesn't gives you any hassle at all I don't think you will mind if there is a new version of the software once a month.  :eheh:

==========

I could still answer a few more things, but maybe would be better to shut up for a while and see what the rest of the people here thinks about it.

And BTW, as you are new here you may not know this:

Any opinion expressed here by Arantor or Neo can be considered (almost always) as the official Wedge opinion, while any other one's opinion (as mine for example) are normally just personal opinions (with some few punctual exceptions).

Arantor

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Re: Wedge can give a bad impression on first sight
« Reply #1, on June 13th, 2011, 07:49 PM »
A certain amount of it is simply to discourage people coming here and demanding crap. Already, just because SMF 2 is out, it's been asked where Wedge can be downloaded. As if their release means we must release.

Right now what we have is mostly a collection of geeks and enthusiasts, not general forum owners, and honestly neither I nor Nao are interested in catering to the lowest common denominator. I know we'll be asked about backup facilities, for example, but considering how easy most hosts make it (and anyone on VPS can probably figure it out), so there's no need for us to waste our time on it when there are already better solutions out there.

Remember, the one thing that has never changed is that we're building it predominantly for us, and not because of some crusade to right wrongs or take over the world. And for what it's worth, it sounds like he isn't the sort of person I'm going to enjoy Wedge being used by because I get the impression he wants what he wants, when he wants it, how he wants it, with no regard for what we want. Wedge is being built to meet our vision, and I'm fairly sure his vision isn't in line with ours.
When we unite against a common enemy that attacks our ethos, it nurtures group solidarity. Trolls are sensational, yes, but we keep everyone honest. | Game Memorial

Norodo

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Re: Wedge can give a bad impression on first sight
« Reply #2, on June 13th, 2011, 07:59 PM »
I'm fairly funky fresh here. I guess that sort of makes me the kind of person to post here, or?

I'm just going to go over a few key points...
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I saw last week a guy using SMF 1.1.6 because that's the version that was just out when he started the forum and has never bother to update it. Definitely Wedge is not at all for that kind of guy.
Or maybe it is? Did you stop and consider the amount of time it takes to update/upgrade SMF? (well obviously you did but still) I run SMF 2 RC 5 myself, and have been updating fairly religiously since some RC. With that said, updating SMF takes time and is a big hassle. Your mods will more often than not, not work with the new version. The update will break them all. The only people who can have a fairly easy update is people who run VANILLA SMF. Now, I don't see many people doing that, since vanilla SMF is boring and to a fair extent unintuitive. The theme and templates will send people away from the site.

It actually sort of makes sense to take one version of SMF you're fairly happy with, and build on it using mods and themes, as the time you need to sink in when updating can be looong. Maybe people would update more often if they didn't have to redo everything? Maybe people will use less plugins with more stuff in the core code? All in all I suspect Wedge will do good on this front, and maybe it will be that guys kind of platform as well.

So, we all know the problem isn't Wedge itself. The problem that you did raise was that of the impression the Wedge site gives off though, and to be honest, I did not get the feeling that this place was as "resentful" or whatever virtual_al thought. I do agree that some of the older posts give off an outdated impression though. And that one thing he quoted:
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"... and if you don't know anything about it, you may want to leave this site and go discuss on another forum the aphrodisiac properties, or lack thereof, of garlic sausage. Or you could simply read the FAQ topics. It's up to you."
Surely he must be kidding. It's not so hard to understand a little irony is it?

So eh before I start ranting and rolling in uncontrollable fashin (as I always do, with little coherence), my opinion is this:

The Wedge site is nice as it is right now. Does it give off a quirky aura? Yes indeed it does. Is that a problem? No. In fact I think it's kind of endearing. For the next few months at least, the target audience will still be "geeks" So be it.

Could the site stand some reorganization / change of material at some point? Again, yeah ,of course. For now, however, Wedge is not done. When Wedge is done, I'm sure there'll be a slight overhaul*. Right now, I think we're fine.

* I'm understating this one. I'm sure there'll be a rather big one. As there always is once something is released.

TL;DR:

Arantor

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Re: Wedge can give a bad impression on first sight
« Reply #3, on June 13th, 2011, 08:30 PM »
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It actually sort of makes sense to take one version of SMF you're fairly happy with, and build on it using mods and themes, as the time you need to sink in when updating can be looong
I recently had to update one site I admin; I wrote a decent percentage of the custom coding and it was... interesting, I ended up doing the upgrade file by file from RC3 to RC5.
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Surely he must be kidding. It's not so hard to understand a little irony is it?
He is kidding. The origins of that particular message date back to when we were much more 'off the grid' than we are now, when we didn't even mention we were an SMF fork. It was sort of like an unspoken code.
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Or maybe it is? Did you stop and consider the amount of time it takes to update/upgrade SMF?
Versions past final are package-manager based, meaning that upgrading is usually no more hassle than adding any mod - once you get past final.
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When Wedge is done, I'm sure there'll be a slight overhaul*
Of this I have little doubt.

TE

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Thorsten "TE" Eurich - Former SMF Developer & Converters Guru

EL34

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Re: Wedge can give a bad impression on first sight
« Reply #5, on June 13th, 2011, 10:08 PM »
A 1.1.X importer would be great.

I have several SMF 1.1.x forums on different servers.
I don't ever plan on installing SMF 2

It's just way easier and simpler for me to run the exact same code on my forums.

DoctorMalboro

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Arantor

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snoopy-virtual

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Re: Wedge can give a bad impression on first sight
« Reply #8, on June 14th, 2011, 01:15 AM »
Quote from TE on June 13th, 2011, 08:32 PM
snoopy-virtual,
just a short note regarding the importer: 1.1.x to wedge is on my roadmap, and I'll start work once I've finished the SMF 2 importer.
Brilliant. I suppose you read that I said somewhere else that I thought nobody had that in their TODO list, so I started to think to do one myself (having 8 forums in 1.1.x for me is a big necessity).

Considering that you are a lot better coder than myself, that's really good news for me.

Anyway I am not very bad with PHP and I know SMF code very well after using it all these years, so if you need a hand when you are ready to start with it give me a shout. Even if it's only to test it. I can assure you we won't run out of test forums.  :eheh:

live627

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snoopy-virtual

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Arantor

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snoopy-virtual

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DoctorMalboro

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