Wishes to the forum…

FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

For me, the community (that’s you :smirk:) is the most important thing to be productive with Xamarin.
Without the help of the community it’s very hard (if not impossible) to find an entry in the Xamarin-world in an acceptable time.

And… the most important thing for the community is... yes the forum!

And.. therefore, the forum should be as good/useful as possible and also should have a very high priority for Xamarin (as the community takes a (very!) lot of load from Xamarin’s shoulders.)..!

I now work since about 9 months with Xamarin and use the forum almost every day.
It’s not as good / finished as forums like “Stack Overflow”, but I really like it and find it useful :)

As I have started with Xamarin.Forms and have posted a new thread, it was visible on the first page for about 1-2 days (O.K. I have a big screen :sunglasses: )
If I today post a new thread (in the .Forms-form), it takes hours until it is shifted to page 2..3…
So... if I don’t receive an answer within a few hours, there is a big chance, that I don’t will receive an answer (as normally, no user has the time to surf thru the further pages to see my unanswered thread).
Also, some further things should be changed/added to make it more useful.

Therefore below my (personal) suggestions to the forum.
Please vote here and add your further suggestions if you are missing something important for you.

:tongue: Hopefully we then are heard from Xamarin and (at least some of) the suggestions are overtaken in the near future :tongue:

My suggestions:

  1. Documentation:
    • As I have started with Xamarin, I have searched for a documentation to the forum (as I had problems, how to use it and post a formatted message like this :smirk:) and found… nothing
    • Therefore I have posted some information’s to the forum (and others) in this thread: http://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/36821/quickstart-guide-to-start-developing-with-xamarin-forms#latest
    • If you have a look at the postings of some new users, you can see that this is a problem
    • Therefore: Please add an “official” documentation of how to use the forum or - if one should exist - please make it "visible"
    • And.. if the composer would work as it should (formatting-options), the documentation would become smaller :smirk:
  2. Link to drafted postings:
    • If I write a new (longer) message, the message is stored as draft automatically from time to time…
    • The problem is, that the most users don’t know, that the drafts can be accessed under this link: http://forums.xamarin.com/drafts
    • Therefore: Please add a simple link (“Drafts” or similar) in the surface of the forum (personal page) - this would help your users to save time, if the forum has crashed (or the user has done a mistake himself) by typing a looong message
  3. Simply make the “Like” Icon visible:
    • There are a lot of users in the community that spend a lot of time to help other users over the Xamarin-hurdles…
    • The “Like” is one way to say “Thank you - you really have helped me!”
    • I have posted a thread “You Like what you like..?” here: http://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/36721/you-like-what-you-like#latest
    • So... I think that (especially) new users (that should use it) don’t know, that they can/should Like a helping hand, as they don’t know, that there is a symbol to the message, that only becomes visible, when they drive the mouse over the message
    • Therefore: Please make the Like-Icon visible per default
  4. Please add some functions to the “Flag”-Icon:
    • I think, the “Flag”-Icon is thought to flag messages / users that post spam or messages that contains text “below the belt”
    • I have seen, that some extremely helpful users have some “Abuse”-flags in their profile for nothing (no text “below the belt”
    • I don’t know (don’t think so), that there is a way to “clean-out” these flags for the users…?
    • Therefore: Please add a further message that is showed, when the “Flag-Icon” is clicked ("With this Flag, you are marking the user with the Abuse-flag - you really want to do this") or something similar (so that the user knows what he does) and give the “abuse-marked” users a chance to (let) remove the Abuse-Flags
  5. Please add a delete-function:
    • Own post’s cannot be deleted from the user. He has to ask support to delete his own post.
    • This is not nice for the user (if he has posted wrong text or multiple time the same message) and also is not nice for the Xamarin support as they should have more meaningful work to do :smirk:
    • Therefore: It would be nice, If user can delete his own post (at least, if there are not postings of other users to the thread after the initial posting of the message)
  6. Please add further filter-functions:
    • As I wrote on top, today a new posted message is gone to page 2..3.. in no time
    • Therefore new filter-functions with e.g. “unanswered questions” and “unanswered posts” would be helpful to see which users stay in the dark
    • Therefore: Please add new filter functions
  7. Questions:
    • Please take care, that the change “Edit <-> Preview” also works with Questions (like it works with normal "Discussions")
    • If a user have found the solutions for a problem himself and post the solution to his (own) Question, he is not able to mark the question as answered and will receive messages, that he should have a look at the question as he have received some answer :smirk:
    • Therefore: Please make it possible, that a user can state his own posting as answer (whereby this not should count as answer for the “answer-badges”)
  8. Please "Re-Add" the user-country:
    • As I have started with Xamarin, the country of the user was showed in his profile
    • As (I think it was a bug) mostly the wrong country was assigned (US) and I have not found a function to correct it, I finally have sent a mail to support to please correct it (what then was done)
    • A few days later, I have noted, that the country was no more showed in the profile (where it - strange wise still is visible I the mobile-surface -> access forum from phone). This also is a way to “solve” a problem :smirk:
    • As I think, the country a user come from is a meaningful information (e.g. to contact a user from the same country), please show the country further and make it changable
    Further, I think, you are aware, that the forum sometimes seem to be “overloaded” and are on the way to “up-power” it…

