Author Topic: Discussions  (Read 14729 times)

conrado

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2009, 12:44:12 PM »
You want to be the slickest eh? I hate to say it, but the rounded thing comes to mind ;)

"Rounded thing"? Nah... Oracle's software is not that slick...  :P

Quote from: Thomas
I'll stop at the risk of being stoned.

Drugs are bad. And quit listening to Dylan. The times they are achangin.

Quote from: Thomas
I'm not exactly sure how to convince you that simple formatting (in notes, descriptions, comments, etc.) would be a huge plus, but I'll try...

In my experience, very simple formatting (bold, underline, bullets, etc.) almost always improves usability because if people have space to write in, they inevitably try to organize their thoughts. If there are no standard tools, they do this with caps, dashes, stars, equals, etc..

i.e.

Benefits
=======

* Clear Communication
* Standardized
* Consistent
* Usable

This may look like a good way to organize text, the problem is... it's not consistent from user to user. And, no formatting lends itself to paragraphs of text that are more difficult to get through.

As far as dev time... Can't you simply modify the current WYSIWYG editor to only include a few tools, and drop it in these areas :)

Thanks for listening...
Thomas
I understand and agree with those arguments. In fact, I would probably use some formatting myself (you would notice that from my use of this forum).

But -good- development cost is usually underestimated.

Adding the editor would increase page time-load and make it more complex. So in some instances it would be good to not have the option. Then it should be configurable... and thus add to coding complexity.

In summary: I am absolutely in favor of this improvement. It simply isn't on our current top-priorities right now.
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Thomas

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2009, 01:00:56 PM »
Understood, thanks for the reply!

I was actually wondering  if I could probe your structure a bit, so feel free to tell me it's none of my business, create a new thread, or direct me to where my questions are already answered.

As far as your priorities.... is that mainly decided by fengoffice.com and its customers? Is there a hard development time line (i.e. features, dates, deadlines, etc.), internal bug tracker, etc.?

What role does fengoffice.com vs. the community play in sculpting the future of OpenGoo? I mean, I understand they pay for development, so do they have full control over what developers are working on?

Thanks,
Thomas
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 01:51:39 PM by Thomas »

conrado

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2009, 03:41:20 PM »
Good questions.

There are currently 9 developers working full time at OpenGoo. All of them are now Feng Office employees (or partners). So yes, Feng Office has a big say on what features get added.

There are many community members that contribute in many ways.

Community members external to Feng Office:
  • Built the wiki
  • Translated OpenGoo to all languages other than English and Spanish.
  • Help a great deal with supporting newbies.
  • Keep translations and the wiki up to date.
  • Share lots of good ideas.
  • Sponsored many of the features added in the latest versions.
  • Do a tremendous work testing Beta and Candidate Releases (thus, improving the quality of every new release).
  • Have contributed bug fixes, and even some small features

We should do a better work on publicly recognizing everyone's contributions (That of community members, and that of the amazing people that compose the Feng Office team), but we are focusing 90% on development (We are now doing some efforts on the business side too  ;) )

We have a development time line. But it changes daily. This is because of many reasons. The first one is because we listen constantly to the needs of customers, the community, and our own.

Finally, unless it is discarded (or, more accurately, postponed) for quality reasons, or by time constraints, we do include all contributions that we receive.
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rportinga

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2009, 02:12:53 PM »
The argument about page load and such is a big one for me regarding Notes vs Discussions.

If/When this moves forward, please make discussions a separate module from notes. For those of us that may not want/need the extra features, we may not want to sacrifice the speed of execution.
Rob Portinga
Bauer Bros. Construction, Inc.

Jon

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2009, 11:47:41 AM »
Hi to everyone  :)

Having spent the last four years managing a large forum community comprising some 30 moderators, 30+ sponsors, a handful of admins, many group leaders, and thousands of members, the past 3 months with Open Goo have been somewhat of an eye opener.

