Discussion - rules for this subforum

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jurialmunkey Online
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Question  Discussion - rules for this subforum
Post: #1
In light of recent events, I thought it would be good to start a discussion on some rules that can keep the focus of posts in this forum on the development of skins - especially considering this is a development subforum.

We already have a clear and simple method for labelling threads: Concept; WIP; and Release. These are straightforward and work well.
In addition to these I would propose:
  • No posts requesting an ETA - if the developer has an ETA they will put this in the first post of the thread
  • No posts requesting a developer release the work in an unfinished state.
  • No posts commenting on how long a skin is taking to complete / wishing the development timeframe was faster
  • No posts complaining that a skin has been abandoned

-- Posts that say "I can't wait for this skin!" are ok
-- Posts that say "When are you going to release this skin?! I want to use it now." are not.

Basically, its all just a reminder that skins take a long time to complete and that sometimes people's lives get in the way.
What are everyone's thoughts/ideas? Any additions/changes etc?
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Karnagious Offline
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Post: #2
So contravening posts would get removed? (I have no problem with that, just seeking clarity.)

Also, how about a rule that no one can start a thread about a skin that they aren't themselves actively working on?
(This post was last modified: 2015-03-18 07:40 by Karnagious.)
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jurialmunkey Online
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Post: #3
I'm not really in favour of censorship. I think community moderation could be tried first -- i.e. if a post breaks the rules, point out to the poster that they are breaking the rules and link them to the rules thread. If they persistently break the rules then they will get reported and warned about a temporary ban.

Its not about military type enforcement, just about keeping the forum focused on skin development rather than "can I haz release plz" posts (as it was put by Ned Scott). By having the rules, it also allows skin developers to feel a bit better about ignoring posts -- the way it is currently, you ignore one "can I haz" post and suddenly you have a bunch of comments along the lines of "oh its abandoned wah wah wah" etc.

re: Starting Threads,, There is already a general forum rule 2.3.8 Don't misrepresent the work of others as your own.
As long as its not doing that, then I think its fine. If the skin author specifically requests for the thread to be pulled/closed then action can be taken from there. I'm not looking to impose a ton of rules restricting free speech or stopping end users from posting - I just want some guidelines to highlight the types of posts that are acceptable so as to offer a little buffer of protection to developers in a development forum.

I don't think any skinners/developers are so affected by these entitlement posts that they take them home with them. However, dealing with them *is* draining. Ultimately, it wont necessarily mean skinners will stop skinning, it just means that they will quit the forums - which will be a real shame as we then lose that rich community interaction.
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senna99 Offline
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Post: #4
Hi!

These suggestions have sense.
But people should have more patience, when the skin is in developing.
And not to asking for special wishes, what to add and what to remove from skin.
I was started with my work to realize my dreams and now, I only share my work.
My skin is not highly rated and there is not too much comments, but I am trying to respect people who are interested for my work.

Best Regards
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Jayz2K Offline
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Post: #5
(2015-03-18 06:17)jurialmunkey Wrote:  In light of recent events, I thought it would be good to start a discussion on some rules that can keep the focus of posts in this forum on the development of skins - especially considering this is a development subforum.

I totally agree. I was about to post in the OSMC thread before it was splitted but that had nothing to do with the skin itself, so I didn't.

I thought about a similar post as a reminder and you did it. I think it's nothing else that just showing some respect for eachothers.
Some people would say I'm pretty new here and that's right. However I have a lot of experience in communities and skinning from the time I was insanly active on other softwares forums. I'm proud to be there, next to many talented skinners and to see that after a 15 years break (yeah, I'm that old dammit), it's still a pleasure to see awesome people's creativity.

Skinning or development is before everything else a passion, a creativity explosion need (like when you open a coke can) and a lot of time. Sharing allows a rich source of ideas to make it even better thanks to others. Some people have to understand that if the source is polluted, as Jurial said, contributors will just leave or go elsewhere it is more "productive".

The fact is that this development subforum is opened to everyone. It has somme positive points and negative ones. For my opinion, it's a good point but .... still ... it needs people to calm down and be patient (or even handle some disappointment if a project doesn't come to end). I too, says Woahh when launching Jurial latest skin, Jump around out of patience when seeing Hitcher's ftv teasings (out of subject kidding : I see this guy like an octupus with each arm working on a skin on different computers and another one for drinking a soda), or being impressed by other's skins asking myself how he's doing this or that ! It would be a long list of special thanks here to anyone that helped me out, sent congrats, inspired me or made me smile when using a skin/dev.

So visitors, please ... take it easy and be patient.

(2015-03-18 07:40)Karnagious Wrote:  Also, how about a rule that no one can start a thread about a skin that they aren't themselves actively working on?

I would say that even if somenone is not actively working on something, ideas are welcome. I see more a didicated thread for "Ideas and Mockups" for grouping everything in a single clear and readable way. I regulary have a look at http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=193006 where there's many awesome ideas.

