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ddt


Nov 14, 2006, 12:23 AM
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General response to feedback so far
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Hi everyone,

I've read all the feedback up till a while ago and I want to give a consolidated response to some of the general themes. It's going to be next to impossible to respond to everything specifically, but rest assured that we're reading your posts.

Why did we "fix" things that weren't broken? Why did we toss some functionality?
We retired the ENTIRE code base of the old site. The decision was made to rebuild everything on a new technology platform. The overriding purpose is to create a better foundation for the future. So, we did not selectively decide to omit things or change it, we tossed everything and decided what the highest priority things were to put back into the bucket, given the constraints we had to work with. We generally opted for longer-term and more foundational things, as opposed to shorter-term gains. There are some out-of-the box features in the new software which we left in because they required little development time.

Where is feature X?
If you don't see it and we don't respond to tell you where to find it, it's not part of the new site. As we went through this project we had to make many hard prioritization calls. Some things that are missing now we also want to bring back, we just have not had the time to do it. Some others we feel are not worth it. While we have some ideas, we don't have a set plan yet and we're open to constructive feedback and discussion as we go forward.

Layout, navigation
We want to have the site be very usable, so we welcome your feedback. I don't think it's optimal now. Just remember that anything that's different will take a little while to get used to. The forums work differently, but it works well and we can back that up with real evidence. I've been on this site for months, and I can honestly say that I find it much more usable than the old one. I dare you to give things a try for a few weeks.

Performance
You should find that the site is generally stable and faster. Everything about its design, infrastructure and server arrangement is superior to the old one. However, there could be a few teething issues as we get rolling here. We're monitoring things almost constantly and hope to iron out wrinkles within a few days or weeks. Bear with us. And don't just let us know if it's slow… let us know if it's fast!

Defects
There are defects and we appreciate you telling us about it. We'll log them and get to them in time, even if we don’t respond to your post. Obviously we'll address any kind of showstopper as soon as we can, but less important ones are going to take a back seat right now.

Browser and Style sheet issues
We did not design and test the site for every possible combination of browser, operating system and screen resolution. We have stats about this, and we've optimized for the handful of combinations that form the vast majority. Also, I know a handful of people are using fairly normal setups, but get various layout issues. This might be the result of security settings or style sheet issues. I suggest you first ask someone knowledgeable near you to help. Generally that's going to be easier than troubleshooting remotely with us.

Colors, style, logo
Yes this can be approved, but this is simply not the top priority right now. We replaced the entire engine. We can always work on the paint later.

Inline Images in Forum posts
We hear you. The decision to not allow inline images was made primarily for two reasons: (1) Style and brand (2) Performance.
We prefer things clean and simple. Have you ever noticed what happens if someone posts an image that's wider than your screen? Doesn't it annoy you when the same pic is shown over and over as posters quote and quote it again and again? Have you ever waited for a 15 MB forum page to load?
Now having said that, we recognize that these issues can be technically addressed while still allowing inline images, for example by resizing images automatically when they're added to posts. We like clean and simple, not sterile. And we like pictures. We just don't have the functionality there yet. It's not part of the forum software we use. It's on the list for consideration.
In the mean time, remember that you can still attach images. Yes, it'll be a click away and your post won't look like a magazine page, but you could still show us what you're talking about.

Finally, I must say it was very exciting to see the new site go live this morning. Taking a step back and considering the monumental proportions of this task, and then seeing it run solid and fast without any major hiccups the ENTIRE FIRST DAY was simply amazing. We have less than 20 threads in Error and Bug Report forum.

And it's not just technical… people are using the sites features, like tags, and direct field-level updates of route information, and classifieds. They're searching the routes database. Users uploaded hundreds or routes today, and made thousands of posts. While it's not perfect I take pride in it. We've made a good start here people, and we're ready to move forward now.

DDT


Partner coldclimb


Nov 14, 2006, 12:30 AM
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While it's not perfect I take pride in it. We've made a good start here people, and we're ready to move forward now.

