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[All XDA Members] Feedback/Recommendations for XDA

OP Fallen Spartan

12th November 2012, 11:59 AM   |  #1  
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After reading a few threads and comments from our members I thought it may be worthwhile to create a Feedback, Recommendations or Idea's thread for XDA. We want to improve our forum for developers and the normal users. But remember, XDA is not a support site, it is aimed for developers and development.

So, rather than sending a PM to a Moderator, please feel free to leave any feedback or idea's you may have to improve XDA, so we can discuss them properly, openly, with the plan to hopefully implement the ideas which are good.

Remember though, it is not a thread for asking questions, reporting bugs, discussing the XDA app etc. It's sole purpose is to improve XDA and collect your thoughts and idea's.

We will all be monitoring this thread, and someone will hopefully reply without much delay.

Thanks

Rick
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EDIT - Can we please stop talking about the 10 post rule here. If you feel the need to discuss it, post here instead
Last edited by Fallen Spartan; 15th February 2013 at 09:50 AM.
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12th November 2012, 04:07 PM   |  #2  
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XDA-Developers needs to be more about developers
While I see that time and users have made XDA less about development and more about user support, I think XDA has gone too far in that direction.

Developers need a place to DISCUSS development.

The "General" subforums are too overwhelmed with threads like "Post pictures of your phone", "list of threads linked from other places" and other random "general user" stuff.

The "Q&A" subforums are now a place where moderators chase newbies to. The most technical question you might find in the Q&A section these days is "I just bricked my phone, what do I do?" (Usually, the answers are either making fun of the OP or telling him/her to search.)

The "Development" subforums, which seems like a logical place to discuss development, is now reserved for people to post finish products only and beg for donations - It's the XDA version of the "app store." There's no actual "development" discussion allowed.

Here's what we don't have anymore (but desperately need):

A place where a kernel developer could start a thread discussing the pitfalls of turning off processor cores on a particular device when the device is idle. That would likely lead into a discussion on possible ways to optimize the IN/OUT code for the cores, which would actually *gasp* promote development.

A place where a person might post a "HOW TO" document describing how to modify a stock firmware for a specific device to override carrier controlled lock downs. (For example, editing the CSC for a samsung device.)

A place for development related DISCUSSION - not just a subform for "I cobbled together mods I copied from other people into a so-called ROM and will now beg you to donate to me and press my "thanks" button."

XDA promotes itself as a DEVELOPERS FORUM. The definition of "forum" is "A meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged." Doesn't that seem to indicate that development related discussion would be encouraged here?

(continued...)

---------- Post added at 11:07 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:51 AM ----------

So, the obvious question about my post above is how do you moderate a "developers discussion" subforum?

I honestly don't see a problem with that. You make posting access to that subforum by request only. The access should be granted pretty freely but with a note reminding the user that any non-development discussions will result in loss of access to those subforums. Plain and simple. Any RD's or ERD's would automatically be given access without the need to post a request.

Only developers should moderate those subforums, as the fact is that XDA has some moderators that have no clue whatsoever what "development" is.

I'd even go so far as to suggest that XDA's ERDs would be given final say in moderating those subforums. Actually, it might be a good idea to give ERDs final say in moderating all the development related forums - including the existing so-called "development" and "original development" subforums.

...

I'll have one more post to discuss the current vagueness of the rules and the random enforcement of them...
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12th November 2012, 04:31 PM   |  #3  
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Gary, while I agree with many of your key points one I disagree with is that only elite developers (who don't have the time) are the ones who should have the 'final say' with regards to moderation, and that they are the best qualified to do so. Given a good set of rules to use as guidelines, any level headed person who is committed to helping XDA move along smoothly is qualified to be a moderator. I am not a developer, however, I've been moderating forums for years now. People are people no matter what the subject. You and I have discussed the rules, which are being worked on. I like the idea of a 'developer only', invite only forum. I think it's time to make that happen. Given that I am so not a developer, I know when I'm over my head - and we have people on the team who moderators like me can turn to. Moderators are here to help, not hinder - I think we can work this all out so the developers are happier, users learn, and moderators moderate
12th November 2012, 04:35 PM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyd9

I'd even go so far as to suggest that XDA's ERDs would be given final say in moderating those subforums. Actually, it might be a good idea to give ERDs final say in moderating all the development related forums - including the existing so-called "development" and "original development" subforums.

Some interesting points you've listed, which I can honestly say are being looked at, however your point above, I'm gonna have to disagree with. The ERD's are extremely busy with actual development, as are most, if not all the developers. If we where to also ask the ERDs to moderate all the development related forums, they'd have no time to develop
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12th November 2012, 04:47 PM   |  #5  
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I didn't suggest that ERD's would be constantly moderating them - only that they'd have the opportunity (if they chose it) to be the final say. Who do you trust more to make an informed decision about what is development and what isnt':

Entropy512 or ModJohnCanBarelyRoot?

I think the ERD's are more involved (at least in reading) than many people think, and XDA should respect their knowledge and ability by giving them the option of stepping in saying that, despite what a non-developer moderator might think, this is or isn't dev related.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion.
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12th November 2012, 04:54 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garyd9

I didn't suggest that ERD's would be constantly moderating them - only that they'd have the opportunity (if they chose it) to be the final say. Who do you trust more to make an informed decision about what is development and what isnt':

Entropy512 or ModJohnCanBarelyRoot?

