Viewing Projects Approval Queue

Discussion in 'BukkitDev Information and Feedback' started by blablubbabc, Apr 22, 2013.

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    It would be kinda cool and mainly interesting to be able to see the project approval queue.
    This would let plugin devs estimate how long it approximately takes until a file gets approved and let them see the progress in the updating queue while waiting for the approval.

    So instead of continously people asking about when their file will be approved, or why it takes "so long", they can simple look into the queue an see "Aha! Still about 10-20 more project before it's mine projects turn" (I know project approval will not always exactly follow this queue, but this would at least give an approximately overview about how long it still takes and properly additional helps to understand the work being put into project apporval.)

    Bad idea ?
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    Not a bad idea imho but I believe that devBukkit staff grab them in bunches to approve which means at the top end there's actually lots of little queues.
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    Yeah, but it would probably be hard to implement in the site:(
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    While I agree with you in principal that it would be cool, I think this is not going to happen for a few reasons. The first is just the time that would need to be spent on this. The costs far outweigh the benefits. It also would just confuse people (especially newcomers) to the status of their project; it's really not as straightforward as it might seem and there are a LOT of factors that we have to consider when dealing with the queue; sometimes things are left there for discussion or some other reason and it would just make people angry or confused.
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    What about letting this be another, more simplified queue ?

    A project is uploaded -> added to the end of the list
    A project is approved -> removed from the list

    You can still have your team-internal queue where you let projects and files stay there for discussion or whatever.

    "It also would just confuse people (especially newcomers) to the status of their project"

    I guess it would confuse newcomers even less, when they can take a look into some sort of list where their new uploaded project is located in and this list updates over time and they actually can see the progress while waiting for the approval.
    No more "Aghrg! Why doesn't my project gets approved?!" or "Hmpf! Why is nobody approving my file ?! I am wating till 5 minutes already!".
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    It comes down to the same reason we don't provide ETAs for CraftBukkit builds, or, more appropriately in this case, a to-do list showing the progress. Giving people more information doesn't mean they'll understand it or use it, and it doesn't even mean there's less questions we have to answer; in fact it's usually the opposite. In any case the queue/approval process isn't as clear cut as you're making it out to be, and there would be a lot of information we would need to teach to people to get them to understand how it works.

    Again, there's also the point that this would, in any implementation, cause a pretty large amount of work to go into it for a relatively small set of benefits. I can completely understand why you would want to see this, but I'm just going to be honest and say I really don't see this happening; I highly doubt you would want to watch approvals come to a near halt to see this implemented, which it would pretty much need to.
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    In any case, if it was ever implemented it would need to only show like "Position in queue: 104" because if we see the actual names of plugins, people will complain "my plugin is more important than those other stupid plugins, check mine first". But then, just knowing the position (104) would be irrelevant, because of many factors :
    - Depending on the number of staff currently checking queue
    - Depends on size of each plugin

    You could have one day a quick queue of 104 and on another day a long queue of 30.
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    This is already how the queue works. The only reason a project/file is left in the queue is due to it being sent back because changes are required, or a mistake on a staff member's part.
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    A queue is not going to work out for the approvers. As they have mentioned (slightly), they often put plugins aside for further discussion within the group, or have to prioritize plugins. Dealing with plugins as they come in will result in long, unneeded delays as they can not move on to the next plugin. If implemented, it would require approvers to manually move around plugins in the queue, and that is just inconvenient and will result in people complaining about their plugin position increasing, instead of decreasing.

    (unless the staff already does handle the approvals as they come in, then it could be possible to implement. You still have the problem of people complaining about 'slow position changes' though. And is it really that useful? Poll time!)

    What you CAN do, is show stats somewhere of the total amount of plugins/files still requiring approval. If you are waiting for approval, and you see that there are well over 1000's of plugins waiting (before) you, it is just as useful. Just keep track of this number yourself, and in general you can consider a higher number as a longer delay.

    Note that BukkitDev now allows CI/Jenkins/build server links to downloads (at own risk) to be downloaded. If your userbase is complaining about long update delays, you can consider getting one. (perhaps for free, if you ask around)
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    bergerkiller I don't get what you're saying, of course they handle then as they come in, how else could it be? Approvers don't have the right to choose which plugin is more important.

    The only thing that can alter it is when there is an issue that they need to discuss about a file or if someone reports the file as being a critical fix.
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    You could very well be right about that.

    I suppose it's up to DevBukkit staff whether they want it. I have no idea how their current workflow is, or whether they have a portal from which they work that allows this system at all. It shouldn't make the lives of approvers more difficult.
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    I don't expect it to be exact. It shall just give some sort of overview and a possibility to see some sort of progress, so the idea of counting the projects left in the queue before the own file is as good in my eyes.

    And as this just shall be some sort of overview, I don't think it's important that certain projects stay longer in the queue, others are worked on first or whatever -> in the end this would just mean, that the own project would even get approved earlier than the queue , or the counter did forecast.

    I even would slightly prefer the counter isntead of a list of files, because this would avoid confusion of people wondering why other files are approved first and they still stay at the same position. That way they only see a number, which decreases over time (hopefully).
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    We always handle files as they are approved, and that's always been the way it's done. There's no discretion among staff regarding whether a file should be approved before others unless it is one that includes a vital fix that would, left unshipped, expose vulnerabilities in their server or otherwise cause damage.
    bergerkiller and ZachBora like this.
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    Do you have some sort of portal from which you manage the approved files? You mentioned that it would take too much time to implement this sort of system, and that time could be better spent on approving files. If, next to the requested approval counter, an entire new framework has to be implemented (a queue), then I can understand why it is not being done. Otherwise, I don't see the issue. To me it seems like a website script/PHP call which looks into a database to get the index of a given plugin/file.

    So yeah, what is it that makes this feature so hard to implement? It at least reduces the complaining to you guys (that do a wonderful job), because now they can see (live) how plugins are approved.
    blablubbabc likes this.
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    Yes, we do; the queue system is built into CurseForge and we use it like all the other implementations to approve files. While it is true that we could technically pagescrape the queue ourselves to generate some public counter or list, that's obviously not ideal. Asking Curse to do it would take development time off much more valuable things.

    It's not exactly true, though, that this will reduce complaining. We've seen the same effect happen when we give more information about CB updates instead of just sticking to "The update is in progress and will be ready when it's ready". I know file approval is a different situation, but it seems to me like including such a public progress display would only lead to more things we have to explain. Maybe a counter wouldn't be as big of a deal, but I still think the implementation of it would not be desirable.
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    Now that I think about it, we'd get a new complain each time the counter hasn't moved for an hour... Bad idea.
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