I have further wishes (like add also a preview in the internal mail-system and more...) but these things are not really important for me.

I think, that various of the suggestions should be easy to implement and would be happy, if some of them (or all :smirk: ) would be changed/implemented in the future.

Please vote here, if you have the same mindset and/or add your suggestions in further messages.

And.. thanks for reading this...

Posts

  • 15mgm1515mgm15 USMember ✭✭✭✭

    I agree with you on everything, that is why I use more StackOverflow forum and we need more people helping and getting involved in the community. there is very few people using Xamarin.forms tag on Stackoverflow, I encourage you to use this at the same time the guys from Xamarin take care of your suggestions and we can grow together.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @15mgm15:

    Thanks for your posting here - you have one more "Like" now :wink:
    That's exactly what for I have posted this thread.
    I don't expect, that the Xamarin Forum becomes to a StackOverFlow-Forum (as that really is stellar) , but hope for some enhancements, that makes it better/easier for all (us) users :smiley:

  • JohnHardmanJohnHardman GBUniversity mod

    +1 for this.

    The not being able to mark my own question as answered by me is particularly annoying. As Fredy says, things scroll off so quickly now that if not answered within half a day, the chances are that nobody else will answer them, the result being that a couple of times this week I have (eventually ) managed to find answers to things I asked a while back.

    A wiki section where we can add/update documentation would be particularly useful too.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JohnHardman:
    Thanks for posting here and I find your suggestion:

    A wiki section where we can add/update documentation would be particularly useful too

    a very good Idea :smiley:
    I have posted myself various documents and descriptions and know various others that also have done that.
    The easiest way (quick and dirty) for doing that would be e.g. a fixed (staying) (normal) thread in each forum, named e.g. "Community Documentation".
    So each user that have a documentation, can post a new message to the thread easily and the thread will (always and in every forum) be found at the same place.
    The (better) way is to do this on a special place...

  • RaphaelSchindlerRaphaelSchindler USMember ✭✭✭

    I agree with you on this. The forum is really lacking functionality that is standard since phpBB2, like Documentation Section and Sticky Posts where Users actually can add stuff. The same goes for a more changeable forum profile. I mean we can't do anything except set a picture or change gender^^
    And yes I know this is a development forum, but to create a good and healthy community that really works together, I think this stuff is cruzial.
    One thing I would add to your suggestions is a Community Chat. The amount of developers is so overwhelming and we are not able to keep track of all the questions that are asked in the forums so a chat would be a nice addition, where we could help each other. Don't know if someone thinks this is a good idea, too :smile:

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    Getting the code tag to work correctly would be nice, puts me of posting code samples sometimes.

  • GeorgeCookGeorgeCook PEUniversity ✭✭✭
    edited May 2015

    @NMackay It works fine. Ensure all your code is indented by at least one tab... ALL OF IT, with an empty line before it.

    [tab] some code

        //some code
    

    @FredyWenger also agree with this. It'd be great if XF could get a community liason for us.. perhaps even a 1 hour irc campfire chat once a month.. let's face it.. only those who really care would show up, or even limit it to those in the community/forum's who are recognized.

    I worked for Adobe Consulting back when Flex blew up, and this tech is going to do the same thing. The problem was Adobe were real dicks about it : They didn't liase very well with their devleoper base, and even held back features to compete with them. So everyone was ready to bit the hand that fed them when Steve Jobs killed Flex by kicking flash off the iphone (I'd already decided to move to iOS by then, no begrudging here ;) ).