[Skin] KOver - V1.1.0 Stable (Repo version)
[WIP] ReKOver - Skinning tool project

If I've been helpful or you like my work, hit "THANK USER" button ;) ...
(This post was last modified: 2015-03-18 10:17 by Jayz2K.)
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fantasticn Offline
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Post: #6
I would appreciate not only discussing rules of censureship as to what people are allowed to ask or discuss with respect of the status of a skin. I would also like to see some rules as to the tone of the answer some developers think they are entitled to apply. I think everybody does really appreciate the hard work the developers are putting into their products and they are sharing it for free (or for a donation). But that should not be a general excuse for unfriendliness. I also think to avoid misunderstandings the term "WIP - work in progress" should be adjusted or at least clarified somewhere in this section as it might lead some people - like myself - thinking that it would actially mean that there is some "progress" on the work. Such an explanation could maybe also help avoiding those discussions about the current status of a skin, that you seem to dislike so much.

I hope I did not say something wrong now.

Brgds,

FantasticN
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jurialmunkey Online
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Post: #7
There are already rules in place regarding general conduct and tone - Official:Forum_rules (wiki)
If you believe a post contravenes those rules then report it and the moderators will decide what action to take.

It must be remembered that developers are merely sharing their work, they are not creating a "product" and the work they have shared should not be viewed as such. It is not sold and does not require a donation to use. Donations are there merely as a token of thanks - its the equivalent of saying "hey let me buy you a beer/coffee because I appreciate what you're doing."

There are no consumers/customers in open source... there are simply people who contribute more and people who contribute less. There is no shame in contributing less, it is just important to remember that those who contribute more do not owe you anything. Sometimes it is a difficult concept to understand when we are so used to capitalism.

The rules I am proposing are not about censoring people, they are merely some guidelines to keep discussion focused on development. If you have trouble understanding wip just think of it as meaning incomplete. At the end of the day this is a development forum, as with all development some ideas make it to the end and some get abandoned and some simply never get completed due to other priorities or get put on hold. If you cant deal with this concept then you are in the wrong forum.
(This post was last modified: 2015-03-18 11:43 by jurialmunkey.)
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fantasticn Offline
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Post: #8
In principle I perfectly agree. Sorry for using the word "product". I used it because I could not come across a better word for english is not my native language. But was it really necessary to throw your last sentence on me?

Since you mention that there are already regulations in place regarding general conduct and tone and you, too, are not a fan of censoreship I think those rules should also be enough to cover "too agressive asking" about the status of a skin or its release date. To be honest: I am not so much a fan of stating what people should be entitled to ask or not to ask - especially not in the internet, our last refuge of (relative) freedome. Therefore I would prefer it to remain an individual matter whether or not a question or comment exceededs the politeness we all may expect from members of this forum. And by supervising those rules the mods should try to avoid - best as they can - to apply different kinds of measurement just because they may sympathize with one opinion or even one member. Tolerance means accepting that somebody may have a different opinion.

Btw: I know we had our differences in the Artic MKII thread but besides that I want to say that you are doing a great job with the Arctic Zephyre skin and you also seem to provide very, very good support to it. I am mentioning this because I think people can be of different opinions and still value what the other one is doing.

Brgds,

FantasticN
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jurialmunkey Online
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Post: #9
I stand by what I said. This forum is for developers not users. If a user cannot deal with the fact that not every idea put forth will necessarily come to fruition then the development forum is the wrong place for them to be.
The description of this forum specifically states "GUI skin development and xml coding, for skinners only."

The fact of the matter is that it already takes a considerable amount of time just to read and respond to forum posts. The types of posts that I'm suggesting be proscribed add absolutely nothing of value to the development of skins. All they do is waste the time and energy of skinners that could be better spent elsewhere.

Essentially what I am saying is that I like having end-users in this forum because their insights can be valuable, but it is important that posts in this forum contribute to development in someway. This can be simply by giving encouragement - "looks good, keep it up". It can be a criticism - "I don't like feature X because of reason Y". It can be a request - "will you be supporting addon X?". It can be a suggestion - "I think if you did X it would really improve ease of use". All of these things add value. Even if you suggest a feature and it isn't added, it still adds value because ideas are being shared.

Constant asking for an ETA or complaining that a skin isn't moving as fast as one would like does absolutely nothing to add value whatsoever - it is an entirely self-serving action. The problem isn't asking in a polite way, the problem is repetitive posts that lack value. Some simple guidelines will prevent the need for heavy handed moderation - the whole point is to reduce the workload for moderators and skinners so that more time can be spent actually developing and improving skins.
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fantasticn Offline
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Post: #10
Again I can understand your point of view. But you are only following the developers side of the story. On the one hand you are claiming that this subforum is only for the developers. But on the other hand you are admitting that every developer welcomes and even needs the feedback and critics from the users otherwise he could not make much progress in his development. And I would add: Without the interest of the users in the projects we would most probably see not too much development at all.

