[wp-hackers] Ideas Forum (Voting)

Jane Wells jane at automattic.com
Thu Dec 31 03:30:07 UTC 2009

Below are the main issues I think we need to fix first with the Ideas  
Forum. They didn't get fixed before because the forums were not  
running the new bbPress version, and it seemed like we should upgrade  
the software before trying to write new plugins. The custom plugins  
that power the forum were amendments of other plugins, and not as easy  
to change as I thought they'd be. Also, the person expected to do the  
upgrading was no longer available, so it languished. Mike Adams has  
offered to do the bbPress upgrade and work on updating the plugins in  
mid-January. Here's the list I made last summer of things that I think  
should be fixed for the Ideas forum to be more functional:

- If a thread gets closed and it has already had the status changed to  
‘this idea's been implemented’ or ‘you can do this with a plugin’ then  
the closed thread will not appear on the list anymore. If you close it  
while still ‘under consideration’ (because there's no plugin and it  
hasn't been implemented) then it will still appear in the Under  
Consideration list of topics. Really ought to separate that out… once  
a thread is closed, it shouldn’t look like it can still be commented/ 
voted on.

- If you go to Ideas You Haven’t Rated, it includes Ideas that have  
been closed. Once closed, they should no longer be available for rating.

- To make it easier for people to scan existing Ideas before creating  
a new one, we should use categories (or blank forums with subforums,  
whatever) to segment Idea threads (not tags!): Media, Performance, UI  
Design, Links, API, etc. Should map to the components in Trac (which  
really need to be cleaned up first, as there are overlaps like gallery/ 
media), so that Ideas voted up can be mapped to Trac when blessed.

- If logged in with appropriate permissions, should be able to block/ 
mark-as-spam a user from front end, just as you can edit or delete a  

- Bulk management: If you search for all posts by an author and want  
to delete them (spam management), you currently need to delete each  
one manually, which is time consuming if someone put up 50 spam posts  
in an hour. Can we swipe the bulk management feature from WP for this?

- Most Popular doesn’t limit itself to Ideas under consideration.  
There are ideas that have been closed with plugin status appearing on  
the Most Popular list. Most Popular should only pull from Open Threads  
marked Under Consideration.
Current status options from admin dropdown are:
This idea’s been implemented!
You can do this with a plugin!
This idea is under consideration.

However, with the not-really-closed issues clogging things up, we need  
to make more choices so we can get threads off the Newest/Most Popular  
lists while having accurate labels. Suggested replacements:
This idea is under consideration. -Ideas in active voting stage.
Good idea! We’re working on it. -Ideas we like and have a ticket for  
in Trac/are working on in trunk.
This idea’s been implemented! -When it’s in a launched version.
This is plugin territory. -When either there is a plugin that does it  
(mention in comment before closing) or shouldn’t be in core.
This is theme territory. -When it’s a display thing that is controlled  
by individual themes.
Sorry, not right now. -When it’s been voted down or there are  
technical reasons not to implement (include in comments).
This is not a core suggestion. -When people post support requests,  
suggestions about other applications, or are too vague and need to  
create a new, more specific thread.

If we can get the software upgraded to the current version and address  
these issues with the plugins, the Ideas forum should become  
immediately more usable. A new UI would be great, but the  
functionality currently gets in the way of the UI, so the UI can't  
even really be evaluated properly (short of just designing the whole  
thing from scratch). I'm not making any promises, because who knows,  
it could turn out to be more complicated an undertaking than expected,  
but I'd like to try the bbPress upgrade and plugin fixes before  
getting too worked up about replacing it with something else.


P.S. This post was LONG in order to hit a lot of points and be  
transparent about what I'm working on. I invite suggestions, but if  
you choose to respond to the list, PLEASE trim your post. If you are  
using Gmail, click on "show quoted text" and trim it, so you won't  
clutter up everyone else's list experience with my novella over and  
over. People getting digest emails have the worst time trying to  
follow conversations when people fail to trim posts.

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