moderated email addresses for suggesting features offlist from beta #suggestion


 

I hope that an email address could be set up for very simple feature requests to avoid beta turning into a tutorial.


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

That would tend to defeat the open discussion policy that the beta group was formed to provide.

--
Gerald


 

But (1) open discussion in beta is not supposed to consist mainly of “hey, never heard of the existing feature, what is it, how does it work, and by the way here’s how to do it”; and (2) feature suggestions are not supposed to consist of a lot of backlash, per Mark; and (3) sometimes a feature is very simple and doesn’t require much or any discussion. I feel inclined to send feature suggestions directly to Mark from now on. It’s gotten to the point where I preemptively try to prevent the constant backlash and even when I go that, often 99% of the open discussion involves basic explanations to people of what already exists.

It is exhausting. There should be a dedicated email address for feature suggestions as an alternative to posting in beta. If Mark feels a suggestion warrants discussion, he can post a query in beta.


On Apr 2, 2019, at 4:47 PM, Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...> wrote:

That would tend to defeat the open discussion policy that the beta group was formed to provide.

--
Gerald

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

Just like the support@groups.io address evolved to handle bugs, there could be suggestions@groups.io for people who prefer to use that instead of beta sometimes.


On Apr 2, 2019, at 5:08 PM, J_Catlady via Groups.Io <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

But (1) open discussion in beta is not supposed to consist mainly of “hey, never heard of the existing feature, what is it, how does it work, and by the way here’s how to do it”; and (2) feature suggestions are not supposed to consist of a lot of backlash, per Mark; and (3) sometimes a feature is very simple and doesn’t require much or any discussion. I feel inclined to send feature suggestions directly to Mark from now on. It’s gotten to the point where I preemptively try to prevent the constant backlash and even when I go that, often 99% of the open discussion involves basic explanations to people of what already exists.

It is exhausting. There should be a dedicated email address for feature suggestions as an alternative to posting in beta. If Mark feels a suggestion warrants discussion, he can post a query in beta.


On Apr 2, 2019, at 4:47 PM, Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...> wrote:

That would tend to defeat the open discussion policy that the beta group was formed to provide.

--
Gerald

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 08:08 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
often 99% of the open discussion involves basic explanations to people of what already exists.
 
Because, very often, it appears they don't know about what already exists.   Apparently there are some (and in this case I'm not saying you), that believe that anything other than silence or outright support is backlash.  It isn't.

Also, while I support your concept, the  main+owner@beta.groups.io could certainly work just fine if people want to communicate "off list" to Mark about something.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


 

On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 09:21 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
the  main+owner@beta.groups.io could certainly work just fine if people want to communicate "off list" to Mark about something.
I wouldn't use that for suggestions to the product. I'd only communicate with Mark offlist about suggestions if there's a dedicated "suggestion box."
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 09:21 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
Apparently there are some (and in this case I'm not saying you), that believe that anything other than silence or outright support is backlash. 
Backlash may have been the wrong term because it's not comprehensive enough. There's argument, there's questions about the current basic functionality (which belong in GMF), there's interrogation about "what exactly is being requested," etc. It seems to be impossible to make a simple, even trivial suggestion for some little improvement without a drawn-out tempest in a teapot here. It's getting to be too much. 
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

Bottom line, this group has turned into a modified GMF. People seem to think that after someone makes a suggestion, it's their job to find out exactly what the suggestion consists of, and/or receive a tutorial on the current functionality, and/or "help" the suggester by instructing them on finding another way to do it without Mark adding the feature. No, that's not their job. It's Mark's job to figure out whether implementing the suggestion makes sense or not.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Barbara Byers
 

But that is part of the process, people want to understand exactly what is being suggested, and then sometimes there is brainstorming to improve the suggestion, which is mostly, if not always productive.  If not, at least it's sometimes clarifying the original suggestion.  And if not, it's really not that big a deal.

And I don't see what is wrong with someone being helpful and telling another how to do something if it has simply been missed, if the suggestion is for something that already exists.

I would think if Mark doesn't like the way the group is working, he will say something.  I have seen a few times where he says a topic or conversation is done.  It's his baby, so he gets to decide.

Barb


On 2019-04-03 12:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:

Bottom line, this group has turned into a modified GMF. People seem to think that after someone makes a suggestion, it's their job to find out exactly what the suggestion consists of, and/or receive a tutorial on the current functionality, and/or "help" the suggester by instructing them on finding another way to do it without Mark adding the feature. No, that's not their job. It's Mark's job to figure out whether implementing the suggestion makes sense or not.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 09:43 PM, Barbara Byers wrote:
people want to understand exactly what is being suggested,
They don't always have to understand it. That's Mark's job. I suggested an unbelievably trivial feature today (or was it yesterday?) and the resulting conversation was over the top.

