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 Post subject: A Joomla Ideas Forum?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:09 am 
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Hi All

We're considering opening up an Ideas Forum here on forum.joomla.org.

This would be modeled after the Wordpress ideas forum but only loosely: http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/

Ours would be more community-focused. It wouldn't accept code ideas for Joomla 1.6, but it would accept ideas for use elsewhere in the Joomla project.

Ideas are easy. Anyone can say "someone should code a Joomla extension that makes my coffee and brushes my teeth in the morning" or "you guys should design this huge addition to joomla.org".

Starting ideas is also easy. We've seen lots of people start ambitious projects but not carry them through to completion.

What we're really looking for is ideas plus the willingness to carry them all the way to the finish line. We're looking for ideas you're willing to help propose, plan, start and complete. So we'd ask people to post in this way:

1. My idea is ..
2. I can help make this happen by ...

Thoughts? Suggestions? Should we run this for an initial month and see what kind of suggestions and more importantly results we get out of it?

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Last edited by alledia on Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:28 am 
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Hello !

great Idea I see many developer that are already thinking of J 2.0 what it should look like,this would be great for brain storming ideas.

Pierre

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:37 am 
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alledia wrote:
What we're really looking for is ideas plus the willingness to put them into action. We're looking for ideas you're willing to help propose, plan, start and finish. So we'd ask people to post in this way:

1. My idea is ..
2. I can help make this happen by ...


So your idea is to have this board, but then I miss point 2 in your post ;)

No seriously, a good idea. Also a nice place for "philosophers" to meet techs. Count me in.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:45 am 
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While I believe that this is something that could be of value to the community, a lot of emphasis needs to be put on that second part if it's going to be successful. A modification to this that could be more efficient is if the ideas were made into a team building discussion thread. Someone posts an idea that they want to implement or would like to help others get started, people chime in with their thoughts and certain people volunteer for certain tasks, and then it actually gets done, rather than waiting for more ideas and discussions to medify the original.

If someone submits an idea and they have the [drive] to see it through, then give them the support (encouragement) they need to get started, and then let them go. I really like your words here to try this for a month and then decide whether or not to keep it. In the same way, let people just try things out on a smaller scale and if it works, make modifications where necessary and keep going. If not, then by using an idea forum like the one you are proposing, the volunteers will always have something else that they can move onto next.

What would be bad is to have an idea forum and then no action taken. Or, too many people taking action on too many things and not working together on the whole picture. But we won't know if either of those things is going to happen until we try. So I say just do it and make the modifications as necessary.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:09 am 
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I have been thinking about such things, and see this opportunity to explain some things as I imagine them working.

A forum is ok for gathering the ideas, voting, discussing, but the question I feel is most important is how does the idea go from there, to the next phase?

We have hundreds (thousands really) of qualified developers out there. I think we ought to look into the possibility of creating a component that can help facilitate this rather than a forum.

Think about a service like Uservoice, which enables the basic forum features, but allows things to be accepted, assigned, given progress updates, etc. A program like that would no doubt provide a huge boost to the overall flow of ideas to production. I could see this being the method rather than white papers, but not all ideas have to be so formally presented.

The program should have an area where users can volunteer for tasks, and those tasks can be coordinated through various people if necessary. If someone thinks the default set of images with Joomla needs updated, perhaps a photographer would be willing to share some of their images since they built their website with Joomla. It can be that basic, but the core concept is that people should be able to volunteer for items.

That is where I think it should go, and there are many components already that can do something similar, and with a little tweaking could be a great idea management tool.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:56 am 
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jeremywilken wrote:

Think about a service like Uservoice, which enables the basic forum features, but allows things to be accepted, assigned, given progress updates, etc. A program like that would no doubt provide a huge boost to the overall flow of ideas to production. I could see this being the method rather than white papers, but not all ideas have to be so formally presented.


We already have a UserVoice account: http://joomla.uservoice.com/forums/11507-general

(Though not used that much.)

Might be pretty cool to "engage" this account and some structure/mix between this new forum idea.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:46 am 
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I'd go for a uservoice based system as I think it's the most appropriate workflow for a concept like this

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:30 am 
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Boy you guys are great. All I could do was show my (lack of) humor... and I only wanted to give a vote of confidence to the idea.