DDT

Yeah, of course it won't be perfect on the first day, it'll take a while for us to find and the coders to iron out all the wrinkles, but when all is said and done, I'm fairly sure this will be much better than the old buggy and limited site. Smile


unabonger


Nov 14, 2006, 5:19 AM
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Colors, style, logo
Yes this can be approved, but this is simply not the top priority right now. We replaced the entire engine. We can always work on the paint later.

Well the engine seems nice enough. So great job rebuilding it, I'm sure it wasn't easy. And importing all that data must have been a challenge also!

But the world only sees the paint job. Don't underestimate its importance.


robbovius


Nov 14, 2006, 5:58 AM
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In reply to:
Hi everyone,

Hi yourself.

In reply to:
Inline Images in Forum posts
We hear you. The decision to not allow inline images was made primarily for two reasons: (1) Style and brand (2) Performance.
We prefer things clean and simple. Have you ever noticed what happens if someone posts an image that's wider than your screen?

yeah you get to scroll back and forth sideways to see it, and then flame the poster for being a douche. the first part is a minor inconvenience/non-issue and the second part is fun. further, if someone posts and especially kewl huge pic, and you want to grab it for wallpaper or desktop use, you're golden.

In reply to:
Doesn't it annoy you when the same pic is shown over and over as posters quote and quote it again and again?

No. another non-issue. repeating pics in quotes was fine, especially if it's in a funny thread like the very popular and long lasting "Worst Photos of rc.com" thread, which I lit a candle of remembrance for last night, since it's gone now.

In reply to:
Have you ever waited for a 15 MB forum page to load?

sure, but it's never been that big an issue. I won't presume to speak for others, but I don't mind waiting for photos to load, even on my home dial-up.

In reply to:
In the mean time, remember that you can still attach images. Yes, it'll be a click away and your post won't look like a magazine page, but you could still show us what you're talking about.

yeah, well, hello 1996. ;-)


EDITED to ADD:

I'll have to admit, all the scratching around/compaining/reposting by everybody is certainly testing the ability of the site to handle the traffic...so far it's working reliably.

now, fix my damn Massachusetts RDB! and quit linking my attic wall pics to fricken maryland! and I'll cut you some slack on the embedded pics. for maybne a whole day! ;-)


(This post was edited by robbovius on Nov 14, 2006, 7:34 AM)


Partner epoch
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Nov 14, 2006, 7:38 AM
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Have you ever noticed what happens if someone posts an image that's wider than your screen?
Doesn't it annoy you when the same pic is shown over and over as posters quote and quote it again and again?
Have you ever waited for a 15 MB forum page to load?

Now having said that, we recognize that these issues can be technically addressed while still allowing inline images, for example by resizing images automatically when they're added to posts. We like clean and simple, not sterile. And we like pictures. We just don't have the functionality there yet. It's not part of the forum software we use. It's on the list for consideration.

It doesn't annoy me to have an image wider than my screen. I use multiple computers throughout the day, each of them being a different brand, Each of them have different screens. My laptop has a screen the size of an ordinary piece of paper, where I have a wide screen beast at work...

I have broadband, 15MB pic, wait, Ha!! That's soooo 1997.



chanceboarder


Nov 14, 2006, 9:14 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Have you ever noticed what happens if someone posts an image that's wider than your screen?
Doesn't it annoy you when the same pic is shown over and over as posters quote and quote it again and again?
Have you ever waited for a 15 MB forum page to load?

Now having said that, we recognize that these issues can be technically addressed while still allowing inline images, for example by resizing images automatically when they're added to posts. We like clean and simple, not sterile. And we like pictures. We just don't have the functionality there yet. It's not part of the forum software we use. It's on the list for consideration.

It doesn't annoy me to have an image wider than my screen. I use multiple computers throughout the day, each of them being a different brand, Each of them have different screens. My laptop has a screen the size of an ordinary piece of paper, where I have a wide screen beast at work...

