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Resource Manager - function and purpose

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Morgain, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    As instructed I am splitting the feedback on the Resource Manager into separate threads.

    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 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.
    kyrgyz likes this.
  2. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    I like the new RM much better.
    The *NEW* discussions Tab is definitely a win !!
    More later.
  3. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Dig they asked us to keep different topics re the RM on different threads.
    I agree the tabs are better but THIS thread is about whether the RM is for managing Resources, or only a minority of selected items. Possibly that's all it can do but we do need to get clear on that.
  4. Allan

    Allan Well-Known Member

    Yours comments are very good :)

    What bothers me most is that if we have resources in the existing topics, we'll have to ask the authors to repost all their resources in the RM, it's very annoying.
  5. kkm323

    kkm323 Well-Known Member

    i wanted to create an entire thread to thank them for the big change they have made
    I believe in xf, thefore I am here :p
    Morgain likes this.
  6. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Absolutely definitely solidly completely utterly devotedly entirely!

    But it's part of my duty as a loyal XF clanswoman to help the team with the complicated mix of needs they are working to service. There's no way they can think of it all. So they have always very wisely integrated feedback and generally, used it in their builds. This is a big part of their genius.
  7. Bram

    Bram Well-Known Member

    The RM is awesome but I would really like to see paid addons having their own category. It happened twice today that i finally found that little mod i needed and get an unpleasant surprise to have to pay 5 bucks for a tiny little bit of code.
    Fuhrmann likes this.
  8. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Why was that an unpleasant surprise? $5 is hardly a lot of money for something you need.
    This reminds me of the old plumber story. The plumber arrived walked round the boiler and kicked it so it started up again. That's $100 he said.
    Why asked the householder - for a few seconds kick?
    Ah said the plumber you see you're paying for the years of experience that placed that kick exactly right.

    A tiny bit of code still takes skill. Often long series of code can actually be very simple.

    As for putting paid addons in a separate area, surely it's much more inconvenient to search two different places for the same thing?
    At least if it's one search I can find out that what I want is available. Then I can make my own mind up whether I want to buy it or not.
    Two searches is like saying I have to search the forum twice for my topic: once for all forums in the top half of the forums list and once for the bottom half.

    Nowadays I can afford addons if they cost money and I want them. But that's very recent. Most of my years as an admin I used only free or very cheap addons. But occasionally there was something I really really liked so I carefully decided to buy it and do without something else.

    I would prefer to get the information quickly and easily so I can make MY decision about what I want to do.
  9. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Bram and principia like this.
  10. Bram

    Bram Well-Known Member

    Absolutely true. But imo modding is a thing you do for free because you enjoying making work that can be shared with other people.

    Before I pay (regardless the amount) I would like to at least test it myself and if I like it I gladly click a donations button and send a few free beers.

    I rather have paid addons not listed in the resource manager but maybe listed in a new category called shop or something.
  11. Robbo

    Robbo Well-Known Member

    Wow. Okay... so you expect hours of work (specialized work that can be very stressful (programmers have a low life expectancy due to stress)) for free? Add the support you would probably expect as well.

    Luckily you are in the minority. People would rather pay for a product of high quality that will have continued support incase they run into problems instead of using a lesser quality, unsupported free product.

    In this industry a lot of companies quote with multiple amounts. The high quality more expensive app that does everything they want and more. The basic cheaper version that has their specs in the most basic form and the pay per hour or budget option that takes longer and is even lesser on quality. 99% of the time they will choose the high quality product even if it is over their initial budget. People don't want to sell themselves short.
    Fuhrmann likes this.
  12. Bram

    Bram Well-Known Member

    No not at all. I wish paid addons not to be listed in the resource manager. Imo modding is for free. And products are not. Two different things imo.

    In the case i described its a tiny code change where five bucks is charged for. Luckily everybody can choose to pay for it or not. I am not judging that, was just stating that i was surprised that such items are listed in the resource manager.

    Ill leave the discussion now before we are making a big deal out of something that was just a remark/feedback.
  13. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    You can filter to free resources only if you wish. Paid resources also have the price listed in the resource list, so they're pretty straightforward to ignore.
  14. Robbo

    Robbo Well-Known Member

    Not showing commercial add-ons in the resource manager just doesn't make sense. What good reason would there be? That would be like not having paid apps on the app store. I don't know where you get 'modding is for free' from either. But whatever, your opinion.
    yavuz likes this.
  15. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    As Mike says you can refine your search in the RM so you only get free stuff if you like. I remember that on cnet many years ago when I was a freeware junkie!

    I'm interested in the distinction you make between modding and a product. (i assure you I'm not being argumentative or disguising disapproval.) I don't understand your distinction.
    Do you mean the difference between a template tweak/ hack and a full add-on?

    If you do I think the distinction is only one of packaging. When I created my membercard for example it took me a whole day's work to get it exactly right. I'm very proud of it! Yet it's "only" a set of template tweaks, CSS, and a graphic. No coding.
  16. Robbo

    Robbo Well-Known Member

    Yes, a lot of people don't understand just how much time can go into the smaller things. I made a bad early design decision with my donation manager which required re-factoring and it took me a good 5 hours to do it and make small fixes. This is essentially unpaid work at the moment.

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