    Point is, Xamarin seem to be doing it right; but I think they need to make sure they're conversing with their community sufficiently, as we've all seen it many times before how a lack of communication can lead a platform to alienate disenfranchise it's developers and ultimately stagnate. The times I've seen it happen, hindsight has lead me to see that that process starts aroudn this point in the lifecycle. The comments you've made about the forum improvements go some way to address that; but Xamarin need to make sure that our voice, and theirs are on the same wave-length.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GeorgeCook:
    Thanks for posting here :smile:
    And:

    Point is, Xamarin seem to be doing it right; but I think they need to make sure they're conversing with their community sufficiently, as we've all seen it many times before how a lack of communication can lead a platform to alienate disenfranchise it's developers and ultimately stagnate. The times I've seen it happen, hindsight has lead me to see that that process starts aroudn this point in the lifecycle. The comments you've made about the forum improvements go some way to address that; but Xamarin need to make sure that our voice, and theirs are on the same wave-length.

    + 1

  • MartinRothschinkMartinRothschink DEMember ✭✭

    +1 from me on all topics from @FredyWenger

  • codenutzcodenutz GBMember

    I structured community driven wiki sounds like a solid idea to me.

    Personally I think for question and answer type scenarios (as opposed to discussions), it'd be much more useful to just encourage everyone to use stack overflow. In my mind a forum is for discussions / opinions, and stack overflow is better for problems/answers.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jingleton

    Hi Jayme

    I don’t know, if your are responsible for the forum…? … but I’m sure you know the right person :smirk:
    Can you please take care, that the right person has this thread on the radar...?
    Thanks for your help :heart:

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pierce.boggan:
    Thanks for posting here - so we can see, that we have the attention of Xamarin :smiley:

    I just wanted to let everyone know that we are actively working on implementing some improvements to the forum experience

    Can you post here an overview of what you working on to improve the forum?
    I think, this would be very interesting for all readers of this thread... :smirk:

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pierce.boggan:
    We are tuned :wink: - can you give us some feedback what your are working on to the forum, please?

  • PierceBogganPierceBoggan USForum Administrator, Xamarin Team, Developer Group Leader Xamurai
    edited June 2015

    @FredyWenger,

    Sure! The Xamarin Forums are a hosted service from an external provider. This means we have some influence over what sort of things are changed, but only to a certain extent. Our current focus is on delivering some important in-forum upgrades that make using the Xamarin Forums even more of a pleasure. We've identified what some of these upgrades are, and are working on making them happen right now. :)

    Thanks,
    Pierce Boggan

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pierce.boggan:
    Thanks for your posting, but - unfortunately - it don't contain an answer :neutral:
    So... it seems, as we only can wait and let us (hopefully positive!) surprise (and further hope, our suggestions may find an entry to the changes) :smirk:

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    Update:
    Based on the idea of @JohnHardman (and the nike slogan "just do it"), I have started a new "Community documentation thread" here:
    http://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/43458/the-community-documentation-thread#latest

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Johnhardman: Thanks for posting your descriptions in the documentation-thread and to hold the "rules" :smiley:

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    Today, a blog was posted about "Forums Updates" here:
    http://blog.xamarin.com/forums-updates-badges-and-more/

    Unfortunately it seems, without any real enhancements :cry:
    Some new "Badges" (I think for Xamarin - I don't see the benefit of the new Badges for us users).
    Announcement of "Ask a Question" that already exists since a longer time (it seems, still without the possibility to accept own answers as "Answer").
    I'm disappointed :disappointed:

  • BradWhiteBradWhite USMember ✭✭

    There should be an easy way to find My Threads (that I started) and to find discussions that I participated in.
    If I try to help someone, I try to circle back later to make sure everything got resolved.
    For that I need "Participated."
    If there is a way, I can't find it.

  • BradWhiteBradWhite USMember ✭✭

    @FredyWenger
    The Xamarin forums are based on VanillaForums.
    We can make suggestions to the Xamarin folks.
    Some are going to be options they can turn on.
    Others will be requests they make to Vanilla.
    Hopefully, we'll see new features when the next version comes out.
    And if you see existing features there (VanillaForums.com) that you like, you can ask for them to be turned on here.

    The good news is that new features in the forum doesn't take away programming time from extending Xamarin Forms!

