[All XDA Members] Feedback/Recommendations for XDA

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Fallen Spartan

Moderator Emeritus- Irish Pride, Spartan Legacy
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
Moderator/Developer Committee

EDIT - Can we please stop talking about the 10 post rule here. If you feel the need to discuss it, post here instead
 
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garyd9

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 13, 2006
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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...
 

reinbeau

Retired Forum Moderator
Sep 14, 2010
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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 ;)
 

Fallen Spartan

Moderator Emeritus- Irish Pride, Spartan Legacy
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
 

garyd9

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 13, 2006
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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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Fallen Spartan

Moderator Emeritus- Irish Pride, Spartan Legacy
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
 

garyd9

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 13, 2006
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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.
 
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mfsr98

Senior Member
Nov 26, 2011
1,231
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Porto
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.
mfsr98
 
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Fallen Spartan

Moderator Emeritus- Irish Pride, Spartan Legacy
@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!!
 

sgt. slaughter

Retired Forum Moderator
Jun 12, 2010
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-gary

While I agree with some of what you have said I feel if you want strictly 100% development talk then that is reserved for the RD forum for RDs to have amongst themselves... Yes there are developers that are not RDs and to that I say they should apply to become RDs. There needs to be a place to allow users to provide feedback and suggestions on things that are developed.

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
 

reinbeau

Retired Forum Moderator
Sep 14, 2010
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-gary

While I agree with some of what you have said I feel if you want strictly 100% development talk then that is reserved for the RD forum for RDs to have amongst themselves... Yes there are developers that are not RDs and to that I say they should apply to become RDs. There needs to be a place to allow users to provide feedback and suggestions on things that are developed.

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
There is a place for that. The problem is there isn't a place for real development talk. Any real discussions get drowned out by inanity. I think with the influx of new people that noise to real development ratio has finally reached a tipping point. Then again, just how much input can Jon Q. Public have in development other than saying "I want this" or "How do I do that"? Those are user issues. We need to develop better developer solutions.
 

sgt. slaughter

Retired Forum Moderator
Jun 12, 2010
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Raleigh
There is a place for that. The problem is there isn't a place for real development talk. Any real discussions get drowned out by inanity. I think with the influx of new people that noise to real development ratio has finally reached a tipping point. Then again, just how much input can Jon Q. Public have in development other than saying "I want this" or "How do I do that"? Those are user issues. We need to develop better developer solutions.

Hence my initial suggestion, that if you want 100% dev talk take up and use the RD forum and discuss in there...

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
 

sgt. slaughter

Retired Forum Moderator
Jun 12, 2010
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Xda DEVELOPERS. Why would a site called xda DEVELOPERS push development talk off into a corner, while non development talk reigns free?


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2

Adapt with the times as things change.... Change and adjusting is tough at times but if done so correctly its for the better of all those involved...

It is absolutely impossible to have purely 100% code talk in the dev sections. The size of the userbase is way too large for the mod team to regulate that.

Hence the RDs section will be best if you want no nonsense dev talk.

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
 
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garyd9

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 13, 2006
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Adapt with the times as things change.... Change and adjusting is tough at times but if done so correctly its for the better of all those involved...
...
Hence the RDs section will be best if you want no nonsense dev talk.
You may be right, but I don't want to consider the possibility that XDA-Developers might become a non-developers forums. If your suggestion is carried out, I'd predict that it'd slowly (but surely) lose it's developer core and become more and more another "android central" or other generic handheld forum.

My reasoning is simple: XDA doesn't give birth to developers - they are born and bred before they get here. However, you're suggesting that they won't have a place to "talk shop" here unless and until they achieve RD status, which I'm assuming involves a certain application and requires that some projects have already been hawked here on XDA. I'm making some assumptions about RD here, but I think it'd be fairly safe to assume that a person can't submit a professional non-XDA resume to get it. As well, you are also always going to have some devs that simply refuse to "apply" for what they consider a "silly title." More especially those that see "ROM cooks" called RD and look the other way.

What is a real developer going to do in that case? Simple: find someplace else to talk shop.

(It's almost comical the way I talk about RD here. I've been doing professional dev for a very long, have given back to the android and ppc communities, and been an XDA member for a long time - but never bothered with RD status here when the program started. So, I honestly don't know what it might involve. I might be wrong about any type of requirements.)

I guess this question moves beyond my suggestions. I've been basing things on a developer-centric forum. That's what XDA-Developers was when I joined, and quite a few FAQ's we point users to indicate that it's still intended to be. If XDA is going to move away from that, then please disregard my suggestions.

Take care
Gary
 
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reinbeau

Retired Forum Moderator
Sep 14, 2010
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Hence my initial suggestion, that if you want 100% dev talk take up and use the RD forum and discuss in there...

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
Not everyone who develops is an RD - and why would you remove the ability for people to learn and share?

Xda DEVELOPERS. Why would a site called xda DEVELOPERS push development talk off into a corner, while non development talk reigns free?


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
Exactly.
 
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garyd9

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 13, 2006
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Pittsburgh, PA
It seems obvious that one specific issue that everyone agrees on is that *something* needs to be done to handle "developer discussion." While there are different opinions on the best way to do that, I haven't seen anyone post anything implying that dev's talking shop is a bad thing.

Fallen Spartan, perhaps this thread can branch that particular conversation to a separate thread? That would allow this thread to deal with the other issues without confusion.