I would think if Mark doesn't like the way the group is working, he will say something.
(a) He HAS said something - he doesn't want people to argue with suggestions made here, and (b), maybe others besides Mark don't like the way it's working in this respect.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

This conversation itself is a meta-case in point. I suggested a "suggestion box." And yet there is argument about it. 
I would suggest that people just let Mark decide.

On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 9:45 PM J_Catlady via Groups.Io <j.olivia.catlady=gmail.com@groups.io> wrote:
On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 09:43 PM, Barbara Byers wrote:
people want to understand exactly what is being suggested,
They don't always have to understand it. That's Mark's job. I suggested an unbelievably trivial feature today (or was it yesterday?) and the resulting conversation was over the top.

I would think if Mark doesn't like the way the group is working, he will say something.
(a) He HAS said something - he doesn't want people to argue with suggestions made here, and (b), maybe others besides Mark don't like the way it's working in this respect.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

On Tue, Apr 2, 2019 at 09:43 PM, Barbara Byers wrote:
I don't see what is wrong with someone being helpful and telling another how to do something if it has simply been missed, if the suggestion is for something that already exists.
I do, especially if they are themselves totally unfamiliar with basic functionality, as in the recent case. And if the suggestion is something that already exists, I think we can trust Mark to recognize that and ignore the suggestion. 
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Andy Wedge
 

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 05:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
People seem to think that after someone makes a suggestion, it's their job to find out exactly what the suggestion consists of, and/or receive a tutorial on the current functionality, and/or "help" the suggester by instructing them on finding another way to do it
As you seem to have been on the beta group for some time you could help eliminate some of that discussion with a single post pointing people to previous topics on the same subject. If a topic starts to move to a general discussion on an existing feature then a suggestion that it should be moved to GMF would a) cut the traffic down on this group and b) remind people that there's another source of information that they can use.

It's only exhausting if you let it become so.

I'm with Gerald and Barb on this one.

Andy


 

Find all prior threads? That would be even more exhausting lol.


On Apr 3, 2019, at 1:21 AM, Andy W <andy_wedge@...> wrote:

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 05:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
People seem to think that after someone makes a suggestion, it's their job to find out exactly what the suggestion consists of, and/or receive a tutorial on the current functionality, and/or "help" the suggester by instructing them on finding another way to do it
As you seem to have been on the beta group for some time you could help eliminate some of that discussion with a single post pointing people to previous topics on the same subject. If a topic starts to move to a general discussion on an existing feature then a suggestion that it should be moved to GMF would a) cut the traffic down on this group and b) remind people that there's another source of information that they can use.

It's only exhausting if you let it become so.

I'm with Gerald and Barb on this one.

Andy

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


 

People don’t seem to understand that this is not GMF. It’s not the job of a suggester here to educate the rest of the group on all past threads, or all related current features, or even to make sure every member of beta understands the suggested feature, even members very new to groups.io who lack familiarity with the product. It’s only their job to suggest features and improvements. 


On Apr 3, 2019, at 1:21 AM, Andy W <andy_wedge@...> wrote:

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 05:34 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
People seem to think that after someone makes a suggestion, it's their job to find out exactly what the suggestion consists of, and/or receive a tutorial on the current functionality, and/or "help" the suggester by instructing them on finding another way to do it
As you seem to have been on the beta group for some time you could help eliminate some of that discussion with a single post pointing people to previous topics on the same subject. If a topic starts to move to a general discussion on an existing feature then a suggestion that it should be moved to GMF would a) cut the traffic down on this group and b) remind people that there's another source of information that they can use.

It's only exhausting if you let it become so.

I'm with Gerald and Barb on this one.

Andy

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/04/03 02:08 AM, J_Catlady wrote:

It’s gotten to the point where I preemptively try to prevent the constant backlash and even when I go that, often 99% of the open discussion involves basic explanations to people of what already exists.
Yes, that is a characteristic of mailing lists such as these -- new people are constantly joining the learning curve. If this bothers you, then you should change you way you read messages and/or change the way you reply to messages.

The developers will have learnt how to sift through the messages in a way that is useful to them, or else they would have chosen a different system long ago.

It is exhausting.
It is only exhausting if you try to read every mail or try to respond to every question that you know the answer to.

Or... it may be exhausting if you're not using an appropriate viewer.

I see you're often using the Groups.io web interface to post messages, and sometimes also Google Mail. Neither of these methods offer a split layout with a list of messages in one pane and the message content in another pane, with the option to jump from message to message with a single click, and skip over any message without even clicking.

