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Developer access to Alpha Testing XenForo 2.0

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Steve F, Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. Steve F

    Steve F Well-Known Member

    I know this is a bit early but just wanted to get it out there to be discussed. It also has been asked before that developers be given early access to XenForo versions for testing compatibility. While minor point releases are not usually breaking compatibility a major point release could lead to some heavy work loads for our developers and designers.

    With that said can we have a discussion about the possibility for Developers and Designers to have early access to some alpha builds to XenForo 2.0?

    Biggest hurdle will probably be (I'm sure there is others):
    • Who gets access and When
    I think we can easily name some well known developers / designers that would appreciate some leeway time for making sure their customers and add-on users have a happy uneventful upgrade to XenForo 2.0.

    @Chris D
    @Daniel Hood
    @Bob B



    The only reason there is only the 3 listed designers (besides adding myself on that list) is because they are the ones with the highly customized framework which has many factors when it comes to the navigation, which was the main point brought up in the What's Next for XenForo thread.

    I'm sure I am missing some things here so please don't hesitate to point those out :)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    Forsaken, mistypants, semprot and 9 others like this.
  2. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    I know that the administrators of the many forums using the add-ons these guys create would appreciate it as well. :D
    imthebest and TeflonDon like this.
  3. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    I think it's a good idea in theory, but you know it won't turn out that way. If the guys pick out a select few Devs and Designers, then they'll be accused of favouritism or of giving their backing to a certain few people... and then the rest of the people who release addons and styles will want access... where will it end.
    Lucas, petertdavis and Barbossa like this.
  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Who would qualify as a developer or designer?

    Surely not anyone who has released a resource?

    In which case, what would the criteria be?
    Floren and Liam W like this.
  5. Daniel Hood

    Daniel Hood Well-Known Member

    I think if we have to apply and be approved (and they can deny with a reason) then it'll clear that up. If they just go through (apparently) randomly selecting devs and designers then that would be an issue.

    I think without giving developers and designers early access two things are going to happen:

    People will stop working on v1 stuff due to the fear of it being a waste of time (and not knowing how much is going to scrapped).
    V2 will come out with no themes or add ons for quite a while (small ones and quick themes will be released but I know it'll take a long time for UI.X to get ported, Gallery and Blog addons to get ported, etc) and admins will not be happy.

    Allowing everyone to get a head start will make the adaption period much shorter once v2 comes out officially.
    kontrabass, feldon30, wedgar and 3 others like this.
  6. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there's a way to do it - top 10, 15, 0r 20 add-on creators/designers - something like that.

    Oh, and NDAs might help.
  7. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Top 10/15/20 in terms of what?

    Downloads are no guarantee of anything, especially when it comes to free resources.
    toodlez likes this.
  8. Daniel Hood

    Daniel Hood Well-Known Member

    I think this is the best option. It's the same way big companies open their apis at first. They can deny (or just approve slower).

    The problem with doing it this way is that someone might only have one add on, but it might be a really big add on.
    @Jeff Berry for instance with XenReviews. It's only one addon but it's about 30% of the size (code wise) of XenForo last time we talked about it. That is definetely a project worth getting approved for this adaption process but if you go off quantity it stands no chance.
    karll and Alfa1 like this.
  9. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    Top 10/15/20 in terms of downloads with a minimum requirement for average rating? Downloads are an indication of how many people are using a particular add-on - which ultimately is important to the end-users when there's a big version change.

    Steve didn't say it would be easy to determine, but it can be done, and IMO it's worth doing.
    Steve F and feldon30 like this.
  10. Steve F

    Steve F Well-Known Member

    That is exactly why I put that as the biggest hurdle. It is part of life to not be chosen to do certain things, like not being picked to be on someones team. It happens..

