Changing the policy on giving out information on the big milestone Bukkit updates

Discussion in 'Bukkit Discussion' started by pilvimaa, Oct 27, 2013.

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    I would like to make a serious suggestion on changing the policy on giving out information on the big milestone Bukkit updates-in-progress (1.5, 1.6, 1.7 ...)

    1) Post a list of issues on the front page titled "stuff we need to do before 1.7.2 can be released."
    2) When you finish coding stuff cross that over from the list so everyone knows it's done.
    3) At the end of the post add "Bukkit 1.7.2 is xx% done."
    4) ??
    5) Profit!

    The list-of-things-to-do and the "% done" would be - of course - inaccurate as the first 95% could take a day or two and the last 5% could take a week. But it doesn't really matter.

    This would greatly ease people's minds and take only a few minutes of the developers time every now and then. It would be worth it in my experience. I know many people are of the school of thought that think that the time would be "better spend coding than posting" - but I completely disagree with that mentality. The benefit to everyone would be much greater from getting this information out there than the few hours - or even days - of development time lost on writing and updating a forum post.

    It's all about appearances. People stay happy when they feel they can take a peep at "hey, I wonder what's going on with the Bukkit update?" - even if that information is inaccurate. It doesn't matter. What matters is the effort being made to include your users in this great experience that is Bukkit.

    Now it's more of a ... "keep your mouth shut, bite your thumb and wait patiently... or else" approach which only begs more questions and gives forum moderators gray hairs.

    Every project that posts their progress and problems in the open makes me feel really good about the project. It's something that is important. It's kike reading a newspaper - you want to take a look at things that interest and matter to you every now and then. It makes you feel like you are a part of the progress.

    So don't shut the gate. Keep it open. Include us - your users - in the progress. It makes people feel good and gives out a very positive appearance about the project.

    Thanks for listening.

    A Minecraft server owner,
    tyzoid, baem, theearlypc423 and 4 others like this.
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    Gravity Retired Staff

    I've moved this post to its own discussion topic pilvimaa
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    I was wondering where it went. Thank you :)
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    Milestone thingy will greatly reduce number of posts about latest release
    russjr08 and Jozeth like this.
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    This is already possible as they do use jira. I remember that they had activated agile a while ago.

    As for showing percentages: This would require that someone has an exact overview about "what to do". I simply do not believe that that person exists nor that there is a level of management used for coordinating tasks".

    Whats done is beeing done. And when they feel "this version is stable and good to use and also contains almost everything that vanilla vX has" they release it.

    Otherwise a commit will be created resulting having a dev or beta release.

    Regarding "this would greatly reduce number of posts about latest release". I do not believe that either. There are always people who simply ask first before thinking. Storming the chat when minecraft _just_ released a new version asking "hey bukkit where is your release. Is it ready yet?"

    As for monitoring - checkout -> Alternate versions
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    Well, at least some of them will see the post at the main page before heading to the forum? :confused:
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    tommy210 i really hope that. Don't get me wrong i like the idea behind it but would require a community and project manager. As this would be a full time job who is gonna pay him?
    tommy210 likes this.
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    Lolmewn Retired Staff

    I remember from back in the day when Dinnerbone used to update Bukkit, he always had this spreadsheet with classes and whether or not he was done with fixing them up. Oh the good ol' days ^^
    Jobsti and obscurehero like this.
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    TnT Retired Staff

    It was wildly inaccurate and never showed the progress adequately. I remember those same days when that sheet would pause at a percentage, and people would start getting really mad because they thought work stopped being done. It caused more people to be posting and more questions than what we currently have. What starts to happen is people then question our abilities to handle certain tasks. "Why are you stuck doing X? Show me the code, I'll do it!" which does nothing but demoralize the team, and either side track them answering those questions, or ignoring them and having the community get further enraged. We also got more questions about "Is the new release out yet?" than we do now.

    There is no progress indicator that would make people happy, and none that could possibly be accurate.
    Jade, gomeow, drtshock and 3 others like this.
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    I see a few problems in the current system of customer service policies from the Bukkit Team.

    You speak about the "enraged community" and you are talking about the mass of folks who are in the lime light simply because they are making fools of themselves getting up in arms about the updates not coming out the second Mojang drops a broken update in our laps.These are the kids who are haphazardly running servers with no real idea what they are doing and how these things work.

    There is actually a large portion of your consumer base that gets completely ignored in these situations. There are many of us, serer owners, who are sitting quietly on the sidelines waiting as patiently as possible. Checking the Bukkit pages (website, twitter feeds, ect) ever few hours while fielding off our own mass of questions about "when will the server update". We understand that there is no real accurate way of keeping us updated. We understand that coding for this game is ever changing and often filled with challenges to overcome. We know that Mojang tends to throw multiple updates out rapidly while they work out their own bugs and that you are at the mercy of the system. A good server owner also knows, weather they can code or not, that in the process of what you work on unexpected problems can pop up at any point in time and are often unavoidable.