While you guys get down to business straight away.

I see only posters which already earned my respect from the quality of earlier posts and solutions I came across... and perhaps a few (posters) I hadn't encountered before.

Or metaphorically using the words of Brian Burns
"I listened to the songs [posters] I knew and a few I’d never heard,
and as my heroes sang for me that night, I hung on every word."

(Pity I couldn't find this on [youtube] - and sorry for off-topic comments or not contributing that much relevant ideas)

Thanks guys

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:01 am 
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Agree with Brian & Jeremy about Uservoice.. Would also suggest having a new twitter hashtag .. something like #JIdeas & have an idea marathon every now & then..

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:02 pm 
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Thanks for the positive feedback, all.

Uservoice is definitely a plan if things well.

Timothy summed by our initial thoughts nicely ... start small for a short period of time, iron out the kinks and make sure we can deliver with end results. If that goes well, we can then think about more sophisticated solutions.

The key problem at the moment is that both groups in the project are a little gun shy.

- the Joomla team are nervous because they've taken their time and energy to help people start ambitious projects only to see no end result.
- the community are nervous because they've put forward ideas but not seen the path to have them adopted.

Hopefully by starting small we can reassure both. We can make sure that realistic ideas get put on the right path and then get completed.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:24 pm 
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I think that I am a perfect example of somebody who has gotten excited about working on something for the community, gotten the team to support me, and then backed out. Joomla Resources was originally something I had been working on for Brad at the beginning of 2008, I've been on the JED team twice and even tried doing some documentation work (and you can see I still hold my moderator title here on the forum).

Now that I've ruined my credibility for this discussion, I can explain why, first-hand, people get ambitious and then back away (much to the dissappointment of the main team).

When we have a ton of things that need to get done, and someone comes in to offer to help, they are immediately placed in a position where they can do the work that is asked of them. However, this is not the work that they necessarily want to do (or even subconciously know that they don't want to do it).

Then they get burnt out, and discouraged to try again. I tried so many different things and disappointed so many people, that I finally just said I was going to stop until 1. I had more to offer and 2. I knew what I would do best.

I say all of that to say this; having an idea forum that is properly managed (meaning they get involved) will open up dozens of options for someone like me that couldn't make up their minds what they could or should do.

With the forum, though, and eventually uservoice, we need someone who can monitor those members who are trying to do too much (keep them from burning out early), monitor the idea 'leaders' to see if they are following through on the things they've posted, and check to make sure people who really are positioned to get their work done have the resources, team and connections with the right leaders to keep going.

The person monitoring this will have to be more of a leader than just a coder or 'do-er'. They'll need to watch habits and make sure people aren't going down a path towards secluding themselves from the community.

That's just my humble (and long) opinion, though.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:47 pm 
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Steve (et. al.) - This might be a concept to integrate into the upcoming Social branch/arm of the project. (See discussion here: http://groups.google.com/group/joomla-w ... e7d?hl=en# )

I know there is an extension for a replication of UserVoice built on J - maybe reaching out to the dev there it could be "tweaked" a bit for this use.

timothy.stiffler, I believe Wendy and others are working on a volunteer program/administration to help solve the exact things you mention there. As I understand it, the goal is to help put the right people in the right volunteer spots and encourage others to volunteer as well. A easier "path to contribute", per se.

Just ideas :pop

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:59 pm 
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timothy.stiffler wrote:
Now that I've ruined my credibility for this discussion


If I'd literally translate a Dutch proverb it would be something like "modesty decorates (enhances?) man" but that's bound to be pigeon English. I'm sure you catch my drift. Your post was one of those that I for one did value very much. Good points and well phrased.

timothy.stiffler wrote:
The person monitoring this will have to be more of a leader than just a coder or 'do-er'.


It takes all kind of people to make a community. Just like out IRL. It only takes one common goal, some commitment and perhaps a bit of 'glue' to get results.

I think the real pitfalls are indeed people getting overly enthusiastic but then getting little praise or cooperation where their specific tech/non-tech knowledge lacks. Or indeed being seated (by others) in the wrong chair.