I have broadband, 15MB pic, wait, Ha!! That's soooo 1997.
I don't find having photos wider then my screen annoying either, or having to wait an extra minute for the page to load with 20 photos on it. What I DO find annoying is having to click on a link for every photo on a thread and having another winder pop up so I can see it. If I forget to close that window by the time you know it I've got 20 windows open slowing down my computer and now it's not annoying it's down right frustrating Mad

Edited to say, I do appreciate the new site and all the hard work that has gone into making it all happen. I love a lot of the new improvements but miss some of the old features and I'll continue to give as much feedback as I can to help further the sites improvement. Thanks to everyone involved Smile

Jason


(This post was edited by chanceboarder on Nov 14, 2006, 9:39 AM)


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Nov 14, 2006, 9:18 AM
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Re: [ddt] General response to feedback so far [In reply to]
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Daniel, I speak only for myself. I think you have accomplished the goal of laying a foundation on which to build the new RC.com with startling effectiveness and I'm excited to share feedback about a variety of issues.

First and foremost, the performance. How you say? Zoooooom! Smile

Second, inline photos. Count my vote to get that ability up and running ASAP.

Third, I love the new email and not having to re-log to get to it.

Fourth, the new photo settings are fantastic! So much customization. (My only gripe there is with the way our own photos are displayed in our profiles. I'd like to see a gallery option and I'd like to see them listed by rating. How are they listed now? By date submitted?)

I have much more -- some positive, some constructive. But I'd like to take a few more days to poke around and get my shit straight.

In the meantime, and again, congratulations on getting this thing up and running with as few tech snags as you have. Don't mind the people who can't express themselves like adults. The rest of us will end up with the same feedback and we won't toss insults in the process.


saxfiend


Nov 14, 2006, 9:30 AM
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DDT -- Thanks for your response. I also appreciate the quick fix to a specific issue I brought up.

I hope everyone will be patient and wait for the site to gain back some of what's been lost. There's definitely some things I miss (especially the embedded pictures), but I don't think it's productive to flame the moderators/owners about them. I'm enjoying the improvements (and there actually are some!) and hoping for the best regarding the stuff that got dropped.

Having come to the defense of the mods, I'd like to say that the other side of the coin is that you guys need to be patient too -- I'm sure you must have anticipated you'd get some unreasonable criticism. Flaming the mods may be unfair, but it doesn't help when some of the mods respond with comments in the vein of "tough shit, learn to live with it." (Sangiro especially has just poured gas on the fire.)

Looking forward to further improvements!

JL


kachoong


Nov 14, 2006, 10:12 AM
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In reply to:
j_ung wrote: Fourth, the new photo settings are fantastic! So much customization. (My only gripe there is with the way our own photos are displayed in our profiles. I'd like to see a gallery option and I'd like to see them listed by rating. How are they listed now? By date submitted?)
I think the photo page in our profiles definately needs work to be useful. I really liked being able to flip submitted photos to see the progress of my edits or submissions. Also being able to sort them by last comment, latest, oldest or total votes. Also be able to search my photos for comments by a user or search all photos by those I've commented on.

The gallery option in our profiles would be BIG step in the right direction. There is potential there, it'd be nice to have some old features back on this framework though.


jakedatc


Nov 14, 2006, 11:36 AM
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First and foremost, the performance. How you say? Zoooooom!

Jay you've posted this in a bout 6 threads now.. and sure the pages load up nice and quick HOWEVER it takes you 4 clicks to get you the same place 1-2 clicks got you in the old format.. this isnt any faster. Sure it makes the numbers look good but the user friendliness is pretty crap at the moment. there are numerous threads and even more posts about how and why that is.


Partner j_ung


Nov 14, 2006, 11:52 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
First and foremost, the performance. How you say? Zoooooom!

Jay you've posted this in a bout 6 threads now.. and sure the pages load up nice and quick HOWEVER it takes you 4 clicks to get you the same place 1-2 clicks got you in the old format.. this isnt any faster. Sure it makes the numbers look good but the user friendliness is pretty crap at the moment. there are numerous threads and even more posts about how and why that is.

Emphasis mine. Why did you write that? Do you think site works like it does simply to generate more ad dollars? It would be a pretty heady accusation to make without actually knowing any of the people who run the site.

