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Resource review guidelines.

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by wang, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. wang

    wang Well-Known Member


    I have seen that there are rules when an user posts a resource, but there are no rules when one leaves a review for a resource that they purchased it or downloaded it. And because of lack of rules, a lot of users leave unjust reviews imo.

    Please allow me to be more specific. We all know, that when an add on is developed, the only thing that counts is that it works with the out of box xenforo, and not to be compatible with all the other third party add ons or styles. So, if an add ons works fine with the default xenforo, but does not work with another add on or custom style, and an user leaves a negative review about it, then I think that that review must not be allowed because it is unjust and unfair. That user maybe has instaleld 100 add ons, should we accomodate them by making our add ons compatible with all of them? That is absurd.

    I have had several such reviews and I have reported them, but the answer I get is that such reviews break no rules.

    Anyways, this is something that I have noticed and it has annoyed me and I started this thread in the hope that something can be done about it.

    Best regards,
  2. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  3. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    I looked up his resources and saw a bad review on there, unfortunately I don't think there is much XF can do in terms to "avoid" or correct that type of review. What he said could of been entirely true for his personal experience. I'd assume anyone entering into the XF market should fully expect you may run into a bad review once in awhile even if you feel it's not justified.

    Heck... I got like a 3 star review and the only negative feedback on it stated the style was to thin, a setting which is adjusted by a single value.
    Mike Creuzer likes this.
  4. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your input sir. I am aware of that part about bad reviews, but I feel that reviews must be solely about the add on working, or not, with the default software, in this case xf. And not about not being used or being compatible, with other third party add ons or styles. Because that falls outside the scope of the add on. That is all I am saying. If xf will place this as a rule for users when leaving reviews, it would be great.
  5. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    The inverse of this claim is that perhaps it is indeed your add-on that is the problem with the methodology taken. I recognize this is a bit of a strawman, but if you setup a template modification that matched the entire contents of the thread_view template to change one little bit, the fact that this wouldn't work with other add-ons or styles would most definitely be down to an approach you've taken. If you override a method and don't call the parent method and this breaks another add-on, that's down to an issue in your code. The fact that this was ok without other add-ons or modifications doesn't mean that you're faultless.

    Equally, maybe it's because the other add-on is doing stuff like I just said. Or maybe there's just a fundamental conflict between the two that can't be worked out. The problem is that we just don't know. And we basically can't know.

    Most of the reviews that get reported come down to the reporter wanting us to make a subjective evaluation over what the reviewer said. The reports presume that the reviewer's comments are unreasonable, but this is rarely the case when evaluated objectively.

    Reviews are a way for users to give feedback to the authors but more importantly to other prospective users. A user should be entitled to explain their experience -- and their expectations going into their experience. Similarly, you are entitled to respond to a review and explain why you disagree with what the reviewer said. Speaking personally, I would certainly take both the original review and the author's response into account to determine if I trusted the reviewer's experience.
    Reinhard, Divvens, Dadparvar and 2 others like this.
  6. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    A review is the opinion of the customer about all aspects of the addon. This can be price, quality, development pace, feature set, support or ease of use.
    Unfortunately the review system does not differentiate between these aspects and the customer can only leave one generic rating for all aspects. I think that the XF marketplace would benefit greatly from a better approach to reviews.

    As the resource manager does not show if there are any open bugs, and all resource discussion is in one massive thread, code quality can be very hard to evaluate and the customer may confuse a bad review with low quality or a high review with high quality code.
    Reinhard and Dadparvar like this.
  7. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

    I understand what you are saying sir, but I was talking about cases when someone is using a style for example, that changes things almost completely from that of the default style. Or when one uses an add on like the Widget Framework, which changes the sidebar completely. That is what I meant. Anyways, many thanks for your reply sir.
  8. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    You certainly have a point. These things can happen. I would actually argue that it's very rare, however, for a style to totally break an add-on developer's ability to achieve something. In all these years, I've not once found myself in a situation that you have described which cannot either be resolved by myself, or cannot be resolved with a bit of simple cooperation with the author.