Of course there may also be plenty of volunteers that start something and having plenty of time to spare they're here every evening... untill boy meets girls, they have a baby, start a new business or job or whatever else and then their priorities shift. Well, that's volunteers versus the daytime job... right?

Another thing one might be afraid of is people keeping the best ideas for themselves cause then they can sell it

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:41 pm 
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I have been trying a few different systems for suggestion and there are good and bad things for all of them.

One that has not been mentioned here (maybe not too many Kubuntu/KDE users here?) is the system that KDE uses. The have a Brainstorm part of their forum with some extra functionality built in. Take a look here:

http://forum.kde.org/

Apart from being a very good looking forum, the functions in the Brainstorming part makes it a good tool for discussing new ideas, showing you support it by voting and the people managing the ideas are able to organize them into categories that tell people what will happen to these ideas.

As both Joomla and KDE uses phpBB, it might be an idea to look closer at it and talk to the KDE people to hear if it is possible to get it implemented here.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:51 pm 
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theLoneDeranger wrote:
If I'd literally translate a Dutch proverb it would be something like "modesty decorates (enhances?) man" but that's bound to be pigeon English. I'm sure you catch my drift. Your post was one of those that I for one did value very much. Good points and well phrased.


Well thanks. :)

It seems that there is a lot more going on in the community that I am unaware of (like Wendy and others pursuing what I describe in another place). If you are looking for an idea forum for people JUST to post ideas and not actually discuss the ways to implement them, then I think I misunderstood.

Either way, it just needs to be done and actively used/promoted by the people involved. UserVoice would be perfect for this, but it's been lost to the vastness of the community sites. Let's give it, and everything else that we think is important, a bit more life and energy.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:52 pm 
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You're welcome Timothy

Alledia (et al)

alledia wrote:
Ours would be more community-focused.


And on this

alledia wrote:
1. My idea is ..
2. I can help make this happen by ...


What ground rules are there on licensing, seeking commercial exploit and such. And when does someone have a valid claim to "own an idea". Just by posting the idea??? Or by the amount of work?? And how do you measure that?

Is it okay to start an idea with not only points 1 and 2 but also 3 for intentions such as
3a. I intend to build forth, combine or extend existing things (in which case there already is a license)
3b. I intend to release this result of this idea as GNU-GPL and seek non-commercial partners
3c. I intend to exploit this commercially and seek commercial partners
3d. I intend to release for free but am open to commercial "adoption"

Of course, enhancing core things and "feature requests" for already released things, there is most likely already a license... But for new things, built from scratch, well that's different I quess

As long as something is new and it is still in the makings, I personally think it is okay to also have commercial ideas and intentions. As long as your open about it - up front!!

Are there any ground rules on this? Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:58 pm 
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Thanks for all your ideas guys

@theLoneDeranger this won't really (at least initially) be the place to develop extensions. We're mainly looking for ways to develop the community and then expanding out from there if things work well. However, we probably won't see too many rules. We'll see where you guys lead us.

@timothy.stiffler I'm happy to play the role of facilitator if need be.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Hi Guys

We've been able to get the ideas forum up and running.

We'd love to discuss your ideas and see them to come to fruition: viewforum.php?f=575

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 1:47 pm 
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I think this idea is great as well. I've been trying to contribute to Joomla as a non-coder by being active on the (Swedish) forum, but would like to contribute in some other way now.

But I don't understand why ideas for Joomla 1.6 isn't acceptable? I think this seems to be very unflexible, and I don't understand why good ideas would be possible to implement in this stage, when not even the beta version is released. Why not add new good ideas all the time, and not just every 1.5-2 years, when a "whole new" version get released?

I tried to contribute before, but my ideas were left uncommented and only sent to an archive:



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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 2:41 pm 
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Hi Felham

Glad you're willing to help. We simply have a different place for code discussions: http://groups.google.com/group/joomla-dev-cms

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:32 pm 
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I think an ideas forum is a good, um, ...idea!! Although it could get pretty cluttered. How to categorize the ideas is the question: dog training ideas, space travel ideas.

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