Thanks
Gary
 

Fallen Spartan

Moderator Emeritus- Irish Pride, Spartan Legacy
It seems obvious that one specific issue that everyone agrees on is that *something* needs to be done to handle "developer discussion." While there are different opinions on the best way to do that, I haven't seen anyone post anything implying that dev's talking shop is a bad thing.

Fallen Spartan, perhaps this thread can branch that particular conversation to a separate thread? That would allow this thread to deal with the other issues without confusion.

Thanks
Gary

For the time being I'm inclined to let the discussion continue in this thread as there isn't much else being discussed here atm. If more idea's/recommendations appear, we can then create a new thread....if needed. Also, if a set way has been agreed on a particular idea/recommendation, I can create a second post updating users so its not lost within the thread
 

jb_wisemo

Member
Mar 23, 2011
19
4
www.wisemo.com
Making room for real developers again

Not everyone who develops is an RD - and why would you remove the ability for people to learn and share?

Exactly.

Hello,

I am one of those professional developers in real life, who don't have the time to play silly points games just to get access to the developer part of a forum. So my "XDA status" is stuck at "noob", but I am really here to look for a place to share technical discussion with other developers.

Looking around (I have been lurking for years now), I think the following improved structure would be a good idea:

In each area (General, OS, device) there should be 4 development subforums rather than the current 1 or 2:

1. Firmware and theme releases.
One thread for each firmware/theme series, hosting download links in the top 3 posts, and support discussions in the rest of the thread.
For instance the Android Samsung Galaxy III "Firmware and theme releases" forum would have exactly one "Cyanogenmod" thread and at most one "Cyanogenmod kang by temasek" thread.

Real cooks can post new threads and create the first two replies in their own thread. Non-noob users can post in existing threads after the 3. post in the thread.

2. Free App releases.
One thread for each free app, hosting download links in the top 3 ports, and support discussions in the rest of the thread.
For instance the Android Free App releases forum would have exactly one "ROM Manager" thread.

Real developers can post new threads and create the first two replies in their own thread. Non-noob users can post in existing threads after the 3. post in the thread.

3. Unreleased experiments
One thread for each unreleased firmware/theme/free app, hosting only discussion of what should go into it, difficulties in making it etc. When released the thread is moved to 1 or 2 as appropriate, at the thread OPs command.

Only real cooks and real developers can post here, there is a limit on new threads per user per month depending on the posters general standing.

4. Developer to Developer
This hosts regular forum style discussion threads where developers for that target (OS/phone) can ask each other questions about technical details for the target, one thread per subject matter, no threads about specific projects. This is the place to discuss stuff like ("Which wceload variants are in which upstream firmwares" in a WM forum or "How are the GPIO pins on the SoC connected to other parts of the phone (in a phone specific forum) or "How does the foo() API work" (in an OS forum)).

Only real cooks and real developers can post here.

Determining access:

Now as to determining the "real cook" and "real developer" status of a user, there could be a quiz and a number of extrinsic tests for each OS. Quiz questions would be multiple choice that a real cook/devel would answer easily, but a poser would get wrong. Other tests could be "prove that you have a developer account on Market/AppStore/OVI/Marketplace" "Show that you can sign an empty sis/cab/etc. with a valid developer certificate" Because getting a new certificate/account for some of the platforms may no longer be possible or may be otherwise restricted, such
tests would just count as N correct quiz answers in determining the pass/fail.
 

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  • 4
    Hola Admins & Mods!

    I would like to recommend that in the new achievments section you can add more years to the count, as of now you can only get a max of 5 yrs. Badge.
    Hope you can consider this :)
    Gracias Amigos!

    P.S Hope is the right place for this, if not, a kind Mod can re locate please.
  • 43
    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
    Moderator/Developer Committee

    EDIT - Can we please stop talking about the 10 post rule here. If you feel the need to discuss it, post here instead
    30
    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...
    19
    Seriously tempted to just ban the next person who talks about the 10 post rule in here. Obviously they don't read the OP and don't care. They just want to complain. Well maybe I don't care about their accounts any more and will just delete them.
    16
    I don't read this thread for over a day and all hell breaks loose.

    Unfortunately, the last few pages is not the way I intended this thread to go. Instead of being suggestings to improve XDA, it has been steered down the road of "should we have OT threads in device forums or not"

    Can we try and steer away from this for a second and get back to the threads purpose with sensible suggestions. Now with all suggestions, discussion needs to take place so we can decide if the proposal is worthwhile or not. This is not us (mods & admin) ruling out your suggestions, it is us discussing your suggestion to see whether or not it would work with XDA.

    I personally value all suggestions, unfortunately we can not implement them all, but we (XDA) will do our best to listen, communicate with you and move forward with suggestions which will work

    Thanks
    14
    I think every overlooks one thing - if they try to spam OT, it's easy to find and remove, and reset their accounts. Our FSMs will spot it in device forums.

    I think in general we catch spammers faster in OT than elsewhere... So surely that helps, given it keeps OT clean..

    Regards to OT, I think the perceived problem is one of maturity. I know most of those involved claim to be adults, but some of the pointless threads about banana and llama are frankly a waste of space... OT used to be about mature debate and humour, but now it seems dominated by a highly insular group who spend inordinate amounts of time there, which would be more productively spent getting a job, or constructively posting to help people having problems..
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