Anyway, I see your point. It does sometimes take more clicks. But you're wrong in saying that it isn't faster. Twenty clicks would still be faster.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Nov 14, 2006, 11:52 AM)


jakedatc


Nov 14, 2006, 12:10 PM
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I didn't just mean for Ads.. in general saying "look at what we have ___ pages/sec" or whatever in place of the features we ditched.

besides the photo section i haven't had page load issues since the jumped to the DZ servers..

:shrug: i don't care enough to keep posting about stuff..


zozo


Nov 14, 2006, 12:51 PM
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I was wondering if you guys ever considered letting users pick their own stylesheets? You will never be able to please everybody on the color front and it really isnt that much work to duplicate a stylesheet and change a few colors here and there.

Just a thought.


fenix83
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Nov 14, 2006, 1:18 PM
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In reply to:
I was wondering if you guys ever considered letting users pick their own stylesheets? You will never be able to please everybody on the color front and it really isnt that much work to duplicate a stylesheet and change a few colors here and there.

Just a thought.

I think this idea is interesting, and it definitely bears some looking into (although I am not sure about the brand issues that might arise).

In the meantime, you might want to give this option a shot:

Using Firefox to make this site better

-F


sbaclimber


Nov 14, 2006, 2:12 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, ddt!

Is there any chance of maybe having "bug" and "features" lists (a bit like what is common in the open source community), so we could have an idea of what is being worked on?


blondgecko
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Nov 14, 2006, 2:23 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
First and foremost, the performance. How you say? Zoooooom!

Jay you've posted this in a bout 6 threads now.. and sure the pages load up nice and quick HOWEVER it takes you 4 clicks to get you the same place 1-2 clicks got you in the old format.. this isnt any faster. Sure it makes the numbers look good but the user friendliness is pretty crap at the moment. there are numerous threads and even more posts about how and why that is.

Emphasis mine. Why did you write that? Do you think site works like it does simply to generate more ad dollars? It would be a pretty heady accusation to make without actually knowing any of the people who run the site.

Anyway, I see your point. It does sometimes take more clicks. But you're wrong in saying that it isn't faster. Twenty clicks would still be faster.

Well, having had time for everyone to calm down a bit, you have to admit that it'd be pretty easy to get that impression.

I understand that a large (huge?) amount of work has gone into getting the back-end running almost flawlessly, and that's an impressive job.

BUT - that's not what everyone first sees. As somebody said above, what we all see first is the paint job.

What did I see when I first logged on? I saw a forum where every possible graphic has been cut out to save on bandwidth - right down to the logo: cut and paste it into a text editor and you'll see that it's quite literally plain text. In fact, by far the biggest image I have seen on any forum page was a banner ad at the bottom - and even most of those are text only.

It may be that this was simply because the front-end was low on the list of priorities, but what it inevitably came out feeling like is that we are being treated entirely like a cash-cow - keep costs to minimum, while squeezing out the maximum amount of advertising revenue.

When you have a community that is already jumpy about the takeover and primed to think that way, that's extraordinarily bad PR.


Partner cracklover


Nov 14, 2006, 2:27 PM
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Haven't had a chance to familiarize myself with much yet, but a few things are obvious:

1 - speed/reliability. The speed difference is certainly notable. Excellent! I look forward to seeing that the number of blackouts will radically shrink, too. Nice!

2 - no inline images. Big bummer. I know this is a style decision, but I think it's a loss to the users.

3 - photo upload process. Major major improvement. Kudos. Night and day, really. Thanks for that.

GO


htotsu


Nov 14, 2006, 4:33 PM
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ddt, thanks for taking the time to write this response. It is helpful to have this context.


the_climber


Nov 15, 2006, 10:22 AM
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There are definitely one or two improvements, but little things like having the "My Topics", being able to just jump to the end of the thread, and in the forum view being able to see who posted in a thread last....

These are features that made the old site enjoyable to use. Obviously I'm not used to this new site, and there will be an adjustment time needed, but as it sits right now I'm not as happy with the new site as I had hoped I would be.

