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Author Topic: We're Working on the Customize Site!  (Read 18152 times)

Offline Joshua Dickerson

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We're Working on the Customize Site!
« on: November 28, 2009, 01:50:17 PM »
Hello all you SMFers!

I want to let you know that there are big changes being worked on for the customize site and the Customization Team is very busy. We've seen a lot of issues with our current site and are working to fix them. We've listened to what you've been saying and even what our own Customizers have been saying.

Let me give you some information about the current state of affairs. The Customize Site is actually three "sites" - mods, themes, upgrades. We use 3 different set of files for each, sharing a couple of files. The database is the same but very few of the tables are shared. Then we also use the tables and database from the community forum to get stuff like the member information. We use a board to discuss the customizations in private. That board also serves as a center for any PMs you send to the SMF Customization Team member. This isn't actually a member, but a pseudo-member. The customization team controls this.

As you can see, I identified some problems already. One of them being the back-end. We are going to start by sharing as much as possible between all of the customization types. That will make the site run faster and smoother - which you may or may not notice but Derek (the server admin) and Sleepy (the site admin) should. It will also make it a lot easier to do updates and add new features to the site - which you will definitely notice.

Another thing you won't notice immediately is how we check customizations before approving them. Currently, everything is checked by a qualified Customization Team member. We review it to ensure there are no major security flaws, the coding style is along the lines of the SMF coding style, no queries in templates, no templates in source files, etc. This takes a lot of time when you're talking about some of the bigger customizations and even with a lot of small customizations it takes a very long time. Throw a big customization in front of the queue and it becomes a huge bottleneck. Throw a customization with a lot of errors or a lot of talking back and forth with the Customization Team and the author in the front of the queue and you're talking an even bigger bottleneck. So, we want to combat this. We want to streamline the process.
  • Less talking: not that we don't like you guys, but talk takes too much time. So, if we wrote the scripts to "hint" to you where you could improve your customization before we see it, we wouldn't have to do so much talking. We could do a lot more clicking... of the approve button.
  • Easier discussions: right now there is no way for you to ask a question or make a comment directly to the team without us PMing your first or you knowing the SMF Customization Team member's id. We'd like to help. We're going to make a page for you on your customization to discuss it with us.
  • Even more auto-checking: on our end, we're going to do the same checking that will be done automatically when you submit. Like I said, they will most likely be a lot of "hints" and not require you to make any changes. The script can't do everything and we will have the ultimate decision of allowing things that the script catches. If it isn't major or we feel the system threw a flag in error, we'll let it go. It will give us a list of things and we'll send you a message letting you know the status.

One thing you will undoubtedly notice are the new features we have planned:
  • FAQs: tired of answering the same question over and over? Try a FAQ. It will help with that.
  • Changelog: I always enjoy knowing what has changed since the last version I installed. What's the point in upgrading if nothing has changed, right? We're going to make it so you can add changes and the users will understand everyone's changelog style because it's going to be standard.
  • Tags: not all customizations fit in one category. Heck, most don't. That's why we are working on a tag system where you can add (for the authors) and search for (for the users) tags.
  • Bug Tracker: bugs happen. As an author, you want to identify these and track them with ease. Nothing like seeing a bug reported 100x that is actually a feature or your support topics being inundated with these.
  • Credits page: we understand that a lot of customizations use works from many authors. This page will give you a pedestal to put those people on.
  • Translations: SMF is a multi-lingual web application. Your customizations should be as well. We're working to connect the author with the translator with the users.

Now, to the harsh reality. These changes are going to take some time. You may have noticed that we are getting kind of slow with approving customizations. We may slow down even more. A lot of things are going on in the dark that will be uncovered in due time. I just ask that you are patient. Hopefully you'll like what you see.
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Offline JovanT

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 06:40:03 AM »
Wow, this will make life a lot easier for all customizers. I can't wait to see all these options implemented.

Offline ოկtђ

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 07:13:59 AM »
Nice works ;)

Offline Nibogo

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 12:11:31 PM »
Great ideas, I really like the FAQ, Changelog and the Bug Tracker, but maybe you can add archived versions. I know that we can have a lot of files  in a mod but maybe the user don't know what should download and what is a old version.

Offline Arantor

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 12:12:13 PM »
Interesting idea that.

Offline ethankcvds

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 10:47:55 PM »
Cool more features for me to work with in the future.  Though take your time while your working on this.
No Pm's for support please!

Offline Zoric

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2009, 05:49:54 PM »
wow nice  :) :)

Offline aymenbnr

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 04:00:36 PM »
nice job,keep up ;)

Offline Forbs

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2010, 08:43:38 AM »
nice job smf :D

Offline SoLoGHoST

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 01:36:51 AM »
Wow, just now seeing this topic.  This is Great News!  I can't wait to finally see it in action!

Cheers :)

Offline live627

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 02:33:11 AM »
Greatly looking forward to the new site. I have many of the speified features on my mod pages and they are getting long. Different tabs for each section would be good.

Offline Özgür

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 01:17:14 PM »
Great news. I see it just now. "Translations" is what i wanted!

Offline vbgamer45

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Re: We're Working on the Customize Site!
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2010, 02:14:54 PM »
Great news. I see it just now. "Translations" is what i wanted!
Me too I get some many translations for all my mods but it is so hard to organize and keep track which translation works for which verison
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