So when you like to implement rules limiting the questions the users should be entitled to ask with respect to any kind of development than we could - in return - also state some rules that those developments or its developers have to follow. E.g. we could state that all projects that have not even started to show some kind of result (e.g. a first alpha version or at least screenshots) or that are officially not under development anymore (discontinued) may not be called a "work in progress" and may be banned from this development section because there actually is no "progress" in those projects yet or anymore. We could also state that a development first has to pass a certain catalog of aspects before it is granted entry to this subforum. All projects passing such tests may then rightfully claim to not being questioned from any user as to their status. But in my opinion we should not mplement such rules either. Both sides - users and developers - may share their freedome even in this subforum. Developers may post what ever idea they have and may follow it at whatever pace they like. But they may in return tolerate questions from some users as to the progress of their development as long as these questions are not raised in an unfriendly way. I would assume that porjects actually showing any kind of "progress" may not become subject to such kind of questions anyway. And btw: Nobody forces you or any other developer to answer a questions you do not like. Sometimes its someonelse stepping in and giving the right answer anyway. The regulations of the forum should only make sure that question and answer - if any - do always follow the rules of conduct and tone and that people do treat each other with respect.

Brgds,

FantasticN
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jurialmunkey Online
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Post: #11
Yes I welcome feedback. No I do not need it. No users are not necessary for open source development - you are still thinking in the mentality of a product. The thing is that all developers are users - like I said before, there are no consumers in open source, only those who contribute more and those who contribute less. Without those who contribute, there is nothing.

I started skinning because I have used xbmc for about ten years - I still have a mechassault soft modded xbox sitting in a drawer somewhere. Basically there were certain features I wanted to see and I wanted to have a go at skinning because I like tinkering and building things. Since I did a whole bunch of work I thought I should share my work because others might like to use it and because I love xbmc/kodi and got so much value out of it that I wanted to give something back. This is how open source works... I will continue to skin regardless of whether or not there are users - however if the forums become too stressful for me to deal with then I will simply leave.

Also you say projects showing progress wouldnt have these types of questions, yet this behaviour is precisely what sparked this discussion. Hitcher was showing constant updates on ftv yet was constantly bombarded with these types of posts. It got to the point where a mod had to close the thread. When all the posts of this nature were split from the thread there were more than 8 pages - this for a skin where it had been clearly stated multiple times "no eta, will be released when its ready and not in an unfinished state"

This is why we need rules now, because this forum for developers has been abused by those who contribute little to the point that a thread for a really amazing looking skin had to be closed - hitcher already retired from skinning once, we dont want to lose a skinner like him again as he is so valuable to the skinning community - he has helped me with many a query - he is a source of so much skinning knowledge and a true asset to this community. Im interested in protecting those who contribute a lot not those who contribute little. If developers cannot feel safe from a constant and tiring barage of these types of posts in a development forum then we have no choice but to remove ourselves entirely and not interact with end users at all and just share our work with each other and no one else.

Imho the only value in having those who contribute little is the hope that they one day might contribute more.
(This post was last modified: 2015-03-19 00:41 by jurialmunkey.)
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furii Offline
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Post: #12
(2015-03-18 06:17)jurialmunkey Wrote:  In light of recent events, I thought it would be good to start a discussion on some rules that can keep the focus of posts in this forum on the development of skins - especially considering this is a development subforum.

We already have a clear and simple method for labelling threads: Concept; WIP; and Release. These are straightforward and work well.
In addition to these I would propose:
  • No posts requesting an ETA - if the developer has an ETA they will put this in the first post of the thread
  • No posts requesting a developer release the work in an unfinished state.
  • No posts commenting on how long a skin is taking to complete / wishing the development timeframe was faster
  • No posts complaining that a skin has been abandoned

-- Posts that say "I can't wait for this skin!" are ok
-- Posts that say "When are you going to release this skin?! I want to use it now." are not.

Basically, its all just a reminder that skins take a long time to complete and that sometimes people's lives get in the way.
What are everyone's thoughts/ideas? Any additions/changes etc?

yes, please, this. i'm so tired of seeing those types of posts.

honestly, i would be totally fine if threads were locked so that only the skinner could post to give updates on where things are at. i'm sure this is an extreme view few others might share. i know this would make it difficult for skinners to get feedback. however, if a skin is to the point where feedback is desired it's likely because there has been some kind of release and the above types of posts would be nonexistent anyway.
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Skribbler1 Offline
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Post: #13
And to further add to fantasticn's point. When a polite question as asked to a developer about the progress of a skin, it would be very much appreciated if the developer answers in just as a polite manner as the question was asked. And if users are obligated to watch how they ask questions, or perhaps not ask certain questions at all, then devs should be obligated to share regular updates.

If this does not seem reasonable then I say we stop creating rules against free speech and drop the 'censorship' Smile
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phil65 Offline
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Post: #14
(2015-03-19 00:47)Skribbler1 Wrote:  then devs should be obligated to share regular updates.

well if you start to pay the devs here then we can discuss this point.

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Skribbler1 Offline
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Post: #15
Would I have to pay every dev or just the ones I like? What if I don't like the dev but I like their skins? Would I pay monthly or on a per update basis? This could get complicated.
Anyway, I was trying, but obviously failed to state that there should be rules on both sides, or no rules at all... Except for the rules that are already in place in the forums.

I will try and explain myself better in the future, sorry.
(This post was last modified: 2015-03-19 01:44 by Skribbler1.)
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