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questions about project schedule and feature set

  • Avatar of vizslah
    vizslah
    Member

    @vizslah

    First of all, I’d like to say – probably in the name of many many others – that this project is awesome, and the work you guys are doing is so valuable to us, it’s hard to put in words.

    However, I see that some people are getting frustrated about waiting, so I thought maybe it would be a good idea to share my personal fears about the project, maybe I’m not the only one with these thoughts, and its always a good idea to clear up confusion.

    So here are the things I’m afraid of:

    1.bloatedness
    “in a few months BP-Media will probably contain more source code than WordPress” – foxly
    Statements like this always scare the crap out of me. I’m not a developer, but it seems pretty obvious to me that debugging something as big as an elephant can be pretty tricky. Moreover, I’m pretty sure 90 percent of the people waiting for buddypress media to be released only expect it to do what album+ already does, with youtube embed and mp3 support added. It’s nice to revolutionize the database system, good to have transcoding, user roles, and all the magic, but if you already have more code than wordpress and more features planned than any other product ever produced, and you still didn’t release an alpha yet, I start to be afraid that maybe you are losing focus.

    2.features in alpha, release date and priorities
    This is more like a question. Mp3 pseudo-streaming and the whole group-albums functionality will be left out from the alpha release if I’m not mistaken. (looking at the project schedule graph on google code) it is not entirely clear when mp3 support will be added. Is it only in the full version? Also, alpha release was said to be in august, but the deadline was removed from pivotal tracker, and someone not familiar with that service – me included – might have the impression that it’s now after october 31, as it appears on the bottom of the scheduled tasks list. It is also unclear to me when you will resume on nightly builds.

    Either way, I think the more you talk about the extreme size of the code, and the less releases you do, the more frustration you will get. Nobody expects the alpha release to solve all the world’s problems. :)

    I see you are making more and more efforts to communicate the work and give us some insight about what is happening. The reason I wrote this post was to help you is dealing with this. I realize it is an extremely hard task to manage all this with such a small team, your task should be to write code, not to deal with impatient leechers of free stuff. But this can also help you track real needs, so it’s not that useless.

    Again, I’m not a developer, so I might have misunderstood any details, but then I guess many people here are just the same, so its important to clear up things for the less technical audience as well.

    Again, thanks for all the effort, we really appreciate it.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Avatar of foxly
    foxly
    Participant

    @foxly

    `1.bloatedness
    “in a few months BP-Media will probably contain more source code than WordPress” – foxly
    Statements like this always scare the crap out of me. I’m not a developer, but it seems pretty obvious to me that debugging something as big as an elephant can be pretty tricky. Moreover, I’m pretty sure 90 percent of the people waiting for buddypress media to be released only expect it to do what album+ already does, with youtube embed and mp3 support added. It’s nice to revolutionize the database system, good to have transcoding, user roles, and all the magic, but if you already have more code than wordpress and more features planned than any other product ever produced, and you still didn’t release an alpha yet, I start to be afraid that maybe you are losing focus.`

    There’s a long list of things we need to carefully balance in order to make BP-Media a success, including features, codebase size, and delivery times.

    In terms of features, the users *you* know may want YouTube embed and MP3 support, but the users as a whole want a wide range of features, from “multiple albums”, “group albums” and the ability to “tag” people in photos all the way up to having different “classes” of users they can sell different “album types” to.

    While it would be foolish to try and release every feature all at once, it would be equally foolish to try and add them from “the ground up” one at a time. The feature set of the plugin strongly influences the plugin’s data model. If the data model isn’t planned with future features in mind, upgrading the plugin on a live server could be a huge problem.

    As for code bloat and feature-creep, we were only using WordPress as a reference point. We’re not trying to write a plugin with millions of lines of code and every possible feature …it would be slow and cumbersome… we’re trying to write a fast, efficient plugin that does a great job at social media sharing. We built our database class because it saves us epic amounts of time and code. Its reduced code and work by 50% for some classes. As for complexity and debugging, we implemented automated unit testing from “Day 1″ to head-off this problem.

    `2.features in alpha, release date and priorities
    This is more like a question. Mp3 pseudo-streaming and the whole group-albums functionality will be left out from the alpha release if I’m not mistaken. (looking at the project schedule graph on google code) it is not entirely clear when mp3 support will be added. Is it only in the full version? Also, alpha release was said to be in august, but the deadline was removed from pivotal tracker, and someone not familiar with that service – me included – might have the impression that it’s now after october 31, as it appears on the bottom of the scheduled tasks list. It is also unclear to me when you will resume on nightly builds.`

    The alpha release is going to be a very “bare bones” production. Our goal is to get a bunch of people to test the new modular plugin core on their systems. Embedded MP3 support will probably be in the alpha release. Targeting an alpha release in the next 3-4 weeks. Nightly builds to resume in a few days.

    `I see you are making more and more efforts to communicate the work and give us some insight about what is happening. The reason I wrote this post was to help you is dealing with this. I realize it is an extremely hard task to manage all this with such a small team, your task should be to write code, not to deal with impatient leechers of free stuff. But this can also help you track real needs, so it’s not that useless. Again, I’m not a developer, so I might have misunderstood any details, but then I guess many people here are just the same, so its important to clear up things for the less technical audience as well.`

    Basically what you’re seeing is the project growing and evolving. As we get more developers on board, we need to start documenting more things on our website. When people see all the new stuff they start asking questions, then a dialog starts, then more people get interested and decide to join the team, and the project grows.

    I think above all else, people should stop worrying so much. We’re skilled, experienced developers and we’re working very hard to get BP-Media built as quickly as possible …after all, we need it for *our own* sites.

    Thanks!

    ^F^

    Avatar of Selu Vega
    Selu Vega
    Participant

    @bluelf

    I still believe 100% on Bp Media.

    Avatar of vizslah
    vizslah
    Member

    @vizslah

    Thanks for the detailed answer, I hope it was helpful to many others, not just me. I hope you didn’t take it the wrong way. I’ll do my best to help the project, at least with bug reports after the next nightly build.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

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