    The OP is not asking for a lot. Just a small bump towards better customer service. It is really a shame that there isn't a real competitor for Bukkit. Something that would force positive changes in this field. It is human nature to take things for granted when you don't have something spurring you to be better. I hear you saying that you aren't going to post updates because you don't want more of these kids up in arms over slow progress and bumps in the road. You are punishing your loyal and supportive consumers so that you don't have to deal with (or simply ignore) some kids who will run their servers for a few weeks then move onto something else.

    We don't need much to keep us happy. A simple tweet at the end of a work day saying something like "made good progress today." or "ran into a bump today with x y or z, going to get it worked out tomorrow."

    A front page post of the website stating team goals for an update would be spectacular. Even if they are generalized goals, even if don't necessarily always meet them world be better for us than sitting in the dark, tapping our fingers and telling our players we have no idea.
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    Is anyone actually even working on this update?

    It's like a big black hole of mystery at the moment. Pretty obvious everyone here is wanting some form of news, and seeing as threads get closed seems to be the community shooting itself in the foot hiding from the obvious.

    *Expects a warning for asking this, but risking it anyway*
    maddyn99 likes this.
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    Dumb question. Of course they are. I think they're of the mind that any information will feed the fire of impatient people waiting for the update.

    By putting a moratorium on all update discussion, they've made it so that they don't get annoyed and everyone else learns to live with their impatience. I'd like a progress update indicator, but then again, letting it come out whenever is also kind of a fun surprise.

    It's all in how you look at it.
    russjr08 likes this.
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    TnT Retired Staff

    We cannot dismiss one group of our diverse community so easily. To do so would be bad customer service. We take all feedback and ensure we consider it carefully.

    No one is being punished by not providing wildly inaccurate ETAs. Providing wildly inaccurate ETAs (which is the only ETA possible) causes more harm than good. There can be no accuracy in any ETA, and we do not want to rush something to meet an ETA.

    We tried that. Instead of only getting questions like "When will you have a release out" we got "What! You said "made good progress today" yesterday! We need more detailed progress." It eventually got to the point where our team spent more time responding to questions than working on the update. Not to mention when we stated "ran into a bump today with x y or z, going to get it worked out tomorrow." we got in response "Why are you not working on it 24x7? You should work on it until it is finished!" or "What does that mean in terms of progress? How far along are you? When will you have a release out? Today? Tomorrow?"

    Every status we provided ensured we would get more questions, not fewer. We are working on it. We've worked on a release every time Mojang releases a new build. There is no status we can give that will make anyone happy. You want this kind of status, someone else wants another, etc, etc etc. It never ends. Waiting patiently is all we ask from anyone, because it allows us to handle the update without interruption. You may disagree with it, but it is what works best for our team. Anyone is more than welcome to compete with Bukkit, but I imagine there are few people out there that willingly pour all their free time into a project and expect nothing but a little patience when updates come around.
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    But you honestly don't believe there could be a happy middle ground between answering every question you receive and a complete information black out?
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    Well to be honest my opinion is giving ETA(S) which are almost impossible to miss like ones within a week as the time frame or things like that. But yeah I can see what you wouldn't like about one day ETAs that get missed and people go crazy.
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    See, this is what really gets to me:

    You don't take all feedback, you lock threads as soon as you see them. If you really respected community opinion, you'd be happy to tell people over and over that it's being worked on, or at least get an announcement out.

    That's not the issue here. Currently there is NO announcements on anything, like the update didn't come out.

    Right, so you take the idiocies of few to punish the rest of the community.

    Then why isn't this sentence right here announced?

    As a server owner, this update process is infuriating, and has been for 2 years, and is dreaded every time it comes around. We lose players, reputation, time and effort while people, including ourselves, are kept in the dark. I'm tired of hearing this "They work for free" thing over and over as a scapegoat, THEY CHOOSE TO DO THIS, and considering we run our servers for free yet are able to spend 20 seconds out of our working day to provide an update to our community to let them know we have no idea what's going on, I still don't understand why it's the hardest thing in the world to tell everyone it's being worked on instead of making them assume.

    I appreciate the work that's being done, but I think the way that it's handled is bad, and as I said on another Forum, if you think the impatience of server owners is bad, think of all the people playing this game waiting for their favourite servers to update, begging their owners. We're having to go through this too, not just you.
    X_angelz_X and maddyn99 like this.
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    Letting your exasperation show isn't going to help the situation. Remember, we are all in the same boat.

    As far as the "they do this for free" comment. Its not very accurate. They run a lot of adds on the website, they take donations and working for the Bukkit Team has placed then in the sight of Mojang and, I believe, a few have received actual jobs.