The basic essentials are very solid in comparison to the majority of what is available otherwise, although I have to agree with the opinions expressed in this thread in that Discussions requires a greater level of functionality and formatting options. Formatting is the main concern for me, and like Thomas I have installed a good many options, and presently am trialling Open Atrium in my search for the ultimate web based collaboration suite.

Like so many of the users I have read along the way, via similar discourses, I am not a developer/coder/tech expert. The common denominator in these discussions is the wish for a straight forward way to input images, video, music files, and productive formatting, on the part of everyday users. Whether it be in a forum environment or concerning workplace collaborations. As has been suggested, a discussion is entirely different to note making, and comes into its own whilst facilitating brainstorming sessions - the heart of group collaboration?

Be it FOSS, Freemium, or paid for ware, of the options I have encountered there is none that hits the mark in my view, and it seems to me that poll position is still very much still up for grabs? If my interpretation is correct then OG/Feng are working to some iteration of the Freemium model, and it occurs to me that many following this model are missing the best of the opportunity?

Free users tend to be smaller concerns which have a limited budget to work with initially, however a healthy proportion of them grow to be among the Fortune 5,000,000; the staple businesses on the Web. These comprise the principal pool of available customers, day-by-day, the majority of whom are merely regular users of technology, and which are happy to pay a fair price for a good service as is regularly required. Therefore is it not good business sense to consider input from your free user base as seriously as that of paying customers, from the start? Surely a good slice of these will grow to be paying clients of the future?

Returning to potential features and formatting for the Discussions module. Whilst I have been unable to find a clear explanation of the distinctions between OG and Feng Office, I would suggest that developing the ideas discussed here would likely be of significant advantage to both? Open Goo is possibly the most bug free and stable collaboration tool available currently, and were it to expand the present forum-esque discussions element I believe it would surpass most of the competition.

Personally I prefer the option of a full wysiwyg (BBcode) editor, coupled with a quick reply box, as per the better forum CMS available currently. The latter sits just as for the existing discussion comments, below the last post/comment, with an 'add reply' button or similar by which to activate the full editor. Ideally beyond the regular formatting options this would also include;

1)   Facility to quote text from prior comments.
2)   Preview post/comment function.
3)   'Save as draft' facility.
4)   When using the editor page reloads should not result in the loss of input.

Suggested additional functionality;

1)   Comment ordering; ascending/descending.
2)   Admin-side facility to split a discussion, for example; move one comment from an existing discussion to begin a new topic on the basis that the content warrants it's own focus.
3)   Social media connectivity.

These are just my ideas and suggestions, and are merely intended to provide some further food for thought in this area?  

All the best,

Jon
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 11:52:54 AM by Jon »
Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument is an exchange of ignorance."
- Robert Quillen

conrado

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2009, 01:26:12 AM »
Hi Jon. Thanks for the feedback.

This has been a very thoughtful thread.

Feng Office and OpenGoo
To clarify: Feng Office is a company founded by the same founders of the OpenGoo project. It is the company that develops OpenGoo, and it offers professional services for supporting implementation, hosting and customizing OpenGoo.

Since having two names has sometimes added confusion, OpenGoo might also be rebranded as Feng Office in the future, though this is currently just in "idea" stage.

Improving notes and discussions
I am not against more formatting options on comments (or discussions, if such a module would evolve from the current "notes" module).

It is just a matter of analyzing all angles before getting hands on it.

It is also a matter of finite resources, and a complex and ever-changing roadmap (changing everyday!).

Other thoughts
Thanks for the compliments!  :D

Also, rest assured that we consider the input and thoughts from every community member. The roadmap might be influenced more by paying users, as we have to prioritize what will keep and protect the project's grow, but we put a lot of time on every new release to include ideas and suggestions gathered at this forum.

I try to read every post on the forum but, with the fast growth of the community, it gets harder and harder to reply to all, and much less so, to be fast on implementing every good idea (which, fortunately, abound in our community).

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. Keep them coming!  ;D
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conrado

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2009, 01:29:59 AM »
Ah! Also, I think Oxydum has done some work on this area. It has probably been added to version 1.5 (maybe as a config option).
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MaximKorobov

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2009, 04:07:26 PM »
Sorry, no time to read all ideas about discussion module. So, I'll tell only idea, without comments to other ideas.

