Tracking support requests and feature requests

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Tracking support requests and feature requests Robin Green 4/27/12 1:12 AM
A couple of related problems:

1. Even though an issue tracker is usually understood to be for tracking "bugs + features", Mark has made it clear that he wants problems to be discussed here first to expose them to a wider audience, and only filed on the issue tracker if they are confirmed as bugs. Which implicitly leaves nowhere to file feature requests where they can be tracked, counted, searched, prioritised etc. (However, it should be noted that some sbt plugins accept feature requests.)

2. Problems often go unresolved on this mailing list, and then are eventually re-raised, and sometimes go unresolved again. An example would be the thread on disabling external repositories - that's been raised before. As a consequence there is not necessarily one place that you can go to, to read up on a problem, and even if there was it could be a bit much to read through just to find the solution, workaround or the current status. I'm not sure why this happens - I think it's partly that mailing lists have historically been less good at this than StackOverflow, and partly that there are very few people who actually deeply understand how sbt works under the hood, so there is a number of people issue.

I'd like to suggest a simple technical measure that might help with both these issues: turning on the Google Groups configuration options to allow people to mark threads as resolved, or answered or whatever, so we can see at a glance which threads are unresolved. I'd suggest all list subscribers be given permission to set the resolved flag. However, only the list owner is able to see whether these features have been rolled out to this particular list by Google, so it may be that this cannot be done just yet.

As for the "few people understand sbt well enough" - that's a more challenging issue, and really beyond the scope of this email.
Re: [sbt] Tracking support requests and feature requests Mark Harrah 4/28/12 3:57 PM
I appreciate this pointer.  I had not checked out the new Groups interface[1] and was pleasantly surprised.  I have enabled pretty much all of the features I could find, including:

 * Display a copy of best answers above other replies...
 * Allow the user to highlight code when editing posts
 * Allow users to classify topics
 * What type of topics are allowed in the group? Discussions and questions (was Discussions)
 * What type should topics default to? questions
 * Who can modify tags on any topic? all users (will change if abused)
 * Who can enter tags that are not in the suggested list? all users (will change if abused)

I didn't see anything about marking a question as a resolved, but that might be automatically enabled and I didn't see such a button because there are no questions yet.  I did see something about marking a thread as not needing an answer, but I didn't think that was the same thing.

Also, I made you a group manager.  Please feel free to poke around settings, try things out, and help us take advantage of the new functionality.  I'd appreciate knowing if you change anything (mainly out of curiosity).

Note that group manager comes with getting notifications about spam and new member moderation (we allow everyone unless it is spam), but this is infrequent and you can just ignore it if you want.  You can unselect yourself as manager if this is not something you want to do or you might be able to just unselect getting notifications.

I will try get to the other points of the email later.


[1] For those like me: