The Site Features Queue board has been set up to share information with the Community about most, but not all, work that is being conducted by the Staff behind the scenes, and to allow the Community to be involved in some of the feature discussions.
Previously, to keep the Community informed on Staff discussions or Devs features, a list was posted on the Site Suggestions board. However, a list has proved inefficient, and is time consuming to maintain. The SFQ board will make it easier for the Staff to keep the Community updated, while also providing a significant amount more information than can be shown in a list. Further, the Community will now be able to participate in discussions at certain stages.
Before explaining how the SFQ board will work, it is important to understand how the Staff Features Dashboard and the lightbulb system worked until the release of the SFQ Board.
<font size="2">Features Dashboard</font> The Features Dashboard (FD) is one of many Staff boards, and is specifically the place where Staff post requests for features which would require coding by Developers. There are three reasons a thread is created on the FD.
• A Member posts a thread on the Site Support board, or contacts the Staff via private thread, to report a problem with either the site or a feature on the site. A member of Staff then creates a thread for the fix on the FD.
• A Member posts a thread on the Site Suggestions board, or contacts the Staff via private thread, to suggest a new feature or to suggest an amendment to an existing feature. The member of Staff then creates a thread for discussion of the idea on the FD.
• A Staff member discovers a problem, or thinks of a feature idea, and creates a thread directly on the FD. It is these idea threads that the Community never see, nor have the opportunity to discuss.
<font size="2">Lightbulb System</font> The lightbulb system was created in 2014. The idea was that whenever a thread posted on the Site Suggestions or the Site Support board led to a new thread on the FD, the two threads were linked by adding in the public thread ID number to the FD thread. Once linked, the thread on the Site Suggestions or Site Support board showed a lightbulb. More recently, threads have been linked even in cases where the idea or bug fix thread already existed on the FD prior to a thread appearing on the Site Suggestions or Site Support boards.
The advantages of linking threads was that the threads on Site Suggestions and Site Support didn't get archived. and the lightbulb showing to the Community changed colour to show the progress of the idea on the FD. So, as the FD thread progressed through to development or rejection the lightbulb changed colour and thus the Community were kept informed. However, this worked only for the handful of threads on the Site Suggestions and Site Support board that were linked to FD threads. For the FD threads originating from Staff ideas the Community had to rely on an infrequently updated list.
The SFQ board utilises the advantages of the features and systems already in place, without the disadvantages we've experienced until now.
The idea behind the SFQ board is to create one thread for every thread on the FD. This means that every thread on the SFQ board has a lightbulb, and the first post of each thread on the SFQ board contains some information about the feature or fix. If anything is confidential, there is still a thread for it on the SFQ board, but the first post simply states that the item is confidential, a bug, or a fix. The reason for posting these threads without information is so that the Community can see the threads and the lightbulbs and know that work is being done even if the work isn't obvious or details divulged.
<font size="2">Understanding and Using the Site Features Queue Board</font> • Admins are the only user group that may create threads on this board, however threads made by any user group can be moved to this board.
• We've chosen to use the Staff test account of ACC to create the threads. It means that the board looks more uniform and the eye isn't drawn away by names, or badges. Instead the focus is on the subject of the threads.
• The SFQ board aims to contain a thread for every active discussion or work thread on the FD, but at any time there will likely always be some threads yet to be added.
• The inactive threads on the FD are the ones on the Rejected tab. We've chosen to show you only some of the rejected ideas so that you all know not to suggest the idea again - unless there is a significant reason that would make the idea feasible. Some Rejected threads were deliberately omitted from the SFQ board as they aren't relevant. These include duplicate threads or threads for ideas that are no longer required. An example of an idea no longer required is to add a board for Keyboard Art shops. Such a board is no longer relevant because Keyboard Art Shops can operate on the Shops and Services board.
• All of the SFQ threads have prefixes such as [Bell Shop], [Staff], and [Bug]. We may or may not add more prefixes, or change existing ones. These prefixes give everyone an easy way to identify some features. Later there will be a feature which allows everyone to organise threads on a board in different ways. When that feature is live it will be easier for Members to view threads in groups according to the pre-fixes.
• Where possible, in every thread on the SFQ we have given credit to the person who suggested the idea and the date it was suggested. Some of you may discover that an idea has been credited to someone else, and yet you had suggested the idea yourself some years earlier. Please remember that the FD was broken for a few years and your thread may have appeared on one of the SS boards at that time. It is impossible for us to look through every board and every archived thread, so please don't get irate if you've not been credited. Instead, please get involved in the discussion threads and focus on helping us to develop the idea further.
• Members should continue to use the Site Suggestions or Site Support as normal. If any of the threads on the SS boards need to be added to the FD by the Staff, a sister thread will be created by a Modmin on the SFQ board and the SS thread will be locked by the same Modmin. When locking a SS board thread we will also post a link to the SFQ thread.
• The reason for Modmins controlling all the SFQ board threads is to ensure that, as the feature idea develops, Modmins can continuously update and edit the first post with details for the Community. If we moved threads made by Members to this board we would need to constantly show red, unsightly Modmin edits every time an idea is updated.
• If you flag this board, please note that threads are moved to the SFQ board, not created on it. Therefore, no alert is generated for new threads to the board. There is a feature in queue to correct that at a later time. For now, please subscribe to the Site Features Queue thread on the ACC Noticeboard. Modmins will post there when new threads are added to the SFQ board.
• The SFQ board is likely to be a temporary board, and will either be upgraded or replaced in ACC 2.0, depending on how well it functions until then. While the SFQ board exists, board rules and guidelines may change as collaboration between the Staff and the Community evolves.
• Although threads cannot be created on the SFQ board by members, we welcome posts by members but only on certain threads. Please ensure you have read and understood the section on Lightbulb Colours because members shouldn't post in some threads. We have created this board for the Community with trust that you will respect our guidelines. Please DO NOT POST on threads with PURPLE and BLUE lightbulbs, and follow the rules for posting on all other threads. Please be advised that posts may be deleted if they do not follow the guidelines, and regular posting on threads in development or testing may lead to us Admin-Locking those threads and issuing notifications.
<font size="2">Lightbulb Colours</font> Since the idea of the SFQ board is to keep the Community informed and involved, we encourage everyone to participate in the development of ideas. In order to do this effectively we've changed the lightbulb colours so that it is easier for the Community to view which idea threads are open to further definition. This is because you should NOT post in certain threads.
As threads progress through the FD, the Community will see the lightbulbs on the SFQ board change colour. We've used the same colour for more than one status, so if you wish to know the status of a particular idea you need only to hover over the lightbulb to see the status message. Please see below for a detailed explanation of threads in which you should and shouldn't post.
The colours, the status, the hover message and when to get involved are as follows:
<font size="2">Yellow Lightbulb</font> Threads marked by yellow lightbulbs show which features are either in discussion, or are in voting so that they can be prioritised for development. After the Bell Shop we are hoping to give the Community the ability to vote on the ideas on the SFQ board to help us provide a more balanced work list. For now, voting and prioritisation of ideas is restricted to the Staff. The Community should feel free to post on threads with yellow lightbulbs, and help further define the ideas.
<font size="2">Green Lightbulb</font> Threads marked by green lightbulbs show which features have either been accepted for development or have progressed to the Dev Work List ready to be picked up by available Devs. The Community should feel free to post on threads with green lightbulbs, and help finalise the ideas.
<font size="2">Purple Lightbulb</font> Threads marked by purple lightbulbs are already in development, or have been coded and are in one of three stages of testing. There is no more discussion at this stage, because there has to be a cut off point in order for a Dev to code the feature. Once the feature is released any person is welcome to suggest amendments as a new suggestion on the Site Suggestions board. Please do NOT post on threads with purple lightbulbs because it is almost always too late to add to the idea significantly.
<font size="2">Blue Lightbulb</font> Threads with blue lightbulbs show which features have recently been deployed to the live site. It is definitely too late to discuss these ideas or define the idea further, and these threads should be left to archive. Please do NOT post on threads with blue lightbulbs. If you think that deployed features need improvements, or have bugs, you should create a new thread for each feature or bug report on the Site Suggestions or Site Support board respectively.
<font size="2">Red Lightbulb</font> Threads with red lightbulbs show which ideas have been rejected, and they will remain on the SFQ board to show why the ideas weren't feasible, relevant, or desired. You should post on these threads only if you can demonstrate that the idea could work differently. Please read the threads thoroughly before posting on them.
We hope you enjoy this new board, and we look forward to your participation in the discussion threads. If you have any questions about using this board please use the SFQ Board - Questions & Answers thread, and a Modmin will endeavour to help you.
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult ~ Cherbear
If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there ~Carroll