    If you would like to create a thread in the Development Discussions forum with the details of the specific issue, I'm sure a solution can be found. That solution may even trigger the review to be updated with a better score.
    wang and Alfa1 like this.
  9. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

    Thank you sir. I have had several users complain to me, after they purchased an add on, that it is not compatible with the Widget Framework. I did take a look at that add on and I noticed that it changes the sidebar almost completely. It takes time to download and study such a big add on. And to make my add ons work with it, falls outside the scope of the support and it is what qualifies as extra work. The same goes for the custom styles that change things from the default style.

    All I am asking for, is for reviews to be fair.
    Dadparvar likes this.
  10. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

    I agree with this completely. A better approach to reviews will be a great thing that will benefit Xenforo and its community a lot.
    Reinhard likes this.
  11. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    And if the review states that it does not work with style such-and-such, or Widget Framework, that is a valid comment on the review as it is something that future purchasers that use that style or add-on would want to be aware of - even if your expectation is it working with a stock install and all you guarantee.
    As for Widget Framework - it's so widely used now that I would expect an add-on author to make allowances for it.
  12. Snog

    Snog Well-Known Member

    If an add-on already has some sidebar functionality, then I would agree with you. Adding Widget Framework support isn't that difficult.

    But when an add-on does not have any sidebar display at all and someone says there's no support for Widget Framework, that goes well beyond the add-on's scope of support or capability.
    wang and Ernest L. Defoe like this.
  13. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    And in that case, a reasonable person would realize if the add-on has no functionality for sidebar access, then Widget Framework compatibility is a moot point. Any other desire is a wish to EXTEND the add-on to provide that, and that is not a valid complaint to lodge against said add-on.
    Bionic Rooster likes this.
  14. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

    In my opinion that is not a valid reason to leave a negative review. I have made some of my add ons compatible with the Widget Framework, but I charged extra for it because it does not fall under the scope of support.

    If an user wants to know if it works with x add on or y style, all they have to do is ask about it before they purchase the add on. But not purchase something and then complain that it did not work with other add ons and styles.
  15. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    There is a difference in "complaining" and making a statement of FACT on a review. It's all in the way the wording is used for the review. Some add-ons have 30-100 pages of discussion and most users won't read the entire discussion thread. That is what a review is for. ;)
    Just because a user comments that it doesn't work with something doesn't necessarily make it negative review.
  16. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

  17. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Well, considering that the resource is deleted, the review is unavailable to see, the update status cannot be read to see how much emphasis was placed on backing up (which really should be done with any update of an add-on) and the user that posted that review is now showing as "Guest" - looks like "something" was done.
  18. wang

    wang Well-Known Member

    Reading through the posts there, the new update removed some features and a warning was placed about it. That user upgraded the add on anyway and then got mad at the developer why thse features were gone. Anyways, my point was how the reviews can be abused.

    And that that user is showing up as guest, has nothing to do with that review. He was being rude to one of the stuff members in another topic, and that is why I think his account was deleted.
  19. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Behavior in one aspect tends to carry over into behaviors from other aspects. I assumed he was somewhat of an ass when I saw that he was relegated to "guest" status - so would assume that any review he left would have the same tendency. ;)
    The bad news is, you have to accept the good with the bad. You can't expect (and it's you have an unrealistic expectation if you do) that all reviews will be sunshine and roses. And removal of existing features WOULD be a grounds for a complaining review - if they were not replaced with enhancements.
  20. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    What might be nice is if when a user downloaded an add-on or clicked the link to go download an add-on, they were sent an email for a request for a review. Or if they came back and visited that thread for example. Some people come and go but never write a review, so you may have 1 five-star and 2 one-stars, when really a hundred people used your add-on and only 4 or 5 didn't like it out of that hundred. Same can be said for any other service like Yelp and such. This is also why you are bombarded with a 'rate this app', rate our restaurant, etc. on many mobile apps.

    So is it XenForo's responsibility? Hard to say. For now it can be conceived as at least there is one way to leave feedback. Just expect it to be heavily weighted towards power-users of the software, and extremely vocal users (which are typically going to be negative).
    HWS, Alfa1 and wang like this.

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