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Should XF take a more active role in add-on 'retirement'?

Discussion in 'Resource and Add-on Discussions' started by Mouth, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Interested in community thoughts on if XF should take a more (pro)active role in management of add-ons in the RM, particularly with regard to add-ons that should be considered retired or archived - especially paid add-ons - due to being abandoned (no developer involvement/response) or ceased development (no coming or recent bugfixes), or incompatible with the current version of XF?

    When you look through the RM, there is a significant (but not necessarily sizeable, yet!) proportion of add-ons, some paid, that have no developer involvement in discussions or issues/queries/bugs. As we start to see XF release new versions again soon too, some will become incompatible too. I feel this should either be obviously highlighted within the RM and the add-on moved to an 'archived/abandoned/incompatible' category (which doesn't appear within RM search results) until it's issue is addressed by the developer.

    As XF growth exponentially increases with new releases, I feel that the lack of attention or policy on this issue will really start to cause problems and reflect poorly on XF as a product, and as a community. The growth will mean that less astute or savvy admins will come aboard too, and install/purchase add-ons without reviewing it's current state and/or developer involvement which will cause later disgruntlement, especially if it was purchased. And that disgruntlement will fall on XF's shoulders for not managing or highlighting such add-ons.
     
  2. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Surely resources will be categorised according to release date and XF release level?
    So there will be a zone for all those who upgrade to XF 1.2 with eesources to match, but for those that do not the old version is still there?

    There could also be a button for users to alert that an addon has not had support for X days, minimum 40.
    If clicked it places a notice across top of all resource pages - This Resource has been notified as lacking support for 40 days.
    Just a rough outline suggestion. The dev returning to the thread could cancel the notice.
     
    Mouth likes this.
  3. Sim

    Sim Well-Known Member

    WordPress manage this rather simply in their plugin repository - any addon which has not seen any updates in over 2 years has a banner message across the top with a warning about the lack of development.

     
  4. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Yes, all good options/suggestions for achieving good management of the RM.
    With the RM public release only days away, I don't see any such or similar functionality being mentioned in existing discussion about it.
    Thus, my feelings that XF should firstly policy and action such methodology in its own RM for the good of the product and community and then we'll maybe see some functionality within the released RM product also to achieve it?
     
  5. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Far too simple and ineffective IMHO, but a good "better than nothing" start. I don't think you'd want to purchase an add-on at the 18 mth point and then find out the developer has not engaged in discussion or fixed any bugs for over 12 months
     
  6. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    I see that becoming a full time job at some point, and shouldn't be the responsibility of XF to manage or police. As with all addons, it's up to the user to determine whether it's something they want to download or not. It's also up to the user to do their own research and check comments and support before downloading it.
     
    Brogan likes this.
  7. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    I see no reason why Mods here or xF in general should even have to worry about this.
     
    Luke F, Brogan and Biker like this.
  8. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    I obviously disagree, not only because it looks badly on XF and it's community with such a "hands-off" approach, but because I think its also border-line negligent to have such a "head in the sand" approach to add-ons within the official repository. There's a reason product manufacturers have to provide a "fit for purpose" warranty for fix/refund/exchange purposes.
     
  9. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    XF doesn't make the addons, nor do they determine whether it works with their product. Addon development and support is solely on the head of the developer.

    This isn't something XF should get involved with.
     
  10. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    And how are they to decide when to close it?

    A person may have coded the add-on, feels its bug free... no one replies, only suggestions are made. If the dev doesn't want to add them, and chooses not to reply, do you then close the resource?
     
  11. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    I'd also be willing to bet that if too many start crying about XF not taking an active role within the Resource Manager, guess what will eventually disappear?

    They're being nice to give developers the space to show off their wares. That's where their involvement and responsibility ends.
     
  12. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Really? OK, lets use an example. There is a paid ($40 US) blog add-on in the RM that has effectively been abandoned by it's developer (whom otherwise has a good reputation). The developer has elsewhere (outside this add-on) said that he is no longer developing for XF until it's legal scenario has been resolved, and has not participated in discussion or bug reports for his blog add-on in some time. As we know, the legal issues were resolved a few weeks ago and despite being asked directly, the developer has failed to respond to provide any information on picking up development. In fact, he has been active in posting in the RM discussion for a competing add-on, seemingly encouraging development of an import from his blog add-on. The add-on is still available for purchase though.

    This scenario is nothing something that XF, or its mods, feel is an issue? The 'pollution' of their official resources repository with add-ons that are defunct and unsupported.
     
  13. Sim

    Sim Well-Known Member

    I think it would be easy enough for the user to work this out for themselves - you just need to look at the discussion thread and at the version history. That will tell you everything you need to know.
     
  14. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    XF respect and appeal ... being better and 'above' other products in a reasonably competitive industry or marketplace.
     
  15. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    Then it is on the developer. Not xF.
     
  16. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Automated ... no version update in 12 mths and/or no developer post in its discussion for, lets say, 6 months. If suggestions are made and the dev responds then its fine and remains 'active'
     
  17. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    It's not an issue that reflects on XF at all. It does reflect on the author of the addon. Anyone with more than a couple of firing synapses can determine if an addon is supported or not. And users can make their displeasure known in the discussion thread for said addon.
     
  18. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Well-Known Member

    It doesn't reflect badly on xF, because they have nothing to do with the development and design of add-ons. Add-ons are clearly third-party products. The nature of third-party add-ons already imply that you're using unofficial products at your own risk. It's not the job of any software company to police the quality of third-party products, and would actually be the thing to reflect badly on them if they did. What would make sense is to designate what version of XF an add-on was released for and categorize accordingly. Anything beyond that would be presumptuous on xF's part.
     
  19. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

    My opinion, I don't see the need for this.

    I think one too many can of worms gets opened up by using your suggestion. Plus, more work for absolutely zero reason.
     
  20. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Except its within XF official repository, with prospective purchasers briefly browsing add-on entries to see what's available and how much support there is by the developer community, only to purchase XF and then go to implement and extend and find when looking harder at the add-ons that the RM is polluted with incompatible, buggy and/or unsupported add-ons. Yup, that will go down well in the larger forum discussion community about the value or worth of XF as a forum solution.
     
    Morgain likes this.

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