    I think we would need to look at the complexity of the add-ons by these developers. Right, not everyone that has released a resource but I think the list I have already stated gets us real close.
    Daniel Hood likes this.
  11. pegasus

    pegasus Well-Known Member

    As someone who briefly participated in the closed Alpha for vBulletin 5, I can tell you that at least in that case, there was not only an invitation basis for authors whose mods had thousands of installs (easily checked in the database), but there was also an application process for authors of less popular mods or commercial mods that were not listed on their sites. As far as I know, everyone had to sign and fax a NDA.
    Markos, Steve F and Daniel Hood like this.
  12. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Well you've suggested @Chris D but there is at least one other developer who has a paid gallery add-on, so they would also need to be considered.

    The same applies to any other developers or designers who produce anything comparable with those on the list.

    Otherwise it's unfair.
  13. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    I think KAM can decide on which developers have a significant stake in XF and would benefit from alpha access. Whether that means a large addon or a number of smaller addons can be decided upon.
  14. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Just thinking aloud, here.

    Some companies use it as a revenue stream. e.g. Apple

    But, of course, I don't think really it is seen as any big source of income for Apple. What it does do, though, is filter out those people who want to be part of it, just because they want to be part of it.

    £100 isn't a lot of money. Yet, despite always wanting to be involved in beta testing things like OS X and iOS builds, I would never pay it. But, if it was access to a XenForo development programme then I absolutely would. Possibly even more than £100.
    kontrabass, Jim Boy, Jay and 5 others like this.
  15. John L.

    John L. Well-Known Member

    My thought was, just don't even tell us what the criteria is. I would rather apply to this, provide an example of our work and sign an NDA if accepted.

    This way if you're selected then you know you were for a reason. If not, then apply again when the quality of your work has increased.

    A fair shot for all seems nice so allowing all people to apply would be great, but you can limit applications by requiring they have at least 1 resource published. If they have a paid resource then they must supply a copy to XenForo for inspection. I wouldn't mind :)
    Lisa and Daniel Hood like this.
  16. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    We wouldn't have the time nor staff available to audit code.
    SneakyDave, euantor and Chris D like this.
  17. NixFifty

    NixFifty Well-Known Member

    If early access to XenForo builds was introduced, I think this would probably be the better way to do it. I would imagine that there are other developers here that write custom code / add-ons for sites but don't actually release them publicly. Going off resource counts on XenForo.com would alienate them out.
    toodlez likes this.
  18. Steve F

    Steve F Well-Known Member

    Right, I just quickly skimmed the authors. No favoritism in my list, and therein lies the main issue and why I wanted to try and hash this out because things like @Daniel Hood pointed will start happening. No one will want to expand things knowing a major version is on the horizon.

    Good idea but brings another hurdle, how much exactly. I know plenty that get into Apples program just so they can update early and are not interested in the actual code or any invested time in creating apps.
  19. John L.

    John L. Well-Known Member

    Well if quality is not a concern, simply open up so people can apply with a well written explanation. I like @Chris D suggestion about paying a fee for access. I don't mind that either. I just don't want something super selective that excludes other developers who are not well known.
    Kevin likes this.
  20. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    There was actually a balance across the board of Addon Devs, Designers and just Forum Admins. I know this because I was one :D But yeah, we all signed an NDA

    I have no horse in this race, being neither a Designer nor a Developer, so I can see it from both sides. It would be good (of course it would) to have addons and styles ready for release when 2 became available, but we could also argue that a group of just admins should get access as well because they're the ones who are going to be using it (with or without addons) at the end of the day so really they are the ones who need to be battering it through alpha/beta stage to make sure it does what they want - whereas Devs and Designers will be focused more on making their own products work with it - and then the argument will start again heh... (I'm not asking for access, btw.. just playing devils advocate).

    Using download quantities as a guide is pointless since people download, have a look and discard, it's not an indication of how many people are using it. Nor are the RM ratings of addons.

    Personally (and, of course, it is personal opinion) I think this would probably cause more of a headache than anything else. I would say if the guys want to give anyone alpha access they do it quietly and without fanfare LOL
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