The new Resource Manager is a huge improvement over the trial version demonstrated before. The team are to be warmly congratulated on the considerable efforts to respond to feedback and this create an efficient, user friendly functional design.
There has been some confusion between the function of the Resource Manager on this XF community site, and what it can do on user sites.
Clearly on any of our sites the RM can be hacked about to fit our needs. That is relatively straightforward. We can expect to see several versions of the RM in circulation as add-ons.
But at this point there appears to be a critical confusion on what the Resource Manager is intended to do
ON THIS XF SITE. On this site we do not have control to adapt the RM so it needs to be far MORE flexible in its options to users than something put out to us to adapt.
There appear to be issues with FOUR groups of coders/ developers/ contributors on the RM here on XF. This in turn generates considerable difficulty for the user searching for solutions.
Paid addons are not supported.
For how long? I think a roadmap on this is vital if commercial developers are not to be discouraged and driven away. We have seen some citing a 95% reduction in demand which forces them to turn away from XF and take on other paid work to survive. This is clearly most undesirable for the good of XF.
Addons which have built up a strong support base in existing discussions are being downgraded into archive. That is strongly demotivating to both the coder and the users. There can be no confidence that this is not going to happen again which calls into question the patient detailed support work, and focused exchanges on such discussions. Why bother if it can suddenly be shunted away?
Addons that need multiple files - Some coders and designers are beginning to post up separate versions for each small difference in design. But there was serious discontent put on record.
As a user I want support for an addon or theme in one place. I don't want to have to search the red. yellow, green, blue, blac=k, metallic, and gold versions to find out why my page isn't displaying as expected.
Tutorials, videos, graphics based guides, tweaks and hacks, are not supported. Yet these are very much useful Resources. Nor is it obvious as I start to search for what I need whether it will be there as a full add-on, a hack, a tweak, or a tutorial. As things stand I will have to search in many different places.
It appears that the Resource Manager is not a service which draws together the Resources we might need to develop our sites, in a centralised way . That seems to be a mistaken assumption.
Instead the Resource Manager seems to aim at catering for a subgroup of developers who
- only work entirely free of charge on this item
- do not find it disruptive if their support discussions are suddenly cut off and restarted in a different place
- do not provide their work as a Tutorial, or hack or tweak.
- do not produce variations on a basic product, or if they do can keep monitoring different support areas for substantially the same product - can a developer copy posts across these areas?
For us as users this is seriously not helpful .
At point of need the main thing a user knows is "I need X."
Which means I want to go to a central processing unit to search for it. I do not want to be forced to hunt all round various areas.
How do I know as an admin whether what I want is offered as paid/ unpaid?
How can I know whether there are 15 other variations to the one I found, one of which would suit me better if I knew it existed?
How am I to know whether the answer to what I'm struggling to fix is in the current support thread or the archived one? These threads can grow to many pages, 20, 30 or more.
How do I know if this function has to be a full addon or a hack or can be achieved by a tutorial? all of which means hunting in different places, and then looking at subcategories in thjose places.
Since we know the team generally makes good and sensible decisions, yet this structure makes no sense on the user end, it would help if we knew more of what prevents the Resource Manager from handling all Resources in a centralised way.