    So you are partially correct in saying that the "we do this without compensation" argument does not fly. But it also isn't the whole picture. They do choose to do this. They do a wonderful job. We do need to respect them for that.
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    I agree. People who go crazy because they cant wait should be banned from the forums, but I think they should take the time to just atleast tell us it is being worked on instead of using the time they could have told us to lock threads and tell us why they wont tell us. Waste of time and poor management in my opinion.
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    TnT Retired Staff

    No, we have tried multiple approaches, none make any difference in the bombardment of questions. This approach only results in people being upset about not having an ETA, but our developers. Any questions being asked get asked here, where our community of moderators field the questions. These are different people than those working on the update.
    If I said the ETA was a month, would that make you feel better?
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    Ehh it might make me feel a bit better than having not been told anything. Because right now who knows how long it could be. a seccond? a minute? an hour? a day? a week? a month? a year? a decade? Really that's pretty much how I think of it as. And read it closer what you should have said was within a month*
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    TnT Retired Staff

    That would only beg more questions. We state its being worked on then we get people upset we didn't provide an ETA.

    We have updated CraftBukkit on every single Mojang update since Bukkit has been created. What makes you think this one is different? We have made no announcement stating we've stopped working on this project.

    Again, no one is being punished.

    Its implied. See my statement above.

    This is how it has always been. I run a server myself, I know it is tough to wait for an update, however, that is the deal I signed up for when I chose to start a server. Since we always have been working on updates since the formation of Bukkit, the only announcement needed would be the one that states we're no longer updating.

    See my previous statements. Now with the new Minecraft launcher, it is really easy to stick on the old versions of Minecraft and encourage your players to be patient.

    You know what would happen? We'd have people complaining if we released it earlier. We are in a no win situation. Nothing we say makes anyone happy, so we just spend the time productively working on the update.
    drtshock and inventorman101 like this.
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    I do have a great question for you anyways. Since moderators comment about the release stuff and they don't really have anything to do with the coding behind the project what's the list of usernames working on the project? Because what I noticed is the updates always release when evilseph and mbaxter are online.

    Also I don't know if it's because there are a lot more younger kids using bukkit or what, but i've noticed other external projects like spigot don't have as many people bitching about the updates. Bukkit attracts little kids because it is easy for them. Make it so complex they all run off and leave the more experienced people.
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    Forget it, no point trying to reason with someone who doesn't look at the bigger picture.

    Seems the fanboys here agree with anything he says anyway.

    I'll just continue using the version of bukkit beginning with S, at least they're trying to keep everyone updated.
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    TnT Retired Staff

    The ads go toward Curse for maintaining out infrastructure. We do this entirely without compensation.
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    Exactly and they gave an eta. Most people over here on bukkit don't do that. And look at their forums they gave the eta stuff and nobody has been fighting about 1.7 and all that over there. Forums look like normal to me.
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    TnT Retired Staff

    I've seen what they're going through - its worse than our forums. They're getting flooded with requests on IRC, and can't possibly give an ETA because they rely entirely on us to do the updates. However, this is derailing the topic, we're not here to discuss which project you like best, the question was about our policies, and I have answered those questions.
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    Wow you are really a two sided person. At first you talked about how giving an ETA makes people crazy and now you are saying they aren't and people are going crazy. Just admit it you don't know the time it will be but you can at least tell people that it's being worked on so we can calm down and focus in other things other than painfully waiting for something that you know might not happen. And how about I make it simple if it's a yes you are working post the letter y and if not post the letter n. Simple!
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    TnT Retired Staff

    This should go without saying. Its the entire reason this project exists after all.
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    To make people have pain from waiting, that's what bukkit is about? But I already have an answer to that question because when you are on the forums you aren't in eclipse. Pretty obvious. So pretty much i'm not going to respond one more time to this thread because I already have my answer to the question if I get a post or not.
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    You guys are being silly now. This thread was never about having them tell us they are working on the project. Of course we know they are working on it. We don't need them to tell us that. We also have no need of any kind of ETA. That is asking to much.

    None of that would be helpful to anyone. ETAs would be inaccurate and cause problems. We don't need them to confirm what we already know.

    All we really need is someone to pass on an occasional and small update report as time goes on. Its a small thing to ask, that would take someone a few minutes of their day.

    I only mentioned that I wished Bukkit had a competitor because I think we can really only be our best when we have something to strive for. The other group mentioned here, from my understanding, doesn't seem to be a competitor. They seem to take your product, make a few adjustments and release it as their own.

    I am not a tech person, but I have great respect for people who can (in my eyes) create the magic that is MC and its mods/plugins. If that makes me a "fanboy" I guess I'll have to say I'm proud to be so. But I will also state what I think could help improve the experience for everyone.
    tyzoid and mkremins like this.
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