I am more than willing to give the new site a chance and see how things develop in the next couple weeks. I do find things frustrating and I'm not sure if I'll be spending as much time here as I used to. That being said, I am giving it an honest chance and will spend enough time on here to try and get used to it. I just found the old layout a little more user friendly as far as navagating through the threads is concerend.

Oh, and the spellcheck keeps crashing my computer.

Edit:
OK I just spent some time going around the site, and my oppinion is changing a bit. Although I am still willing to 'give it a shot', I can honestly say I thing a lot of this "new RC.com" is shite! I've played around with my settings, an it did little to improve on the viewing pleasure of everything here. It's still bland and boring. This "new RC.com" isn't that improved and I think there is much work to be done to win over the masses. I've already recieved a number of emails from friends about how much they dislike it and are not going to log back on untill things are better.
I am still giving it a chance, but a LOT needs to be changed!


(This post was edited by the_climber on Nov 15, 2006, 11:14 AM)


karlbaba


Nov 15, 2006, 1:42 PM
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implementing a new site that ruins all the links in old posts is a radical affront to those who created content before, and devalues the archival content of RC.Com.

Not prioritizing the retaining of important old content that was developed (and pubically stating that it won't be fixed) has seriously pissed me off so that I'm having a hard time being civil about it.

That's like throwing away an old mature relationship for a empty headed trophy bride. Shame.

Peace

Karl


Partner tisar


Nov 15, 2006, 3:07 PM
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[..]That's like throwing away an old mature relationship for a empty headed trophy bride. Shame.

Thanks Karl for the picture, since I feel the same in many ways. I was pretty proud of some of the posts I put a lot of work in. They're gone.

Gone because any link in recent posts heads to nirvana.

Gone, 'cause the post ranking is lost and therefore we miss the 'finer moments' as a personal portfolio and reminder at one time.

Gone, because some of the best posts just consited of links, which are now gone.

Besides the tons of bullshit I gave for free in community and the EuroFreaks forum, there was a whole bunch of posts I sometimes spent hours to write on (remember, this is not my native language). To have them buried over night in the abyss of the site archives really makes me sad and angry.
One would have thought that the respect for all the users work, which is what made this site what we loved it for, is something the new owners should have had in first place.

- Daniel


(This post was edited by tisar on Nov 15, 2006, 3:23 PM)


fenix83
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Nov 15, 2006, 3:18 PM
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Daniel, Karl:

I understand how you feel, but please don't feel all your work is wasted.

Links can be fixed (it just takes a bit of work) and some of us are working hard to get those very posts you are referring to and making them accessible and useful again.

If you still want to help, please do. If you feel cheated, please bear with us while those of us who remember try to piece it all back together.

-F


karlbaba


Nov 15, 2006, 3:33 PM
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It doesn help to know that an intent to fix the problem is there. I got the impression that "that's just the way it's gonna be"

peace

Karl


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Nov 15, 2006, 3:33 PM
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In reply to:
Daniel, Karl:

I understand how you feel, but please don't feel all your work is wasted.

Links can be fixed (it just takes a bit of work) and some of us are working hard to get those very posts you are referring to and making them accessible and useful again.

If you still want to help, please do. If you feel cheated, please bear with us while those of us who remember try to piece it all back together.

-F

No hard feelings here. It's just that I feel like coming home, my room's all messed up, I can't even find the wiskey to calm me down and someone jumps up and down in front of me, trying to direct my attention to the new painted walls - plus that he gets really pissed when he's told that he dripped colour all over the floor and painted the window panes.

I'm definitely not a naysayer, and I really like some things about the new site (even the logo...), but it's hard to keep smiling when your whole work gets stomped over - even if it might be restored in the future.

- Daniel


fenix83
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Nov 15, 2006, 3:39 PM
Post #25 of 34 (1968 views)
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Registered: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 2397

Re: [tisar] General response to feedback so far [In reply to]
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Let me be clear, it is not an intent. It is a determination.

I personally profited from your posts, as well as those of jt512, brutus of wyde, curt etc... and I will not let all that knowledge (which helped me so much when I was starting) get lost in the transition.

True, it will not happen overnight, but it will most definitely happen. The vastly improved search function makes it a lot easier too.

-F

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