I think the ERD's are more involved (at least in reading) than many people think, and XDA should respect their knowledge and ability by giving them the option of stepping in saying that, despite what a non-developer moderator might think, this is or isn't dev related.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you. I have the utmost respect for ERD's, and RD's. I'm not a developer myself, would never claim to be, but I do try and read up on things to understand them so I can make informed decisions. But likewise, I do ask developers for advice on specific things, then learn from what I'm told. In an ideal world, we'd let ERD's have the final say, maybe even RD's, but with so many in house fights amongst so called dev's, there is the potential for abuse which is what concerns me. I cannot see ERD's doing this mind you.

Again, interesting ideas which I welcome
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12th November 2012, 04:59 PM   |  #7  
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So on to what I'm sure will be a sore subject: Rules and moderation...

I realize that XDA has grown by leaps and bounds since I first joined. Back then, there were only a handful of people geeky enough to have smartphones. Today, they are the norm. With more users there are more devices, more forums and XDA needed more moderators. That's perfectly understandable. It's also understandable that XDA has reached into the "non-developer" pool of people for moderation help.

However, the forum rules which the moderators supposedly moderate by are too vague and really don't guide users (or moderators) in the proper way to do things. It only makes matters worse then the moderators enforce those rules in seemingly random ways. Finally, when a bad decision is made by a moderator (or a decision that a user thinks is bad), there's no documented way for a user to ask for help. "Report to moderator" is pretty useless when you're only reporting to the same person you are complaining about.

If there's a guideline, it should be shared by ALL the moderators and documented so that users can understand it. The primary location to find these rules and guidelines is a post that is stickied in every single forum/subforum here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/announcement.php?a=81 If it's not in that post, then it's fairly safe to assume that users don't know about it.

So what's wrong with those rules? Well, they are pretty vague in too many cases. Vague rules lead to different people interpreting them differently (or interpreting them selectively for different people.) Here's some examples:

"Don’t use XDA to advertise your product or service. " "Commercial advertising, advertising referral links, pay per click links and other income generating methods are forbidden. Do not use xda-developers as a means to make money." -- Yet, how many people have seen a developer clearly post (or get someone else to post on their behalf) that if people don't "donate" enough money for them to buy a device, they don't development for that device. To me, that sounds like "I'll sell my development for the cost of the device."

"Off-site downloads are permitted if the site is non-commercial and does not require registration.... but may be permitted if ... the site is a relatively small personal website without commercial advertising/links (i.e. not a competitor forum-based site with purposes and aims similar to those of XDA-Developers.com.)" -- There are literally thousands of links on this website for downloads on sammobile.com or samfirmware.com. That site requires registration, advertises, and has forums that "compete" with XDA. Yet, the links are still there.

"If you are developing something that is based on the work of another Member, you MUST first seek their permission, and you must give credit to the member whose work you used." -- I think this one depends on who is violating the rule. Apparently, if its a 15 (now 16) year old kid, it's okay. Yes, I'm bitter about this one as I have had my work used (without my permission), had reported it to moderators, was told someone would look into it, and then had the report disappear into a black hole. It only made matters worse when that same person accepted "donations" given as a result of the code stolen from me. Being I ask people to donate to a children's hospital (not to me) for my work, I feel as if my work was stolen from me, and money was stolen from a child who desperately needed medical care. There's no question as to who developed the code, as gerrit/github timedate stamps don't lie. In truth, I wouldn't have minded about this so much if the little thief forwarded the donations to a real charity. I do share my work freely, but I VERY seriously resented (and still resent) my work was used for a thief's profit. To my way of thinking, there's nothing vague about the rule here - only the lack of enforcement.

Then there's the whole thing with that types of threads go into which subforums. There's simply NO consistency with this. A perfect (and recent) example is that I posted a thread in a dev subforum containing modifications for a single stock samsung package, SecLauncher2.apk. That was pushed to apps&themes by a moderator. That same moderator, however, has permitted threads for modifying only "SystemUI.apk" and only "android.policy.jar." He's also permitted completely non-development related things such as "post modem dumps here" and "stock deodex firmware."

So, not only are the rules vague, but the moderation of the rules is so inconsistent that a user can't even look to precedent to decide what is and isn't allowed.

....

I'm going to stop here. I feel like I've started ranting, and that isn't productive. The points are valid, but discussing them has brought up things I'm (obviously) very bitter about.
Last edited by garyd9; 12th November 2012 at 05:07 PM. Reason: forgot to add italics to the quoted rules
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12th November 2012, 08:58 PM   |  #8  
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Really appreciate this feedback, guys. We're going to bring it forth in our monthly call with the admins and site owner.
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12th November 2012, 10:29 PM   |  #9  
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What about doing a forum named like "other devices root development". There are a lot of potential devices that don't get root because they don't call the devs atraction (and some of the have locked bootloaders).
I also think that there are forums from brand new "high-tech" devices that don't get development because well, there is no development for unlocking bootloaders or doing something like root for locked bootloaders, which happens on some devices. So, again, othere devices could have their chance.
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12th November 2012, 11:09 PM   |  #10  
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@garyd9, no need to be bitter, I'm actually glad to hear you views, so rant away. I created this thread for this very purpose, to hear the views of the users, to better XDA

...........................
You can lead a fool to wisdom but you can't make him think! XDA, mobile wisdom, not a n00b feeding ground!!

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