Lindy, I truly appreciate the willingness to try to bridge the gap and try to share what IPS is considering doing here. I'd much rather hear that and possibly be disappointed than not knowing anything at all. In such a fashion, I can at least understand early on whether you'll cover my need and, if not, I'd consider undertaking my own effort to accomplish same and hit the ground running. While I'm frustrated that the QA Forum will require a wait, I'm hoping you can confirm the "big picture" things that aren't really a secret, e.g. tying together use of up/down and BA tied in with Reputation and awards. And in doing so, I think you have the opportunity to receive well rounded feedback and make a fully informed decision. on what IPS feels is paramount for the greater good/needs of its customers. I'm sure there would be fewer complaints with the satisfaction of having been heard. See - no grief. Wasn't that easy? Understood about the competition. I think virtually everyone with the Friends has the same issue here - the ability for users to create private content areas using a user-created private group to restrict one's content. For those who are using Friends for that purpose, whether you can come up with something that will accomplish the same and hopefully import those associations into your new privacy thigamajig. I understand that private content was something you were trying to move away from. And if the above is what you're considering accomplishing, it would help to know yay or nay because if it's a nay, at least customers know what to expect and interested customers can consider making a plugin right now. Being totally honest... I was planning on moving to IPS 4 because the extensibility of IPS 3's system of Friends/Private Content has no bona fide competitors - even the commercial scripts were mostly junk. So thanks and hopefully you can provide a commitment to certain broad strokes and non-secretive details everyone is expecting. PS - I'm really sorry about your iPhone problem. If you're going to regret anything it's your comments about how you kept trying to use Android phones but just had to go back to an iPhone. You could potentially face a lot more abuse for that.
Not at all! - I'm thrilled if items like these are in the master IPS plan! Lindy... I totally appreciate your taking the time to politely answer questions the best you can. I think that's why lots of people are here. Rome certainly wasn't built in a day! Thank you most sincerely for taking the time out of your busy day to try to provide a very complete response. This should not be understated and a main reason why I'm still here. The release notes do show some willingness to listen of which you speak. But most of the foundation has been laid over the past 2.5+ years. Some of the changes were radical departures from the IPS 3 approach/philosophy. Choosing not to share these conceptual changes with the customer has nothing to do with the more public nature of open source software. It's about sensitivity to and managing expectations of customers. Imagine if a desktop software developer hyped its upcoming version in periodic blog posts with short videos of the product. Customers spent 2 years gradually upgrading their hardware based upon expectations -- only to find out on launch day that only web/SAAS versions would be offered!! I'm at a hard stop point even months after release of the beta on several fronts because of totally changing gears: I was shocked to discover radical IPS3 to IPS4 incompatibilities, such as Friends and basic forums. The Discussion Forum has no Best Answer option. The QA Forum has no viable discussion option, just a series of answers that go up and down. And IMHO, the QA Forum is still not usable because users will certainly try to have a discussion and it will render topics incomprehensible as I illustrated from a few minutes of use. And that there isn't any basic connection of the up/down and Best Answer out of the box - and that basic part really has to work or the users themselves will immediately be unhappy. I'm just one guy along with the handful of people who thought the same. You're right - you have thousands of customers and none of them nor this small focus group has complained. Perhaps it will all work out just fine and it's just a case of a couple of squeaky wheels. Or maybe not, we'll see. But right now I'm stuck not knowing how to resolve this and to get IPS 4 to continue the IPS 3 approach. I can't afford to wait even longer and invest on faith that somehow, some way, this will be worked out. And TBH, I don't see what airing out what you guys plan to do at this very late date makes much of a difference. After this many months, people are either impressed or headed to find software that solves their need, open source or not....
If you're going to even have the boldness to attempt to be a jack of all trades then you have to master the essentials of each of them - or very few will ever be satisfied. Instead, they will turn to tools that get done what they want to accomplish. For example, there is little point in having a Stack Exchange type of expert system if it doesn't have the awards system necessary to go with it. You can argue that it's not essential and that's fine. But if you've ever been around one you know that it's a major driver, like it or not. And if it's missing, good luck trying to get people to use it, let alone buy it. The problem is that things like we're discussing aren't add-ons or anything that usually don't come connected that I've ever seen. If you've got Best Answers, Up/Down and LIkes, there is supposed to be a point to all of them appearing. It's not supposed to be there just for window decoration. And if you think a developer wants to tackle a project like this, good luck. Be prepared to cough up more money for each effort, which is far more work than it would be if in the core (and have it work for every add-on you've created.) And as you've pointed out, good luck getting customers to have their large sites rely upon the possibility that your dev guy has decided not to expend all that time.
The concept of rewarding users for their contributions have been around for as long as I can remember. After all, these are what the Reputation and User Rank systems are supposed to represent even in IPS... are they not? Gamification, Reward Systems, Awards, Toplists. For example, how can you have Reputation levels without tying in BA? I'm actually surprised that even this is considered a secondary thought thanks to current user suggestion. I guess opinions will vary. But IMHO - IPS 4 feels like it's goal is to be an incredibly versatile system that impressively addresses many types of UGC and community sites but doesn't plan to nail down all the essentials of any one in particular. Personally I'd rather have something that does only the fewer things it is designed to do extremely well. Looks great but these are almost always lesser compromises. If it's not in the core then the developer of a promotion / reputation system will only include functionality in the core and maybe a popular plugin or two. And each new plugin may not be created with a plugin in mind although they would if it was in the core. I used vBulletin for over 15 years and the greatest free system existed, without a doubt. But the developer couldn't keep up with all the different variations of addons that came out and eventually I had to uninstall it, leaving many unhappy users. My biggest fear is that an essential part of my site's driver and incentive system will live or die by the interest of a third party developer who may not see it as a dedicated long term project.
