Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.
Looking at the Feature Requests and Bug Reports sections of the current forum, I (and I’m sure, many others) get overwhelmed with the lack of organization within it. There are multiple duplicate issues, solved issues are mingled in with the unsolved issues, and often, the reporter forgets to mark the issue as “Solved”, even after it has been resolved.
Furthermore, the lack of transparency is somewhat frustrating; we often have to either look at the Roadmap or the comments one of the team members have left in the thread to see if this issue or request is being taken seriously, or has lower priority.
Describe the solution you’d like
If the current forum system for issue tracking is going to be kept until the project is open-sourced, it’ll be a good idea to invest some resources into keeping it organized and well maintained.
To help resolve the issues with numerous duplicate requests, being able to add an “Duplicate” tag would be useful. The duplicate issue can then be hidden in a subcategory (e.g like the Release Notes inside Announcement category), and if the duplicate issue report is detailed enough to merit being merged into the existing thread, a staff member can do so.
Moving “Solved” threads into its own subcategory, just like what I’ve proposed in my above proposal, would also be great for improving sorting.
I also believe we need to rethink the way in which we “close” an issue. At this moment, the only method we have for indicating an issue no longer requires attention is for the original poster to mark a specific reply as “Solved”. This causes numerous problems; for example, we’ll probably want to close duplicate or spam reports, but marking them as “Solved” would not make much sense. Furthermore, as the original poster is the only user allowed to close the report aside from forum moderators, many issues that are solved pile up, either due to the original poster forgetting to close or the moderators not doing so.
Therefore, we need a more robust system for marking an issue as no longer requiring attention than a simple “Solved” checkbox. I believe the forum should adopt a GitHub-style “Closed” or “Open” status tag for all issues, where we don’t need to pick a specific reply that “solved” the issue, but just close and open based on whether it is relevant or not.
The forum should also partition the “Solved/Closed” issues into its own subcategory, so the main category is not littered with issues that don’t require attention.
With the lack of transparency problem I’ve brought up, perhaps assigning a priority rating/tag between 1 (for most urgent) and 5 (for least) would be valuable for forum members to determine how quickly an issue will be solved may be helpful. If resources and time allow, the developers might also want to consider signalling their progress on the issue with tags, such as (“In Roadmap”, “Investigating”, “Working On”, “Won’t Fix”).
I’ve also noticed that many bug reports have replies by staff members stating that they’ve added it [the bug report] to the issue tracker, like in this post. I’m somewhat curious about this; is this bug tracker different from the bug tracker in the forum? Is there a reason (perhaps clutter or security) to keep two separate bug trackers?
I’d really appreciate some input into why there are two separate bug trackers in the forum by one of the team members. In my view, I’d think that having one centralized place to track all bugs and feature requests would be best for efficiency - especially if the forum’s bug tracker is improved and better organized. If merging the two are not possible or takes too much time, would making the “internal” bug tracker publicly viewable (but not editable) for beta testers be an option?
The last proposal concerns the organization issues I’ve mentioned before - who should be allowed to close issues and assifn “Duplicate” tags, if they are implemented? Clearly, the team’s time is much better spent on development and investigating bugs than manually dealing and sorting each individual bug report.
I believe that editing such tags should be as accessible to as many forum members as possible. I’m thinking that users who have attained a Discourse Trust Level of 2 should be allowed to edit posts; it appears that most isers are at this level.
Yet, allowing users to edit and self-moderate the forum will inevitably cause conflicts, disagreements and fights. So far from what I’ve seen, the vast majority of posters here are respectful, considerate, and have avoided using harsh language, but that is not a given. I don’t have a great proposal for a solution to this issue, but perhaps something can be figured out.
Describe alternatives you’ve considered
It is possible for individual users to improve post organization using filtering options available at the top of each category page. However, this is only transient - it appears to be cleared upon next visit, and may not come easily to newcomers.
This long post was written out hastily, and I haven’t had the time to throughly dissect and think carefully about every proposal I’ve made here. Therefore, there may be grammatical errors, nonsensical writing, and flaws with the individual proposals I’ve made. Please point them out if you see any - criticism always leads to improvement!
Furthermore, I recognize that this is a very long post filled with many requests. Please keep in mind that they are requests, not demands - many ideas may not be great, and under no circumstances does the team have to implement them if they don’t wish to.