You understand that notes entities very similar to documents and it is very easy to combine it together? For example, create a tag "notes" with default DB configuration, which users can use for "real notes" in docs.

If so, You can combine notes with documents and fill empty (from notes) space with new entity (discussion/forum/Logging Chat).

Karl

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2010, 02:20:23 PM »
Hello Conrado,

are you still thinking on implementing a forum to FO or at least some improving of Notes?

Regards
Karl

conrado

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2010, 03:39:55 PM »
Hello Conrado,

are you still thinking on implementing a forum to FO or at least some improving of Notes?

Regards
Karl

Hi Karl. Still greatly interested. Not the feature that is most prevalent on my mind right now. We are currently more concerned with a few performance issues, even more polishing of what is already there, and some CRM capabilities to name a few.
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WiZaxx

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2010, 07:27:24 AM »
Oh, no CRM you said?!?!
Are you trying to make it a do-it-all before you do-it-good?

For the sake of your own product, listen to the community and give them a module builder (they will implement CRM if they want to) then stick with expanding on the collaborative project model.

Please!
M


ignacio

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2010, 10:51:18 AM »
Hi, "Listening to the community" is not that simple. Some want us to stabilize the product, some want more features among whom some want feature X, some feature Y and some feature Z. We would love to do all of that at the same time but it is impossible.

Doing a good plugin system could be a solution, but it's in itself a ver big task that includes writing documentation and such so it would take a long time. I mean there already is some work done in allowing to extend Feng through plugins, but of course only few people know how to use it because there's very little documentation, and also it isn't a simple system nor a complete one.

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2010, 11:31:47 AM »
Hi Ignacio,

you are right. It's not easy to listen to the community because of the very different needs.

Right now I don't really know the future direction of "OpenGoo" which now is "Feng Office".

For me there are three different categories:

1. A collaboration and project management platform (like Basecamp, PHProjekt etc.)

2. A CRM system (like vtiger)

3. An online office solution (like Google Docs)

What is Feng Office going to be? One of the three or an all-in-one solution?

Cheers

Karl

WiZaxx

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2010, 04:26:03 PM »
Different user: different use.
I agree that's a nightmare to satisfy us all.
That's when (I believe) one needs to give them the tools to take care of themselves.

Even a major money maker as salesforce.com had to bow to the power of the community to be able to expand its features.

I honestly see a great potential in FO, but it needs to speed-up development not to be left behind; and IMHO that can only be done with the help of the community.

See the example of the Gantt Charts:
Years of request and you would (could) not deliver, but the community (well not really, just one member of it) got it to a point that I hope you can take it to the core now.

But there are not many members as capable as Allen, so you may have to lower the bar and allow for more contributors to help.

As far as the core and which direction to take.. I made an attempt to get us to tell you how we use it, I hope it get you some good data.

... just with the hope of helping.

conrado

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Re: Discussions
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2010, 04:44:06 PM »
@Karl: In the short term, and in terms of features, you are probably going to see more of 1 and 2.

Not "all-in-one-for-everyone" but "all-in-one-for-some" and "a-bunch-in-one-for-many". Hope that explains it.  :)

We are not currently focusing on "Productivity" features, like document edition, but a lot more on the "Management" features.

@WiZaxx: Your positive feedback and criticism is very valuable. Please keep it coming!

@Rambling:
"CRM" features being thought out are not quite similar to today's most popular CRM software packages. I find this section at Wikipedia's CRM definition very good in explaining the different tasks that CRM deals with.

I see Feng Office a good fit for Marketing departments (ie: planning a Marketing campaign), Customer Service and Support (Not for every company, but for many), Collaboration (obviously), and Small Business with the do-it-all managers/owners.

Feng Office is -still, and probably for some good time- not the appropriate tool for complex analytics, nor sales force automation (though we know of a few cases that find it good enough for these tasks).
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