I mentioned this a while ago. A problem I have with IPS 4 is that it doesn't seem like the parts for promotion and reputation are connected nor do they work together congruently, e.g Reputation = Best Answer, Up/Down (perhaps the same as Likes) or Liked Post, etc. Content Count = individual content contributed, blog post, article, new forum topic, forum reply, file, calendard date, etc. IMHO, all of these should have an admin assignable importance level. The admin should also have a choice to promote based up either or both metrics. Haven't heard a plan to implement either.
Yes, you're late to the game! It has been said repeatedly that the Friends list served no real purpose in IPS 3 (I respectfully disagree). The member list was thought of the same way and inefficient (certainly as a page) as compared to search. Friends: Personally I think that Friends was used like others have said - as a permissions list for private content. Numerous others have said the private content lists were extremely useful for Gallery items, which is where you'd expect, e.g. kids photos, intimate/sexy photos, bikini photos, etc. As I understand what has been said here often, the goals of IPS 4 were to move completely away from private content and make sure everything was public and potentially indexible by search engines and available to the "community." Hence private permissions lists really weren't within the focus of what they wanted to accomplish and they moved from Friends to Followers, which is basically what one would use if there is no private or personal content. It's a notification system of when someone posted, that's it. Focus is now on content, not the community/relationships. Members: I can understand the uselessness of the general list. It is useless. The problem is that nothing replaced it and it would have been deathly simple to do so, e.g. top lists. I put up this suggestion many moons ago when I used to browse here. You have a member page which rewards your top members along with a search box. Why that still isn't implemented, I can't tell you. Ask the architects who might disagree with me that a dedicated members page is even needed in any fashion. Agreed. Best example to me - "content count." To me it's a completely useless number as is but it forms the basis of a metric to IPS which makes total sense to them. I click on your profile and see a raw number. And if you look at any of the most popular modifications of forums that focus on breaking down member activity (like "points" or "levels") for the past 10 years, you can see how this typically works. I see none of this implemented in IPS 4, all of which would have ended up with a focus on Members and a Members page. In fairness, perhaps they may have a vision that is far clearer than my own. To me, IPS 4 is a different product than IPS 3 and I can't yet figure out what its focus and vision is exactly. It feels like a CMS without the focus on the dedicated CMS and on community participation without the focus on community. I don't have a feel for where it's going since it's all proprietary knowledge as it has been since it was announced.
Content is still king. This is towards the bottom of the ranking of IPS pages for me performing an incognito search, not #3. These pages also don't have canonical tags so that the page to which the additional page is related is indexed, not this one.
I read somewhere before that iPS didn't put together a complete IPS 3 feature list when creating IPS 4. Rather, they were completely forward thinking in what they thought was best starting with a clean slate. As a result, there are a number of upgrade difficulties and questions of compatibility, such as Friends now Followers, post count numbering, etc. and choices need be made. Here's an idea -- is it possible to create some type of editable wiki page where IPS users can create one master list of features with gradual updates whether the feature is in short term or long term plans or not at all?
I think I was one of Ryan's first customers. Personally I felt it filled a major hole in IPS 3 and the thought process and work going into implementing it made it one of the best addons I had. While I'm loath to replace core items, I'd have to say that I'd be willing to see what Ryan is doing for IPS 4 and consider it an option that may see growth and development even sooner. Glad to hear it's coming.
The prefix system works but the implementation is very confusing. It took me a while to realize how to add prefixes and the system is actually quite powerful, albeit very difficult to use and see at a glance. The truth is that I find that community tagging without limits could be one of the most useless inventions ever created. Forcing prefixes to create focused metadata is where it's at, although I don't think IPS4 is structured to do that more than traditional prefixes.
These discussions keep dialing me back further to the Friends concept which used to be an option. "Follow" is supposed to be about notifications not really governing the relationship between two members, which was more of what the "Friends" feature is about. I agree with you that there should be various features so that users can control followers aka "stalkers." The devil is in the details, as the follow system is becoming increasingly complex regarding permissions surrounding privacy controls. If Friends is no longer an option then I'd want some global permissions levels that I can have set for users, e.g. no follow unless approved by the member being followed. It's a lot easier by having Friends but these options seem to be needed if it's not going to include a positive association driven by users to create these two way trust relationships with an affirmative action.
True - but I think you could also put the index.php file on a subdomain, thus keeping your root directory clean to install another script there. You get the same situation as here - you have community . site . com running the forum in the root but you cannot put Pages / Home page at www . site . com. I'm one of the people who have been mentioning subdomain usage for modules for a very long time, including the ability to separate apps from the forum module. Let's say you've got your forum at forum . site . com -- I'm not really sure how you'd be able to manage putting Pages in the root while you could do so if you put IP.Content / IP.C 3 in the root directory and have satisfied both issues. Not sure what can be done at this late date, will await to hear.
I also preferred this approach and expected that you'd be able to access a module/app from any subdomain simply by putting in an index.php which would do no more than pull information from the database and display it in the location of the index. Apparently the design is subdirectory only. Also wonder about what it means regarding other design dependencies even if a hack could technically get it to work.