Instead, in both Gmail and the Groups.io web interface, all messages are presented as a single page in the order that they arrived, with a single scroll bar, no option to jump to another message quickly, no way to ignore a message by not displaying it, and no way to group messages that belong to subconversations intelligently. Also, with such a one-page approach, the starts of messages are never in the same place on the screen, which means your eyes have to "search" every time you want to move to the next message.

It would drive me NUTS if I had to read mailing list mails in Gmail, or on the Groups.io web interface. It would be... erm... exhausting.

My 2c

Samuel


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/04/03 11:25 AM, J_Catlady wrote:

It’s not the job of a suggester here to educate the rest of the
group...
No, it is not his job. He doesn't have to respond to anyone who doesn't
seem to understand his suggestion. He can, if he wants to, but no-one
is going to feel ignored if he doesn't. I suppose it's a skill that one
eventually acquires, i.e. when to respond to a mail and when not to.

Samuel


 

(once again straying into the meta-argument)

J wrote:

there's questions about the current basic functionality (which belong in GMF),

That's not at all a spurious or dismissive comment. Those who've been reading beta long enough may remember that Mark put links to GroupManagersForum (GMF) and Group_Help on beta's home page specifically with the intent that discussion in beta be limited so that he can keep up with suggested improvements to the site.
See Changes to beta@ to reduce traffic.

GMF and Group_Help do welcome both novice and expert questions and comments about Groups.io and its features. Each of those groups had that as its core mission well before Mark asked us to step up and help off-load that traffic from beta.

My own interpretation of how the regular readers of beta should behave is fairly strict: comment on someone else's suggestion only if you have something to add that is worthy of Mark's time [beta #19332].

there's interrogation about "what exactly is being requested," etc.

I do believe that sometimes questions and comments "from the gallery" can aid Mark by eliciting a better description of the suggestion, refining it, and/or enhancing it. But that requires both judgement and restraint: it shouldn't feel like interrogation -- Mark wants us to maintain a welcoming atmosphere for people's suggestions (see Feature bloat and what should and should not be added).

At the risk of being self-serving I'll offer that anyone contemplating posting a question or comment here about someone else's suggestion should feel free to post that first in GMF or Group_Help if you're unsure about how it might relate to existing features or alternate ways of doing things (work-arounds).

It seems to be impossible to make a simple, even trivial suggestion for some little improvement without a drawn-out tempest in a teapot here. It's getting to be too much.

Let me suggest that it wouldn't get to be a tempest if you'd just take it off the burner. That is, if someone's comment or question doesn't doesn't seem helpful to you then take Samuel's advice and don't respond. You'll be a lot less exhausted that way and more importantly Mark will likely be a lot less exhausted that way. IMO responding to chaff only perpetuates a broken-windows syndrome in beta by setting a bad example.

Shal


Chris Jones
 

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 01:08 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
(3) sometimes a feature is very simple and doesn’t require much or any discussion
That is doubtless true, and I am not unsympathetic to concerns about discussion here descending into the politics of the bear pit on occasions.

However, while a suggested feature might be very simple, I would argue that it is not necessarily for its proposer to unilaterally determine that it doesn't require much discussion.

After recent occasions where "simple requests" finished up with a change to default settings that affected every user of Groups.io I am totally opposed to any system - formal or informal - whereby individual owners / moderators could bypass any sort of scrutiny by the wider community of owners and moderators.

I know the anarchy that sometimes breaks out here can be tedious or even infuriating but I'd far rather have that than a system whereby a single voice might cause all sorts of grief to many others simply because it had access to a back - channel. Another downside - from Mark's point of view - is that the back - channel email address would be completely flooded with one - off proposals that had not been subjected to the critical gaze of others.

"Democracy" can be very, very messy sometimes.

Chris


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/04/03 02:08 AM, J_Catlady wrote:

(3) sometimes a feature is very simple and doesn’t require much or
any discussion.
If a feature is very simple and doesn't require much of any discussion,
and the proposer knows it, then the proposer simply has to refrain from
reading and/or responding to any replies. The thread will fizzle out by
itself eventually. Then, a day or two later, the proposer can read all
replies and take from it what he feels is useful.

There should be a dedicated email address for feature suggestions as
an alternative to posting in beta. If Mark feels a suggestion
warrants discussion, he can post a query in beta.
On the contrary, instead of posting first to a smaller dedicated list
and only later to the larger discussion list, I think it would be better
if the proposer could post first to the discussion list, and then, when
he has had some feedback from others and time to think his proposal over
some more, post a fine-tuned version of his suggestion to the dedicated
list, where it may be discussed further by a small number of more expert
participants.

This is how RFEs work on some software projects where I'm a lurker:
first discuss informally, then propose formally. Advantages include
that the formal proposal is more clearly written, takes into account
more situations and potential objections, and is freer from bias.

What do you think?

Samuel