Out with the new, in with the old!

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Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Rachael » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:19 pm

As some of you have already noticed, we've gone back to using the forums for bug tracking.

User engagement was not especially impressive on Mantis - we'd often have cases where a user would hit-and-run, where they'd post their suggestions and never check back for feedback. In some cases this feedback was crucial to fixes or implementation. This became enough of a problem that we've decided to migrate back to the forums. We're going back to a tried and true method of bug tracking.

I've gone ahead and (manually) reposted every remaining open issue on the tracker, trying as much as possible to retain accuracy and ensure that no information was lost. The old tracker will, for now, remain as it is in a read-only state, for posterity and historical purposes, but it may be removed later on down the line if the site changes hosts or starts needing upgrades that it is incompatible with.

If I made any mistakes in reposting everyone's posts, please report the post in question (or edit it yourself if you have access to it) to fix it. If I added a Mantis link to your post, retaining it will definitely be helpful for developers.

Also - I didn't bother fixing timestamps with the newly created threads. That would take way too much time. So everyone will see them as "new topics" for now. Sorry about that.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby leodoom85 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:45 pm

So, this is a temporary measure, right?
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Rachael » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:58 pm

After all the work I did into putting those topics in place, I sure hope not!
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby GFD » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:08 pm

Jesus chrimbus, you did it all manually?? I was hoping you were using a script with intentional delays. Your efforts are appreciated!

As an aside, I noticed that the code blocks act differently between Chrome on Windows and Chrome on Android, for some reason. With the former, the code blocks properly implement word wrapping, but with the latter, I have to scroll horizontally within the code block in order to read text that extends beyond the visible boundaries of it. This makes most of these posts really difficult to read on mobile. Not really an issue for me, as I prefer to read the forums from my PC anyway, but I thought I'd mention it in case it happens to be an easy fix.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Rachael » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:24 pm

That may well be intentional on Chrome's part - smaller screen and all. Unfortunately it may also be an issue with phpBB. 3.0 isn't "responsive" in design per se (it was launched before smart phones really got popular) but as far as I remember it does have occasional responsive elements.

GFD wrote:Jesus chrimbus, you did it all manually?? I was hoping you were using a script with intentional delays. Your efforts are appreciated!

Thanks.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Kinsie » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:09 pm

It may be worth making this devblog post, or something similar, a sticky in the Bugs subforum.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Dark-Assassin » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:13 pm

I was wondering why I saw a huge list of tracker tickets in the New Posts feed.

It eventually became more successful on Zandronum, mainly because they decided to never go back to the forums. If nobody replied, the ticket would stay open for a long while until closed for inactivity, mainly feature related. The post and forget method lead to nothing happening, unless others showed interest or was a common enough bug.

Eh, either way, so many people don't really like change.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Rachael » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:23 pm

Well I certainly am not going back and forth especially after spending hours on transferring active tickets. The forum works well enough for our needs for now so that's what'll stick.

The thing is having it on the forum is just so much more convenient, anyway.

If you did a poll, whether people preferred forum or trackers, I am sure there would be a lot of tracker folks, but the majority will vote for whatever is simplest at the time - and in this case it happens to be the forum - if Mantis had a lot less fields to fill in, and had been around since the very beginning, there'd probably be a lot more tracker votes.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Graf Zahl » Mon May 01, 2017 3:12 am

Mantis didn't work out as expected. That became apparent very shortly after the migration. We tried for 3 more months but user engagement remained low, in most cases only the reporter and some seasoned veteran users commenting on the reports. This often led to a profound lack of feedback and some things put on hold because we had no idea how to deal with them.

With the forum we never had that problem - the only issue was that Randi mostly ignored the feature suggestions so they just accumulated. We now have subcategories and I think with suggestions put on hold we can do some evaluation on occasion to see which ones can be closed because the chance of seeing them done is too slim.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Enjay » Mon May 01, 2017 4:26 am

Rachael wrote:I've gone ahead and (manually) reposted every remaining open issue on the tracker

Even though I'd gone to bed, I was watching it happen (especially as my 'phone pinged every time one of my reports got moved). It was clearly a slow, probably painfully frustrating, major task that took hours. When I saw you saying that you were going to transfer stuff, I too assumed that some automation would be involved. Thanks very much for doing this. Here's hoping people go back to engaging more fully with the bug/suggestion process again.

[edit] I guess that the 'Bugs and Suggestions' links on the DRD forum for GZDoom and QZDoom should probably be changed to link elsewhere now (presumably to the bugs sub-forum here?) [/edit]
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Rachael » Mon May 01, 2017 7:50 am

Enjay wrote:[edit] I guess that the 'Bugs and Suggestions' links on the DRD forum for GZDoom and QZDoom should probably be changed to link elsewhere now (presumably to the bugs sub-forum here?) [/edit]

They should, now - even if you get a crash report on GZDoom clicking the link should point you to the bugs forum here.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Rachael » Mon May 01, 2017 8:22 am

Kinsie wrote:It may be worth making this devblog post, or something similar, a sticky in the Bugs subforum.

The thing is - both the devblog forum and the rules forum are full of posts with a wealth of helpful information - the problem is no one (unless they've been here a really long time) is ever going to read them all. Trying to sort out the best ones and deciding what to place there in a sticky and what not to is a bit of a challenge.

Nevertheless, I followed through with your suggestion and at least did that particular post.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Kinsie » Mon May 01, 2017 9:15 am

Also, heads-up. The "bugtracker" link in the header bar on the ZDoom website is still pointing at the Mantis.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby Xaser » Mon May 01, 2017 1:43 pm

@Kinsie: will fix tonight. Welp! :P

From my own perspective, Mantis was less user-friendly in one major regard: it lacked a clear concept of "here's what changed since you last visited," which the forum implicitly provides with Unread Posts. I've an unscientific hunch that this was at least partially responsible for the lack of user attention -- folks wouldn't know they had stuff to respond to unless they opted to use e-mail notifications (which, for folks like like me, always stay the heck off :P ).

At the end of the day, Mantis's biggest benefits would've been for the developers, and since their official verdict was that the cons outweighed the pros, I'd say this was a pretty clear decision.
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Re: Out with the new, in with the old!

Postby GFD » Mon May 01, 2017 2:03 pm

Xaser wrote:From my own perspective, Mantis was less user-friendly in one major regard: it lacked a clear concept of "here's what changed since you last visited," which the forum implicitly provides with Unread Posts.
I've also made this observation before, so I believe it's an important one. It certainly led to a lack of attention from me. I just kept up with development by reading the changelog, which is simple to use and informative, but not interactive.
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