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BradWhite:
    Thanks for posting here :smile:
    "Find your threads":
    If you click your own profile, you will find "Threads" and "Posts" on the left side.
    If you click on "Threads", you will find all threads that you have started
    If you click on "Posts", you will find all messages that you have wrote to threads that other users have started.
    If you want to "listen" to a thread, you can click on the greyed star on top of a thread (that the becomes yellow).
    If you do that, you will receive an email each time a message is added to the thread (and also can see it on the "globe"-Icon on top of the forum.
    Maybe you have to configure the mail first in the settings to your profile.

    Your hint to "Vanilla" is a good suggestion (turn on some features) :smiley:
    I will have a look, as soon, I find the time.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BradWhite:
    I had a short look to the Vanilla-site.
    Unfortunately on their main-pages there are no detail-information's available and their doc-section don't work (at least not with IE11 and FF) so that e.g. under "Notifications" not details are shown (site seems to be broken).
    So... unfortunately I was not able to get some usable information's :disappointed:

    I have sent them an email with some screenshots (and suggested to fix it)

  • BradWhiteBradWhite USMember ✭✭

    These guys have a thread about tips and tricks they've found. No point in us having to rediscover the wheel.
    http://iheartpublixforum.com/discussion/19403297/new-vanilla-forum-tips-and-tricks

    HTH,
    Brad.

  • BradWhiteBradWhite USMember ✭✭

    @FredyWenger

    Find your threads

    Thanks! It was frustrating because I felt like I'd seen it somewhere.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BradWhite:
    You're welcome :sunglasses:
    As I wrote, I have sent a mail to Vanilla (about the problems of their website) and asked for a .pdf with all details.
    I have received the (interesting) .pdf and will check-it-out in detail, as soon as I find the time :smile:

  • MattHarringtonMattHarrington USMember, University
    edited June 2015

    I posted this in another thread, but I'll consolidate things here at Fredy's request.

    The Xamarin University forum appears to not have the "Attach a file" link when making a post. That link appears in the General Discussion forum, however. Screenshots attached are in the thread I mention above.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    As this thread will be reviewed soon by Xamarin:
    http://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/comment/162785#Comment_162785
    I pop it...

    If you have further wishes, feel free to add it here... :smile:

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow... point "3.Simply make the “Like” Icon visible" of the wish-list has been done :smile:

  • ChrisSwainChrisSwain USMember, University ✭✭

    @pierce.boggan said:
    @FredyWenger,

    Sure! The Xamarin Forums are a hosted service from an external provider. This means we have some influence over what sort of things are changed, but only to a certain extent. Our current focus is on delivering some important in-forum upgrades that make using the Xamarin Forums even more of a pleasure. We've identified what some of these upgrades are, and are working on making them happen right now. :)

    Thanks,
    Pierce Boggan

    @pierce.boggan Any update on the upgrades to the forums?

    Is there a place other than here in the forums where we can suggest tweaks and new features to be added to the forums?

    I want to suggest that the email notifications about forum threads/posts include more info about the category. This will allow me to auto-file my notifications into the appropriate folders (i.e. Xamarin.Forms, Xamarin.Android, Tools, etc.).

  • ThomasBurkhartThomasBurkhart DEMember ✭✭✭✭

    We no have a Button Questions for unanswered Questions, but unfortunately it lists all questtions of all subforums and not only of the active subforum, which does not motivate users to regulary check it as most of us don't have expertise in all topics.
    Would be great if this could be changed.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    +1 to the post of @ThomasBurkhart.
    The function only really becomes usable, if a filter to the forums can be configured ( e.g. over checkboxes):
    [ x ] Xamarin.Forms
    [ ] Xamarin.iOS
    [ x ] Xamarin.Android
    [ x ] Visual Studio
    [ ] Xamarin Studio
    [ ] .....
    To support other users (for free) take time for every user (Xamarin customer) (and helps Xamarin!).
    Normally a user is able to support one or - maybe - a few themes.
    Actually the function is not really usable, as it take to much additional time to only "filter" alle the questions manually.
    => So... please implement a filter like suggested above (in your own interest) :smirk:

  • AdrianKnightAdrianKnight USMember ✭✭✭✭

    please add the ability to delete posts and threads

  • AdamHillAdamHill USBeta ✭✭

    +1 To stop the scaling of image links.

    Most example screenshots, showing how UI configurations need to look are completely unusable.

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